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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Montana January 2009 Part 5

Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009

We took the day off and I rested my right shoulder by looping my thumb over my belt and doing everything with my left hand. We were going up into the mountains on Monday to run the dogs 75 miles back to the ranch, along the race route from Seeley Lake. I thought that my shoulder would cinch up after some rest and that I just had a simple dislocation. I was concerned enough about the injury and difficulties during the run the day before that I had called home and asked everybody to pray that I would not get hurt anymore and would not fall off the sled.

We got ready to go and ate what little snack food we had before hitching up the teams. Until this point, I had not used my right arm. Now I had to use it. As I leaned over to put booties on the dogs, my shoulder spontaneously dislocated and it was then that I realized how serious my injury was. I called Doug over and told him that I had a shoulder dislocation and needed his help. I had him feel my shoulders and told him that when he was done, my right shoulder, which was sunken, would feel like my left. Then I told him how to reduce a shoulder dislocation. There was a look of surprise and satisfaction on Doug’s face when he felt the pop as the shoulder went back into place. Once that was  accomplished, we went back to work. A few minutes later, my shoulder came out of the socket and he had to put it back, again. Now there was real concern in his eyes as he said, “This is not going to work.” I looked at him and said, “This has got to work.” Tom and John had stopped what they were doing to watch all this.

After reducing my shoulder dislocation, again, he told me not to use it for anything and he moved the rope loop he had attached to the handle from the right side to the left. This loop was like a dead man switch. If I fell off, with my hand through the loop, it would pull the sled over and help to stop the team. Obviously, he did not want my injured shoulder in this loop since it could tear it out. A big, burly mountain man, named Rodeo, had come up to see Doug on a snow machine. He looked like Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies. Doug got him to stand behind me on the runners until we cleared the turns getting out of the parking lot. 

We traveled about 25 miles before stopping. When we did, Doug laid a can of Coke and a giant Snickers bar on my sled bag. He was always getting on me about being overweight and out of shape. He had even made me put a candy bar back the night before, when we stopped for gas and supplies. Now he was giving me the same candy bar he had made me put back. I would get nothing else to eat until we got out of the mountains, and I would only be able to eat snow for my thirst. If I got dehydrated it would harder to keep from getting hypothermic.

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