Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Inspirations April 4, 2010

I hardly know how to begin today's post. Some of you have heard the basics of yesterday's adventure, one I'm still attempting to wrap my head around. Before I go into detail, take a moment to think about the people in your life you love, yet have a habit of taking for granted. Their constant presence in your life, no matter how precious you remember them to be, can end up becoming commonplace. They are always there, so there's no need to think about them not being there. Only when something threatens the commonplace do we remember what makes them so special.

Yesterday morning started out almost as usual. I say almost because it was General Conference Saturday, meaning my hubby was working and I was preparing to listen to the words of religious leaders which were being televised. My oldest had called her grandparents to see if she could spend the day with them, and had planned on riding her brother's scooter over to the house. About halfway there road construction had blocked off the pedestrian access and M found herself needing to return home. I was certainly surprised to see her walk through the front door, and when she told me why I promised to drive her over as soon as I finished something.

My back had been turned when I heard her say, "Mom, I feel weird." I turned to see what was going on. At first it looked as though she had tripped over a little stool, legs folding up beneath her. Only when my eyes flicked up to M's face did I realize something was really wrong. Her face went blank, her head fell back against a box I had in the corner, and she began twitching.

I screamed her name. Over and over again I screamed her name. I took her wrists in mine to minimize her movement so she wouldn't fall off the box and onto the floor. Her eyes stared at me, but didn't see me. The pupils were so small almost all I could see was their beautiful blue, and into my mind came the frantic thought, "Will this be the last time I see these blue eyes?"

I had no reason to believe she wasn't having a seizure. It lasted somewhere between 10-15 seconds - an eternity. I couldn't stop sobbing, repeating her name over and over. Her three siblings had come in behind me, though I was not aware of their presence. Nothing existed for me but those beautiful blue eyes. Just as quickly as it had began, she came out of it. Her eyes returned to normal, her body relaxed, and as consciousness returned she asked, "What happened?"

Only then did I see the blood in her mouth. Something else was in there, though I couldn't tell just what as it was covered in blood. I thought it might be foam, then when she started talking funny I thought she might have bitten through her tongue. It took several seconds before we both realized it was one of her teeth. Somehow she had ripped one of her permanent teeth right out of the gums, which were bleeding profusely.

I can't imagine what it must have been like to "wake up" to the sight of her panicked mother, not knowing what was going on, and having an intense pain in her mouth. We got her situated on the couch (a no-no, I realize now) and through my muddled and frantic mind came the distinct thought, "Call 911." I did. It didn't take long for the paramedics to appear. Our little living room was suddenly crowded with all sorts of portable machines and official looking men. J and A stayed around, asking lots of questions to some very patient men.

I began looking around for B, and caught sight of him on the top bunk in his room. Though I ached to see if he was okay, I was needed in the living room to answer lots of questions about what had happened. The men took M's blood pressure and pulse rate, both a little high but expected considering what she'd just went through. They had her finish pulling out the tooth so she wouldn't swallow it, then had me wrap it in a damp paper towel. She wasn't thrilled when they took her blood sugar, and I can't blame her for hating the experience when I saw the mighty bruise left behind.

At last they finished, confident she was okay for the time being. One guy kept asking me what I wanted to do, and I couldn't help thinking, "I'm the one having the crazy experience here and you want me to think clearly?!?!?!?!" I asked for their opinion, and together we decided she wasn't bad enough to go to the hospital, that instead I'd call her doctor and see what he said. The men collected their belongings, said goodbye to the children, and left.

My first thought was to call our dentist. The sweet man doesn't work on Saturday but was happy to meet us at the office to see if there was any chance we could save the tooth. It would take him about 45 minutes to get there, so in the meantime I called the doctor.

As the medical assistant asked questions we came to realize M hadn't had a seizure at all. Sometimes when a child faints he/she will twitch, and will even keep the eyes open. This is precisely what happened. Had it been a seizure she would have been unconscious or "out of it" for a good half hour at least. Instead she was instantly alert, as might happen with a fainting spell. Our best guess was she'd been dehydrated, and then had overexerted herself with the hurried ride home on the scooter. It didn't help that she'd recently had a bit of a cold.

Only when we'd figured all this out did I finally call my husband to tell him what had happened. I hated doing so, as I knew he'd be torn between staying at work and coming home, but I knew he needed to stay at work as it was an important and very busy time. After assuring him we were getting things taken care of, and that my crying was not an indication of me going into hysterics, we said goodbye.

My incredible sister-in-law came over to watch the other kids while I took M off to the dentist, who had told me to put the tooth in lukewarm water with a tiny pinch of salt. It was a little weird sitting with my daughter, looking at her permanent tooth (which has a wickedly long root to it!), wondering if it would go back in. My daughter has such a beautiful smile. I couldn't imagine it being marred by such a bizarre experience.

Not until the shots were being administered to numb up her mouth did I realize it had been so many years since she'd had a cavity M didn't remember what the experience was like. I think it sort of alarmed her just as much as the thought of having the tooth put back in. Dr. B was great. He managed to glue the tooth back into place by 'cementing' it between the two surrounding teeth. We'll find out tomorrow if our wayward tooth decided to bond back into place, or if we'll have to go another route.

Needless to say this experience shook us all up. On the way home we stopped by 7-11 to get M a big ol' Gatorade to help with the dehydration, and she began opening up about what happened right before she'd fainted. It happened so fast, with such little warning. She began to feel lightheaded, and felt a funny tingling appeared around her chest. Then everything went blank. The next thing she knew I was crying out her name.

We managed to survive the rest of the day. She bounced back fairly quickly while taking it easy, calling a few of her friends to tell them about her adventure. I tried to lose myself in listening to the second session of Conference while trying to get a few things done around the house like dishes and more laundry, all the while periodically bursting into tears. Every chance I got my daughter was taken into my arms and told how much she was loved. The moment her dad came home she was in his arms as well.

As I put the other three to bed that night, each sibling had to tell M goodnight, and that they loved her. That's when I found out why B was on top of the bunk bed during all the commotion. He was so scared something might happen to her he went immediately into his room to pray for his big sister. Words cannot express what this action not only meant to me, but to M as well.

That night she was scared to go to sleep, afraid she might not wake up. Because daddy had to go to work early again I took her into bed with me, where we read until she felt tired enough to just drop off.

Of course, she woke up just fine this morning :)

Over the last two days I couldn't stop thinking about my daughter, who has lived in our home for more than a decade. Her presence is a blessing in our lives, though sometimes we as her parents sometimes become more focused on the wrong things. It took the tiny possibility of losing her yesterday to recognize just how empty this house would be without her here. Even her siblings couldn't stop talking about all the good stuff she does for them and with them. Though I try to tell my children several times a day just how much I love them, it truly took an experience like this to remind me of why.


Momma Ellen said...

I'm so glad she's okay. What an experience. I love you guys!

Herbie said...

So happy M is recovered. Give her a big hug from me.
Big bro' Herb'.

Lisa said...

Oh my! That's incredibly scary and yet I'm soooo glad everything is okay.

Just_Jennie said...

I am glad that she is okay and that B has been taught by some incredible parents to pray - what a great response! (((HUGS))) I'm sure that was a very scary experience. Glad she is doing well and it wasn't too serious!