Ben Kao I can't categorise such entries Thunderstorm days

    Concussed

    September 15, 2016

    Part of the deal of raising boys is that you need to prepare your heart for fractures, falls and fights. Like that time when my husband came back from the playground with the kids and looked me in the eye, told me to breathe and prepare to go to the A&E because Nat fell and fractured his arm. Or like two nights ago when my husband declared that we would have to go to the Children’s Emergency with Ben.

    On Tuesday afternoon, I received a phone call while at work and it was Ben crying on the line. He usually does not pull the crybaby number on me unless he’s ill and uncomfortable and he had shared with me that he had knocked his head against a pillar during recess. He said a boy dashed past him so quickly he didn’t even realise, and the next time he knew, he’s hit his head. While on the school bus, he felt a headache coming and was in discomfort.

    I told the helper to give him some pain relief. He could barely eat his lunch and had to climb into bed to have a nap.

    When I came home, I found him squirming in pain due to a headache that won’t go away, and a fever. He also threw up his dinner, and looked more lethargic than usual. I was going to monitor him for the night but Fatherkao decided that we should get him assessed by the doctor for any head injury right away.

    So we headed to the NUH Children’s Emergency where he got a thorough check up and was diagnosed with a mild concussion.

    Say….what?

    So apparently, my eldest’s gotten his head concussed, alright. Just by walking to the canteen during recess time.

    I’m a little flummoxed here – tell me, like how the heck did another child manage to give my son a concussion by dashing past him and scraping his shoulder?

    Who’s this child? Is he big sized? Is he taller, stronger, fatter? What is he? Did you see his name? How would you not know if a child is coming towards you? – were the questions I fired Ben.

    Why didn’t you stiffen your body to anticipate the impact? – was the question Fatherkao asked him.

    I DIDN’T SEE HIM COMING AT ALL! – was the concussed child’s reply.

    Unbelievable. I’m having a real headache here just trying to figure out how this could happen to a child walking in the canteen.

    Being observed at NUH

    Being observed at NUH

    But I didn’t write this to share my bewilderment but some handy tips on how to monitor a concussed child. It’s crucial to note what to do and I am glad for tips from a nurse friend and a very detailed doctor-in-charge (coincidentally, Dr Kao!!!)

    You’re welcome.

    Well, first of all, the first 6 hours, as the doctor tells us, is the most crucial. If a child vomits more than 3 times and has a headache that gets more intense by the hour, admit him straightaway. And if he fell from a height (for more than a metre and like in all other dangerous situations), that’s like an absolute no-brainer (pardon the pun) – go straight to the ER for that. For Ben, his injury was sustained while he was standing up, so the risk is slightly lower than someone who falls from a height.

    Second, remove all forms of stimulation from the child who’s experiencing a headache (which include lights and sounds from radio, TV, etc) and try to keep him in a dim and dark place as much as possible. The injury will cause great discomfort, and minimising these will help them calm down and recover from the concussion faster.

    This was Ben at the ER during observation, not wanting any light and sound

    This was Ben at the ER during observation, not wanting any light and sound

    Lastly, monitor injured child for the next 72 hours and provide pain relief for as often as possible. After Ben was observed in the ER for 2 hours and had anti-vomiting meds and Paracetamol administered, he was discharged. The doctor said he saw colour come back to his face and that we should just monitor him for the next few days. He was given 3 days MC and advised to refrain from contact sports.

    My concussed boy slept for most of his first 48 hours since the injury, and I’m glad to report he is feeling less tired and a little better today. I also think that all the prayers and thoughts sent his way helped greatly, plus Aroma Life, an essential oil blend from Young Living which I used to massage his head.

    Thank you, Jesus. 

    I don’t know how much more my heart can take with my boys growing up so quickly, and moving around, and being active so much, and I am probably going to scream NO if anyone comes to me requesting to play rugby.

    My head’s pretty traumatised already from this one.