Sunday, 5 December 2010

Seeing Stars

Seeing stars is a slight misnomer for what actually happened when I fell very hard on the back of my skull as I walked down the hill past Lyall's.  That part of the road is snow covered glare ice because of the run-off after the rains.

I didn't actually see stars.  It was more like a blank space of a split second followed by a shivering sensation inside my skull.  As if my brain were re-adjusting its position after having been shaken.    But I understood why the cartoonists draw the reeling and the spinning stars when someone receives a blow to the head.

Then the pain started.

I lay on my back on the ice with Kenya standing motionless over me.

After a moment or so I picked up her leash and said we were going home.  I got to my feet and we headed back up the hill very gingerly.

I felt the lump that was forming ... already it filled my cupped left palm.

I scooped up snow and held it to the swelling.  It melted immediately.  I got more ... four more altogether and kept it on till I reached my lane.

At home I applied a real ice pack, took two Tylenols, and got into bed.

All this happened three hours ago and my head is still aching fiercely ... not just the back of the skull where it is swollen but also my entire head and neck.

No ... no nausea.   But I suspect I have had a mild concussion.

One thing's for sure; I won't be doing much of anything until this headache subsides.

And now I am going back to bed.


hybrasil said...

Hi Barb; hope you're ok? I just don't go out in weather like this; thank God it's thawed today in the East Midlands. I think you should see a doctor if you even suspect concussion.

sassy said...

I'm worried.

Oma said...

Thank you both for your concern. Tamarack is in Hamilton and she texted Carlos to check on me. Now I have his cell number just in case ... but I am feeling a whole lot better than I was this afternoon.

Tammy just called and told me to check the sizes of my pupils. They are the same so I don't think I have done any permanent damage.

And I seem to be thinking straight ... at least to me.

And I will do as Tammy instructed. I will take my ice walkers out of my parka pocket and put them on my boots ... and will not venture out without them tomorrow.

My problem is that I keep forgetting I am too old to forget basic safety precautions. Does that mean I am so old that I am losing my marbles? Or does it mean I still feel like a vibrant young thing?

sassy said...

vibrant young thing for sure!

Thanks so much for the update on your well being.

Sleep well, wake rested in the morn.

kingmisha said...

OMG what a terrifying experience. Concussion can last a while, so please don't do any lifting, bending or reaching over your head. You have to take some basic precautions when you walk outside like the ice walkers for your shoes and you should also use a walking stick. We are not resilient any more and our bones can break more easily.

I used to x-country ski alone and enjoyed winter walks as well. After the stroke, I never skied alone again because when I fall, I often can't get up without a hand. I'm so uncoordinated that I'm too slow for most people, so nobody will ski with me. Hence, no more skiing. I'm also terrified of falling on the ice when I walk, so I reserve hiking for the treadmill.

Yes, my world has shrunk with my confidence. That is the worst part of aging for me. I was once confident and fearlessly independent, but no more.

I compensate with other skills and focus on the creative things that I can do with my expanded patience. Living alone creates new responsibilities like creating a safety net of friends and neighbours for emergencies; carrying a cell phone or a walky-talky with enough range to contact someone in the area.

I hope you are improving and back to yourself soon.

My favourite prayer:


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can, and
the wisdom to know the difference.

Oma said...

All good advice which I will endeavour to follow ... except for the cell phone. I live in a bubble that means I cannot depend on technology like cells and high speed. I am reading Under the Dome by Stephen King and sometimes Pike Lake feels a little like the town in the novel: visible to the outside world but separated from it by an invisible wall.