THE PLANARCHY TRAVELBLOGS

Ski-blog 2003

part 1

 

So, where does the story start?

I spend ages on that one.

Along with where it should end and what happens in between.

Well, as I said in the Blog, my brother gave me this certificate for my combined birthday and Christmas present. That would have been a good to place to start were it not for the fact that I don’t think we’ve mentioned my leetle brother before.

The normal convention of this site would have us naming him Dee, but there’s already our eldest daughter with that form of address. So my bro’ will be known henceforth as DeeJay. And not because he spins vinyl platters, oh no. It’s not that simple at all. His birth name would have had us calling him Jay. But, according to my mother, I couldn’t say Jay, but could manage an approximation of Dee.
And thus my brother became Dee.
No, now it’s down in print it doesn’t seem very likely to me either. But I’ve heard it told so many times I’d begun to believe it.
Anyway, as I already mentioned, and as you may now partially understand, for the purpose of this little tale he will be DeeJay.

By the way, the site convention means we shall call my mother Dubya….. mainly as it’s funny to think of a home counties Grauniad reader such as she sharing a moniker with the crowned prince of darkness.

Anyway, I digress…..why did DeeJay give me this splendid present?
Well, several reasons that I can think of.
Firstly, he’s a nice brother.
Secondly, he has a house in the French Alps, in a very pretty little village called St.Jeune d’Aulps that he is keen for us to visit.
Thirdly, he knows I used to really enjoy skiing, though I haven’t skied on snow since the winter of 1992.

Strange, you think, why no skiing for eleven years if you like it so much?

Well, let’s go back to 1994 and see. Zee wasn’t really that keen on skiing and so I planned to have a nice week with some Austrian snow and work friend Dr Cee. Since it had been a couple of years since we’d skied we thought we’d have a practice at the local dry-ski slope down at Beckton Alps (!). I remember leaving work clearly, my boss wishing us well with a shouted “Break a leg!” How we laughed. Right up to the point where I hit a very dry patch, stopped dead and somersaulted (very possibly with a triple pike). The ski on my right leg did not detach itself from my boot. Physics suggested the better option was for my femur to fracture about 15 centimetres from my hip. The ski then decided it was time to leave and the next jolt I felt was my knee slamming onto the slope.

This hurt.

A lot.

I tried to move but couldn’t.
I tried to lift my thigh with my hand. The top and bottom of my leg did not appear to be quite the unitary limb they had been a few minutes earlier. So Dr. Cee called an ambulance. I think they arrived quite quickly, I could see their approach well from my eyrie half way up the alp. How small they looked as they began their ascent. And how it hurt as they bundled me as carefully as they could into the stretcher. Yes, into, for it was a case of assembling the structure around me from the two halves of the device.
Once in the ambulance and strapped well and truly down they offered me some pain-killing gas. It dulled the pain but also my awareness.

Those who moan about queues at casualty departments should try arriving by ambulance. I was whisked straight through with everyone else tutting. In the meantime Zee had arrived (I think, my recall is a bit vague). And then I visited the x-ray department. It was at this point that they told me I hadn’t broken my leg.
“You haven’t broken your leg,” they said.
“I have broken my leg. I can feel the bones scraping over one another about here,” I said, pointing to my upper thigh.
“Ah, right, maybe we’ll do some more x-rays then,” they replied.
This second set of x-rays showed that I had, after all, broken my leg. Quelle surprise!

To this day I shiver at the thought that, had I been less forthcoming, they might have shoved me back out on the streets with a broken femur.

By the time this second set of pictures was developed the two halves of my femur were overlapping by nearly two inches. Even the overworked junior doctor at Newham General was inclined to agree with me on this occasion that my leg was indeed broken. A bed in a ward from hell was found and I was duly installed. And they gave me some more painkillers.
And Zee went home for the night.
And out came the Stazi doctor and her traction kit.

You know how I said that the instant of breaking my leg hurt?
Well traction hurt more and went on hurting until they thought my leg was long enough.
I think I may have screamed out loud.
Sorry, that should be “I think I screamed out very LOUD”.

That was the Friday, I drifted in and out of varying levels of pain and reality until late Sunday night when they decided ‘twas time to rebuild me. Zee waited throughout the four-hour and thirteen pints of blood operation until they’d returned me sleeping like a leetle baby into intensive care. And from there back to Hades.

 

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