Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just a word to the wise…

You know, most of us learn our lessons the hard way. We believe we’re invincible…nothing bad is ever going to happen to us or those we love.

However, when we learn about something tragic happening to someone we know, our hearts go out to them and we say, “I can’t even imagine if that had happened to me or someone I love”.

That experience changes our perception…it taints our innocence.

We’re a little more careful for awhile…we watch our children more closely and cautiously.

But eventually, we all go back to believing that nothing bad can touch us.

That’s the state of mind Tim and I had been in for quite awhile.

Until last Saturday…

Tim took the kids to his parent’s house to watch the World Cup with his family, while I stayed behind to finish the laundry and get some housecleaning done.

Around 3:00 pm, Tim called, made a little bit of small talk and then finally said, “Look, Garrett fell when Mike was holding him so I’m here at the hospital just to make sure he’s okay…”

I don’t even need to describe in detail how I felt right at that moment. I’m sure you can imagine…the hair on the back of my neck stood up on end, my heart felt like it was in my throat…

“What?!” I cried out, trying not to sound too alarmed. “Is he okay? What happened?”

Before launching into exactly what happened, Tim repeated, “He’s okay. Really, he is. We just thought it would be a good idea to bring him to the hospital because his head hit the pavement pretty hard and I thought I heard a cracking sound.”

Now, I didn’t bother trying to hide the fear that had gripped every bone in my body.

“You heard a cracking sound?! Oh My God, are you absolutely SURE he’s okay?” I practically screamed into the phone.

“Yes,” he said. “He wasn’t bleeding, he didn’t lose consciousness but I did start getting nervous on the ride over because Garrett was really sleepy and I couldn’t get him to stay awake”.

“You keep telling me he’s fine yet everything you’re saying is making me more concerned,” I explained.

Just then, I could hear someone talking to Tim and he asked me to hold on.

Finally, when Tim got back on the phone, he said, “They want to do a scan on him just to be sure he’s okay. Let me call you back.”

I spent that entire time pacing the house, praying that Garrett was really going to be fine.

Tim called shortly thereafter with the news….Garrett had a linear skull fracture from the top of his head extending down to his left ear, with a slightly depressed fracture on the top of his head.

Apparently, Mike, Tim’s older brother, had been lifting Garrett up onto his shoulders (and he’s a tall guy, at least 6’1”).

Garrett accidentally kicked Mike’s sunglasses so, instinctively, Mike reached up with one hand to catch the glasses and it was right then that Garrett lost his balance….

…and fell backwards off of Mike’s shoulders, hitting his head directly on the concrete below.

In my head, I was screaming, “How many times have I told you how dangerous that is?!” but I refrained, knowing that Tim already felt horrible about what had happened.

Tim explained that the doctor wanted to keep Garrett overnight, simply as a cautionary measure.

Then he said, “Oh but they want to transfer him to another hospital where they have a pediatric neurosurgeon on site in case his condition suddenly worsens and he needs surgery.”

My voice shaking, I said, “It sounds more serious than you’re letting on.”

He asked, “Would it help if you could talk to him?” and he put Garrett on the phone, who cried upon hearing my voice.

We ended the phone call by deciding that I would pack some overnight things and head to the hospital where they would be transferred, while Tim’s parents kept the other kids at their home.

When I arrived at the hospital, this was what I saw…

E2

My poor little baby in a hospital crib, completely miserable.

When his eyes reached me, he broke down into tears…crying, “Mommy, mommy…I want YOU…”

They had put a neck brace on him because right before transporting him they decided to do an X-ray and it was determined that he might have fractured one of the vertebrae in his neck, as well.

He wasn’t allowed to move so all I could do was lean over to give him hugs and kisses, while assuring him that he was going to be fine.

The first night was extremely rough for the little guy. He was uncomfortable and couldn’t find a good position to rest in. He would doze off and then suddenly wake up screaming, desperately attempting to pry the neck brace away from himself.

It didn’t help that the night nurse had to keep checking on him every hour to look at his pupils and take his blood pressure…a necessary evil, I suppose.

E3

The next day, the neurologist and his team came over to check on him, promptly removing the dreaded neck brace because there ended up being no damage to any of the vertebrae in his neck.

The doctor strongly recommended having Garrett stay another night at the hospital because of where the fracture ended above his left ear. While they explained their concern in medical terms, from what I could gather, there are a series of fragile bones located in that area that could possibly cause a puncture in the membrane encasing the brain if any of them were to be jarred again.

There was no evidence at that point of any fluid leaking from his ears or his nose but they felt more comfortable keeping a close eye on him, much to my relief.

E4

The next day, he was much more comfortable without the neck brace. Once he woke up, he was in a cheery mood, flirting with all the nurses and singing Disney songs loudly.

On Monday, he was finally given the green light to leave but with strict orders…no swimming or climbing activities for at least 6-8 weeks. The doctor said, “Basically, nothing that would require his feet to leave solid ground.”

Had I mentioned yet that taking all 4 kids to the pool was going to be my saving grace this summer? While I was thankful that Garrett was going to be fine, my heart sank upon hearing this.

He put on his Buzz Lightyear costume and said goodbye to the nurses and doctors…

E5

…and buzzed right out of the PICU.

So, word to the wise…don’t carry your kids on your shoulders or let anyone else carry your kids in that manner.

When I think of how much worse things could’ve been…if he had landed on a different area of his head or neck or had sustained brain damage…it still makes me shudder.

We are SO so so very lucky that he’s alive and well.

89 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Oh my goodness! I'm so glad he's OK. It sounds really scary.

The Boob Nazi said...

Oh gosh! I'm so glad he's okay. How scary!

The Boob Nazi said...

hahaha Kristina and I had pretty much the same comment.

Katie's Dailies said...

What a trooper he is and all of you! I can't imagine going through something like what you all had to go through. I freaked when our son fell 2 feet from a low tree branch and landed on soft grass! That's nothing compared to this! What a brave little guy!

Mother of Multiples said...

OMG...I cant even imagine what that was like for you. You told the story so well that it just kept me on the edge of my seat. Helene..thank god everything is ok. I have goosebumps for you right now. God Bless

Marianne said...

Still praying for all of you. Hearing the whole stories makes it even more frightening. E definitely had a guardian angel or two watching over him.

Hugs to all of you!

Eva Gallant said...

My heart was in my throat reading this! I'm so glad he is going to be okay. It must have been dreadful for all of you!

Natalie said...

I.couldn't.even.imagine.

I am so, so glad that all turned out okay. Hugs and prayers to you.

Thank you for sharing your story, and the message. My hubby carries my son like that all the time. Not anymore after reading this...

Evonne said...

I don;t even want to think about what I would be like if that happened to one of my kids.

I'm so glad to hear he's ok.

He looks so cute in the Buzz costume!

Nobodys Nothings said...

poor baby. :( poor mama! i'll be sending quick and easy healing thoughts his way. (((hugs)))

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

...and you know how when you're a mom, things you hear just hit you in the gut? Wow...

I am so thankful, as I know you and your family are 1,000,000 times over, that he's OK. God is good.

And thank you for the jolting reminder.

MamaHen Em said...

Oh my gosh, Helene. My hairs on my neck stood up the entire time I read this. I am so, so glad that he is okay and that the prayers you were praying were answered.

Thank the Lord for guardian angels.

Screwed Up Texan said...

We almost lost our son last year in a swimming accident. We were on vacation and were tired and neither one of us thought about saying no to our friends who wanted to go swimming even though our kids didnt have their lifejackets with them. You never know what life has in store.

Sharyn Essman said...

Good Lord!! Thank goodness he's okay. How are you holding up?

Donna said...

Ok, maybe it is that "time" of the month - but I am balling!?!

That is the worst, heart stopping, nauseating phone call a mother can have!

I've been so busy with my senior graduating, I haven't been on blogger for awhile, but I just wondered Monday where you were. Never did I dream something like this had happened.

Serious injury aside, could he look any cuter!?! Pure preciousness!

Way to be strong! Way to be there for your baby! Way to not kill your in-laws or your hubby.

SO, soooooooo, so very thankful that Garrett is ok.

The Superhero exit....well that's just pure genius!

And, um, about that whole "don't let the feet leave the ground thing....maybe there's an all day yoga/meditation class at the local Y?" ...yeah, um, good luck with THAT! You'll be in my prayers!!!

zookeeperjess said...

I am so so sorry and so relieved that he is okay!!

I am showing this post to my husband who thinks its okay to run around with the kids on his neck. all.the.time. It scares me to death and now I can show him this.

shortmama said...

I was so freaked for you when I saw the pics on FB. So glad that it wasnt more serious.

Kim said...

Ugh. What a nightmare. It's unbelievable how kids can heal quickly from an injury, but the 6 to 8 weeks of carefulness is going to be a drag—hang in there.

Annie said...

OMG, Helene that was a scary moment for all of you. Thanks God he is fine.

KK said...

That had to be the scariest moment of your life. I'm so glad he's ok now.

Carly said...

Helene, Wow what you went through. I am so glad to hear that he is doing Better. So scary. Hugs goes out to you little Man.. Love Buzz Costume:)

WhisperingWriter said...

Oh my gosh, I am so glad he's okay. How scary!!

I'm digging his Buzz Lightyear costume.

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

I'm so glad the story ended happily. I had my heart in my throat the whole time I was reading. There is nothing worst than something bad happening to one of your kids. It makes you realize that you really would walk through fire for them. Thanks to God he is all better now. As Buzz would say, "To infinity and beyond!"

Dysfunctional Mom said...

OMG. OMG OMG OMG.
I'm freaking out over here!
The pictures, the story, I'm in tears. SO glad he's okay! {hugs} to you too. You probably have about 75 new gray hairs.
xoxo

Shell said...

SOOOOO glad that he is okay. I never even thought of how dangerous that would be.

But, now that you know he's okay...HOW are you going to keep him from doing all that running around? Dear girl, I'm sending you lots of luck.

He's so cute in his costume.

Alicia said...

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How scary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't even imagine!!!!!!

I'm so glad he's fine. Ugh..so scary! Can't get over that he heard a cracking sound!

Praise God that he is okay!!!!!!!!!

JBlank said...

Oh my this has freaked me out. I hope that your little fellow continues to heal well.

JBlank said...

Oh my this has freaked me out. I hope that your little fellow continues to heal well.

Stacie said...

I am so glad that he is okay! I know you had to have been scared out of your mind. Hugs.

This exact thing happened to my brother and niece twenty five years ago. She was a little over 2 and sitting on his shoulders while they walked through the mall parking lot to their car. My niece somehow knocked my brother's glasses off of his head and then fell back to the asphalt when he reached out for them. She also fractured her skull from the top of her head to her ear. They didn't keep her in the hospital at all at that time, though. They scanned her, told my brother and sister in law that her skull was fractured but there was no swelling, and discharged her. It is pretty scary to think back to all that could have happened because she wasn't watched more closely!

Kelli said...

Holy cow! Glad he's ok!

Karen said...

I'm so glad he's doing okay and that you are doing okay and that you didn't get on Tim's case for the accident.

And what a miracle that he didn't hurt any of the vertebrae in his neck!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Your hubby did well in keeping you calm. I probably would've been so hysterical that I wouldn't have been able to drive and see the lines in the road.

I'm so glad that Garrett is doing well and the good thing is that he'll be back to swimming before you know it. In the meantime, it's all quiet games which is a good thing, too, right?

Megan said...

Oh my, I'm SO glad to hear that he's okay!

Buckeroomama said...

Oh, the nightmare! I was tense as I was reading through your post. I am so glad that he is okay. {{hugs}}

Rebecca said...

Wow...this post scared the $hit out of me! I'm so glad he's okay. I'm so sorry about your summer plans (the pool), but it's for a good cause, right?

Hang in there, Mama...this is why we age dramatically with young children!!!

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

I followed his progress on FB and so relieved to hear that he came home and is doing well.
I have to admit - I know PJ and I both have carried our girls on our shoulders recently at a spring football game and we will definitely not do it next time. Sending sweet hugs and well wishes Garrett's way!

Nezzy said...

OMGosh! My heart leaped for you. This could of been so much worse. I'm so glad Mr. Lightyear's guardian angel was on duty! What a little trooper he is. You will certainly be in my prayers...keepin' a little ball of energy like him is not goin' to be for the faint of heart sister!

I just have been itchin' to check in. Six weeks ago I caught a nasty bug and my back went out at the same time, just as I was feelin' better...WHAM...I was hit hard with shingles. I've been battling them for five weeks and am still developing new ones but I've miss ya'll and just wanted to check in.

God bless and have a beautiful day!

Colton's Mommy said...

That is so scary. I am glad that he will be all right. We take for granted everyday when our kids are healthy and running around crazy. I am sure he will get lots of hugs and extra kisses in the next couple weeks.

Crossed Fingers said...

Oh my goodness - I'm SO glad he's OK and the only downfall is no swimming. Small price to pay to see that beautiful smile for many more years to come. Tell him he has a lot of people praying and sending well wishes his way!

Tracy said...

Oh my gosh...I feel just sick right now. What you must have been feeling...oh goodness.

I'm so thankful he's going to be alright.

SMS said...

Oh my gosh Helene!!!! I am so glad that he is ok!!! Thanks for the warning about shoulder rides. Praying for you guys.

HT said...

Reading this post the hair on the back of my neck stood on end! I am so glad things turned out fine, but how scary to go through something like this! Give some extra hugs and kisses to the little guy.

BigSis said...

In 2nd grade, my son was rough housing in the gym and a friend dropped him on his head, so we had a CAT scan done. I was SO scared. I can't imagine what I would have done if he'd been hurt.

Your situation is about 100 times scarier. I don't know if I could have survived it. I hope the little guy is all healed up soon.

The Mother said...

It's terrifying when something happens to your kids. Ugh!

Glad he's okay.

I've had two head injuries. One was three and had a seizure--we still don't know if he seized and then fell or vice versa. But he's fine now, if you call the EMO-Goth thing normal.

And another got hit by a football at close range. Us doctor-types just shrugged and ignored. SO, of course, he's the one who ends up in the hospital with a concussion. DOH.

Sorry about the pool. Lay in a lot of video games. Amazon has a new thing where you can trade old ones in for new ones!

Tracy said...

Glad hes going to be OK.
Very scary.

We live in a Zoo! said...

I read this post wide eyed and terrified! I am glad he is okay!

Creative Junkie said...

OMFG, Helene! I'm so sorry! Poor little guy. Thank God it wasn't worse!

LBDDiaries said...

Wow - so glad he's OK (altho sorry about your summer plans going down the drain - kiddy pool time!). Came here via 24/7 Mom via SITS. Your blog looks great - gonna dig in.

Melanie said...

I cannot imagine how scary that must have been. So glad he is ok! Hope your summer goes smoothly.

Wendy said...

Oh my goodness, I am so glad that he is alright. I hate when I see parents or other adults pick up kids and toss them in the air without thinking of what they could be doing. It takes just a split second for something horrible to happen! So glad to read Garrett will be fine.

Heather said...

Oh my goodness! I am so happy to hear that he is alright. You definitely have a point about people thinking that nothing bad will happen to them. Or better yet, there is always the possibility, but the numbers are so low that it would never happen to me. I'm sorry you had to go through with this, but it sounds like you have your head high and that you and your family are moving forward. I wish Garrett a quick recovery!

Jenny said...

OMG! Poor baby! My stomach hurts just reading this. I'm so glad he is ok! That must have been the most terrifying phone call you've ever had!

Heather said...

Poor baby! I am so glad he is ok and is at home with you. I can't imagine what it is like for you to have to keep him from being active : (

Angela Cooper said...

So glad he's okay. As much as we don't like to see our children in the hospital I can certainly respect and appreciate the care of Dr's when it comes to children.

Cindy said...

oh, helene, my heart goes out to you and your family. I am so very relieved that he is going to be ok. It is so terrifying to go through that. You are all troopers.

With love and safety thoughts going out to you being said, what the heck are you going to do with 4 kids all summer?

Sadia said...

Oh, HELENE. How terrifying! I'm glad he's okay, but I wish you weren't going through this at all.

If there's anything I can do (yes, I know I'm in Texas) just write me.

Hugs.

Christina said...

Oh Momma, I'm so sorry. It so hard to see your kids hurt. Abby cut her finger the other day and I about threw up....I can't imagine this!
Hugs!!
xoxo

wonderchris said...

Pure torture to have your baby injured and you having to wait at home....I'm so glad he is okay. What a horrific experience.

Sending *hugs*

Erin said...

I need to show this to my husband since he often carries our girls on his shoulders....oh my gosh. Helene, I'm so sorry this happened, but I'm relieved he's alright. So glad there was nothing serious.

I was all tensed up reading this!

Monkeys Mommy ♥ said...

Oh how frightening! I'm so glad your baby is ok.

Aging Mommy said...

I am so very sorry Helene to hear of what happened to your son. I hope he continues to recover well with no further worrying developments. There can be nothing more frightening I imagine than seeing your own young child in a hospital bed strapped and wired up like that and waiting, waiting, for more news.

As you say, you can never take anything for granted and sharing this story will hopefully save someone else from going through this type of mishap.

The Lane Family said...

Poor Garrett :( I love how Tim tried to down play it but I would have been very concerned as well if I walked in and saw my son in a neck collar and then hearing words like hurt vertebrate etc.

I am glad he is doing better but they may make for a long summer for all of your if you are unable to enjoy the pool or other water..good luck!!!

Mrsbear said...

OMG! I don't know how you managed to keep your composure. You must have been terrified, I'm sitting here biting my nails as I'm reading your conversation with your husband. Just the crack he heard, stopped my heart. I'm so glad Garrett is all right, poor kid. 6 to 8 weeks in the summer though, with no active activities, is going to be rough, but so so thankful it wasn't worse.

Brooke said...

you had to be scared out of your mind!! *hugs* glad he's doing better.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Holy crap! I am so sorry that happened. Seeing your boy like that in the hospital bed.... I am so glad he is OK.

blueviolet said...

I'm so glad they decided to take him to the hospital. That's terrifying and I'm so glad he's ok now.

Mighty M said...

Poor guy - guess he has a summer of resting ahead of him. I am SO very glad he is okay.

Michelle said...

Oh Helene you are in my thoughts and prayers. This bought tears to my eyes. I know too well how you must have felt. So glad it is all okay in the end. A lesson for us all. By the way he looks super cute in his buzz outfit.

Jen said...

Oh my God! I am so glad that everything is alright. Jeff carried the kids on this shoulders all the time. Not anymore.

I wish you would have called or emailed when this happened so that I could have been there for you. But I will pray now. :)

Megan said...

Oh my God, how absolutely terrifying. Thank God he's okay!!! Sending tons of good thoughts your way.

Living It, Loving It said...

Ah, poor baby. So glad to hear he is going to be okay. Poor you. It must have been an ordeal. They are quite resilent, aren't they? Hugs to you.

Michelle @ Flying Giggles said...

Oh my, I am so glad he is okay. Poor guy! My husband loves to throw my kids up and it just freaks me out...I will have to make him read this post!

Joy said...

Oh, Helene. I am so sorry this happened to your baby. I'm glad things are not as bad as they could have been. I cannot imagine what the experience must have been like in the hospital, waiting for answers. I'll be praying for a quick recovery for him and lots of patience for your family. (hugs)

Angela said...

Helene! I'm praying for your sweet boy to recover quickly and completely soon! I sooo feel for you right now! Keep us updated! Hugs!

Stefenie said...

How very scary for all of you. I am so glad to hear that he is out of the hospital now. Praying for his continued healing! Poor guy!!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Helene, I can't imagine what you went through and STILL are going through. It will be a stressful 6-8 weeks, especially with a boy- they are always moving. My thoughs are with you and your family.

Tabbatha Rose said...

I NEVER let my guard down, I may be a too little cautious at times but I dont care. I dont want my babies hurt.

When I heard about the fall I was so worried. Im glad Garrett is doing well. Bummer for his summer with swimming and yours for that matter. Maybe a little wading in the pool wont be too tempting.....right?

Hang in there Helene I Will be thinking about you and the family.

heather@it'stwinsanity said...

So glad he is ok!!! Wow, that must have been so scary! You are going to need to duct tape him to a chair for the rest of the summer just to be on the safe side!

LucidLilith said...

Give Garrett lots of hugs for me! I am so glad he will get better quickly. Thank goodness for that.

Jenny said...

glad hes ok. but he looks big enough not to have been TO hurt.

katie said...

My pulse was racing while reading this. My thoughts and prayers are coming at you! I hope you all have a safe, happy, and fun rest of your summer.

Stacey said...

Oh my word, Helene. That must have been so terrifying. I am so, so, so glad that his injury wasn't worse. :::hugs::: to all of you!

Bethany said...

Oh my gosh, I'm so glad he's okay! Wow, that is so scary :( Poor guy.

Tammy said...

Wow...so glad he is okay! My heart sunk as I read your story but picked back up when I saw him in his Buzz outfit...whew!

How is he doing now? Hope great!

Sarah Seibert said...

Oh my, poor little guy. That is SO scary. I am happy he is doing ok now. He must be bummed he can't go swimming the whole summer.

Heather McDougle said...

My heart breaks for him. I am glad he is ok. That is so scary. I bet you are still worried about him. I'll be praying for your family.

wife.mom.nurse said...

oh my...I have tears in my eyes.

I can only begin to image the fear that you felt.

Thank God for the protection of his neck and brain.

I am sorry you have been going through so much with health scares!!!!

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

well, for heaven's sake! I get behind on my Google Reader, and look what in the world I miss!!!

What a scary, scary thing! So glad to know all is well -- you poor thing, and poor baby Garrett!

Shall we all get together and send you a case of wine??

Zeemaid said...

you're a better woman that I am... I would have lost it on my husband. I can well imagine how crazy with worry you must have been. So glad he's doing okay.

Sorry to hear about the whole no pool thing. Poor guys!!

Also.. love the Buzz Lightyear costume. My son would soooo love that.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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