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Rock Climbing : Comments

Comments by hendo (4)


Article: Head Trip
I found Krag's response to the neurologist at the end to be rather abrupt. A physician is not simply a technocrat, a mechanic for part of the human body. His concern for Krag's family and friends sprung, I'm sure, out of compassion and not any desire to poke his nose where it doesn't belong.

Article: Head Trip
I too think there's a lot that hasn't been written here.

I was drawn to the story because the blurb on the home page seemed to mirror my own experience. In 2007 I had a near-fatal climbing accident (a rock crashed onto my head), and I was curious to see what another climber had gone through in a similar situation.

I've made somewhere around 80 visits to doctors since then. Not one of them understands climbers. Every one of them suggests I never climb again. I listen to them and then I make up my mind. I know where they're coming from. (Namely, they'd had to deal with hundreds of families whose child or parent didn't survive some particular trauma.)

Krag's reaction to this particular doctor, however, in his own words, was: "A door shut violently inside me. This was stepping out of bounds as far as I was concerned."

A good physician deals with the whole patient, not just this nerve or that vein or that organ. The neurologist had concern about this patient's place within a larger social sphere and I felt he expressed it with courtesy; he asked whether Krag wanted his advice. Krag replied that he would listen to it. The neurologist gave it, for what it was worth, and Krag lit into him for exceeding his "expertise."

Had I been in his place, I would have said something along the lines of, "Thank you for your concern. It's something we've talked about. My family understands how important it is to me, etc."

I would say the neurologist's advice was not so much "unsolicited" as it was something Krag didn't want to hear.

I'll stop right there.

Article: Head Trip
Granitegrrl, your first physio's remark is unbelievable. Unless there's obvious physiological evidence that you will never be able to walk -- e.g. severe spinal trauma -- a physio should never say something like this.

My physio has been quite the opposite. He's always encouraging me to do more than I think I can.

Jumpingrock, I think details are crucial. God is in the details (or the devil, if you prefer). I think the narrative would be stronger with more details. But it's up to Krag. A serious accident so complicates one's life that it's a daunting task to marshal all the details and try to make some sense out of them.

Article: Head Trip
Yes, thanks for responding, Krag.

I wasn't aware that the accident had occurred so long ago. I'm 54 and I'm guessing you're in about the same vicinity. Had I been in your situation in my mid-twenties I probably would have reacted the same way. Probably would have in my mid-forties, for that matter :)

The interchanges with the Seattle neurologist would be interesting but please don't feel hurried to get them written up for us.

>>>Finally, as clintcummins speculated, I am sensitive to people judging me for continuing to climb after what happened to my father, to my sister, and to me.>>>

That's what had crossed my mind, too, when I read the essay. I constantly face the same thing: How to balance risk-taking, however slight, with the fears it evokes in the people I care for.