On Saturday afternoon we were leaving to meet my Mom for lunch. As usual, Audrey followed us out into the garage while I started to put Abby in the car. Sometimes Audrey waits at the top of the stairs for me. Sometimes she comes down by herself and waits by her door. As soon as I had Abby buckled in, I heard a tumbling sound (and the sound of Audrey's dress swishing.) I knew what happened before I heard her cry :(
I sat with her and tried to calm her down. She pointed to the back of her head and said it hurt. I felt around and felt a slight bump. When she calmed down enough, I put her in the car but I was starting to worry...I had no idea how she fell or how hard she hit. Then she said she was tired and wanted to sleep. That's when I remembered that you're not supposed to let kids sleep after a head injury. BUT, this was her usual nap time. It would be totally normal for her to want to doze off in the car.
It was a good 20 minutes before we could get to a Next Care. I called the pediatrician and was directed to the nurse's line. I ended up leaving a message. I was going back and forth between taking her in or waiting it out. I kept shouting at her to wake up, I asked her questions, I tried so hard to distract her. But her eyes were SO droopy and unfocused- she would start crying when I startled her...I was certain I was going to take her in because she was acting so lethargic.
We were about 5 minutes from the Next Care when she started getting panicky. She said, "I need a bowl!" I handed her a clean travel cup I had and she got sick :( I drove past the Next Care (making sure it was open) to my in-laws (2 minutes down the street.) My sister in law ran out and grabbed Abby. I knew it would be too hard to focus on Audrey if Abby was there. I took Audrey into the office and told the receptionist that she had fallen and hit her head. She immediately told me that I had to take her to the ER. I must've looked really upset because then she said, "Hold on, I'll get the doctor to look her over." I was relieved. Audrey just clung to me, looking so tired. The doctor came out and I explained what happened. She tried to get Audrey to look at her, but Audrey just could not focus. Her eyelids were super heavy. The doctor said that we shouldn't take a chance and offered to call the paramedics. She didn't think that me driving Audrey was a good idea. I almost rolled my eyes- I thought she was being a little over dramatic. She said that I wouldn't be able to watch Audrey as I drove. I agreed and took Audrey to the bathroom.
Even on the toilet Audrey wanted to lean against me. She could not sit herself up straight. I was so sad for her but I was very calm, even as the paramedics arrived and put her on the stretcher. They had to put a collar on her (which she HATED- I hated it, too!) They strapped her down (again, she was NOT happy.) It was so hard to see her like that but I was amazingly calm. I just kept talking to her. She'd go back and forth from being quiet and still (looking like she was about to fall asleep) to crying and saying things like, "Take it off, I want to leave!" That was hard to hear. It took forever for the ambulance to leave the parking lot. One was asking me basic questions (age weight, address.) The other 2 were hooking her up to monitors. They were all very nice and that helped me feel much better.
It seemed like it took a long time to get to the ER (no lights or sirens, again that made me feel better!) Towards the end of the ride Audrey did fall asleep and the paramedics said it was ok for her to do so. It was very eerie walking alongside her stretcher and right then and there I was thankful that we were only there for a bump on the head. I just couldn't imagine being there for something serious like a car accident. She woke up when they moved her onto her bed. She started crying and complaining about the neck collar again. The nurse came in and got information from the paramedics (since I was busy soothing Audrey.) They left and the PA came in to fully examine her. We talked about what happened and Audrey was very good as she was rolled onto her side. The PA removed the collar and put a rolled towel around her neck instead. Audrey still complained about it, but I could tell she was much less freaked out! The PA said she probably didn't need any meds right now and we would be getting a CT scan.
Audrey fell asleep soon after. My mom arrived and we sat in the dark with her. She woke up a couple of times and kept saying, "Momma, momma..." so eventually I laid with her. Chris arrived and we continued to wait as Audrey was in and out of it. It was hours before the nurse arrived to take us to the scan. Audrey didn't like the "tunnel" either! I laid on top of her to help keep her still. Chris stayed at her head and held her that way. It lasted about 5 minutes. She was a little freaked out but they said she did well. She kept saying that she wanted to go home and that her check up was over, lol.
We got back to the room and a few minutes later she threw up again. I called for the nurse, but before the nurse could get there, Audrey started talking normally and laughing. It was like a switch was flipped! We found out the scans were clear and that she in fact had suffered a concussion. We were told to keep an eye on her for the next 24 hours. The nurse gave her some Zofran for the nausea. She had some fruit snacks and a popsicle and watched some TV. Chris left to get my car and we were discharged within the hour.
Audrey was completely fine the rest of the night. She was smiling and laughing and wanted to play. She took a bath when we got home and spent the rest of the night in our bed.
It was an interesting experience. I was scared but calm at the same time. The hospital staff took great care of her (but the waiting around was awful.) This is not how I planned starting off our summer!