By Ashley Lodato
You ever have those “only in the Methow” moments?
I had one last Friday, in a public bathroom in East Wenatchee. Another woman and I caught eyes and smiled politely, and then she said “Did I see you last Saturday skiing on that section of the Winthrop Trail where there is the dead deer carcass?” Conversation around us ceased for a moment as others processed the phrase “dead deer carcass,” but the other woman, a frequent valley visitor, proceeded as if it were a completely normal thing to be talking about roadkill and cougar attacks in a public restroom, which in the Methow, it most certainly is.
Another Methow family had an experience that might seem unusual to an outsider, but locals probably wouldn’t bat an eye at this efficient display of frontier resourcefulness.
The Schkrohowsky family of Mazama was skiing at the Loup on a beautiful powder day on the last weekend of December, when 7-year-old Harriet caught a tip on Bulldog and catapulted over the front of her skis.
When her father, Joshua, reached her, he knew that something was either broken or very badly sprained. Joshua is the official Loup Loup Alpine Ski Team physician, so he knows a thing or two about diagnosing skiing-related injuries — pretty handy in these circumstances.
Ski patrol packaged up Harriet and got her down to the lodge, where Joshua loaded her into the family’s van and drove her to the clinic.
When I say “the clinic,” I don’t mean Confluence Health in Winthrop or Family Health Centers in Twisp, because they are closed on Saturdays. I mean Joshua’s clinic, MIST (Methow Institute of Sports Traumatology) in Winthrop. How convenient to have your own clinic when your kid breaks her leg!
Better yet, your clinic has an X-ray machine that you know how to operate! And when the break in your kid’s lower leg you suspect is confirmed by the X-ray, how handy it is to have a supply of casting materials, so you can set the break, cast the leg, and have the kid home in time for dinner with the rest of the family.
Harriet is a typical Methow Valley 7-year-old, always running around (or currently, crutching around) outside, and after about three weeks her cast was dirty and wet and, in her father’s words, “really disgusting.” Again, Joshua’s training as a physician and access to his own clinic and supplies was imminently useful, as he was able to replace Harriet’s cast with a clean, dry one.
I tell you, we parents fail constantly by not having exactly what our kids want or need at certain times, but in this particular situation, I would say Dr. Schkrohowsky totally nailed it.