It was a sunny spring Friday, just past noon, when a baseball bat slammed into the side of the boy’s head, causing his body to be shoved into a chain link fence. The boy spent the rest of his recess wandering around the playground, dazed, until the school bell rang. When the boy sat down at his desk, the girl sitting next to him dropped her jaw and her hand flew to her mouth.
“Um…oh my god…um…boy, you do know that you have blood running down the side of your head, don’t you?”
“No.” was all that he muttered back.
The substitute teacher sent the boy to the nurse. The boy told the nurse he “must have scraped his head.” He left with a bandage that stayed stuck to the side of his head for an hour before it found a permanent home in the garbage can because it was itchy.
It was almost 5 pm, just before dinner, when the boy arrived home that evening. I dropped my jaw and my hand flew to my mouth. “Oh my goodness! Those glasses are less than a week old! How did you manage to mangle them so badly?”
The boy quietly answered, “I think I got hit in the head with bat.” He turned his head and I saw the scabbing wound and a small lump.
It was 5:02 pm, just after I had examined those mangled glasses, when common sense and a little bit of sympathy entered the conversation. “So, you think we need to take him to Urgent Care?” the husband queried.
It was 2 ½ years ago, just before the fall leaves fell from the trees, that the boy acquired his first concussion. And while it would be an overstatement for me to claim to be an expert on concussions, I was confident that I could adequately evaluate him for signs that should be of immediate concern.
It was 5:16, just after I had thumped the lump on the boy’s head and asked, “Does this hurt?”, that parsimonious efficiency sent common sense out to start the car. I announced to the husband and the boy,“ Urgent Care is open until 9. But the eye doctor is only open until 6. Let’s go there first.”
It was 5:26, just after the eye doctor lady saw the boy’s mangled glasses, when she dropped her jaw and her hand flew to her mouth. “What happened?” she questioned.
All eyes turned to the boy. Somewhere in the boy’s head, a switch was flipped and he suddenly piped up, “I got hit with a plastic bat at school. Hey! I remember!”
It was 5:49, just as the boy’s glasses were deemed forever mangled, that parsimonious efficiency reluctantly determined a plastic bat hit did not an Urgent Care visit warrant. A reluctant common sense drove us home.
It was Monday morning, just after the boy spent the entire weekend repeatedly responding to his guilt laden and paranoid mother, “Yes, I’m fine!”, that the school was notified that the boy was an accident waiting to happen.
And it was the very next Friday, just after lunch, when the school nurse called our home. “The boy has hit his head quite badly. I think you should come quickly.”
When I saw the tennis ball sized bulge coming out of the back of the boy’s head, I dropped my jaw and my hand flew to my mouth. The school nurse shook her head and turned to me, “Yes, it’s impressive isn’t it?” The boy told me he had hit his head on the “Big Toy” as he spiraled down the “corkscrew” pole. When a girl found the boy sprawled out, motionless, underneath the “Big Toy”, she dropped her jaw and her hand flew to her mouth, “Are you dead?” she screamed. As we left the school, the school secretary felt the back of the boy’s head. Her jaw dropped and her hand flew to her mouth. “Well, I’d say you’ll be headed to Urgent Care, won’t you?”
It was 1:30 pm, just after the boy told me he’d really, really like to go to sleep, that we were taken to an Urgent Care examining room. It was 1:45, just after the boy complained that his pain level was getting “worse and worse”, when the doctor came in. And it was 1:57, just after the boy told the doctor that he didn’t have any clue how he got hurt, that the boy found himself getting his brain scanned.
It was 3:45 am, just after the alarm had gone off, that I woke the boy up from a deep sleep. I had done so for every two hours since he went to bed and would do so that entire weekend. The boy was lucky to be home with a mere concussion diagnosis instead of a more serious diagnosis of massive internal brain smashing or bleeding or swelling.
It was 8:45 on the following Monday morning, just after I had hugged the boy tight, for a solid 39 seconds, that the he managed to break free and wander off to school. And it was 8:46 that I muttered the words, “Dear God…please protect that boy’s head.”
Check This Out!
In the spirit of all things dangerous, the boy would like you to check out a multitude of videos online that offer detailed instructions on how to modify your Nerf gun. The boy claims his Nerf dart now flies twice as far up the street and at a much greater velocity. The husband’s empty Mountain Dew bottles now leap the length of our postage stamp yard when hit by this higher speed Nerf dart. This new modified gun will cause your teenager to yell, “MOM!!!! He almost hit me!” This new modified gun will cause your husband to say, “Boy! We don’t shoot people or animals. Hey…when can I try that thing? Is it my turn yet?” And this new modified Nerf gun will cause most mothers to drop their jaw and have their hands fly to their ears. This will be followed by a motherly growl of, “Take that thing outside! It’s too loud! And be careful…you’ll shoot your eye out with that thing…..”