I was in Oregon last week on a trip with some friends and members of the Sierra Club.
On the first evening, while five of us were waiting for a table for dinner, we decided to walk around the quaint town of Seaside.
I had my camera in one hand, my bag in the other and I was talking instead of looking where I was going. Next thing I knew my forehead met the boardwalk!
This is the photo I took of the boardwalk from the hotel balcony before the big fall.
To make a longer story shorter (you don’t want to know all the details, believe me) I ended up in the ER at the Providence Seaside Hospital.
Needless to say we missed our dinner reservation. I really felt bad for my friends, as they were so kind. They eventually went to dinner but they missed seeing the town and strolling along the beach all because of me.
I’m not quite sure of the timeline but I waited more than an hour to see the doctor (he may have been at dinner!). Then I was wheeled in to get a CAT scan of my head. After that another hour while the scan was sent to Portland to be viewed.
Of course it was a very small ER but everybody was very courteous and attentive. I felt like I was in good hands.
The gentleman in the next bed to mine was obviously drunker than a skunk, and evidently was a frequent visitor as they all seemed to know him. But he was not ignored. The nurses came whenever he called out for help, which was every few minutes.
As I was lying there listening to all this, half of me wanted to have a glass of wine and forget everything. The other half of me, realizing the terrible distress this man was in, never wanted to touch alcohol again! But at the very least I was glad I had not had a glass of wine before our walk so that was not a component of my accident. It’s bizarre all the thoughts that went through my mind as I was waiting.
I also decided I should have changed from my clunky hiking shoes (they are not hiking boots just sturdier shoes with good tread) before leaving the hotel. If I had worn my Asic walking shoes maybe I wouldn’t have tripped. And I should have swapped my heavy DSLR with the 18-135mm lens for my little point & shoot camera. So many “shoulds.” Also, I had not slept the night before. The alarm went off at 2:00am to be ready for the taxi at 4:00am. I am not good without at least 6-8 hours of sleep.
This combination of events all contributed to my fall. Of course I have walked all over Europe and Los Angeles in those same shoes. I’ve carried that camera everywhere. And I have certainly fallen many times before but never hit my head. Who knows what combination of circumstances allowed this to happen.
I like to think of myself as a glass half full kind of person at this point in my life. The CAT scan was clean and I was able to continue with the trip. However, I was a little disappointed that no actual kitties were involved!
Before I knew the results and I was lying there with a truckload of ice on my forehead, I decided that no matter what, I was completing the trip even if I had to do it on a stretcher! I had been looking forward to this Oregon adventure for too long!
The outcome could have been so much worse. No broken bones, no chipped teeth, no sprains. And, most important, I was not dead, or even brain dead (at least I don’t think so…).
The next day I had a little trouble with some words. I was aware they were not coming out properly. But that cleared up. The day after that my vision was a little blurry but that cleared up too.
The photo at the bottom of the post shows my black eyes… otherwise known as my Oregon souvenir! My companions were calling me Alice Cooper and Gene Simmons… but I would rather be Morticia! One of my friends, not on the trip, said “And you should see the other guy!” Yes, that boardwalk will never be the same!
Fortunately, all the clothes I had with me were in shades of blue, purple and grey. So people were commenting on my color coordination. Yes, if I was wearing greens and yellows it would indeed have been a fashion disaster.
I kinda like the photo at the top of the post so I decided to use it as my new profile photo. I cleaned up the mess on my forehead in Photoshop but left the black eyes as they were too difficult to deal with. I don’t think anybody will notice!
I’m still dependent on Tylenol for all the aches and pains that come and go all over my body. But I was able to do some limited hiking and enjoy the rest of the week.
I have an appointment with my doctor on Thursday for a checkup. I feel like I am healing properly but I’m not taking any chances.
The good thing is I am a tough old broad and nothing can take me down that easily!
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