Tuesday, April 19, 2016

10 things I've learned about concussions

 Last Tuesday started out like any other day, Brian went off to work and the girls and I decided to play outside since it was sunny. I was weeding and Kinsey and Brielana were playing on the patio, Stella lounging in the dirt. My mom came by to visit and I turned my back and then the day turned upside down.

I heard a thump and my mom saying over and over again, "ohmygod" and I just got a sick feeling; Kinsey was laying on the ground, my mom holding her head in her lap and I went into autopilot. I picked her up as she asked me, "what happened?" and brought her inside to put an ice pack on her head (which had a raised bump already) and also gave her a popsicle.
She sat on my lap for a bit with the ice pack on her head and I gave her some comfort but also was thinking/praying/worrying. My mom was holding Brielana and she told me Stella came zooming by and completely knocked her off her feet which caused her to fall backwards and hit her head.

I made her a jelly sandwich as it was 12:30p and put on Alice in Wonderland for distraction. About 30 minutes after her fall and right after she told me she was done with her sandwich she promptly threw up and I knew something was wrong.

I cleaned up her vomit, asked my mom to watch Brielana and called our Pediatricians office. I was forwarded to the nurse line (the office was out to lunch) and I told the answering service what happened and asked if I should let her sleep since she was starting to close her eyes. She actually told me, "I don't care if I get in trouble, I'm a mom and grandma, don't let her go to sleep. The nurse will call you back shortly." 
I rouse Kinsey and am pretty much crying at this point when the nurse called and she was asking me questions about what happened when she asked, "Does Kinsey remember what happened?" So I ask her and she answered "no." Immediately the nurse says "I'm calling your doctor, get to the ER she has a concussion." I'm full-blown sobbing as I call Brian at work and I tell him about Kinsey and needing to go to ER and can he meet us there? 

It was a horrible 15 minute drive, Kinsey threw up again on to her blanket and was starting to nod off so I had her look up at the roof of the car and answer yes and no questions and I prayed for her out loud. We finally parked at the hospital (front row parking, praise God) and it was the biggest relief to see Brian standing at the check-in desk. They immediately weighed her, and brought her into a room saying "we have a C3" (which is the highest level on the concussion scale and includes loss of memory and nausea) She threw up again once we got into the room and the doctor ordered some CT scans to be done.

Brian went with Kinsey and I called my mom to let her know what was going on. When Kinsey got back from the scan she was given half a Zofran but drank too much water and juice that it made her throw up again. 
The nurse brought her a popsicle but she had to eat it slowly for fear of more vomiting. At this point the scans came back clear, she had no hemorrhaging or fracture but because of all the vomiting they wanted to keep her overnight for observation. A second half dose of Zofran was given and we waited for the new room.

The pill worked wonders! Her gray pallor went away and she started to be chatty and silly again, it was like night and day.

We get word the new room is ready and get set up in there.

By now its 4:30p and Kinsey is saying she's hungry and wants Mac n cheese (a good sign of recovery) but we wait an hour until a dinner tray is brought in. She drinks broth, eats some jello and lemon ice and has some bites of my and Brian's sandwiches. No more throwing up and Kinsey's sense of humor is intact.
Brian stayed overnight with Kinsey and I went back home to Brielana and it was the saddest, quietest night ever. I didn't put the night light on in Kinsey's room and that filled me with a very deep sadness. Strange how little things like that cause such acute feelings.

I got up early and arrived at the hospital right before the Doctor made her rounds and we were the first patients she visited. We went home shortly after that with 'healing a concussion information' and it felt so good to have everyone back together under one roof.

It has been a week of lots of resting, going to bed early, no screen time whatsoever and eating healthily. But the best news is by Friday (3 days after her fall), Kinsey was as spunky and happy (if not a bit put out that she couldn't just play and run around as per usual) and seeing her well is phenomenal!
1. Accidents happen. We've been outside countless times without so much as a scratch. Don't blame yourself for a freak occurrence.

2. Know the signs of head trauma- thank goodness for that dispatcher who went against protocol and let me know she shouldn't sleep. I only vaguely knew throwing up was bad but didn't know exactly why.

3. Having a support system is a MUST- I'm so thankful my mom was there to watch Brielana, Brian's work was so quick to let him leave (and called/text him to see if Kinsey was okay) and my lovely blogging mom's group for keeping me grounded with prayers and words of encouragement and support.

4. Our ER is located in the same hospital that Brian and I were born in, our siblings were born in and where I had Kinsey and Brielana. I couldn't think of a place I trusted more with the care of my child. All the nurses and doctors were amazing!

5. Brain rest is real- the first two weeks after a concussion the brain is it's most fragile and cutting out tv/screen time, resting and keeping calm, keeping the lights dim and eating healthily all help it to heal faster.

6. Mood swings are to be expected. Kinsey went through a trauma and her mood swings were crazy the first two days; irritability, weepiness and outbursts.

7. Limiting social and physical interactions is exhausting- I get serious cases of antsyness and having to take it easy is hard, so I totally sympathize with Kinsey. By Saturday Kinsey declared, "I just want to be the way I was!" because I wouldn't let her run around.

8. Concussions impair large motor functions and balance and coordination are off for a few weeks, thus no running, jumping, climbing, or playing sports.

9. I got this tip from the ER nurse about vomiting and dehydration- if your child is throwing up and you worry about dehydration, give about 2 Tablespoons of liquid every 2-3 minutes. 

10. We got a copy of her CT scan and Kinsey has a BIG brain, like the technician commented, "Wow, you have a big brain!" It's a trip to see the skull outline and then the whole cavity filled with brains, folds and all. And then there's a view where we saw her eyes! Technology is amazing.



Linking up with Beth and  Karli.
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26 comments:

  1. That was scary to read so to actually live it, goodness. I'm so glad Kinsey is better. Sweet girl. Thanks for the tips.

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  2. Thank goodness sweet Kinsey is okay! How scary!

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  3. I'm so very glad that Kinsley is ok. What a scary situation! I have been noticing that there is more and more education about concussions out there. We did a workshop on concussion education at work a few months ago!
    Xo, Evelina @ Fortunate House

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  4. So glad she is okay. I can't imagine how scary that was for you.

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  5. We have had so much PD on concussions over the last few years and they are such scary things, way more serious than once thought!! I can't imagine how scary this was for you! I felt myself getting teary eyed for you as I read what happened! So glad she is okay!

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  6. Oh mama, I teared up reading this. I'm so glad she's ok!

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  7. This has me all teary. That is so very scary. And I'm so glad nothing more serious happened. A stay in the hospital is sad, esp when you are home and it just isn't the same. Lots of brain recovery vibes being sent your way.

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  8. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry that happened. I'm so glad she's getting back to normal and that it wasn't worse. Thank you for sharing the experience though- you don't really know about stuff like this until you read someone's experience with it. Sending hugs and prayers your way!

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  9. Oh my goodness, Whitney, I'm so glad she's ok. What a horrible scary traumatic situation. I'm so sorry you guys had to go through this, but this post is amazing. I know nothing about concussions, so this is such great information to share. With 2 wild children, I'm sure we'll be in a similar situation sooner than later. So glad to hear K is feeling better an on the mend and the prayers helped! Sending you guys love!!

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  10. How incredibly frightening for all of you! I am so sorry you each had to experience this. I love that you were able to pray over her. I get so worked up and filled with anxiety I can hardly put words together (other than Please, Jesus, please) to pray! Thank you for the very helpful information. #1 - YES! Give yourself grace, mama. Accidents most definitely happen. I hope you guys never have to experience this again.

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  11. Oh man! That is scary! Great that you had such wonderful support and I learnt lots from this post! Thanks, doll!

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  12. Oh my gosh, I was getting emotional just reading that, so I can only imagine how scared you were! Accidents do happen and what a relief you have such a great support system. Glad to hear she's feeling better now!

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  13. So, so, so scary Mama. I'm so crazy thankful that she is okay!!

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  14. Oh my gosh just reading this made me so teary. This parenting thing has some really rough days. So sorry you guys went through that but I'm so so so glad Kinsey is feeling much better and that everyone reacted so quickly. What a crazy freak accident.

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  15. This is so scary, I'm so glad she's ok and feeling better! And I wouldn't have known any of those things about concussions so I'm so glad you shared to inform us all!

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  16. I totally got teary eyed when I read about the nightlight. It's crazy how those little details are the ones that really strike us.
    So, so scary. I'm so thankful that Kinsey is better and back to her self.

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  17. SO SO SO HAPPY that she is ok! I can't even imagine how scary that was. Once I thought Mason had a concussion because he hit his head on the floor. He seemed fine, but then I took him to Costco and he started to fall asleep in the cart, which was not normal! I FREAKED out, abandoned my cart, and took him to the nearest urgent care. Unfortunately they didn't take our insurance (and I knew the bill would be LARGE) so I called Seth and freaked out (it was a weekend but he was at work... 40 min away) and he told me to call the nurse on call line. I did and they told me he didn't have a concussion but to watch him. It was SO SCARY. I can't even imagine what you were feeling. Seriously SO happy she is ok and on the mend!!!

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  18. I'm so glad she's feeling better! That's REALLY scary!

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    1. Thank you Stefanie! She is 99.99% better, such a relief and a blessing!

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  19. And I totally cried while reading this. Just having gone through an ER visit myself this stirred up some major emotions. So thankful that she is okay friend. Praise Jesus.

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  20. Holy cow. I am usually not a crier at all but I sobbed through this entire thing. I just can't even imagine. So thankful your mom was there. So thankful the nurse line was responsive. So thankful everything is okay right now. It is amazing how resilient kids can be. Continued prayers sweet friend.

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  21. Oh my goodness.... How terrifying! Thank you for sharing, so that others know what to look out for.

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    1. It was such a surreal experience (and we're still on brain rest for another five days) but if I can help another mama out thats important!

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  22. I am so thankful to hear that Kinsley was ok. So scary. Thank you for sharing the signs!

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  23. I am so sorry you all had to go through this. We had a scare last month that landed Avery in the ER and it was so hard to go through. Thank you for being so brave and sharing what you learned!

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    1. Thank you Leah! I can say I would rather be anywhere else but the ER but they sure know how to care for their patients. Kinsey is doing great and Im so thankful everything played out the way it did, I dont want to think of the alternatives.

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