Last Saturday I went out for some last minute shopping at a nearby discount store to finish up the Christmas list wishes. Mom and I were feeling pretty relieved that we had found all that we needed for a hopefully successful Christmas time together. My dad watched T and had decided to take advantage of the break in the rainy weather for some fun at the nearby park. It's one of the things Dad does with T and they spend hours there, often coming back after dark. At first I really worried that something had happened to them, but each time they just lost track of time or stopped to chat at a neighbors house on their way back home.
So last Saturday when Mom and I returned back to their home at 6:15PM and it was pitch dark outside I didn't worry too much but wondered what would they want to do in the cold and dark after being at the park for what would have been four hours at that point. Minutes later, the phone rang. My mom picked it up and it was Dad. That's weird. He doesn't have a cell phone and generally doesn't think to call and let it be known when he plans on returning. Suddenly my mom's face stiffens and the room gets quiet. He's calling from the emergency room. He had tried to call our cell phones but didn't have the correct number or felt he shouldn't leave a message when the answering service picked up.
We got in the car and headed off for the hospital as quickly as my car could safely get us there.
Apparently, T had climbed up on the jungle-gym and jumped up to grab some rings (something he had done a few times before, the last time they went to the park) but this time he didn't quite make the rings and fell back about 8 feet, hitting the back of his head on the corner of the steel step. T immediately reached up on his head and his hands were covered in blood. Dad thought his hands were broken or damaged but soon realized it was a head injury. They were alone in the park and Dad just wanted to get home. T insisted he was OK to get on his scooter and refused to ride on Dad's bicycle. 3 minutes later they were at my parents home. Dad phoned 911 and before he hung up, 2 firetrucks and an ambulance were at the house. 8 firemen, paramedics and even the Mayor were there (he's a volunteer firefighter too). They evaluated T for orientation and the extent of his injury. T was calm and and even answered their questions on his address and phone number correctly. Good boy! It was decided that he would need stitches and the ambulance would have to take him there. They placed a C collar and strapped him to a board for the ride. Dad drove behind the ambulance. T was calm the whole time.
Once in the ED, T was super scared he was going to get shots. T does NOT like shots! He hid behind the gurney and kept telling anyone who came near him that he already had his flu shot last week and didn't need any more. When it was time to fix the laceration, they wrapped T in a sheet and then 4 people held him down while they cleaned and stapled the 2 cm wound in the back of his head. T even tried to talk himself out of this uncomfortable situation by telling the medical staff that he had to go to the bathroom. But dad told them T had just finished going and to not let him up until they were finished treating him. That rascal was able to think up a potential "out" of the difficult and scary position they held him in. The laceration was quickly approximated--staples are quick! And T was sitting up and his old smiling self again. When I finally arrived with my mom and brother, T was in his treatment room with a sparkling white gauze turban around his head and an orange Popsicle in hand, like it was no big thing, waiting for the OK to go home.
What a day for T! I was, once again, amazed at how he handles scary situations. It could have happened to any kid playing at the park. And I'm happy that my dad made the call and got help fast. Head injuries are nothing to mess around with--better safe than assuming it'll be OK. The rest of the evening was smooth, with no signs of a concussion. It could have been so much worse. And I'm feeling pretty grateful that he's OK and smiling again. As a parting gift he got the 60ml syringe they used to clean his boo-boo and has found just how far you can squirt water from it. It's the coolest toy ever.