Both of the hubbies were out of town so my sister and I decided to get the cousins together for some breakfast tacos and pool-time today. And what would Cousin Fun Day be without a trip to the emergency room?
At breakfast, I asked Charlie to sit down at the table and while he was climbing over the picnic table bench he got tangled up in his Crocs and flipped backwards off the bench. He hit the concrete floor head first.
Several minutes of loud, hysterical screaming later he calmed down and drank a little orange juice and seemed to be TOTALLY FINE.
I willed myself not to think about recent news stories involving seemingly unremarkable head bumps.
We finished breakfast and got in our cars. Before we left we debated whether we should go on the little train at the park or just head back to my house for some relaxed backyard fun. I got in my car and dialed Pediatrician Man, thinking the nurse would confirm my hunch that I should just keep an eye on Charlie and maybe make an office visit appointment later in the afternoon. Instead she told me to take him to the emergency room at the children's hospital. Now.
My sister took Wesley and my niece back to my house and Charlie and I headed for the ER. Having believed everything was fine before I called Pediatrician Man, I was now struggling to stay calm.
The triage nurse asked me to describe the fall, where on his head hit the floor first, had he lost consciousness (OH MY GOD do you really think I would have driven him here MYSELF?), had he thrown up? He hadn't done any of those things and I was feeling a little silly for being there. Then she felt the back of his head for a bump? a crack? protruding brain tissue? and he flinched and pulled away. Poor little guy--and also--thanks for making me look not crazy.
The doctor looked in his eyes, checked his pupils, his ears, and his nose, watched him walk, and asked him questions. He felt the bump and said that it wasn't big enough that he would think he would have any internal head trauma (gulp).
I was to take him home and let him rest and watch for any evidence of head trauma, one symptom of which was irritability. Will all my friends with two-year-olds laugh heartily with me? It was a terrifying afternoon really. Is he really flipping out because I'm not letting him push the stroller into the pool or is his brain swelling out the base of his skull? Is that a tantrum or a traumatic brain injury? Why are you falling asleep half an hour early? Because the emergency room was a scary and stressful experience? Or because your brain stem is being compressed?
Since the doctor said the symptoms would have shown up within an hour of the accident (the accident as in "Well his teeth were so nice and straight before the accident," or "We had high hopes for his future as a NASA engineer before the accident."), and he didn't exhibit any abnormal crankiness or sleepiness, I am confident in the doctor's diagnosis of "boo boo" and will continue to administer apple juice as directed.
Cousin Fun Day resumed after lunch and naps with a trip to the pool and then out for pizza.