Author Topic: Back home from hiking in AZ  (Read 4575 times)

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Online daniel1948

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Back home from hiking in AZ
« on: June 15, 2016, 01:34:49 PM »
I got home from my hiking trip in Arizona a week ago and I'm just starting to get used to living with a broken arm. Including typing with my left hand. Don't know just how the accident happened. My friend Jason was behind me at the time. He thinks a rock might have broken. It's also possible my foot slipped or I misstepped. Whatever, he saw me tumble head over heels twice down the rocky 45-degree slope before coming to a stop some 17 to 20 feet below the trail. He was down to me almost immediately and was amazed that I was conscious and lucid. We didn't know what exactly was wrong, but my right arm was in pain and i could not move it, so he made a sling for it, and immobilized the arm by binding it to my chest with duct tape. (Later, the doctor said he did an excellent job of it.) We didn't know if rescue would be coming, so he got me back up to the trail and we headed back. The trail between Beaver Falls and the Colorado River is very rough, and the accident happened only about a mile above the Colorado on our way back up after lunch at the confluence. Fortunately, some hikers had passed us and had alerted the ranger, who radioed back to the village. The helicopter was just quitting for the day, so they sent it down to look for us, and it got to us maybe 3 or 4 hours after the accident, when we'd hiked about another 3 1/2 miles. Jason says I cannot call myself a wimp anymore after hiking 3 1/2 miles on rough trail with a broken arm, but I disagree. It was only with his help and constant encouragement that I was able to do it, and i was whimpering the whole way. The helicopter got us up to the village, and eventually to the parking lot, and Jason drove me to the hospital in Flagstaff, AZ. (The clinic in the village could not do anything for me because they are prohibited by law from treating non-Indians, but they let me sit inside, out of the sun until the helicopter could get us out of the canyon.)

We got to the hospital around 10:00 p.m., and the triage nurse saw me around midnight, and by 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. I was in a hospital bed with some morphine and dilaudid in me to easy the pain somewhat. The accident happened at around 2:00 p.m. So it was about 12 hours from that time until I was properly ensconced in the hospital.

My right humerus was broken in two places and the ball had further damage. My lower right canine was broken at the gum line and my upper incisors were chipped. I had a nasty bump on my head and the thumb of my left hand was hurt, leaving it weak and with limited mobility. It's too weak now to use a nail clipper, so my good hand is on the immobilized arm and my good arm has a damaged and weak hand. I never felt the numerous cuts and scrapes on my arms and legs. I am extremely lucky that the damage was not far worse. I could easily have broken my neck. My legs are fine and I can walk without assistance. They operated on my arm late the next morning, and when I got out of the hospital a couple of days later, a dentist removed the broken tooth. Back at home, my dentist fixed the upper teeth, and in 3 weeks I'll see an oral surgeon about an implant. In two days I'll see the PA at a local orthopedist's office for a 2-week follow-up about the arm. Maybe I'll get an idea then about expected recovery times.

All my summer hiking is off, and I'm depressed as hell about that because they had some really special hikes planned for me. But I'm damn lucky to be alive. There are no pictures of me lying at the bottom of the cliff since Jason was in a hurry to apply first aid and didn't bother with pics. He might have gotten a picture of the slope before we resumed hiking. If so I expect him to include it when he finally gets the rest of the trip pictures to me.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2016, 01:40:55 PM »
Welcome back, I guess?  Glad you're alive.
Big Mike
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Offline AQB24712

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2016, 02:09:53 PM »
Welcome back, I guess?  Glad you're alive.

No kidding, man, holy hell. 
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2016, 02:28:32 PM »
Sorry to hear that. 

Shit happens; good to hear you got yourself out of it and a good thing you ended up in a good care.

It's an extra drag at our age, we heal a bit more slowly in out dotage... but we still heal and, of course, "never let a serious crisis go to waste".

Good luck, dude.  Keep 'em flying.
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Offline petrolpetal

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2016, 03:01:23 PM »
Wow. I was wondering where you were and what was up! Glad you are OK (relatively speaking!). Sounds like you were tough as nails and LUCKY!!

Online daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2016, 03:39:44 PM »
Jason says I was tough. I didn't feel tough. I just felt like it was walk or spend the night in the canyon. I walked because I wanted to get to the hospital. I was definitely extremely lucky.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Desert Fox

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2016, 04:29:16 PM »
Is there anything outside a little less strenuous you could do instead?
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Online daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2016, 04:53:44 PM »
I'll be walking a lot. There's a multi-use (no motors) path along the river, and some easy hiking trails in the local parks.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline AQB24712

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2016, 06:22:42 PM »
Jason says I was tough. I didn't feel tough. I just felt like it was walk or spend the night in the canyon. I walked because I wanted to get to the hospital.

This is most definitely tough, sir.  Tough and determined.
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Online Harry Black

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2016, 06:55:05 PM »
Man. Im sorry for your misfortune!
But yeah, Ive seen people sit down and literally wait to die for lesser stuff. Take the praise.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2016, 08:05:01 PM »
Jason says I was tough. I didn't feel tough. I just felt like it was walk or spend the night in the canyon. I walked because I wanted to get to the hospital. I was definitely extremely lucky.

I sympathise, man. People said that I was brave and tough for enduring surgery for a perianal abscess. I wasn't tough - there wasn't a choice. You just bite down and do what you have to in order to get through it.

Glad you're okay.

Online daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2016, 09:52:59 PM »
Thanks for all the sympathy. For now, it's mostly pain-free during the day, thanks to the oxycodone, some dull ache when I take long walks, which still feels good to get a wee bit of exercise, and then pretty painful when
I wake up at night. Sometimes when that happens I get up and ice it for 20 minutes before going back to bed. At night I'm taking all the pain pills I'm allowed. During the day I'm taking a little less than half what I'm allowed.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Online daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2016, 06:30:07 PM »
Just had my two-week follow-up at the orthopedist. I only saw the P.A., but he said all is looking good on the new x-rays. He took out the staples and said I can shower and ride an exercise bike.

WARNING: Don't open the spoiler if you are squeamish. Pics of my incision with and without the staples. The smile is because I'm still high on oxycodone.

(click to show/hide)








Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2016, 06:44:42 PM »
I could see that and raise you one.
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Online daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2016, 07:50:45 PM »
I could see that and raise you one.

I don't doubt it.

Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

 

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