Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2+2... -1 (maybe)

Life can be strange. You think everything is going to be one way and then OOPS! Like you're having a great day and then OOPS! (or insert some more colorful words here if you'd like; it will probably make it more realistic that way) some jerk turns left at an intersection just as you're going through on a green light and your car is totaled. Or you have just enough time to tidy the house before guests arrive and OOPS! you spill flour all over the kitchen. Or your child's been basically healthy, and accident free, and you're within a couple months of his first birthday and you think, "Phew! Never ended up in the emergency room during his first year. Dodged that bullet!" then OOPS! Yes, OOPS!! Not sure if I jinxed myself by having that thought last week, but I definitely did NOT dodge that bullet.

I'm sure you've been wondering why everything went silent on the blog over the last week, when I seemed to be on a pretty good roll. (I even had extra post topics, I never even got to!) Especially when after the Sunday-From-HELL, Monday morning was looking pretty rosey. Well pictures do say thousand words, but you have to remember that those words are for that moment only and who's to say what the next moment brings. In the case of the pictures I posted of Dash on Monday and Tuesday of last week (smiling and happy) they only tell the story of a few brief, oh so fleeting, moments of those days.

Here's a short re-cap of all of our recent Drama (and yes it has definitely been Drama with a capital "D"!)...

Dash stopped eating all solids for a full week. He was bursting into tears (yes, real, wet, dripping down his cheeks, Halle-Berry-crying-for-an-Oscar tears) at least every hour an a half for five full days. This started the Sunday of my post and continued until Friday. There were many things that contributed to this...

1. He was REALLY constipated. (But the not eating eventually took care of this little problem.)

2. He was sick. Mucus-dripping-down-his-chin sick. Blowing-snot-bubbles-as-big-as-his-head sick.

3. I realized Tuesday night, when I was brushing his teeth, he was cutting 2 new upper front teeth. So, add teething to the list.

4. And this is the one that, I think, made all this go on SO long... it's a biggy. Are you ready for it? Tuesday night Dash pulled a small wooden table down on himself and severely dislodged a tooth.

It was horrible! Horrible!! (It's taken me until today, a full week later, to even be able to write about it.)

We were in his room after his bath and instead of going to bed, he wanted to play for a few more minutes. He'd been a complete crabcake all day and in the hopes of seeing some of the happy child I had a vague recollection of, I decided to not push the bed issue. So I put him on the floor near his toys
(note to self: being a softy gets you in trouble) and walked across the room to pick up some his books. I turned around just in time to see him standing, holding onto the edge of a small table we have in his room, rise up on his tippy toes and then, as I flew across the room, Dash and table came crashing down! At first, it was as if time froze. No one moved. Not a peep. I thought maybe the table had just come down on his legs but everything was fine. And then all hell broke loose! His mouth filled with blood. He started screaming. I picked him up and there was blood everywhere!! All over me. All over him. The diaper I put up to his mouth to catch the blood was soaked. Dash only has two little teeth and I couldn't see them! Then finally I saw one. But the other was missing. I looked as best I could in his mouth but blood was everywhere. I looked all over the floor but didn't see it. Finally the blood slowed down and I realized that the tooth was still in his mouth but instead of sticking straight up, it was sticking straight out. At a full ninety degree angle! I wanted to throw up.

Our pediatrician said to go to the emergency room and see if they could save the tooth (since he won't be getting another one there until he's 5 or 6!). The emergency room did an initial exam of his vitals, determined that nothing was life threatening and pretty much let us know that we would probably continue to be pushed back on the list, so they could examine people with more pressing conditions ahead of us, before we would be able to see a doctor (they SO didn't understand that this HAD to be fixed because I just wouldn't be able to stand a constant reminder, for 5 years!, of my complete failure as a parent) and that it might be wise for us to try and find an emergency dentist.

Well, let's just say that oral health has not been at the top of our list for quite a while. (If there's anyone out there who can recommend a good dentist in our area, we'd love a referral!) So, we started working the phones, calling everyone we knew who had kids old enough to have a dentist. Meanwhile, Dash is working the room. Befriending all the emergency room patients. Who knows what happened to the crazy crabcake he had been earlier that day (or even the full two days before), but that night, way past his bedtime and with a sore tooth
I might add, he was a total delight. They say kids are unpredictable, and man, are they ever!

We finally reached three dentists (HUGE shout out to Cassie for all her help!!) who, couldn't help us that night, but who all said that we should try to push the tooth back into place. Now I don't know about you, but just looking at the tooth made me feel sick (for many reasons) and the thought of trying to pin Dash down and whack that tooth back into place just did not appeal to either of us on any level. Dash would freak out if you just tried to touch his lip. So, we put him to bed and decided to wait to see a pediatric periodontist in the morning. All night I angsted as to whether this was the right decision. I couldn't sleep. And when Dash woke up in the middle of the night screaming, I happily became his own personal sleep comfort bed (for the next 2 full nights).

Here's the important part of the story for anyone with kids.... the next day at the pediatric periodontist's we found out that you should NOT, NOT, NOT try to reposition a baby tooth. Just leave it alone.

Adult teeth: repositioning - good.

Baby teeth: repositioning - bad!

I guess you run a huge risk of damaging the adult tooth bud if you move the dislodged tooth. So, they tell you, if it's still firmly in there, just to watch it and see if it dies, or moves, or falls out. In Dash's case, the doctor said that because it was dislodged so badly he gave the tooth a 10% chance of surviving. Ten percent. My heart sank.

Every time I looked at him I felt guilty. I just wanted to live those 10 seconds, that it took for the accident to happen, over again. Every night, at the time of the accident, I would just wish I could go back in time and be more vigilant. I was in tears for two days straight. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't focus on anything other than how I had failed my child.

Meanwhile, Dash was more miserable than ever. He wouldn't eat. He couldn't sleep. He was getting sicker. And he was teething but, now, not allowed to put anything in his mouth in hopes of possibly saving the tooth. He was bursting into tears all the time.

When it became obvious that his pain was being caused by more than just the tooth, we called the pediatrician Wednesday night and Thursday morning he was put on antibiotics. Which he loves. He looks just like a little baby bird, every morning, as he hungrily sucks his medicine out of the dropper.

Dash finally started eating again Friday and his appetite soon came back in full force.

As for the tooth... so far (and I feel very hesitant to say this, for fear of jinxing it) it's looking pretty good. I tried to take a picture yesterday to show you, but the tooth seems to be repositioning itself. Yipee! (knock wood, cross fingers, salt over the shoulder) so all I got was this (you can kind of see the difference in the two teeth)...

...and this (where everything looks ok.)

We've got an appointment with the pediatric dentist on Friday. We'll see what he has to say. Until then we've got our fingers crossed (and damn if I haven't knocked on more wood in the past week then I have in my whole entire life!) Good wishes and positive thoughts appreciated. I'll let you know what happens!

p.s. There has been one positive to all this... a couple days after Dash dislodged his tooth, he began sleeping through the night (no 3:30am feeding). So, if you're struggling to eliminate those pesky nighttime feedings and have a spare tooth, I highly recommend a small, but solid, wood table!


Diana said...

Ohhhhh, ohhhhh! My heart hurts for you. Oh poor Dash, that's why we haqen't seen him and we miss him so much. I'm so sorry you had to go through that too Gwynn. Stop blaming yourself though! It could have happened to any of us and I am sad to think that worse things are going to happen in the next 18 years!

Did you get rid of that pesky table?

Anonymous said...

As the mother of a boy, you will have many accidents, and hopefully none will be too dire. You should not feel guilty; I have observed you being a very good mother who gives Dashell opportunities to grow and learn. You certainly don't want to raise an over-protective son who has no confidence. Hang in there. We love you and think you're doing a great job. Love, Sandra

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear that you and Dashell are both feeling better. As parents we want to protect our children from any hurt...and when they do hurt, we want to make it better...and we always live with guilt over the things we feel we could have changed. Those are the "bylaws" of the Parents Club. You are such a loving, caring member. Big hugs, GMA

Erin Drez said...

WOW, what a rough time! My heart hurts for you and little Dash. I'm so sorry you had to go through that, but congratulations on being a wonderful, strong mother and not stopping until you found the right people to help your baby.
I'm glad to have found your blog!!

Anonymous said...

Oh,Gwynn,I just got caught up! I am soooo sorry to learn of the table-tooth-tragedy! You cannot blame yourself. EVERYONE will tell you that. I know it is easier said than done--it hurts so much when our children are hurting, but know that you did what was best for Dash. THANK GOD YOU DIDN'T TRY TO REPOSITION THE TOOTH! Love to you all, Aunt Karen.