Once Wesley was born, he merged into our family nicely. After 3 weeks of smooth sailing, we began to hit some bumps when I woke Sunday feeling achy from head to toe. Thomas kindly kept both boys while I caught another 3 hours of sleep! Upon bedtime, I was freezing, achy, and battling a headache and fever. Monday morning I called my doctor, and she prescribed me antibiotics for an infection of mastitis, which is common among breastfeeding mothers. Needless to say, Monday was a rough day for me. When it came time for a b-day party that night, I did not have the energy to take Daniel, so I asked my mother to take him, being that she was going too.
An hour after leaving, my mom called to say Daniel had an accident. We were not there, but from what we understand, Daniel was riding a tricycle down an incline when he turned the wheel too sharply and turned himself over. Normally this would not be a big deal, but being he was going down an incline, he had extra speed. To top it off, he caught himself with only his mouth on a metal chair, immediately losing a tooth. After a few moments of shock which allowed Daniel to jump up and play, he realized his pain, not to mention the blood, and began to cry. Once home, we did everything to calm him and make him happy. While Thomas held him and met his needs, I began to call my friends who both married dentists; this was definitely a good time to seek their help!
The professional opinion was that he lost a tooth and would just be receiving a visit from the Tooth Fairy early in life, way before his permanent tooth appeared. With that knowledge we calmed our little man enough to get tylenol in him and sent him to sleep.
The next morning, caked in dried blood, Daniel was sporting some very swollen and bruised lips. We convinced him to take a bath, and while cleaning him, we noticed one front tooth looked shorter than the other. Our dentist friend, Matt, had already told us he had free time that morning, so we decided to take his offer to look Daniel over.
Matt confirmed the tooth was injured and he was almost certain it would need to be extracted. He was not, however, able to get a great look, for our little guy was not cooperating with anyone who wanted to get close. Matt referred us to a pediatric dentist that would be better equipped to look at a 2 yr old.
At the pediatric dentist, things began to get ugly. It was necessary to get an x-ray, which required someone to hold Daniel still. The hygienists only wanted one parent back, so I stayed in the lobby and nursed Wesley. Sadly, I could hear Daniel’s cries, yet I could not see what was happening. A blurry x-ray later, they agreed to let me back for the next portion: the dentist taking a physical look into Daniel’s mouth. Thomas was to restrain Daniel in his lap so the Dr. could acquire a better assessment. Imagine kicking, screaming, cries for help, and flailing body parts and you have a very tiny idea of what was going on in the room. Now add in head butting which resulted in a black eye for Thomas, some spitting, and shrieks of “HURTS!” At this point, the dentist said his “oral trauma” was more than she typically dealt with, so she needed her partner, who had more experience with such, to look. They said Daniel would need 2-3 teeth extracted, beyond his one already lost. At some point, I lost it and began to cry. They brought me some tissues and handed Thomas some ice for the whelp forming on his eye. As we talked with the dentist, Daniel paced around wiping his tears, emitting words of apology: “I sorry! I sorry!” Although they were willing to make time for the procedure right then, which would require sedation, we wanted to let Daniel, and ourselves, calm down, so we scheduled for the next morning.
On our way home, we stopped to fill Daniel’s antibiotics and I called our insurance to confirm we would not need a referral or approval for the next day. I am very glad I called because they informed us an oral surgeon must be involved for insurance to pay. Geeze. Upon finding an approved doctor, we were told to head to the ER so Daniel’s needs could trump the Dr.’s schedule. So, 20 minutes after returning home, we headed back to the exact area we had just left.
Things were fine at the ER until the admittance bracelet was placed on Daniel’s wrist. He screamed “NO! OFF! HURTS!” for a solid 5 minutes. Seriously? You literally smashed your mouth on metal and you are fussing over a bracelet?!?!?? The nurse finally agreed it best to cut off the stupid bracelet, allowing us to tape it to Daniel’s back.
Finally, we met the Oral Surgeon. In order to look inside Daniel’s mouth, he suggested a sedative blown up the nose that trickles down his throat to make him relaxed and agreeable (yeah right!). More shouts and screams and cries and blood and tears and pain and kicks later, the meds were given. Three nurses and two doctors were in the tiny room issued to Daniel. They placed him in a sheet and wrap him up like a burrito. They attempted to stabilize his floppy head and pry open his mouth. The room was very crowded and the drama within the walls was too much for us, so we stepped outside and stood by the door while they examined Daniel. Emotionally this was the most awful moment of my life. I have never felt so powerless to heal or help. Being this was the first time our child had ever been hurt, we were traveling a road we hope to never journey again, for hearing your son beg for your help while blood pours out of his mouth is just too much. Granted, it was just teeth and, therefore, much less serious than other issues I know had to be present in the ER, but it was our son. My heart now goes out to parents that have hurt/sick kids in a whole new way!
When the Dr. touched the teeth, he realized how badly injured they were, and rather than attempting to administer an IV on our oppositional toddler, he decided on a local anesthetic for Daniel’s gum and pull the two front teeth. The fact his teeth were so loose was a good thing, for it prevented the need to cut Daniel’s gum, as well as lessen the need for the IV.
When we returned into the room, we were handed a urine cup that held our son’s two front teeth. Lovely. We were then told a bunch of information, some of which included details on a 4th tooth that looked damaged and might need to be removed later. After the info was given, all the professionals retreated, leaving us with our toothless, loopy, bloody son.
Everything poor Daniel tried to do was nearly impossible due to the medicine in his system. He was shoving his fingers in his mouth and crying when they came out covered in blood. Even though we tried to calm him, he just wanted to flop around and cry.
Finally, we were sent home with an even loopier son who threw up blood and amoxicillin. At 11:30 that night, Daniel, assuaged by meds, went to sleep clutching his stuffed moose with, oddly enough, a smile on his face (must have been the meds!).
We are not sure what might happen next, for each professional had slightly different ideas. We do know he will return next week to the oral surgeon where more can be determined since the swelling and bruising will have lessened. We also know that he has hardly missed a beat; he could care less that he is a few teeth shy of his once full baby-teeth set.
I know life can’t always be rainbows, but I sure hope a days like this are very few and far between!