Two days ago, we had one of our biggest scares ever. Jenna fell and hit her head while rough housing with her older brothers. For several minutes I told her she was ok and tried to sooth her crying. Something wasn't right. I can't tell you exactly what it was, maybe the way she held her head, maybe the way she told me, "I'm trying not to cry." But something wasn't right. This went on for several minutes. My gut told me we needed to have her seen by a doctor. So, I told her to get her shoes, that we would go to the doctor. I gathered my things and got ready to go call the family doctor, and then everything changed. Jenna threw up. I mean, really bad kind of threw up.
I am not a doctor or a nurse, but since I do work in an ER, I have seen reactions from medical personnel change to key things (chest pain, trouble breathing, etc...). Every triage nurse I have ever worked with asks 2 questions to someone who hits their head. 1. Did they lose consciousness? 2. Did they throw up? If the answer is yes, they respond differently. So, combine that with my Jenna was nearly limp after vomiting, and my response changed very quickly too.
I scooped her up, she didn't need shoes anymore because I could carry her in faster than she could walk anyway. I told Jacquelynne to call daddy at work and tell him to meet us at the ER. Forget the family doc, he is a nice guy and pretty smart, but we now needed a cat scan and he doesn't have that at his office. So off we went to the ER.
There have been many times that families have complained to me at work that they have to sit too long in the waiting room to be seen. One thing that I know for sure is that non-life threatening cases do have to wait when we are overloaded. This may sound strange, but the ER is the one place you DON'T want to be first in line, because that means you are potentially really sick or injured.
Since I work in our local ER, I knew the registrars and nurses. I also knew it was not good to be pulled into the triage room and told that she would be going back to a bed as soon as her vitals were done. She was limp, rated her pain at a 10 out of 10, and threw up again in triage. I guess it is good that I don't know specifics of how bad it could really be, because I just cannot go there about my own kids. But I knew it just wasn't right. So we got a cat scan, saw the doctor, and I tried really hard to be patient. My baby was hurt, and I couldn't fix it.
Now for the good news: no fracture, no bleeding, no bruising. She will be fine. She had a concussion with nausea and vomiting. We stayed overnight in the hospital so she could be watched and get iv fluids and zofran to help with the nausea. We had to wake her every couple of hours, but she responded well. After a good long nap, she perked up enough to eat and was very happy to find out she could have all the jello and chicken noodle soup that she wanted, and that the pediatric unit is stocked with over 200 movie choices for her to pick from.
We are home now and she doesn't really like that she can't rough house for a few days. And, I am making her take naps because she doesn't realize that she is sleepy because she is still recovering. We will see the family doctor Thursday afternoon and hopefully get an "all clear." But at least I know she will have a full recovery and she is getting back to her old self again.
I am grateful that she is ok. I hate being the mom whose kid is so sick she cannot wait in the ER waiting room to be seen. Hopefully, we won't be doing that again any time soon.
Friend, I Need Your Help
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