Friday, December 19, 2008
still recovering from the concussion (and it wasn't even my head).
On Tuesday afternoon, I was at a craft sale doing some holiday shopping with a friend (who had booked the afternoon off to hang out with me). We had only been there about forty-five minutes when my mobile rang.
I was expecting it to be my spouse, wanting to consult about a present but it was one of the administrative staff from my older son's school. She told me that he had fallen and hit his head at recess. Some time later, he had told his teacher that he was "feeling weird" and she had sent him to the office. The woman who called me said she was worried about him but wasn't able to get much out of him, as he was "being very non-verbal."
Anyone who has ever met my son would never ever describe him as "non-verbal." I knew that something was wrong. When I got there a few minutes later, he was sitting there quietly. He didn't react much when he saw me and seemed to be having trouble speaking clearly (he did say that he didn't want to leave school because they were going to be building K'nex bridges. This was another warning sign for me - my son being distraught at the idea of leaving school). He was also disoriented and unsteady on his feet.
Once we were home, I consulted with Mr. Internet and came to the conclusion that I had to call the doctor. She got us to come in right away, and, after examining him, asked that we go immediately to the children's hospital. She offered to call an ambulance because she didn't want my son to be unmonitored during a potentially long drive (there is a transit strike in Ottawa right now and it has caused traffic to be very backed up during rush hour). Within a few minutes, four paramedics arrived.
We were bundled into the ambulance and taken to hospital. Poor S. had to keep getting his blood pressure taken and answer the same questions over and over again. The paramedics were really wonderful and I could tell that they were as relieved as I was when he went from not knowing what month it was to listing the items on his Christmas list (there are forty-five of them, including a flat screen TV and a Blackberry).
One of the paramedics told me that it is often this way with concussions that they can get better in the first couple of hours or much worse. We were all very relieved to see such a dramatic improvement.
He was so dramatically improved, in fact that when arrived at the children's hospital, we were no longer on the fast-track for treatment. By the time we saw a doctor (a resident, actually) hours later, my son was talking, cracking jokes and the headache and nausea had disappeared.
Diagnosis: mild to moderate concussion. Elapsed time between head bonk and being back at home: eight hours.
By the next day, S. had completely recovered and was giddy with the joy at the prospect of a day in his pajamas.
I on the other hand, am still exhausted. A concussion can really take a lot out of a mother.