April 15, 2024

How snowboarding put me in the hospital. (Part 1)

Happy April everyone.

It’s about that time of the year where everybody begins to realize how fast time is moving in the year, and you begin to hear the “can you believe it’s already April?” quips sprinkled into every conversation.

And to answer your question, no, I cannot believe it’s already April. That’s fucking crazy.

But with April also comes the end of some things. The winter season. And with the winter season ending it means many other things are ending as well, such as Christmas, cold weather, and snowboarding.

Speaking of snowboarding, I have a funny story to tell about that.

Two weeks ago I was on a snowboarding trip with my friends, where we traveled all the way to the great state of Colorado in search of some of the finest snowboarding this great nation has to offer.

We traveled all the way to Denver, Colorado, where we would rent a car to drive two hours into the mountains of Keystone where the ski resort was located.

Before we get into that, I’d like to discuss the city of Denver a little bit. Now, while I feel like I didn’t spend nearly enough time to accurately give this city an accurate and fair assessment. But my friend and I spent nearly seven hours wandering around so I do have somewhat of a gist of the city and its vibe.

And frankly, I’m just not a fan.

It seems like the city itself seems just largely mediocre in its architecture, attractions, and taste as a whole for the city and how it’s designed and looks. Not terrible by any means, but not impressive either.

It actually reminds me of Sacramento to some degree, except just all industrial parks and empty fields, and without the sun and the trees. Other than that, it could be spot on the same exact city.


The day of actually getting to our Airbnb the first day was teetering on being a disaster, as we actually didn’t get into the town of our room until about 1:30AM in the morning.

Our third friend had a delayed flight, so we were forced to wait for him until 11PM before making the journey to the mountain. We were all so tired and having to drive all around a snowy town we had never been before after flying across the country and staying up for 12+ hours was starting to weigh on us. So after stumbling around for a bit we finally were able to make it to our room.

The next morning, we ride.

The first day of boarding went about as expected. The resort was pretty spacious and after careful study of the map and asking around to a few workers, we find the route that can get us all the way from our side, to the main lodge where we can easily access the rest of the mountain.

My friend and I who are more experienced go off and explore about half of the runs the mountain has to offer, saving most of our energy for the next day.

The day was a success, all things considered. Snowboarded, hung out, and we realized they had Coors Banquet on tap, which was amazing (our official snowboarding beer of choice).

We didn't know it, but the next day is where our lives would all change and be intertwined in ways we never would be able to guess.

It was a seemingly normal day. With ample rest and recovery from the night before, we awake with an air of excitement and positivity for the day approaching us.

We put on our snow bibs and our thermals, tie our boots and grab our boards, and head to the lifts.

I forgot to mention the lifts were literally about two minutes away from the place we were staying in, it was pretty amazing. No long walks or drives back to our room after the day, which was very nice.

The day on the mountain was great. We explore the other side, take on new runs that are steeper and have more difficult terrain, break new speed records, practice our turning on moguls, it was a glorious day of snowboarding, just as it always is.

We even met a nice young couple who shared a bench with us from the local area. We talked to them for about an hour as we shared stories about what there is to do from our respected home towns of Sacramento and Denver.

We also went to the top, where the runs were so big and wide that you could basically go anywhere you wanted to on the whole face of the mountain. Where eventually we would go on a black run, titled “Wolverine,” that was basically just one enormously long tree run with moguls smashed into it.

Definitely one of the hardest black runs I’ve ever done in my life, I laid on the ground for 10 minutes after we finished it.

With a name like Wolverine, who would have thought?

As the day then begins to wind down, we decided to start making our way back because we were so exhausted and our legs had begun to go out on us.

We decide to call it a day and head down a long green run that will take us all the say down the mountain to our lift from the beginning of the day.

As we go down it’s all business as usual. Do a turn here, do a turn there, go fast here, slow down for a little kid there. Everything is normal and as expected.

But at one point, I get tired. This was the moment, I fucked up.

As I make my way towards a clearing, I notice a father and his son to my left move to the right as I approach them. This would be the spot I would eventually get to if I were to continue to move forward to if I did not stop.

So, being a good citizen, I decide to make a slight turn to my right to get out of their way.



I come to and I realize I’m laying on my back wheezing and grasping for air because I have none left in my lungs.

My stomach feels like it’s on fire and my entire body hurts to move. The past three seconds were a blur, I only remember flying forwards, catching air, landing on my stomach, and then turning onto my back as I laid there with the sensation of my organs being on fire.

I sit up and rest there for about 5-10 minutes with my friend who saw the whole thing.

I’ve fallen before, I figured this was just one of the times like that. Let me just sit here and wait for some of the pain to subside before I continue on, I thought.

As 10 minutes pass no pain has really gone, but at least I have my breath back. Well, I guess it’s time to go anyways, I need to get off the mountain at the very least.

I then proceed to inch my way down the run, with every stoppage and bump shaking my organs and creating pain, but I just push through. Somehow, with God injecting me with strength himself, I make it all the way down the run, return my snowboard, get back to my room, take off all my clothes, and lay on the couch.

Over the course of the next four hours I am writhing in pain as my stomach feels as if someone has it in a death grip and is squeezing my insides as hard as they can. I get up to go pee and all I see is blood. I get up to go throw up twice and there’s blood in that as well.

This is probably the most intense and longest pain I’d ever felt in my life.

At the four hour mark I finally go to my friends and say how I think it might be time to take me to the hospital.

We put our clothes on, gather all our belongings, and head to the nearest hospital about a 20 minute car ride away.

After what felt like the longest car ride of my entire life, we arrive at the hospital.

In this moment, all I’m thinking about is how badly I want them to shoot me up with whatever painkillers they have, yet here I am signing and initialing on the dotted line whether or not I have any allergens or not.

This specific moment really sucks ass. Like really really bad.

Eventually they get me in and after answering even more trivial questions, they finally get me into a hospital bed where more doctors and nurses come in one at a time to ask me questions about what exactly happened with my injury.

After diagnosing that I was in an immense amount of pain and that it would be safe to to do so, they finally decide to deliver me some painkillers through IV they prepared on my arm.

I received that sweet sweet Fentanyl that all the kids are ranting and raving about these days. Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly enough to cancel all of the pain I was experiencing.

Eventually they would give me more and then even Morphine as well, at this point it did finally begin to feel a little bit better.

Over the course of the next two hours, nurses and doctors would continue to come in and out as they try to diagnose my ailment based on my symptoms.

To which they would give me subtle hints of things such as “things will start to move very fast pretty soon” and “the flight nurse will be into talk to you shortly.”

A conscious and normal person would begin to put these things together and figure and realize what was going on.

But I was not this person. No not today. I was in so much pain that frankly, I didn’t give a shit what happened to me, as long as this terrible and excruciating pain was mitigated even in the slightest. The only thing I could think about and cared about was when the next time they were going to shoot me up with more drugs.

Eventually, the doctor came in an explained it all to me. Just laid it all out.

Essentially, I had a Grade 4 laceration on my right kidney and was suffering from internal bleeding that they were unsure was going to stop anytime soon.

Oh by the way, worst case scenario if this gets any worse, they don’t have the resources to take care of me at this hospital, so they would have to air lift me by helicopter to the nearest hospital in Denver two hours away to take care of me.

Huh, well isn’t that something.

Still, in my mind, I don’t care. I am in pain. Do what you have to do, Doctor.

So they strap me up, wheel me out, and off in this helicopter half doped up on fentanyl and morphine I go into the cold night.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

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