May's ER Visit: Bunkbed injury #1, Lila's concussion

Friday while I was at work, the girls were home from school since it was a Mexican Holiday. During their "quiet time" mid-afternoon they were talking to one another.

Lila was on the top bunk, Vivi on the bottom.

(We got bunk beds a few weeks ago -- I haven't shared the pics yet on the blog because I'm not finished decorating.)

Anywho, here's our bunks. (That's not their room. That's from the website where we bought them. And, we bought the bunks in white.)

Lila was leaning over the railing, which is about as tall as me, if not slightly taller (I'm 5' 4") and bam, she flipped over the edge. Mind you, she has been warned about this from a couple people again and again, but you know how well almost-five-year-old's yield to repeated warnings.

After she fell, she didn't lose consciousness nor was there blood or broken bones. There was merely red marks (imprints of the rug in her head) and tears. Lots of tears.

Nelly the Nanny texted me to let me know it happened. I thanked her and I asked her to watch for nausea, etc. - then 40 minutes later I got a text that she threw up. I raced home (luckily I work exactly 4 minutes from my home) and I assessed the situation with shaking hands. (I am sick of emergencies in my life right now.)

Lila was crying, but able to answer questions.
Her eyeballs looked as if she were here and not distant. (That's a good sign, right?)
She knew what happened, who she was and the answers to all of the pertinent questions.
But the vomiting scared me... that can't be good, right? I mean, it's a HEAD injury.

I decided to take her to the Emergency Room that's 20-25 minutes away because it was equipped with a CT scan and is just better than the hospital that I gave birth in just 3 years ago. (It's amazing how medical care is inconsistent at best down here...) I needed to know if she had a concussion and what to do about it.

Did I mention that Craig's in California for the weekend?

I tried to keep her awake as I drove. Why? I don't know. Because that's what they tell you to do: "Don't let her sleep!"

She threw up on the way there. Sad and so, so gross. (I hate vomit. I know I'm a parent and vomiting shouldn't bother me but I'm sorry, it's just so gross.) And I, being the ever-prepared Mom that I am, didn't have an extra outfit or anything. I had just taken our beach towels out of the trunk earlier in the week, too. Sigh.

So, I cleaned her off as best as I could and in we went to the ER. "I don't want anyone to see this." (Sweet girl.)

"No, you don't need to carry me. I'm a big girl."

The ER doctor was lovely.
I explained the fall, the vomiting, the wanting to sleep.
She examined her and said she appeared to be ok, but we really needed to watch her closely.

My choices were to stay at the hospital for 24-hour observation and a CT scan or take her home and bring her back IMMEDIATELY if she vomits again, is nauseous, has a seizure (!) or anything else seems strange.

When asking the doctor what she would do if this were her baby, she said, "Go home. Watch her. CALL ME IF ANYTHING changes. ANY time of day or night." (Ah, Mexico. Doctors are usually very accessible. I love that.)

So, by that time my sweet sister had joined me at the hospital (Lila smiled as soon as she saw her aunt), and we took our time and hung out in the waiting room before driving back.

PARANOIA mixed with FEAR mixed with a healthy dose of ANXIETY and EMOTION don't even accurately illustrate my state at this point. So, so nervous. And man, I hate this kind of decision-making on my own. It was so nice to have my sister there. So nice. (Thank you, again.)

Lila slept all the way home; I prayed she wouldn't vomit.

On the way home sitting in her sister's seat.

She walked into the house (which was a good sign?) and she rested on the couch.

"Take a picture of me smiling so that Daddy knows I'm ok."

Nelly the Nanny was with Vivienne -- who has been acting like a CRAZY WOMAN because she misses her Daddy. If she can't put her baby doll's pants on, she screams and cries. If she can't open the toothpaste, she screams and cries. If she can't find her doll/use her Monsters Inc. spoon/find her water/sit where she wants, she screams and cries because, "I WANT MY DADDY."

Shoot me.

So there was that.

There was also the nanny apologizing profusely as if it were her fault. It wasn't. It was my nut-bag kid's fault.
There was me stripping down the car seat and throwing away the vomit-covered stuff because I don't DEAL with vomit well. That particular Petal the Stuffed Bunny was thrown away.
There was Lila moaning each time she moved.


During this time I'm texting my cousin like mad because she's an ER nurse and she's awesome.

I find out that the primary concern is bleeding from the fall, in the brain. If this happens in any other area of the body, obviously it's not as big of a deal. There's no room for the swelling to occur, since the brain is encased in a closed box, the skull. SO, in the States that often do a CT scan (often known as a cat scan), but that's sometimes an unnecessarily radiation risk.

She was allowed to sleep, just small amounts. I needed wake her every couple of hours for the first 24 hours so make sure that she was responding to simple questions and was rousable.

And you know how they always tell you to not let them sleep? It's so that they don't aspirate, i.e. choke on their own vomit. I didn't know that.

I was told that I could give her Tylenol for the crushing headache, but not motrin. So, I did.

She ate a sandwich, apple and yogurt. All good signs, I thought.


Terrifying. I texted my cousin at least 50 times.

When, say, a humidifier falls on your kid's head, you see blood, you go to the ER, you get the stitches, done.

When your KID falls out of her bed that's more than 5' tall, it's kind of hard to sit back and WAIT to see if anything is wrong.

So, we got through the night. But I was prepared to take her back to the 20-minute-away hospital and I had my phone on speed dial for someone to come and stay with Vivi.

Lila ended up staying up with me until about 10:30 p.m. when she asked, "Do you mind if I just rest my eyes, Mommy?" (she's the sweetest child on the planet), then she slept with me.

I set my phone to wake her up every two hours and I did.

"What's your name?"


"What's my name?"

"Aunt Kylee."


Each time I would wake her, she was easily roused and went back to bed right away. Did I? No.

(This waking up every 2 hours made it VERY clear that I am indeed FINISHED with babies. I can't fathom doing that for days in a row again.)


The next morning she complained of a headache and of being "dizzy in her head." She rested a lot, no major anything. I gave her tylenol every 4 hours. Still, she was acting fine and was responding normally.

Apparently the first 24 hours are the most critical with concussions. We took it easy.

Couch-laying. ABC Mouse computing.

So, the day went on, we made it through the night and here we are, Sunday.

She said she's no longer dizzy, but her head hurts. However, I've given her no tylenol today and she hasn't seemed to notice. Apparently the headache is quite normal and takes time to go away.

If I touch the general vicinity of where she fell, she cringes in pain. So the bruise is there.

I need a massage.

Holy mother of all things, this weekend has been almost too much. Done. Finished.


So, Craig comes back today.

Hopefully Vivienne STOPS HER CRYING. (Did I mention that she SCREAMED HIS NAME for 45 minutes last night before she finally fell asleep? I couldn't even console her, so I just let her go. I mean, Uncle.)

Lila's feeling fine.
Vivi will soon be fine.

Mama needs some wine.

No more ER visits in 2014.

Check out the CDC's Causes for Head Injuries chart. I can validate that. (More here.)


In other news, on Friday night I was trying to keep Lila's mind off her head so we made this fairy garden. (The fairy house was a gift from a friend a couple of years ago.)

We collected rocks and leaves and the girls filled the nut bowls with water and also some mint leaves.

Guess what? When they woke up Saturday morning it was GONE!

They said Tinkerbell came and drank the water and ate the mint.

Too sweet.


1 comment:

  1. I know I already talked to you about this, but seriously.....this gave me chills the ENTIRE time I read it. Seriously, made my stomach turn. I would have been a mess. Head stuff is SO scary.

    I am SO glad she is doing better and everything turned out OK...considering.!!!! They scare the shit out of us ALL the time!


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