Monday, June 20, 2011

Where'd She Go????!!!

Sooo, it has been a while. I know.  Last you heard, I was becoming a snowboarding G.  Had gotten my heel and toe side turns together and even managed to exit the ski lift with an error of only  0.32 (no I didn't really calculate it....but if I wanted to I could :-)  Well let me update you on the happenings of the last 3 months.

It all begins with a thesis proposal....

I am a PhD student (if you didn't already know) and part of our requirements is called a thesis proposal.  This is were PhD candidates present his or her great plan to change the world to a committee who will then tell you if you are lazy, brilliant, ambitious, crazy, or just out right stupid. This tends to be a slightly stressful time in a student's life. 

Two weeks before thesis proposal:  Snow Angels Clinic, Hidden Valley Resort, January 29, 2011

Hidden Valley was hosted a women's snowboarding and ski clinic called Snow Angels.  Though the clinic was scheduled for 2 days, I could only spare the time for 1 day given thesis proposal preparation and was able to register for the 1 day.  The skiers and snowboarders were separated.  There were only 2 other women snowboarders in my group which ended up being awesome in terms of learning.  Our instructor, Julia was awesome.  I also quickly became friends with the two other ladies Danielle and Newlin.

Before going to Snow Angels, I could not turn well and I could not get off of the lift well.

Danielle and I posing at Snow Angels Camp
Thuggin on the slopes
After Snow Angels, thanks to Juila's awesome instruction and a visual exercise she gave us, I was a threading machine!!! It was that day I gained a little confidence in myself and comfort in the board. I was becoming a snowboarder!  Check out my little clip taken by Julia.
video

Weekend before thesis proposal....... Newell Simon Hall, Mrs. Sumitra's desk

I was very very stressed about the proposal and was taking a stroll around 4th floor Newell Simon.  I decided to have a chat with Mrs. Sumitra, the receptionist.
Me:  I need to do something to get my mind off of the proposal for just a couple of hours.  I think I'll go snowboarding.
Sumitra:  No, don't do that. Got for a walk or shopping or something.  You don't want to snowboard the week before your proposal.  What if you get hurt?

OH BOI....

Day of thesis proposal, February 14, 2011

OWNED the thesis proposal!!! Passed without modification and with great comments from the committee.  Needless to say, I'm pretty amp'd and pretty excited.  The first thing I can think about doing is......yeah you guessed it. SNOWBOARD...

....but for some reason I didn't go that day.  I waited until the next day.

February 15, 2011, Hidden Valley Ski Resort

The day was beautiful and I was about to OWN the slopes like I OWNED my thesis proposal.  It was a beautiful day.  Sunny, kinda warm actually, and the slope conditions were pretty good.  I explored more difficult terrain at Hidden Valley that I had never tried and even perfected dismounting the lift!!!  It was a Tuesday in the middle of the day so there were not many people on the slopes in general.  Run after run I felt more and more in touch with the board. It was my first day on my new DC board and I was loving it.  Life was good!

It was getting to be 4:00 pm and I decided to try to make it back to campus for the weekly Graphics Lab meeting at 6:00 pm.  But before I would leave, I needed one more run!  The run was great. My speed and confidence were up. My turns were crisp.  I was approaching the bottom of the mountain towards the "Slow Zone" so I started to slow down.  I was riding heel side when I noticed a teenager on skis to the left of me riding a little close and a little wild.  So I decide to switch to toe side and turn right as to get more space between myself and the kid.  I wasn't going too fast but when I made my turn, the kid decided to come behind me at the same time and switch to my right side.....the side I was turning into!!!!! Needless to say, he was not quick enough to clear my path and I caught the ends of his skis with my board.  Queue the tumbling........

When I realized what happened, I was crouched down in the snow on my knees facing up the mountain, holding my tailbone for dear life.  I really thought I would loose my butt (literally) that day.  After the initial pain subsided a little and I was able to breathe normally, I rolled over to take my board off.  That is when I realized that I had no function in my right hand.  I pull off my glove and said "Dang, that doesn't look good".  The kid stopped and asked if I were okay.  I started to curse him out and say what the $%$# was that but I refrained and just sternly requested that he take my board off my feet.  Once it was off I picked my board up with my left hand (right hand is broken) and carried it and myself to the Ski Patrol office where I was put in a makeshift splint and sent along the way.

Here is a picture of what my wrist looked like post fall.  Swollen and shifted to the right.  Not good at all.  Now wrapping up the story.....

I decided that driving 1 hour back to Pittsburgh to the emergency room was not a great idea (at this point I figured the bone was broken but didn't know for sure).  So I drove about 15 minutes (in the opposite direction of Pittsburgh) to the Sommerset Hospital emergency room.  There I spent about 4 hours of my life, had to request ice, and the receptionist had the audacity to ask me only after my xray's were taken/viewed and I had been waiting for 3 hours if I wanted pain meds.  Seriously woman!!!! I've been sitting here for 3 hours with a broke ass wrist and you ask only after the obvious was confirmed if I wanted pain meds?  Naw I'm good.....really it didn't hurt as much as it looks.  Actually I wouldn't describe it as pain but as extreme discomfort.  I knew the wrist was broken but thankfully the discomfort was manageable.

After hearing the bad news, I am written a prescription for Vicodin and sent on my merry way.  Back to Pittsburgh.  A 1 hour 15 min drive.  At night. That I made with one hand....

I was able to get a doctor's appointment that Friday in Pittsburgh with the sexiest orthopedic surgeon ever, Dr. Lance Brunton.  I was scheduled to have surgery on February 21, 2011.  It went well.....I'll tell that story another day.  Below are some pre- and post-surgery xrays.  I sustained a distal radial fracture to my right wrist.  Apparently its one of the most common fractures in snow sports. Go figure.  I had surgery in which Dr. Brunton placed a plate and screws in my wrist in order for it to set in it's proper place.  I am happy to say that I am now bionic!!

Now that's a nasty break

My arm looked like a sausage from all the swelling


I am now bionic!

And fixed!!!! Thanks Dr. Brunton