2/4/11

Quasimodo Effect

Well, this week was one heck of a ride.

This week began as any other week and I even found myself able to really focus on my novel writing and get myself organized.  I went to Curl with my friend and her team, who have found themselves short two players recently.  It was supposed to be relatively uneventful, except I'd hoped we'd win... when in our fifth end, I slipped.

The event was so quick and everything seemed to slow down so that I could absorb it all.  I don't even remember slipping on the ice, I just remember being in the air about to fall and thinking, "Oh, Poop."  Except I used a cruder vocabulary... and why shouldn't I, it was in my own head after all?

Feet went over head and I landed on the back of my head and neck at a 45 degree angle.  It was really traumatic because as I hit, a wave of electricity numbed my whole body, I didn't even feel myself land on the ice.  All I remember is having the intention of rolling over and then I was.  When my forehead touched the ice, it felt good.  I sighed and then I blacked out.  I only remember having few people around me when I fell, but when I woke I began sobbing and clutching my head.  There were so many people around me I had a hard time trying to recognize any voices.  When I focused on the nearest one she said, "I don't know where it's coming from.  Do you think it's her head?" "No," said another, "her nose."

I finally began to look around instead of stare blankly at the ice in shock. When I looked downwards there was blood on the ice, it was coming out of my nose.  Oh-oh I thought, my inner first aid instructor said.  Don't move, I must've hit my head harder than I realise.  The voices around me echoed, "Guys, we gotta support C-spine, she's bleeding from her nose and she hit the back of her head.  Can I get another person over here?"  Meanwhile I saw stars and my hands and feet were still numb but coming back slowly. 

The ambulance was called and the two women and one man (who was a part of ski patrol) were all very professional and did a very good job.  I was fortunate to have that many people around who knew what they were doing. I had gotten stuck to the ice while laying on it and everyone pitched in to throw water on me and get me onto the spine board. The EMT's did a fantastic job as well, joking with me the entire time, getting an IV on me and asking if it was okay if they cut my shirt so that they could access my spine and hear my breathing.  To be honest, I loved that shirt... but I understood the process so I said "Nah, cut it away, do what you've got to do." 

I got the hospital and my head actually began swelling.  The bump from where my head connected with ice was flush on the board and it began to swell. A band across the forehead held my head in place and as my head swelled the pain grew worse.  I laid on the board for four hours in total through X-rays and CT scans.  It was excruciating.  Eventually I received some medication that helped relieve some of my pain... but not before I made a coward of myself with crying.

The doctor was amazing, never have I been treated better or had as much communication with the medical team.  They kept me as informed as possible throughout the whole ordeal and showed genuine concern for my pain and predicament.  In the end I'd gotten a severe concussion and caused damage to the soft tissues in my spinal cord.  I also realise, through what the doctor shared with me, that I was very lucky I hadn't broken my neck.  Similar incidents with the same fall pattern have caused the neck to break sometimes causing paralysis and other times not... but that my neck wasn't even broken was pretty awesome.

Now, I've had a day where my husband took the day off and babied me and took care of Ruby.  Today is the first day I've had to hold her and take care of her on my lonesome since.  It's tough, but manageable with the pain relievers that the doctor gave me.  Lifting her is the hardest because if I bend much past my waist line I see stars, and it is painful with the severe whiplash effect going on in my head, neck and shoulders.  There is an orange-sized lump at the back of my head and I have a lump on the back of my shoulders and neck area... so I look much like Quasimodo.  Beyond that, I'm healthy, happy and one lucky gal.

Thank you everyone who sent their prayers, love and best wishes.  I appreciate it and it might just be what saved my neck.  I also want to applaud mothers out there who, even when they get hurt, have to take care of their chidlren.  Through the pain and frustration it's a tough job; so I commend those mothers that do it.

1 comment:

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

Oh my gosh! I never thought curling could be such a dangerous sport. :)

I hope your recovery is quick!