Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Strongest Woman I Know

Went hiking today with Dr. Z and JewishMother. It started off as normal, although it was my first long hike of the season.

About a third of the way up, a guy coming down tells us that a woman has seriously broken her leg near the summit and that the bone is nearly breaking through the skin. Dr. Z of course takes off at a dead run, having medical training. After clearing things with JewishMother, I ran up a rock face to catch up with him, figuring it would do no good to have the one person on the mountain with medical training injuring himself while rushing to help someone.

After sprinting about three miles and 2000 vertical feet we get there and a guy with at least first aid training has nicely splinted her leg and the group of a dozen hikers have covered her with coats. Seeing that she's shivering from shock, I add mine. Now, this woman has a tib-fib break so nasty it's nearly a compound AND SHE'S LAUGHING AND JOKING WITH EVERYONE. I mean, god DAMN. You'd need to hook me up to a morphine drip to be that comfortable with an injury like that. And this is a SIXTY YEAR OLD WOMAN. Wow.

Anyway, there were very high winds today, so we didn't think that they'd be able to Medivac her out, but low and behold, the chopper came. After some of the most impressive piloting I've seen, they get close enough to drop a guy out with a gurney. We get her in and then he has us basically line up along the trail and hand her up until they get to the copter. I'm at the bottom of the line so I don't see them get her in, but when they take off they have her HANGING OUT ALONGSIDE THE CHOPPER. Craziness. I thought they'd at least have her IN the copter with her head and feet hanging out. Afterwards, Dr. Z saw blood on his hands and think it might have been a compound (i.e. piercing the skin, i.e. VERY much worse). (Not that we were going to remove the Ace bandage to find out.)

We actually did end up finishing the hike after they flew her out, but even the amazing views were anti-climatic after that. All I can say is that I hope to be half as tough as this lady. Oh, and this mountain that took us almost all day because it's so long and steep? She told us that she does it as a "morning walk" in an hour and forty. WOW.

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