Monday, September 30, 2013

TARZAN! - or - What a Fall!

Sometimes a hike in the woods can become more than what you bargained for! Everything was going great until my boys spotted the grapevine swing...

When you grow up in the mountains of Wild, Wonderful West Virginia, you don't need to drive for miles to hike in the woods and observe nature, because usually the woods are right behind your house! 

It was a beautiful spring day, and my husband and I decided to take our three sons for a hike in the woods. My husband and I had grown up on opposite sides of the mountain, and it always seemed like the mountains were part of our backyards! Our sons liked to go for hikes, and this was a great chance to get the boys off the couch and out of the house - away from the TV and video games. We put on our sturdy shoes, grabbed the Snake-Bite Kit, and set off. We never knew what we might find on these walks, but we always enjoyed them. Of course, there was always the usual wildlife: beautiful birds singing, striped chipmunks scurrying about, frisky squirrels, sometimes a quick-footed rabbits, an occasional deer, and even sometimes an unwelcome slithering snake.  There was also always the chance of spotting a black bear! In the springtime there was the search for "Merkels" (Morels) or "Molly Moochers" as they are usually called in West Virginia, which are like a spongy mushroom and absolutely delicious when breaded and fried. It was exciting to find a puddle and look for tadpoles, and I was always on the lookout for pretty bark or other "souvenirs" from nature that might end up in a craft project!

This walk was rather unique. Suddenly, one of the boys spotted a grapevine swing. Grapevine swings were always fun, and this one looked sturdy enough but a little unusual: both ends were hooked to trees. The two older boys took turns swinging and yelling, "Tarzan!" After a while, they tried to talk their dad into this adventure. He refused saying he weighed too much and the "swing" might break. At that exact moment, all eyes turned to me. The boys kept encouraging me to try the grapevine swing, "Come on, Mom!" "You can do it!" "It's fun!" Although I was usually not the courageous type, it really did look like fun, and of course, I wanted to look brave in front of my kids. Finally, I gave in to "Kid Pressure", and against my better judgment, I agreed to try the grapevine swing. 

I will admit that with the first push it felt exhilarating swinging in the air with the wind hitting me in the face as I went up closer to the sky! Unfortunately, when I was given a harder push, I went higher and my right hand almost hit a tree, so I let go with that hand briefly to avoid getting it smashed. The swing shifted in mid-air, and I felt my body falling,


I hit
   the ground 
     with a 


The boys and their Dad were looking down at me on the ground, and they were all laughing! It was one of those moments that I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! 

At first, I didn't know that I was really hurt; I just knew that I had hit the ground, and I felt rather ridiculous at the time lying there! My husband very graciously helped me stand up, and the boys helped dust the leaves off and pulled the sticks out of my hair. I felt a little shaken and jolted, but I thought I would be okay. We decided it was time to walk back down the mountain.

Unfortunately, headaches, neck pain, and dizziness followed. I decided to go to a trusted doctor who was a combination Osteopathic Doctor and a Chiropractor. At the Doctor's Office, when I told them how I received the injury, I was jokingly called "Jane"  and asked where "Cheetah" was, referring to the "Tarzan" movies! 

I had originally suffered injuries in a car accident several years before, so this accident had re-injured my neck among other things. This was not good news, but the doctor was optimistic that I would recover. He put me on a table that had a roller wheel mounted in it. The treatment on this special table  massaged my back and neck. The doctor then performed Chiropractic Manipulation and prescribed the necessary medications. Many months of pain, doctor visits, and healing followed until I was again released from Doctor's care.

To this day, I am occasionally reminded and teased about the "Tarzan" incident, and I have learned that it is better to just reminisce and laugh along. After all, laughter is the best medicine!

Ms. Nancy's  Notes and Life's Lessons:
  • Don't give in to "Kid Pressure", especially if you don't feel comfortable with the situation.
  • Would I do it again? I would have to think very hard about that. While I think we should take a risk now and then, regrettably the pain from this incident lasted a lot longer than the pleasure.
  • Special thanks to granddaughter Mia for loaning me her doll so we could reenact the "Tarzan" incident.  She has now renamed her doll "Ms. Nancy".  Incidentally, her Ms. Nancy now has a blog about Lego Friends! Smart kid!
"Ms. Nancy" at work on her blog 

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