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Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
Mar 032018
 
Broken Leg Update: Ready to Jump (again)

Nina Patterson my physical therapist, has been a crucial part of my “progress” plan for many months. Usually, I limped into her office with a short list of areas with too much “feedback.” Sometimes, she simply said “Alan, your injury is severe and you need to be patient.” And others “You need to push to make progress.” But she always worked on realigning muscles, ligaments and other adjustments that solved the issue, proof being the areas became silent and remain that way today. This week, I walked in and said “Nina, I got nothing.” She smiled knowing that in the continue reading

Feb 092018
 
Broken Leg Update: A Year Later and Future Climbing Plans

It’s hard to believe that one year ago today on February 10, 2017, that a rogue wind gust blew me into a field of rocks breaking my leg in three places and crushing my nasal cavity. Thanks to Jim Davidson, Rocky Mountain National Park Rangers, Boulder Mountain Rescue and Larimer County Search and Rescue, I survived – full stop. Now, after three surgeries, I continue to be filled with gratitude and determined to learn and grow from the experience. And it has not been easy. For several months after the initial event, my life shifted from regular climbs in Colorado continue reading

Nov 262017
 
The Gall of it All!

My eyes popped open with an urgency I rarely felt while sleeping. The pain in my upper abdomen was strong this Friday night after Thanksgiving. Nine hours later I was being rolled into the operating room gleefully singing: “So long, farewell Auf wiedersehen, goodnight” The pre-anesthesia was kicking in but more so was my own belief in trying to find the positive in a bad situation. From 1 until 5 am, I tried to clear whatever was causing my pain but to no avail. The pain was constant and increasing. Finally around sunrise, I told Diane “Its not getting any continue reading

Nov 162017
 
Broken Leg Update: A Setback and a Plan

I’m not where I want to be in my progress for my broken leg. Full stop. So I have two options: A) accept it or B) do something about it.  I choose B. After my Bierstadt hike a few weeks ago, my ankle and leg began to sing a coordinated chorus. At times, they kept me up with all their singing. Captain Rod had lost all control so I had to do an intervention and escalate to a higher power … my Doc! I saw Dr. Hale today and explained the situation. He had mentioned months ago, and encouraged, that continue reading

Oct 262017
 
Broken Leg Update: Eight Months Out

Part of my “progress” plan from breaking my leg in February is to set measurable, meaningful goals that cause me to push myself to my limits. Well this week was a complete victory that both built me up and tore me down. I thrive on goals. Without them I feel lost, drifting with no purpose. Thus the last several months have been critical to my continued progress and perhaps one day back to where I was on February 9, 2017 – the day before. In late July I had set these goals: Walk a mile three times a week then continue reading

Sep 162017
 
Broken Leg Update: Return to Twin Sisters

Part of my progress plan from breaking my leg at 11,000 feet on Twin Sisters Peak was to return to the spot where it had occurred. Yesterday, I did just that joined by my wife, Diane. It was a moment of gratitude. As we crossed tree line, I spotted the gnarly tree trunk that had served as my marker for hours that afternoon as I laid in the rocks. I looked at it often before shifting my gaze to tree line hoping to see help arrive. Now the hike to tree line had taken almost twice as long as it continue reading

Jun 302017
 
Broken Leg Update: Five Months Out

Dr. Hale entered the examining room, my X-Ray was on the viewing screen. It has been 20 weeks since my “incident”. He shook my hand and began … I’ve been a bit nervous about this next appointment. My leg continues to chatter like a hungry kitten. Every now and then it roars like a lion. But we have built a solid relationship based on mutual respect and trust – that is my leg and I, oh and also with Dr. Hale. However, now five months out, I’m eager to see faster progress, to stand up without extra effort, to walk continue reading

May 052017
 
Broken Leg Update: Three Months Out

On February 10, 2017 while training for the 8000 meter peak, Dhaulagiri, a sudden wind gust estimated near 100 mph swept me off my feet and into a talus field on a simple walk up mountain of Twin Sisters Peak, 11,4327′, in Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colorado. I described the entire incident in my post Broken Leg: I don’t want to be in the Rocks. Now 12 weeks to the day after incident, I want to provide another update. The Injury When I was slammed into the rocks near 11,000 feet that Friday afternoon, my lower right leg was broken in continue reading

Apr 072017
 
Broken Leg Update: Two Months Out

I broke my leg in four places and smashed my nasal cavity eight weeks ago today when a wind gust shoved me violently off my feet and into a rock field on Twin Sisters Peak. Jim Davidson, SAR teams plus Rangers from RMNP demonstrating the highest levels of knowledge, professionalism and compassion got me to hospitals where after two surgeries, I am now recovering. My last update was four weeks ago so time for another update. I am physically healing, yet I struggle with dark thoughts.  As I fall asleep many nights, I hear the phrase “I don’t want to be in the rocks.” When I continue reading