Grasshopper Soup abducted by aliens | SierraSun.com
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Grasshopper Soup abducted by aliens

Please excuse the sudden disappearance of Grasshopper Soup from the pages of the Sierra Sun this last month. I suspect much speculation has erupted as to the reasons. I only wish that sloth, existential ennui or some other poor excuse were to blame. The fact is I was hit by a train. No, I was diving for sunken treasure off the coast of Mendocino and was attacked by a great white shark. No, really I stole a motorcycle and became the object of a high-speed chase, ditched the bike in Squaw Valley and was immediately abducted by space aliens who performed a series of highly invasive experiments on me. The high-speed chase resulted in an entire summers worth of sirens in one night and its not even Memorial Day weekend yet.Actually, the truth behind a soupless Sierra Sun may be more shocking than all the lies I am going to have so much fun telling when people ask about my scars.Nobody had any idea how bad it really was. Not the doctors, and certainly not me, so I went skiing. I hiked the Mainline Pocket chutes at Squaw with two of my best students, Henry and Jack Gale. They are barely 13 and 14 years old, but hot little skiers. The three of us also traversed out and skied Smoothies twice. I was a little on the tired side and thought it was only because I was a little out of shape. The fact was, my left leg was dying and I didnt even know it.Its amazing how much fun you can have with a dying leg. The skiing was fantastic and after five days in a row I thought I was getting back in shape. Then, late Saturday night, April 26, I began to lose the feeling in my right leg. It went stiff rather suddenly but I walked it off and slept like a baby. Sunday morning I could barely walk on it. Thats when I finally made an intelligent decision. I found Rick Raduziner and he drove me to the emergency room at Tahoe Forest Hospital. From there I was whisked away by ambulance to Reno Renown Regional Medical Center where I spent 17 fun-filled days. For starters, I had a serious, heart-to-heart talk with Dr. Nguyen and two nurses. They explained my situation. It was quite simple. Have surgery or lose one, possibly two legs. Since two was all I had my decision was relatively quick and easy. I had no idea how invasive the surgeries, three in all, would be. All I knew was that I did not want to lose either of my legs. I need something to put on my foot stool at home.Seven incisions, a faciatomy and 95 metal staples later, and with a new appreciation for the bizarre and serendipitous wonders of morphine, I came home.I wont be bicycling or kick boxing any time soon. I use a walker just to get around the apartment. Thanks to all the staff at the Dam Caf, Richard Courcier of the River Grill and Jason Adams, my next door neighbor and many other friends, my home convalescence is as luxurious as can be under the circumstances. Everyone is determined to fatten me up and keep an eye on me.A common heart condition called atrial fibrillation, which I have, can cause blood clots to form. If the clots travel through the veins and arteries they can do serious damage. I figure I came out smelling like a rose (although I dont). A clot could have easily traveled to my brain or lungs, effectively removing me forever from the Tahoe Basin and all points north, south, east and west.So here I am, lucky to be alive and trying to tolerate some time at the computer with my still swollen and numb left leg and foot down, reviving Grasshopper Soup and trying quite unsuccessfully to come up with something funny about blood clots. Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.


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