Dawson was being so good today, playing with his toys and not even getting into anything. A rare thing for him lately. I was nursing Tyler again while Dan was up and getting his work things in order, packing his lunch, etc. He noticed a dark spot in the carpet, about the size of 2 quarters. Then he noticed a plastic baby toy book had something freshly spilled on it, definitely blood. He brought it to me and confirmed that it did look like blood, but Tyler and I were fine and Dawson was off playing! He recalled that Dawson had cried and fussed for a tiny bit about 5-10 minutes before that, but he does that often. Pinches a finger, a toy is stuck, etc. He's almost 3, stuff happens and he cries! It didn't sound like anything alarming so nobody looked. Dawson will come to us if something needs to be kissed or dealt with, or his cry sounds more alarming if he's hurt. Dan found him by the patio door, looking outside, he looked fine at first. He said "Dawson are you ok?" and Dawson turned his head to look at him. His hair was matted down with blood, at least an area the size of a baseball. He brought him to the bathroom, calling for me and got a washcloth. I took over with cleaning it up and found the source. He had a 1 inch, maybe a bit longer gash a few inches above his right ear. The most we can figure is he fell off the riding toy that Tyler got for his birthday. He's been playing with it a lot lately and it was the last thing Dan saw him playing with, by that spot on the carpet. The wound was open and was moving around like it was deep. It was also still oozing blood a bit when I washed close to it. We decided it would probably need stitches and we wanted to double check even if it didn't.
I got on the phone with Heartland Clinic, of course it's Tuesday, his pediatrician's day off. The receptionist transferred me to another Drs nurse and I got voicemail. I tried again and got the same thing, so the 3rd time I told her I can't get through and need to talk to someone asap. She told me to just go to the ER or Urgent Care. I called my mom to see if she knew which was faster. No answer. Tried her cell, it was off. Tried my sister's cell to find out where on earth my mom was, but the number was unavailable! grr So I called a MOMs Club member, Amy, who told me they have both Urgent Care and ER at the hospital and suggested I ask the ER if he needed to be there or if we could go to Urgent Care. So we decided to go to the ER. My mom then called me back. Turns out she had gone out to get the mail. Figures. I suppose it's not fair to ask her to be on 24/7 house arrest incase I have a question. ;)
While on the phone I was running around gathering my usual hospital things. Mei tai carrier, bubbles, suckers, snack crackers, pop tarts, a few small toys they like and put them in my tote bag. Thankfully I'd stocked the diaper bag the day before. Dan was impressed at how routine my hospital preparations have become. I've been doing this for 10 months now, I'm pretty used to it. I turned around to get Dawson so we could leave and he was jumping on the mini trampoline!! Seriously, he has a head injury and he's acting like nothing is wrong at all! I got his shoes on and he was excited about that. He loves going places! I had to wake Tyler up. Thankfully he was napping through the cleaning and phone calls, so I didn't have him underfoot. He wasn't too happy about being woke up, but as soon as he realized we were headed somewhere, he was excited too.
We got to the hospital and the ER parking was full. So we had to park in the ramp and find our way to the ER from there. Got a bit lost but finally found it. Tyler was clapping on the way in, he for some odd reason still likes those places. Must be the bubbles, toys and the nice nurses. The guy by the metal detector didn't even look through my bags after I recited what all was in them, I was surprised. He seemed to get that we'd been doing this a while. Maybe it was Tyler's mask? When we walked up, the receptionists were talking about how busy they were today and how long the waiting list was. I was still hopeful since I brought Tyler. I told them that Dawson had a gash in his head and then explained that Tyler has Leukemia and isn't allowed to wait in waiting rooms because he's Neutropenic (meaning low ANC/immunity). At the word, they began scrambling to figure out where to put us and quickly decided the head trauma unit would be the most appropriate as they rushed us back through the doors, away from the people. Even Children's didn't usher us back quite that fast, I was impressed. I had given up hope on the St. Cloud ER being capable of any type of speed!
We saw the admitting nurse and the treating RN before we could even get very comfortable! I was amazed. They got him entered in there, and got me holding a cotton ball with some numbing medicine to numb Dawson's head. He did NOT like that one bit. He was really fighting me, but Dan turned on some cartoons and he was mildly interested in that. The bubbles Dan was blowing were pretty neat too. I was so glad I brought him. The bed's slot railings were too wide and Tyler is able to slip right through them. I really don't like those type of beds. So I knew it'd be hard to have both, because he wouldn't want to stay in the stroller but couldn't really safely be on the bed. So Dan was holding Tyler and blowing bubbles at the same time. The nurse came back in and put a disposable ace bandage around his head to hold the cotton ball for a while longer. He looked funny with tufts of hair sticking straight up. I was very bummed I hadn't really thought to grab the camera before we left. Dan thought to take a pic with the phone but my battery was almost dead and it wouldn't let me.
The nurse came back in and asked me if I wanted to hold him down or burrito wrap him in a blanket. I voted for the blanket, that boy is strong! She cleaned it up and came at him with the staple gun. I've never seen one before. I've seen a lot of unpleasant things, but I couldn't bring myself to watch this one, so I did look away. He couldn't feel it but was rather upset by being held still and all. He didn't try to touch the staples at all, he couldn't even feel them. They put antibiotic ointment on it and gave me some packets to put on each day.
For discharge orders, we were told to give him Tylenol or Ibuprofen for the pain, anti-itch cream so he leaves it alone and to keep up with the antibiotic ointment. We're also supposed to "keep him calm and quiet" for 48 hours. I refrained from laughing at her. I said "um, he's almost 3!" and she said that they don't really expect us to do that but we should try to avoid really strenuous activities. That sounds a bit better. By this point, Tyler was looking insulted that Dawson was getting all the attention and he was just a bystander. Don't they all know that the world revolves around him?! They must've missed the memo at this place. I told the nurse this and she appropriately cooed at Tyler and he grinned and clapped. We got out of there and treated Dawson to some McNuggets and a sundae. He sure didn't mind that at all, he was very hungry. It was about 3:30pm when we were leaving and it was 5:30pm when we got to McDonalds. That's a record for us!
We got home, got Tyler in and saw that he'd thrown up in his infant carrier, so I got his Zofran out and cleaned him up. I called the pharmacist to find a dose for Dawson's Ibuprofen and gave him that. He loves meds, so that was no problem. He wanted more! Then I fed Tyler as the babysitter was walking in. Dawson went over to her and was babbling away. I've never heard so much babble! He was obviously telling her all about his traumatizing day. Once he finished I explained Dawson's head injury and what to watch for, though it'd been 3 1/2 hours since he did it and he should've had a problem by now if he was going to. He was still active and alert, but I went over it anyway. She's so awesome, she started babysitting when Tyler had his central line and watched him after his last 2 surgeries and everything. She's pretty comfortable with it, which is really comforting. We had a good time skating, we really needed that! We got cones at Dairy Queen on the way home and I gave the last half of mine to Dawson when I got home. He loved that. She said he was fine the whole time. He would say "owie" occasionally but never tried to touch it. Hopefully things will continue to go well and he'll leave the staples alone.
Here's a couple pics. It was hard getting him to hold still.
Here's one he took of himself the other day.