On December 30 2021 I was looking after a beautiful dog, my favorite, when I bent over to get my purse and instead of getting up, rocked straight back into the wall, hitting my head against the drywall so hard, I dented it. Then I vomited before losing consciousness. Fortunately, a friend was with me so she called 911 and all I can remember is big stomping boots, lights, and crisp winter air. The lights in my mind went out. The next time I regained consciousness it was after two brain surgeries.
Filling in the blanks between hitting the wall and the road to recovery involved talking to everyone who witnessed the events. Life-changing events rarely announce themselves ahead of time. Signals may show up like an early warning system but interpreting what they mean can be hit-and-miss.
After the first surgery, I regained consciousness to feel my daughter’s presence beside me, and the world started to make sense again. I could breathe. Then I saw my brother who lives in Edmonton and never travels my way. Normally that would have triggered a major flag of abnormality but the best I could say was: What are you doing here? The real question was What am I doing here lying in a hospital bed? My niece, a force in her own right, a nurse and now acupuncturist and healer, was also there assuming an advocacy role in her highly competent way.
Piecing the process together took conversations with every person starting with the time the firemen came and took me to the hospital around 7 pm followed by the hospital sending me home at 1 am in a taxi with instructions to eat and drink more. The next day, the 31st December of 2021, friends came by and saw something was not right. Back I went to the hospital. The same friends stopped by the hospital on their way back from New Year tobogganing at 3 am and found me on the hospital floor. I had fallen out of the hospital bed. This time, a CT scan was done, and I was shipped immediately (6 am) to a different hospital where they did the surgery to stem a subarachnoid hemorrhage. The fall was a symptom, not the cause. The bleed had gone between the vertebrae affecting balance.
I was conscious enough after the first surgery to call people and pick up loose ends including making sure the dog, my favorite four-legged friend, was safe and cared for (his people were away). When I woke up…