Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

BIG bummer

Friday September 2, 2011
Glacier Campground Site F10
West Glacier, Montana


David thought we should go on a different run today
rather than just go back through the campground loops
so he picked out a trail right by Lake McDonald
on the west side that looked mostly level. 
It appeared to go out of
the Fish Creek Campground.


We got there just after 8 AM.
Usually we are starting to run
before they open any of the booths including
the one into the park.
But we were a tad late
and there was someone in the campground booth
She told us that the access for the trail
was up the road 1/2 mile
off of the Rocky Point trail. 
We had intended to hike the Rocky Point Trail
later in the day so off we went.


From the signage on the trail,
it looked like you had to do a
mile of the Rocky Point trail first
and that it was 5 miles to the
Lake McDonald Campground which
must be a backpacking spot since
there is no road going in.
So OK, we’ll run 2.5 and
turn around and start back.
But what we didn’t realize is
that the first and last miles would not be flat
and easily runnable.


It started out as a very nice trail.



Across a bridge



over a pretty creek
(wonder if they call this a trickle?)



We came to a nice view of Lake McDonald.




And then it started UP hill.



I don’t mind the uphill so much but on a
trail, the down hill, running, can be
tricky.   I’m running for calorie burn,
David is running for some heart exercise
and pictures.  He was a ways behind me
when I started down and tripped.
Who knows why.  It happened in a flash
and it was like deja vu.


10 years ago in late December we had been on
the Appalachian Trail hiking when I slipped in
some wet autumn leaves, fell and banged my
left ankle on a rock breaking the end of my
fibula across the bony bump on the outer side of
my left ankle.  This is the bone that runs along the outside
of your leg and is where your major tendons
attach to your ankle.

Back at the time of this fall,
the orthopedic surgeon asked me if
I’d like to have a pin in it or allow
it to heal naturally.   WHAT??
I thought you were the doctor and that’s
what I was paying you for.  Which is
better I asked.  Hard to know he said.
Who would choose surgery if they had a choice?
I didn’t.

But today it was clear I should have since
when they looked at the x-ray the bone
appeared not to have fused together but
rather filled with scar tissue.
Today I reinjured this same spot.

This is a picture of common ankle injuries.
Good to know I’m not “un common”.
My injury is the little line at the
bottom of the long bone on the left in
this picture.



Needless to say, I am a pretty unhappy camper.
It took a very long time for the original injury to
heal.  Because I’d had to walk out on the AT
for medical help, I had injured the ligaments and tendons
which required nearly 2 years, an osteopath,
Physical therapy and a chiropractor before I was pain free.


I walked out nearly a mile on this one too
before we could get to a place where I
could get down to the Fish Creek Campground road
and David could get the car to come and get me.

So here I am with ice on the ankle and the leg
raised while we spend 3 hours on the phone
with the insurance company to find out where
I can go to have this x-rayed that they will actually
use our $800 a month medical insurance to cover it.



At this point I think we should all just be indigent
and go to the emergency room.  If you are very poor
or very rich you can get medical care without
financial ruin but otherwise the goal of the insurance
folks is clearly to deny your claim if they possibly can.


At 3:30 on this Friday afternoon before a holiday week-end,
we went over to the nearby Urgent Care
clinic and said to hell with it.  We didn’t have to
wait at all.  The folks there were wonderful and
unfortunately their x-rays confirmed what I already knew.







We then set out for the drive to Columbia River
to borrow a set of crutches for a week
to see if that might heal enough for
me not to need them after that. 
Unlikely given my previous experience,
but I’m trying to be optimistic.
If you’ve ever had to have crutches you know how
awful they are and how painful to your arms.

FYI, at least in Montana, and maybe everywhere,
many grocery pharmacies will loan you crutches
for up to 6 months for a $30 deposit.  Bring them
back, they credit your account.

Needless to say,
I am not a happy camper.

There’s pretty much no way to
see anything other than Going To The Sun Road
if you can’t hike. If the bone is broken again
as it looks, it may be weeks before
I can even walk without crutches.
Guess I’ll have to buy some in that case.
Probably should have just shelled out the $33
for them at the medical clinic.


  1. I am so sorry to hear about your ankle! I've got old soccer ankle injuries and know it takes time to heal and what it's like to re-injure them! I feel your pain! Hope you heal within a reasonable amount of time before you go crazy or drive David nuts, lol! It's gonna be tough for you to behave and SIT!

  2. Oh noooo!! We're so sorry to hear this!!! It's bad enough to deal with the injury, but worse that you get the runaround from the insurance company. Big hugs to you. We're thinking of you.

  3. Oh Sherry... We are so sorry!!!!

    Boy, what a bummer ;o(( Hate that you are hurt and have to be on crutches. We can only imagine how difficult and frustrating that will be for you!!

    Hope you aren't in too much pain and we are being optimistic for you...

    Repeat after us, "It will heal enough so Sherry does not need the crutches:o))"

    Somebody told me that, "Thoughts are things;o))"

    Bill thinks that you probably just need a big bowl of ice cream to fix this ;o)) Seriously, we hope this fixes itself in a timely and not too expensive way.

    Take care, get rest and heal quickly....

  4. sorry to hear about your injury... heal fast!

  5. Crap...Crap... Crap.. That is a Major bummer. Ice for 24-48 hrs then alternate heat and Ice every 20 minutes. You probably already know that..but trying to be helpful. So sorry...

  6. OH! I'm so sorry to read about your injury :-( Need to slow down a bit. Hopefully things will heal faster than last time.

  7. Sorry about your injury :((( Maybe the next place you go should have some kayaking involved... I sure hope you heal fast so you can get back to exploring this country...


  8. I am soo sorry to hear about your spill. This may slow you down quite a bit, but you can still enjoy some beautiful scenery and the journey of life.

  9. Oh no!!! I am so, so sorry that happened to you. You are one of the most active people I know and this will be hard on you, but STAY OFF that foot! No weight bearing! It will take even longer to heal if you try to use it too soon but, of course, you know that :)
    And be careful on those stairs!!!

    Hang in there. You're being forced to slow down for awhile. Take advantage and smell the flowers :)
    (I know, not funny now. But someday you'll smile :))

  10. Sorry to hear about your fall. Have some idea how you feel. Anneke fell on a trail in Big Bend Park. Ankle swelled up hugely and we were sixty miles from nearest doctor. Long story short it was broken.

    Hoping for a quick recovery.

  11. Oh, that is a bummer - but you are in good shape - so you should be able to heal quicker. I would choose the natural route, also. I've read many accounts of people healing bones using a good, healthy natural foods diet. And the four letter word "rest".

  12. So, so sorry about your accident. Hopefully it's not as bad as the first time around and the healing won't take as long.

  13. What a big, fat bummer!! If it turns out you are going to be on crutches for awhile, google "modern crutches" - there are way better alternatives to the old standards. If all you can do is lay around, you could use your time trying to force your insurance company to cover the cost!

  14. Oooohhhh, u guys were going like gang busters too!! So sorry this happened to you... hope u heal well and FAST!!

  15. After hearing the bad news, I'm wondering which is hurting more, your ankle or your wallet?

    I hope that your insurance works out well for you and eases at least that part of the pain.

    Sometimes life forces you to slow down. Look at the bright side, you can catch up on all the afternoon soap operas! ;c)

  16. This really is such a bummer, Mama. I, along with all these lovely blog followers, wish you a speedy recovery. I love you!

  17. :-( I'm not sure what to say except :-(

    Sending you a gargantuan hug, Pam


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