Falling Through Roof Isn't as Much Fun as One Might Think

Filed under:Family, Friends, Heather, Tooele — posted by Tyler on June 7, 2006 @ 9:32 pm

Yesterday evening I decided to help my neighbor tear the roof off his house. I was going to town on the removal of thousands of nails that needed to be either pounded flush with the framing or pulled out. I was using a cool nail removal tool that had multiple claws. I worked like a machine on top of that roof for two and a half hours. A few times I looked down over the edge of the house and wondered what type of injuries I might suffer if I slipped and fell. I think everyone who works on a roof has similar thoughts pass through their minds. I had the similar thoughts just a couple of days earlier when I had to get up on my own roof to fix the swamp cooler.
When I first started working on the roof I heard some people on the other side making some excited comments.

Whoa! Careful! Holy cow!

Someone working on the same side of the roof as me asked, “What? What’s going on? What happened?”

They yelled back, “You don’t want to know!”

Turns out that maybe we wanted to know. They had just discovered that the portion of the roof over the porch was very unstable. In fact, one of them was standing on the section and “testing” it by bouncing on it. (They probably weighed a hundred pounds less than me which makes all the difference, apparently.)
A couple of hours passed and the roof was nail free. We could now start laying down the particle board to keep the impending storm from drenching the house.
As I searched for some way to continue to lend a hand I said, “Someone give me some direction. I don’t have anything to do.” Rick Chevalier looked up from his task (pulling off some sheet metal that lined a section of roof where one side met another) and said, “You can help me. Start down on the other end and we’ll get this ripped off.” He was at the top so I headed down. It led me right to the section over the porch.

I stepped down into the unstable roof section (though I had no idea it was unstable) and turned around to get at the flashing and start prying it off.

No sooner had I turned around then I started falling. It happened so quick I didn’t even have time to grab for something to stop my fall. The whole section came down with me and I fell with my lower back landing on the porch and my head hitting a section of the roof that came down with me. I saw black and then white flashes of light (commonly referred to as stars) and the next thing I clearly recall is people telling me to stay down and stay still. I was still trying to catch my breath and at the same time trying to say, “I’m ok, I’m ok.” Despite what everyone was telling me to do all I wanted to do was get up and let everyone know I was ok. Then I remember seeing again. Rick was grabbing my hands and helping me up.

I was pretty shocked that I had fallen through the roof and broken it. I started apologizing for breaking the roof and telling everyone that I didn’t know it wasn’t stable. I also continued to let everyone know that I was fine. (I found out later that one of the kids in the living room was about to step out onto the porch.  Thank goodness that nobody was on the porch when I fell through the roof!)
I went into the living room and sat down. I was beginning to feel the effects of the fall. I had several cuts on my arms and my lower back didn’t feel good at all. It wasn’t long before Heather came to pick me up. I thought maybe I’d continue to help with the roof, but it was becoming clear to me that I wasn’t up for it.

Once at home and after a shower to clean all the roof debris out of my hair and ears I laid down in bed. It was becoming more and more clear to me that I wasn’t feeling quite right. Several people had suggested that I go to the doctors to get a tetanus shot. Others suggested that I get checked out just to make sure nothing was wrong. I started to think maybe they were right when I was feeling nauseous and having a hard time focusing my eyes.

Heather took me to Mountain West Medical Center in Tooele. It turns out if you complain about your neck hurting when getting checked in at the ER, they’ll put a neck brace on your neck which doesn’t make it feel any better. In fact, afer they put the neck brace on (which only made my neck hurt even worse) I was beginning to wish I never came.

The doctor determined that I would need a CAT Scan to make sure nothing was seriously wrong internally. Thankfully the scans came back normal. The doctor said I had had a mild concussion. She also gave me a tetnus shot.

Once home, I slept all night and all all day until 5pm, except for a break for lunch. My back and neck are very sore and I’m on edge. My kids have been bothering me with the slightest things, so I can tell I’m uptight because of the pain. I’ll be glad when the pain has subsided. I hope that after all the sleep I got last night and today that I’ll be able to sleep tonight. I got more than 14 hours of sleep! Thank goodness for Ibuprofen. Actually, I think I might try some Tylenol PM tonight. I saw a commercial for Lunesta today. That looks like good stuff, too. ;)

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