Yesterday was supposed to be my day to catch up on all the things that hadn’t been done this week due to various unforeseen events, doctor’s appointments and errand running mornings! We were running nicely on schedule for the first time all week. I dropped F off at school and came home. The littles did their chores in record time and went out to play, and I did a few things while the coffee brewed, took out some of my planning stuff, and poured a cup of coffee.
“9 am- just enough time to jot down some schooling ideas I’ve been thinking about,” I thought as I stirred the sugar into my cup. “we can start school at 9:30.”
I glanced out the patio door to see W retrieving a large plastic bin that had been out there to dry. I figured he was going to haul it down to the sandbox and fill it with sand. Not ideal, but easy enough to rinse it back out again. I turned to the ‘fridge, got the cream, poured it into my coffee and heard him crying.
I ran out to find that he had decided to stand on the plastic tub, it had broken under his weight and dumped him onto the patio. His hand was on the back of his head. I scooped him up and looked. Scalp wound! No big deal- they bleed profusely but since one of my brothers had a real talent for acquiring them they don’t scare me.
Slap a paper napkin on the spot and call Su from the sandbox to fetch the icepack from the freezer. Ice and pressure will slow bleeding very quickly. She ran for W’s blankie too, and he calmed down pretty quickly. He usually does- generally by the time I’m ready to take off the ice he’s ready to go play again.
Not this time.
This time he snuggled into my arm and prepared to close his eyes and sleep. Not a good sign. I called his name and he responded but clearly wanted to sleep. His body felt kind of limp as if he were fainting, but it had been ten minutes since the injury and I thought it unlikely he was fainting.
I laid him on the bench in the living room and clipped the hair from around his scalp. He laid very still ( a little too still) and when I picked him up again his eyes didn’t respond to the light from the windows properly.
“Su, ” I said, ” we’re taking him to the doctor.”
She ran to the van and I told her to buckle into the seat where she could reach W to keep him awake. It only takes about 15 minutes to get to our doctor and I kept glancing into the mirror instructing her to shake his feet whenever his eyes started to close.
I called ahead and as soon as we walked in they whisked us off to the observation room and the doctor came in to check W out.
She shone a light in his eyes, had him give her five, and looked in his ears to see if she saw spinal fluid (a sign that there is swelling in the brain). He appeared to be recovering so we sat there for an hour or so just to be sure that no other symptoms developed. At the end of that time, she cleaned the cut and agreed that it didn’t need stitches and we came home.
He was kind of cranky the rest of the day (I expect he had a headache), but seems fine today, although we are trying to keep him a little quiet as brain injuries are cumulative and we don’t want him to whack himself again for at least a couple of days!
Did he have an actual concussion? The doctor’s opinion was “something was wrong because you noticed something, but it was very mild.”
This morning I re-read this post by an internet acquaintance and EMT just to remind myself of the signs of traumatic brain injury. It’s one of those things I feel I need to review periodically as children will climb and fall and knowing the signs of something serious can save them from long-lasting complications.
Su did admirably throughout the whole thing. We periodically discuss how to react when someone gets hurt and she stayed focused and followed directions very well. They know that when I call them using words like these ” ____ I need you ____ got hurt.” they should drop what they are doing and come and both F and Su know where the icepack is kept and to put pressure on a cut to stop the bleeding. I find the knowledge of what to do helps keep them from panicking and means that I only have the injured child’s tears to deal with!
The whole incident turned out well although it did make me realize that I need to have a back-up plan for getting in touch with S when he’s at work as he was in a meeting and I carry our cell phone! I didn’t really need him to do anything but wanted him to know what was going on…
Looking at the site of the fall again I could see that W was once again protected from a really serious fall in that the tub broke and rolled under him which slowed his fall considerably. We both got a good scare but he could have been much more seriously injured and that is the Lord’s provision and protection.