Thursday, March 27, 2014

Skull Fracture

It started with a random accident on Wednesday just after noon. Ryan was running out into the backyard and he yelled to me "Watch how fast I can run!". So I turned around to watch and saw our dog slam right into him. The impact launched Ryan a few feet into the air and he came down on our tile patio. I heard the sound of his head hitting the tile and he immediately started screaming.

After I got him calmed down his only symptom he was complaining of was head pain on his left side. No nausea, vomiting, lethargy, confusion, etc. He did get tired enough for a nap, but I assumed all the crying had worn him out. I woke him up after he slept for an hour because I was starting to get worried. But he seemed totally normal so I didn't call the Dr. Of course now I am beating myself up for not taking his head injury more seriously, but at the time he wasn't displaying any of the symptoms I thought I should look for.

Around 8pm that night Adam noticed something alarming. There was a spot on Ryan's head that was sunken in. It was about the size of a quarter and it was very soft. I immediately panicked, but after talking to an advice nurse on the phone, who consulted with an ER doctor, they told us to monitor him during the night and bring him to pediatrics in the morning. But Adam and I decided to take Ryan to the ER that night because the sunken spot was really worrying us.

The ER Dr. told us they don't like to give cat scans to young children because of the high levels of radiation, but once she felt the soft spot on his head, she ordered the scan. Ryan did really well with lying still for the quick procedure. Waiting for the results afterwards was the worst. I sat there holding Ryan, trying not to imagine internal bleeding, brain surgery, and permanent damage. When they finally confirmed his skull had fractured, it was around 1am.

They made arrangements for Ryan to be transported to a Pediatrics Hospital in Santa Clara. But before we could go he had to have an IV in his arm. This was in case he had a seizure and needed immediate medication. For Ryan, this part was far worse than the actual fracture. We had to pin him down and watch him scream and cry while they attempted and failed to get the needle in. After blowing out one vein they were successful in his other arm. They told us to wait 45 minutes for the ambulance to come pick us up.

2.5 hours later the ambulance guys walked in and told me they had been in the parking lot with a flat tire for the past 2 hours. How frustrating. I got to ride in the ambulance with Ryan and I thought it was pretty scary. Incredibly bumpy and rough and extremely fast. It felt like we were flying! Once at the hospital we met Ryan's nurse, who was very nice. Ryan was shaking uncontrollably when we got there. Not once did Ryan ever talk to or make eye contact to any of the nurses or doctors throughout the whole experience. He was so scared.

The minute the nurse left our room, my silent Ryan looked at me and burst into tears. He told me they had hurt him when they put in the IV and it was causing him a lot of pain. My heart broke for him then because I knew he had been holding everything in until they left him alone to talk to me.

They had to do a new IV, this time on his hand. More tears and lots of crying. They finally let Ryan and I lay down in bed together at 5am. I slept for 30 minutes before they woke us up for his next vitals check. After that we couldn't really sleep. At some point that morning Ryan looked at his IVs and told me "Mommy I'm not good at this anymore". He just wanted to go home.

Ryan's second cat scan was at 9am. The results showed no changes to Ryan's fracture (no internal bleeding), so he was finally allowed to eat and drink! After they were sure he was feeling okay and keeping his food down, they told us we would be discharged in a few hours.

The pediatric neurosurgeon came in to talk to us. There was a small amount of blood underneath Ryan's skull, but he said it was likely a bruise and not internal bleeding. Per my request, he showed us the scan of Ryan's skull and showed us where it had broken. He said Ryan's skull would fully heal and he would likely never have any side effects. Praise God!

We were discharged early afternoon yesterday with instructions to keep Ryan from running, jumping and climbing for the next 6 weeks. I think this will be the hardest part of this whole thing. Ryan has been doing ok since we got home. He has been shaking a little bit, but I think that's a side effect of all the trauma. He isn't complaining of much head pain but is extremely irritable. I am trying to be extra patient with him because I know he has been through a lot. Thank you God that his injury wasn't worse!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry this happened. What a scary situation!!! I'm glad to read he's doing better.