Monday, December 27, 2010

When the worst case minor injury happens and you realize you both survived...

I have many strange phobias/fears.  I am scared of balloons (one popped in my face when I was a small child).  I always worry that I will leave something plugged in at the house that will spontaneously flame up and burn down everything.   I always look in the toilet before sitting down because my mother-in-law once found a snake in her toilet.  And I always wear cotton when I fly because I heard that polyester and nylon will permanently fuse on your skin if you get around any type of fire.

But one of my biggest fears are tooth injuries.
  I still have nightmares remembering my father pulling out my lose teeth and in college I was carrying my bike up the stairs and fell face first into my handlebars and removed the back of one of my front teeth.   Every few years the bit of fake tooth falls off, usually on Friday night, and I have to go around with a hollow fang all weekend...

I have heard horror stories of kids falling on swing sets, slides, or seesaws and knocking out their teeth, so I always try to keep the boys' teeth safe.  But the day before Christmas Eve my worst minor injury fear was realized.

My sister Heather and her family were in town, staying with my parents, so I was visiting with my boys on Thursday.  The adults were sitting on the back deck, drinking coffee, and watching the kids play in the backyard.  My parents live on the side of a small hill surrounded by woods, so it is very peaceful and beautiful.  Their backyard gently slopes to a small creek (dry now).  Often we sit out there watching the deer, or sink down in the soothing hot tub on their deck.

Duke had Nanny's huge metal RadioFlyer and he was riding it down the small sloping hill. I had my reservations, even though it was something I did in my childhood as a free-range kid.  He wasn't going very fast, the hill is a very gentle slope, and there were enough trees to stop him from building up much speed; but I still instructed him how to hunch down, grab the sides, and protect his teeth in case he started going too fast.

He was having a blast and being very careful.  He begged his cousin Maddy to ride with him, but she decided it wasn't worth the risk. Then he resorted to asking his daredevil brother Imp, but Imp also would have nothing to do with him and his flying wagon. No, Imp didn't want to take any  chances...

Meanwhile, I am enjoying the coffee and conversation and decide he can go down the hill a few more times and then I would encourage him to do something safer, like play in the street ;-) when I suddenly noticed Imp go flying off the deck. 

Yes, Imp.  He was playing quietly on the deck and decided to run down the cement stairs to the yard.  While I had my eyes on his older brother my little three-year-old had a pretty terrible accident.  He was literally 5 feet away from me, but all I could do was watch in horror as his little foot missed a step and he went flying into space and went face-first into the corner of the wooden deck. 

I jumped up and picked up my screaming little boy off the ground and realized that this was serious since Imp almost never cries.  When he was two he fell head-first into one of my husband's metal weights in the garage and gashed his skull and had to have his head stapled and he didn't even seem to notice.  But today he was in extreme pain and blood was gushing out of his mouth.  All because he was going down some steps, steps he ran down hundreds of times.

Normally my husband takes care of these things because I get crazy when I see blood on my boys, but he was at work.  My mother is a nurse and has a pretty strong stomach, but for some reason it is different when it is your grandson. 

I carried him inside and noticed as I was washing out his mouth that he had a deep cut on his inner lower lip, so I grabbed a popsicle and told him to suck on it.  He tried but started crying even harder so I knew that more was going on.  I lifted up his upper lip and almost passed out.

The pediatric dentist that happened to be on the way to the ER AND open that late afternoon said my dear little boy not only almost bit his bottom lip through, but he also managed to "deglove" his upper tooth.  I am wincing as I type this, but basically degloving a tooth is removing  all of the skin above that tooth.  When I looked at his upper teeth there was no skin and I could see his root.  No one should have to see this part of the anatomy.

At the dentist office Mommy was sobbing quietly while Imp was peacefully watching cartoons on the ceiling while the dentist was checking him out.  Imp is one of the bravest toughest little boy I have ever met, and has an incredible pain tolerance.  He did not need stitches (since the cut was not completely through his lip) and the skin above his tooth should grow back.  He front teeth didn't get knocked out, but there is a good chance that they will be discolored later due to the nerve and tooth injury.  Thank goodness they are his baby teeth.

I realize there are so many horrible things that can happen to your children (much worse than this little accident).  However, my worst-case minor accident happened and Imp and I survived. 

Imp is going to be fine and you wouldn't even know from his behavior that he has so much mouth trauma.  My husband is brushing his teeth twice a day because I can't face seeing my little baby's teeth right now and I wince when when he smiles at me now because his lips are so swollen.  And because he has such deep cuts, any type of minor fall or blow to the face causes bleeding.  Just today he rolled out of bed and started bleeding, got knocked by the dog's paw and started bleeding, and then slipped between the recliner and the lamp table and fell flat on his face and started bleeding.  I told the boys no wrestling, but you know how that goes...

We can learn so much from our children. Instead of worrying about the  "what if" and the future problems he might have with those teeth, Imp  just goes on living and enjoying life.  Sure his mouth hurts some, but that is easy to ignore when you are chasing the chickens or running through the fields or climbing hay bales.  I want to be like Imp...

So Christmas with our families was wonderful and also sad/stressful.  Well, sad/stressful for everyone but Imp and Duke.  Imp just had a wonderful time and thinks his mother is a big worrier. And Duke got irritated because he felt Imp was getting special treatment. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and had no major/minor accidents.   I have more actions, storyboards, and other goodies coming.  I took a computer break but I am back, at least until this weekend.  Now if I can only get Imp to stop acting like a three-year-old...  After this my balloon phobia seems pretty darn silly.


  1. Ooh oh OH!!! Rita, how awful for you!! Poor Imp, and poor you for having to endure that!
    I too have a "knocking your teeth out phobia"!
    When I was a kid,I had a stupid fall on a throw rug in my bedroom of all places, and broke off one of my permanent FRONT TEETH! Many trips later to the dentist, and I had a cap on it.
    But like you, have had to have a do-over several times....poop.

    Then as if that wasn't enough, years later as a young adult, I was riding in a jeep with friends...well the driver decided to go over a curb (quickly I might add), and guess what, another missing cap and chipped tooth next to it. Talk about bad luck!
    So I can completely sympathize:(

    I hope you can have the remainder of 2010 stress free and nothing but amazing!

  2. I am new to your blog and am looking forward to learning lots of things about PSE. Your story freaked me out! I, like you, am terrible with blood ... especially on me or someone I love. My 25 y/o son recently asked me why he and his sister never got seriously hurt and I had to say, "It's because I never let you do anything!!!" Well, that's not really true, but I was hyper-vigilant because I was petrified of them getting hurt. I'm glad your little one was not hurt as badly as first thought ... but I heard of a little boy that was running and slid on some wet grass right into the seat of a picnic table. He was rushed to the hospital, where the doctor said that his injuries were similar to what you would see from an auto accident. An innocent activity turned horrible! Vigilance and prayer!

  3. Rita, as I read your post I kept thinking to myself, "that's exactly how I feel!". I too have many of those same phobias. And one of mine was realized last Christmas on Christmas day when my five year old son, in his excitement and enthusiasm, slipped running up the stairs (wood stairs in the house) and cut open his head in an almost two inch gash in the center of his forehead. Spending the day in the ER was not exactly the day I had planned and when the doctor asked my son if he wanted mom or dad to sit with him while they stitched him up, I fervently prayed that he'd choose dad, because I do not do well with needles and skin. I was pretty proud of myself when he choose me and I sat there being strong for him. And I think I grieved for weeks (and still do) that he has a scar on his face that is so obvious and literally in your face. My perfect little boy. Sigh. It does make a very memorable x-mas. And luckily this one wasn't so "memorable"!

    I hope you have a wonderful 2011!

  4. I'm sorry to hear that Rita. Teeth are one of my worst fears too. I have 2 boys and whenever there is a lot of blood coming out of the mouth, I gingerly put my finger in and feel all the teeth. If they're all still in there, I let of out a big sigh of relief. If I were to find one dangling loose one day (or see the root), I do think I'd probably pass out.

    PS: My oldest has had staples in his head too. Boys ...

  5. Oh my goodness! I am just sick for you. I have all kinds of nightmares and anxiety about my baby getting hurt.
    I'm glad he's ok.

  6. oh Rita, I am so sorry you went through that! A mother of a now 21 year old & 3 year old twin daughters...we deal with this often. It just comes with motherhood unfortunately! My son had NO fear when he was little...he would scare me half to death! My twins, they would do these leaps of the furniture & I swear they would just love to see the look of horror on my face! Honestly, kids are just kids...and parents..well we just keep getting scared to death on a daily basis!!! I hope Imp recovers quickly & hopefully 2011 will be less stress for you!

  7. I feel compelled to write to you Rita because your story (Imp's story) made me wince in sympathetic pain and laugh and empathize with you as a mother of young children. No matter how hard you try life happens doesn't it? The summer my son turned two was the "Summer of the Bloody Knees." No sooner would the scabs heal than he would take another digger. There wasn't much I could do except console him and try to get him to keep a bandaid on, but he wasn't having it. Maybe these are the first lessons in learning to let your children go and trusting that they will survive!

  8. Oh man!!! I am so sorry! About 7 yrs ago we were packing for a move. I was sitting in the dining room next to our then 18mo who was eating some dry cereal out of a bowl before bedtime. He heard someone in the living room, turned to see, lost his balance and slipped off the chair, hit his mouth on a nearby packed box and knocked a baby tooth clean out of his mouth. Just. Like. That. And I was within inches of him. Unfortunately it was an eye tooth which don't come back for like, ever. He too was a trooper.

    It goes to show - its not the stuff you worry about that happens. It's what you never see coming. Which ought to remind us we are not in complete control. But I still try to be lol.

    Here's to quick healing! You're a good mom. Things happen. : ) Thank you for all you do and share here!

  9. Poor little guy...right before Christmas too!

    I have to say...same fear! But I also had a baby tooth injury as a child when I fell out of a shopping cart...way before they had seats! When my permanent tooth came in, it had no enamel on it. I've had it sealed several times and have not had to have it capped, thank goodness.

    Now, enter my 9 year old...3 days before his 10th birthday back in October. Attending a bon fire in our neighborhood, we walked over there to walk them home in the dark. They are playing tag in the the woods...with flashlights. (Insert groan!) He tripped and fell on someone carrying a flashlight and cracked his front tooth diagonally! And yes, it's a permenant one! :( No dentists open until Monday...but since it did not have a root yet, he wasn't in any pain! Thank heavens! I thought originally he was "sucking it up" because he's got an extremely high pain tolerance, but the dentist confirmed that also. (And we were told because of the trama, he could still loose it, but 2 months later and it still looks ok. It is nicely fixed now, but he spent his birthday getting it fixed. Now I pray it stays on because I cannot afford to have it fixed again! :( Oh the joys of being a parent! Love the good, HATE the bad! :)

  10. Oooo, I'm sorry poor Imp (& Mama Imp) had to go through that! I have twins boys, 14 now, and one of them is a walking ER visit waiting to happen. Two years ago a baseball hit him in the mouth while he was practicing. The ball took a bad hop and he didn't have a chance to deflect it or look away. :( Mouths bleed horribly. His nose was busted, his front teeth were loose and pushed in facing the back of his throat, his jaw and gums were bruised and his lips were cut up and swollen. Not pretty and certainly painful but as boys are want to do, was running around and messing with his twin the next day and driving me crazy with worry! He still plays baseball and has been hit in the face a couple of more times (thankfully not as bad). I worry to no end about him and his siblings but have had no choice but to be strong for him while inside I cried. From the beginning the doctors said be strong or leave. I wasn't leaving. I'm always amazed at how much we can endure for our children.

    Happy 2011! Hope it's an ER free one!

  11. I'm so sorry about Imp's accident and resulting injury. He sure sounds like a tough little trouper!

    I had a similar experience a couple of years ago and was in my 60s! I missed the last step off the deck(in the dark) and planted my face into the concrete minute I'm upright; the next I'm flying, then splat!
    Busted lip gushing blood everywhere, black eye, smashed glasses, and a week later a tooth fell out! It was 9 p.m. a couple of nights before Christmas and my daughter was out of town. So I called a friend and she had just brought her mom home from the ER after thinking she had a heart attack (which she did have later than night)but she came over and just so happened my daughter called right after she arrived. My daughter (a family practice doc) called the doc on call and he met me and sewed up my lip. He even followed me home to be sure I made it. For weeks I looked as if I'd been battered.

    You are lucky to have a hubby to brush Imp's teeth and share the trauma, and that Duke made it safely down the hill!

    May you have a New Year that is happy and healthy and successful.


  12. Hey lady! SO SORRY to hear about your little one! I have three children 5 and under - so I totally understand that feeling of wanting to be everywhere at once! And it figures that the worst of things happen when Daddy is away! My husband is in the Army - so I'm often the one responsible during the trips to the ER!

    I stopped by today because I'm having issues with a few of my Pioneer Woman Actions! "Edge Burn" stopped working a few days ago and now also "Sunshine". When I run the actions (in PSE7) they simply create a transparent layer in gray or light yellow (respectively) - Any ideas why they would suddenly stop working?

    Thank you!
    and Happy New Year from Germany!
    Ann Marie

  13. oh no! unfortunately I know exactly what you are talking about! my youngest was kicked in the face by a young horse when she was 3 or 4 and standing right in front of me as well.......she lost 4 baby teeth, bit thru her lip and her gums looked like hamburger! :-(

    but kids are resilient, and she did a lot better than mom and dad did ! lol....she did have to get stitches on her chin, but after that the only thing that bothered her was, she couldn't eat corn on the cob! haha

    Lets just say the tooth fairy pays VERY well when you lose your teeth like that.

    And she had to hear "what happened to your front teeth" for years...because the adult teeth don't come down until they're supposed to, I think around 5 or 6.

    Bless your hearts.......I'm so glad all is well now, and the rest of the year is stress free!

  14. I am so glad that he is going to be ok. Tooth injuries are very painful. I myself have had two. the worst was when i was in 6th grade. I was riding a bike and had an accident on a gravel driveway. It knocked out 4 of my front teeth, and lodged gravel in my gums. I not only had to have my teeth fixed but had to have surgery on my gums as well.

    I wish IMP a speedy recovery!!

  15. I don't comment much but I should because I come here EVERY day and I have downloaded so much stuff and I LOVE this site and THANK YOU for taking the time to do all this work! I'm so sorry to hear about little Imp. I know exactly what you went through because on Christmas night, we were in the ER with my little 19 month old, Rowan. We also have 2 boys - my oldest is 3. We were at a neighbors and Rowan nearly fell backward down the stairs. When my husband reached out to catch him, it through him forward and his face hit the top step. His teeth bit through his bottom lip leaving it gaping wide open. It seriously freaked me out! He cried and bled, and then stopped crying. Just like Imp, has a high tolerance for pain. Just doesn't like being messed with, more than anything.
    He had to have 2 stitches to fix up his bottom lip. Yes, I watched the whole thing and I even helped to hold him down. It took 4 adults!
    Anyways, as much as we try to protect these kids, accidents do happen. I'm just thankful that Imp's damage wasn't worse. He will heal and be whole again soon. Unfortunately, boys will be boys!!

  16. Oh my gosh, I feel for all of you who also have personal teeth horror stories! Imp is certainly not alone...

  17. Ok.... first of all... this was like reading my own personal journal. I too have a phobia with balloons. Hate the sound they make when you touch them.. Just makes me cringe just to type that. BLAH! I also have a teeth injury related phobias. My son was a little over a year old when he took a digger at my sister in laws house while we were on vacation. He missed the step coming into her house and went face first into the rail of the sliding glass door. Chipped his little baby front tooth and tore the maxillary labial frenum, (that little flap of skin that connects the upper lip to the gum) and bit/punctured his lower lip. It was HORRIBLE! It made me hurt! Aaaah it was terrible! I so can relate to your story. Brought back some memories of my own. Poor little Imp!!!! My body ached while reading this entry. I had to put down the snack I was eating because my stomach went into a nauseated knot. You poor thing Rita!!! I feel for ya!

    Loved the message at the end of your entry too. Kids heal so fast and can push passed their pain because they will themselves too. They are constantly in search of happiness. Being able to keep your mind busy with positive thoughts or projects seems to help you get through a rough patch. Kids are the best! We used to have the very same mechanisms when we were their age. Where and when did I lose mine? This just gives me hope that we can still find ours!!!!

    Thanks Rita!!! Hugs to little man Imp!

  18. Wow and Ouch and Ewe ! I have some OCD's as well. Have you ever heard of that saying to have clean underwear on when you leave home ? Well, I take that a step further. I CANNOT wear mis-matched underwear/bra. I just can't. It will bother me all day knowing I don't match ! It's weird, I know !

    Well, I had a major car accident in Feb 1997 that put me in a light coma with 350+ stitches from the corrective & cosmetic surgery I had to the right side of my face and jaw from the facial lacerations, which also tore my saliva gland. I had to wear this bulb/suction and straw thing that pumped saliva and blood out of my face for like a week...but that is NOT THE WORST PART OF THE ACCIDENT!

    I was stripped of my clothing, (they cut my new gap jeans and sweater !) and was velcro-ed? to one of those boards in nothing but my boots, panties and bra. Thankfully I was wearing clean, matching underwear and bra !

  19. Gabrielle, I am so sorry about your horrible accident! But your last sentence made me laugh out loud. Thank you, I needed that.

  20. Oh, Rita,
    Your poor baby! I am so sorry but glad that the outcome was good.

  21. Rita, I'm so sorry this happened to your little Imp! It is so hard to see our children suffer. I'm glad that he (and you) are ok.

  22. My son was 2 when he fell and knocked his front tooth and the one next to it completely IN! He was brought to the dentist and they strapped him down and carefully replaced into position! I was freaked by all the bleeding but handled. i have had dreams that I'd been chewing gum and my teeth had all fallen out! Definitely freaks me out. I hope that all is well now. So sorry.

  23. Its amazing how quick things can happen and how quick a life can change.
    My health visitor insisted I let someone take my 5 month old son out.So I could rest.He always cried and never slept.So I let my Dad take him out with clear instructions.But did he listen NO.He picked him up out of the pram,fell on him and broke his femur.He was on traction and couldn't be moved for weeks.
    But his time in hospital gave me respite,I got sleep and stopped feeding him 24/7.So it was a blessing in disguise.
    Except he's 23 now and a semi professional soccer player who has one leg shorter than the other!!!

  24. I read your story and winced along with you! I don't know how my children made it to adulthood, I let them play hard and be adventurous kids since my mother didn't let us do anything. But the sight of blood...whether it was from hitting the dresser then the floor after trying to fly like "fuperman" or pulling down an antique curio bolted to the wall filled with antique children's china so they could play tea party...we survived...althoug my husband had to take CPR because yelling "call 1-1-9 wasn't cutting it.

    Now I got grandkids and it starts all over again!

  25. Ohh poor little guy! When I was little, I stayed with my grandmother while my parents where at work. My nanny also kept one other child - an (older) boy. Somehow, he ended up getting angry at me, and pushed/tripped me in the bathroom. I fell face-first into the edge of the bathtub and my teeth went completely through my lower lip. (My nanny had to pull my teeth through my lip because I was screaming so bad.)

    Now I have this cute little scar on the top of my lip and the skin beneath it. Pretty cool story, not a pretty cool sight for my momma.

    And now I have a fear of knocking out/randomly losing teeth too. =/

    Thinking about little Imp!

  26. I am so sorry to hear about Imp. I hope he is feeling better. As a mom of two, I know all these feeling. My son fell on the coffee table when he was 3 and had to be taken to the ER for stitches. He did better than me. I nearly fainted in the ER. The ER doctor told my son he was doing better than me. It is different when it is your child that is injured. Also, thanks for all your actions and help. I love your website and I have learned so much. I check it everyday. You are wonderful. Happy and Safe New Year!!!

  27. You're not alone Rita. Just last week I had to take my almost 3 year old to the dentist because his front upper tooth suddenly turned brownish. His dentist thinks he fell on it (which none of us can remember happening). He said there is a good chance that it will absess and need to be pulled. This will leave him front-toothless until his adult tooth comes in when he's six. I said, "Over my dead body will I let it progress to that". So I've been coating it every day with a special oil to kill any infection that is festering under the skin threatening to take my poor baby's tooth. I hope the best for both of our sons teeth.

  28. Yikes! I am so glad Imp is okay now.

    My brother knocked both his front baby teeth out as a toddler. They stuck them back in and they were okay.

    Then as a teenager, once he had his adult teeth of course, he took a stray elbow during a basketball game and destroyed one of his front teeth.


  29. Oh, Rita, sad to hear about your poor little boy, and you! Having such a bad time!
    I have a very bad luck with teeth. I crashed against a wall at 6 and broke my front tooth for ever, and had to have it capped. But worse, my 2 year old fell face against the floor and completely LOST his two front teeth(baby teeth), It hurt me so much. He sad, oh, I'm lucky because it's my teeth falling and not my leg!. He had had a femur broken previously.
    Now his teeth ar starting to grow, his leg is absolutely perfect! And my front tooth... recapped!

  30. You are officially my favorite person. Well, after my husband. And after my kids. And after my very best friend in the world. After that it's totally you! :)

  31. Oh my! My three year old knocked her front teeth out when she was 19 months old! And I'm right there with you with the teeth thing! Do you know what the dentist tells you to do when they knock baby teeth out? PUT THEM BACK IN! AGH! She still has her teeth, but one of them has a crack and is just now becoming discolored, hopefully she will lose it in 2 years.