This morning, while I was settling in at work, I got one of those calls. You know, the kind that make your stomach drop; the kind that begin with "Honey, everything's okay, but I'm taking T to the emergency room right now."
It seems that a bathroom stall door had fallen off its hinges onto T's head. M became aware of this by the blood-curtling scream that T let out on his way to go to the bathroom. M bolted away from his table at the restaurant right outside the bathroom door and went into the rest room, finding T on the floor with the door on top of him. He had stopped screaming by then, and was looking a bit removed from the situation. He already had a big 'ol bump on his head and now has some beautiful colors around the bump.
The manager of the restaurant wasn't there, so M made the waitress write down what had happened so that there was a record of it...just in case.
After getting a baggy of ice to put on the bump, M loaded the kids in the car and started heading toward the hospital, which would mean that he would pass my office.
"Do you want me to pick you up on the way?" M asked.
This was a tough one. OF COURSE I wanted to go, but I also had a job to do, which meant leading a meeting from 8:30-10:00 (he called at 8:20.)
My mind raced....Is this something where I'm needed? Or Is it just something little and M's just taking him just to confirm that everythingis okay. M assured me that it didn't seem too bad -- T was talking coherently and whimpering a bit because it hurt. M said his pupils were fine too, but he wanted to have him checked out anyway.
What to do....What to do?
I asked to talk to T. "Hi T, how are you doing?" I asked
"Not good, mom" he said, "the ice isn't even working! It still hurts." (He actually sounded pretty good to me...a little pain was expected when a door falls on one's head.)
I talks to M again and he said, "hon, it's probably nothing." Okay, I said. You go and I'll go to this meeting. I'll call you when it's over and if needed, I'll join you at the hospital." After all, he probably won't even be in to see a doctor over the next hour and a half.
So I went and led the meeting.
As soon as I got back to my desk, I called M's phone -- no answer. Three minutes later, I called again, no answer. Two minutes later, I called again -- no answer. Now, I asked him to leave his phone on even though the signs at hospitals say to turn them off. Hmmmm...now my stomach was hurting. Where are they? What's going on? I should have gone!!! (It turns out that he didn't have reception at the hospital. He had left the phone on.)
I googled the hospital's phone number, got patched through to the ER, and got patched right on into Examining Room #1. M answered the phone and sounded worried.
It seems that T had not passed the hopping test. They had him hop on one foot and he would fall over after two hops each time. Now, this is a boy who has been hopping and skipping since he was two years old! This lack of balance is a symptom of a concussion. He was waiting for the doctor to come in with his test results.
To find out if he had one or not, my little baby had to have an MRI. They tried to tell M that he couldn't be in there with T, but M would have nothing of that.
He told them, "Look, I am going to be in here, so if you want to get me a lead apron, that would be fine, but I am staying with my boy." T was nervous to go in the machine that the nurse called the "big donut." But my baby boy did okay.
While M was telling me this, he told me "honey, I used the visualization technique that we used on you when you were in labor. I took T to his happy place."
"Oh, where is his happy place?" I asked.
He answered, "I just took him to your happy place, I figured he'd like it there too. I took him to the beach and described the warm, warm sand and the cool water lapping at the beach. He liked it there and he did great." What a great dad!
So, T does have a mild concussion. We've been watching him all day and making him take it easy. He hated it when R got to go outside and play "monkey in the middle" with the neighbor kids and T had to stay inside with me. Evidently, the "Benji" movie we watched together, making cookies with me, and doing a pottery project with me just didn't make up for the monkey-in-the-middle-fun that his brother was having. "It's NOT Faaiiiirrrrr!" he would wail at different moments throughout the afternoon.
M and I will be taking turns waking T up every couple of hours tonight to make sure that he is okay. I told T that we'd wake him up a few times in the middle of the night and ask him some questions. "What kind of questions?" he asked, looking a bit worried -- like it was a test and he wouldn't know the answers. I told him that we'd just ask him something like what is his name or what is the name of his dog. He looked at me for a minute, "My real dog or my stuffed animal dogs?" he asked.
I think that he's going to be just fine.