Smelly Socks: Mama, how did I get this bump?

Aug. 9, 2012 at 3:09 a.m.

About four years ago, my parents retired up to Northern Wisconsin. In the winter months they don't like to drive the six hours to our house, so a few months ago I conjured up the idea to drive the boys up to my parent's house and leave them there for a week. This way my parents got to enjoy and spoil their grandsons and I got some much needed work done around the house.

Joe and I decided to pick them up at the Oshkosh Outlet Mall which is a halfway point between my parents' house and ours. We got there early and parked in the lot. Before my dad could turn off the car and take the key out of the ignition I saw Adam's head excitedly turning back to try and see us.

We started walking towards them and after making sure there were no cars coming from either side, let them run towards us. Hugs and kisses abounded. After many "I missed you guys," we decided to take a walk to the Ralph Lauren store. Joe took Charlie and put him on his shoulders. At that moment Adam said, "Good, now Mama can carry me."

Rule No. 1: Never carry a 5-year-old child while wearing sandals and not be able to see where you are going.

As I was walking with Adam, I missed the curb up and tripped. My purse went flying, I fell to the ground, and I saw Adam's head in slow motion hit the concrete pavement. I tried so hard to protect his fall, but I couldn't. What I saw next was a look of fear in his eyes and then the tears started to fall. And then I saw the big, and I mean big red bump on the right side of his head just about an inch past the tip of his ear.

After about five minutes the crying stopped and he kept saying, "It hurts. It hurts." We decided to go to a restaurant at this point since the crying and the pain had somewhat subsided and we figured it would be a good place to keep an eye on him instead of a two-and-a-half-hour car ride if he did indeed have a concussion.

At the restaurant, Joe and I noticed he seemed like he was in a fog and not his usual chatty self. Then the dreaded question came. "Mama, how did I get this bump on my head?" I shook my head in that "disbelief" sort of way and said "what do you mean how did you get this bump?"

He had no idea what had happened. I started searching frantically on my iPhone the symptoms of a concussion and finally found that having a concussion can put a person in a "fog-like" state and causes them to lose their short term memory. So we quizzed him around the table.

"Do you know who we are," we asked. He did.

"What did you do yesterday with Grandpa," we asked. Start a fire outside, he said. Which was true.

"What did you eat for breakfast this morning," we asked. He didn't know.

"Where did you go with Grandma and Grandpa this morning," we asked. He didn't know.

"Where did we just come from" we asked. Again, he didn't know.

At this point I couldn't eat. My stomach was in knots. After the slowest service possible, the food finally came. He started eating his hamburger, and I noticed he seemed to be doing better. The "fog" had lifted, but the short term memory had not come back.

We paid for our lunch and drove to the emergency room in town. Once the doctor saw where the bump was he told us it was a good thing we came in. He checked for blood behind the ear drum (none, thank God) and still did a CT scan on his little head. They don't really like to do them but he said that whenever a bump happens on the side of the head like that they don't want to take any chances.

My brave little trooper had his CT scan run and 25 minutes later, the results came back negative. Amen.

The bump lasted a day or two but, by the time we were back in the car, Adam's memory had come back 100 percent and I was grateful to have my boy back.

Anita lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two boys and two dogs one of which is a girl. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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