Sunday, July 26, 2009

An injury for Ethan

Ethan's 3 staples and his bald spot
The wounded Ethan sleeps

Friday, July 24th, our church finished up the last day of a week long church sponsored Cub Scout daycamp. Ethan attended with Peter the last 2 days. Friday, my presence was requested at the stake center to attend the parent night and closing ceremonies. It was from 6 to 8 PM.
As I neared the stake center, Peter called and told me that I needed to come over to the children's area as soon as I got there. I immediately asked if anything was wrong. Peter told me that Ethan had an accident and needed stitches. Evidently, Ethan was playing on a rock and fell and hit his head on the rock.
When I got there, Ethan sat calmly in Peter's lap as Peter held an ice pack to Ethan's head. It seemed like nothing was wrong until he removed the ice pack to reveal an almost v-shaped small tear in Ethan's scalp. Indeed, he needed stitches, it wasn't serious but stitches were in order.
Now I had the task of checking the older two boys out, gathering their camp supplies, take them home and then get Ethan's head patched up. It was a surreal experience as I made my way through the throng of children who were simultaneously talking and moving. I finally located Jon's camp leader and gathered his stuff and Peter took care of Steven's camp checkout as he had been Steven's camp leader during the week.
One piece of luck did occur. As of July 1st our primary care provider stopped accepting our HMO. He now takes only PPO, which excludes us, we are on the cheap plan. But, his office secretary Dotty appeared at my side and revealed that she too was a member and offered her help. She was there that night to watch her cub scout. She called our previous doctor and asked if he would be willing to stitch Ethan's head up so we could avoid the ER. He declined, as he was engaged in some undisclosed activity but suggested that instead of going to the ER like we had originally planned, we should head over to the urgent care. I hadn't thought of that.
I am grateful for Dotty's help and for Dr. Fakhoury's advice. Going to the urgent care saved us $85 and 3-4 hours. Our co-pay at the hospital is $100 compared to the $15 copay for urgent care. And, the wait time at the hospital is 3-5 hours on a good night compared to a 20 minute wait at the urgent care. Within 90 minutes we were in and out of the urgent care.
Ethan ended up getting 3 staples in his scalp. They ended up shaving the area, which he hated and struggled against. Then the doctor gave us a choice, give him a local anesthetic and stitches or give him staples very quickly without any local. The problem with the local anesthetic was that he would have had to use a needle to give him the local and then use a needle to stitch it up. Ethan would not have tolerated that. So, we opted for the 3 staples. Peter and I held him tight as the Dr. did his work. He screamed, but within a minute his pain was over with and he was happily playing on my iPhone.
The doctor had us wait around to make sure Ethan was stable. And, he also very quickly ruled out any head trauma. No CT scans for Ethan which is another thing he would not have tolerated. After the staples were in, the Dr. wrapped Ethan's head with gauze and told us to leave it on for 48 hours. I almost started laughing out loud. Obviously, that Dr. did not know Ethan. There was no way that the bandage would last even 24 hours! It lasted until 8:30 AM the next morning. Since then, we have been slathering his head with Neosporin ointment and hoping for the best. Ever since then, he's been wearing a Superman cap to cover up the bald spot on his head.
Ethan had a rough night the first night. He awoke at 3:30 AM screaming and crying that his head hurt. We gave him Tylenol and some food and drink and then ended up giving him some Motrin. Ever since then, he hasn't had any pain reliever. He's acted like nothing is the matter, that nothing ever happened.
Ethan's head looks like he is a Frankenstein throw back. I personally don't like staples very much, but they are pretty quick which was our first concern. And in retrospect, we are lucky he hasn't had to have staples before now. Ethan is such a daredevil. He is constantly running and jumping. He's like the energizer bunny. He's been lucky not to have had stitches before now.
Wednesday, we have to go back and get his staples removed. Then he can get wet, have a shower. Until then, no water. No swimming, no baths, no water. So, as a sign of solidarity, none of us have been in the pool even though it is hot outside. The kids did have a shower this morning, but that is to be expected. Ethan received a sponge bath.
Ethan's ability to bounce back is nothing short of amazing. He astounds me.

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