Thursday, March 12, 2015


Remember how Houston smashed his head yesterday and then threw up twice?

This morning he called from school, "I have a terrible headache and i forgot that i have a test that i'm supposed to take and i can't even think and, oh, also? I just threw up again."

The thing about Houston is that he throws up So. Easily. His body's response to EVERYTHING seems to be to throw up. And yet! Head injury! So i went and got him and called the pediatrician, who said, "You need to take him to the ER for a CT-scan."
Me: "But...he throws up all the time. And he was fine all day yesterday. And CT-scans are expensive? But obviously his health is more important!"
Him: "Okay.... I guess.... You can keep an eye on him, but if he throws up again, you really need to take him."

So then i sat at home, thinking about how i was letting money be more important than the fact that my son's BRAIN was possibly BLEEDING. I called Juanito at work, and he was all, "???? Maybe take him? But it's expensive? So maybe don't? I have to go deal with these kids now."

I talked to my grandpa, who is a doctor, and he was all, "He threw up three times? You need to take him to the ER for a CT-scan."

I talked to my mom and dad and Beth, and they were all, "Wow. I mean, it's a head injury. And your pediatrician says to go. But it's also one of those things where you know that Houston throws up easily, and it's expensive. But it's his head....?"

And then he said that his headache was getting slightly worse, and THEN he sneezed and it was bloody snot, and bleeding from the head was one of the huge warning signs, and i don't even know if bloody snot qualifies, but the amount that i was completely worried and the amount of risk involved in not going eventually pushed me over the edge, and i took him to the ER.

I also had emailed Linda, who's a nurse, in the deciding process, and i got her email while i was at the hospital, and she also fell on the side of "I think you need to take him." And she emailed HER brother-in-law, who is a pediatrician, and HE was all, "You need to take him." So i was well reassured that i was making the right choice.

The ER doctor, on the other hand, kind of had the opposite opinion. She was really nice about it, but she basically said, "So we've had lots of studies done, and what they've shown is that even one CT-scan in childhood significantly raises the risk of tumors. So we don't do those unless a very specific set of circumstances is met, and he doesn't meet those. Not even close. Also, we're more concerned when someone throws up a number of times in, say, the first 8 hours rather than spread out over 24 hours." I was all, "Okay. Good to know. So in the future, when my kids bang their heads, what DO i need to look for?" (And i'm putting this in here partly so that, in the future, i can remember what she said.) Apparently, as long as they're fairly cheerful and able to carry on regular conversation and are acting normal-ish, it's not too concerning. If they're acting like their head is really in pain and like they kind of have a migraine or if they start acting oddly, then THAT'S when we can panic. (On the other hand, she also directed me to, and their website clearly states: "People with a concussion need to be seen by a health care professional." So.)

But she confirmed that Houston had a concussion. He's not allowed to do any kind of activity that could re-injure his head for at least 5 days. (No gym class. No biking.) He's not allowed to use screens, so no video games or movies or phones. And (she threw in as almost an afterthought) no books. That's the point at which Houston gasped, "What!?!" He's allowed to listen to books or movies, but not to watch them. No drawing or writing either. (He's all, "What CAN i do?" Me: "Legos?")

So i'm thinking that he stays home from school again tomorrow. If he can't read or write, that's going to make doing any kind of schoolwork hard. 

Anyhow, this morning, as i was in the throws of, "WHAT DO I DO?!" i had a moment of, "Well, at least i know where Katrina gets her indecision."

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