|Neighborhood flowers for sale|
A beautiful mostly sunny day, and on a Thursday to boot! I was so looking forward to a nice short-ish hike with my friend Melanie, who is still nursing a sore heel and didn't want to go any more than five or (possibly) six miles, so we didn't join the main group again, who are, I'll bet, right now on Cougar Divide in the mountains.
We decided to hike one of our favorites, good old Fragrance Lake. We started out, enjoying the cool temperatures, Mel wishing she'd brought warmer gloves, and I was fiddling with my trekking poles, trying to get them set the way I like them. And then, just like that, I was on the ground, having tripped over my own poles, like the klutz I am. I hit my head hard enough to knock off my glasses and experienced a searing pain right above my left eye. It hurt bad enough I didn't even try to get up, just laid there crying and holding my face. Poor Mel! She picked up my glasses and told me they are scratched but still in one piece, and once the shock had lessened, I sat up and tried to open my left eye. Liquid was streaming from it, I didn't know whether it was tears or blood, or both. (It turned out to be both.)
Mel informed me that it was bruising already, and that it looked pretty bad. Once I got up and realized that my eyesight is normal, and that I wasn't hurt too badly, she said we should get me in to see a doctor right away, to make sure there is no internal bleeding. I agreed, and we decided to drive to a walk-in clinic for "minor injuries." By the time we got back to the car, although I was still feeling some pain, most of the trauma had settled down. I put my scratched glasses back on and could see normally.
|A shiner already|
At the clinic, I learned than anybody over the age of 65 who has a head injury is required to go to the Emergency Room and get a CT scan. I called SG and got his advice; he was willing to take care of me if I decided just to come home and wait to see if it gets any worse. I didn't want to go through all the wait and expense of a CT scan, when I could tell that I was going to be okay. No headache, no vision difficulties, just a bruised eye socket and pretty good-sized lump at eyebrow level. Believe me, if I had any worries about internal bleeding because of symptoms, I would have gone to the ER.
But, as I've said before, this is not my first rodeo. I've been hurt a lot worse and have survived just fine. Mel took me to my car at her place and fed me a healing muffin, and then I drove home and am now sitting here writing my post. If I couldn't see it, I wouldn't even know how badly my eye socket is discolored. Yes, I know there are some of you out there who think I should definitely have it looked at, but to spend hours in the ER, with Covid patients everywhere, I just couldn't do it.
Once I got home, SG helped me clean off the blood (you can see a spot on my scarf) and got some pictures for posterity. It's not nothin, but it's also not life-threatening. I've had a couple concussions over the years and know what that feels like. And I also know what it would mean if I developed a headache or vision changes. But so far, so good.
Of course fear does not automatically lead to courage. Injury does not necessarily lead to insight. Hardship will not automatically make us better. Pain can break us or make us wiser. Suffering can destroy us or make us stronger. Fear can cripple us, or it can make us more courageous. It is resilience that makes the difference. —Eric Greitens
I like to think that I am resilient and can learn from my mistakes. But I notice that I have taken enough falls, great and small, that I should probably keep a logbook so I don't forget them. Would that make me more resilient, I wonder?
Now that enough time has passed since the injury, I think I'll take a short walk around my neighborhood. I do need to get my steps in, after all. I'm actually feeling pretty good, all things considered. I hope my friends are having a good time in the wilderness.