Note: Our Christmas story will be in a separate post.
Christmas morning started off perfectly. Everybody sat downstairs in the sun room, I played holiday music on my phone via Pandora and we passed around and opened gifts with my parents while the cinnamon rolls baked.
After an hour or so, Mom decided to head to bed. She was upstairs in the kitchen, so Zac and I decided to start picking up the wrapping paper scraps and neatening up. Dad grabbed an arm load of goodies and started heading up the stairs. There are only eight steps that lead up to the kitchen. Not like the 18-20 that lead to the bedrooms. I happened to look up at the moment my dad was falling, straight back onto the floor from the 5th step. The thud still haunts me. He landed so hard that the floor shook and he slid a few inches. I don’t remember anything but the way his voice sounded – quiet, rhythmic moans with his breathing. I screamed, “Dad!” and Mom hurried downstairs and was shouting. Dad wouldn’t look at us, wouldn’t respond to our voices. His hand was grasping at the floor while I put a shirt under his head. Then we saw a small area of blood on the carpet. A small trickle of blood was coming from the side of his head somewhere, but I didn’t want to move his head around. He started saying “Yes” over and over, quietly, while trying to sit up. I didn’t see blood from his ears, but he had a deep gash near his left eye. Mom called 911 and we had to keep Dad from sitting up. He kept trying to push himself up to sit, but kept dropping back down. He managed to roll over onto his other side, so I sat and talked to him. Mom hurried to get dressed and the paramedics arrived. They asked him questions about what happened, but Dad had no memory of the morning or of falling. He didn’t know what month is was, what day, or even which holiday. He kept asking, “What’s all the commotion about?” and was just so lost and confused. The ambulance took him away with Mom.
Emily came over not long after they left and I told her what happened. She had passed the ambulance on our street, but didn’t expect it to be carrying Dad. Zac cleaned up the blood for me. We wasted time while waiting for updates. When Dad landed, he hit his left side, then his head. I think his glasses cut his face, unless it was the impact. He developed a subdural hematoma, which can absorb on its own, but not in every case. He also had a seizure and suffered a mild concussion. He threw up in the ambulance, which isn’t a good sign. The doctors transferred him from one hospital to another and hooked him up to monitors and machines in the ICU. Emily and I packed a bag for Mom and decided to exchange gifts and hang around until Mom needed us to go to her.
When Emily and I arrived at the hospital, only one at a time were allowed back, so I went first and of course burst into tears when I saw him just laying there. It reminded me of his heart attack when I was little. He thought it was silly, but told me he felt fine, just tired. Luckily, a room became available, so he was able to move to a private space with a more comfortable bed. Mom and Emily were able to visit along with me once Dad was settled. I hugged him and told him not to go yet. He spent the first night in his own room and did great. Tonight he’s being moved to a recovery room. Hopefully he can come home soon. From what I know, his heart rate lowered too much when he was climbing the stairs, which lead to him blacking out. I don’t remember him trying to catch himself, he just went backward. I can’t get the image out of my head… it was like a slow motion movie and I was frozen. Poor James and Leah saw him fall. Leah freaked out and started screaming, James was in shock, and Elias started crying. It was just a horrible experience all around.