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#288889 - 05/06/18 02:33 AM Tried by Fire
Jeanette_Isabelle Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1864
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
As some may remember, I built and finely turned my EDC since I was a child. Much of the time my few, select items got me through a lot of situations I faced.

Mom and I returned from a nine-day road trip. I would not say we arrived safely; we arrived in one piece so I would call the trip a success.

Saturday night in our timeshare condo, as she was carrying her laptop, Mom's foot caught the leg of a bar stool. Her computer flies out of her hand and onto the wood floor. Both of her knees, which she had problems with already, hit the wood floor. This would sound like the accident I had in 2007; no, Mom had to make an extra effort to top my fall. As she was heading to the floor, her head makes contact with the armrest of the chair in front of her, causing a whiplash.

I was not there. I was in the bedroom when this happened.

Mom was not able to get up. She sees her, approximately, one-year-old Dell laptop face-down on the floor thinking she may have destroyed it.

Mom gets on her cell phone to call me. I come in with my EDC bag which contains a first aid kit I built using the following as a model:

https://www.chinookmed.com/01423/traveler-kit.html

I start by reassuring Mom that what she dropped was just a laptop. It's replaceable. A possible whiplash or concussion is higher on the priority list. To put her concern to rest, I check the computer. It works. It does not have a scratch.

After I clean and bandage her knee, we focus on her neck. Mom barely moved her neck and it is sore. We have a potential problem.

I read Wilderness and Travel Medicine by Eric A. Weiss, M.D. several times and yet, I did not remember what to do in this situation. We waited. When it seemed safe to move her, I helped Mom up and into bed.

Using her laptop, I looked up what to do. One website says to take her to the E.R. Another says to monitor her over 24 Hour period.

Mom suggested a 24 Hour minute clinic. This is the first time any of us has been to Williamsburg, Virginia. I googled "24 Hour minute clinic Williamsburg, Virginia." I get a map with a red dot at each location. At first, this was not helpful [after all, none of us has ever been there]. I pull up another tab and google the address of the timeshare. A hospital is three blocks away.

Now we know where to go if we need to. Mom is in no shape to drive; neither am I. I had taken my Mirtazapine before Mom fell.

Mom is starting to feel better and is moving her neck some, a combination of time and Alive [no afiliation]. Still, I check on her every thirty minutes until I needed to sleep.

First lesson: include a copy of Wilderness and Travel Medicine by Eric A. Weiss, M.D. in my EDC.

It's late. I'm sleepy. I'll tell you about my other adventures and opportunities to add to my EDC tomorrow when I wake up.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"When you're up to your [neck] in alligators, it's hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp." -- Floridian proverb

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#288891 - 05/06/18 03:41 AM Re: Tried by Fire [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6582
Loc: southern Cal
I believe this merits an ambulance ride to the ER ASAP. You have a distinct possibility of a very serious injury and time is not necessarily on your side.

Being in civilization has its advantages sometimes (ambulances, ERs, and competent help readily at hand).
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#288893 - 05/06/18 03:47 AM Re: Tried by Fire [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
WesleyH Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 82
Loc: OKLAHOMA
Jeanette,

Have you taken an EMT class? If you can get into one, It would give you a great basis to build upon.

In a case like this, when trauma is suspected to the neck, Stabilization of the neck is imperative. It may sound silly, and most of the time, is overreacting, BUT you never really know until an X-ray is taken.

The difference at worst can be the difference between permanent paralysis or even death.

Horton RN BSN, REMTP (former)

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#288894 - 05/06/18 11:03 AM Re: Tried by Fire [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2015
Loc: NE Illinois
The very best wishes to your mother. I hope she is feeling better this morning!!

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#288895 - 05/06/18 12:20 PM Re: Tried by Fire [Re: hikermor]
Jeanette_Isabelle Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1864
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I believe this merits an ambulance ride to the ER ASAP. You have a distinct possibility of a very serious injury and time is not necessarily on your side.

According to the book I wish I had with me, that is what I should have done. I will add a copy of Wilderness and Travel Medicine to my EDC.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"When you're up to your [neck] in alligators, it's hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp." -- Floridian proverb

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#288896 - 05/06/18 01:24 PM Re: Tried by Fire [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6582
Loc: southern Cal
The book you cite is a good reference, as are James Wilkerson's numerous editions of Mountaineering Medicine, but they should be combined with as much FA and EMT training as you can get.

After posting last night, I hauled out Wilkerson's latest volume and read up a bit - if anything, my posted advice was too conservative. the specific issue is intracranial bleeding and increasing pressure on the brain, eventually leading to its shutdown and death. There is also the possibility of a cervical fracture and potential damage to the spinal cord (stiffness in the neck). An x-ray is the only reliable means of diagnosis.

I hope your mother is doing well. A trip to the ER is still a jolly good idea.

I have a lot of war stories about cranial and neck injuries (SAR mostly, but some familial). I hope some members of this forum with more training and experience will chime in with their observations.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#288897 - 05/06/18 01:28 PM Re: Tried by Fire [Re: WesleyH]
Jeanette_Isabelle Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1864
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
Originally Posted By: WesleyH
Have you taken an EMT class? If you can get into one, It would give you a great basis to build upon.

No, I have not. We have a college on College Rd. [hence its name] and I think they have that class.

The problem is getting there. My anxiety is worse now than in 2005. I can't drive except for on the back roads and one or two blocks of College RD. Even if I am a passenger, I need 1 MG of Lorazepam. Without it, I would be like the lion who jumped out the window.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myXrgffv8ns

I had to take Lorazepam seven of our 9 Day road trip. That's not good. Lorazepam is a controlled medicine. The more I take it, the more my body gets accustomed to it.

I'm okay on a bus; the nearest bus stop is approximately ten miles away.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"When you're up to your [neck] in alligators, it's hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp." -- Floridian proverb

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#288898 - 05/06/18 02:46 PM Re: Tried by Fire [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Jeanette_Isabelle Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1864
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
Wednesday morning I experienced a minor cough. I can't remember why; fortunately, I packed a bottle of a liquid cough suppressant. Later that day the cough morphed into either a major cold or minor flu. I did not have any cold medicine.

Even with the cough medicine, I had two hours of sleep that night. A cough kept me up the rest of the night.

Thursday I am tired, I have a cold and I can't eat. All I could do was sit there and watch whatever was on TV and consume as much liquids as I could. Mom returns to the condo with cold medicine. That helped a little. I go to sleep, wake up a few hours later, took my medication and went back to sleep. I woke up at around 11:00 P.M. I go back to sleep again. I'm in and out of sleep for the next few hours because of the same disturbing dream.

If anyone knows what increasing the clock speed of an Apple IIe (to accept a faster SCSI hard drive) has to do with real estate development in Colonial Williamsburg, please let me know. That would put my mind at ease.

I need to know what reasonable precautions I need to take in the event something like this happen again. This is the second time in my remembrance in which I was this sick during a trip.

Friday, on the road back home, I took my last dose of aspirin. I EDC a bottle of aspirin. For a trip, I need to bring an extra bottle of aspirin from now on.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"When you're up to your [neck] in alligators, it's hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp." -- Floridian proverb

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