I can sincerely say that I hope everyone else's Mother's Day was better than mine; I would not wish our experiences yesterday on anyone.
We had an emergency situation yesterday - at church - involving Jack (no surprise!) - on Mother's Day.
After service, I went to the nursery to collect Jack and the other two. Upon seeing me at the door, Jack turned, shouted "Mommy!", and proceeded to run as fast as he could toward the door (because that's the only speed Jack knows). And I'll never know how he didn't see the kid in front of him, pushing a baby stroller, but clearly he didn't - his eyes were really quite fixed on me, I guess - and Jack plowed into him, catapulted himself over the kid and stroller, landed in a forward motion, rolling all the way into the door...and HARD!
I scramble to set down all the kid paraphernalia that I'm holding, scoop him up, and discover the blood pooling in his mouth. I see his lip is busted, with a clear line for a tooth biting into it. Figuring this is just a bad lip cut, I hug him close and rock him until he calms down,
But unlike the many other times Jack has been hurt in a similar situation, he doesn't calm down very quickly. In fact, he's still quite upset about five minutes later while we're sitting in the church front lobby. He would settle down, then erupt in a piercing cry that was very much a "I'm-genuinely-hurt" cry. During one of these cries, he rolled his head back while he opened his mouth to cry, and then I saw it...
His front left tooth was angled back towards his throat at -no joke - about a 45 degree angle. Oh. My. God.
"Shit!" escapes from my mouth as I sufficiently startle Jack and create a new scene (Crap, now I've gone and cursed in God's holy place - wonderful...) Jason pulls out his phone to call the emergency line at the kids' dentists' office, I tell my mom to go find Dawn Wilson who is in the preschool room (Dawn has first-hand knowledge of this from when her daughter nearly lost a tooth), and I begin to cry even harder than I already was. The people in the line for sodas and scones are getting some good entertainment.
Dawn appears, and I ask her if it looks worse than she's seen. With a sympathetic nod, she suggests it's pretty bad - and I appreciate her honesty, because I didn't want someone just telling me fluff. It certainly seemed like it was beyond repair, and although I wasn't surprised to her assessment, this started a new rush of tears.
Unfortunately, the emergency line at our dentist's office is not working, and Jason is on hold for no less than five minutes. We can't get through. I'm working really hard not to flip out in anger, and he tries the line again. It takes several more minutes to actually reach a person - and it sounds like it's someone in India - who says they'll page the doctor. Well, turns out the doctor on call left his phone in his car while inside his church, so we aren't able to speak to him for what would be at least 45 more minutes.
So, in the meantime, Dawn suggests we call her kids' dentist, Dr. Bidel. My friend Tiffany also uses him, and I've heard great things. We quickly dial his office, and are able to speak to his secretary who is actually in the office. But Dr. Bidel is away at his lake house and won't be home for several more hours. But, by this time, our APDA dentist has finally returned our call, and asks for a picture of Jack's mouth to be sent over the phone. Poor Jack is a puddle in my arms, kind of in a little shock, so it's not difficult to get a shot of the poor kid's mouth. Doc says it looks bad enough to come in. Dr. Lackey was kind enough to leave his family's Mother's Day lunch outing at Bridgestreet and meet us in the office.
Jason and I arrive at the empty office, and I immediately recognize the dentist, Dr. Lackey. I taught his daughter 5th grade language arts my first year at Randolph. Anyhow, he was wonderful, very patient, and terrific with Jack. And speaking of Jack, he is over at the truck table, pushing cars across the table, making car sounds to go along...sweet, sweet child. Tough as nails, that one...
We go back and lay Jack on the chair. Doc takes a look, and relays to us that Jack has managed to pop his tooth completely out of its socket and knock it back. He prefaces the next part by saying what needs to be done is "quite traumatic." More fresh tears surface; my heart is just broken for my little guy. We're told the best move at this point is for Dr. Lackey to pull the tooth down and try to pop it back into place.
He says some parents medicate the kids with a shot of Novocain, but that can often be worse than just getting it over with, without using medication. I ask him what would he do with his own child; he recommends not using medication, and we agree.
And so Jason and I do gut-wrenching thing - hold Jack down on the chair and let the doctor do his thing. I hold Jack's hands, look into his face, and watch him -through his tears - tell the doctor "Okay, okay". The doctor had just said to Jack, "Okay, buddy, I'm going to give your tooth a hug, and then we're going to go get a toy." Jason's holding Jack's little torso, tilting his own head away. Our hearts are absolutely breaking, seeing how very very brave Jack is being. Then we hear a squishy, popping sound, followed by Jack's screams. It was just awful.
But, the tooth popped back into place, which was the best case scenario. I scooped Jack up, and he held on so tightly. "Toys, Jack; it's time for toys!" I sniffle to him, and we head over to the toy display. Dr. Lackey asks if he wants a toy, and he squeaks out a few "no's" until Jason points out the blue and red race car. The dentist walks over with two cars and hands them to Jack who has begun to nod his head "yes." ;-)
By the time we are back in the lobby listening to Dr. Lackey tell us what to watch for now, Jack has already calmed down and is playing with his cars. The doc notices Jack and remarks at how most kids are still very upset this soon after the procedure. That's Jack for you; I wasn't lying when I said he's a tough cookie! ;-) In the sweetest way you can imagine...
So here's what we're to watch for and the scenarios that may play out in the next six weeks:
1. If we see raised pumps -like pimples - on his gums, that's bad. The tooth is infected and has to be pulled.
2. The tooth may discolor and do one of two things: 1) get darker and stay dark or 2) get darker and darker then lighten up. If it stays dark, the tooth is dead. At that point, we can have it pulled and let Jack sport a look that would make his hockey-playing uncles quite proud or we can have the inside of the tooth sucked out and some sort of white coloring placed on the outside of the tooth. Or, if it darkens and then lightens up, the tooth is fine and will proceed just as all his other baby teeth do.
So we're in a holding pattern for the next six weeks. His diet doesn't need to chance much; we're just to avoid giving him foods that need biting with his front teeth. And the doctor said to try to avoid him encountering further injury. The tooth is very weak and will likely not survive another accident. Super...my only option there is to wrap my son in heavy duty bubble wrap each morning, and send him out on his way. This IS Jack Martin we're talking about! LOL! I'm seriously considering getting one of those helmets that young children wear to fix their oddly-shaped heads. Perhaps that will help, I dunno...That and a lot of prayers; a lot of prayers.
After Jack fell asleep last night, I snuggled under the covers next to him, cupped his face in my hands and took in his sweet toddler smell. I cried for like the fourteenth time that day, and asked God to keep him safe.
And today, we're working on demonstrating the word, "walk." And we survived playgroup, which was a huge success. Anything that involves a playset, bats and balls, and several other toddles is typically a huge risk.
So, that was my Mother's Day... a difficult, but tender reminder of what's most important in life...our children - the very best blessings, our loved ones, and being there for each other to help out when things are tough.
I am so thankful my mom was here this weekend; she kept Lucy and Connor occupied while Jason and I dealt with Jack at church. My sweet friends Dawn, Robert, and Allison stayed by our side for at least an hour while we were at church trying to figure out what to do. Dawn dropped everything and went to the store to buy Jack some pain medicine and popsicles. And Jason was a dependable teammate through the entire ordeal, reminding me several times that everything would be okay. And it will; everything will be just fine...