Wednesday, March 18, 2009


This bizarre and tragic episode with poor Natasha Richardson should tell us one thing: do NOT mess around with head injuries, even the ones that appear innocuous enough like hers did at first. And heaven knows kids do go around bonking their heads on things at an alarming rate. Yay. One more thing for mom and dad to freak out about. I'm hoping some reassuring Sanjay Gupta type shows up right quick on TV tomorrow to explain when the head injury can be dealt with at home and when it's time to call 911, because right now dad is about to go buy three thousand dollars' worth of corner padding if he doesn't get some answers.

Your author has firsthand experience, having taken a surprise ambulance ride to Saint Francis a couple years back after fainting at work and smacking my face but good against a doorjamb on my way down. When I came to it looked like all I had was a split lip and broken eyeglasses, but the good people at Saint Francis scanned me nine ways from Sunday just to be sure. They found nothing, which is precisely what my wife expected (baDUMbump / here all week / try the veal).

On the other hand, many years ago I lost a very dear co-worker under similar strange circumstances. He also fainted at work, was sent to the hospital, then sent home...and a few hours later died in his sleep at the age of 24. I do not recall all the details or whether scanning technology was in use locally at the time that might have saved him, but suffice to say that between these two deaths and my own experience the lesson is well and truly sunk in.

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