Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DRD4-7R Gene & Emergency Situations

Me and my injured right leg.  (Photo is reversed/instagram)
While I was nearly finishing a morning trail run yesterday along the Barbara Whipple Trail in Buena Vista (Colorado), my right foot landed on the ground with a loud snap.  Luckily I didn't fall, but instantly knew something was wrong.  The first time I looked at my foot it was fine, but seconds later a bulge the size of a small tomato had formed on the outer portion of my ankle.  With many years of First Aid and Wilderness First Aid Trainings, I knew my foot needed to be elevated ASAP and I needed to remain calm.  I laid down on the trail and elevated my foot on a nearby boulder and started calling for help.  Luckily, my location was near the end of the trail and a few folks were nearby.  A lady, with a dog named Oscar and who also happened to be a nurse, came to my rescue.  A man in a red shirt was able to run to my car and grab my cell to call my husband.  After these very helpful people were by my side, I thought I might be able to hike out with the help of them holding onto me.  Then the thought of stumbling and landing on my right foot again freaked me out.  I couldn't bare the thought of making the injury worse and having ankle complications for the rest of my life.  So, I asked a third person, who arrived on the scene shortly after, to call 911.   The search and rescue team arrived in good time, took my vitals, compressed my ankle, inserted a needle into my arm for pain medication and placed me in a soft backboard/basket looking thing.  After they lifted me up, the rescue team
Rescue baskets are AWESOME!!!
fastened a mountain bike wheel contraption to the bottom of the basket and wheeled me to the ambulance.

At the time we all thought my ankle bone was broken.  My foot was turned to the inside and the tomato protruding from the outside of my ankle was was turning different colors.  Yet, the X-ray reveled my ligaments had torn and my bones remained unbroken.  I'm happy to learn my bones aren't broken, but also understand torn ligaments can actually be more serious of an injury.  Sounds like a fun road to recovery if you ask me.

I'm having a hard time accepting that I won't be meeting most of my goals posted in my previous entry dated June 15, 2013.  Summers revive me, keep my sanity and are a huge part of meeting my need to feed restless genes.  Yet, I completely understand my ankle needs to fully heal in order to hike 14ers and run long distance again next summer.  Even though it saddens me, I will hold to this plan.

After reflecting on the situation, I realize my survival instincts kicked in and I was able to analyze the situation clearly and do what was best for me.  My experience and thought process is a great example of the DRD4-7R gene and it's characteristics.   Here are a few examples of why I think my experience can be linked to the DRD4-7R gene's characteristics -

Able to react in need for survival/response ready
I knew to keep myself calm and apply first aid knowledge to the situation - elevated my foot, called for help, kept myself calm and BREATHED.

Able to take on complex problems and follow through with plans without letting emotions get in the way
I knew my limitations of the situation and kept to them.  I formed a plan in my head of what would be best for me, while thinking about all options and best choices for long term.  I understand I HAVE to hold back my current goals in order to heal properly.

You are less startled than others
The third person who arrived on the scene kept looking at my ankle and appeared quite disturbed of the condition.  This was apparent through her facial expressions. She also made the comment of "I hope it's better than it looks".  Her comment didn't faze me, but I took note of her reaction.  It was also interesting to see a couple of by-standard drop their jaw while being placed into the ambulance.  This is kind of funny to me because they hadn't seen my ankle, which by this time was in a compression boot.

I realize my injury really isn't that bad compared to others.  I would love to hear your story and/or your recovery from a torn ligament.  Please feel free to share in the comment section or contact me.