What should have been the highlight of the trip ended up being the absolute low point; a dog sledding trip with Alaskan Husky Tours.
The day (December 7th, 2015) began well. We were all really looking forward to it; a nice trip through the snow with our own team of Huskies. At about quarter to ten we left (I think, lost the times a bit) for the location of the tours, about a 45-minute drive from Røros. The dogs were already as excited as we were, and the leashing of the dogs and the explanation of how to drive all seemed straight forward and clear.
Lianne and I would team up. Lianne at the wheel and I was in the sled so I could have fun filming and taking pictures of the dogs in action. And it was beautiful. Although our dogs were a bit on the slow side and smelled pretty bad at times. Apparently it is standard practice for dogs to poop right away when they start running! Well that was noticeable!
But we enjoyed it and at our break, halfway through, we decided that Lianne would stay on the handlebars and I would stay seated. Not knowing that a few meters down the road it would end in drama.
Pretty soon after the break we came to a big downhill hill. So we were going fast. In front of us someone was suddenly on her side with sled and all, resulting in Lianne braking. After all, driving into someone with a dog sled at full speed is not so nice.
Braking and steering (apparently) do not go together on a dog sled and there was that huge Norwegian tree on the side of the path. Stuck in the sled, the tree came hurtling straight at me and a few seconds later I was lying on the ground in pain.
On the way to the hospital
And there are some things you just know right away. That’s how I knew something was broken. At first I was afraid it was both feet, but I could move the toes of my left foot pretty quickly. And that was just as well because, after all, we were in the middle of nowhere. The men of the husky tours hoisted me up and hanging between two guys I sort of hopped on my left foot up the snowy hill. They somehow managed to get me in the car that was fetched. Finally when I was in the car with much pain and effort, we get stuck with the car in the snow. All in all it took four hours before I finally arrived at the small hospital in Tynset. Four hours of fairly unbearable pain.
Finally at the hospital
I’ll spare you all the details of the X-rays and the CT scans and the hassle before there was a plane home, but I’m here now. At AMC hospital. My ankle is – in short – completely fucked up. The talus is right in half which has stopped the blood supply and the bone has now – 99% sure – died. The plan is to put it together with screws and then it remains to be seen if the bone stays in tact or slowly crumbles. If that happens, phase 2 will follow in which some sort of solution will be made where the ankle bone will be rebuilt and inserted. I won’t be able to do many strange things anymore but at least I will still be able to walk. Or at least that is the current prognosis.
On the way home by plane
I have absolutely no idea what to do in the coming period. In the first three months no weight should be put on the joint, so you can calculate how long it will take. I’m just going to try to make the best of it and maybe I’ll keep some kind of diary on Everyday Healthy. Whether I’ll be able to cook much anytime soon…? The future is as uncertain as it’ll ever be.
So all fingers crossed that it works out!
PS. I am posting this on the original date it was written in Dutch. Just so the timeline is correct on things to come.