How I Sliced My Way Into 2020

Whelp. I really sliced my way into 2020. As I write this post, my lower right leg is sporting a long line of Frankenstein-esque stitches surrounded by black and blue bruising. If you’re interested in learning about the origins of how my likely-to-be wicked scar came to fruition, read on. If you care not to read about how young children were horrified by pools of blood on a bunny hill, then this post probably isn’t for you.

On Friday evening, we drove up to Pennsylvania and spent the night near Ski Roundtop so we could ski first thing Saturday morning on fake snow and in unseasonably warm temperatures. We put on our gear and posed for a picture before the kids had their very first ski lesson.

While the kids were at their lesson, Clay and I honed our rusty ski skills on less-than-ideal conditions and enjoyed the opportunity to do quite a few runs together. We were like a novice and less sure-footed Bode Miller and Picabo Street. After the kids’ lesson, the four of us grabbed hot chocolate and coffee in the lodge and then set off for the bunny slopes. Clay and I worked with the kids – Clay with Weston and me with Violet. I was following Violet down the smallest of bunny hills ever in existence when I lost my balance and fell. No big deal – I picked myself up and started to ski toward the lift when I noticed that I felt a little lightheaded. I looked down at my leg and noticed blood on my ski pants. I informed Clay that I was bleeding and that I was going to track down First Aid so I could get a Band-Aid. Spoiler alert – a Band-Aid would not have helped the situation. Clay gave a wave and went back up the lift with the kids.

I skied over to a worker and said that I was bleeding. By this time, blood was pouring out of my leg and all over the bunny hill, much to the horror of young children. Because of my thick ski pants, I couldn’t see my cut but I figured I might need a butterfly bandage because of how much blood I was losing. I sat down in order to alleviate my light-headedness and waited for Ski Patrol to arrive. At this time, Clay looked over and saw me on the ground, as well as the trail of blood that I left. He worriedly skied over to me and I reassured him that I was fine and Ski Patrol was on their way – it was just a little cut. Five members of the Ski Patrol showed up and immediately began cutting off my ski pants and running tights on my wounded leg. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the reactions of my husband and the Ski Patrol when they saw the extent of my injury.

The next few minutes were a whirlwind of ambulance calls and lots of pressure as Ski Patrol worked to stop the bleeding. I remained conscious the entire time and felt virtually no pain. After a handful of minutes, they were able to get my bleeding under control and transported me to the clinic at the resort. They checked my vitals, which were all fine, and Clay and the kids were able to come in and see that I was in good spirits, despite having sliced my leg. The ambulance arrived shortly thereafter and Clay and the kids followed in the car.

Artist rendering of the scene on the bunny hill…

The EMTs were a hoot and we chatted on the long drive to the hospital. I scrolled through my phone, read a bunch commentary on the killing of Soleimani, and reflected on the absurdity of me getting injured on the bunny hill. I was cold, thirsty, and little light-headed still but other than that, I felt okay. My leg felt a little sore but my pain level was quite low. When we arrived at the hospital, I was greeted by an array of doctors and nurses who were quite impressed with my injury – a few even took out iPhones – ha! The first time I actually saw my injury was in the hospital room and even then, I didn’t have the stomach to examine it closely – all I saw was blood, fat, and muscle. For those wondering, the laceration was 15 centimeters long and 5 centimeters deep…it was pretty gnarly.

Clay and the kids were able to come back and visit me and my (covered) leg as we waited for lidocaine to arrive. They left the room prior to the numbing and cleaning, but they returned so they could see the doctor finish stitching me up. Weston was particularly interested and asked a lot of questions about the procedure. The most painful part of the whole process was getting the lidocaine shots all around my wound (ouch!). But once I was numb, I felt nothing other than pressure. Before long, my leg was bandaged up and Clay snapped a picture of me on the side of the hospital bed.

All things considered; things could’ve gone a lot worse. The people who helped me during the ordeal were fantastic. I am incredibly thankful that I didn’t break my leg and I am happy that it happened to me and not one of the kids. I shouldn’t have any lasting impact from this injury other than a scar and a cool drinking story.

And the cherry on top? I’m now up-to-date on my tetanus shot.