Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Scary days

On Thursday, Paige fell off the changing table and hit her head pretty hard on the hardwood floor. That's about a 4 foot drop and we haven't gotten around to getting a rug for the nursery. I wasn't there when it happened. SH called me in a panic and wanted me to look up symptoms of concussions. I told him he needed to call the doctor. He had his hands full trying to feed them so I had to call the doctor's office and, of course, they said to bring her in right away. She got an X-ray (which was clear) and was responsive and alert. We were told to keep an eye on her and wake her every couple of hours during the night just to make sure she can wake up and that she moves all her limbs. We were told to call if she seemed extra tired, was vomiting, or wasn't interested in her toys among other things. She made it through Thursday night just fine and, aside from a big bump on her head, seemed fine on Friday, as well. She went in for a follow up doctor's visit on Friday and was given a clean bill of health. 

Then while I was feeding her on Friday night she threw up huge. I was covered. She was covered. The couch was covered. I was concerned, but it isn't totally out of the ordinary for her to throw up so we took note of it and carried on. Saturday morning the sme thing happened with her first bottle. Puke everywhere. Then she took 3 2-hour naps and was really tired between naps - rubbing her eyes, laying her head down and just generally being lethargic. We called the doctor who said we may need to take her to the ER but to keep her posted over the next couple hours. That evening she threw up yet again so I called to tell the doctor. By the time she called me back, Paige had thrown up for the 4th time in 24 hours so I started getting us all ready to go to the ER. Our doctor pointed out that we shouldn't expose Riley to the ER if we didn't have to so I ended up staying home with Riley while SH took our baby to the ER at 8:00 on a Saturday night. As much as I wanted to be there with her, it made more sense for SH to go since he had been with her when it happened and for the initial doctor's visits. She finally got a CAT scan after waiting for several hours. I imagined all of the worst case scenarios waiting for SH to call me with some news. Thankfully, there was no bleeding but she did have a skull fracture. SH had to wait for all sorts of consults (including neurosurgery)before finallly being told it was a fracture that would heal on its own. She was also severely dehydrated from all the throwing up (apparently, a sign of dehydration is the soft spot on a baby's head becomes really pronounced. Both SH and I noticed this on Paige and had no idea it meant anything. We thought maybe it was just the lighting). She was admitted so they could run a line and get her hydrated and just monitor her. She was so dehydrated, they had a hard time finding a vein they could use. They poked her hands and feet several times before finally calling in a NICU nurse to do it. She was finally admitted and settled by about 3am. The poor thing did not get very much sleep. SH stayed with her all night and I got there first thing on Sunday morning when she was finally getting some sleep.

Our pediatrician came to the hospital to check on her and told us she was so worried she hadn't slept all night. She demanded to talk to the head of pediatric neurosurgery even though he wasn't on call so she could be sure Paige was ok. Apparently, the fact that her concussion symptoms showed up two days after the fall had all the medical professionals baffled. Then we were told she needed a full body X-ray and needed her eyes checked by an opthamogist as part of hospital protocol to make sure there were no other injuries. So, if anyone is keeping score that is a head X-ray, a cat scan and a full body X-Ray on a 6 month old all within a couple of days. She may just grow up to be the hulk. Paige smash!

As anticipated, we also had to talk to a social worker so they could be sure we weren't abusing our baby. During that conversation, the social worker asked if she had fallen before because they thought they saw an old injury on the cat scan. WTF?!? Turns out it was nothing. Just how her head is, I guess. 

After that, Paige was given the all clear to go home. SH waited around for hours for her to be discharged while I took Riley back home for a nap. Riley refused to sleep at the hospital. There was just too much going on. So she missed 2 of her 3 naps that day. Needless to say, both girls went to bed early that night. Paige has been doing great since she's been home and is pretty much back to her normal self again. I am so relieved every time I hear her laugh.

The weird thing about this whole experience is how SH and I seemed to change places. He was panicked and I was calm. Normally he is the one you want around in an emergency. Always calm and can get things done. He says that apparently doesn't apply when the emergency involves his kids. I was strangely calm. Maybe because I wasn't there. I don't know. He is beating himself up and keeps imaging all the things that could have happened. I keep telling him it was an accident. He needs to stop blaming himself. How many times have I taken my hand off of them when they are on the changing table? Just for a second to open a new pack of wipes or to grab a onesie? It could have just as easily happened on my watch. He told me he will never forget the sound of her head hitting the floor. I will never forget the panic I heard in his voice when he first called. That is a sound I never want to hear again.