Some day, when he's an old guy (if he makes it), I hope my son Tom doesn't bear any long-term symptoms of head trauma. If he doesn't, it won't be for lack of trying.
At 2, Tom jumped from the back of the colonial sofa and landed on the corner of the TV stand. With his eyebrow. The tri-corner wound was tough to staunch and we had our first scare with our boy. There is still a scar in his eyebrow. Time in inner-city ER: 15 hours. (Why? You know the answer; most of this was spent staunching the bleeding in the waiting room while they tended to some gunshot wounds of others ).
At 3, I watched Tom sprint down our hallway (which was L-shaped) at roadrunner speed, chasing his sister. I remember thinking... "He'll never make the turn".... he didn't. Splat. Into the wall. Hairline cut this time, solved, thank goodness, by butterfly bandages at a closer ER. Time in ER: 3.5 hours. Thank God. The whole time he was squirmy, wormy, trying to get out of dad's lap and run around. Sigh. You have to look hard to see the score.
At 8, Tom was scratched hard in a wrestling match with our Westie. We decided that if we stopped the bleeding on the back of his head where she buried a claw, he wouldn't have to go to the hospital. Bad decision. In his chocolate brown hair he has a minute white slash (1/2 inch) on the back of his head.
At 16, Tom swerved my just-finished-the-car-payment Grand Am GT, to avoid hitting an animal in the road. He was driving only to fill up my tank with gas, practicing his new driving chops. He ran off the road, and into a stone wall and tree. I remember getting there, and seeing the whole side of his head covered in blood. Awful. Damage: broken collar bone, side laceration to head, 8 stitches. Time in suburban ER (now in Tampa) 9 hours. Luckily, that scar is almost unnoticeable.
From 17-22, Tom suffered from pillar cysts 4 times. They seem to have quit lately, but they might be back. Unlike most people, who get them in their scalps, Tom gets his pillar cysts in his ear lobes. I've had them a few times in my life, where my lobe becomes inflamed, but mine usually recede after a couple of days. Pillar cysts are genetic. Tom's grow rapidly, are painful, are aggressive and usually ulcerate. He's had surgery twice, and a couple of times they've gone away with strong antibiotics.
You get the picture... Tom's head is a mess!
Last Wednesday, Tom's car was hit by a 16 year old. She was making a left, trying to get to a side street, since she was being stopped by a policeman. Unfortunately, he was passing by in the other direction as she turned. Seat belt, swerve, 45 mph on his part all averted something worse, but she T-boned his car, totalling it, and extolling both airbags, even though she hit the driver door.
We are lucky. Tom was backboarded, neck boarded and taken by EMT's to a brand new ER, open only 3 days. It was great. He was there from 4:30 until midnight, and when I got there, he was still on the board. Right now, jury's out on his body injuries. Cat and XRay show nothing wrong on neck, back and knee. One week later, he's got some pain and numbness in all 3 as he starts physical therapy. The EMT's thought he had facial lacerations from broken glass, but when his face was cleaned, it turned out that the copious pooling of blood there, and the blood all over his clothing, came from a single laceration.... you guessed it, on the top of his head!
I won't go into how they cleaned and closed it, but it was almost more than a mom could bear. There is little doubt there will be a scar, and that will probably lead to a larger settlement, without anyone really being able to see it, unless they are 6'4" or taller. It probably won't be seen by too many ladies.
Tom's got some wheels he can use, he's going to try going back to work tomorrow, he seems serious about the PT three times a week. I'm hopeful.
He's 23. What more can he do to that head in his next 60 years?