Warning: This is a long 'un.
It all started a few months ago when my mom, noting Caleb's rambunctious behavior, said, "You know, for as active as he is, I'm surprised you haven't had to visit the ER yet." That was in November.
Before this, and before the events of the last two days.
Last evening, the warm weather was calling us outside. Stephen worked on the garage, the kids played in the driveway, and I cleaned the kitchen. I left the door open in case anyone needed anything, and that's why I heard one of the most gut-wrenching sounds a parent can hear: a child falling onto concrete.
Katy and Caleb -- both accomplished ladder climbers -- had been taking turns climbing up and down a ladder in the driveway. Later, Katy told us she had decided that it was her turn, so she shook the ladder so Caleb would get off.
"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!," thinks her mother.
Stephen scooped him up, and I looked him over. There was no bump on the back of his head, just a small abrasion, and he was understandably upset. I held him with an ice pack on his head. He seemed like he was seeing stars -- eyes kept closing and his head was bobbing. I got him calmed down and started doing an analysis. I asked him some questions and asked him to wave his hand, etc. His responses were slow, as if moving through a fog. I rocked with him as Stephen put on a Veggie Tales movie. Stephen and I decided to watch him to make sure he was going to be ok.
Honestly, visions of Natasha Richardson were going through my head. I have problems balancing my desire to NOT be the overreacting parent with knowing when my kids need serious attention. I like to feel self-sufficient without being needlessly frantic.
We had been rocking for a few minutes when he projectile-vomited. That made our minds up -- hospital time.
Stephen took Caleb right away, and I waited for Stephen's mom and dad to come stay with Katy. Katy and I prayed for Caleb, and I went to the hospital. The boys were waiting in the emergency room when I got there. They ordered a CT scan and x-rays. Caleb still seemed like he was in a fog during the CT scan. They restrained his arms and strapped his head down. He didn't say a THING. In fact, it wasn't until we needed to step out of the room for x-rays that he started crying. Crying a lot. That seemed to flip some sort of switch in him, and he was back to normal when he finally got calmed back down.
We waited in the ER for the results of his scans, and they all came back clear! We were so thankful and relieved. I started to feel a little silly, but then I remembered the throwing up and didn't feel bad at all. We called around with the good news and went home to bed. Caleb also slept through the night at home on doctor's orders.
This morning he woke up chipper and happy. Later in the afternoon, I had to go to work for a bit. I looked at my phone and saw that I had a voicemail. The ER charge nurse had called and urgently needed me to call back.
MILD INTERNAL PANIC, folks.
She explained to me that when people come in after hours, the radiology information is digitized and sent to an all-hours facility for analysis in California. However, the following morning, the hospital radiologist re-reads any films from the previous night just in case. In Caleb's case, the Marion radiologist spotted a fracture in his skull and a small blurred area that could possibly be bleeding in his brain or just movement during the scan. To be safe, we needed to bring him in for another scan. She was encouraged, though, by the fact that he was acting completely normal.
I was encouraged by that too, but we definitely wanted to get him in right away for another scan. Since I had to go to work, and I felt ok with what was happening, and it was such short notice for a sub, Stephen and his mom went to the hospital with Caleb. I planned to join them right after my class, figuring that they'd have about enough time to do the scan and then I would get there.
They did two CT scans: one with a contrast dye and one without. It did show that there was a small bleed in his brain, but it hadn't changed significantly since the previous evening. After consulting with a neurosurgeon, they said it's best just to keep an eye on him and keep him from cracking his noodle again.
He's a two-year-old boy, for Pete's sake!! Do they have an instruction manual for keeping him still and not injuring himself 50 times/day? If so, it definitely should have been sent home with us approximately two years ago.
So, for our own peace of mind, we got him this:
Sadly, his reaction to it is mostly this:
So we watch and wait, more conscious of every near-fall, while hoping that he continues to be a non-injurious version of everyday Caleb.