St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

I was snowboarding in California over the President’s Day weekend with friends from my old job at RLG, which for the most part was a great deal of fun.

Not so much fun, however, was the crash I had at Homewood, an event later dubbed the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre due to the large quantities of blood involved. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but I guess it was technically my fault because I collided with a skier who was marginally ahead of me when he suddenly and unexpectedly turned across my path as we barrelled down a run called The Glades.

Unfortunately I stopped most of my not inconsiderable momentum with my face, which slammed into his back, causing us both to hit the snow pretty hard. My nose then proceeded to spray jets of blood several feet (Ricky, who was the first to arrive at the scene, compared it to the Black Knight in Monthy Python & the Holy Grail). My left hand got pretty banged up somehow too.

After establishing that my jaw was still vaguely attached to my skull, I asked the other guy if he was OK; he said he was alright, although the impact had winded him somewhat. Then he took off.

By this time the rest of my friends had arrived and were giving me tissues, helping collect the possessions that had got dispersed around the slope, looking for a ski patrol and taking pictures of the carnage etc.

After a while, I was able to get back on my board and we headed for the first aid station, and found a guy waiting for me a little way down the slope. He established that I had a “contusion” on the inside of my lower lip and some major facial swelling, so advised me to keep ice on my jaw and visit a medical centre to get some stitches at the earliest possible opportunity.

Anne was kind enough to take me to the Truckee Tahoe Medical Centre, where a Dr Krause did a great job of sewing my lower lip back together after stuffing all the meat back inside. Then he sent me home with some Vicodin and Tylenol, telling Anne that I had mild concussion and had to be watched for 6 hours to make sure I didn’t go bonkers (which could be a sign of more serious neurological trauma).

So, overall it wasn’t the best start to my 3-day snowboarding vacation, although I guess that one notable injury in 6 years of snowboarding isn’t too bad a record!

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