Apr 26, 2015

Hike 3 of 52 - Airlifted

Two weeks ago Richard, Tucker and I set out on an easy rated trail to get my third hike in.

It was a lovely morning, and things started off very serene.

The trail went through some groves and past some sights and then basically wound around this valley, going up for the first half and then down for the second, but nothing too steep or crazy.

The trail was pretty well-maintained.

We had completed most of the hike, when I slipped a little in the dirt and fell on the trail.

Just a little slip, this is basically right where I landed, but when I got done chuckling and tried to get up I realized I couldn't put weight on my ankle.

We ended up having to call 911 and wait for emergency services.  I was laughing with embarrassment and the surreal nature of the situation.

Rich was in contact back and forth with emergency services, helping them contact us.  Pretty soon this helicopter started circling above.

This guy hopped off the helicopter and Richard led him to wear I was sheepishly sitting.

Then there was a whole lot of fuss over me, and the conclusion that I would have to be lifted by harness and raised into the copter because it couldn't land where I was and I couldn't get to it.  It was a pretty amazing ride, and I actually forgot all about my pain for a while as I dangled above the canyon and then went for my first helicopter ride.  It landed in a street that had been closed by police, and I was put on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance for transport to the hospital.  Somewhere on the ambulance ride I started to REALLY feel the pain.  The emt gave me morphine, but I never felt any relief.  The pain just got worse and worse.

they got an IV in me, got me to the ER, and tranferred me to a wheelchair where I sat for hours while the pain continued to escalate.  Nobody would give me anything more for the pain because I had supposedly had morphine in the ambulance, but honestly, never felt a single give in the pain.

By now, my foot was starting to swell.  They did xrays, and once those came back and they realized the severity of my injuries things started to move faster.  I was told I had broken my ankle in several places and it was dislocated.  Then I was informed I would need surgery, and that it would be a while for the surgery but in the meantime they would put me in twilight sleep and set my ankle so at least my pain would lessen.

They did, and it did.  Although still in a lot of pain, it was much more manageable once my ankle was popped into place.  Then they moved me from one hospital bed to another to go to pre-op and managed to RE dislocate my ankle.  Suddenly I was shaking from the pain again, and a quick xray determined yep, it was out of socket again.  They decided to reset it in surgery since the broken bones weren't keeping it in place, and that's the last thing I remember until I woke up in post op.

My new ankle.
I am not allowed to put any weight on my ankle at all for four weeks, will be off work potentially for up to two months, and basically am bed ridden.  I hop to the bathroom on one foot with the use of a walker, need as much care as a newborn baby, and have to hop down my steps and crawl up them to go anywhere, and I have a wheelchair for outings, which are few and far between. Needless to say, the 52 hikes in 52 weeks is indefinitely suspended!

Apr 8, 2015

The Road Home

I drove the first leg of the trip home while my kids got some more sleep.  I'd had very little sleep myself, and as the dark countryside rolled by and I reflected on the weekend I started forming some prose in my head.

When we stopped eventually and Jack took over driving for a bit, I needed to get the words out so I typed them into a facebook status to remember.

The road took me home because her laughter mixed with mine is the best wellness elixir there is. Because he went north and I went south and it's been twenty one years since we were both pulled home at once. Because there's comfort in so many old friends and familiar faces. Because this son is about to leave the nest and inspires me to return to mine, and because that son had never played in the creek who's stream had watered his mother, soaking through the roots of my bare feet as i grew into a woman and left this place, and because it settles my soul to see it all still there, and reassured, I now leave it behind and take the road back to the blessed life I've built elsewhere until the grapevines of my girlhood twist around me, tug at my heart, and pull me back again.

After three days of nonstop being on my feet, a day on my ass in the car caused my feet to swell up like a pregnant woman!

That's how you break in a new car!  My grill is covered with bugs, thanks to the central California farmland.  I'm planning another trip very soon, because I've realized how therapeutic these trips are for me.  I tend to be very controlling, and always have a plan.  Taking a trip in which I don't have much of a plan seems to allow me to give up control, I loosen up and when I do, I remember who I think I really am under all this anxiety, how I crave adventure and how I'm wild and free and I need periods of time in which I am not being tamed, in which I can roam free and come home relaxed and in more control of myself having given up my control of my surroundings and those around me.

Apr 7, 2015

Hike 2 of 52 - Armstrong Woods

On our last day in Sonoma, I drove my kids an hour or so to Armstrong Woods, the local Redwood forest.  Tucker has been clamoring to see the redwoods, and I promised him I would take him.

In every picture you'll notice Tucker is giving a thumbs up and nodding his head.  At one point I started to take his picture and he went into this, and told me it's his signature pose.  Oh, that kid.

After the Redwoods we zipped over to Petaluma to tour Gina's work and go to lunch at her favorite spot, Native Kitchen. We shared a cheeseboard, then got lunch. I had a wellness elixir and a salad, and then we got a Starbucks and headed back to Sonoma.

It was our last night, and we headed to the square for dinner at Burgers and Vine.

I like to try new things, so I got a duck burger.  It was pretty good, and the goat cheese on it was delicious.  I also got truffle fries, which were okay as far as truffle fries go.

Back at Gina's, we relaxed and packed up.  Josh came over with dominoes and we played until almost one in the morning.  I didn't want to say goodnight and goodbye and go to bed, because that would mean it was over!  I did plan on getting up at 4:30 in the morning, though, so we finally had to call it a night!

Apr 6, 2015

HIke 1 of 52 - Benecia Lake

While I was in Sonoma last week I was way more active than usual.  I usually struggle to get 5000 steps in a day, and on Saturday I got over 15,000 walking around town.  Sunday I got over 12,000 hiking to Benecia Lake, and Monday I got over 10,000 hiking in Armstrong Woods, an hour away.

After coming home, I saw a challenge to complete 52 hikes in 52 weeks, and I realized if I start now, I've got two down already in one week, so I'm starting.  I'm calling this hike one, taken on March 29, 2015.

Here we go!

Looking back on the trail.  I'm not gonna lie, this hike was a real struggle for me and made me realize just how out of shape I have gotten.  I've been having horrible back muscle spasms and pain, and it is time to get serious about my health and my strength and general badassness. I was panting like a prank caller and practically crawling up the steps carved in the hillside because when I tried to step up them my leg shook so bad I thought I was going to fall back down the hill.

Paul (Gina's husband) had gone ahead with the kids, and when we met up with them at the top he patched my bleeding arm and gave me a hunk of bagel and a handful of cashews.  I was very happy to discover there was a bench because I really needed it.

These two little girls are still giggling together in the corner.


Tucker plays in the creek.

My badassness shines through.

The kids caught this lazy frog.  I can't help but wonder if he is the descendant of one of the millions of tadpoles I caught and released as a girl, downstream where the creek trickled past my house.

Tucker and Frog.

Zoe and frog.

This.  This is who I am.  I remember now.

We started at the trailhead, took the little cut across and hiked up the right side of the loop to Benecia Lake, then hiked down the left side of the loop back to trailhead.

We rewarded ourselves with a well earned trip to Happy Dog.  While we were feasting, Paul (who grew up in nearby San Francisco) asked Gina and I (who are both multi-generation Sonoma family folk) how long Happy Dog had been there.  Um, the beginning of time?  It's been there as long as either of us can remember, probably all our lives, and I will be sad if it's ever not.

French Burger - that's a burger on a Sonoma french roll, for those of you not from those parts.

Gina's fries.  I forgot how good their fries were, but quickly remembered and stole more than a few of Gina's stash.

That night, Josh (who is a chef) came over with sacks of groceries and prepared roast cajun beer can chicken, collard greens, and mac and cheese.  It was all delicious!  After, we played a game of Taboo and all was well with the world.