Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bad Luck Comes in 3's

I sincerely hope that my luck begins to turn around soon. If not, I'll have no choice but to take my material and begin a new career in the country music industry crooning away my woes... and nobody wants that!

In the event you've not heard my misfortune of last weekend, this is a graphic account of how I came to loose the tip of my right index finger. If that sort of thing bothers you than please excuse yourself from the rest of this blog post. There's no judging here, so just bail. This stuff aint for the light-of-heart.

I was hiking back into the ampitheatre in Welsford to help Erick take care of our previously unfinished business on Odin. We headed up the through the boulder field and scree with Ryan Murphy and Shawn Burdette, who were headed in the same direction. It's funny, as I slogged up that same slope which I'd done many times before I bitched and complained about being too old to lug gear, and I mentioned putting the ampitheatre on my Murtaugh List. Big effing mistake; don't whine in the presence of Odin! He smites down upon that kinda nonsense.

With the route now in sight ahead I looked up to see all the gear I left there the week before. My attention to where I placed my feet broke for a moment as I looked up at the piton that had caught my fall. I don't know how the next chain of events started; I heard a large boulder start to slide immediately in front of me. Without thinking it through, I just grabbed it with both hands. I wanted to stop it from sliding onto my legs, or worse still it would have rolled downhill hitting one of the other guys. I yelled 'rock' (which is climber shorthand for "get the fuck out of the way) and the guys below scattered. I actually managed to stop the movement of the rock, and I think I might have breathed a sigh of relief seeing that my legs didn't end up getting bashed. The relief was short lived unfortunately, brought to an end by Erick asking "Dude, did you just chop off your finger?". "Yep, I think so".

I only got a glimpse of the gore but it sure looked like Zombieland to me. In about a minute, the boys had me bandaged tight, the bleeding stopped, and the heckling started. In all seriousness I was lucky to receive their first-class first-aid. I couldn't have been mangled up with a better crew. Shawn even found what was left of my finger tip's meaty bit and packed it in a sandwich bag with some snow (sorry Shawn, despite this image now being burned into your sub-conscience, the admitting nurse just laughed at our trophy and pitched it out).

After stopping at the Irving for ice and a call to Jill, Erick sped me off to the Fredericton hospital... a gesture which surely consumed thousands of dollars in gas and burned a 75km long hole into the Ozone layer. Thanks again buddy, a card's in the mail!

A young Italian ER doctor (who is now the object of my mother's fancy) patched me up and treated me to my first round of morphine... on the house! Not too shabby. First thing the next morning I was in plastic surgery. Being operated on while awake and moving my finger was unnerving. Sure the freezing renders it all painless but the idea is creepy. To make matters worse doctor #1 was in the process of teaching doctor #2 the ropes so I was privy to detailed debate on how exactly they'd trim my bone back to a neat and tidy shape... and then they'd do it! After a few minutes of that deep breathing just wasn't cutting it so the nurse got my Ipod for me and I zoned out. The docs continued on without me and sculpted me a top-of-the-line, aerodynamic, stylish new stump (or so I'm told).

I'm supposed to heal back to 100% functionality and effectiveness within 6 weeks or so. I'll just be shorter. I hope to be climbing again within two months and back to leading respectable routes by the fall. I'm told that my aspirations to go back and cleanly lead Odin are history; that route is now blacklisted. I just hope I dont get too fat before my right hand is back up and running. Anyway... this post is too long... I need an editor!

1 comment:

  1. there are worse things you coulda got pinched off under there!