Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Of bike rides, blood, and staples

Status: Canning grape juice from the mounds of grapes someone gave us
Song: "Whispers in the Dark" by Skillet (because it's Ian's favorite at the moment)

**This blog post is rated PG (due to graphic content). If you are a child, please check with a parent before reading on.**

I think all parents have some things they could do better at. I am pretty good at making my kids brush their teeth and forcing them to eat more well-balanced meals (rather than just Go-gurt and Goldfish). I make sure to know where they are, put a stop to potentially dangerous behavior like throwing rocks at each other while playing Army, and drag them to bed at a decent time.

However, I fall way short when it comes to bike helmets. Even though a neighbor recently had a horrible bike crash that would have been much worse if he hadn't been wearing a helmet. And even though a friend told me about her neighbor's son who crashed on his bike, felt a little sick (they thought he was catching the flu his siblings had), and passed away in his sleep due to a head injury. So even with this, the thought of trying to fight my kids to wear a helmet makes me tired.

I know I'm a slacker. I never wore a helmet while growing up, so I never got used to it. And the helmets that we do have (I did buy some, I just don't make my kids wear them) are horrible. They are pieces of junk. They were cheap at Wal-Mart and I passed a display and thought, "I should buy helmets for my kids." So I did.

**Warning: Crochety old lady sentiment coming up. The older I get the more I realize you get what you pay for.** The helmets are therefore sitting on a shelf in our garage, taunting me with my shortcoming in this area. But they are so uncomfortable, I whine to myself (and the kids join in). And apparently my family all have heads vastly different from the average head size, because the helmets wobble like one of those hawaiian hula dancers that you (well, not you. But, people) put on the car dashboard. And did I mention we look ridiculous?

But don't worry, I will repent and reform on the helmet issue. And here's the story...

Sunday evening after dinner we decided to go for a walk. Our kids wanted to go somewhere that is a little far for little legs. So we decided to all ride our bikes, instead. How fun! A family bike ride! *snort*

As we were getting ready to head out I thought to myself, "Self, you should make the kids wear bike helmets, because we're going out of the neighborhood and there will be more traffic." So I mentioned it to Ian, who promptly complained that the helmet didn't even fit him. Which is true. So I caved, and we rode down the hill, bare-headed.

We got maybe 3 blocks away when it happened. Ian was riding on the sidewalks and trying to catch air off the curbs. He turned to go off a curb at the same time Brennan changed direction. Ian swerved to avoid crashing into Brennan, and his front tire hit a big rock at the foot of a tree.
He came up off his seat, and would have tumbled over his handlebars, except that the branches of the tree stopped him.

He looked confused when he got off his bike, and put his hand to his head. "I'm okay," he said over and over again. But he was dazed and kept wiping at his head. Then we noticed the red stain creeping across his blond hair. Jason took a look and pronounced that Ian would probably need stitches. At that Ian started freaking out a little. I rode up front with him back home, reassuring him that we'll take a look when we get there.

After a little cleaning up, and more blood (you know head wounds, they bleed A LOT), we determine that one of the tree branches actually punctured Ian's scalp. We didn't think it went into his skull, but my sweet little boy now had a hole in his head. Literally.

**Warning: Graphic pictures coming up.

**If you are squeamish, just scroll past the pictures.

**I mean it. If you don't like the idea of a hole in your child's head, then you won't like these pictures.

**They're coming now.

**Last chance to scroll past them.

**Did I mention they're a little graphic?

I know, you see worse on prime time TV. But trust me. It was not fun in person.

Ian was shaky and an interesting shade of grayish-green with white pallor underneath. Jason heads to the Insta-care with him. Ian promptly throws up all over the waiting room. ("It was really gross," Jason told me.) They did a local anesthetic to numb the area. ("I didn't like the needle, it hurt," Ian said. Brennan told me he had to look away during that part. Brennan went along because he felt bad.)

Then they stapled the wound closed. Yes. Staples. Think big staple gun. Now imagine putting it to your head. And pulling the lever. *shudder*

Ian now has 2 staples in the top of his head. We can't wash his head until tonight, so if you've seen my child running around the neighborhood and at school with blood-matted, dirty hair that looks like it hasn't been combed or washed in two days, that's because it hasn't been. And please don't turn me into Child Protective Services.

We are buying bike helmets really soon. Good ones.


Lori-ann said...

Oh Jaime! No wonder I haven't heard from you for a while. I always make my kids wear helmets and will do so even more now! Poor Ian!!! :( I bet he thinks it's cool (now) to have staples in his head. Another story for the journal.

Poor kid.

Stephanie said...

For what it is worth I too am of the era that didn't where helmet and I turned out just fine so I am not a big fan of them either. I might want to re-think this. . .Poor Ian it looked pretty awful.

jaredandgina said...

Jamie, I just landed in sacramento and stopped by the hospital to get the car from Jared because he is on call tonight and he was saying that he just saw a 10 yr. old boy who had a bike accident and was in really really bad shape, either he would die, be a vegetable or be okay, at this point they didn't know yet! So to get home and read this story about Ian was crazy! Definitely get helmets, the kid Jared is working on did not have a helmet on!
Anyways, I am glad Ian is okay!It was good to see you guys this weekend!

Tavia said...

Growing up, we also went on family bike rides, and never wore helmets. Now, after putting many sutures and staples (YES, they're huge) into people, I religiously wear my helmet. Glad to know you're converted and that Ian's okay!