Open Fractures and Swank New Stickers

1 07 2010

WARNING:  If you are a vegan, have heart problems, or just a weak constitution, turn away now.  Do NOT read this post.  If you like to eat your steak rare, watch “When Animals Attack”, or generally enjoy noxious stimuli, then well, read on.

A while back, I saw a fella who was brought in by the medics after a base-jumping accident.  He was billed as a trauma alert by the paramedics even though his only complaint was that his ankle was injured.  Seemed like a pretty innocuous injury, but sometimes you just gotta see it to understand.  The medics rolled in with the guy sitting up on the stretcher with his ankle wrapped up in a wad of blankets and splints. He was the calmest person in the room.

“Hey there, I’m Jeff. I’m the doc here. What’s goin’ on?”

“I hurt my ankle.”

“That’s what I hear. What happened?”

“I was base jumping in Eldo (El Dorado Canyon) when a gust of wind caught my chute and slammed me into the rock face.”

“Bummer.  Can I look at your ankle?”

I unwrapped the layers of blankets and air splints surrounding his foot.

“Um, that looks like it hurts.”

“It’s not too bad.”

“Seriously, that looks like it hurts. Can I give you something for pain?”

“No.”

“Dude, have you seen your ankle?  It’s not right.”

“I know. I’m okay. But they cut my pants.”

“Your . . .uh . . .hmm . . .are you serious?   You have a piece of your leg sticking out the back of your boot. Don’t sweat the pants.  Can I please give you some pain medicine?”

This went on for a while.  Me, begging him to accept some pain meds. Him, just chillin’ out like he was watching Sunday afternoon football.  He couldn’t have cared less that he had broken his ankle so forcefully that it punctured right through the back of his hiking boot. WTF are guys like this made of?  I’d be screaming and bawling and creating unadulterated hysteria.

While we waited for the orthopod to get there, the general surgeon and I pow-wowed about how to remove the boot to check his pulse and neuro status.  Situations like this remind me of that Saturday Night Live skit “Bad Idea Jeans“.  Urban Dictionary defines it as a “Metaphorical article of clothing, the invocation of which indicates the “wearer” is exhibiting spectacularly bad judgement.”  It didn’t help that the x-ray techs were taunting us with threats to our manhood.

“Oh come on.  Just pull it off!  What’s the worst that could happen?

Fortunately, sanity prevailed, and we came to the realization that trying to pull the boot off in the ER would be cosmically stupid.  So instead, we cut the boot down enough to feel his pulse.  Or at least enough to make it believable that we could feel his pulse, for the sake of documentation.  The guy eventually went to the Operating Room to have the boot removed and have his shattered leg fixed.  Another happy ending and another life saved (read, disaster averted).

Check out the Alchemist stickers I made.  I ordered 1000 of each, so yeah, if anyone wants one, I might have enough to go around.

We should hopefully get these in time for Breck Bike Week.  Claire will be setting up shop at the event.  Dates are July 5-11.  Check us out if you are up there.

BTW, Claire will be doing some posting on the blog in the future as well.  She is a professional writer for Elephant Journal, so you will be treated to some of her stellar writing.  Should be a nice break from my slack-ass prose.








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