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Thread: Avoiding Injury

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Avoiding Injury

    As many already know, I'm a gimp. I had an unfortunate fall a number of years ago and it has resulted in too many surgeries and permanent damage to my knee. I can no longer climb mountains for sheep hunting and have to ride my quad in hopes of picking off moose in river bottoms and have other people help me with carrying heavy loads. I'm very thankful for my friends, they have been great companions in the woods and on the stream banks.

    One bit of information, though; that I think I should share with everyone, is that safety needs to be as high a priority during recreation as it does at work. My sordid story behind my knee is that I could have made a 100% recovery if not for the negligence during my second surgery causing a major ligament to blow out and thus, impacting my recreational ambitions immensely. After my initial injury, I spent a lot of time thinking about how it could have been avoided. My solution; a couple of pieces of duct tape across my boot laces. Sounds insignificant but it could have prevented or reduced a career ending injury and I'd still be crawling up mountains and carrying my own quarters, fish coolers and playing with my kids. Have you ever caught your laces on anything in the woods?

    My original injury stemmed from my foot being caught via my laces on a piece of metal, my knee acted as a fulcrum for my entire body weight and I ended up on the losing end of a torn meniscus and a few heavily sprained ligaments.

    Safety is something that I do as part of my work now. I enjoy the gross out factor of my training sessions when I show my classes my post op pictures of me knee. What I almost always get choked up on, however, is sharing that I can no longer run with my girls, climb above timberline and scope for sheep, bears, moose or whatever. I have to plan my trips with a buddy or two to accommodate my deficient abilities in carrying stuff; you don't know (some of you do) how lame it feels to have to ask for help as a 35 year old man with the knees of a 75 year old man.

    My recreational life has come to screeching halt; I have to fish the handicap holes, pay strapping young guys to carry my dipnet coolers back to the truck and shell out moose quarters to friends to pay for their help in loading and packing.

    DO NOT THINK FOR A SECOND, that I'm some idiot that was never careful. I received kudos and awards frequently at work for my safe behaviors and observations; I'm just like the rest of you; except now I'm broken and reluctantly reliant. Don't take your situations for granted, don't become complacent, don't become like me. I'm not sure if there's a safety book on outdoor recreation but there should be. Common sense is your handiest tool and should be kept on hand at all times.

    If but for a couple of pieces of duct tape, I wouldn't be writing this right now. I hope you all have a safe and productive season in all your adventures. And don't forget to teach your kids the importance of not only gun safety, but wilderness safety.
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

  2. #2
    Member Noble Killer's Avatar
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    Default Thanks Robb

    That is a real eye opener.
    -Caleb-

  3. #3

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    Great post Robb. I'd bet that most of us take a few chances, or take a few things for granted, that we don't need to take when we're out in the wilderness. Especially for those of us who sometimes go it alone, a reminder to think your next step through and take a little extra care is always great advice.

    Don't feel bad about asking others for help - some people really do enjoy helping others, and most you ask probably respect you even more for still taking the time and effort to get out there!

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    This is one reason I use trekking poles in the mountains! Always a good reminder to keep folks from getting complacent, thanks BCR

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    Default

    im still young and dumb and have at times thrown caution to the wind. but whenever i read someting like that, well its extremely sobering. just know your story didnt fall on deaf ears, and this is one guy who will be extra careful out there, kind of a tribute to you Robb. hope you still can make it out there this year

    -Andy

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    Default

    Rob,

    Its funny that you mention this. I had a neck surgrey that put me out of comm. Its funny how when your out there and climbing over the hills you think you're on top of the world. When it came to a halt a year ago, I still have a problem accepting it with my heart, but when you try to get in the game, you reliase your body won't do what you want it to.

    Stay safe all.

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    Default I understand what you're going through

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    Rob,

    Its funny that you mention this. I had a neck surgrey that put me out of comm. Its funny how when your out there and climbing over the hills you think you're on top of the world. When it came to a halt a year ago, I still have a problem accepting it with my heart, but when you try to get in the game, you reliase your body won't do what you want it to.

    Stay safe all.
    My sincerest condolences and prayers for your health. I know what you're going through and it isn't a good feeling. Without sounding hopeless; I hope you cure and heal much better than I.

    Thanks to those that have read/responded. I'm glad that I could be a reminder that we are not without reason to be cautious.
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

  8. #8
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Split Second

    It only takes a split second for fun to turn to agony (that sometimes last & lasts). I'm not a resident of Alaska but I've spent enough time ther to realize that Alaska is a demanding place with little patience for those who are careless.

    Alaska truely is a place where "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

    Hunt/fish safely - always.

    And THANKS - Robb.

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    Default Very Good Post

    I do Safety for a living. Yep, I am the guy that beats people up for standing on ladders and doing other dumb stuff. Grown men no less. They've been there done that, whatever it is, their whole lives. And I see the pain when one of them gets hurt and has to live with it. Workers Compensation is not really all that, especially when a guy is hurt for life.
    You are so right about the outdoors. A small thing could have made a big difference. Problem is, you would never have realized the life altering decision was working because you did not get hurt. Interesting conundrum. You get hurt, you do something different. But, you do something different, and don't get hurt, what was the problem? Often you go back to the old way of doing things.
    Thanks for being so poignant. So open. Maybe somebody won't have to hit their own "thumb" now to realize they can make better decisions.
    On a side note, ever since I stepped in to this line of work I am safer. Why? Because every man here wants to see me with a bandaid and I won't give them that satisfaction. Whatever it takes to come home whole and healthy at the end of a day, or hunt, is ok in my book.

  10. #10
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Default I Feel your pain!

    Do to back problems I have been forced to slow down way sooner than I wanted to. At age 52 my desire still burns strong to climb the mtns and wade the streams, so I too depend on great friends and a wonderful son!
    With that being said I can't believe the number of shows I have watched where guys wade swift rivers or hard terrain and don't use some form of walking stick. Its one of the best tools for saving an injury that outdoors people can carry. It has saved me many a fall or twisted ankle and I seldom venture out without one...
    Good luck Robb and everyone else in staying fit!
    Randy

  11. #11
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Default

    An excellent and sobering post BCR. Thanks for sharing with us all.

    Best to you this upcoming season.

  12. #12
    Member Montana Native's Avatar
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    Default I concur

    BCR~ I too can attest to just how fragile we are. 20 years ago, (1/2 my current age) I was aggresively involved in rock climbing. One trip in particular, sent me plummeting 174' to the rock pilings. I suffered 2 breaks in my jaw, a crushed orbit around my eye, crushed nasal passages, broke four ribs, dislocated my hip, suffered major spinal compression, a broken wrist and torn meniscus in one knee. Believe it or not, I bounced back. It wasn't until last year when it all caught up to me. Since then, I have succumbed to two major back surgeries and had both knees scoped. Last year, although unsucessful, I went sheep hunting. I also plan on going again this year. I can't think of life w/o being in the high country.

    For you, it was a shoe string that brought you down, for me, a misplaced anchor. I had 3 years of progressive climbing experience and had tackled the same route two times earlier. Never let your gaurd down for a minute. One misplaced step, one stupid move, one bad judgement call; all have the ingredients towards changing your life or even worse, causing your death.

    I thank Rob for initiating this thread. However horrible the memories that have surfaced can't replace a friend or loved one. It is these very 'threads' we all look at that can be a sobering reminder that life is fragile. Play it safe and come back alive and in one piece, we need your stories to keep the forum flowing
    Respect what you do not own but are privleged to enjoy, Mother Earth thanks you...

  13. #13
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    Default Thanks Robb

    Timely post. Or maybe, not much so in my case. Three weeks ago today I broke my ankle, one of those freak deals where you look back and think, "how did that even happen?" Couldn't get out at the time, was during breakup, didn't want to call in a helicopter, nor pay thousands in medical bills and charter costs flying in and out of here...so here I am.

    Not complaining, just saying that in the blink of an eye you can go from being able to do the things you love to being incapacitated or laid up. In my case I think the biggest factor in my injury is me thinking I'm still twenty years old and not deciding ahead of time to just slow down <grin>. Would sure be nice to walk again. Funny how much we take the simple things for granted. Be careful out there!

  14. #14

    Default Thanks Robb

    I appreciate the reminder and because you took the time to put this on the forum someone will think and prevent an incident. It says alot when you share this with us and we all congradulate you for this. Its easy to believe that you will wake up every day the same way, but after hearing of these types of situations it does make a person wonder.
    Thank you for not giving up entirely on what you like to do. Although there are more limits for you now it means alot to have you out there doing what you can.

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    Default

    Thanks for the reminder - we can all use them and hopefully take it to heart.

  16. #16
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    Default

    I fractured my right radius this late January, and stayed home alot this winter....enough to find this forum...~~LOL!!~~

    Did it with S&R, looking for a guy who fell off a cliff in a storm, 30 feet onto some overflow ice, and broke his back.
    We were riding down to him, down a soft topped drift and did the same. Wife landed on me , the machine on us.
    We got the guy taken in and my right knee, left thigh and right elbow were purple and still ache. It was a couple days before I could walk. I had to bring Caribou home and have my son skin them.

    Busted Fingers and nose, before , but this was my first real snowgo accident, in my life, and that while we were trying to help someone else.....
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  17. #17
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    Default Great Response

    Quote Originally Posted by Montana Native View Post
    BCR~ I too can attest to just how fragile we are. 20 years ago, (1/2 my current age) I was aggresively involved in rock climbing. One trip in particular, sent me plummeting 174' to the rock pilings. I suffered 2 breaks in my jaw, a crushed orbit around my eye, crushed nasal passages, broke four ribs, dislocated my hip, suffered major spinal compression, a broken wrist and torn meniscus in one knee. Believe it or not, I bounced back. It wasn't until last year when it all caught up to me. Since then, I have succumbed to two major back surgeries and had both knees scoped. Last year, although unsucessful, I went sheep hunting. I also plan on going again this year. I can't think of life w/o being in the high country.

    For you, it was a shoe string that brought you down, for me, a misplaced anchor. I had 3 years of progressive climbing experience and had tackled the same route two times earlier. Never let your gaurd down for a minute. One misplaced step, one stupid move, one bad judgement call; all have the ingredients towards changing your life or even worse, causing your death.

    I thank Rob for initiating this thread. However horrible the memories that have surfaced can't replace a friend or loved one. It is these very 'threads' we all look at that can be a sobering reminder that life is fragile. Play it safe and come back alive and in one piece, we need your stories to keep the forum flowing
    I feel for ya man. I'm really glad that folks didn't take this thread and start throwing out judgments or negative feedback. It's a sketchy proposition these days to open yourself up and admit any shortcoming without fear of repercussion. Thank to you Montana and others for taking this seriously and getting the message that caution at any age is a virtue that will pay dividends later in life.

    I wish a safe and productive season to you all.

    Bushrat; I pray for your healthy recovery! You're in a unique environment and situation - don't push yourself before you're ready.
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

  18. #18

    Default

    Good thread Rob. Keep in mind though, things happen for a reason. If you woudln't have been laid up, we woudln't have that compilation you made, and you wouldn't have gotten into video editing as much.

    Seriously though, You know you have good friends around you and you know that none of us have an issue with helping you out.... even if you do scatter from moose camp,on the 4-wheeler draped with quarters in the middle of the night, because you heard a twig snap in the woods behind camp....

    Glad to help anytime buddy. Hope the knees start getting a little better sometime soon, we have lots of wheeling/hunting to do this summer.

    I'll call you when I get back into town.


    Tony

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    Talking Nice... That's one of my buddies.

    Nice DD; Real nice.

    You forget to disclose the fact that there was just two of us and we had moose blood scattered all over camp and that we are FAR outnumbered by bears in our honey hole.

    you dweeb.


    Thanks for being one of the dedicated few; I'm sure I can count on all of my partners to embarrass me whenever the opportunity presents itself. (I really don't mind though; what are friends for?)
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

  20. #20
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    Default there's only 1 reason we're not all in the same boat

    ....sheer %$#@* luck.

    that's why you won't see a negative post or someone armchair quarterbacking.
    we all need your safety reminder. if it helps any of us avoid the next "left instead of right" turn we'll be indebted. much thanx for your post.

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