Aside from death, there are two things a parent never hopes for their child:
- For their child to suffer serious injury
- For their child to be taken away from them
Thankfully (although it’s not the perfect scenario), we only got stuck with one of them…
Last Friday, Josiah had a pretty good fall — off a bed and into a dresser. Nothing much was thought of it, though: after some crying, he went back to his happy-go-lucky self.
Saturday, I was surprised to find something very odd. On the back of his head — a few inches back from his right ear — was a large, soft lump.
I was concerned, but we had a problem… We were only minutes away from leaving for a wedding (Julianna was in the wedding party, so she was already there).
When we arrived at the church, Julianna had a chance to see the lump and asked me to call the doctor… After a few failed attempts (it’s not easy to get ahoold of anyone in the medical field on a Saturday afternoon) , we finally got through to our doctor’s nurse. She was concerned, but said that as long as Josiah continued to act normally, then everything was probably all right. So, we resolved that we would monitor his behavior and watch the lump to make sure it wasn’t getting any bigger.
By Tuesday, Josiah was still acting fine, but his lump seemed to be shifting — and not shrinking. Julianna called the doctor again, but he said it just sounded like a hematoma (a collection of blood) and that Josiah should be ok.
Wednesday, the lump seemed even bigger and Julianna just didn’t feel right about it. So, she called the doctor again and made arrangements to take Josiah in.
The visit resulted in some X-rays and then a trip to the local children’s hospital ER… The X-rays had revealed a skull fracture and they wanted him to get a CAT scan for a better look..
At the hospital, after a lIttle waiting, they took us in to take Josiah’s vitals and get him ready for a CAT scan. One option was to try to do the scan without sedation. This is preferable, but usually a rare occurrence. Since Josiah is usually so amiable, though, we decided to try… It did not go well. Those scanning machines are scary enough for adults, let alone frightened babies. And, to do a good scan, babies must be completely restrained, which Josiah does not like.
Next, they decided to do a full skeletal X-ray — for reasons we’d later find out. The X-rays went as smoothely as possible (babies don’t have to be completely still during the procedure), but not without a lot of blood curdling screams. But, Josiah is so brave…and strong — the radiology tech came out looking more haggard than Josiah!
At this point, it was late enough for us to try to get Josiah to go to sleep. A very kind nurse let us use an empty, dark CT lab to try. The purpose (aside from the obvious) was to try another attempt at a CAT scan without sedation.
About an hour later, Josiah was asleep, and we wEnt back intto the other lab.
Josiah woke up durinng the proccess, of course, but they were ables to get off a successful scan. This made everyone very happy.
What happened next was totally unexpected… When we were back to our hospital room and the CAT scans had been reviewed, we were told that someone from social services was going to come in and talk with us.
The reason? Josiah’s fracture looked worse than something that might happen from a simple fall.
This disturbed us for many reasons. One was that it was the first time that we had been informed about the extent of the injury. The second was just the fact that someone might not believe us about what had happened.
While waiting for the social worker, we spoke with two more people: a neurosurgeon resident and the chief neurosurgeon. The resident was nice enough, and told us all about the possible next steps. The chief on the other hand was sort of a jerk. We were told that, while the fracture is severe — three fractures in all, resulting in a small indention — Josiah’s brain was not harmed.
But, the only thing that’s realky important is the final decision on how to proceed…
On Monday, Josiah will be admitted to the hospital for reconstructive surgey. The neurosurgeon will cut a piece of Josiah’s skull out and put the pieces back together in the correct shape. Then, he will put the reconstructed skull back in place. The surgery is supposed to take thirty to forty-five minutes and, if all goes well, Josiah will only have to stay one night.
But, if you’ll remember, we were also still waiting to talk to the social worker.
When she arrived, we were all a mess. We were tired, hungry, and trying to deal with all of this new and grave information. Throughout the night, we had told our story about ten times, and now, it was time to tell it again.
All in all, the interview was fairly painless. But, when the social worker left, she told us that her next step was to discuss with doctors whether or not the Department of Family Services (DFS) should be called. Of course, this was not good news to our ears.
Thankfully, the social worker did come back with good news. They decided not to call DFS and we were free to check out and go home.
It was almost midnight.
A few minutes ago, Josiah and I got back home from the hospital again. We had to go get checked-in for Monday’s surgery. Everything went godd, disregarding the labs that had to be drawn (thanks to his dad having Factor V Leiden, Josiah had to be checked too. The labs were not fun for anyone.
So, now we just wait until Monday, glad that our child has only had to suffer injury, and not being taken away. All this only twelve days before Josiah’s first birthday.
I’ll post a few photos of our experience tomorrow.