Monday, October 17, 2011

Things that Go Bump in the Light

I was at the park on a gorgeous Saturday morning with Atheist-Friend and our children.  Fall was in the air.  Crunchy leaves whipped around the playground.   I filled my lungs with fresh air and happiness.  What a way to start our day.

Then I hear crying.  Not the normal, melodramatic self-pitying "I skinned my knee" crying.  The real stuff.  The kind of crying that makes a mother's blood run cold because her child is seriously hurt.

It's Daniel.  Apparently, he and his friend had twisted their swings into knots so they could spin around with dizzying speed and glee.  In his untwisting frenzy, Daniel smacked his forehead right into a park pole.  It took me 3 seconds to get to him and a golf ball had already sprouted from his forehead.

A little background before I continue: I don't do well when my children are hurt. My instinct is to hug them in hopes that pure maternal love will instantly heal their wounds.  I also overreact and call ambulances anytime there is a head injury out of fear that they are oozing brains or suffering a cranial bleed. We've all read about Natasha Richardson, right?

Thankfully, I know my husband is home.  He's a licensed paramedic.  I race Daniel to the car, leave the other boys with Atheist-Friend, and nearly pass out when I see his bump is now the size of an apple.  It looks like a giant purple tumor.

Normally, it would take me 4 minutes to drive home from the park.  I made it in 29 seconds.  Even in that short time, his wound grew into the size of a grapefruit.

I raced in the door, spied my husband, tossed my broken child at him and demanded that he "fix him."  Like NOW.  Like one of those Evangelical healers.  Can I hear an amen?

Joe, still wiping sleep from his eyes (he had worked the night before at the firehouse), calmly set about getting an ice pack and evaluating Dan's mental state.

He knew his name, the year, and that his mother was crazy.  We were good.

After repeated assurances that Joe would keep an eye on him and call me with any changes, I headed back to the park for my other children.

Within a short period, Joe called.  Daniel was having some memory loss and threw up.

I wanted an ambulance. I wanted a chopper.  I wanted Marcus Welby MD.  STAT.

Joe said he'd take our son to Prompt Care for a concussion evaluation.

Thankfully, it turns out that throwing up is normal when you bump your head.  As is a lot of swelling.  The key to a concussion (according to our local doc-in-the-box) is uneven pupil dilation in the eyes. 

Once again, I refer to a recent drawing by Jack for visual assistance:

Feel free to print up a copy for your refrigerator.

So there is your medical tip for the day.  I'm wondering if I should submit the drawing to publishing companies who handle medical text books.  The kid is spot-on.

Daniel is doing much better, his bump has all but disappeared, and I am seriously considering making my kids wear helmets 24/7.

Or commit to indoor activities for the remainder of the year.


  1. At least no screwdriver was involved.

  2. Anonymous - I don't think my heart could handle that again. Or Danny's eye.

  3. Agh-this story made my skin crawl-I am always terrified when my kids get head injuries-glad he is ok, marianne

  4. I would've been having a heart attack about the time the throwing up started. I hope you rewarded your bravery with margaritas, and a lot of 'em.

  5. I'm glad he's okay - as soon as I read "smacked his forehead right into a park pole" my heart hurt for you.

    They're scary things, head injuries.

  6. AHA! See..........we dads are good for something besides leaving clothing articles lying about the house and........ number one son please avoid twisting the swings for continuing your good health and keeping mom normal.

  7. Gweenbrick - Thanks - he's doing great & practicing his piano as I type, so all is right w/ the world.

    Erica - We went to our Wine & Cheese that night! Joe asked the doc if it was ok (he said it was fine since it wasn't a concussion). We were still only 6blocks away, and boy did I need some wine. (;

    Skwishee - If Joe wasn't there, I would have called an ambulance. My file with the Chicago-area hospitals is growing. ):

    Anonymous - Joe keeps my over-reacting to a minimum. If only he could be home for more of these emergencies!