Okay so there are no hand grenades in this story, but it makes a good title, no?

First of all, Happy New Year!  I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday season so far.  Although I’d said I would be a bit absentee from the blog over the holidays, I didn’t mean to disappear altogether.  But fate decided to make an appearance.

On the night of the solstice, December 21st, I had a friend and her young son over to celebrate with dinner, a fire, lots of candles, a few glasses of wine (for the grownups) and general merriment.  She stayed with the kids while I took Rocky for a walk in an open field near our house.  I took a flashlight.  Flashlights make Rocky manic, so I try not to use it too often, but I did that night.  I must have been looking for him in the dark, and I assume he ran into me head-on.

I remember almost nothing of the following six hours, including the walk home, a trip to the ER, a CT scan and the fact that my husband, after talking to me, flew home from a business trip in Phoenix a day early.  Even when I did, “come to,” I asked many of the same questions over and over again, not remembering either the answer or the fact that I’d just asked the same question.  At about 3:00 in the morning, I asked my husband, “If I can’t remember anything, why did the hospital send me home?”  My husband responded, “Because you were asking too many questions.”  At last, a laugh!

I spent the entire next day in bed, confused, disoriented and scared.  Luckily, also mostly asleep.  I ached everywhere and found I had sprained my knee and twisted my shoulder somehow.  My chest and ribs hurt.  My brain felt too big for my skull.  Basically, it felt like the aftermath of a high-intensity workout and a terrible hangover combined.

Long story short, after a trip to a neurologist and a craniosacral therapist, I was on the road to recovery.  I am feeling much better now, if not 100 percent.  What took the longest to come back was the ability to read and write, which I’m sure you can imagine, was terrifying for me.  My life’s bread, butter and chocolate – not only gone but also not even appealing.  (If I normally comment on your blog and you haven’t heard from me in a while, now you know why.) Writing these words today feels like the best possible way to celebrate the new year.

I have missed a couple of Gratitude Sundays, so let me just say I’m grateful that my injuries were not worse and that I can expect to fully recover. I am grateful for my friend who took care of me, called my mother, wrote up a timeline of events (which turned out to be immensely helpful) and spent the night at my house so my mom could take me to the hospital.  I am beyond grateful for my incredible family and their support, not just during this time but at all times.  I am grateful for the peaceful and joyous Christmas we celebrated, and that my stepmother was able to join us for the first time.  I am grateful for the fabulous food we’ve eaten over the holidays and that we finally, FINALLY got some snow.  I am grateful for all of my friends, both real-life and virtual.  I am grateful that I get to look forward to another year of doing what I love.

Happiest and healthiest of New Years’ to you and yours!

What of the dog, you ask?  Well, I’m pretty sure he was trying to protect me from the evil “flashlight-from-the-devil.”  He would never, ever hurt anyone by choice.  Besides, how could you stay mad at a face like this?

Categories: Dogs, Family, Friendship, Gratitude Sunday, Holidays, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , ,



  1. Oh Julie! What a journey. Take it slow and steady – and no more flashlights walking that dog! xx

  2. Glad you are okay. That was really scary and my heart goes out to you.

  3. I’m glad your OK. Take time to really get it together.
    Your readers are grateful for you too! Happy New Year!
    ~ Carol

  4. Oh Julie, I wondered how you were! Our dog goes crazy for the flashlights too, and I wouldn’t be able to be angry at her either.

    You are quite lucky and I’m glad that it’s all working out OK. Take good care of yourself!

    Oh, and Happy New Year to you!

  5. When you say “a few glasses of wine” . . . how many is a few? 🙂

    So glad that you are on the road to recovery.

    If I couldn’t read and write, I don’t know how I would fill my days. I might actually have to get something done around the house. Quelle horreur!

    Welcome back! Happy New Year.

    • Nancy, that’s a legitimate question – lol! I don’t know how many precisely, but not enough to knock me out like that!

      Quelle horreur is exactly right!

  6. Oh, my! I’m glad you’re recovering. That’s scary. (And you’re right, he is a very cute doggie.)

  7. That’s terrible Julie, glad the effects are not permanent! I hope the new year brings you everything you dream of and no more dog stories.
    Take care

  8. Thank you guys for all of the concern and the well-wishes! I wondered whether to write about it because I felt a little silly to be honest, but I’m glad I did. If for no other reason, so you know why I was MIA for so long.

    It’s good to be back!

  9. Glad you’re OK, Julie! (And that reading and writing are becoming appealing again!)

  10. Oh my god, I’m so glad you’re ok!!! Make sure you take things easy and get as much rest as you need.



  11. Oh, Julie! What drama! I’m so glad you are doing better and on the road to full recovery. Lots of hugs for you!

  12. Wow No wonder they say truth is strange than fiction! My husband and I always get annoyed when they play the “amnesia card” in a show or movie, but i guess it really does happen! So relieved to hear you are making a full recovery!

    • I know! I never really believed in it either. Do now! At this point, I’m pretty sure there are about 6 hours I’m never going to recover. Pretty scary. But also cool how the brain operates and works to protect itself.

      My husband joked that it’s too bad I regained the ability to make new memories so soon, otherwise he could just give me the same gift over and over again for Christmas.

  13. Cheryl Reifsnyder

    Julie! Oh, wow, I’m so sorry to hear this and so glad to year you’re okay. Take care of yourself! Kill your flashlight!

    Looking at that face, tho…are you sure he didn’t do it on purpose? Not to hurt you, just to keep you at his side more hours of the day?

    🙂 Recover now, k?

    • Cheryl,

      I’m fairly certain that in his little doggy brain he thought he was protecting me. I swear he looked contrite the next day. And I can’t imagine how I got home if he didn’t lead the way.

      But yes – nobody is allowed to use a flashlight in the presence of the dog ever. again.

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