Today started out fantastic. I woke up leisurely, took a nice hot shower, had a banana for breakfast, watched Good Morning America, surfed around on Facebook on my phone… just a nice relaxing morning. I headed into the office about 9 and quietly began working, checking things off my “to do” list, gave Mike a kiss as he headed off to the gym. I was happily working along, thinking about what to make for lunch… when my phone rang. I looked down and recognized the number as the Tween's school.
“Ms Jones, this is the School Nurse…. we have Samantha, and there has been an accident.”
Now, not that long ago my friend Elizabeth and I joked about the thoughts that run through your head when the school is calling –
- What has my child done?
- Is it Book Fair already!?
- Did I sign that permission slip?
- Crap, did I give her lunch money?
Today however it was none of those things, but instead the dreaded call that leads to a manic race across town, dodging in and out of traffic, cursing at every stop sign, stop light, or innocent bystander that is slowing you down, pulling into the school on two wheels, double parking and barely turning off the ignition before you are out of the car heading for the clinic.
“Ms Jones, this is the School Nurse… we have Samantha, and there has been an accident…. we are pretty certain she is going to need stitches in her mouth.”
I am 31 years old, and beyond closing a surgical incision, I have never even come close to needing stitches. I have never broken a bone, never had a cavity, heck I have only ever broken two fingernails – one of which was just a month ago. So the idea of my BABY needing stitches – and in her MOUTH!?!? – nearly sent me over the edge.
“Her teeth are not lose from what we can tell, but they did go through her bottom lip, and we are pretty certain she will need stitches – we can not tell for sure since we can not get it to stop bleeding.”
When I saw her she was holding ice over her mouth visibly in pain, her face red from crying. I cant even put into words what it felt like to see her that way, and when she opened her mouth to show me the damage I nearly gagged.
She is at that “Tween” stage where everything I do makes her life “miserable” and everything I say warrants her rolling her eyes with “whatever” being said under her breath. She constantly reminds me how she will be “driving soon” and can move out in “like five years” so she can “do things on her own.” But today standing in the hallway at school I saw she was scared, and she needed me. At home, at the hospital, and even at the pharmacy she held on to me the way she used to as a toddler, saying several times “It hurts Mama” reminding me of skinned knees and elbows that seem like forever ago.
The next few hours are a bit of a blur – friends, family, nurses, and doctors even going back and forth about whether or not she should have stitches to put it back together or whether it would heal ok on its own. Once it finally stopped bleeding we were able to see that it had not pierced all the way through – there was only some major bruising on the outside – but the risk of infection was high because of where it was.
Ultimately the doctors decided to give her some major antibiotics to try to keep any infection away and gave us a long list of “symptoms to watch for” over the weekend. I wont post pictures as it still makes me a bit queasy to look at it, but my poor girl is going to be hurting for a few days, and I just pray the scarring isnt too bad.
I gave her some ibuprofen, but she says it hurts to eat, drink, talk, and especially smile. Mike took her out to a movie tonight, and to get some ice cream to make her feel better – and also help with the swelling that has yet to go down even a little bit – and to give me and my anxiety a bit of a break.
I walked back into my office tonight – computer pages still up, a cold cup of coffee, pen cap off, half of a Tweet written still waiting to be published, an email ready to be composed….if I can only remember what I opened it for. I sat down in my computer chair and cried.
I am not sure what could be scarier than a phone call telling you there has “been an accident” with your child. Tonight my prayers will be full of thankfulness that it was not something more serious, and that she will be just fine in a few days. I had plans to work this weekend, but I think a few days of arts and crafts and Wizards of Waverly Place will be much better to help her heal. I know it will certainly help me.