Note 1: I'm fine.
Note 2: Don't try this at home.
Note 3: When you're about to use a ladder, especially when you're alone, make sure the ladder is securely fastened in an upright and locked position. This should be obvious, but sometimes it is not. Make sure the ground is level and that all four feet of the ladder are on this level ground. Make sure the safety bars between the legs of the ladder are locked.
Note 4: Wear shoes when going on a ladder. Especially wear shoes if you have recently had an incident on a ladder in exactly the same place on the exact same tree where you were not wearing shoes and were specifically warned about this. You should know better if this incident involved clipping an electrical wire with shears while you were standing barefoot on said ladder, barefoot, especially if you were lucky enough to have clipped the neutral wire, thus not getting shocked and falling to a certain death. Don't worry, it only cost you $3500 to get your house rewired.
Note 5: If you are going to climb a ladder AND use a sharp cutting implement (see Note 4), you should wear gloves or have someone else do it, especially if you have recently used the ladder in exactly the same place on the exact same tree. Sometimes sharp shears and being on ladders can lead to injuries to the fingers and resulting blood loss. Although gloves will not prevent this, they will provide a buffer between you and any potential shearing.
Note 6: If you fail to do any of this, it is wise to stay off the ladder altogether. If, however, you must use a ladder, you might consider putting padding under the ladder, should the tree in question be planted on a hard piece of cement.
Note 7: Sometimes you are stupid, and fail to do all of these things, and the ladder falls out from under you, leading to your head crashing onto the cement from a height of maybe 8+ feet. That really hurts bad.
Note 8: You are lucky to be alive and writing this!
Note 9: Although many friends claim to be clumsier than me, I think I win. However, I did *not do this to win! Sheesh!
Note 10: The body is amazing. As in note 5, when your finger healed miraculously quickly from a deep shear-wound, a lump the size of a tennis ball or baseball or other sportsball springs up immediately from the skull. What is this lump made of? Where did it come from? Not surprisingly, it hurts like hell. Also, glasses made of plastic are awesome. They can fly through the air and land 5+ feet away and not break. Nicely done, inventors!
Note 11: Ice and tylenol are the way to go. Don't take Advil. The advice nurse will tell you that, but I'm telling you now.
Note 12: It's important to have a friend sit with you. Thank you to M, who is awesome, for sitting with me, even though we were supposed to go to the baseball game. Thank you to C, who is also awesome, for waking me up all night and feeling my eyes when I thought they were doing weird things.
Note 13: You are not allowed to drink alcohol, even though this is the one thing you will really want to do. Falling off a ladder (or more accurately, the ladder falling out from under you) is fucking scary, and having a beer will sound really good. The advice doctor will tell you no, because it will make determining what a symptom of a head injury and what alcohol is very difficult. DAMMIT.
Note 14: For days, you can use this head injury as an excuse. The NIH tells you to tell your coworkers and friends and family that you will be irritable, noise sensitive, slow, unable to do important things, etc. It is absolutely true. Tell them, because it is true. And then use the excuse. Because even though you might be all those things all of the time, no one will buy it any other time.
Note 15: Your neck will start to hurt the second day. I'm guessing this is related to whiplash, but maybe it's because your head is carrying an extra 1/3 of the weight. You can't take advil or another anti-inflammatory, and that just sucks. Moving the ice to your neck kind of helps.
Note 16: Strangely, you will learn how to sleep on ice and other hard frozen items. Do not over-use frozen vegetables, especially peas. When they melt, the bag will leak and you will stink like melted frozen peas. Take it from me.
Note 17: I am fine. I hurt like hell, but I have amazing people who have been amazing. Seriously, don't try this at home. I may remove the cursed rose tree that has caused 3 major problems in a little over a month. And no, I won't go on a ladder when I'm home alone again.