Location: one hour from Suffolk, Rockingham, and Scarborough, United States

I'm one of the co-authors of Point of Hopes, Point of Dreams, and The Armor of Light (which, contrary to some reviews is NOT a Points novel). Proud member of CoastLine SF, Piscataqua Obedience Club, and admin for Horseboard.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tumped Over

I'm not sure of the spelling of the verb "to tump." I do know it is Southern, possibly peculiar to Arkansas, where my partner's parents live, or to Mississippi, which much of the rest of her family comes from.

A truck that, say, goes a little too fast on a snow covered highway and ends up on its side (in a ditch adds style points) is said to have "tumped over." A tree can tump over. In fact, almost anything, in the right conditions can tump over.

I know. I did it.

I'm going to have to try this vacation day thing again, because it sure didn't work on Monday. I got up and was getting dressed. One leg into the jeans -- hey, that was pretty good, I was on one foot for, oh, seconds at a time! Let's see what I can do with the other one....

What I could do was lose my balance, "tump over" sideways and -- major extra style points here -- hit my head, which is still bald, on the corner of my dresser. And whoever moved that dresser is going to be sorry!

Melissa bolted out of bed. "What happened??"

"I hit my head on the corner of my dresser," I wailed, thinking that was pretty damn lucid for someone who had just hit her head on the corner of her dresser. She looked at my head: no blood, no broken skin, "But you have a dent with a squidgy spot!" I crawled out from between the bed and the dresser and clambered up onto the foot of the bed -- and that's when Melissa got really worried. I guess I passed out for a minute, because next thing I knew I was laying back on the foot of the bed and Melissa was in my office on the phone. While she was talking to 911, I was pulling on my shoes and socks (I was cooking!). By the time the extremely nice firemen arrived, I was standing up in my office. "Where is she?" one of them asked. "Ummm, right here."

I answered all the questions perfectly -- even my age, damn it. My blood pressure was normal. The firemen helped me downstairs when the ambulance arrived (Melissa does not do things by half, nor do I blame her). Actually, the firemen said they might not have bothered with the ambulance were it not for my history of cancer. The EMTs were delightful. I got to ride in an ambulance, though after tumping over and substantially knocking one's noggin, riding backwards is probably not the best thing. I wasn't sick, but made sure I had a basin when I got to the ER.

No headache. No broken skin. Damn little bruising. Eye movement -- normal. No vertigo. No nausea aside from what can be attributed to motion sickness. All of which said to the doctor no need for a CT scan or MRI, especially since I had an MRI less than a month ago, and I'm having all sorts of blood work done next week, and you really, really do not want to make the phlebotomist's life harder than it is by trying to locate my veins twice in a little more than a week.

We were home by 10:00AM. If, heaven forbid, you have to go to the ER, first thing on a Monday holiday is a pretty good time. As I curled up on the sofa -- STILL no headache, but those muscles that hit the floor... and the dresser... and the weight bench... were starting to get sore... I realized (a) how stupid it had been to test my balance quite that way, in that place, then (b) it was just bad luck I had fallen in that direction, then (c) this was the kind of thing that lost Lindsay Jacobellis her gold medal, and (d) it's damn lucky I have a hard head and that I didn't kill myself! I confess, I felt rather freaked out later in the day and had this intense desire just to go to bed. The lucky thing is, I'm so sore from having fallen that lying in bed ain't comfortable!

I felt good enough to go into work the next day, but by the end of the day I was sorer than ever, and a little unsteady (to be expected, Dr. Bonnem said), so I chose to work at home today, with a stack of manuscripts by my side and right next to the massage pillow Bran and Elane (bless them, how did they KNOW?) sent us for Christmas.

Not unrelated to this -- I start physical therapy on Friday. I know it will make me feel much better. The question is, is it going to make me feel worse, first?


Anonymous Jolene said...

OH MY GOSH! That sounds terrible, and NO way to spend a vacation day. :( I'm glad you're OK.

And for what it is worth, I had never heard the phrase "tumped over" before, so atleast from your terrible ordeal I was able to add something to my vocabulary. ;)

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Don Sakers said...

Only a Barnett could take such a scary, terrible experience and so ably turn it into such an amusing anecdote. I am sorry to hear that you went through this, but thrilled that everything has turned out okay. And even more thrilled to see that you are able to laugh about it.

And I LOVE "tumped over."


2:27 PM  
Blogger Patrish said...


You need to be more careful girl!

I should talk...I was so clumsy as a child my Mom sent me to ballet classes (at $1 a week, which was a sacrifice). She hope to help me learn a little "grace" and "poise". It didn't work. I still fall down all the time...equilibrium problems associated with something with my ears.

Funny story: Last summer we got to meet with Jeff. Afterward he wrote to me and said it was nice to see two people married as long as us still holding hands. I laughed out loud. I responded to him: "Jeff, what you saw was this..Ed said, "Patrish, do you want to hold my hand or do you want to fall on your ass." I only fell once while we were in Saratoga and that time I let go of Ed because I was afraid I was going to pull him down with me. No harm done. I'm getting falling down to a science now.

You need to be more careful or we'll have to send you to ballet classes.


2:27 PM  
Blogger Dale said...


Ok you need to work on the vacation thing!!! I am so glad you kept your humor about it and managed not to blemish that naked noggin. I have an extra bike helmet if you would like it. Until then do what every over 40 woman does...sit on the edge of the bed and put both legs safely in your pants!!! No more tumping...but keep trying at taking a vacation.


6:07 AM  
Anonymous Jeanne said...

Are we kin?

6:54 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks for the helmet offer! Booklet offered me one of her riding helmets. But I have both a biking helmet AND a riding helmet. Both downstairs when I really needed them, how typical is that!!

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gah! Glad all was well, but that's scary! (My wife just had a scare yesterday, when her slippers decided to live up to their name and nearly dumped her down the high, narrow, steep back stairs of our house. She can sympathize with you on the sore muscles, as she wrenched something in her shoulder by stopping herself 3 or 3 steps down.) ER trips are rarely so uneventful.

Something Melissa said on her blog gave me a vivid memory of many of my online dog friends talking about trying to get their dogs to "go" on command, so I was left with an impression of you being carted off in the ambulance while Melissa walked the dog, chanting, "Squat, [dog's name], squat!"

2:21 PM  

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