Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Awkward Buffalo

As I am sure you know, I haven't updated my blog since September when I was still living at home as a result of my femur break. Since then, a lot has happened! Tons of physical therapy, hanging out with family and friends, took a couple online classes, learned how to cook, moved into a house in Boulder, and am now back to school. Next on the agenda is to get a job. The video above is me "trying" to V-logg (Video Blogging). It is a test run, I just wanted to make sure it all worked. I sound funny on camera and I have an awesome beard. Enjoy! In the next few weeks I will have a video post detailing exactly what I did during those past 7 months.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Only One Thumb up, Mrs. Bodine

No surprise here, but you will learn what happened to me in the second sentence of this post. Long story short...I broke my femur, pretty bad. I was still in Yellowstone, about to enjoy my first day on the water at Hebgen Lake. I was slalom waterskiing, something I had never done before. I had skied with two skies plenty of times as well as wake boarded. I am a pretty athletic kid and was able to get up on my 3rd or 4th time. It was going pretty well until I decided I was done/let go of the rope and thats when it went bad. But it never looked bad to the onlooker.

The Break. Clean Break about 1/3 of the way
up from my knee. 

Once I hit the water, I instantly knew my leg was broken. Not only did it look broken, it felt broken, gone even. My leg was numb and I instantly knew this was not good. I was laying in freezing cold water, without a wetsuit(which later I would appreciate), and with a slalom ski stuck on my now swollen leg and foot. Mr. and Mrs. Helvey, who were watching me from a jetski came over not know what had happened until I told them. As I remember it, I calmly told Mr. Helvey that I had broken my leg. He sounded shocked and in disbelief, rightfully so. I told him again that my leg was broken and then stuff began to happen. The boat circled around and pulled up right next to me. In the commotion, the jetski got caught in my rope, leaving the jetski useless, for now. We left the jetski in the water to float to shore and retrieve, which I assume made it there. They pulled me onto the boat, got off the ski, which took a while because my foot had already swollen up. Mrs. Helvey and Mrs. Bodine huddled around me to keep me warm as we raced to the dock.

Before the accident -- I remember Mrs. Bodine asking me how much fun I was having on the boat, and she stuck up two thumbs, I did not say anything but did the same back giving her my smile. As we were riding back to the dock she jokingly asked me if i was still having fun and I said I was but only one thumbs worth. ;) I think she smiled. I did.

Once we got to the dock, they got me straight onto a pool chair and board to act like a gurney. They carried me up the flight of stairs and into the back of the Helvey's SUV. They loaded me in and everyone gathered around me. We prayed, and Mr. Helvey and Mr. Bodine blessed me. I vividly remember Maddie holding my hand and telling me that I would be ok. This was very good to hear. I remember Cam crying, or maybe I wasn't seeing clearly(I don't know if he would admit that today ;)).

A lady who lived in the cabin next to us happened to be an ER nurse. I am sorry for my language, but she scared the hell out of me. She was asking for rope, or bungie cords or something of the like. I was well aware of what that meant. I am an Eagle Scout as were most of the men there. I took Emergency Preparedness, and lets just say, I was not prepared for all of this. I will just cut to the chase and say, luckily she did not have to use them, but the entire time we were on that dirt path from the cabin by the lake to the freeway, I was afraid that she would whip them out any second.

I have never been so happy to see red and blue flashing lights and a siren. These lights are normally associated with traffic tickets, something I have received, once for speeding, and once for being on my cell phone(something most of your won't be surprised about ;-)). Ok, we arrive at the freeway right when the ambulance arrives. Irene, the paramedic is very calm and cute too. Major bonus points for the fire department in West Yellowstone, haha! Hi Irene! They put me on morphine, and quickly realize they can't find the pulse in my leg. This is not good. But is to be expected after breaking the femur. They put my leg into traction(which is where they pull the leg to straighten it out). After doing so they were able to get my pulse and put my leg into a soft, inflatable cast as to keep it in traction.

They load me into the ambulance and now we are off to the races! The ambulance races to the hospital in Rexburg, Idaho about an hour and a half away if driving the normal speed limit of 65 mph. I was later told we got there in about 30-40 minutes going 90 mph. Mrs. Helvey had to call Mr. Helvey and tell him that he could not follow that fast, even though we all know he is capable of it. :)

This kind of gives you an idea of how far West 
Yellowstone, Montana is from Rexburg, Idaho.

Thats going at the speed-limit.

After arriving at the hospital, I was kind of going in and out. I don't remember getting from the ambulance to inside the hospital. But I do remember getting my leg taken out of traction and then being re-set so that the ambulance could have their own traction cast back. I don't remember getting an xray of my leg, but I remember taking a picture of the xray and tweeting it to my followers which started off a frenzy. The last thing I remember before waking up after surgery was asking the doctor if it was ok if I took a nap. I remember asking multiple times, saying, "are you sure?". I am not sure why I kept asking. The next thing I know I am awake in my private room with Mr. and Mrs. Helvey and my leg has been set with a rod the length of my femur, 3 screws(2 at my knee and 1 at my hip), and 28 external staples, with a number of internal stitches as well. Oh, and did I mention that this day, August 9th was my Dad's birthday.

Here is my femur rodded. Like I said, 1 screw at the hip
and 2 at the knee. You can see where I broke it
 at that little black/ghostly chip.

Here is my leg in traction after surgery..
notice the weight at the end of the bed.

The next day my parents had arranged to fly from where we live to Salt Lake City, Utah and then take a shuttle to Rexburg where they would come stay at the hospital with me while I recovered. At first, I was not excited about this at all. I was hoping I would be able to go back to West Yellowstone and see Maddie in Beauty and the Beast too! Of course, this was not realistic, but for some reason I kept thinking I would be able to leave and catch the show and enjoy Yellowstone some more. In the end, it was the best that my parents came to stay with me.

The Helveys and Bodines got the cast to sign the 
Playbill for me! :-)
We have connections!

My accident occurred on a Monday, and I think it was Wednesday or Thursday, that I was supposed to leave the hospital. For whatever reason, and to this day the doctors are not sure about, my blood oxygen level dropped into the low 40s(it is supposed to be 100 or high 90s) and my heart rate shot up. This put the nurse into panic mode, and it brought a whole new group of doctors into the room. Cardic -surgeons or something like that. They gave me a cat-scan(CT Scan) of my chest to see if there were any blood clots in my lungs. The x-rays came back negative which was a great relief for us all. The rest of my stay which was extended two or three days depending on what day this occurred(can't remember), the doctors had me hooked up to an EKG, which is an electrocardiogram. It remotely monitors my vitals and such. They had to place these little sticky circles all over my chest, which was kind of a problem for a guy with some hair on his chest. So they had to shave squares all over my chest so they could get a good connection. Oh, by the way, my whole left leg was entirely shaved for surgery, its a very nice feeling, but not something I would want to do on a normal basis. You ladies and male swimmers/bikers can keep that one for yourselves. ;)

Also sometime during my stay in the hospital the a mixture of Helveys/Bodines came to visit twice, as well as Mrs. Helveys parents! It was great to have some visitors in the hospital. I also wanted to say, I loved my nurses, specifically, Brooke. :)

Jenn, Mallory, Myself, Cam, and Kyle. Of course 
Cam and Kyle take my bed, jeez! ;)

So, the day I was to return to Boulder, Colorado for my Sophomore year of college, I would return home, back to the Bay Area. We later decided that it would be best for me to stay home this semester and get my leg back 100%. During this time, I will be taking 3 online classes and doing physical therapy everyday.(I am sure I will be updating more).

Cam, Myself, and Kyle

AND I just wanted to thank everyone for all the support! You are all fantastic! Especially, the Helveys, the Bodines, and my parents, oh and Gina too. <3

Lake Hebgen/Yellowstone

Right before heading off to Boulder for my Sophomore year, I would take a week long trip with the Helveys that inevitably would delay my arrival in Boulder much longer. The plan was for me to fly to Salt Lake City, Utah and hang out with Annie for a couple days before meeting up with the Helveys and continuing my adventure to Yellowstone, Montana! It was great seeing Annie and hanging out with her for a few days. We explored Temple Square in Salt Lake City and actually found someone we knew! We found Jenae, one of the bridesmaids in Brittany's wedding! She was working as a Missionary for her church. It was cool to see her and talk a little bit. Annie showed me around Ogden, Utah and Pleasant View. She promised next time I visit we can do some more adventurous stuff and hopefully visit longer.

The next day we met up with the Helveys at the famous Helvey diner of choice, Chilis. It was good to see them, and this is where I was presented with my "Wildlife T-Shirt" My was brown with a big screen-printed wolf on it.

Annie, Kyle, myself, and Cam outside of "Spoon Me" Fro-yo

Yellowstone was awesome and Maddie's performance at the Playmill in West Yellowstone was fantastic! I got to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and absolutely loved it. I was surprised that I did. It may have been because Maddie was in it. :) It is always cooler to see a performance or show with a familiar face on stage. I am still sad that I didn't get to see her in Beauty and the Beast.

We visited Yellowstone National Park as well, my first visit to the park. It was so beautiful and even more magnificent to finally see in person. We did some hiking, and saw real Buffaloes!!! That was definitely the highlight of the trip. There had to be hundreds of them all making their way across the road we were on, right at sunset. Some were extremely "friendly" coming close to our car and blocking in a motor home parked off to the side. It was very exciting, but also very scary. Below are some pictures from the trip. The buffalo ones wont look that impressive, but it was awesome in person!

Myself, Cam, Annie, and Kyle walking to the car. 
Look at the mountains in the background. Ogden, Utah.

A camel! In the middle of Idaho! What?!

Cam, myself, and Kyle posing(haha) at the Potato Museum

Half of the Lake/Half the cabin. Wish I had gotten a 
better picture of the lake. I was going to but... ;)

Kyle and I playing on the Kiddie Playground 
in West Yellowstone

Cam and Kyle picking on me by the river where we had lunch

Cam, Myself, Jenn, and Kyle all "pretending" we are scared 
after seeing a buffalo less than a yard away from the car!

Group picture of the kids during hiking

Another group shot of Annie's Family/the Helveys

Summer Update

I had a great summer between my Freshman and Sophomore years of college. I worked at Big 5 Sporting Goods again and took two Independent Study courses online though Colorado. Work started off fun, and slowly became boring and repetitive, as expected. Good thing I do not aspire to work in retail when I get older. The first class I took was Intro to Mass Communication, a pre-requisite for applying to the School of Journalism. My second course was History through Baseball, which I loved. It was literally the history of baseball and how it affected America and its people through the years.

For the 4th of July I did a solo road trip to Manhattan Beach to hang out with Hannah, Lauren, and Megan. It was good seeing them. Two of those days I was there we met up with Dani, Daniel, and his girlfriend Fallon in San Diego. She was visiting from Connecticut. If you remember, Daniel is my freshman year roommate. It was awesome getting to see so many people that I go to school with during the summer. Below are some pictures from my summer. I do not have that many pictures. These were the most memorable things/things I can remember 3-4 months later.

These were our seats! 4 rows from the field! Megan's Godfather hooked us up.

Hannah, Lauren, and Megan probably cheering for Matt Kemp

Lauren and her puppy, Pepper. 

Here is a picture of me before work wearing the 
new tie I got from Michael! And, I am sunburned here. :(

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Breeze

I apologize for taking a summer break from my blog, but it was much needed. I will soon be adding one post with all my summer happenings/pictures. Check back for the update.