Allow me to say here that Middle is fine and ultimately none the worse for wear.
To be honest, if I'd had to hazard a guess which of my girls would get an ambulance ride first, I would have guessed Middle. I just didn't guess it was going to be for this.
The whole thing started as a normal Saturday a couple weeks ago, except that it was the first really nice spring Saturday with beautiful weather instead of rain, and so the kids had all rushed outside to play. I started laundry and puttered around before looking at the clock and giving serious consideration to a rather late breakfast now that it was 11:30. (Oops.)
Youngest came in to tattle that Oldest had left the yard. The girls all know they're not supposed to leave without permission, or ride off on their bikes without telling me, so I went out to check. Sure enough, Oldest had ridden off, as I saw her ride into her carpool buddy's driveway. I decided I'd give her five minutes to come back before I texted her friend's mom to have her sent home, since she did have permission to ride her bike that far.
Back in the house, I checked on the laundry I'd started. Funny. That sounds like screaming.
Turns out there was good reason for that.
Middle burst into the house with the kind of screams that most parents say their kids should only be emitting if blood is involved.
And there was blood.
Middle clutched her right temple, the source of the blood. Youngest trailed behind her.
"What happened!" I tried to pry Middle's fingers away from her scalp.
Between gasped and tears, Middle screamed, "Youngest hit me with her scooter!"
"I was swinging my scooter around and it hit her."
I made Youngest go outside to put away her scooter, then yelled for her to hurry up and get back in the house. I tore off clean paper towels and tried to clean up Middle's head wound. Blood had trickled down through her hair. My child, who had the fortitude to endure a vicious strain of strep for four days before telling us her throat hurt, saw the faint smears of blood on her hands and whimpered. Head wounds bleed a lot. "It's okay, honey."
What I found as I wiped away the blood in Middle's riot of curls was barely more than a scrape. I gave her a fresh paper towel to press against her head since it was still oozing blood. When Middle couldn't follow my finger as I moved it back and forth and up and down, weaving a little as she tried, I had her sit on the den couch. A quick search on my phone brought up the symptoms of a concussion, and a few pointed questions gave me enough concern that I called Mitzi and asked for a ride.
Because, after all, traumatic head injury hadn't been on my day planner and Hubby had taken the car to work.
Mitzi drove us to the urgent care here in town, and said she'd pick us up if they punted us to the ER.
We got in fairly quickly as there was no one else in the waiting room. The doctor examined Middle and said he had enough concerns about her having a concussion, despite no loss of consciousness, that he wanted us to take her down to the ER for a CT scan. He offered to have the ambulance called to take us down, but since Middle seemed to be fine, I called Mitzi to come get us.
As we walked down the hall to leave the clinic and wait for Mitzi in the main waiting area out front, Middle stumbled. I got her settled in a chair and watched her nervously. Behind my sunglasses—she was very sensitive to the bright lights—her eyelids fluttered. "I'm trying so hard to stay awake."
"What do you mean?"
"I feel like I'm going to pass out."
"Pass out? Did you before?"
"Yeah, when I first got hit." Her head lolled, and she fought to keep it upright. "I got hit, and I blacked out, and then the pain hit."
"How long did you black out?"
Middle's hand flopped weakly. "I don't know. Maybe about ten seconds."
After a very short mental debate, I hustled back to the receptionist's desk and asked her to call the squad. Then I called Mitzi and explained why I was having medical professionals transport us to the hospital.
The squad arrived within minutes, and I quickly told the EMT that Middle's behavior was not normal. They strapped her into the gurney...
And that's when Middle passed out.
The EMT told her partner we were all going for a ride, and we were going back to the station to pick up the paramedic for the run.
On the two-minute trip between the urgent care and the emergency services building, I came very close to panicking as Middle's eyes rolled back in her head and she lost consciousness again.
The paramedic kept close tabs on Middle during the ride down, making her answer questions and remember things. Middle had difficulty with recall and her responses came at a fraction of her normal speed.
I called Hubby once we arrived at the hospital and he came over right away. The bunch of us clogged a room in the ER while we waited for Middle to get her CT scan. She got to wear a nifty C-collar until the results came back and confirmed no fractures and had to watch TV lying flat on her back.
The ultimate good news is that the CT did in fact show no fractures, as well as no traumatic brain injury. The scans were clear. We just needed to watch her for any worsening symptoms. They gave us a prescription for some nausea medication to help with the dizziness and upset stomach. We followed up with her doctor later in the week, and she extended the gym excuse for another week, just to be on the safe side, as Middle still showed some residual effects from her push-scooter collision.
Middle is on the mend and seems to have completely recovered from everything. I may have lost a year off my life.