Please wear your helmet!

An enjoyable family vacation turns into a nightmare. But it keeps my job interesting…

A family of four rented bikes to ride around the lake…no helmets, but hey, it’s totally flat, and what can go wrong? Mom’s bike slips off the side of the paved pathway, drops a few inches onto the dirt and she falls over, hitting her shoulder on the ground. She got up and they went into a local store nearby where an appropriately concerned bystander drives them to the hospital while dad goes back to retrieve the family car.

Between the time she entered the doors of the emergency room in a wheelchair and I had finished my initial assessment, she went from “Ouch my shoulder hurts,” to being completely inappropriate and incomprehensible.

Had she hit her head? THey didn’t think so. Was she wearing a helmet? No. Did she get knocked out? No, she was just a little confused at first.

I ordered the head CT, but before we could even call the tech, she siezed.

I intubated her after doing a repeated neurologic exam after the siezure ended. At that moment, I had x-ray vision. She had absolutely not a single scratch on the outside of her body and yet I could see through her skull and watch the middle meningeal artery continue to bleed, putting pressure on her brain. ‘Something is terribly wrong,’ she had said to us at one point just prior to siezing.

She was right. A stat CT confirmed my suspicion, the helicopter came to take her down the hill and I updated the trauma surgeon at the accepting end of the line.

Please, please, please, ALWAYS wear your helmet!


You’d think this sign would help keep us from getting off the trail…

Batman and Robin, second pitch. The little white splotch just before the skyline to the left of the pinnacle is my climbing partner.

Luckily, the hail started after we were DONE with the climb.

The climbs turned into waterfalls. This is back at the base, our climb started just in front of the dead tree on the left.

The trail became a small river…

Another view of a climb turned water fall. Batman Pinnacle is to the right of this photo, Checkerboard Rock is to the left.

After the storm, dark clouds still hover over the Rocky Mountains only a few miles away.

Batman pinnacle, where our route ended, is the little spire on the left. Yep, we climbed to the very tippy top.

One more view of the valley.
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Caught in the Saddle

This isn’t another post about biking, although I did some of that today too. I decided to hike the twin sister’s today, a nice intermediate half-day hike, about half the vertical and distance of Long’s Peak, which I hope to do by the end of August. Due to some other committments, I didnt’ get started until about 1:30 and as I slowly made my way up the switchbacks, I began getting hit with big fat drops of rain. No thunder, though, so I kept hiking, I didn’t want to turn around and have to come back another day. Well, I made it up to the first saddle before the lightning darting back and forth overhead started to sound a little to close to the ground. the rain pounded harder, and hail stones fell from the sky, smacking my bare arms and legs. I decided enough was enough and turned around & jogged part way down the trail, feeling almost like I was skiing through a snowstorm because there was so much hail around me. I was soaked, of course, by the time I got back to the car, and my hands were so cold that my fingers and wrists swelled up from the exposure. Actually, my extensor tendons swelled up as well, but not the wrist joints…wierd, what’s that all about? Any rheumatologists here???

Deer Ridge

WOW, this was a fantastic ride! Up 34 into the fall river entrance of rocky mountain national park. Thought I was almost done when I got to the entrance at 6 miles, and the ranger told me it was another 4 miles to the interesction with the beaver meadows entrance road. AHHH! Things went OK and eventually, I topped out and began my screaming descent…reached a new top speed of 45.2mph! Recovering with a protein smoothie at the coffee shop. The counter girl looked at me funny when I asked how many grams of protein were in the protein boost.