The day I broke my leg.

I never thought that I would be spending my last days in Korea lying on a hospital bed. Looking at the bright February days pass me by outside the window. Missing all the fun I could have had traveling around Seoul with my solo girlfriend and later my brother and my hubby. Ticking off all the places I wish to visit in my final list like Everland and the Hello Kitty Cafe and Garosu-gil. 

Strangely even until now, after all the various feelings and thoughts have gone in and out of my head, it hasn't occurred to me any deep sense of regret why did I have to go Ski in the first place; just a faint resignation of the accident that had befallen me. Possibly because if time were to turn back I would have gone and done it again anyhow.   

It all happened on the Day of Feb 2. I was attending a conference in High 1 Resort at Kangwon-do Province where I was to present a poster on my thesis material. The point of importance about the conference was not really the presentation - it was more about visiting the snow-sloped grounds and wintry mountains and skiing! (I will blog again about the conference and the nice landscape later since the focus here is about how I broke my leg.)

So in the morning, I presented my poster at the conference venue. Then in the afternoon, our group went up to the ski slopes at High 1. I was excited and in good spirits and was so sure nothing bad would come out of it - after all, I had taken a beginner's lesson in skiing 3 years ago in Flagstaff, USA. After like 15 minutes of ski/walking around on flat ground, I rode the ski lift up the beginners' slope together with my friend. 

Then I started to ski downhill. No, actually after my friend started skiing off, I looked at his disappearing back and began to have second thoughts. I stood there for what must have felt like an eternity before mustering the courage (and hypnotizing myself) to take the leap. 

 Down I went........... whoosh......... going too fast I willed myself to fall to the side like I had learnt but suddenly the ski board on my right foot detached itself and flew up into mid-air, then suddenly crashed straight down onto my face as I watched in slow motion horror. On reflex I lifted both my arms to guard my face but my ski board still crashed into my upper jaw at full force and I could feel my whole mouth instantly bulge up with great pain. The next sensation I could feel was saltiness, so much saltiness in my mouth, I spitted out some blood onto the snow which, twisted as it may sound, looked like a rich and beautiful painting to me - bright red droplets on the white background of fluffy snow. 

I was in so much pain that I felt like crying, but no tears would come out. I sat there hugging myself, feeling helpless and lost among the dazzling white snowscape, while all the other obviously more experienced skiers came whooshing down effortlessly around me. I was terrified to get up and continue my journey, I think it was then that I KNEW something bad would probably befall me if I continued, but at that time, being stuck at the top of the slope, the only way I knew to exit this bad dream was to continue skiing downhill. So I summoned together the lesson about bravery that I had learnt after watching '127 Hours' not too long ago and re-attached the ski board onto my right foot and got up, all along being afraid that someone as experienced as me would come along and bang me right from the back. 

Then I attempted to ski downhill again. I fell for a couple more times, 2, 3, 4, 5... until I just about gave up and sat down in the snow. Cos it was too freaking tired and too freaking unachievable, you know... until a snow angel came along in the form of a ski patrol girl in red winter jacket. 

"Are you OK?", the Snow Angel asked.  

Not wanting to be a trouble to her/ stupidly trying to act strong, I shrugged off her help and tried to ski once more down the slope using the 'A' shape. That was when I went speedily down the slope, faster and faster, until I lost control of my speed and totally forgot to fall to the side, instead I did the stupid mistake of bending my knees in front and my back backwards until I suddenly heard something SNAP somewhere between my legs and the next thing I knew I was on my back and my legs crossed awkwardly on top of each other and I was groaning in pain............... 

The snow angel came again and this time it was a ready signal to Take. Me. Down. She used her walkie-talkie to call other ski patrol members and not long after, a sled appeared to carry me downhill. By then my pain had already subsided a little but I was not just about able to walk so the patrol guys strapped me to the sled and skiied me down to the first aid center.

At the first aid center the nurse said something in Korean which I mistook to be reassuring to the fact that I only had a temporary dislodgement or swelling, since she said that there seemed to be no bone fracture. She sprayed something on my knee then bandaged it, and gave me an ice pack for my swollen jaw.

After that I limped my way back to the resort, and at night limped myself to the KangwonLand Casino. And the next day limped all the way back for the bus ride back to Busan to go to a hospital for an X-ray scan... but that's another story to be continued. 


josze said…
oh my god! i just saw your FB photos. even by reading this i can almost feel your pain. are u ok now girl??? take care!
pik lay said…
as I read this, I can feel your pain
家勤 said…
very scary ..
Adelene said…
ohno..I never want to try Skiing anymore! NEVER!

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