16 January, 2019
Well maybe it was too much practice or too energetic, but there I went, backwards, flat on my back. Legs and skis intertwined and the end of the long cross country ski, just getting my coccyx bone and causing extreme pain.
I managed to get back to my accommodation with some other skiers who were staying there and made arrangements with them to go again the next day. That night sleep alluded me. The pain was excruciating, and I was convinced that it would go away.
Saturday there weren’t any ski lessons so I just went to practice. Within minutes I was down on the ground again, this time forward. The pain had increased up here in the very cold, and now I did not have any way to get up. Some people came by and I just asked them to remove my skis. Their reply was, “No, just get up again and you will be alright.”
I screamed, “Take off my bl***y skis, I’m injured.”
That did it. They helped me up and I stumbled my way back to the restaurant where I had agreed to meet my fellow residents. It was a long wait. When we got back to the village I requested that they drop me off at the chemist so I could get some pain relief.
After having been questioned about the details of the injury I was told to go and see a doctor. Now, where would I find a doctor on a Saturday afternoon in a ski village?
The hospital was the only answer. As soon as I stumbled in I was asked just one question, “Have you been skiing?” I replied that I had and was told to go to the X-ray department.
When my turn finally came I was x-rayed and given the very unwelcome news that I had cracked the coccyx bone and that they would keep me in hospital.
Hunger, disappointment and anger flooded over me. It was after 2pm and I had not had any lunch. This was my special holiday to learn to ski and I had spent a lot of money. I was not the most pleasant person to be with at that particular time. But I was stuck in a hospital bed without any way of getting out and learning to ski.
Reflections came through my mind. The weeks before booking I had had this very strong feeling that I should be taking a rest after all the trauma I had recently been through. My stubborn self had ignored that and insisted on learning to ski. Was that ignoring this Jesus that I was learning so much about? Was he the one that insisted that rest was the only thing that would bring me back to reality? I had plenty of time to contemplate. And then those last words from my new friend, “If anything happens and you need help, call us reverse charges.” Did she realise what I had ignored? Did she expect something to go wrong? So many unanswered questions.
My German language was good enough to let them know that I was hungry, but nothing seemed to happen. So I made the attempt to let them know that I had friends I had to contact reverse charge. There wasn’t a single soul who was able to arrange that for me. Finally, maybe to shut me up or maybe because they felt sorry for me, someone rang my friends and gave them a number that they could use to call me.
My hunger, disappointment and anger had not subsided when I heard them on the phone. They did their best to get me to see reason with the hospital procedure and prayed for me. We talked for about an hour, during which time sandwiches also arrived.
That night I slept.