Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Personal Research of the Wrong Kind

By Chester Campbell

Some of my colleagues have been discussing the problems of aging lately, so I might as well join the club. Actually, my situation is not so much age related except as it applies to the slowness of recovery. When my wife and I booked a week at a resort on Tampa Bay for the end of September, I looked forward to some relaxing days with a bit of writing when the spirit moved me. We planned to drive halfway from Nashville the first day, then finish up on the day of check-in.

Travel to Dothan, Alabama proved uneventful, except for a Cracker Barrel stop. We had some free nights thanks to my Choice Hotels credit card and checked into our suite at a Clarion Inn. It was handicapped equipped, which meant a large shower as an extension of the tile bathroom floor. We went out for dinner, watched the evening news and went to bed. I awoke early in the morning, feeling a tad queasy. I went to the bathroom and stood in front of the toilet.

My next recollection is looking up from a bed in the Emergency Room at some medical type who was asking my birth date and where I lived. My wife had heard me fall and found me on the tile floor, my scalp split open in back. She thinks I hit the edge of the shower drain. She called 911 and the rest is history. I wound up with seven staples closing an upside-down Y-shaped cut. Because of the concussion, they did a brain scan but found nothing out of order. So I have no excuse for being like I am.

My step-daughter came down and drove us back home. I sat around the first couple of days, then got on the computer and set up my next free ebook promotion on BookBub. By the first of the following week, my doctor tried to extract my staples but ran into a problem. I won't go into the gory details, but I now know a bit about how the early settlers felt when the Indians started scalping them. If I ever decide to write a Western, maybe it'll come in handy.

I also learned from the experience what the after affects are of a solid blow to the back of the head. Take it from me, your protagonist won't jump up and start doing battle. Were I considerably younger, I likely would have bounced back quicker. I was lucky I didn't have a bad headache, but my head felt a bit strange for a few days and I felt rather rocky at first.

Last week I started back on my daily walk at the mall and increased it to two miles by Saturday. This week I'm back to about two miles in thirty minutes. I've also returned to work on my sixth Greg McKenzie mystery. I got the opening idea from a news story that took place near my home. A senior citizen type in a power chair was hit and killed while driving on the street at night. In my story, it was a hit-and-run.

Incidentally, I've decided it isn't the best idea to indulge in head wound research as a do-it-yourself project.


Jackie King said...

Mercy gracious, Chester. What a story! And I agree, you're carrying your research to an extreme level. But on the other hand, when something unfortunate happens, isn't it great to be able to use the incident (including misery and pain) as grist for your writer's mill?

Bill Kirton said...

Scary, Chester. Glad to hear that you're turning it to good effect, though. Take care.