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Catching Up to the Past, Part VIII (Turfed Upstairs)


Grandma Took Me Home
Jan 31, 2004
"Scott, how are we feeling this morning?" asked Neurologist Justin Stahl, MD as he entered the last room on the left in Virginia Mason's Neurology wing.

"Tired." Scott replied in tone that suggested as much.

Scott regained consciousness on the ride to the hospital but wasn't responding properly to the paramedics' line of questioning. The attending doctor in the emergency room diagnosed Scott based on the report of the accident, as well as Scott's confusion, and slowed motor skills. He spent the next twelve hours dosing off only to be jolted back to reality by Courtney or a nurse.

The morning brought a new room a few stories up and a new round of nurses' and doctors testing, scanning, and tapping on hand held computers. Scott grew tired of lying in a bed that he couldn't sleep in and set up on the edge of the bed, anxiously awaiting his discharge.

"I'd imagine. You took a pretty nasty hit last night based on these charts and with head injuries of that severity we can't risk you going comatose on us." The doctor replied with a failed attempt to inject some light humor into the otherwise dim situation. He set down his tablet computer on the bed next to Scott and removed a small pen like flash light from his lab coat pocket and clicked it on.

"When can I take him home?" Courtney asked.

"I'm going to discharge him today." The doctor answered while he checked Scott's pupils for dilation and proper response. "Look to the left. Now, to the right."

Scott followed the instructions as Courtney nervously paced back and forth at the foot of the pneumatic hospital bed.
"Ok. I'm sure the ER doctor informed you last night, but just to reiterate ... "

The doctor clicks the flash light off and deposits it back in his pocket.

"You've suffered a MTBI or a mild traumatic brain injury; more commonly referred to as a concussion. The blow to the head caused you to lose consciousness and although your CT scan came back with positive results; there is always an increased rate of brain injury and occasionally death in patients who have had a previous trauma that resulted in unconsciousness." Dr. Stahl informed as he clicked away on his tablet.
Courtney took the doctors brief pause as a moment to get in a question or two, "What, exactly, did the CT scan show?"

The doctor clicked a few more times before looking up and replying to Courtney. "Well, mainly were looking for common complications. Intracerebral hemorrhage, as well as ... signs of brain damage beyond simple confusion. Which will need to be continues for the next few days."

"Is that something I ... can do?" Courtney asked timidly.

"Of course, it's just as simple as waking him every two to three hours and asking something simple like: what's your name, what year is this, who is the President. Very simple." Dr. Stahl turns his attention back toward Scott, "Although I'd like you to stay awake for at least the next twelve to twenty four hours, just to be safe. As far as any pain you can use any common acetaminophen like Tylenol or a generic. Don't use any aspirin or ibuprfen. No Motrin, Advil ... so, on, so on."

"Alright" Scott quietly responds.

"Also, no alcohol. The idea is... we don't want anything thinning your blood right now. Eat a light diet. Light activity around the home is ok. You don't need to stay in bed. However, rest is good and avoid exercise, lifting weights, or other strenuous activity. So far, so good ... but we don't want you to cause a hemorrhage." the doctor adds as he turns back to this tablet.

"How long before I can get back in the ring?" Scott asks.

Dr. Stahl looks up quickly and replies. "Full recovery is expected from an uncomplicated concussions. Dizziness, memory loss, problems thinking, irritability, headaches, sleeping issues and other symptoms may occur and continue for weeks or even months afterwards. I would strongly advise you stay away for at least a month ... maybe two depending on your recovery rate."

Scott and Courtney turn toward one another with looks of concern. Clearly for two separate reasons.

"I'll go have them start on your discharge. I'll be seeing you soon, Scott."

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