Terri's Spring Ski Trip

Chapter One

Terri and I planned our last ski trip for the winter.  It had 
been a good snow yea, and we had made several day trips up on
the mountain to ski.  Spring was now here and we would make 
one last trip before putting away our ski gear, and getting 
out our motorcycle stuff for the warm weather.  My wife Terri
is a five foot four, one hundred & ten pound former cheerleader
who is very active in sports.  When we are not working, we are
skiing, riding bikes, hiking, camping, boating etc. 

This fine day had been spent on the mountain getting all the
skiing in one day we could to satisfy us until next winter.
We were making a fast run down a black diamond course when 
things went wrong.  Terri was in front of me and pulling away.
She was going a lot faster than I was willing to go.  I saw her
enter a left turn, going pretty fast and her skis began to
bounce.  As she leaned into the turn trying to keep control, I
could see that she was going too fast and her body was sliding
out of the turn towards trees on the edge of the course. 
Just before impacting a small tree, she pulled her arms in and
lifted her left leg off the snow.  This resulted in her right
leg being extended straight out trying to carve out the turn.
Her right lower leg impacted the tree, which then cart wheeled 
her into the woods.  She disappeared into a deep pile of snow
at the base of another tree.

I knew my lady had wrapped her leg around a tree and slammed 
her body into another tree on second impact.  When I reached her
she was half buried in a snow drift at the base of a tree and
not moving.  I brushed the snow away from her face just as her
eyes opened.  She said: "Damn, that hurts".  I asked her where
it hurt.  At that moment a look of pain came over her face
and tears formed in her eyes.  She said: "Everything hurts".
I started to look her over when she moved, trying to roll on
her back.  The instant she moved there was a scream of pain.
Her arms appeared to be okay, and I could see her left leg 
moving.  She was now getting a pale look on her face as shock
started to take over.  I knew something was wrong.  We agreed
she must not move as I brushed the snow away from her right leg.
Trying to block her vision, I almost lost my lunch as I 
discovered her right ski boot pointing backwards and laying 
next to her knee.  Terri was now in great pain and losing 
control.  I told her she must not move, that her right leg was
broken and she may have other injuries.  Thankfully the ski
patrol arrived a few moments later, and gave her a shot.  They
put her leg in an air cast and headed down the mountain.  At
the base lodge she was transferred to a waiting van for 
transport to the hospital.  During the thirty minute ride, I
tried to calm her down by telling her she was going to be fine
and this injury would not change any of our plans.  Terri kept
saying she was sorry for messing up the summer.  At the hospital,
Terri was taken into the emergency room while I filled out 

By the time I got back to Terri, she had been undressed and 
given more medication.  There was an IV in her arm, and she was
feeling a lot less pain.  The doctors started to give me what
they thought were her best options.  At this point she was going
to need to stay in the hospital to ensure no internal damage 
had occurred.  Her vital signs would need to be monitored to 
make sure she did not have any internal bleeding.  The known
injury consisted of broken bones in her right leg.  Both bones
below her knee were broken, and her knee had been hit hard and
might also have fractures.  The X-rays of her foot and ankle
looked okay at that point, but something could show up later.
The bones in her lower leg were fractured in five different 
places, both impact and twisting.  The Doctor seemed worried 
as he painted the horrible picture of my wife's lovely leg.

One option would be to do surgery to install plates, rods and
screws.  That would leave a large permanent scar, and would 
need to be opened up again later to remove some of the hardware
once the leg had healed.  Two surgery procedures but a relatively
short healing time.  The Doctor again reminded her that this
approach would leave scars on her leg.

Another option would be to align the bones as best they could,
and place the leg in a series of casts to keep the bones in
place until they could heal naturally.  A leg with that many
fractures could take six months or more to heal by itself, but
there would be no scars.  However, Terri would have to spend 
a long time on crutches, and have her leg in several different
types of casts. 

Even though Terri was drugged up a bit, she did seem to 
understand the options being presented to her.  She said over 
and over that she did not want any scars.  I agreed that we 
should try to align the bones and see how it goes.  

The ER staff prepared to try and externally align her lower
leg bones.  The first thing they did was give her a large shot
which would numb her lower body, as they pushed and pulled on
her leg.  

I have always thought Terri's small foot was almost perfect. She
has a high instep, short evenly formed toes and great ankles.
Never had that little right foot looked so sweet as when the
Doctor wrapped his hands around it.  Her toes were sticking out 
of his hand as he firmly pulled and twisted her foot and ankle,
trying to get the leg bones to go back into their normal 
alignment.  Another doctor was working on her lower leg, while
nurses held her upper body down.  Let me tell you it takes a
special kind of individual to perform such tasks.  They seemed
pleased with their results and took her away to X-ray.

I was a basket case and went outside to the waiting room. 
Sometime later I was told that the initial alignment looked good,
and they were going to put a partial cast splint on her leg to
see if the bones would stay in place.  When I got back to Terri,
she was out and they were putting slabs of cast material around 
her leg, under the heel of her foot, across her foot and
extending well beyond her toes.  They then wrapped several 
elastic bandages around all the cast slabs.  The final result
looked like some two year old had wrapped bandages around her
leg.  Even her toes were covered.

The next morning when Terri woke up, she was appalled at what
had been put on her leg.  She was not expecting this God awful
thing hanging from all kinds of overhead pullies and supports.
I tried to explain that this was only temporary to see if the
leg was going to stay put.  I did gently rework the bandage
wrap at her foot to expose her toes.  She wanted to make sure
they still moved.  I rubbed them as she wiggled them.  This 
seemed to help her realize things were still working.  These 
tiny little toes were all we were going to see of her right
leg for some considerable time.  I assured her that this was
not going to be the kind of cast she would be going home in.

Three days later, the Doctor told us that everything was 
looking good for a regular long leg cast to be fitted to her
leg, and if the X-rays looked okay after the cast had been 
applied we could go home.  This was great news as we were both
more than ready to get out of the hospital, and get down to 
some serious tender loving care. 

Terri was taken into a cast room, and the splint cast carefully
removed.  The three cast technicians were taking great care not
to disturb the broken bones.  They started out with the normal
cast sock and padding around her knee and ankle joints.  In a 
few minutes, they had applied plaster cast bandage material to
every inch of her leg, extending from the second joint of her
toes to her upper hip area.  The cast was bent at the knee with
her ankle and foot in a natural flex.  The foot and toes were 
pointing slightly inwards.  That combination of angles should
allow her to stand and crutch without the cast contacting the

The technicians spent some more time rubbing out the plaster 
to a creamy silk like finish.  Terri's shapely foot, ankle, 
knee and thigh could be seen in the smooth curves of her huge
new cast.  Even Terri commented on the nice look of the cast.
One more night in her hospital room would be necessary since
the physical therapy department where she would be instructed
on proper crutch use was now closed for the day.  The tech's
put her and the new cast back into a complex overhead structure
above her bed.  This would allow plenty of air circulation 
around the cast so it would dry properly.  I returned home to
collect the requested outfit Terri wanted to put on for the
discharge and trip home...........................

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