I was in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with a friend, Kaylea.
The period of time from a few hours before my accident to when I woke up in the hospital is completely blank. So what follows is third hand written in the first person.
Sunday we were scrambling on some rocks near Lands End. We were not rock climbing just making our way back to the hotel. I was barefoot and traversing on a ledge. Things started to get a bit more serious than I'd intended, so I was making my way back to Kaylea when I fell. I fell about 35 feet and landed on rock. I am quite lucky just to be alive.
Kaylea took an alternate path down to me. She found me in a crumpled heap covered with blood. A "rich end user experience" of the sort to be avoided. She ran to the hotel and organized a rescue. Two Dr's and several men from the hotel evacuated me from the rocks under Kaylea's watchful eyes and sharp tongue.
The hospital apparently doesn't believe in stocking things, so Kaylea had to run across the street and buy any required supplies at the pharmacy. Between these shopping trips Kaylea also organized all the healthcare details and our flight back to the United States.
They stitched up a gash in my head and x-rayed my right ankle. All things considered my head fared better.
We flew back on a normal commercial flight. I was treated to "bulkhead seat" for which I was apparently supposed to be grateful. In San Jose we were met by several ambulances and police cars. The combination of "head injury" and "international flight" garners a lot of concern.
The winning ambulance took me to Stanford hospital where I was cat scanned, x-rayed and otherwise subjected to unnatural forces. Eventually they put me under general anasethetic and tried to manipulate my ankle back into shape. Finally, I got a hospital bed with a morphine pump and Kaylea got to crash.
Thanksgiving I escaped from the hospital on crutches for a one week reprieve.
My injury is very bad, the ankle was crushed in what is called a "Pilon fracture." My doctor thinks it is cute to refer to it as a career ending injury...
In early December I was operated on a second time and had an "external fixator" installed. It's a 1" diameter titanium contraption bolted onto the side of my leg, My constant companion for 2 months.
In February the fixator came off but my recovery was set back when I got an infection and had to have some of the internal hardware removed in another operation. My last hospital trip was March 19th and I've been walking without crutches since then.
The book is still open on how complete my recovery will be. Right now I have a fair amount of pain and walk with a significant limp. Its unknown what the damage is to the joint surface and my doctor says it will be a year before we really know what kind of an ankle I will have for the rest of my life.
A year has passed. My ankle is often sore, and I can't run at all, but I try hard not to let it get in the way of the things I want to do.