Saturday, July 23, 2005

Glad to see the back side of this week!

Hours after my post with the rose and little poem, we had another event in our household.

Around 4:30 PM yesterday, my son took a header from a 32 foot extension ladder and landed on his head on asphalt. We spent the subsequent 24 hours at U of M hospitals...first in the emergency/trauma unit then on the 5th floor.

He apparently landed on his head, since that is the only outward trauma to be found. He has 15 staples on the upper right side of the back of his head....a Harry Potter looking wound. Since it's on the back of his head, we've decided that he looks more like Harry Potter going than coming.

We got to University of Michigan hospitals about 2 hours after him. He had already had cranial and spinal CT scans and they were waiting for results. He was alert but disoriented. Very scary to go through the "Where am I? What happened?" conversation every 10 minutes during those first hours.

So we stood at ds's side and tried to think of ways to bait his memory without suggesting thoughts and details that were not his own. A few times I told him the facts that we knew: who he was with and where he had been at the time of the accident. After the third time through that he said, "Mom, Wow! deja vu! About 3 months ago I had a dream where you told me the exact same thing and we were in a place just like this!" My husband said...."Uh, that was about 30 minutes ago and it wasn't a dream."

Meanwhile, the reports from the cervical spine scans were clear so they could close the wound on the back of his head, but they still couldn't move him off his back. Two young residents were assigned this daunting task....God bless them, they couldn't have been more than 6-7 yrs. older than ds. And they had to figure out how to get to the back of ds's head while he had to remain immobilized on his back without anesthesia.

Ds has this thing about needles so I decided to distract him and bait his memory at the same time. Knowing that he and his friends could recite most of the script from all of the Monty Python movies I asked him what he remembered from Monty Python.

Just as the one resident was ready to clip in the first staple, ds recites in his best cockney accent: "Tis only a flesh wound!" The residents cracked up, then took the reigns. "What was the name of the castle where the women were...?" Ds: "Castle Anthrax!"

A few more quips were exchanged before I remembered ds's favorite scene was the plague scene: "Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!" "I'm not dead yet!" BAM! "You are now!" I didn't think it was such a good idea to go there since we were in an open bay in the trauma section of the emergency room in Ann Arbor on a Friday night. Other emergencies were we redirected the conversation.

With his(our) overnight stay in the hospital, the fog began to clear. The reports from all the cranial and spinal CT scans came back negative and we brought him home almost exactly 24 hours after the accident.

His memory is pretty clear this morning and we seem to be getting back to normal. It's kind of like playing with one of those hand held toys where you try and get the silver balls in the holes......he's still getting some of the "balls to drop in the holes" as to what actually happened.

And I am thankful for the excellent care that he recieved and his wonderful sense of humor. Am also praying that there are no residuals to his head injury. You are welcome to join me in that.


  1. No, no, no! It's "Bring out your dead", "I'm getting better" :) But, hey, you could get him the cast album of "Spamalot" to aid his recovery!

    Head injuries are ever so scary, but what you describe sounds encouraging. Fingers triple-crossed from me and the fuzzies.

  2. Oh, how scary. I'm sure he's on on the road to a speedy recovery. The fact that he remembered so much so soon is a very good sign. He probably will never remember the actual fall, but that's a good thing! I'm keeping you both in my thoughts.

  3. Yikes! You had quite the weekend. A fall like that is sooo scary. But it sounds like he is doing well. I'll send good thoughts his way. The Holy Grail is one of my all-time favorite movies. It's a good sign that he was able to recite the lines so soon after the fall.

  4. Sounds like you kept your wits - and wit - about you during the crisis! "Bring out your dead" might be a bit too much for the patients around you, but I bet the staff would have gotten a kick out of it.

    When I had a head injury, my mom kept waking me every hour up to ask, "What is your name?" When I replied "What is your quest?" she knew I was getting better.

    Praying that a bit of amnesia is the only residual effect.

  5. Good grief. One of those times you wonder if you will ever get a child raised :-). Best wishes for a solid recovery.

  6. Wow, now there's a lot of excitement. Just getting back to my blog reading after being away. You certainly didn't have a weekend you'd want to repeat any time soon. I'm glad to hear that he seems to be on the road to full recovery.


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