November 14, 2010


Yesterday we came home from a long day to find two lost dogs in the front yard. Our Saturday started out by leaving the house at 7:30am to attend Science Olympiad. The Battle Ground School District hosts this yearly event. After four weeks of "trainings," students from 3rd and 4th grade elementaries across the district compete in 5 science events. It was grueling and by the end Jordan was tired and grump from not winning any awards. Plus it was 1pm and she hadn't eaten since 7am - we decided ice cream was in order. Then lots of errands on the way home.

Finally at 4pm I was home and headed out to feed the animals. I opened the door to find a maybe-one-year-old yellow lab mix dog bounding around. I grabbed him/her. She had a collar and licence with a phone number. But before I could do anything, a second twin dog came playfully running around the corner of the garage. The cats ran for cover.

I like dogs and don't have a problem with them in the yard, but they tend to harass the sheep and chickens, both of which really, really don't like dogs. We've had a small, white, puffy, yappy dog go round and round the chicken run freaking them all out while her own chased her for 15 minutes. So I would rather not have dogs in the yard. Best place for these two lost dogs was the barn until I could get a hold of the owners.

Holding on to the one I had, I opened the door a crack and called for my mom to come help. (Jeremy was elk hunting this weekend and my mom was staying with me and Jordan.) Mom got the second dog and we headed for the barn. These dogs were so excited by the sights and smells, they were pulling us. I was digging my heals in trying not to run. As soon as the one I had by collar saw the chickens, he/she bolted and I knew I was going down. My reaction was to tuck-and-roll. But it was less of a roll and more of a land-on-my-head, wrench-my-neck, and skin-my-hands technique. And I lost the dog.

My mom came running down, worried I broke my neck. I'm sure it looked that way from her view. But upon seeing I was conscious and movable, she went back to getting the dogs in the barn. After the little stars disappeared from around my head, I gathered myself and went back to the house to clean my hands and call the owners - I got a voice mail and left a message. Mom came back to the house once the dogs were secured.

When I became a mom and Jordan was old enough to play on a playground, I recalled the first aide knowledge learned from my mom. Namely, to check for a concussion look to see if one eye's pupil is larger than the other. My mom instantly wanted to check my pupils. One was in fact larger than the other. I went into the bathroom to see for myself and sure enough - my left pupil was larger than my right. The next question was "So what do we do." Neither of us was sure. Apparently all previous checks of my pupils since I was 3 years old resulted in no further action. But this was different. I decided to call the advice nurse at Kaiser. The nurse actually giggled when I told her I hit my head by performing a tuck-and-roll with a dog. Nice. But she was very helpful. We ran through a litany of tests. Were my pupils reacting to light - getting smaller with a flashlight shined into each. Turns out that is more important than the size difference because most people aren't symmetrical. Check, my pupils reacted to light. Was a vomiting? No. Did I have tingling in my fingers? No. Did I have ringing in my ears? No. Was there a blueish tint forming around my eyes or ears? No. Whew! But what about sleeping that night. When someone has a concussion the worst thing possible is to let them fall asleep - right?! The nurse suggested I have someone wake me up every 2 hours. That "someone" was my alarm clock.

I made it through night with no ringing ears, tingling fingers or blueish eyes. My mom checked my pupils again in the morning. And they were still different size - left larger than right. Guess I'm just not symmetrical.

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