I needed to buy a new desk, and so Leah, Liam and I hopped into the car and headed out to Coquitlam (the Richmod Ikea is apparently closed for renovations or some such). Everything was going ok. We got there, and Leah and Liam headed to the restaurant while I went to the “Work Ikea” section to find, select and buy a desk. I did that, then went to pay, standing in line for a long time, being ever-so-slowly horrified at the mass consumption on display with at least a dozen lines full of people buying huge amounts of furniture. And while I go to Ikea less than once a year, think that lines are like that virtually every day. And every item is wrapped in cardboard, paper or plastic. And think that all of that just ends up in recycling if we’re lucky, but more likely is just in landfill. And that’s just one store.
So after paying I head over to the even-longer Home Delivery line (a Yaris is not the best car to go to Ikea in). While I’m waiting in line, a older oriental man is wheeling a large mattress on a cart when it tips over. Myself and another man go to help him right it. While the other guy helps with the mattress end, I bend down to get the cart righted at the same time. Unfortunately, my thumb got squeezed between the cart rail and the basket (more of a grille, as it was flat), that the mattress was one. The edge of the grille that was pinching my thumb was sharp enough, and the weight on it was large enough, that I was really quite worried that it would sever my thumb. I yelled “STOP STOP STOP!” and the other two did, so I was able to extract my thumb, and we got the cart righted. I shook my thumb a couple of times because it was really hurting, and went back to stand in line. I felt momentarily light-headed, but that passed.
Next thing I knew, the ceiling was coming slowly into focus, and there were sharp pins and needles going all across my arms, shoulders and chest. From what I’ve since been told, I passed out, fell to the floor with a very loud “Boom”. I was out for 2 or 3 minutes, and apparently displayed some “seizure-like activity”. So of course, the paramedics were called, and I was put in a hard neck-brace and a clamshell stretcher and taken away to Royal Columbian Hospital, where a whole bunch more waiting would take place. And let me tell you, waiting, immobile on your back, staring up at bright flourescent lights when you have a splitting headache is absolutely no fun at all.
I actually got a bed rather quickly, and after a nurse hooked me up to a monitoring machine, Leah and I were left alone. As it was way past Liam’s nap-time, I told her to take him home, and find someone to sit with him so she could come back. So off they went, and I was left staring at the ceiling again. Slowly, kind of creeping up on me so I didn’t realize until it was too late, a sharp pain was developing at the back of my skull, probably where my head hit the floor. It was just starting to become intolerable when the doctor showed up to examine me. In about 30 seconds, he had determined that nothing was broken in my neck, removed the hard collar and let me sit up. Then I had to wait to get a CT scan. During which time I was getting really cold, but a nice orderly brought me some heated blankets. Getting a CT scan wasn’t much fun, but the tech let me look at the picture of my brain afterwards, which I have to admit, was really cool. More waiting later, I was brought back to my bed, where Leah had now returned.
We were told that I could go home, but first they gave me a tetanus shot, and thankfully, finally I got some tylenol. And home we went.
This morning, I feel more or less like I have a brutal hangover. whenever I move my head, the world spins a little, and I have contrails in my vision, and all the lights seem just a little too bright. I now only have pins and needles in my chest, but I ache all over my upper body. So, a lot better than it could have been, I suppose.
An interesting note: The paramedics were very concerned at the cause of my collapse, whereas the doctors were only concerned with the outcome of my collapse, which means that on Tuesday, I get to follow up with my local doctor with things such as why I collapsed in the first place. Which, given my history, probably had a lot more to do with the fact I was dehydrated and hungry, rather than the pain – I suspect that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as it were.