Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh, the Horror! - First Major Ouchie

As the mom of twin boys learning to walk, I am accustomed to bumps, bruises, scratches, and the accompanying screams.  The guys bonk their heads on the ground an on each other's heads, they bonk themselves and each other in the face with their toys, they climb on each other and take things from each other.  Little scratches and the occasional red mark or light bruise is kind of par for the course at this point in our family's life.  This morning, however, K had his first actual injury.

It is not serious.  He is totally fine, and did not even require a call to the doc.  I would like, however, to share with you the events AS I SAW THEM as they were happening.

The boys are happily crawling around the entryway, exploring the tile floor.  The electric receptacle has been covered and the coat rack is secured to the wall.  The laundry room is blocked off with a baby gate.  The room is 'safe.'  Suddenly, a sharp cry from K.  It sounds harsher than the usual I-fell-while-crawling-and-bumped-my-forehead cry.  I leap from the sofa where I had been on hold with health insurance, dropping my phone on the floor so the battery falls out (again) and pulling something in the back of my knee.  I drop down in front of K, who is lying face down on the floor next to the baby gate.  He must have been trying to pull to standing and fell harder than usual.  I didn't predict that. 

Cursing myself, I pick him up to discover blood gushing from his mouth and a huge puddle of bright red blood on the floor!  I hold him close as blood soaks my shirt.  I need to look at him, but I comfort him first.  I need a wet cloth.  Run to the kitchen.  Wait.  I don't want to use a dishrag.  Should I get gauze from the bathroom?  No, too far.  Run to the living room, grabbing a clean burp cloth.  Meanwhile, K has stopped crying.  He is not unconscious, but has calmed from the action.  This is good, right?  If he was seriously hurt, he wouldn't be so easily consolable, right?  I hope his tooth isn't broken.  He worked so hard for that tooth.

I stop in the living room to check on H.  He has found the dog's squeaky toy and is happily munching away on it.  Ignoring the 'Ick' factor, I am thrilled to see his is safe and happy to amuse himself for the moment.  When I stopped moving, K started crying again.  My attention returns to him.  I run to the kitchen, wetting the cloth with cold water.  I clean off his face, and let him chew on the cold wet cloth.  Red blooms of blood appear on the cloth.  How much blood has he swallowed?  Can't that make him sick? 

We sit in the rocker and he allows me to have a brief look at him.  His teeth, while bloody, appear to be in tact.  Phew!  Is it his gums that are bleeding?  I can't tell.  I alternate between holding him close, swabbing the fountain of blood, and looking for the source of the bleeding.I tart to notice the swelling on his top lip.  Crap.  Swelling.  I look, and sure enough, I can see where his brand new teeth have cut his lip.  Will Motrin stop the swelling?  Can I give him painkillers, or should I wait in case  we go to the doc? 

The big question, of course, is whether I need to take him to Emergency.  He's swelling.  He's bleeding.  I'm starting to freak.  H has started with sympathy crying, so I must put K down for a moment to placate H.  He is relatively happy in his walker.  Back to K.  I get a grip on myself.  What would they do at the ER?  Give stitches if he needs them.  Does he?  No.  The cut is not large or deep and has pretty much stopped bleeding.  Is the swelling dangerous to him?  No.  His lip is getting puffy but it's not like his throat is swelling.  Is he inconsolable, like the pain is overwhelming?  Does he seem dizzy or out of it like he bonked his head too hard?  No.  At this point, he does not seem to feel much differently from how he feels on a bad teething day.  I give him some Motrin, and rock him for a while.  He falls asleep.  I put him down in his crib, hooking up his apnea monitor just to be safe.  I play with H for a while until he, too goes to sleep. 

I then go to address the blood in the house.  I go to the entry, prepared to mop up a pool of blood.  There is nothing there -- just some drool.  I go to change my bloody shirt.  There is a tiny spot of blood on my shoulder, but mostly the shirt is just damp from the wet cloth.  Could I possibly have exaggerated the situation in my mind?  Is his injury possibly not that bad?

As I sit typing this, K and H are climbing around on the pillows I set on the floor for them.  K has taken a bottle and his lip didn't seem to bother him at all.  It is a bit puffy, but not even swollen enough to show up in the photos I tried to take to send to Hubby.  Looking at him now, it seems ludicrous that just a couple of hours ago I was considering loading everyone up and taking them to the hospital!

Ahh, mommyhood.  How you color my vision of the world.

Here's something to make your toes curl, though:  Upon further inspection, it appears he tore that little flap of skin that connects your top lip to your gums. [shudder, blech!] 

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