An Emergency Close to Home (Sort Of)

Working in the emergency department I often fall into the thinking that other people have emergencies, not me. I'm the provider, the patient it the patient, the roles will never be reversed when it comes to myself and my family. While this is naive, I'm sure that many nurse practitioners can relate to my thinking. This is why I was particularly surprised when I was awakened at 3 o'clock this morning to an emergency text from my mom. 

My family loves the great outdoors. From downhill skiing to hiking, biking, surfing, and kayaking, give us surf, sand, or sun we're just happy to be outside. We each have our preferred outdoor activities and my dad's is hiking.

My father is a pretty amazing guy and I don't say that just because I'm his daughter. He has worked only night shifts as a physician in the ER for about 30 years. He approaches his free-time with a similar intensity. A favorite activity of his is going on miles long hikes, climbing uphill at superhuman speeds in the often snow covered mountains outside of Seattle. My husband then boyfriend once accompanied my father and I on such a hike. Afterwards he commented "If you hadn't been with us, I would have thought he was trying to kill me!". 

My outdoorsy bent combined with my love of adventure and medicine always has me interested in wilderness medical know-how. In fact, I wrote a post about wilderness medicine continuing education opportunities last month. But, never did I expect such a situation to happen in my own family. You can see where this is going...

Yesterday, my dad was out for one of his signature hikes when he fell down some sort of embankment landing on a rock. Immediately, he could tell he had fractured his leg but had no cell phone service in his current position. He was able to maneuver his way back up the hill to get service and call for help. Unfortunately, help was not close by as he was several miles into his hike.  

Eventually, a group of hikers passed by. Having planned for an overnight outing, they were able to provide a sleeping bag for warmth, a tent, food and water (THANK YOU!). Hours later, a rescue team was able to finally reach him and begin the long climb back to the base of the mountain. A 90 minute ambulance ride later he arrived at the very emergency department where he works and is currently in surgery for an open fracture of his tibia and fibula (prayers for a full recovery are appreciated!). 

I don't divulge too much of my personal life on the blog primarily because it would bore you. And, for my family's sake I rarely mention them online. But, photos of my dad's X-rays are definitely blog worthy and I simply couldn't resist posting them for you trauma junkies (with his permission, of course).

For your viewing pleasure: 

X-Ray Tibia/Fibula Lateral View

 

X-Ray Tibia/Fibula

 

Praying for a full recovery!

 

What an afternoon hike often looks like in our family

Hopefully tomorrow I will have a much neater-looking X-ray to show and positive results to report. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!

 

You Might Also Like: Wilderness Medicine Courses for Nurse Practitioners