Having four children it probably wouldn’t surprise you that over the years I have spent my fair share of time in the emergency room. Although would you be surprised to know that in my 13 years as a parent it probably wasn’t until 5 years ago when my son was born that ER visits have become a semi annual occurrence? And all in all I guess I would have to say that’s not bad at all. But I’m guessing you can figure out that the arrival of my son is what has started these more frequent hospital trips.
There’s just something about boys, right? They have this uncanny ability to get injured. Oddly enough my son isn’t much of a dare devil. He’s not jumping out of tree houses thinking he can fly or anything. Most of his accidents seem to include his head. Makes me miss his helmet days. Although, sometimes I wonder if the helmet has somehow caused his problems. Almost like he never learned how to protect his head.
Concussion At 3 Years Old
His 1st real head injury came when he was just 3 years old. He was at preschool and was hanging his stuff up and his feet just came out from under him and he slipped right off the bench and landed on his head. I had literally just pulled into my driveway when I was getting a phone call from the school nurse telling me to come back and pick him up. He was fine, but because of the location of the bump on his head she felt he would be best at home. So back to the school I went.
I didn’t think much of it. That was probably his 3rd or 4th bump to the head at school. The first where the nurse wanted me to pick him up. So I brought him home and all seemed fine most of the day, but as the day wore on he was getting lethargic and wouldn’t eat.
I called the doctor who said he probably has a concussion just put him to bed and check on him through the night and if he becomes unresponsive or throws up to call her.
Well, no sooner had I put him to bed than he started to throw up. So off to the ER we went. They gave him a once over and said it’s probably a minor concussion. Bring him home, put him to bed, and if the symptoms persist bring him to your doctor.
Since then he has had a few minor falls. Just your typical kid falls though. It was only a matter of time I suppose before we landed in the ER again.
A Head Laceration
So Sunday morning while the kids were preparing breakfast for themselves my oldest daughter was calling for us to come to the kitchen, her brother fell off the chair. Since he wasn’t crying much we didn’t think too much of it until our daughter began crying, “He’s bleeding!“ Now I was curious so I got up to check out what was going on. Sure enough there was blood on the back of his head.
I got a wet cloth and began carefully cleaning him up. I realized that he had about a 1 inch gash on the back of his head. However, he wasn’t bleeding a whole lot. I wasn’t sure if we needed to take him to the hospital or not. This was my first experience with something which might require some sort of stitches and generally I thought the rule was if you couldn’t get the bleeding to stop, then you need stitches. But it was his head and I felt like it was kind of this gaping head wound and I couldn’t exactly cover it with a bandaid.
When in doubt, call the doctor. So I did. She said bring him to our local ER, they can take care of it. They’ll either glue or staple him back together again.
So off to the ER we went. My son was pretty quiet. Awake and alert, but just not saying anything or crying either. Being relatively early on a Sunday we were lucky to only be there for an hour or so. They cleaned him up and he didn’t even flinch. The nurse was very impressed with him. Then the PA came in and looked at his head and said I’ll have to put some staples in. He said I don’t recommend numbing it because it will cause more pain so we told him to just do it. Three staples later and they put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Not a peep out of my son. The PA walks away and my son says, “That hurt!”
Yes, I’m sure it did hurt. And life goes on. Now here’s a little secret I’m going to let you in on. The fact that he had this gash on his head didn’t worry me too much. I wasn’t scared. I knew that he would be okay. My biggest worry was a vane worry. I was afraid they were going to have to shave his head. My son doesn’t have a whole lot of hair to begin with. As a matter of fact, the first 2 years of his life he really didn’t have hair. So the thought of having to start all over again with his hair was what scared me the most. Go figure. They did not shave his head. His hair is all still there. We can wet his head, but no scrubbing and we’ll have to have the staples removed in ten days.
It Amazes Me
Once upon a time I would have been in a complete panic. But now it’s just oh another bump to the head. Blood? No big deal. I don’t know though if it bled more I might not have been so calm. I doubt his hair would have been my biggest worry too. It wasn’t a lot of blood though.
I almost feel like I am becoming numb to his injuries though. I better not become too numb or we might be dealing with something more serious than a concussion and a small 1 inch gash.
Right now every knock to the noggin has be a little extra nervous, but only because I want his head to heal up nice.
My oldest daughter, bless her heart, she was in such a panic over her brother I worried that she was going to scare him. This is all new to her and remember she thinks she knows what’s best for her siblings. But she loves him a lot, this is clear. And I am sure if it happened to her, my first born, I probably wouldn’t have handled things much differently than she did. I have learned over the years to put the brave face on for my kids. Don’t let them see you sweat.
As with everything my son has been through in his life I know he’ll come through this just fine. His head will heal up and hopefully we’ll get to stay out of the ER for a while. Maybe we could stop with the head injuries too.
Do you have an accident prone child? What have your trips to the ER entailed?