The Dinosaur and the Golf Ball

While trying to write this article, I have been interrupted (repeatedly) by my toddler. He keeps trying to look at my head using an otoscope he made out of Lego. You see, last night, at bedtime, my toddler was in a mini-tent in his bedroom, pretending to be a dinosaur. He burst out of the tent like a rodeo bull leaving the chute. Unfortunately, we a have a bedside table beside our son’s tent. Small, but wooden and solid. SMACK!

There was that one second of silence and then my son started to bawl. I scooped him up and hugged him. He was frantic. After a few moments, I manoeuvred him to get a look at the damage. His forehead looked like someone had inserted a golf ball between the scalp and the skull, then painted the bulge every shade of purple. After several minutes, he began to calm down. The goose egg was impressive and he was telling us his neck hurt, so we decided a hospital trip was in order. I slid his winter coat and boots over his jammies and buckled him into the car seat while trying to apply ice to the injury. I took another look at his forehead and was relieved to see the golf ball was shrinking. By the time I arrived at the hospital, my son’s golf ball was gone, replaced by an unimpressive bruise, and he was now smiling.

The hospital doors slid open and we were greeted by a nurse who led us to the Triage Room. The nurse spoke to my son and reassured him as she took his vitals. She had him fascinated with the beeping machines. After taking his temperature, the nurse shot the disposable thermometer-tip across the room into the trash. That is when my son started laughing. Next, she convinced him the finger-heart rate monitor clamp was a toy alligator and she demonstrated on me. My son was amused and then excited that he got to put his finger in the mini alligator’s mouth too. We were shown to a fascinating button-filled bed in Emerg where my son was further entertained by the nurse in a quick, giggle-filled game of peekaboo. The nurse left to phone the doctor-on-call and my toddler begged to see the nurse again. Sure enough, the nurse came back and had Jack in stitches (figuratively, I should point out). She listened through his bellybutton with a stethoscope, at which point my son smiled and loudly announced, “I farted!” The nurse laughed and encouraged him to “let it out.”

I felt badly about the doctor having to come in on the Saturday evening of a long weekend for what was looking more and more like an everyday bump on the head. The doctor arrived in no time at all and bent down to my son’s level to chat with him about the fire trucks and helicopters on my son’s pajamas. By the time the doctor began the examination, my son was 100% comfortable and at ease. He checked my son’s forehead and his neck. After warning my son that “this might tickle a bit,” the doctor used an otoscope to peer into my son’s ear canals. My toddler was cleared to go home and get a good night’s sleep.

Our family is heading to the Alberta Children’s Hospital next week (unrelated to the head bonk). My son is excited for another hospital visit. The staff at Fernie’s Elk Valley Hospital has set the bar high. They might not have the latest technology or the most advanced medical equipment, but it is hard to imagine a better staff. A huge thank you from our family to all of the staff at the Elk Valley Hospital, especially to the nurse and doctor who were on the night my little dinosaur came in with a golf ball on his forehead.