About ten days ago, I dumped a handful of olive oil into my palms and rubbed it carelessly across my face. It’s a normal part of my showering routine. I didn’t think twice.
I didn’t think twice, either, when I consulted my day planner. I didn’t question my schedule. I hardly considered it. It was full and busy – but that was life right now. I looked at the week ahead of me and did a few mental somersaults. It was going to be a busy weekend!
I had no idea.
Last Friday, Ryan and I jumped in the car at 10:00 pm. As youth sponsors, we had a late night coming to us since the youth group rented a Rec center for the unearthly hours of a Friday night. I was excited though. I love ice skating. I miss it.
When I put my scuffed-up ice skates on that night, I had no idea that I wouldn’t be the one to take them off. When I got on the ice and noticed how many EMT’s were around, I had no idea I’d give them all a job to do in an hour.
It’s kind of amazing…the things you don’t know before you live them.
A week ago, at this time, I was asleep in the Erie hospital. About an hour into skating, I bumped into someone and fell. I busted open my head, leaving a pool of blood on the ice. I went into spasms – traumatic seizures induced by my fall. I don’t remember anything.
At the Meadville hospital, I remember waking up and telling the nurse I couldn’t move. My body was strapped to the board I was laying on.
“You had a bad bead injury,” She said.
Everything was fuzzy. How did I get to the hospital? Where was I? Why couldn’t I move? Why did my head hurt? Fear gripped me. I started screaming. I didn’t know where I was or how I got there. I didn’t know who anyone else was either. I begged them to let me sit up. “Please let me move,” I cried out. I lived in a white haze.
Finally I asked to see Ryan. My husband came and stood over. He told me, gently, that I’d fallen on the ice and hurt myself. It was going to be okay. His presence was so comforting. I almost cried.
From Meadville, I was lifeflighted to Hamot Medical Center in Erie. My husband had to drive, but he was coming. I stayed awake in the helicopter ride. I don’t know who the paramedic was, but I squeezed his hand for the fifteen minutes I flew in the helicopter. Finally, they wheeled me into the hospital. The nurse unstrapped me. The paramedics moved me to a bed. “Thank-you, thank-you,” I told the nurse three times. I could move. I could breathe. Claustrophobic feelings scurried away.
“Is there supposed to be a hole in my head?” The nurse rushed to my side. “Don’t touch that,” She smiled. “You’re going to need some stitches.”
Last Friday night was a long night. A cat scan. Twelve stitches. Pain. Confusion. Finally sleep.
All my plans in the nicely documented calendar went out the window. We didn’t play volleyball in the volleyball tournaments. I slept. I went to physical therapy. A neurologist asked me funky questions. Family called. They dropped in to visit.
Finally, a nurse wheeled me to the car. I was going home.
I feel a lot better now. I’m still a little weak and I fall asleep more often than I used too. I didn’t work this week and yesterday my stitches came out. The doctor told me I can go back to work, but he told me I need to take it slow this week. I’m not allowed to drive again yet.
Everyone keeps telling me I had a really bad concussion. My husband told me that he never felt so scared in his life. “Something froze inside me,” He said last night, “I didn’t know what was happening.”
I didn’t know what was happening either. There are still a lot of things I can’t recall. I don’t remember some details. I looked at my calendar yesterday morning, and I realized that my whole week changed. That was good for me.
“Lord…maybe this is silly…but I just want to say thank-you for reminding me that life is really short and way out of my control. Thank-you for giving me new perspective.”
Maybe in a week I’ll try olive oil again?