Posts tagged Nora

What’s with my kids and head injuries?!

I have no idea what is with my kids, mostly Nora, and head injuries.  I’m not talking about serious ones that might be life altering, but simply the ones that involve hitting, banging, or cutting the head.  If you know us personally or have followed my blog in the past (yes, I know I haven’t blogged in a while) then you’ve seen my posts on facial lacerations including stitches and dermabond here, here , here and here.  I know it seems crazy that I have four posts related to facial injuries, scars, stitches, etc but it’s our reality.  But the saga continues!

Back on February 16th Nora had a run in with a wall, specifically the place where two walls meet at a corner in a doorway.  Scott and I had literally just sat down to eat dinner and the girls were supposed to be watching a TV show before bed.  Well, whenever Scott and I try to eat a nice dinner by ourselves, Nora is always coming and checking up on us.  I heard her start to come down the hall but didn’t think anything of it.  She wasn’t even running, which is amazing in itself.  Then, all of a sudden Scott and I heard the loudest bang we’ve ever heard inside our house.  He looked right at me and said, “This is going to be bad!”  I dropped my fork and ran to the hall to find Nora on the floor screaming her little head off.  I scooped her up into my arms and that is when I saw the blood on her forehead.  There was a lot of it.  Somehow I have the ability to remain pretty calm in these type of situations and I told Scott to get me a towel so I could apply pressure to the wound.  It was hard to tell right away the severity of the wound and not knowing exactly what to do, we decided to call 911.  Nora was pretty hysterical and kept saying she was tired and was starting to hyperventilate a bit.

I sat on the kitchen floor, cradling Nora while holding the towel over her wound while Scott stood watch for the EMTs, firefighters and police officers. Oh yes, we had all of those people at our house that night.  In less than five minutes the firefighters arrived, two big stalky guys came into the house and we were all crouched on the kitchen floor.  They were the nicest guys ever and asked about what happened and looked at the wound.  They agreed that it was pretty bad and determined that she didn’t have a concussion.  They wrapped her head with gauze to cover the wound. The EMTs arrived next along with a police officer.  We decided not to go to the hospital in an ambulance for a few reasons  – 1.  It was almost 8pm and I wanted Brinely to be able to get to bed (she was pretty upset about the whole situation) and if we went in the ambulance Scott and Brinley would have to come pick us up when we were done, and 2.  They wanted to strap Nora to a backboard for the ride.  Since the bleeding had stopped, she didn’t have a concussion, and she was already pretty upset, I thought that strapping her to a backboard and putting her in the ambulance would just have been too much trauma for her for one night.

So after all the emergency responders had left, I took Nora and drove her to the nearest hospital.  On the way there I kept talking to her to make sure she was ok and that she didn’t fall asleep.  It also started to rain which I didn’t think much of until we arrived at the hospital and there was no where to park near the ER.  I circled around a few times but nothing opened up so I had to park on the other side of the parking lot an carry Nora, in the rain, over to the ER.  Granted it wasn’t that far, but it just added to the chaos.

Once inside, we checked in and had a seat in the waiting room.  She was initially checked out pretty quickly by the intake nurse and I though this would be a quick visit, but boy was I wrong.  We sat and sat in that waiting room for an hour, then two hours, then nearly three.  It occurred to me after about the first hour that I hadn’t eaten anything since about noon that day.  By this point, Nora was just about back to her normal self.  She was waving at other babies in the ER and asking questions about the other “sick” people.  I finally spotted a vending machine and was quite relieved only to realize that I had zero cash in my wallet.  At that point, Nora was also asking for water.  I felt so unprepared, but then again, this is the Emergency Room and who is ever prepared to be there?  We took a few walks to the bathroom, not necessarily to go, but more to pass the time and I noticed a man filling the vending machines.  I asked if any of the machine took credit cards, even though I was pretty sure the answer was no.  The guy said no, but gave me 2 bottles of water for free.  He didn’t have the key to the machine with the food in it though.

Not too long after that, we were called back to a room.  We waited some more, and then a doctor finally came in.  She looked at the wound and said it definitely needed to be stitched and that it was pretty deep.  I was fearing it though sort of expected it.  Nora was lucky to have gotten off with just dermabond last time.  So I texted Scott to update him and then we got ready.  Nora was pretty tired at this point and but she was very cooperative.  She sat up on the table, laid down when told, and barely flinched when they put the numbing stuff in her wound.  They did have to wrap her up in a sheet so she couldn’t move while being stitched, but that’s procedure anyway.  Since the wound was so deep that had to put a mattress stitch underneath and then five more stitches on the outside.  They gave her some Tylenol for the pain, bandaged her up and we were on our way home – over three hours later!

It was a crazy, scary night that I’ll never forget.  But now, almost a month later, she is healing well and I know she’ll be fine.  We use Mederma a few times a day and cover the area with a band aid when we go out in the sun.  The wound is off to the side on her forehead and closer to her hairline than her eyebrow so hopefully it will stay out of sight for the most part.  Of course, she had to choose the brightest most colorful band aids they sell to wear out in the sun.  It suits her though.  She’s the type of kid that when injured she wants everyone to know about it!

So that’s the story of my second kid, under the age of three, having stitches in her forehead.  But if you think I’m finished with the head injuries, you’re wrong!  Just yesterday, Nora was playing out on the porch and she came in to show me something.  She has a tendency to carry more than she can handle and when she came in through the door, she wasn’t paying attention and walked right into the door knob.  No, she didn’t cut herself but she does have a little bruised egg on the opposite side of her forehead.

I’m seriously thinking of getting the kid a helmet. ::Sigh::


How to Ruin a Surprise (or Not)

Yesterday was Brinley’s 5th birthday.  Scott and I had given her all of her presents from us at her family-and-close-friends party on Saturday and were felling a little bad that we didn’t have anything to give her on her actual birthday.  So on Tuesday, after Brinley got on the bus for school, I took Nora up to Toys R Us to get Brinley a new bike. 

{Aside: Brinley has a bike but it’s way too small for her and she stinks at riding it because her legs are too long.  She can’t build up enough momentum on it and gets frustrated.  We’d talked about getting her a bike back and forth but didn’t want to invest a lot of money so close to winter in fear that she might outgrow this one just as fast as the last.  Well, turns out that the bike she liked last time we were at Toys R Us happened to be on sale for $49 so we figured it woudln’t break the bank.  Then when I got to the store, I was informed that it was on clearance for 25% off of that.  So it only ended up costing me $35!}

So, Nora and I go in the store, I find the bike (it was the last one!) and grab it.  I also get her a cute little basket for the front because she keeps talking about putting her (already-named-but-not-yet-and-may-never-be-owned) puppy, Sprinkles, in a basket to take him for rides.  Nora and I get back in the car with the (unassembled) bike and basket and head back home for nap time.  The entire excursion was pretty uneventful and we were back home in no time.

Later that night after the girls were in bed, Scott and I assembled the bike and left it in the downstairs family room with the plan to give it to her after breakfast the next day, her actual birthday.  So morning comes, I made chocolate chip pancakes and we we ate breakfast as a family to celebrate Brinley’s birthday.  Scott mentioned to Brinley that we had a present for her and her face lit up.  Then Nora chimes in, “We got you a bike, Brinley.”  I try to change the subject with Nora and direct her toward her pancakes because I was pretty sure Brinley didn’t really hear her.  Then she says it again, “Right, mom?  We got Brinley a new bike for her birthday?  Hey Brinley we got you a new bike.  It’s for your birthday.”  Ugh.  Brinley is complete into her pancakes and I still think she may not have caught on.  But the she looks up and says, “I don’t want a bike for my birthday.” FAIL!

I figured the surprise was ruined but we all just carried on eating our pancakes and pretending like that conversation never happened.  We finished breakfast, I gave the girls baths and got them dressed.  Then Scott went down and got the bike.  When Brinley saw it, she was really excited.  It was the exact one that she had picked out and she hopped right on it and started riding it in the house!

So I guess the surprise wasn’t ruined after all. Only a two year old to could try to ruin a surprise and fail!

Nora’s Eye Update

It’s been nearly two weeks since Nora’s tear duct probing.  I’m so glad that it is over but honestly it wasn’t nearly as bad or traumatic of an experience as I had thought it would have been.  Here’s how things went:

On Tuesday morning,March 15th, Scott and I got up and ready.  Nora decided that she would sleep in which was honestly a great thing considering that she had to fast.  She couldn’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight.  When she woke up, I quickly dressed her in a sweat suit and we headed for the car. Scott and I drove Nora to the hospital which was about 25 minutes away.  Her procedure was scheduled for 9:30am but we were asked to be at the hospital by 8:30am. Once we arrived at the hospital, we checked in and then waiting in the waiting room.  We distracted Nora with toys and by looking out the windows at the birds and squirrels.  I knew that if she had time to think about it, she’d definitely ask for food.

A little bit after 8:30 we were brought into a pre-op room where Nora was given some toys to play with and we were asked a few basic questions like her height, weight and if she was on any medications.  Nora didn’t seem the least bit phased by any of this.  She played with the toys and during that time we changed her our of her clothes and into a hospital johnny.  She was given a bracelet for each wrist and one for her ankle.  Then a nursing student came in and brought in the mask that they’d be using to administer the anesthesia.  Nora was reluctant at first to touch it but eventually did.  They put strawberry flavored lip gloss inside it and encouraged her to smell it.  This was to help prepare her for when they’d place it over her mouth.

Since only one of us was allowed in with her, Scott and I decided that I would ride into the operating room with Nora and he’d wait in the pre-op area.  I had to wear a white suit, shoe covers and a hat.  Nora thought this was pretty funny.  Then I got into the bed with her and the team of doctors and nurses wheeled us into the operating room.  This was the first time I had ever been inside an operating room and boy was it bright!  You always see them on TV with all the lights and stuff but I didn’t realize how bright it really is.  Once we were in the operating room, I got off of the bed and helped move Nora to the operating table.  She was a bit clingy to me at first, not knowing what was going on, but she eventually got on without a fuss.  The nurses and doctors couldn’t believe how compliant she was being.  I helped her to lay down and then held her hands as she clutched one binky and sucked on another.  She looked a bit scared but never cried.

Then the anesthesiologist put the little mask over her face and she looked up at me and started to whimper.  It broke my heart.  She didn’t fight it, but just looked so sad.  I just held her hands and talked to her and in less than a minute she was asleep.  At that point, I left the room.  It was so hard to do but I knew that she was ok and that I’d be with her in a few minutes.  I met back up with Scott and we headed out to the waiting area.  Within about three minutes after sitting down to wait, the doctor was coming toward us.  She said that Nora was all done and that everything went great.  Nora was in the recovery room starting to wake up and we were brought to her.  She seemed scared but wasn’t crying.  She did eventually start fidgeting and crying when she saw us but I think it was because she wanted to get out of the bed.  She kept asking to leave.

In the recovery room, she got to snack on some Cheerios, apple juice and graham crackers and she watched Elmo on TV.  Coincidentally Elmo’s World was about going to the doctors.  We stayed there for about 20 minutes then got Nora dressed and were ready to head home!

It’s been almost two weeks and her eye looks great!  I had to give her eye ointment for the first week.  On Friday I thought we might be having a set back because some tears were starting to pool on her lower eye lid but I called the doctor and she said it was likely because Nora was developing a cold.  That seems to be the case.  She’s had a runny nose and slight cough for a few days now.  Her eye still looks awesome though.  No goop or wetness in it when she wakes up in the morning and no tears constantly running down her cheek.  Hopefully it will stay this way.  There is a chance it could close up but it’s not common.

Nora was such a trooper and did amazingly well with all of it.  I’m so proud of her!

Today is the day

By the time you’re reading this, Scott, Nora and I will already be in the car on our way to the hospital.  Today is the big day.  After a few visits to the eye doctor and discussing it at length together, Scott and I {along with Nora’s pediatrician and ophthalmologist} have decided to go ahead with the eye probing surgery.  They call it a surgery, but it’s really just a quick procedure.  I guess the fact that she has to be under anesthesia means it’s a surgery though.  But when I tell people about it, I just can’t use that word.  It makes it seem too serious.  Not that I’m not taking this seriously or that I’m not very nervous about it… it’s just that calling it a procedure makes it less scary for me.

I know that everything is going to go great and we’ll be home and done with it before we know it, but I’m still going to be a nervous wreck.  Nora can’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight tonight {last night when you read this} and I know that is going to make for a very rough morning.  I don’t even want to think about walking away from her once she’s in the hospital.  I know I’ll probably lose it.

When Brinley had her stitches I didn’t have time to prepare for what was to come and it was just easier that way.  It was awful, but somehow I remained calm for her because she was wide awake and I had to stay strong.  This is different.  Nora will be put to sleep and I’ll have to walk away and I’ve had plenty of time to think about it all.  That’s making it much more difficult.  But in a few hours we’ll be home and it will be behind us and Nora will {fingers crossed} have an unblocked tear duct.

Highlighter Tears

Remember how cool black lights were?  I’m not implying that they’re no longer cool, it’s just that it’s been years since I’ve seen one.  When I was in college they were all the rage.  All of the parties and clubs my friends and I went to had them.  The best were the highlighter parties where you’d color on your white shirt or your skin {gasp!} with the fluorescent markers and then hang out in a room lit only by black light bulbs.  Totally awesome, right?!  So just think how totally awesome it would be if you could have had that highlighter juice coming out of your eyes!

Ok, so maybe that isn’t the most awesome thought right now.  It’s actually kind of disturbing.  But today, I got to see what that would have looked like.  Back in October I wrote a post about my daughter’s blocked tear duct.  I was having a hard time with the fact that she might have to have it surgically probed to open it up.  This meant putting her under anesthesia.  The thought made me sick.  But now, I’m coming to terms with the idea.

Today I took Nora for her second eye doctor appointment.  The first time, she had a comprehensive eye exam and aside from the blocked duct and very slight myopia {nearsightedness} in one eye she checked out just fine.  So back to the highlighter oozing eyes…  They put these special yellow drops in her eyes.  The drops tint her tears and then the doctor can see how the tears are draining.  The way they do that is they shine a black light in her eye and see where the tinted tears are going.  And since Nora’s left tear duct is blocked, the tears were pooling on her lower lids and glazing over her entire eye.  So when the doctor shined the black light it looked like highlighter was pouring out of her eyes.  It was cool and creepy at the same time.

All of this has confirmed the fact that Nora will have to have her duct probed.  They refer to it as a surgery which makes me cringe, but it takes all of about 5 minutes.  Hopefully once it’s over with I’ll stop hearing, “Oh, poor thing!  Why is she crying?”

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