How I Fell Out Of A Tree

Actually, I fell out of a tree while standing on the top rung of my 6' aluminum ladder…not smart!  Last Sunday, I was pruning my large magnolia tree from the inside of the tree.  I had already been working on the tree for about 2 hours, so I was getting tired, but determined to finish.  And, it was raining, which doesn't really bother me -  Being a gardener in the Northwest, you pretty much expect to work in the rain.  But, not smart when you're going up and down a ladder!

So, I was snipping along, reaching, pivoting, etc... all the things you shouldn't do on a ladder.  Then I decided to straddle my big lopper over one of the sides of my ladder, so that I wouldn't have to go up and down to get it, when I needed it... not smart!  Now of course, I made sure that the ladder was always on stable ground, but this time, when I started to make a pivot turn and reach for another branch to cut, out from under me the ladder flew!  I actually saw the ladder falling as I was falling, and I had enough time to think, "I'm gonna fall!"  And, down I went, clutching my Felco pruner in my right hand.  I hit my left butt cheek first, my back, then the back of my head took a big bonk on the dirt - it was really hard!  Too bad I didn't fall on a big shrub, but luckily I fell between my drift of canna lilies.  I love my cannas..:)

I lay in the dirt, mosquitoes having a picnic on me and buzzing in my ear.  I yelled for my husband, who was in our office right off our back deck.  He didn't know what work I was doing in the garden.  I tried to lift myself (not smart) and the garden started to sway... down I went.  I tried again... down I went.  I never lost consciousness, so I thought I was ok.  I gingerly rolled on my right side and on my stomach and tried again to lift my head, and again the world swayed... down I went.  Fred called 911.

A few minutes later, the fire truck and ambulance came wailing down Willamette and five paramedics rushed into my backyard - "Don't step on the cannas!"  Strapped to a stretcher with my head in a neck brace and hoisted into an ambulance, the paramedics rushed me to ER.

Paramedics & Holly on Stretcher.jpg

After 6 hours of being in the neck brace, 5 pokes to get an IV in, a CT scan for my head to make sure my brain wasn't hemorrhaging, and a CT scan for my back to check for broken bones, the diagnoses was - CONCUSSION!  They released me with Vicadin and ibuprofen, with instructions to rest, rest, rest.

Over the next few days, I thought I was recovering ok, dizziness and nausea becoming less and less, but the pain in my neck and left side was still there.  On Wednesday evening, as I was getting back into bed for the night, I felt an excruciating sharp pain to my lower back left side.  The next morning, I was in so much pain, I couldn't get out of bed.  Fred brought me a bowl of Greek yogurt, a cup of tea and 2 Vicadins.  Well, those Vicadins really made me sick.  I didn't have enough in my stomach.  Back to ER… After vomiting 4 times, 1 IV poke, 2-20 oz bottles of a berry flavored chalk smoothie, while watching an episode of 'Cheers', and another CT scan, the diagnoses - Left 11th Posterior Rib Fracture!  They had missed this on my first visit!  Thank goodness, I'm now on the mend, although it still hurts to laugh, cough, sneeze, burp, yawn, and I can't sleep on either of my sides and I'm a side sleeper...:( 

Lessons Learned: 
No standing on a ladder without a spotter.
No pivoting while standing on a ladder.
No reaching while standing on a ladder.
No standing on a ladder in the rain.
No hard drugs on an empty stomach.
No hanging tools on the side of a ladder.
Make sure your doctor gives you all the necessary CT scans.

Anyone else have a garden lesson to share?  Check out the links at the bottom of this post.  You can comment, like, and share. 

Enjoy and always love hearing from you.

Till the next time...

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear