Spending time in the local hospital’s emergency department is not my idea of fun. Especially at this festive time of year, and especially where Covid is rampant and avoiding areas where people are sick is a neat idea.
Sadly, the option was not mine.
Yesterday, I was invited by friends to join them for the public skating hour (noon-1pm) at one of the local arena rinks. We’d already been last week and I’d got my skating sense back (it'd been 3 years since I last skated with my family), so this was destined to be a swell time. But mid-way through the adventure, a little kid from out of nowhere darted in front of me and then suddenly stopped. Two options quickly presented themselves: crash into the kid, who was less than two feet away from me, or take evasive action and try to deke around him. I’m a reasonably quick thinker and pretty nimble on my feet, so I chose the latter. But whether I moved too quickly or hit some bad ice, I took a header! Fell backwards, landing on my upper back with a smack. My head hit the ice too.
I guess there are times when being “thick-headed” can be a good thing. Yup, my head hit the ice, and reasonably hard too. But I never left consciousness nor did concussion present itself. (And yes, before you scold me, next time I’ll be wearing a helmet: already ordered!) But what did offer itself up was real pain in my back and shoulders where I hit the cold, hard surface. And it transferred itself through to my chest. People were gathering around me to see how I was and someone handed me my toque which had flown off in the fall. Someone else put out their hands and helped me stand, none too steady on the blades now.
I was helped back to the change area where my friend Rosie stated, “You need to see a doctor!” Apparently I didn't look well at all. Now, me being the “tough guy” I am, I replied, “I’m OK. Just a bit of pain. It’ll go away. I’m fine really.”
People helped me remove my skates. A lady approached: “I’m so sorry: that was my dumb grandson who stopped right in front of you. Thank you for not skating into him, but I’m so sorry you fell.” She turned to leave, but looked back and said, “You know, old farts like us really should wear helmets. I've learned my lesson."
We headed to the car where Rosie told me again, “You’re going to Emerg!” and off we sped to the hospital.
It was a good call. Despite taking four hours, the care there was excellent. They ran cognitive tests (no concussion), took X-rays (nothing broken, just very bad bruising) and gave me a shot of something to dull the pain (thank you!). They also handed me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory pain killer, which they’d already faxed to my local pharmacy so they could get right on it. Also, they called Rosie to come and pick me up, but not before being told, “No actions of any kind for 3 days: lay low!” And that’s what I‘m doing right now: boring, but what’s a fella to do?
The other thing I'm doing right now is making a donation to the Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation: it's my way of saying thank you to the wonderful, helpful, caring staff in Emerg and Imaging: you folks are the best!