The Day my Dog Herded Me to the ER

Way back when, I had two children and a rare free day. The kindergartener was going on an all-day field trip. The two-year-old was going to daycare for the day.

I had hours ahead of me to do all the yard work and gardening that I could squeeze in.  I put on some old tennis shoes and headed out to the yard. My faithful dog, Tess, about 7 or 8, followed me. I’d gotten her from a farm in Iowa back when I lived in Omaha. She was a booboo dog, half Brittany spaniel and half Australian blue heeler. Thus, the free part.

I rounded up the empty clay pots in the side yard, shook out the Black Widow spiders, stacked them up (the pots, not the spiders), and carried them around the house to the patio.  Tess didn’t think I was moving fast enough, so she stuck her head in the back of my knee to push me along.

Maybe it was the old shoes or maybe it was the huge load of pots. Anyway, I lost my balance and fell backward, hitting the cement first on my tailbone and second, on the back of my head.

The pots flew into the air and crashed around me. The sprinkler repair man, who had been working in the front yard, came running.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

I was groggy and ready to pass out.

“OMG, I’m calling 9-1-1!” he yelled.

The man stayed with me and kept me awake until the paramedics got there. They strapped me to a board in case I’d broken my neck.

I’m too young to be in an amblulance, I thought as we headed to the new San Ramon Regional hopsital.

My plans to get stuff accomplished had flown out the window.  My head was splitting. My back was sore, my tailbone screaming at me. I couldn’t move on the board. It was agonizing.

The doctors determined that I had a mild concussion, but otherwise, no broken bones.  Someone called my husband and he came to pick me up with not one ounce of empathy.

I had headaches for a year. The doctors kept prescribing Motrin. I finally found a chiropractor who not only adjusted my neck but also told me one leg was shorter than the other. She told me that I had flat feet and that I should wear orthotics in my shoes.

She adjusted my back and hips weekly so that my leg lengths finally matched up on the table.   I went to her for months until I felt well enough to carry a third pregnancy.

That’s why there’s a big gap between my 2nd and 3rd child. It’s also why I don’t go anywhere without orthotics in my shoes. It’s why I still see a chiropractor twice a month.

Tess, now in doggy heaven, if it was your fault, I forgive you.  You were my best dog ever except for the day that you thought I was moving too slowly with those pots.

P.S. I threw out the old shoes.

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