June 30, 2009

Concussion schmuncussion!

First off, Ben is doing just fine. He's been acting normal, playing happily, eating, not throwing up any more, and is now sleeping peacefully. Phew!

Earlier today he fell off a stool and landed right on the back of his head on the cement patio. It made a rather memorable sound. Heh. He cried, we iced, he seemed better.

And then he puked.

Let me back this all up by saying that the death of one of our VACTERL friends several weeks ago is still fresh in our minds. A beautiful little boy who was healthy and happy one day, rolled off a bed the next, and died from a traumatic brain injury just a few days later.

So, when I saw puke I called the pediatrician. Well, no, first I needed to gauge the appropriate level of concern I should have so I text-messaged my best friend with a "normal" kid and asked what she thought and when the reply was "Sounds like concussion! Doctor!" I called our pediatrician. I'm pretty sure our pediatrician would send us to the ER for a hangnail at this point, so I wasn't surprised when they said to take him in.

This was the first time Ben has gone to an ER without having one of his specialists there. This was the first time we've taken him to a small hospital. We took him to the hospital in the small town where I grew up and about which I have heard all sorts of horror stories.

Well, to any Athenians out there who read this I'm here to tell you - O'Blennes Memorial Hospital ain't that bad!

Really! We were in and out in about 2-hours. I didn't have to deal with any annoying residents. Actually, I only had to talk to three people about Ben's "unusual anatomy" and "complicated medical history" which was refreshing.

Unfortunately, this hospital seems to be pretty useless past the point of taking a medical history. Well, that's unfair I guess...the attending did shine a light in Ben's eyes and watch him walk around. Apparently their CT scanner has too much radiation for small children. This led to a rather frustrating conversation about whether or not he should have a CT scan. The attending was saying that the only way to properly evaluate for a concussion would be to do a CT scan, but that he wouldn't worry about it, but I could get him transferred if I wanted.

("If I wanted???")

So then I said, "Well, does he NEED a CT scan or not?"

"Medicine isn't an exact or perfect science."

"Hey, that's the name of the book I'm writing!"

He didn't seem to think it was funny. We went round and round about this CT scan and finally came around to a decision. They discharged Ben with the diagnosis of "concussion" and said to watch him closely, wake him up every 2-hours for the next 24-hours. If any symptoms show up we are to bring him back in for an ambulance transport to the nearest Children's hospital.

So far so good! He's been eating and playing happily. It's going to be a long night for sure, but that's fine as long as he's fine.
If he has more symptoms he will be ambulanced to Childrens Hosp for CT scan.

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Has a concussion and is being discharged. We are to wake him every 2 hours.

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We're taking Ben to the ER. He bumped his head and then threw up.

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June 26, 2009

Missing me?

Ben and Olivia have been living it up in Ohio visiting their grandparents (who have dial-up internet which makes it nearly impossible to put new posts up here...sorry!).

Now we're all in Philadelphia for the VACTERL Network Conference!!! Since we're back in the land of high-speed internet we should be able to get some more posts - and more importantly pictures. Check back soon!
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