Emily turned her kitchen over to her two middle children, and they made pecan cookies to celebrate the food of the day. They were very proud of their cookies, and Emily was very proud of her two budding chefs. Heck, I am proud of them too. Let’s all give them a big round of applause!
On Pecan Cookie Day, Cole played a game of flag football and was clobbered in the temple with a knee. It hurt. Another mom at the game worried that he might have a concussion and suggested I phone Cole’s doctor. I took her advice. The doctor’s office was closing, but I did manage to speak with a nurse, and after I refused to go to the emergency room, and a somewhat tense negotiation, the nurse agreed to tell me the symptoms of a concussion.
1. Unusual behavior:
On the way home from the flag football game, Cole asked me what the food of the day was, and when I told him pecan cookies, he started loudly singing, “That’s Amore.” I was relieved, this was normal behavior.
2. Memory Loss:
After the game, Cole and I stopped at Starbucks. I gave Cole my drink order and waited in the car while he went in to order. Fifteen seconds later he called me from inside the Starbucks to ask me what I wanted him to order for me. Since a similar scenario had been played out that morning, I diagnosed this as ignoring me and not memory loss.
3. Difficulty concentrating:
Tough one. If a kid goes from homework, to a You Tube video, back to homework, to the refrigerator, tells you about a movie he hopes to see over the weekend, sits back down, and taps, twirls, and whistles his way through math homework, do I worry about lack of concentration or marvel at his focus and multi-tasking skills?
4. Delay in answering questions:
Cole, did you put the clothes in the dryer? Cole, did you put the CLOTHES IN THE DRYER? COLE, DID YOU PUT THE CLOTHES IN THE DRYER? Yes, the dryer downstairs; the white dryer; the one next the washing machine. You did? Wonderful. Did you push start . . .? I imagine this conversation is familiar to every mom raising a teen, so I was not worried.
5. Vision problems:
Three bath towels were sitting in the middle of the stairs hopeful that they would soon be carried upstairs and returned to the linen closet where they lived. Cole walked over them three times. On his next trip upstairs, as he stepped over the towels, I asked him to put the towels away. He turned around, stepped back over the towels, and told me he couldn’t find them. His vision seemed about the same as it was that morning when he could not find his black T-shirt that was hiding behind his white one in the front of his closet.
The one thing I thought I knew about concussion was that you are supposed to wake the concussed person up a couple times during the night. When I proudly shared this with the nurse, she informed me that this was no longer necessary. When I asked why, the nurse explained that it was no longer a part of the medical guidelines for treating a concussion. The new rule was sleep was good; poking was out unless you were worried the concussed was unconscious. I thanked the nurse for her help and promised to bring Cole in the next day to be checked out.
After Cole went to bed, I grabbed a pecan cookie, a little bottle of coke, collapsed in a chair, and posted the new “do not poke concussed guideline” on Facebook. I wondered if I should still go in and poke Cole a few times or let him sleep. I wondered how I would know if he was unconscious if I didn’t poke him, and I wondered why the heck the medical guidelines keep changing.
The first Facebook friend that commented told me she knew just how I felt: She had wondered all day why Facebook kept changing.
Next comment, please.
Facebook friend number two commented: “Why do things like that change? I don’t know. But I had one kid in the 70s, and they said always be sure to put the baby to sleep on its side . . . always, always, always. I had another kid in the 80s (just two years later), and they said always put the baby to sleep on its stomach . . . always, always, always. Then I had a baby in the 90s, and they said always put the baby to sleep on its back . . . always, always, always. I was glad I didn’t have a fourth kid in the new millennium . . . what would they suggest next? Hang the baby upside down by the heels? In the end, I did what made sense to me, and thankfully it all worked out.
Following the Facebook friend number two’s example, I followed my intuition and poked Cole twice during the night. I was rewarded with reassuring groans.
The next morning, we went to the doctor.
One of the first questions the doctor asked Cole was, “what did you have for dinner last night?”
Cole answered, “I had a Starbucks and the food of the day, pecan cookies.”
The doctor looked puzzled and asked about the food of the day. Cole explained our goal to eat the food of day every day for a year. After a few more questions, the doctor concluded that the boy had a mild concussion and told him to lay off sports for a week.
The doctor then looked at me and asked how I felt.
”Well,” I told him, “I find myself bursting into song at odd times, Cole accuses me of tuning him out, I yell more than I used to, and I seem to be more forgetful. Should I be worried?”
The doc smiled, prescribed two pecan cookies, and reassured me that I would feel much better in about five years.
My pecan cookies were made by Elves.
Musse along with me and share about the things that give you headache! Odd Loves Company.
I am including the You Tube Video for, That’s Amore ,because it’s almost impossible to hear the name of the song and not want to sing it.