Simon has become a very adept climber, which is pretty exciting given the concerns his OT had about his core strength. My in-laws have a couple of stools in the kitchen, just over three feet if I had to guess, and he really enjoys sitting up on them. It's great to see he can get up on them by himself.
This morning, I was sitting next to him while he was eating some breakfast. He turned around toward me, tried to brace himself using air, and fell off backward. He landed pretty solidly on his back and definitely hit his head, and the cries were epic. It took quite awhile to get him calmed down, and eventually he was happy to lie in my arms on the bed for awhile.
I don't have to tell you how awful I felt, even though logically the only way I could have prevented the fall was to not allow him on the stool. Operating in that mode would mean he'd never do much of anything, but it doesn't make me feel any better.
In any case, we went out to do touristy stuff, and ended up being out pretty late into the afternoon. Simon did not have the opportunity to nap, and he wasn't having it in the car either. Before we got home, he started to scream in a way that was not characteristic of his normal complaining about being in the car. He also kept grabbing the back of his head, so you can imagine what Diana and I were thinking at that point. My cousin's little boy just had a pretty serious head injury, so that had us well versed in the genre, and we know that problems can take many hours or days to manifest.
When we got home, he yacked, big time. That was the symptom I worried most about, and the one that general advice suggests you get your ass to the hospital. We didn't even hesitate to decide to take him to the ER.
He was pretty mellow, and obviously very tired. We had been there nearly an hour, after seeing the triage nurse and the ER nurse, before he started to perk up a little. At least it seemed like the lethargy was lifting.
The physicians assistant examined him (there were more serious things going on in the ER), and said that his neurological indicators were all normal, but the symptoms (the non-normal crying, head grabbing and vomiting) were absolutely consistent with a serious head injury. I kind of needed that validation, because I spent much of the day worried about him even without any symptoms. She also warned that we absolutely need to watch him carefully. The symptoms could also be from fatigue, dehydration and sun, but he could still have a problem, even if it is unlikely.
It was just a scary time for me. You don't want to overreact, but there were just too many things put together that concerned me, and I was selfishly satisfied that she told me it was right to bring him in. I usually stop just short of letting Simon play with knives, but now I'll probably be second-guessing every decision. Parenting is hard.
By the way, we miss the efficiency of the Swedish Hospital ER in Issaquah. That place was awesome. This ER, not so much.