Our health insurance is so horrendous, we know that unless we’re bleeding to death, using it would bankrupt us. We had another opportunity to test this theory recently when a tree fell on me.
Watch Out for that Tree!
As we were preparing to wrap up the day, I was about to bend over to pick up my work gloves to leave. Then, WHAMO! A sickening CRACK! knocked me to the ground.
(this is not the tree that fell on me!)
I fell, and when I opened my eyes, I swear I heard birds chirping around my head. I wondered “What the hell?
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
A nearby volunteer had been goofing around and decided to push over the one, dead limb-less tree left in the work area, not realizing that this 25-foot tall log would fall directly on top of me. Everyone saw what was about to happen, but apparently were too dumbfounded to yell out “HEY!”
I never saw it coming as it struck me dead center on my noggin’.
EMTs showed up, a cervical collar was slapped around my neck, and in my woozy haze, my fuzzy mind heard someone say “Life flight helicopter” over a radio.
“Noooo! I will NOT go to the hospital!” I yelled out.
I could sit up, turn my head, see straight and although I felt like hell, I knew whatever had happened wasn’t going to instantly kill me. At that moment I felt strong enough to walk out on my own.
Recollections of my 2001 motorcycle crash came flooding back as I recalled the $8,000 life flight ambulance ride and the $25,000 in medical bills from one emergency room visit. No way in hell would I get in an ambulance. After all, I wasn’t bleeding or unconscious, so I didn’t need it.
After convincing Jim I didn’t need to go, and a long verbal wrestling match with the EMTs, I signed a waiver of responsiblity, and we left the scene.
Brain Hemorrhage or Just a Bad Headache?
Being one hour away from a hospital is a scary thing when you think you might need one. That evening, I felt like I might need a doctor, but I knew if I woke up in the morning, it would’ve been a waste of time and money.
What doesn’t kill ya makes you stronger, right?
The next day I felt like a truck ran over me. So away we went to see a doctor, who gave me mental competency tests to ascertain the severity of the blow.
I never realized how frightening it would be to have a doctor look you in the eye to examine your mental capacities.
After passing the test with a “D,” the doc said to me: “Hitting your head the way you did is just like when a diver hits the bottom of a swimming pool.”
“You’ve very lucky that you seem OK. But you need a CT scan and x-ray. You could have bleeding going on around your brain and not know it.”
Damn. Medical bills!
Diagnosis: Lucky Girl
I shook all over and wanted to puke, not knowing if brain surgery was in my future. But less than an hour later, I found out I was OK, relatively speaking.
My moderate concussion me out of commission for all of last week and somewhat this week. But after several days of medicinal naps, restricted computer time and general malaise, I’m feeling better. My brain is still playing tricks on me when I try to do things like focus and type, and my neck is still tweaked, but it’s better than having a hole drilled in my skull.
Just another reminder that life is darn short.
Sometimes a lot shorter than we ever think it could be.
Now get off your computer and go live, darnit!