Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Other: Owie

Bar Fight!!! A priest and a rabbi walk into a bar... and I started a fight! Man, you should have seen the other guys!

Yeah, I didn't really think anyone would buy that one. Yesterday evening I went to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription and while I was there, I decided to get a flu shot. I've gotten one every year for I don't know how many years now and I've never had a problem, other than maybe a little soreness at the injection site for a day. While I don't think needles are fun, they also don't bother me to the point of dizziness as long as I sit down and don't look. And it seemed all right last night, too, at least for a minute. Then the waves of nausea and dizziness hit. I sat down and after a minute or two, thought I'd be ok... but I wasn't. I sat down again and it just got worse. Next thing I know, I have a front-row view of the floor and the pairs of feet standing next to my head. "Did I faint?"

Floor: 1. Karen: 0.

I don't know what it was. I'd eaten lunch and I haven't been sick at all. I had apparently just keeled over and my head hit the ground glasses-first. I was still feeling queasy, so staying prone on the floor seemed like a really good idea. I asked for a damp towel, and when I blotted my forehead, realized there was blood. Apparently the impact had made a small cut. The pharmacist called the paramedics, who were helpfully located a block down the road. 6 guys come in and I asked if it was a slow night, because all I did was faint. I was sitting up, still on the floor, by now, but still really out of it, and my head was seriously hurting at that point. They asked if I wanted them to take me to the emergency room. I thought about it, and while I was pretty sure the whole thing was nothing and that falling on my head from a seated position couldn't do enough to cause a concussion, I also knew my tendency to downplay these things and that it would be a bad idea to go home alone with a head injury without having it looked at.

The hospital was about 3 blocks away, although I don't think they charge you by the mile or anything. I got put in a curtain between a screamer and a teenage girl who was sobbing. They hooked me up to the EKG, told me my blood sugar was a little low but not enough to cause fainting alone and that my blood pressure was low. Then I got to wait awhile. Since I wasn't exactly at death's door or anything, I was obviously pretty low on their list of priorities. A peripatetic doctor with an accent from an unidentifiable Commonwealth nation eventually appeared and asked me some questions. I told him I wouldn't have bothered coming if I hadn't hit my head. He said it was probably a good thing to get it looked at because you never know, and then he started to tell me about how his 18-year-old son had cut his finger and... I said I was still queasy enough that maybe we should skip the blood. He got called away. The sobbing girl decided her belly pain wasn't that bad and apparently left. Next up behind that curtain was a drunk the fire department brought in. The paramedic said they had had to bring him in three days in a row for falling down in the street. This time he had a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor. "Nothing but the best for him," the paramedic told the nurse.

By now I was getting really cold. One of the paramedics had kindly retrieved my sweater from the car before the ambulance left, but I couldn't put my right arm through the sleeve because of the blood pressure cuff. I somehow managed to reach the sheet on the chair next to the gurney, but it wasn't exactly made for warmth. I kind of hunched over to conserve body heat, and tried to read about UFS2 directory layouts. After reading maybe a page in 15 minutes, the doctor came back, said that was a good sign, and left. A little later the nurse came with discharge instructions and cleaned the small cut on my head, using about half a tube of bacitracin. I asked for a cab, and after about 2 hours there, went home.

It's hard to see in the picture, but the area around the cut is really swollen, tapering off up to that red patch near the hairline. Yes, it hurts, like a moderate sinus headache. They told me to take regular OTC stuff for pain, which kills the worst but leaves enough to remind me constantly of last night's face-plant. I also have ugly bruises on my knees, and as tired as I was after all that, I just couldn't get to sleep last night. I tossed and turned for an hour, got up and played computer games for an hour, went back to bed and tossed and turned for several more hours. Dipity did actually snuggle me once for a few minutes when I first got into bed, which was nice. I suspect her dis-owners just weren't affectionate with her at all and she has that Siamese impulse to be loving but is just not sure how to go about it. She's as socially inept as I am!

P.S. I still strongly recommend flu shots. Just make sure you're sitting when you get it, and if you start to feel dizzy, it's best to try to recline so your feet are above your head.

P.P.S. My glasses were none the worse for wear.

Glasses: 1. Karen: 0.

P.P.P.S. At least I didn't get called in for jury duty today. I'm pretty sure an ER visit the night before with visible head damage would be a valid excuse, but just think of all the paperwork it would require...


spajadigit said...

I'm really glad you're ok. That's pretty scary.

Steph said...

Holy cow - that had to be a little scary! Glad you're ok, that's a bit of drama you could've done without for sure. -Kla