Last week, while on a backcountry ski trip south of Nelson, BC, I struck a tree and suffered a concussion, mild pneumothorax, and five broken bones. My ski companions reacted quickly and effectively and things would not have turned out as well as they did without their skill and prompt action. I owe them an enormous debt of gratitude. I was unconscious for some time and was not fully aware of how things were going, so you can read Ross’s report here and Jon’s reports here and here.
Once the helicopter arrived, I was in the hands of the health care system which also treated me very well. Within two days, I was released from the Nelson hospital and was on my way home. I still have aches and pains and may be off work for a while, but I’m recovering quickly. I’m acutely aware that this accident could have been much worse. As John Buffery, the SAR tech in charge of the rescue (and an old friend) noted in an e-mail to me, I’m one tough dude. But I ascribe most of my good fortune to luck and the skills of others. And I don’t want to rely on the former.
In the future, I can see myself updating my first aid and avalanche evaluation skills, skiing more at resorts (to improve my reaction time), carrying and wearing a helmet in the backcountry, and buying a SPOT emergency beacon. Ross successfully used a SPOT to initiate a rescue on this trip; they’re cheap, effective, easy to use, and arguably make rescuers’ work easier since they can respond more quickly than if members of the affected party had to ski to the road to contact emergency personnel, as we always planned in the old days.
Accidents don’t just happen; they have causes, and while we can’t prevent all accidents, we can lower the probability of them occuring. It’s frequently sneeringly said that “hindsight is 20-20” and that retrospective views on calamities such as theses are just “second-guessing.”
I disagree. Since I started climbing and skiing thirty odd years ago, I’ve always asked myself and my partners what went well and what we could have done better on each trip. This sort of honesty is what allows us to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them. And that attitude in part is why this event marks my first rescue.
Anyway, I approach this event and its consequences as a materialist. But I wonder if a greater familiarity with the spiritual world might have prepared me better. So I checked a few online horoscopes for Cancer for that day. The results below.
CANCER (June 20-July 21):
People trust you. And it’s not because you sugar coat matters. It’s because you tell it like it is without hitting them over the head with it.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Your health is well aspected up until sunset, when there is a possibility of occupational aches and pains. Lunar stimulation gives you extra sensitivity to what others expect from you. Partnerships, agreements and new sources of income are highlighted.
Cancer Daily Horoscope for Today 23 February 2012:
You may be feeling healthier than you have in a while, which will come in handy considering your current, busy schedule.
Today Horoscope for Cancer:In the latter half of the month you could see some of your old investments begin to pay off, maybe investments you had all but given up on.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Disputes with bosses, parents, teachers, VIPs, the police (and actually, all authority figures) are highly likely today. Don’t get involved in these. It won’t be a pretty picture. And don’t react. (It will be your downfall.) Knowing this ahead of time, you are somewhat protected. Forewarned is forearmed.
Cancer (June 22-July 22)
You’ve always been a sensitive and compassionate person, but today those qualities are heightened. This helps you to connect deeply with other people, even those whom you don’t know well or with whom you might not normally sympathize. This is a true gift, since it enables you to broaden your view of humanity and the world at large. Armed with such deep caring and concern, you can accomplish anything.
CANCER (June 21 to July 22): Snuggling up on the couch and watching a romantic movie with a soul mate will make a lovely evening. If you are currently not partnered up, invite a special someone over for a good meal and conversation. Lucky number: 612.
Cancer (June 22 – July 22)
You may find yourself loving your friend’s new bread baking machine, though you’d sworn always against them! You’ve been one to have fairly strong opinions about things, especially when it comes to the sanctuary that is your home. Today is one of those days when you might meet someone who could possibly change your opinion, or at least help to open your mind a bit.
Cancer: It is high time for a little spring therapy! Turn to your body, change your diet, and throw winter out of your system! Your flat could also do with some rearranging or a more jazzy coat of paint. Doing that will be your way of preparing for a new beginning in the last third of the month which primarily affects your world of ideas. Change your attitude, especially towards those areas of life you are not satisfied with. Your thought patterns are stuck here and need a renewal.
Cancer (June 21–July 22)
Social Media Week may be over but that doesn’t mean you have to stop tweeting. It does mean you can stop pretending that your tweets are going to save the world, though. Activities that score lowest on the instant gratification chart this week will pay off biggest down the road. But you can tweet while you wait.