April 21, 2024

How snowboarding put me in the hospital. (Part 2)

Disclaimer: This is part two of my previous blog entry, so if thing’s don’t make sense and there is a lack of context, go ahead and read my last post. Thanks for reading :)

As I lay there tied up to a stretcher, flying through the air on a helicopter through the cold Denver night, let me tell you it was actually quite relaxing.

People would ask me afterwards, “How was it? Was it cool being in a helicopter?”

And to tell you the truth, I don’t know. I was too half doped up on fentanyl and morphine to even really pay attention.

When we finally arrive, things began to move very fast. We land on top of the hospital building in Denver where we are greeted by a team of what seems to be over ten people, all there for me.

I’m uninstalled from the cabin of the helicopter and promptly wheeled into the hospital.

As I’m wheeled through the hallway, the fluorescent lights fired directly into my eyes and there’s this buzz of all of the people circling around my stretcher. Everybody asking me questions and discussing the state of my injury and its severity.

It really reminded me of that scene in all of the movies, where the main character is in and out of consciousness, as blurry random health care workers have muffled conversations and are super concerned as they wheel me to whatever destination they have set for me.

That was actually the craziest part of this entire experience. The fact that this one part felt like I was in a movie, not even the private helicopter ride.

They wheel me into this big surgery room, where I am greeted with ten more doctors, nurses, and whoever else felt they needed to be there. Here I am asked even more questions about what happened and how I at feeling at the moment.

It really felt surreal to me at the time all of these people went out of their way to service me, with my little injury. I thought, aren’t there more important people you should all be seeing right now? Am I that person?


It’s here where I was speaking to a doctor about the nature of my injury and how exactly it happened. He asks me questions to make sure I’m conscious, like my name, where I am, and what day it is. It’s here where he casually mentioned that I fractured my rib, to which I responded with, “What?”

“Oh, did nobody tell you this?”

“No, they didn’t actually.”

“Yeah well, you did.”

To which he then responds with, “It’s customary that we ask all of our patients this question, if at any point your heart stops beating, do we have permission to restart it for you?”

“Umm. Yes.”

I said umm like I actually gave it some thought. But yes, yes I would like that very much thank you.

Eventually the room clears out and I’m left with one lady who is helping me with the pain and telling me the next steps of what would be going to happen with me moving forward.

She says I’ll be moved into a new room within the next few hours where they can more closely monitor me and my vitals before deciding on performing any extra surgeries or procedures.

I realize I had my phone with me this whole time and see I had over 50 text messages from my family members asking about how I had been. Frankly, I did not really feel like dealing with all of that in the moment. So I responded to my friends and texted my girlfriend to update her and let her know I was okay.

The nice lady gives me even more drugs, because at this point the original doses of fentanyl and morphine had long worn off, and I fall asleep.

I wake up some few hours later to one of my friends with me in the hospital room. I was surprised considering this hospital was two hours away from the previous one, meaning they must have driven through the night and packed up our room just to get here at this point.

We talk for a bit, and they then come to move me up to me new room where I would be staying for the rest of my time at the hospital.

When we get to the room, they ask me if I could get out of bed and walk to my new bed. To which I slowly stumble across the room and I realize I was still in severe pain as I could barely even stand up straight, let alone walk five feet to lay in a new bed.

As I lay there, my other friend arrives and we all debrief and joke about the past few hours as the nurse hooks me up to different devices like the IV and the heartbeat monitor.

At the end of it I look like 50 Cent in the In Da Club video, except with even more crazy shit hooked up to me.

My friends would tell me that my mom and younger brother were flying in from Sacramento as soon as possible, and should be arriving at around 4AM.

Eventually they leave and bring back my mother and brother, to which my mom would end up staying with me overnight.

As I sat there in the hospital, I had many thoughts. I was never really freaked out, I did my best to remain calm and trusted the nurses there to take care of me however I needed it. In contrast to the rest of my family who seemed to be behaving like the world was burning to the ground. I was just sitting there in a hospital bed in pain.

Things could be worse.

As weird as it is to say, I actually somewhat enjoyed sitting in that hospital bed. There was never any pressure to be productive or get anything done, and nobody ever asked me or needed me for anything as they typically do in my daily life.

I could actually sit there and I only had one job, to not move and to just rest. It was nice, if I’m being honest.

The second night, I’m awoken by my nurse where he asks me how I’m feeling. I tell him I’m actually feeling kind of hot, not really sure why.

He takes my temperature and tells me that I have a fever.

I did not know this at the time, but a fever after a trauma injury such as this could mean that I actually have an infection in my injured area.

This somewhat sends everybody into a frenzy.

To which now they call in people to take around six vials of blood and they run me downstairs to do an emergency CT scan of my abdomen.

At 4AM they’re wheeling me around the hospital, running tests on me, asking me questions. A lot of activity for being so late in the night, good thing I’m on strong painkillers or else this would be a real inconvenience.

Eventually my fever breaks later on in the morning, to which the lab results they collected from me show no sign of infection. They figure it might have just been the shock of the injury manifesting itself into a short fever in my sleep.

Keep in mind, my mother was supposed to come back to the hospital and keep me company during the night, but she ended up falling asleep at her hotel room. I unfortunately had to go through this whole ordeal on my own, but it’s okay. I’m a big boy I can handle it.

Later on in the day, they tell my mother and I that actually I may be cleared to leave the hospital that day, which is crazy because I was slated to leave the following day initially.

They say I’m healing so quickly, that typically patients who suffer an injury like this stay in the hospital for about a month. But since I am young and healthy, I’ll be out in just over two days.

I guess this is where working out and going to the gym finally start to pay off, for moments like these.

They discharge me later that afternoon, and my mother and I go back to the hotel room she had booked for us. We end up flying back to Sacramento the next morning.

But not before taking a few oxycotons to prepare my body for doing the most moving since injuring myself by walking through the airport.

I’m finally home now.

And to say I really learned anything from this whole experience would be an overstatement. No over arching life lessons to take away, if I’m being honest. It was a freak accident, shit happens.

But I will say that I was pleasantly surprised to see the overwhelming support I received from my friends and family after they realized what had happened to me.

I think it’s easy to go through life taking for granted the people around you, assuming they care for you or not even thinking about it at all. But when something actually does happen, and they reach out with concern and care, it does feel nice to know people give a shit enough to send you a message hoping you are okay and recover well.

That may be my biggest takeaway, realizing people do actually care.

I suppose if you want to test if people care about you, end up in a hospital. And see if people reach out. That’s the real test.

I’m just kidding don’t do that.

But as I sit here at my computer, about a week and a half removed from the whole accident and fiasco, I do feel much better physically. I still have some pain, but it’s very minimal compared to what it was originally.

I still can’t go to the gym or do any of the harder physical tasks I liked to do before. So I’m forced to sit here and recover as quickly as I can.

But what is taking the biggest toll me now is the mental part of it all. It seems when I have so much time to reflect and ponder about my own position in life, I start to get a little depressed.

Maybe it’s the wave of shock finally rushing into my brain about everything that just transpired. Because I was so calm about the whole ordeal, now the emotions of it all are now beginning to hit me.

But also, because I can’t move as well as I’d like to (and also I’ve run out of oxy’s to numb my body with every day), sitting here is forcing me to reflect on my life and the state of it all.

But today I am starting to feel better, mentally that is.

There are people in my life who love me, and we’re all going to die some day, so it doesn't’ really matter what happens.

This advice actually helps me quite a bit, maybe not for you, but it does for me.

So in the meantime, I’m just going to do things that bring some joy into my life. Sit in my backyard and drink coffee with my dogs, watch a good movie, and read a good book.

Life is good, even when it’s bad.

And even when it’s bad, who cares, we’re all going to die anyways.

Life is so fragile in and of itself, every moment should be appreciated. Things can change so quickly, for the better or for the worse. We should just appreciate the good times while we have them.

We sit around and worry about such trivial and momentary things like money, our feelings, and our opinions. Which are all important things, of course. But to a certain extent these problems exist in solely our minds.

You could easily be sitting in a hospital alone with your kidneys on fire halfway across the country.

Some things are only as important as you make them, until more immediate and important things appear.

Okay fine, there’s the life lesson after all of this. I couldn’t help myself.

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