Monday, July 22, 2013

Fulton's ER visit and God's protection

I want to begin this post with how extremely thankful, grateful, humbled, and undeserving we are to have a healthy boy. 
We deserve none of these.

It was a typical  Summer weekday evening after eating dinner.
Monday, July 1, 2013.
Our family heads outside to play before bath time.
This night we decided to hike up the trails in our neighborhood.

The boys had fun getting super dirty and throwing a gazillion rocks.
We headed back to our house because our friend Micah Butler, Julianne's hubby, was in town for work meetings and he was going to visit with us that night.
We were in the driveway playing and Micah drove up.
The boys love to walk around in the bed of Alan's truck.
Yes, it's parked. Yes, we are at the tailgate. No, we don't let them climb in it or over the sides.
It sounds so redneck and irresponsible.
But, they are boys, and they love Alan's truck.
So, it's late, I tell the boys, let's go inside and get a bath.
I grab Ridge, and I'm setting him down on the driveway to my left.
Alan is to my right. He turns to say something to Micah, and Fulton decides to run and jump out of the bed of the truck without asking for help down or telling us he's getting down.
Just runs and jumps.
I see a blur of Fulton flying by my right side and Alan and I both hear a terrible thud as his forehead hits the concrete driveway and absorbs his fall.
He cries for a few minutes.
We wait for the HUGE expected knot on his forehead.
Nothing happens.
His left eyelid starts swelling.
We walk down to our internal medicine doctor's house at the end of our street.
His wife answers, he's not home.
Fulton is very quiet and looks drowsy and sleepy.
Still no knot.
Something had to absorb the impact of his fall.
It's time to go to the ER.
Thankfully, Micah was here and offered to go with Alan.
He drove them to the ER, Alan sat in the backseat to keep Fulton awake in case of a concussion.

I was terrified.

It kept replaying in my head.
That awaful, awful sound.
I stayed home and bathed Ridge and put him to bed.
Also, thankful for more good friends, Jeremy Tuggle, came over and stayed at our house with Ridge sleeping so I could go to the ER.
The first hour he was there, Alan said he was not himself.
Sleepy, quiet; just wanting to be held.
So so thankful when I got there, he had perked up. Such a good sign.

He was laughing, playing, climbing, saying "Micah! Micah!" over and over.
It was a hopeful sign.
Fulton had a CT scan of his head.
Results = skull fracture.
We were scared.
We didn't know what that meant.
They were admitting him to run more tests the next day.
Alan left, went home to shower, pack and come back to stay with Fulton.
I left and went home to stay with Ridge overnight and to relieve Jeremy.
The nurses woke him often to check his pupils, his vital signs, and other signs for concussions.
Needless to say, Alan didn't sleep much at the hospital.
And, I didn't sleep much at home.
My mind kept racing with thoughts of everything I had learned in school about TBIs.
Traumatic Brain Injuries.
Brain swelling, internal bleeding, neuro surgery possibility, speech problems, language problems, personality changes, eye problems, nerve damage, eye muscle problems, etc. etc.
While I was at the hospital, it was as if  I was testing him for every deficit I could think of.
And, that night I was thinking of everything I didn't do, wondering if he could perform that task or not.
My therapeutic mind couldn't rest.
And, more than that, my mother mind couldn't stop worrying and my heart couldn't stop hurting.

That morning, I woke Ridge up early, and we headed up to the hospital.
Fulton was still asleep when we got to his room.
He slept til almost 9 am.
He woke up and was ready to eat breakfast. 


Good sign since he was not able to eat or drink anything that night.
He was able to eat his breakfast and keep it down without nausea or vomiting; which was important for his head injury.

We saw an ophthalmologist.
He dilated his eye and checked his retina, nerves, and as much muscle control that he could with his swollen eye.
Praise the Lord, everything was good!
We saw a few neurologists. All the results were as positive as possible.
His skull fracture affected the orbital bone right above his left eye (which is why his eyelid swelled).
It runs posterior toward the back of his head.
No swelling of the brain.
No bleeding.
Best case scenario.
Healing time:2-3 months.
No follow-up appointments needed unless changes noted.

Finally got a bath and took a good nap before discharge home.

Alan and I were so so so relieved.
And, so unworthy.
But so so so so grateful for God's protection of our son's head.
So thankful for good results.

So, basically, for the next 2-3 months, we just try to be extra careful with Fulton.
Not easy. No one told him he has a skull fracture and needs to take it down to his lowest gear.
He was climbing, jumping, doing his normal thing in the hospital and after we were discharged.
I asked the neuro surgeon for a helmet. Seriously. 
He said it was not necessary for the location of his fracture. He would not benefit from it.
Again, I begged for one.
He is not aware of this little boy and his boy behaviors.
All boy.
Hence, a skull fracture at not even 2 years old.

I am thankful for his protection.
It could've been a lot lot worse.
A lot worse.

So, here we are, exactly 3 weeks since his injury.
His black eye is gone.
His movement in his left eye is normal and there's no droopiness or slow to follow the right eye.
Praise God.
And, hopefully, his fracture is healing as it should.

Seeing your child in a hospital gown, admitted at Children's Hospital, not knowing the results and when you will go home, not knowing if they would have brain surgery that day or go home that day, is extremely frightening.
Just because the Lord has formed a healthy baby in our womb, and born healthy, doesn't mean that they are forever protected from the world and accidents later in life.
So scary.
We are not in control.
But Praise God, I know and trust the One who is!
No matter the results.
He is in control.

"Have I not commanded yo? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

"In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind." Job 12:10

I love you so much Fulton.
I'm so thankful you are healthy and healing.


Julianne said...

Such a scary story! But, such a wonderful testament to the Lord's protection over that sweet boy. We love y'all!

Sandahlyn said...

Yes, exactly! So thankful your husband was here and so graciously gave up his time to help us! We love y'all!