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I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Head Trauma

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?


Kelly said...

My younger two each had a whopper head wound as kids and they really do bleed like crazy!

Man, your Tom has certainly had more than his share. I'm glad things initially look good and hope the PT will take care of the lingering complaints.

I sure hope he treats you well on Mother's Day!

Serena said...

Oh, my word, that boy has some serious battle scars! So many bad scares for one poor Mom.:)

Pam said...

That's boys for you! I'm glad he's doing well at this point.

Just before Sam was diagnosed with severe ADHD he jumped off his mom's bed and had to get staples in the back of his head. Next day he did a repeat performance and added a couple of staples to said back of head.

You've seen the photos of Connor and the bike ramp incident. This was a child who couldn't even RIDE a bike until he was about 10.

Sam's also had a goose egg that was downright scary on his forehead that I was sure would lead to brain damage. Not sure it hasn't! LOL!

Amazing the things one can do to the head and still function! I don't worry too much these days about Connor in that area; but, Sam is a different story. Something tells me there will be more ER visits in his future than and 3 or 4 thus far.

I, too, hope Tom sticks with the PT and get things back in shape!

Marion said...

OMG, Quid! Poor Tom. I hope he's okay. I know that boys are tough. I had a nephew, who, as a toddler used to sit and bang his head againt the wall...for hours! My sister had him tested and they said he was okay. He was the first kid in our family to graduate from college (with honors in criminal justice.) LOL! He's now a police officer in Austin. Both of my girls had 3 car wrecks each before graduating from high school, totaling one new car (mine). I don't think we'd have ever had kids if we'd have known the STRESS we'd to through with them!!

I'll be praying for Tom to have no more accidents....EVER! Blessings!

raven said...

Oh Quid,

With what you shared here with us, Tom definitely has a guardian angel
But such accidents profoundly rattle a mom's heart and nerves.

I too wish Tom well and hope that he will have no further accidents.


Bob said...

First, what a great looking young man of whom I know you are extremely proud!

Second, so thankful he is OK for now and it wasn't worse. I got t-boned a few years ago and it's such a feeling of helplessness. I only had some air bag burns.

Did you see the commercial during the Olympics that shows the athletes all as little children, with the tag line of "how their moms see them." I know this is how you saw Tom when you arrived at the ER, still your little boy.

Blessings to him and you and a speedy recovery. (And don't sign anything just yet . . . )