Thursday, January 31, 2008


My last stop yesterday was in Cedar Rapids to visit three kids - I'm their guardian ad litem. The case is actually almost over, Mom and Dad have gotten their sh*t together and are meeting or exceeding all expectations, so I didn't have too much to do but talk with the kids a while and commisurate with Mom about her puppy-training experiences. I also meet her oldest daughter, who doesn't live with her and isn't involved in my case, but has been in the system herself. We trade anecdotes about court. After about 45 minutes, Mom has to change and leave to get to work, and I've got a ton of stuff to do. I get out the door, onto the sidewalk then wonder if oldest daughter is going to babysit, and if she's approved. I turn around to ask before Mom disappears back into the house, and my feet slide out from under me.

This isn't one of those minor stumbles, I had no hand out to break the fall or anything. That part of the sidewalk was a glassy, thin sheet of ice and I went straight up and back. I basically felt like my feet had come up about three feet in the air and my body was suspended for a moment completely horizontally, then dropped straight down . . . . smacking my head hard on the concrete.

I lay there for about a minute, not knocked out but not really able to think either. Not even a cussword, and that's saying something. When my brain started functioning again, I took inventory: Everything hurt, but nothing seemed busted. Was I bleeding? Nope. Concussion? I didn't feel confused or nauseated. Could I get up? Only way to find out was to do it. I slowly rolled myself up and got onto my feet. I looked toward the house, but it seemed the Mom hadn't seen it, so no embarrasment factor there. I carefully began picking my way back to the car, still doing a mental check for issues: Why do my ears feel all stuffed up? There's also this wierd ring of light in my left eye. Dammit, do I have a concussion after all?

After I got around the corner, a car stopped and a very nice lady asked if I was okay. She apologized for taking a while to turn around (it was a busy road), but said she'd seen me fall and felt she'd better come back because she didn't think I'd be able to get up. She asked me if I was sure I was okay. I reassurred her, with a little more confidence than I actually felt, and she drove off. By the time I got to my car, I decided I'd have to be late to rehearsal and get my head checked. Yep, minor concussion. Ouch.

Of course, it could have been worse.

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