Injured Again

Well after about 9 months of rehabbing my right shoulder after shattering it at the end of last ski season, I’ve gone ahead and fractured my left shoulder in almost the exact same way. But the injury came after the best powder morning of the season and resulted in a season-ending fall.

Here is some video evidence of the morning conditions at Alpental which we slayed all morning, and got it sooooo good:

This video was our 3rd or so pass down that bowl. There was just enough visibility to be able to see enough to ride hard, but really anywhere was a go since there was so much new snow.

We went in for lunch had a few beers, pizza, and got right back out there and headed straight for the top again.

The Fall

We went up the high-speed quad chair from the bottom. Then we got on the slow old 2-man chair built-in like 1966 headed to the very top of Alpental that we had been riding all morning. This is an experts-only chair, and today especially there was no easy way down.

At the top of the chair, I told me skier buddy to give me room unloading the chair, because it was a very steep pearled ice sheet ramp, with people in the way at the bottom run out. He gave me room, but I ended up laying on the brakes a bit too early and slipped out and slammed on the ice sheet, to an all too familiar feeling in my shoulder. I knew it was broken, because of the rush going through my body I get every time I break a bone. So yes, I broke my other shoulder by falling getting off the chairlift, a total amateur move. The only thing worse as I see it would be slipping in the parking lot.

Harder to see but on the outside of the big knob part of the humerus upper arm bone it’s not nice and round, but rather lumpy and fractured.

It’s the exact same injury as my other shoulder 9 months ago, only not as bad. The surface was harder but the slam was not as bad, and so it’s not as displaced or shattered as my right was.

Cool older ski patrolled Christian at the bottom helped me out with some ice and medications (that he said not to tell anyone he gave me) so we could skip any paperwork which was ideal. Went to urgent care that night who x-rayed and confirmed a positive result for a fracture and put me in a sling.

A week later I saw the same orthopedic surgeon, who helped me with my other arm. He agreed it’s not as bad as the other one which is good… but looking like 6 weeks in a sling, which will produce a ton of atrophy, to spend another year rehabbing with daily physical therapy I was already doing for my other shoulder.

There is a small dim light at the end of a tunnel where I might be able the get some easy turns in this spring back on the hill with a no-fall protocol, so I’m hanging onto that. Otherwise, I’m picking up some old new habits of reading, drawing, agate hunting, and general personal development to help me get on a better trajectory.

Thanks for caring, I’ll be ok, this isn’t my first rodeo, although I wish I wasn’t so familiar with recovering from injury.

By Raleigh

I am really fortunate for my work that allows me a flexible enough schedule to live my life in a way that affords me much happiness.

Ask or Comment