Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Monday, 20 October 2003

ER Drama

Well we had our first real trauma ward visit this week-end. We have gone in once before when Quinn had a bad day or vomiting and diarrhoea, but that was just for them to look and say, ' Yes, he's still fine, go home again'.

Well we have been replacing ceilings in our house since Monday last week (Lischka: it's Bakar doing the work btw). All I can say is it's been VERY messy and disruptive. Basically we have had 50+ years worth of dust falling down on everything.

So after sleeping on the lounge floor all week, they finally finished painting our room late on Friday. So on Saturday I stayed home to clean up and move back into our room, while Rich took the kids on the train to Fish Hoek and then got a lift to Imhoff to visit with friends and watch the rugby etc.

I joined them at about 3:30pm. When I arrived I notice that neither Q or G were very happy or social. G had been to the doctor on Friday anyway for tonsillitis (it turns out he has 'kissing tonsils' - meaning they are joined together. Apparently this causes apnoea, and snoring, and makes them more prone to infection. The doc said we may need to have them taken out at some point, especially if he is having disrupted sleep). He also has a fungal/bacterial infection in the corner of his mouth, which bleeds at night and makes disgusting black sludge on his lips and teeth, so we are treating that too.

So on Saturday Q had started looking very flushed, and told me his throat and head was sore. I decided to go to a pharmacy to get some fever meds. I took him with me, and by the time we got there he could hardly walk. I bought some ponstel and gave him a dose while we were still at the till. He fell asleep on the way back and was twitching and all delirious. We put him in a bed and he cooled down and slept. I gave Griff a does of the med as well. At 7:30 we were just starting to dish up dinner (which was a delicious roast), when Griffin and friend started climbing on the long bench chair by the table. I heard Rich ask him to get down and not pull the table cloth etc. I carried on dishing food.

Next I heard a fall and crying. Somehow Griff had fallen backwards off the bench and hit his head on a terracotta step. He cried a little and then went very pale and quiet and put his head down on Rich's chest. This made me worried.

Everyone was saying, ' oh he's fine, let's eat' I was holding his head in my hand and I lifted my hand and saw BLOOD. I got quite a fright and 2 of us were looking at his head trying to see where the blood was coming from. We saw it coming through his hair at the back of his head.

Luckily there is a paramedic who lives down the road, so we decided to take him there, to see how serious it was, because I didn't want to take any chances. The paramedic was a wonderful helpful guy. He checked his pupil reflexes etc and said that his eyes were reacting normally, and so it didn't look like there was anything more serious than the cut. He said he'd clean it a bit, to see how big and deep it was, so we'd know if he needed stitches. He started moving his hair aside and the cut was huge. It was about 5 cm long and open to about 5mm, and you could see red flesh inside! But strangely the cut was hardly bleeding.

He told us that he was fine, but that because the cut was so big, it would very likely get infected if left, and he would end up with a bald patch in the area. He said it was best to go through to Constantiaberg to get it assessed and stitched.

So we packed up and loaded a still sick and sleeping Q in the car and headed back over the mountain. Luckily there weren't too many people in casualty and we got seen to quite quickly.

Griff was acting fine through all this and was fairly cheerful even. The doctor was called and said that he definitely should be stitched, and he wanted a skull x-ray as well. So off we went. They made me ride a wheel chair while holding Griff. He thought the x-ray machine was pretty cool, until he realise I was pinning him down, and then he wasn't at all impressed and squirmed a lot. Luckily the radiographer managed to get her shots quite easily though.

We went back though and the doctor looked at the x-rays and said his skull was fine (which we pretty much knew anyway). They gave Griff 5mls of Panado and then 3 drops of some sedative. He ended up quite drunk and was laughing and playing and dancing about, and almost falling off the bed!

Quinn mean time had woken up and was lying on a bed in the 'observation room' having a great time watching his own TV with ear phones and adjusting the volume etc. And eating chips from the vending machine. He also kept pressing the red button which called nurses! We left him there on his own, and then took G through to a more surgical room.

We had to lie him on his tummy. Richard held his head, I held his back and shoulders and a nurse held his legs. He did not like being pinned down at all and started yelling. The doctor then injected a local anaesthetic right into the cut and under the skin in 3 places (yes I watched the whole time). He then said that with all the meds it was very unlikely that he could feel anything, and he was just yelling from being held down, so it was best to just get it over with as quickly as possible. So we held him down and spoke calmly to him while the doctor cut some of his hair away (Griffin hates haircuts, and I'm not sure he'll like them anymore from now on!). He then pout 2 stitches in. He said he wasn't going to do a whole row because Griff was moving too much and he just wanted the skin held closer together so it can heal itself. Also because they couldn't cut his hair properly they couldn't put a plaster over it. So they used something called 'plastic bandage' I think. It's basically a see through plastic fixative spray, to keep it clean and covered. He was also given anti-biotics to make sure he doesn't get an infection.

As soon as the doctor finished stitching him Griff was smiling and laughing again, and even said 'thank-you doctor'. He waved and said bye to all the nurses too. So that was how we spent Saturday night. Thankfully it wasn't too bad, but close enough.

Q had a good look and was very interested in everything. We also had a good talk to him about listening to us when we say be careful, because this is the kind of thing that can happen. etc.