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?”


“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.

Elephant Journal Review

25 06 2010

Check out the Alchemist product review in Elephant Journal

Read it, “Like it”, comment on it (but please be nice).

Big props to Jussi, who purchased a “T.V Sucks, Ride your Bike” t-shirt.  I had to adjust the shipping settings in the checkout because Jussi resides in FINLAND! He heard about us through the Waltworks blog. Thanks, Jussi, for bearing with us as we figured out how to set-up shipping.  Jussi also inquired about More Cowbell.  That is slated to come out in late summer, in time for CX season.  Thanks also to Walt for the “referral”.

Speaking of Walt . . . He stripped a 32 tooth cog from an old steel cassette and welded it to a 16 tooth cog for the bike-mower to make it easier to turn the cranks.  The 32 tooth cog was kinda flimsy without the cassette, so he welded a 28 tooth cog to it to give it extra support.  That Walt.  Heesa-kinda-crazy.  I’ll get a pic of it in a future post.  He’s going to give the fork a little extra rake too.  Walt also installed a starnut, and he let me steal a couple old 29er tires out of his trash.  I swear.   I may not be allowed in his shop anymore because I seem to always leave with my pockets full of his stuff.  The bike-mower should be fully operational soon.  Pics of that to come too.

Tomorrow is another night shift, so if the patients give me a break, you can expect another post.  Hopefully, something interesting will come in.

Nasal foreign bodies

13 06 2010

I groaned when I saw the chief complaint on the board “runny nose”.  You have got to f**king kidding me, right?  Reluctantly, I shuffled over to room #1 and etched a smile onto my face. “Hi, I’m Jeff, I’m the doc here.  I hear that the little guy has a runny nose.”  And then I looked at the kid.  His face was puffed out on the right, and he had stanky, purulent snot oozing out of his nose.  Technically, it was still a runny nose, but something wasn’t right.

The parents said that his little bro just learned how to pick his nose and may have stuck his finger up the kid’s nose two days ago.  I tried to look up in there, but all I saw was a nostril swollen shut.  I figured there just had to be something up there that I couldn’t see.  So I had mom blow hard into the kid’s mouth while I held the opposite nostril shut.  This works pretty much every time to get out the little crap that kids  jam up their noses.  But the nostril was so plugged up, air wasn’t even getting through.

Something wasn’t right, but I wasn’t sure what, so I sent him to ENT.  The ENT had a similar experience, and was just about to send the kid home with antibiotics when he felt a hard “tink” when he went to suction.  After some wrestling, he ended up pulling out a button battery from the kid’s nose.  That was a close one.  Button batteries are notorious killers of kids who swallow them because they erode through the intestinal wall. This battery had eroded a fair part of the kids nasal passage, and if we had missed it, it would have eroded into his sinuses and BRAIN!

(n.b. an excessively graphic photo used to be here, but my wife told me it was too gross for public consumption.)

Claire took some Alchemist shirts over to Elephant Journal for product review.  Hopefully they dig it and are willing to give us some props.  Supposed to have received the Alchemist team kit by now.  Hope to get it soon, and have some pics up.

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