The one you've all been waiting for........yeah, yeah, I know 'people only go to the races for the crashes'!
It had been a good five days.
Although I disliked skiing, I was overwhelmed by the place.
I didn't hide in the lodge, but went out everyday with my more intrepid colleagues and cheered them on from the sidelines.
I did my stint on pan-bashing (remember - Army!?!).
I overcame my fear of heights and rode daily in the gondola to the top of the mountain.
I walked the slopes and mountains with my colleagues.
I had strolled through Riezlern, admiring their beautiful architecture.
I had carried friends' skis, poles, donated gloves, purchased warming drinks, clapped and cheered their successes and encouraged their weaknesses.
I understood the theory of skiing enough to help my friends (old and new) to improve their techniques.
I even stood in their path at the base of slopes to encourage them to be more effective at stopping (that worked with all except Male Colleague B - who I had to leap out of the way of!)
The only negative thing about the whole week was my very low opinion of myself for being such a total wimp, not keeping on with the skiing myself. But I think everyone felt I was a bit of a let-down, so I know I wasn't alone.
Tuesday saw our group dinner and we all set out at 7pm. Male Colleague B and I had to change into our 'stout' boots for the walk, so we were about ten minutes behind the main group.
One patch of black ice and I was down on my back screaming in pain. B helped me up and I hobbled on to the restaurant with him, extracting a promise not to tell anyone I had fallen - I didn't want to spoil their evening (little did I know!!)
I sat quietly while the jollity went on around me. I managed some smiles and gentle laughs, intent not to make a trouble of myself. But I was in immense pain and only managed to eat my main course (not eating raises eyebrows in that mountain air!) before calling over Organiser D and telling him I was going back to the lodge and why. B insisted on returning with me. Good thing too.....Thank you, B! He walked with me, waiting while I stopped frequently, wincing in pain. I know I jabbered on all the way back, but I have no idea what I said. Before we were home, I was clutching his arm and managing about three steps at a time.
On arrival, Male Colleague S was at the lodge (not having gone to the dinner) and he and the lodge manager assessed my condition. I had a choice, stay at the lodge or call an ambulance. I was in so much pain by then I couldn't even think straight and annoyed the crap out of them by saying 'I don't want to be a trouble'. It was only when I looked at MC S and said 'It hurts, S' that he said 'decision made; call an ambulance!'
The ambulance duly arrived and I was greeted by two absolutely GORGEOUS young medics. Meanwhile, the rest of the group had come home and Organiser D and Female Colleague S had joined us in the cookhouse. I managed to clamber gently down the twisty staircase to the door, leaning heavily on one of the young medics.
After one failed cannula attempt (the tube for a drip)
the second was successful. The more experienced medic explained that my veins had collapsed in shock. The above photo was taken four days later! Cool bruising!
I was hooked up to various drips and needles. The emergency doc arrived and took some details and they whisked me off to hospital - worriedly called a Krankenhaus! - accompanied by D.
Thank you, B, for being such a rock and so reliable.
Thank you, MC S, for keeping my mind occupied with Kenny Everett (more on that later) and making the decision to call the ambulance.
Thank you, D, for being there for me whenever I called your name.
More in Part Six.