My worst injury was when I was 10 feet down a shaft and dislodged a softball sized rock that was right at the top. The rock grazed my helmet, ricocheted off my shoulder, and took a chunk out of my arm. Good thing it didn't knock me out because I would have tumbled about 200' down a 45 degree incline.
It was actually a pretty serious situation since my left arm didn't work very well and I had to climb back out. The rim of the mine was badly deteriorated and would be a challenge to traverse. My exploring partner was up top but there wasn't anything to rig an anchor to in order to create a rescue pulley system. I put 100% of my focus on getting out so I wouldn't have to be rescued. With much encouragement from my partner I was able to get out. My arm was bleeding but not serious. My shoulder was the real problem. The rock had just missed the clavicle and hit the acromion bone. That was actually a blessing since I think the rock would have shattered the clavicle. Still, my arm was out of service.
We headed the 25 miles across the desert on a dirt road to the nearest town and a regional medical center. I figured that I could get it x-rayed. By the time we got into town I knew that my shoulder wasn't fractured. We bought a couple of bags of ice and headed back into camp. For the next couple of days I kept ice on it pretty regularly.
I still have a scar on my forearm where the rock took out a chunk of skin. After a couple of months the shoulder healed completely and hasn't given me any further trouble. I'm not sure that the knock on the helmet made me any crazier than I already am.
We have never been able to find the official name of the mine so for now it's the "Killer Mine".
I keep a reasonable first aid kit in my truck when I head out. It's not a trauma kit, but has enough to stop serious bleeding along with minor cuts and such. The one thing I plan to add is instant cold packs. They provide a lot of pain relief and help reduce swelling. Abby Normal