I heard the thump, followed by the cry.
I didn’t panic because the kids had been running around upstairs for the past hour—even though they both were supposed to be in bed. Naturally they weren’t taking me as seriously since Tom was at work.
“What happened?” I asked as Natalie wailed upstairs.
I figured she fell. She can be extra dramatic about things. Once she bumped her foot and freaked out about it, claiming she needed a band-aid even though you could barely see anything wrong.
I got upstairs and Natalie was on her back, screaming.
That’s when I saw the blood streaming down her face.
“Oh my GOD!” I wailed. As most of my readers know, I can be incredibly dramatic which is no wonder why Natalie wants a band-aid for every tiny bump. I rushed over to Natalie and that’s when I saw it…a HOLE in her head.
I’m not being dramatic either.
There was a HOLE in my daughter’s HEAD.
“Oh my GOD!” I screamed again. I scooped her up and rushed her downstairs. I placed her on the couch. “Stay with me! Don’t pass out STAY WITH ME!”
At this point Natalie stopped crying and was staring at me in confusion. It was probably because I was racing around the room in a panic. I didn’t know quite what to do. The bleeding seemed to stop but there was still A HOLE IN MY KID’S HEAD. I dialed Tom’s number and the second he picked up I went, “TOM! Natalie fell down and there is a HOLE in her HEAD!”
“What?” Tom answered. He’s used to my dramatics. He most likely assumed she simply had a scrape.
“The kids were playing, I heard a thump, and there is a HOLE IN NATALIE’S HEAD! I’m calling 911!”
I hung up on Tom and dialed 911.
It was my first time ever calling 911.
I think I told the operator that my daughter had a hole in her head. “She’s conscious,” I added because I knew they’d ask since I watch Grey’s Anatomy. I was told an ambulance would be there shortly and had to stay on the line. I kept asking Natalie if she was okay and she kept saying, “Yes.”
I was worried her eyes would roll to the back of her head at any second.
I mean…HOLE IN THE HEAD.
I heard the wail of sirens in the background and a few minutes later I had an ambulance, a fire truck, and a police car in front of my house. I’m sure my neighbors were like, “WTF? Did she finally burn the place down?” because most know I’m not the best cook. (Or they thought, "Look, I know Ricky Gervais wasn't as funny at the Golden Globes this year but complaining to 911 is a bit extreme..")
Anyway, I got off the phone and all these men filtered into my house. Natalie was standing at this point, baffled on what was going on.
“Can you see her brains?” Tommy called out.
“I HOPE NOT!” I yelped and then peered at my daughter’s head. COULD you see her brains? Then I flashed back to a scene in Grey’s Anatomy where they were talking about BRAIN MATTER when they were dealing with a head injury and started panicking all over again.
Natalie was surrounded by the men, who began to ask her different questions. I think this was to make sure that I didn’t hurt her. I imagine they deal with abuse cases so they want to get to the kid and make sure they don’t look suspicious or anything like that. I totally understand.
Tommy did not understand.
When Natalie was asked questions he kept saying, “I’m Tommy. Hello? I’m feeling okay, thank you. I don’t have a hole in my head. My sister kept running around and I told her to stop and she wouldn’t. I’m doing. I’m DOING OKAY!”
It could have been because of his Aspergers—he doesn’t get social situations and at that moment he probably just saw everyone was focused on Natalie and didn’t comprehend why no one was acknowledging him.
Natalie hit her head on the corner of the wall apparently. She took one of the men upstairs and pointed out where she had knocked it.
It turns out that even though she had a hole in her head that it wasn’t life threatening because she didn’t black out. The ambulance could have taken her but I didn’t want to take their time if a real emergency came up—so I said I’d drive her to the hospital myself. I was told she was definitely going to need stitches or staples.
“Can you see her brains though?” Tommy kept asking.
I was still crying and when Tom came in I started crying harder wailing about how our daughter had a hole in her head and that it was all my fault.
Natalie, it should be pointed out, has been to the ER 2 times prior to this. Once for a cyst in her leg that got a horrible infection so we had to stay in the hospital for a few days. Another for a disgusting cut in her side that needed glue to close. And now this. Tommy has never gone through anything like that so she’s definitely been keeping me on my toes.
So off to the ER we went, and one would think that not many people would be there on a Sunday night.
The waiting room was FULL. Apparently people in Oklahoma get hurt a lot.
I looked terrible as we sat. I had been in my pajamas when Natalie was hurt and was quickly able to throw some jeans on—but I still had my pink pajama top on. No bra. Hair a mess. Snot coming down my nose because I couldn’t stop crying. Red face. Tears dripping all over the place. Natalie’s blood streaked across my cheek.
Basically I looked like Lindsay Lohan on a Friday night.
At least I didn't look like this:
We were called back to get Natalie’s vitals and I was asked what happened.
“The kids…were playing upstairs…and I heard…I heard…a THUMP,” I sniffled. I couldn’t stop crying for the first hour. I think it was the shock of seeing a hole in my daughter’s head.
“Can you see her brains?” Tommy asked again.
At this point I wanted him to be quiet. I almost, and I hate myself for even thinking this, but I almost wanted to shout at him to knock it off and behave normally for once. Didn’t he realize his sister was HURT? Why did he have to keep asking about her brains? Thank God I didn’t because I work hard on explaining to Tommy that he IS normal; he just learns differently and there’s nothing wrong with that.
It’s hard for a kid with Aspergers to get it. To him, we were interrupting his evening. As we waited he kept saying, “How much longer? I’m bored.” He didn’t ask how Natalie was. Sometimes I want to shake him and scream, “Why don’t you CARE?” And really, he DOES care, I know he does, but he doesn’t grasp a lot of social cues. He could see I was crying, but because he loves the human body, his main focus was, “Since she has a hole in her head, can you see her brain? Or her skull?”
Tom had to go back to work since he had his dog with him. He said he’d be back and as soon as he left I burst into tears all over again. I didn’t want to be alone. There were scary people in the room. I hear horror stories about gangs around Oklahoma and there were several men waiting in there who looked like they could be apart of a gang. Suppose they pulled out a gun and started to shoot up the place?
We were still waiting when Tom returned an hour later.
I think we had to wait about two hours and for an ER, that’s not bad.
We were brought back to a room and someone came to look at her head.
“Is it really bad?” I asked. “There was so much blood.”
“Head injuries always have a lot of blood,” I was told.
I didn’t know this.
I mean, you’d think because I watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy and ER that I would KNOW this. The episodes have a lot of blood but I assume sometimes it’s for show—you know, have more blood and the audience will appreciate it more? But no. Head injuries=lots of blood. FYI.
Natalie had to get two staples in her head.
“Is it going to hurt?” Natalie asked.
I didn’t want to lie to her so I said yes but if she were brave that she’d get a Rapunzel doll.
“Can you see her brains?” Tommy called out.
“No. It’s not that deep,” the doctor said.
Natalie didn’t cry at all. I almost wanted to cry when I saw the shot they used to numb up the area in
The most Natalie did was say, “Ouch.”
That was it.
She’s braver than I am.
When it was over she said, “Can I get my Rapunzel doll now? I was brave.”
We promised she’d have it back at home.
I am so incredibly grateful that it wasn’t worse than it was.
On the drive home from the hospital Natalie said, “An angel kept me safe.”
“What?” I asked.
“An angel kept me safe,” Natalie repeated. “When I fell.”
I smiled. Her guardian angel, maybe.
Thank goodness she has one.
I have a feeling she’s going to need extra care seeing as she’s been in the ER 3 times and she’s only 4.
Thank you, angel, for keeping my baby safe once again.