Wired Jaw, “Saved by the Bell”

Before reading this true account, let’s aim for a bit of audience participation. Do me a favor, clench your teeth together as tightly as you can and talk. This is sorta what I sound like. Now, clench your teeth even tighter (cause likely your bite was no where near as tight as mine is) and now raise your voice, yell. If you played along from home, you would have noticed that there is very little volume difference, thus proving that yelling, for whatever reason, serves little purpose when your jaw is wired shut. With this in mind, let’s proceed…..

Thomas has been doing so much since my wreck and the subsequent wired jaw surgery. For my 5 days in the hospital, he was there almost every moment. Once home, he began juggling all the household details, his schooling, studying for his nursing boards, and his managing his private practice and the meeting of his clients. We had a fair share of loving helpers around, thank God, but as you can imagine, he has been pretty swamped regardless. As my energy has allowed, I’ve done what I can, but it amounted to little. So, when he came home on Labor Day and wanted/needed a nap, I totally understood. To try and clear the house of noise, I took the boys outside to play.

Our activity of choice? Baseball. We were using our normal gear. Instead, we chose the “big bat” that wasn’t metal, and we were also playing with the “squishy ball” which wasn’t a true baseball, thankfully. Wesley was up first to bat and Daniel was the catcher. I was throwing the pitches and things were going well. Meanwhile inside, Thomas snoozed.

After Wesley hit a few, missed a few, and did his “final four” pitches, it was now Daniel’s turn at bat. Wesley was now the catcher and the game was back on.

I was doing little talking, especially since the noise and space of outside sorta just absorbed most of my already muffled words. If the boys were in the wrong stance. I simply modeled it for them and had them shadow. I was just glad to be doing something that felt somewhat normal with my kiddos, even if just for a bit of time.

Soon, Wesley decided he didn’t want to be the catcher anymore. He scooted from directly behind Daniel to behind him and to his left. He was cross legged on the grass, watching. I continued to throw pitches.

Suddenly, Wesley decided he was hot and wanted to get up and he started walking toward me. I had already thrown a pitch to his brother and began to yell “Wesley, don’t!” because I saw it coming, a bat to the face. Unfortunately, I likely only said “mmurrhmfff!!!” to his little ears, and it was definitely no where near loud enough. It was inevitable.

Sure enough, Daniel swung and nailed Wesley straight in his face. Immediately, the tears began to fall. Wesley came over to me and put his face on my newly growing baby bump and cried big tears. I rubbed his hair…..and then the blood began to pour.

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We rushed inside quickly, and I knew we needed Thomas ASAP. While entering the house, I yelled, “Thomas” but I didn’t even get a vocal range loud enough to exit the first few feet in front of me. I look over, and right on the kitchen counter was the bell my mother-in-law had brought for me to use in the days right after I got home from the hospital when I needed something. Perfect.

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding 

Pause for a moment, grab a cloth for all the blood, and get back to the bell….

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding

In rushes Thomas from his deep sleep, thoroughly confused and highly concerned. Wesley stands before him, hands covered in blood with a cloth shoved in his face, muffling his cries. There is blood on the floor and a chatty big brother in the doorway to outside explaining how it was an accident and Wesley should watch where he is going.

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As Thomas took good care of Wesley, stopping all the blood, calming Wesley’s fears, wiping away his tears, and looking for any real potential issues, he jokingly said how we were all “saved by the bell.”

While Daddy comforted, I did the exact reverse of what I would have done a few weeks prior. Parents generally don’t want any pain for their kids. We’d rather be the ones hurting than to see them hurt. But as I stood there, complete with a still tender jaw and wires all around, I looked at my poor baby there with this daddy on the kitchen floor and thought the opposite of my parental instincts. Over in over in my heard I repeated, “Oh I am so glad that happened to you rather than to me. Thank goodness that was you and not me, son!”

And I obviously also documented with a few pictures :o)

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