Poor little Nathan - he has now had two ambulance rides and he is only 4 1/2 months old! We are not setting a good pattern here...
Friday afternoon I went to Good Earth (a health food store) to pick up some food for me and the boys that I can't buy at my regular grocery store. I had Nathan strapped in his car seat and I set him in the cart in the front where you usually put your purse. Everyone does this and I have done it a million times with no incident. Well, the carts there are a little smaller than usual so the car seat was a little unsteady. It didn't "click" in like it does on some carts. He also didn't fit down inside the basket so I thought I would just keep my hand on him and be careful.
Well, I proceeded through the store with no problem and everything was fine. As I was checking out my parents got there to say hi and to get something from me. They were talking to Nathan and kissing him while I loaded the bags back into the cart. Then we headed outside to the car and just as we came down the curb with the cart, the car seat went flying off! Luckily Nathan was still strapped in but the car seat tipped over and he managed to slam his forehead right into the pavement.
We got him out and immediately he had a huge goose egg on his forehead. What freaked me out was that there was a big indentation right in the middle of the bump. So, I just knew that it was serious and I thought that he had smashed his head in. I was totally crying and worried that he was going into shock. It was so scary!!
We rushed straight to Cottonwood hospital and they put us in a room and started to check him out. He was acting fine at this point and he wasn't showing any signs of a concussion so they weren't too worried. They eventually did a CT scan to check for bleeding or swelling of the brain. We were about 4 hours into the visit and they finally came back and told us that his skull is fractured and that they had to transport him by ambulance to Primary Children's Hospital. (No bleeding or swelling though - thank goodness). Before we left they drew blood and put an i.v. line in his arm - he was screaming and crying - I felt so bad!
We got to Primary Children's and they took us right in and said he needed to have a neck brace on until they x-rayed his spine to check for any problems. They drew blood two more times and he was just so tired and so sick of everything. I felt so bad for the poor little guy. By this point he just wanted to go to sleep but the neck brace was digging into him and he couldn't get comfortable. He was so exhausted from everything and you could tell he was in pain.
They admitted us into the hospital and told us that he had to stay for at least 24 hours so they could monitor him and make sure that he didn't develop any problems through the night. Brian and I stayed there with him - trying to comfort him and help him and then trying to get a little sleep - both of us on a one-person cot. Nathan would just fall asleep and we would finally fall asleep and then they would come back in to check on him and we would all be awake again.
Then at some point in the night the neurosurgeon came in and talked to us about the fracture. He called it a depressed skull fracture or a "ping-pong" fracture because it is not cracked but literally dented in. He said that there was no damage to the brain but that they would do surgery first thing in the morning to fix it. He said that it was a simple procedure - about an hour and that he would still be able to go home the next day.
So, they started an i.v. and told us we couldn't feed him any more until after the surgery. Then we were so worried - thinking about the surgery and feeling so bad for him. He was uncomfortable and tired and wanted to eat and it was hard to hold him because of the i.v. and everything. He was not a happy baby!
Then at 9am the next morning the neurosurgeons came back in and said they wanted to hold off on surgery. They said they decided to wait a couple of weeks for the swelling to go down to see how big the depression is. They said that if it was back in his hair somewhere they would just leave it but since it is right on his forehead they can easily fix it if they need to.
They said that his spine was o.k. and finally took off the neck brace. They kept him for the rest of that day to continue to monitor him. They said that sometimes problems can develop later instead of right after the injury so they wanted to watch him closely for a while. They let him eat and then eventually took out the i.v. so he was able to be more comfortable.
So, all has finally settled down and we are home and doing well. He is a little sore still but doing well. The depression is actually quite large and is very noticeable so I am thinking that he will probably have the surgery. We are just thankful that he is o.k. and that it wasn't worse. We kept thinking about all of the little children in that hospital that have problems and that are suffering and we felt so bad. We just wished that we could have done something to help all of them.
I have had a lot of mixed emotions - guilt especially because I feel like I could have been more careful and I feel responsible for him having to go through all of that. I know that accidents happen but you just can't help but beat up on yourself a little.
He is doing great though and I know that we were so blessed throughout all of it. Brian and his brothers gave Nathan a priesthood blessing Saturday morning early because he was scheduled for surgery and it was really a beautiful blessing. They all had the feeling that he wasn't going to end up having surgery that day and then a couple of hours later the doctor came in and said that they wanted to hold off on surgery. I can't help but think that the blessing had something to do with it and I know that Heavenly Father was with us watching over Nathan and helping him through all of it.
I also took Nathan into his regular pediatrician yesterday for a check up and she said that what really baffled her about the whole thing is how little it affected him and that he didn't have a concussion, didn't pass out, didn't throw up or any of the normal things that happen with a head injury. I just know that it was because of the blessing that he received and that Heavenly Father really played a role in the whole experience and helped him.
So, once again, I am reminded that life is precious and that I need to remember to be thankful for the little things in life. I am reminded of my blessings and how much we have to be grateful for. Mostly I am grateful that he is o.k.