Sep 7, 2013

I Fell on My Head

On Tuesday night I went downstairs for a pre-midnight snack (my downfall) and as I was coming back upstairs, I landed precariously on the ninth of ten stairs, teetering on the balls of my feet.

For a brief moment, I had the sense that I could have been on a diving board, thrusting myself backward into the non-existent pool below.  There are times that your mind goes places it shouldn’t.  Before I could lean forward and recover, I shot backwards, landing on my head and back and blacking out.  My real downfall.

Mark and Ian rushed to the scene and called an ambulance.  I remember only flashes of the rest of what I have been told was several hours.  Mark getting in the ambulance, Ian arriving at the hospital, a nurse trying to jam a needle into the resistant vein on my left hand.  I have never had an MRI — and I did that night.  Always fearful of claustrophobia, I had no experience of that because I was in and out of consciousness and when it was over I thought it hadn’t begun.

I got to go home because there was no bleeding in my brain and no visible cracks on my skull or in my neck.  After that I spent three days in bed, a bit dizzy with a monster headache.

All I could do was lie in bed with a cold wash cloth on my head, inhaling ibuprofen and watching tv out of one eye at a time.  It occurred to me that I am very very lucky because so far I have almost died in labor, had a heart attack that almost killed me, and executed a backdive down my stairs with very little effect.

I am curious whether the shake up of my aging brain will change my thinking, bring back old memories and erase others, allow me to become a better artist or writer…

This kind of thing always makes one (me) wonder if the world has something in store for me (or me for it).  I did realize several things, other than I was very, very lucky.

I realized I am hard headed.  I realized I am resilient.  And, as always, I realized that there is always someone there to catch me when I fall.

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Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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