Monday, August 06, 2007

The returning sun (when exactly is it going to happen?). I break my leg.

So the sun is coming back. Its amazing how bright it is already. The sun is supposed to reappear (according to my calculations) on the 11th of August. So its coming fast. Already it gets very light during the day if there are no clouds and I know from last year that as soon as the sun reappears you wish that it would go away because it is so bright that you have to immediately wear sunglasses.

Anyway onto the more interesting things. How did I come to break my leg? Funnily enough our last Doc School lesson was on how to deal with broken bones. We were supposed to be doing plastering in the next session on thursday. At least Richard the doc will have had some more practice.

Well it was a lovely sunday afternoon and the wind was light but for my kite perfect. It has been a while since I have been out kiting but you never forget what it is all about. I ran out after lunch and launched the kite. I have got this down to fine art and it only takes me 5 mins to launch. I then spent a lovely 30 mins kiting up and down one the eastern side of the base near the memorial (to those who have died on base). I did a few jumps. As you know I kite ski, that is ski with a big kite. I think people might have seen the "Top Gear" where they race to the "North Pole" (magnetic), the lady in it was kite skiing. I have a bigger kite than her and I use a harness and bar instead of handles. Anyway kiting is awesome.

After about 30 mins I was getting a little tired and after a tiny jump had fallen over. What you normally do in a situation like this is to use the kite to pick your body back up and you ski off. What happened this time however was that the kite picked me up and somehow the skis crossed and I fell and rotated forward over my left leg. The ski binding didn't pop out and instead I heard a sound a bit like that sound when you pull a chicken leg off a roast chicken. It was pretty aweful. I lay down and crashed the kite on purpose. I undid the ski binding and felt a lot better. I still knew it was bad and called for help. Luckily Dave and Chris were close by just about to head off kiting and they got to be quickly. The Doctor and Tom arrived quickly and brought a pulk sledge in which they dragged be back to the plaform.

An hour later and we had the x-rays. They have a vetinary x-ray here as they are the only mobile x-ray units that are made nowadays. I am apparently equivalent to a large goat.

A front on view as you can see it is the outside smaller of the lower leg bones that has a nice crack running up and the right.

Side on view of the foot. You can see the crack is in the smaller bone (the fibula) about an inch above the ankle and continues up about 2 inches in a diagonal direction up and rearwards of the leg.

So what does this mean. Well I will be in a cast for about 6 weeks. 4 weeks of which I can't put any force on the leg. I can then hobble about on it. Then I have to strengthen up. I will still be ok for my winter trip holiday and should be strong again for the summer season. It does mean taking it easy for a while and no kiting for a bit. It also means the deployment of a remote instrument that was supposed to be carried out by me is going to be covered by someone else and I don't get to go on penguin trips for a bit.

Its not the greatest of things but it happens. I should hopefully have more time on my hands to keep you updated. I should have some more pictures soon.


angiegould said...

Iknow how you feel Angie

Anonymous said...

Sympathies re your leg injury. Having to rest it for all those weeks perhaps you'll be able to entertain us with extra wordage! Your uncle certainly manages to author botantical books at a rate of knots. As I write, he's gone to bed here at our home (working at nearby Kew today & tomorrow), so I'm sure he'll be shocked with news of your ski-ing kite leg-tangle. Extra calcium needed for speedy healing. Shame your colleagues can't grow broccoli in the Antarctic!

Anonymous said...

Bad luck Jules. Hope the bone heals quickly. Still, it's an exciting blog entry, if nothing else...
When are you back to the UK? - Georgia

Alessia Maggi said...

I was sorry to hear about you breaking your leg like that. A stroke of bad luck, eh?

I'll be checking your blog more regularly from now on to see how you're getting on.

All the best!

Lene Andersen said...

I'm pretty new, but fascinated to read your adventures. Although this last one sounds fairly undesirable. Hope it heals fast.

p.s "I am apparently equivalent to a large goat"? I have tea all over my keyboard because of that line. Thanks. Best laugh of the week!

Anonymous said...

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