Monday, January 24, 2011

Emergency

This past weekend began in a way I hope I never have to experience again.

Friday, 11:02 am and my phone rings in my classroom. At that precise moment, I was suffering from overwhelming, all-encompassing, completely hindering procrastination and the deadline to get exams finished, papers graded, and plans finished loomed heavy over me. 
"Mrs. Davis [note: not my name, they always get that wrong] Yadon's had an accident at school."
I feel the clench of my heart - sort of like the Hulk deciding it'd look better on the outside of my body and pulling it free of my chest.  I'm pretty certain I stopped breathing, but I was able to utter, "ok..." and wait for elaboration.

 "He was playing in the multipurpose room with his friends.  He fell and hit his head hard. Ms. M reported he is disoriented and suddenly very tired.  Should we take him to emergency?"
Somehow I never figured  Ring-Around-the-Rosieto be a dangerous game, so I suggest to the daycare director that they monitor him for a few minutes longer and call if he's not returning to normal (albeit with a supersonic headache).  She calls back and my calm is crushed.  It's a call I never wanted.  My baby is injured.  He's taken a fall and now his motor skills are gone?  Concussion?  Worse? 

I fumble around on my desk, call the office, and beg for someone to find me coverage.  I hurridly print a class roster and the kids' review sheets.  I sign out in the main office, grab my coat, and (shaking) hurry out to my car.

By the time I arrive to pick up my son, he's eaten (though Ms. M insists he barely held his utensils and was wavering in his chair).  He gives me his usual smile followed by those ultra cute pursed lips of his "What you talkin' 'bout Willis" face and rushes to grab his coat and hat.  Normal enough behavior, I note, though his walking is... off and his speech slightly less clear (though constant).

I find a parking space in the crowded hospital lot and usher my baby into emergency.  He's intially excited, convinced the doctor is going to see him and say, "Hey, what's up?" and they'll have a great time.  (I suspect he doesn't really know what a doctor is and has forgotten the pediatrician visits).  He is weighed, temperature-gauged, and I rattle off the information I'd garnered from the daycare to the intake nurse.  Within minutes, Ya is asleep - - in a sleep so deep and still that I can't shake him awake and I'm stricken with the horror that potential head-injured people aren't supposed to go to sleep. 
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The nurse inside our room rouses him with a wet towel and Ya swats her hands, saying, "You stop that!" with the fiestiness I've come to expect. 

The ER doctor is a young guy, with a personality that screams married with little kids -  that fatherly sort of friendliness that knows how to calm a child and talk to a panicked mother with grave fear over her baby's health.
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He ordered a CAT Scan, which Ya refused.  I tried to tell him the space machine ride would be cool, but seriously, that circle thing with its whirring noises, red laser lights, and spinning parts is scary.  The technician sent us away sans scan.  Benadryl, nightnights, and an hour later, Ya was asleep and ready.  I layed his little frame on the raised bed and the doctor covered his body with a sheet.  A tiny, doll-sized XRay shield was draped across his torso.  And as the machine advanced him into itself, I couldn't help but think about how tiny and fragile my baby still is. 

Back in the emergency room, he lay still on the bed.  It was the most peaceful sleep I've seen him have in a long time... and I worried.  Forty five minutes to read the scan, they said.  They might have said 14 business days. It was endless.  And then:
"The scan shows no signs of bleeding or swelling, but we're not out of the woods yet.  Watch for light sensitivity, vomiting, unusual changes in coordination.  Bring him back immediately if you see anything odd."
There, with that clouded optimism, my life was given back to me.  How I adore this little man.  He is so much a part of me that I don't think I can function without him.  His spirit is entertwined in mine.

And so began the weekend...

1 comment:

Melissa G. said...

Oh my word! How scary!
I like how you wrote "his spirit is entertwined with mine". So true. I can imagine the panic that must have grabbed your mothers heart.