Thursday, January 9, 2014

Icy Driveway of Doom

Icy Driveway of Doom

I usually come home from hiking with at least one bruise, scratch, or minor skin wound.  The White Mountain trails are all boulders, roots, and tree branches.  When above treeline, the wind is often strong enough to push you off your feet.  Bushwhacking (going off trail through the woods) usually means a branch in the eye, torn clothing, and/or spiderwebs in the face.  During winter, the ice is treacherous.  During spring, the mud can be slick.  And so on.

The girls and I have been hiking the Whites for five and a half years.  In all that time, the worst injury any of us has received on the trail is a skinned knee or a large bruise.  All our more serious injuries (Alex's fractured tibia, Sage's cut face, etc) happened while doing run-of-the-mill, average activities.

The same goes for me...the last time I had a serious injury (blood clot issues aside), it was from a fall down my own front stairs.  Yea uncoordinated me.  Fractured patella, 2005.

This time, it's probably a torn meniscus.  That's what comes from trying to walk on your icy driveway in Crocs.  Yea idiotic me.  Knee injury (yet to be specifically determined), late 2013.

I have the MRI scheduled for next week.  Tuesday's x-ray showed no broken bones..but I do seem to have arthritis, which comes as a surprise since I've never had any symptoms.  Guess that'll be a discussion for a separate with an orthopedic specialist.  I need to know how to manage the arthritis long-term so I can fulfill my life's desire of happily dying on a mountaintop at the age of 104.  The torn meniscus (if that's what it is) will require at least a couple weeks of healing.

This is a long way of saying that I won't be hiking all 48 NH4Ks this single winter season.  I anticipate being well and strong enough to handle the JMT this summer, but I'll know more after I have the MRI.

In the meantime, here are a couple photos from the aborted hike up Waumbek.  I fell on my driveway December 26..then I hiked Tecumseh, then Cannon a few days later, then I shoveled tons of snow, then I got all the snow off my roof...all on an injured knee, which rarely hurt.  The hike up Waumbek was, apparently, the last straw on this camel's patella.  On the way up, the knee went from feeling sore to feeling AWFUL...and then I finally realized I must have truly injured it when I fell on the 26th (and then wrecked it entirely by hiking on it over and over again).

Beginning the aborted Waumbek hike.

I had to bail five minutes after I took this photo.

The girls had fun sledding down the mountain.

I'll write more after I've had the MRI next week.  It's early January, which means I should have more than enough time to heal before summer.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  In the meantime, the girls will stay in shape by doing all their other usual sports (skiing, karate, climbing, swimming, etc.).

'Til next week -- happy hiking, everyone...and be careful on your icy driveways!


Trekker Dog said...

How disappointing! Injuries are the worst.

I wore microspikes on my driveway this past week. But I still had to slide out to my car (where I store them) to get them.

Bess Dillman said...

Good luck with your MRI and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

Trekker Dog and Bess,

Thanks for your comments and well-wishes. :)

I've a feeling it's a meniscus tear. We'll see after Tuesday's MRI. The next step will be to see an orthopedic specialist and begin an intensive physical therapy routine. With hard work and perseverance, I should be back on the trails before the end of winter (I hope!).

In the meantime, I'll post some pictures and videos of my home work-out routine. I'm using my cats and dog as weights so I can keep my arms in shape, lol. Also doing a ton of sit-ups.

Dianne Fallon said...

I loved "Up" and have recently subscribed to your blog. So sorry to hear about your injury, but you will recover. In the meantime, something else that's good will fill the space of hiking and the outdoors.

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...


Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed UP.

I'm sure I will heal -- hopefully sooner rather than later. I will blog late tomorrow evening about my MRI results, and, in the coming weeks, I'll post about my rehab plan and steady (I hope) progress. I'm optimistic about being back on the trails by the end of winter.

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...
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