Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Called Adding Insult to Injury (or Something Like That)

Have you ever had one of those days where you just know before you even get out of bed that it's going to be a long day?


Yesterday I was still nestled inside my warm covers as I checked the weather on my phone. (Checking on the big snow storm of course!) Nathan was talking to himself in the mirror and Ryan was sitting next to me in bed, talking to himself. Ryan wanted to get down and join Nathan on the floor so he started to climb down the side of the bed and I lowered him down. As he stood up when his feet hit the floor, he fell forward a few inches and bumped his lip on the edge of the bed rail.

Instantly there was blood. I groaned and scooped him up to assess the damage. He had a very small cut on his face, just below his lower lip. That was not the source of the blood. After I cleaned him up I could see that he had a deep laceration inside his lower lip. I stopped the bleeding and nursed him and this calmed him down immediately. Since he wasn't crying, I could get a better look at the cut.

It wasn't big (just 1 cm in a v-shape) but it was very deep. I had to make a judgment call... to go to the ER or not? I know from previous experience that suturing facial wounds on toddlers is not easy and usually requires sedatives. (Not for me, for the toddler. Well, maybe for me.)

I couldn't get a good picture of the cut and I wanted a second opinion before I decided whether to go to the ER or not. I wanted to send my SIL pictures from my phone but I just couldn't get a clear picture with the camera on my phone.

Because the bleeding stopped so quickly, I was hopeful that we could avoid stitches. I kept thinking that the edges would go back together on their own. But the longer I waited the more obvious it became... the cut was not going to heal properly without stitches.

I called my SIL and my mom, trying to devise a plan to get to the ER without having to take all 6 kids along. In between phone calls I was grabbing diapers and packing a bag while getting kids dressed and putting in my contacts. I was in the kitchen when I heard a wail coming from the family room. I glanced over just in time to see Nathan's finger wedged in the hinge of the door to our entertainment center. Ryan had shut the door on his finger! I dropped whatever was in my hand at the moment and raced across the room. Before I could even get to him, he'd opened the door and then shut Ryan's hand in the door. I scooped them both up and determined that Ryan was fine so I sat him down next to me on the couch. Nathan's poor little finger was flat. I thought it might be broken and there was a hematoma forming on the pad of his finger along with a cut and a series of clear blisters on the side. The nail bed was filling with blood. And my day was just getting better and better!

I nursed Nathan and calmed him down but he still wouldn't move his finger and was whimpering in pain. I called my SIL and she told me that she could ride along with me to the hospital because she was headed there anyway to visit her husband's step brother. We could kill two birds with one stone and save on gas. I called my mom and told her I was headed to the ER at the hospital near her (over an hour from me) and asked if I could drop the big kids off at her house. She was already home from work by the time I left my house.

I dropped the 4 big kids off with my mom and my SIL, nephew, and I went to the hospital. After seeing the parking situation and realizing that I could be waiting for hours and hours just to be seen, I decided to go to a different hospital just a few minutes away. My SIL and nephew went in and visited with their family member and then I picked them up and we drove to another hospital.

I popped Ryan into the Mei Tai and carried him into the ER. We were taken back right away and they quickly determined that he'd need stitches. They put us in a room and we waited for the doctor to come and fix Ryan up so we could go home. But alas, it was not so easy.

The doctor came and examined Ryan's lip again. He looked at me and said "How long ago did this happen?" By that time it had been 12 hours since the injury. The doctor told me that with mouth injuries they have to stitch up within 6 hours because of the amount of bacteria that gets into the wound. He said Ryan's mouth was probably crawling with bacteria and so we'd have to let it heal on its own and maybe fix it later if necessary. It's going to heal as a large, triangular lump. We got some antibiotics and we were on our way.

So when can I accept my award for The World's Worst Mother?

Do I win a call from CPS? A lovely poop-covered trophy? A week without showering?

The doctor was very understanding and told me that I hadn't done anything wrong. But of course I feel terribly guilty. Why didn't I just take him in right away? Ugh. I debated for so long that I cost him the chance to get his lip fixed up properly. I suck!

The doctor and nurse did share a good laugh with me when they asked if Ryan was my only child. And I told them that I actually have 6 children. And they asked my age. And then asked the kids' ages. And then were incredulous. Two sets of twins? Like I might have made it all up. And then asked about my husband. I smiled, "He's in Iraq." Then the doctor took my hand and said I was amazing. At which point I laughed and mumbled something about my ineptitude and not bringing my injured baby to get stitches in time. In the end, I just had to laugh. Because my life is just a never-ending roller coaster of insanity. Twinsanity. I got home just before midnight and unloaded my sleepy kids from the van, one by one. If you could see it, you'd laugh. I am sure anyone watching would wonder just how many people are in that big van.

I slept with 4 boys in my bed last night and woke up hoping for a phone call from Jason. I haven't heard from him in days. He arrived safely to his new "home" but that's all I know. He has no computer access and apparently can't call either. I know that "no news is good news" but it's hard not to wonder what's going on when I don't hear from him.

I am cautiously optimistic that a small miracle may have recently occurred in our home. It (as with almost everything in my life these days) involves poop. But I'm not going to jinx it yet. I'll tell you more in a few days. But trust me, it's miraculous!

Oh, and I need to dedicate a whole post to Doug. He's my new best friend. He's from the Military OneSource. And I think we are going to be best buddies for a bit. (Translation: I'm finally asking for help!)

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