Saturday, January 03, 2009

Head Wound Holidays

Last Saturday as we were opening Christmas gifts at my in-laws home, Grace was particularly excited about the festivities. She was hopping and bouncing and just generally not paying close attention to what she was doing. I was seated on the sofa and she approached hopping up and down, up and down. Suddenly, she lunged to my left and landed on the edge of the sofa cushion on her knees. She slid backwards and plunged onto the floor. On her way down, she gashed her right cheek bone on the corner of the coffee table.

I yelped out loud, "She needs ice. Get some ice!"

As I scooped her up off the floor, she began shrieking in pain. I inspected the spot where she hit the table, and it was already purple.

"She needs ice," I yelled again as I carried her into my in-laws kitchen. As I placed Grace in a chair, someone handed me a zip-lock bag of ice cubes. I placed it on her face, but could still see the purple bruise through the bag.

"Mommy! That is too cool. Too cold!"

My thoughts raced a bit. "Would I need to take her in to the ER? Did she break the bone? Oh man! This is going to be a huge bruise." I finally decided to just keep ice on it for ten minutes and then re-assess the injury. After the tears subsided, Grace told me that her face was now numb so we removed the ice. She seemed okay so we didn't take her to the ER.

The bruise on her face is now amazingly in technicolor with shades of yellow, purple, green, and blue, but it has improved over the last 7 days. The blood also pooled underneath her eye so she appears to have a "black" eye. I'm hoping it will be a little better on Monday when she returns to school.

Now for Meghan's story............................................

Meghan awoke early, as she usually does. Charlie took her downstairs for her breakfast, and I stayed in bed to sleep a while longer. I could hear their muffled conversation as I tried to sleep. Meghan was playing with her Moon Sand at the kitchen table, and Charlie was doing his best to remind her not to get it all over the kitchen.

I was drifting off to sleep as I heard a thud, and I wondered what had happened to Meghan. At first, I heard some crying but it didn't get increasingly louder so I figured she was getting over her latest bump. The thud had awakened me so I decided to blog a little bit and had just grabbed my laptop as Charlie opened our bedroom door. It was dark in our room, but I could still see the concern on his face as he said, "Jen! Meghan fell and hit her head. There is blood." I knew what that meant for Charlie. He needed me to help.

I jolted out of bed and nearly hovered down the stairs seeking out Meghan. When I got to her, she had a red face and tears streaming down her cheeks. Charlie pointed out that there was blood at the tip of some of her long blond hair. I looked at the blood and noticed that there was also some blood splattered on the chair as well as down the back of her pajamas. I couldn't see where she had hurt herself though. Her mop of hair was blocking my view so I asked her to point to the spot on her head where it hurt.

"Mama, it huurrrts right here." She pointed to a spot on the back of her head about the same level as her ears. I searched through her hair carefully, and finally found the source of the blood. It was clearly gashed open, and I immediately decided we had to take her to the urgent care.

After all of us put our clothes on, we headed to the urgent care center. It is familiar place to me as I've been there twice myself, and once with Gracie when she fell and cut her forehead open last year. When we got there, there were three other patients ahead of us. We sat down in the waiting area and I encouraged Meghan to focus on the TV to distract her. Periodically, she would ask me questions about the That's So Raven characters or about when they would finally call her name.

Blood had finally soaked through her hair and was now clearly marking the spot of her cut. It wasn't bleeding badly though...more like seeping a bit. For about 45 minutes, we waited and waited. I kept telling her that she was so brave and that I was proud of her. I placed my hand on her chest, and noticed her heart was racing still. It made me tear up a bit to know she hurt and I couldn't fix it. Charlie rubbed her back a bit, but she seemed to be in too much pain to accept his soothing as she pushed his hand away.

They finally called her name, and a triage nurse assessed her. The nurse suddenly said, "Oh, I didn't know she had a cut on her head. I thought it was just a nasty bump. Oh. Yep, she'll need some stitches for this. Meghan, we'll give you some medicine so it won't hurt in just a little while. Please look at this smiley face chart and tell me which one looks like how you feel right now."

Meghan pointed at the chart, which seemed to be somewhere between a 2 and 3 on a scale of 10. I thought, "Wow, she has a pretty high tolerance for pain."

"Meggie, you are so brave. Mommy is so proud of you."

Charlie said, "Meghan, did you hear Mommy? You are so brave."

"Uh huh," she replied as she inspected her surroundings.

The nurse escorted us to our room, and several people came along to ask us various questions about what had happened. I think there were a total of five people asking us or Meghan how she hurt herself. I kept wondering if they were trying to determine if we had abused her. Charlie found a Barney book and sat down to read it to Meghan.

A physician's assistant appeared and checked Meghan's head. She also told us that it was good we brought her to the urgent care as she needed to have a few staples in her scalp.

"Staples or stitches?" Charlie inquired.

"Staples because stitches would get tangled in her hair." The PA then explained what she'd do to Meghan. "Meghan, I'm going to give you some medicine to make your head go to sleep. When I give you that medicine, it will sting, but only for a little while. Then, we'll wash your hair where your owie is, and then I'll fix your owie with some staples."

I was pleased when she decided not to use the papoose board because Megs was being very cooperative. Meghan got onto her tummy on the examination bed, and put her head to one side. I got down on my knees to look into her eyes and hold her hand.

"Meghan, I want you to be very still while they work on your owie. Okay?"

"Uh huh."

Meghan cried as the PA injected the numbing medicine, but quickly relaxed as it took effect. Charlie was holding Meghan's other hand, and quickly noted, "I'm on the wrong side of the table." He doesn't like blood and was looking squarely into her gash. He moved around the table and appeared behind me.

As the nurse and PA prepared their materials, Meghan turned her wound toward me and revealed a wide open gash. Honestly, it startled me a bit, but I tried not to show her my concern. It still makes me shiver a bit to think about it. It had to hurt badly.

"Mama, when will they wash my hair?"

I giggled as I replied, "Megs, they are washing it right now. You just can't feel it. See. Isn't it good that they gave you that numbing medicine."

"Oh. Mama, I just heard a click sound. What was that?"

"Megs, that was the stapler. They are stapling your owie back together so it gets better fast."

"I don't like staples Mommy."

Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click.

"That hurts really bad. Owie. Owie."

The PA noticed her pain, and decided to remove one of the staples since it seemed to be pulling her skin too tightly.

"Does that feel better now?" the PA inquired.

"Uh huh."

"Okay Meghan. You are all done. You did a great job," the PA complimented.

Meghan sat up and the hair around the wound was standing on end and matted with blood and antibiotic cream. It looked like a fake Halloween wound to me except it wasn't fake at all. ;) Ouch!

I paid the copay on the way out, and on the way home, we went through the drive-through at McDonald's. It was an eventful morning, but we were home about two and half hours after she hurt herself. Whew!

Fun times in the urgent care!

I'm hoping the "head wound holidays" are over for now, and geez, I really hope that these things don't really come in 3s. I don't think I can handle another one for a few weeks. Yikes. ;)

Warning: Here comes a picture. If you don't like visuals, close the web page.


Kristen said...

Oh poor Meghan! I cannot imagine how badly that must have hurt. And as for Gracie, I almost fell over on Tuesday when she showed me her "owie". WOW!

Jen said...

Oh gosh, Jen, I'm so sorry. I hope that your head-wound days are over now, for quite a long time to come. (((((((hugs)))))))) to your brave and tough little ladies!

Amy said...

Your poor girls!! (((hugs))) to all of you! I hope that there will be no more injuries for a while!

tafkalorelei said...

Good golly! Poor girls and poor Mama ((((hugs))))

Tante said...

I am just glad that Kesa made it home without a head wound! Both girls seemed to be in good spirits yesterday at school. Grace's face looked a million times better than it did on Friday and you could really tell anything had happened to Meggie. I am happy Char was able to reach out for help before passing out:)