Autumn lost her balance and fell backwards at school on Friday. It happened in the Motor Room (the gym) and “she hit nothing on the way down and landed on nothing but the padded floor.” I showed up for the Hanukkah Shabbat party about two minutes after it happened and she was still being held and comforted by a teacher. When they handed her to me I noticed she was bleeding from the back of her head. (This part of the story deserves a post of its own but probably isn’t going to get one.)
(a happier moment at school)
Fast-forward to Saturday... The boo-boo on Autumn’s head was still bothering her and whenever we tried to get a good look at it she would do the “STOP PULLING OUT MY FINGERNAILS” cry/scream. So I called the Ped, whose on-call service told me to take her to urgent care.
In the intake room I was asked to fill out the usual paperwork. Under the Surgical History heading I wrote AV Canal repair, and under Medical History I put none, because Autumn has never been sick or hospitalized for anything. Twenty minutes later, we were ushered into an examination room. (Which, by the way, Autumn refused to walk into. She backed herself up against the hallway wall and started crying, “No, no, no.” Smart chica.)
The nurse asked for the medical sheet and perused it quickly. She gave me a smileless look and said, “We need to know her medical history from the day she was born.” My brain fired off some smart aleck response but my mouth said, “She was adopted at 10 months old and has never been sick, except for having some reflux as a baby.”
My response produced an upgraded “I think you’re lying” smileless look, and the nurse questioned me, “No bronchial issues? No RSV? No heart problems?” I jumped in with, “She had an AV Canal defect repair and her cardiologist says she is fine now.” The inquisition ended there, but picked up again when the doctor came in. He pushed just as hard for some nugget of medical history or past illness.
It wasn’t until we were long gone from there that I realized what had happened. I had not listed Down syndrome as part of her medical history. It had not even occurred to me to list Ds as part of her medical history. And why would it? Down syndrome has never made Autumn sick or caused her to be hospitalized. But that urgent care team must have thought I was leaving out the biggest medical history treasure of all.
And just because I know you like to know these things... It was a puncture. It should have had a stitch. It is still gucky and we are treating it with topical antibiotics. That’s right, she fell on nothing and it punctured the back of her head.
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