It was a beautiful day, June 16. One of the first ones for our very short summer season in NH. My husband and I decided to spend our Saturday hiking in Franconia Notch. We went to Bridle Veil Falls. It was a great hike up. We enjoyed a picnic lunch at the base of the waterfall. Then it was time to go.
We start down the rock face, slowly. It was steep and there were slippery parts. I was moving cautiously. Next thing I know, my feet are up in the air. As I came down, I must have landed weird because I heard the bones crack, then I slid about 10 feet down the rock. I knew instantly that the bone was broken. It swelled immediately and the pain was there, but I don't remember what it felt like. Luckily, there was a cold mountain stream and a few other people there. I submerged my leg into the ice cold water. Someone had an ACE bandage that was wrapped around my leg. Another person gave me some ibuprofen.
After much discussion, it was decided that they were going to carry me out. We had cell phones, but no service. The first part was the hardest. We had to cross the stream and all the rocks in the way. My husband and a very good samaritan (who's name I cannot remember) got me across by supporting all my weight. I just used my good leg for balance. From there, it was decided that piggy-back would be the best way to get down. We had 2.5 miles to go down a gently sloping woodland trail.
My husband and 3 other guys got me down, with my husband carrying me most of the way. I am 5'7" 140lbs. so needless to say, that is not a light load to get down a mountain. I could go about 5-10 minutes at a time then I would need to stop and sit down. The pain was big, the shock was setting in, and I was working hard to hold it together. I still had not cried. I almost threw up at one point, but held it together for the most part.
We made it to the bottom of the trail in a little over an hour. Once we got in the car, we still had a hour drive to the hospital. I got in the backseat, put up my leg, closed my eyes and held on.
Once at the hospital, I was immediately taken in for x-rays. It was a bad break. I broke both my tibia and fibula. The tibia break was a sprial fracture. The doctor made a point of telling me a few times that "I did a good job. This was one of the worst he'd seen in a while." While waiting in the exam room for an orthopedist to look at the x-ray, this is when I finally broke down. Once I started crying I couldn't stop.
I am a teacher and had 1 day of school left. I started thinking about my class of 2nd graders and how I wouldn't get to say goodbye. That's all it took! Then I thought of all my summer plans down the drain.
AFter waiting for 2 hours, the doctors finally decided to splint my leg and send me an orthopedist on Monday. The pain of getting my foot to a right angle was the worst I have ever felt in my life. However, the warm, comfortable feeling of the splint being put on was one of the best. (Of course the percot the nruse gave me helped too!)