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In the Alps.
10:20 pm on Saturday 19th December by SS
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by SS at 4:13 pm on Wednesday 16th December

The skiing portion of my skiing holiday came to an abrupt and rather disppointing end yesterday afternoon when one of the consistently rebellious traits of the human psyche flouted the principles of self preservation. Overconfidence stemming from my lack of falls previously leds to a faster and more dramatic fall.

In the confusing first moments of the aftermath, it was instantly (and painfully) clear that a particular favourite recurrent injury had reimplemented itself: my right shoulder had dislocated.

For observers who are unaware of the considerable history surrounding my shoulder, it first dislocated in a bicycle fall caused by a mechanical disfunction in late November, 2004. Since then, further bicycle accidents and just standing in the sea (!) easily pushed it out. In Easter 2008, I decided to have it surgically stabilised, a measure which seemed to have fixed the problem.

Whatever effect the operation had, it clearly was not formidable enough and it was with surprising familiarity that I found myself unable to move my arm near the top of a red run. My friends and skiing partners quickly realised something was wrong and with the help of some passing skiiers they flagged down the ski patrol.

Having seen the snow stretchers in action before, I never once imagined that I would one day be riding in such a contraption. They strapped me to the stretcher quite tightly and began the ride to the medical centre. From my perspective, it appeared that we were travelling with significant speed. My friends inform me that this was not the case and I call into my defense the overwhelming sensation of cold and pins and needles that were encompassing my arm.

As we reached the medical centre, a lot of waiting around was necessary, and following some X-Rays, the French Doctor (quite a character, claimed to have mended over 3,000 shoulders in his career) determined that my shoulder had reduced itself on the way back down.

I almost wish I hadn't taken a stretcher down since the slip they handed me at the bottom made clear a 315 payment that I needed to pass on to my insurance company. While my ski insurance now seems like a positive bargain (17 for the week), it seems my premium will now go up in the future. In addition, a good friend of mine with shoulder problems similarly injured himself on a ski slope. Being the hardcore type that he was, he simply skiied himself down to the medical centre.

This leaves me 'stuck' here in Courchevel 1650, not an unpleasant place at all. It's just with the lack of skiing and the plethora of items on my to-do list at home, I feel time is wasted slightly. Getting back home would be difficult however (requiring a bus, two trains, a flight and a further train journey), so I have resigned myself to relaxing in the Alps and basking in the sympathy of the ski reps.

3 comments posted so far
HRL Anish wrote at 10:22 am on Thu 17th Dec -
Relax....get a massage..!
wrote at 11:39 am on Fri 18th Dec -
enjoy the life you lead sorts you out
wrote at 11:31 pm on Mon 28th Dec -
Wow, bad luck. You should get a robot shoulder.

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