The sound was a shriek but I couldn't tell if it was laughter or crying. Then it stopped. Suddenly, again, and I ran outside. Silas, the only one I could see, was nearly speechless:
she ... (pointing) fell in there -- help her, mom!
I turned around to see where he was pointing: Eden, hysterical, was trying to climb out of the basement window well, where she'd fallen, apparently through the plexiglas covering it.
I pulled her out and tried to assess injury. She was standing, breathing, crying.
I felt the back of her head -- a huge goose egg, already risen.
We came inside, and for about an hour she cried, and we held ice on it. I sat trying to remember things about concussions -- Max was a head-hitter when we were growing up and once lost memory for some hours. So I asked questions: why are we wearing green today? who turned the milk green this morning? who was in the yard with you? She tracked with me.
I quickly googled concussions -- watch for dilated eyes, confusion, tingling arms or hands, double vision or loss of vision, nausea etc. None applied.
My mom came over for corned beef and cabbage, and we took turns holding weepy E. The grumpy pediatrician called me back and told me which hospital to go to if any severe symptoms developed.
I took Eden up to the bathroom, still crying, and sitting there she asked why she couldn't see me. I watched her hand opening and closing, opening and closing.
You can't see me?
I can't see anything. Why does my hand feel so weird? She opened and closed it.
Every nerve in my body stood on end.
We packed into the car -- so grateful my mom was over and could stay.
As Ben drove, I leaned back and asked Eden questions to keep her from crying. Within a minute, her eyes started glazing over and she couldn't answer me, couldn't count. Her eyes kept rolling. Eden, Eden, look at my eyes. Let's count, Eden.
I was leaning so far into the back of the car my face was only inches from her and we kept talking. Eden, let's count together, repeat after me -- one.... Eden, ONE. (one). Two. (two). Three. Eyes rolling. THREE.
What if this is my daughter now? What if life just altered?
She threw up the rest of the way to the hospital and kept getting disoriented like a tiny old lady with quiet wild eyes: where are we going? where are we going? what are they going to DO?
The emergency room was empty and felt like stepping into Grey's Anatomy with only young attractive doctors in slouchy scrubs. Slowly we moved through the steps -- vitals, check for neck pain, track a finger. She kept throwing up (all of her throw up was green from a day of Leprechaun-colored food -- kind of sad). Then they sent her for a CT scan -- she lay perfectly still as the camera lens arc around her head and the radiation sign flashed on and off above her body.
Doctor Sanjay came in within minutes. The scans looks good. There is nothing glaring, no bleeding. We are just waiting for confirmation from radiology.
She threw up until she fell asleep against me. Radiology confirmed, and we drove home. By morning, the swelling was nearly gone and Eden was full of play again.