Saturday, December 31, 2011

We Couldn’t End 2011 Without Another Trip to the Children’s ER. . . .

This past Friday morning, Miss Sally was out sick, but Auntie Ann was able keep the kids for us.  I got to work and at about 10:30, I got a text from Auntie Ann letting me know that Henry was sitting at the table in the breakfast nook and stood up suddenly then took a fall, landing on his head.  She said that he felt nauseated afterwards and laid down for a bit, but then was acting normally.  I asked her to let me know if he threw up or acted funny, but said that he probably would be fine.

Around noon, Auntie Ann texted to let me know that Henry threw up.  Gary went home to get him, and I left work and met Gary and Henry at the Children’s ER.  I was pretty worried before I saw Henry, but I was even more worried after I saw him.  He was very wobbly standing up, and wasn’t walking well.   Henry wasn’t talking much at all, and not answering my questions or responding much to me or Gary. When we got back to the room to wait on the doctor, he started falling asleep (this child always fights falling asleep) and at one point we could not wake him up.  {At this point I may or may not have gone out to the nurses station and told them that I needed someone to look at him immediately.  I may or may not have been mostly ignored and/or talked down to, at which point I may or may not have made a scene.}

The nurse practitioner came in and looked at Henry and asked us some questions, then Henry had a CT scan.  As soon as they laid him down, I had flashbacks to when Henry was a baby and got a CT scan because his head circumference was increasing so rapidly.  I’ll never forget putting my 8-month-old son swaddled up on that machine and watching slide back and forth under that CT scan machine, as still as can be, just sucking like crazy on his paci and keeping his eyes on me.  It was almost the same this time, minus the paci and with a much bigger little boy.

They told us that we’d have the results in about 45 minutes.  It took about 2 hours.  I kept thinking that they’d have come in earlier if the results were bad, but at some point I started doubting that and wondering how bad it could be.  Finally the nurse practitioner came in and said that they thought that they saw something, so they wanted to wait for the radiologist to read it.  The radiologist said that he didn’t see anything other than the small burr hole from where Henry had some sort of brain surgery when he was younger.

Uhm, but Henry never had any sort of brain surgery.

We tried to explain this to the nurse practitioner, who kept telling us that we probably had just forgotten that Henry had a procedure done on his brain while he was in the NICU.  Uhm, NO.  We very adamantly insisted that we would have known if our son had a hole drilled in his head.  Then the nurse practitioner said something about how it wasn’t an uncommon NICU thing and that if we hadn’t seen him for a few days while he was in the hospital that we may not have known about it.  Again, NO, and we explained that I only missed one day while they were in the NICU when I had mastitis (and that Gary was there every day).  We also explained that UAB was pretty serious about obtaining consents, and that we remembered all the consents that we signed.  Finally I said that he had a CT scan when he was a baby and asked them to compare those results to see if he still had the “burr hole” then. 

The radiologist looked into that and said that he saw the “burr hole” in the earlier CT scan (even though it was very hard to see in the earlier scan).  The radiologist said that it could be a granuloma or something congenital, but that it still really looks like a burr hole.  Regardless, the radiologist does not think that it is anything to be concerned about at all.  We asked for a CD of the CT scan picked it up on the way home.  We are going to call our pediatrician on Tuesday and ask him to refer us to a neurosurgeon or neurologist so that we can get a second opinion as to whether we should be worried about the hole in Henry’s skull.

Regardless, the good news is that Henry only has a concussion from his fall.  We have a follow-up appointment for that at the Children’s Concussion Clinic and hope to get released after that appointment.  In the meantime, it’s taking everything we have to keep Henry from running around too much and possibly injuring himself even more.  The child is making me a nervous wreck.

It seems that 2011 was the year of the ER visits.  Here’s to hoping that 2012 will have far fewer ER visits. . . .

Happy New Year, everyone!


Esther and Brian said...

Oh Heather, I am so sorry to be reading this...poor Henry...I feel bad for him and it makes me mad even over the computer when medical professionals tell you that you probably just don't remember about your son's surgeries, head, etc. You would remember. You may not remember how much he weighed at what month, but you would indeed remember something of this nature.
Hope that this will turn out to be "nothing"...and no more falling!

beth said...

some people in the medical field be so stupid and i have also noticed that sometimes they want to put the blame on you for somethings like you forgetting. you would never forget if your son had surgery and not only that but it would be in his medical file if he had surgery. i hope there is nothing serious wrong with that hole. and that he gets to feeling better soon.