“So, theez iz your shoulderrr.” The Doctor rolls his diagnosis at me, pointing at my X-ray. “Your tendon ‘ere is loooong, much longerrr than theez one.” He points at my left shoulder.
“Phew. So no break then?” I ask, relieved.
“Well, I don’t know… theez ‘ere confuses me.” He points to a crescent-moon shadow on my right collarbone. I hesitate.
“Um… confused?” I ask.
“Oui… confused…it could be a break… or perrrrhaps not.”
“Ok…” I don’t know what else to say. He hands me my X-rays and the prescription for anti-inflammatorys, and sends me on my way, £230 poorer.
Injuries are almost a right of passage within a season. There’s not been a day at the Nant where the lounge didn’t house a few miserably crippled, those with sprained wrists or torn ankles, bitterly waving off the abled boarders on bluebird days. I was just lucky I fell within 100 metres of a bar where an ice pack, a shoulder strap and plenty of codeine were waiting for me.
It had been my own fault. The jump looked rough before I’d even hit it – like an iceberg had pushed up through the piste and sat jaggedly, waiting for boarders to wreck upon its edge. As soon as I was in the air I could feel my body twist unnaturally, I slammed into the hard ice shoulder first – something popped. I’d fallen over thousands of times when boarding, but I always bounced back up. Not today.
Now I’m stuck in a blue foam sling for four weeks and the smallest task feels a mammoth feat. How the hell does a one-armed person tie up their hair? Or make a salad? Even our bathroom has suffered, after an attempt to brush my teeth left-handed it now looks like a toddler tried to finger paint the walls with toothpaste.
Being in pain is exhausting. It feels like some sadist is continuously drilling a rubber bullet through my collarbone – a dull ache that occasionally catches fire if I make any sudden movements. My manager is calling me everyday for updates, but I don’t know what to tell her. Ski companies are so used to staff injuring themselves, they give them a few days to assess the damage, and if the broken bones are still broken, they’ll ship them off home.
I have no idea whether my company will support the Equal Opportunities Act and give a one-armed Host a chance, but I know I’m nowhere near done with Morzine just yet. For now, it’s just a waiting game, watching the mountains instead of riding them. Ouch.