Spring fall

I took a fall today. Whacked by head pretty good. Ironically, it was the exact same day I just might have helped a doctor save the life of a person in the ER with a brain hemorrhage. I had today off because I worked on Sunday, so after I dropped Kevin off at school, Socks and I went to the lakefront to walk the portal cluster there and gather some Ingress supplies which also getting my daily walk in before the next winter storm hit. The storm was coming, but it looked an hour or more out, so I figured we’d be back home before the weather turned.

It wasn’t snowing when we started walking, but it was getting colder and the melted snow on the sidewalks was freezing into black patches of very smooth, dangerous ice. Socks was even losing his footing once in awhile, and that’s gotta say something when you have FOUR feet to work with! We easily made it all the way East to the last portal on the lake, then turned around and headed back. The winding path we took was getting more icy, so I decided to try another walkway back west, one which was completely straight, so it’s easier to navigate, and it didn’t look like it had any ice patches on it. This sidewalk is closer to the lake itself. So we headed back, hacking the same portals again on the return trip. As we did, it started snowing, covering parts of the sidewalk. I didn’t realize that the light snow had covered a patch of that smooth, black ice on this sidewalk, and my feet flew out from under me in an instant, and I slammed down hard, flat on my back, and my head hit the pavement hard. SMACK! I was conscious, lying on the sidewalk, looking up at the white sky, snow falling on my glasses.

The dog walked up to me and whimpered, unable to assist. Maybe I need a St. Bernard instead of a Chihuahua, I thought. My cell phone, in my pocket, was pinging every few seconds, indicating a nearby Ingress Portal, and announcing my speed and distance walked, courtesy of my Cardiotrainer app. So after gather my marbles–of which Jay says I have only a few of left–I tried getting up. Nothing. No movement from my arms or legs at all. I couldn’t even turn my head, I could only look around at the white sky, full of clouds. I just wondered what I could do next, without being able to move at all. I couldn’t do anything to even call or signal for help. It was really a terrifying couple of minutes. Then my fingers started to tingle and I was able to start moving them. The feeling gradually came back to my arms and legs over the next few minutes, and I crawled to my knees. Then I crawled a little on all fours until I was off the ice patch and on solid cement, and stood up. I was dizzy, shaky, and had a huge, pounding headache, but didn’t feel any blood on the back of my head. I had the hood of my parka up when I fell, so at least there was a little cushion when my head hit the pavement, but not much.

With my head pounding, my legs shaky, and socks ready to continue our walk, I started walking again, directly toward the car this time, avoiding the sidewalk altogether. (Even the snow and grass is softer to hit than that black ice on cement!) I passed a lady who was on the same sidewalk I just fell on, heading right for that spot where I fell. She said “Hi!”, then said “Be careful, watch for those black ice patches it’s VERY slippery!” I aid “Yeah, I found that out…I just fell right over there, YOU be careful” and continued walking toward the parking lot and my car. Once in the car, I pull down my hood and gathered my thoughts. Not sure of the actual damage, and wondering if I should go to the ER, I called Sandy and explained the situation. After agreeing that I could drive, she had me drive home and meet her there, then she drove me to the ER to get checked out.

My head was pounding with the biggest headache I’ve ever had, throbbing to the beat of my heart, I think, and both sides of my jaw hurt whenever to clenched my teeth together slightly. Not good, I figured. In the ER waiting room they put me in a wheelchair. As I waited there I saw a few floaters in my eyes, and a few fireflies. Another bad sign, I figured. Great. After a few minutes in the waiting room I was taken in to an ER room where they checked my out and asked all of the usual medical history and medication questions and details on what happened today.

Next was a trip down the hall to a CT scanner, then back to my ER room. Through all of this, however, amazingly, no one even actually looked at the back of my head. I could feel a huge goose egg there, and told them about it, but no one even asked to look. I guess the CT scan tells all, so they don’t need a real visual if there’s no blood…?

Anyway, the CT came back ok, showing no damage, and the doctor explained that it was a jarring blow to the head, but it didn’t cause any unconsciousness and he didn’t see any of the symptoms or signs of any serious injury anywhere, so I should be ok after a few days of rest and some strong pain and muscle relaxer meds. The nurse said when I wake up tomorrow I will probably feel even worse than I do today, so there’s that to look forward to!

I asked the doctor, if there’s no damage, what caused the issue with my being conscious but unable to move at all for a few minutes. He had no explanation, he just said “it’s one of those mysteries of life we can’t explain. All we can go by is what the tests show, and they show no serious injury.”

This is probably where faith kicks in for most people. Had I not had faith in an all-powerful being watching over me and returning my ability to move again, would I have been left there on the pavement to freeze, or permanently paralyzed as a quadriplegic? I’ll never know. I try to keep an open mind on such things, but if there is one (or more) greater beings out there, then I thank them. Very much. I am home now, resting comfortably, with my family, happy once again, and recovering.

Counting the days now, to our annual Spring Break Arizona Road Trip! One more week!

On sleeping in

Rick asked me the other day if I was going to sleep in today. I worked some weird hours the past couple days, and had to go into work at 2:00am and 3:00am for scheduled IT-related events. I told him “No, I’ll still get up at 5:00am like I always do.” He didn’t seem to understand, and said “I just figured you’d sleep in, since you don’t have to work the next day…you know, catch up on your sleep…?” I told him “I’ll catch up on my sleep when I’m DEAD. It’s a day off, I’m not going to waste it by sleeping through half of it. Us ‘older’ folks (I’m turning 50 this year) have to take advantage of all the time we have left…I don’t want to waste any more time than I have to.”

As it turned out, I got paged at 3:45am this morning, on my day off, and as a result, probably assisted in saving a life. A neurosurgeon paged me. The page said “…having issues, needs your help NOW please!” I called him, he said he had a patient in the ER with a brain hemorrhage, and can’t login to see his images. I believe he was calling in from home or another location other than the hospital. I quickly reset his password and waited on the phone until he was able to get to the images he needed.

Awesome start to a day off–Now I get an extra hour to enjoy it even more! Have a nice one yourself!