So I had myself an accident at home last week. I was cleaning the eaves-trough at the back of the house.
No, it didn't happen like this...
I had been up and down the ladder a few times that morning, 3x up to be exact, but my third and final trip down became a free fall from about 6 or 7 ft. I still don't really know what happened. The ladder must have shifted. All I know is I stepped on it to go down this 3rd time and suddenly I was on an express drop to "Painsville".
I know I lay there on the deck for a while. How I got into the house when I couldn't stand is a blur. How I got the back door open is another blur. But I did it.
I immediately dropped to the kitchen floor. I kept thinking "this isn't happening". I looked at the clock and thought to give myself 20 minutes to catch my breath and get my bearings. I had to! I couldn't reach for the phone at this point to call anyone for help.
One of our cats, Merry, came into the kitchen. I could tell she was quite concerned over what was going on. Here I am laying on the floor and making some awful zombie like moans with a few f-bombs throughout.
About 20 minutes later I was finally able to reach for the phone on the desk. I called Angie first. Nothing like putting my wife into panic mode just before her lunch break. Of course she's like "call 9-1-1!" which is what I did next.
I lay there as I waited for them to come, which didn't take very long. Merry was sniffing my blood drops on the floor by the door. I had a couple long gashes down my left arm which is still another mystery to what did that as I'm certain I landed on my right side.
Day after the accident
5 days later
Then moments before the paramedics arrived, I threw up. Poor Merry was completely freaked out now. And then in came her sister Molly to see what the heck was going on.
The front door was locked, I had instructed them to come up the side of the house and to the back door. One paramedic did just that while the other waited out front. Everything happened rather quickly upon their arrival. I only remember when the front door was opened to let the other in, that I had nothing on my mind but pretty much begging them to shut the door, not letting either of the cats bolt outside. They are calicos and it's their personality to be high strung when things get "weird". The paramedics were great about this, while I was their main concern, they ensured Merry and Molly stayed put.
I had to climb up on our computer chair and go for a ride through the kitchen and living room, then out the front door. It was another feat to get down the front steps to the waiting stretcher. The ride to the hospital went rather quick. The bumps and stops hurt like hell. I was so nauseated from the pain but am glad I didn't throw up again, especially on these nice people helping me. I know I said "fuck" an awful lot, and apologized almost as much to them throughout. Sure I can have a potty mouth but only in the company of people I am comfortable with.
It was 9 hours in emergency at St. Joseph's hospital on The Queensway in Toronto. Two sets of x-rays and one cat scan. They feared I had a collapsed lung, or partially anyway. In the end, I escaped with 2 broken ribs and quite a few scrapes and bruises. I don't know how many times I heard how lucky I was, especially as they checked my spine and my head.
I broke the 6th and 8th rib on my right side.
Angie and my mother met me at the hospital not long after my arrival. I slept through a good part of the ordeal after they gave me some Gravol and a couple hits of hydromorphone. Angie said they could see the drugs take effect on me and I went into my own world. Sleep was the only thing that took the pain away. My waking moments were often unbearable until I got my body settled in a pain manageable position. I later learned they entertained themselves and had lots of adventure through the afternoon and evening; how could one not in an emergency room in Toronto? But that's their stories to tell.
Trying to make the best of this misadventure. I'm high as hell here.
So I was able to come home later that evening. And here we are 7 days later. The pain is mostly manageable. I have to rest as much as possible, which is difficult for me to do. Angie has taken on most of my chores about the house for now. I shouldn't drive for the next week or so. I actually started the truck yesterday and as I sat in the driver's seat, I know I can't drive, as I can't twist to the right to look behind me for backing up. I know sitting in the seat for any length of time would be uncomfortable, the bumps in the road would not help, nor any sudden stops.
I have eased off the hydromorphone, only taking it before bed. It makes me pretty dopey and I don't like that very much. I guess it could help me pass the days away but if I don't need to take it, managing the pain on my own or with Advil, is what I prefer to do. I've read these narcotics are highly addictive. Ya, I don't need to test my strength on saying "NO!" to drugs.
Why am I blogging about this here? Well my blog is like a journal for me. What happened has effected the adventures of "Rob and the Animals". I'm not out and about enjoying nature. I cannot volunteer with Toronto Wildlife or any other place right now. I still have 2 nest boxes left to check for the season. It's not a big deal, I will get to them eventually, but it is disappointing I cannot finish the season off when I want to. Time passing may erase some of the evidence within those boxes.
This was not my first gutter cleaning. I've been doing this chore on average 3x a year for over a decade now. All without incident. I guess my overconfidence worked against me this time?
I'd like to state that I am grateful for my family and my friends. We've had a lot of offers to help with anything need be while I'm recovering, be it cutting the grass, grocery runs, or anything else. So far, we are okay. But it's nice to know some have offered their assistance and truly mean it.
What else I am grateful for is our backyard. Being a nature lover, we are blessed with a nice slice of nature right behind the house. I am grateful for all the creatures that come here day and night. I'm glad I can sit on the deck and hang with my Pigeon pals, watch the birds and butterflies, and if I am still up after dark, see the Raccoon family and a couple new Skunks coming around. Rainy days will be had I am sure and those days I will resort to the television, but any nice day I can sit out there, I will. It sucks I can't take the cats out for the time being, they both love it out there. I can't handle monitoring the two of them, setting up that kitty walk structure and even picking them up is not easy right now. I can't play fetch very well with Merry and her paper balls. I can't find Molly's plastic ring toys, which she loves so much, when they disappear under the furniture, appliances or baseboards. They are confused why things aren't the way they were a week ago, the things we normally do, we aren't now.
Here are some photos from this week as I recover...
Merry, who is daddy's girl, is very happy to have me home again. We could see that my accident really effected both of them. It was well into Saturday (day after) before they finally started acting like their normal selves.
My Pigeon pals keep me company. Jersey has some long visits.
Of course there's Pierre.
Both are daily visitors and I am thankful for their company.
The new Raccoon family show up pretty late in the evening so I don't see them like I have been when coming home from work. The young ones are always entertaining to watch. These 2 wander around together while the third is a "momma's boy" and not quite as adventurous.
I haven't tried to use my 500 mm lens since the accident. The macro is much lighter. While I'm confined to home, during sunnier moments I am looking for creepy, crawly, flying and buzzing things.
Orchard Orbweaver feasting on a mosquito.
Zebra Jumping Spider.
Brown Mamorated Stink Bug.
Anything with eyes and a pulse keep me entertained.
Yes, the Pigeons are really helping me this week. Who would have thought?
A male Northern Cardinal has been caring for his 2 young all week out there.
Last night there was 2 Skunks and the Raccoon family out back. Close call here but no spraying happened.
I am amazed the Skunk tolerated this invasive curious behaviour. I'm realizing through all the encounters in our backyard that they aren't all trigger happy, especially the older ones.
Indeed I am grateful for a lot of things right now, especially my current state of health and family, but since this is an animal blog... I can't imagine not having the backyard and all the visitors we are blessed with. It's really helping through my recovery. I don't know what I'd be doing without the yard and them.