The night before we had received an unwelcome few inches of early March snow. Add that to the couple-here-couple-there inches that had fallen at the end of February and you've got enough for a little sledding. Yes. You see where this is headed, right?
We bundled up (it was COLD) and hauled our 3 inflatable tubes and one plastic sled across the street to a large hill. My husband has taken the boys (N in particular) sledding on this hill countless times in the past few months. It's wide open space. There are a couple obstacles toward the bottom, however the sleds usually stop WAY before reaching that point. And we have N well trained to bail off if he is headed for something solid. I hadn't gone sledding as of yet this winter. Mostly because I was always being a bit of a party pooper. I would, however, enthusiastically watch from the front window while drinking a nice hot cup of chai tea. Monday was different, though. I was happy to have my hubby home for the day. . . happy to be extending our weekend together. We hauled ourselves and our sleds across the road and began to climb the hill. Great exercise!! All of us went down (N on the sled, hubby and D on a tube and me on another tube). Weeeeeee! Fun! We reached the bottom and D started fussing. A lot. He was unhappy (unusual for him--outside is his favorite place to be) and nothing we did seemed to help. Hubby decided that, since I hadn't had a chance to sled w/ N yet this winter, he would be the one to take D home--despite my insistence that I really (REALLY) didn't mind going home. I think my youngest child might have actually known something was going to go wrong. ESP, you know? Hence, the fussing.
N and I climbed the hill once more and raced down (this time we were both on tubes). Fun again. I was feeling great and thankful for a little one on one time w/ my older boy. It doesn't happen very often! At the top of the hill once again, N wanted to race and got a head start (I wasn't quite situated on my tube). I had the briefest flash of a bad feeling (nothing in particular--just a bad feeling--can't explain it) but chalked it up to my overprotective nature where it comes to my boys. Off I went down the hill.
I think I was about halfway down when I thought, "Ummmm. . . I'm going too fast."
The next thing I knew, I was lying face down in the snow. I was unsuccessfully trying to make my arms and legs work in unison to get me up out of the snow. And my head felt like it was on fire. Suddenly N was standing beside me, "Mommy! Are you okay?!!" "Get daddy." was all I could manage to mutter. Then my husband was beside me, feeling the back of my head, helping me to my feet and across the road. I kept insisting that I could just stand here and wait while he took the boys inside and then he could come back and get me. . . I wasn't making much sense.
Inside, I just wanted to lie down on the couch. My shoulder hurt like HELL, as did my head. I felt like I was thinking pretty clearly. N informed my husband that I started going backwards and "Mommy forgot to jump off like you're supposed to." Apparently what happened sometime after I told myself I was going too fast was my tube turned so I was going down the hill backwards. Still too fast. And I ran into a utility pole with the back of my head and shoulder.
A trip to the local ER revealed (after a CT scan and many xrays) a concussion. Supposedly no problem anywhere else. A hellish week went by and I visited our regular doctor (not affiliated w/ above mentioned hospital, thank goodness) Friday. She got me in to see an orthopedic dr that afternoon and he determined I have an ac separation in my shoulder. Nothing much to do but take ibuprofen, wear a sling and wait for it to feel better.
So. . . I'm waiting. Not so patiently. I'm finding how difficult day to day activities w/ small children are when one arm is quite useless and using the other arm too much makes the useless arm hurt.
I am, however, very thankful that I didn't end up with a head full of mush. That pole could have very well been the end of life as we know it. The CT scan revealed what we've known all along: I have a very thick skull. Literally. And it probably saved me.
Not the first time my thick headedness has gotten me out of a jam. But probably the first time it's truly saved my life.