‘I’m a Neurosurgeon Who Can’t Move. Now What?’

I knew I was still breathing. I laid on my belly in a Superman position — albeit with zero superpowers. Veering in a different direction from my friends while skiing left me physically and medically humbled by a new version of an old sensation: powerlessness.

As a friend led us down the ski run in Colorado, I saw on my path a 6-foot snow berm leading to a smooth cat track, the flatter trails used by snowcats to move around a mountain. The last thing I remembered was skiing across it. Then I awoke on the ground. My neck was turned to the left and the ground’s surface was hard on my right cheek. I noticed blood on the snow next to my nose and reached out to stop it. Well, I tried to reach out and stop it. My arms were pinned behind me and wouldn’t move.