The next four years seemed to fly by, we got KC occupational therapy to help him a little bit. We were on a good track until…..
That day at the gym!
I was working out, when one of the workers came up to me telling me that KC wouldn’t stop crying and was wanting me. That was not like him at all! He loved being in the gym play area and never had any separation issues. I got off the treadmill and went into the daycare area.
When I walked into the door, he almost fell out of the workers arms to get into mine. He was crying fiercely. He had trouble speaking and even in my arms the cries continued. I spoke with the worker who had been holding him asking what had happened. She wasn’t sure what had happened, but she had found him by the big inflatable slide crying. I asked him if he fell and he nodded.
He didn’t want to stay, which was totally understandable. The worker pried him out of my hands so I could get my things out of the locker room and then we left.
In the less than three-minute drive home, KC fell asleep. I was very concerned when he didn’t even stir when I took him out of his car seat and laid him on the downstairs couch. I got right on the phone and called his doctor. She told me the signs to watch for a concussion. I sat there watching him. When he awoke at least 15 minutes later that seemed like an eternity, he was still lethargic, so we decided to take him to urgent care for children.
We were taken right back into a room and within minutes KC threw up. The on-call doctor had a nurse call for the ambulance as he took a moment to scold me for not calling the ambulance and coming to urgent care.
Kev went with KC in the ambulance, as I headed back to the house to get what we would need to spend time in the hospital. I also called Kev’s parents and my family and some close friends to start praying.
By the time I got to Children’s Hospital and into the emergency room they had already done and x-ray and an MRI on KC. He had a very bad concussion, and his skull wasn’t growing with his brain and he had a Kari malfunctions (which is his brain stem being further down the base of the skull then it should be. It is something that he can live with).
We spent three days in the hospital, two in the PICU, before coming home. In a few weeks we would be back to have a test done to measure the pressure on his brain to see if we would need surgery.
Okay time to breathe!
The next two weeks were filled with doctor’s appointments and learning about this test he would be undergoing. The pressure test was a procedure where they would put him to sleep and drill a hole in the center of his skull. They would then insert a long metal rod to monitor the pressure for the next 24 hours. KC would have to lay on his back the whole time. The neurosurgeon explained that the only way he would do surgery on the skull was if the pressure on the brain was high, even though the skull wasn’t growing with the brain.
Talk about heart breaking. My extremely active four-year-old lay still and watched tv. He wanted me near him at all times. I remember during the night waking up and looking at the numbers. They aren’t high enough was my thought. I slipped away from the bed of my sleeping child and out of the room. I walked the halls of the hospital until I came to the empty parent lounge. I sat down and started praying for the pressure to go up and stay that way for at least two hours.
Within minutes of my prayer the pressure skyrocketed and stayed that way for the rest of the early morning hours. The surgeon decided that skull surgery would be the best solution and we went ahead with scheduling the surgery two weeks later.
Those two weeks were inundated with doctor appointments with the neurosurgeon and the plastic surgeon. Three days before the surgery we celebrated KC’s fifth birthday with friends and family at a nearby park.
The day of the surgery we were at the hospital by six in the morning. Once again, my mom and Kev’s parents were with us. KC clung to me as they prepared him for surgery. He took one of his favorite stuffed animals with him. He lay on the gurney and slowly faded off to sleep.
This surgery took longer than they had told us, which made me anxious. Friends and family stopped by as well as one of the pastors from our church. He stayed for a good hour with us and prayed for KC.
Finally, the surgeon came out, the surgery went very well, and KC was in recovery. One of the nurses took be back and I stayed with him until he woke and then walked with him as they transported him to the PICU. We were at the hospital for most of the week before we were able to head home with instructions for keeping KC low key for the next few weeks.
A five-year-old boy and low key don’t go hand-in-hand especially when an uncle sends him a light saber. But KC didn’t really have any energy to do much of anything. He did hold the light saber in his hand. His whole face was swollen and had bruises on it. It hurt to see my vibrant boy so mellow and content with laying on the couch.
After a few weeks he started to get his energy back, but I remained
him that he still needed to take it easy. His head would start to hurt whenever he got too active. Soon he had no more headaches and was given a green light to go back to being an active five-year-old.
I look back at this time with a lot of apprehension. I am thankful for the concussion, because it brought to light a problem we would have never known about. Yet at the same time the things we have dealt with since the accident might not have been if it didn’t happen.
(More to come on that in another post)