Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Queen of Falls strikes...the ground

My friend Patricia and I have an informal competition about which of us is actually the Queen of Falls, and I'm here to say that my bloody fall from Tuesday puts me over the top. Hey, I even got an ambulance and an oxygen mask when I briefly lost consciousness.

What gives with me?

I'm making light of it, but I was pretty shaken up and still am. Here's what happened: I went out to run a few miles. I went twice around the upper lake (two miles) and thought about stopping because it was hot even in the shade, and with the distance from home to the lake and back, that would be almost three miles. (As an afterthought, I realized I hadn't had much to eat or drink.) But I kept going...and about half-way around I tripped over a root and went crashing down.

Stunned, I lay on my back for a couple of minutes and looked up at the sun and sky. It took a few tries to get up. Blood dripped down my face from my forehead. My glasses were all bloody, and I couldn't see out of my left eye. There was more blood all over the front of my shirt. My bony shoulder was scraped up, right around the spot where I have a scar from falling down when running in Atlantic Beach when the kids were little.

Nobody was around. I started walking back and after a few minutes was relieved to see three women walking towards me. I asked if anyone had a tissue. They said I needed more than that and held me up as we walked towards a bench. One of the good samaritans called Joe and the other called Campus Security, which came quickly, about the same time as Joe arrived, followed shortly by an ambulance. As the medics cleaned me up and asked me questions, my eyes rolled back in my head and I passed out. They gave me oxygen, and I came to in about 30 seconds.

So they put me in the ambulance, kept the oxygen going and gave me IV fluids. We went to the Holyoke Medical Center ER, where we ended up spending about six hours. I'm sure they were dealing with real sick people who had priority over a klutzy runner, but still, I was uncomfortable and cold and got pretty antsy. A doctor applied surgical glue instead of stitches to the deep cut over my eye and ordered a CT Scan, routine in cases of head injury. We waited about three hours for the results, which as expected, turnout to be negative. The left side of my face was developing an ugly bruise, and today I have a prize-winning black eye.

Joe was a mensch, sitting and talking to me and gently brushing the stray hairs away from the glue above my eyebrow. Poor Joe, the ambulance/ER guy. He's taken that trip with me several times. He pointed out that it only happens when he's home, so that if he moved away I would never need to go to the ER. Hmmmm, I don't think it works that way.

When we got home about 9, Katie made me a sandwich, waited on me and told me she loves me. Over the phone, Ben gave the pep talk: I shouldn't be mad at myself: I'm an athlete and athletes get injuries. He said I wouldn't get any injuries if I sat on my couch all day. Sure, I have a ways to go, he said, but he reminded me to remember where I came from.

The next day, the officer from Campus Security called to see how I was, and Maddie and I went over to say thanks and to pick up the Red Sox hat that he had "recovered at the scene." The phone number of one of the three women who helped me was in Joe's phone, so I called her to thank her, and it was good to talk. We laughed about how I had told them I really didn't need and ambulance and could just go home and clean up, when they could see I was in worse shape.

In conclusion, here is my memo to myself: PICK UP YOUR FEET! HYDRATE! KNOW YOUR LIMITS (as in when I think of stopping after two miles, then do it)! WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING!


Joanna said...

You are amazing. Now if you fell between the refrigerator and the couch, that would make you the Queen of Falls. I don't think you qualify.

Nelle said...

My mother has been taken by ambulance twice after passing out from dehydration just walking around flea markets. Each time they lecture her for not having eaten or drank anything prior. Because of her age they keep her overnight which she hates and now she carries water and candy. Please be careful.