Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hyperbole in the Vacterl age

As the readers of our carepage know, Brody fell Monday night. He fell about 2 minutes after I arrived at his school to pick him up, and he fell while I was filling out a form to order some pictures of him.

I saw him when his teacher brought him out to the main lobby area of the school. He had blood everywhere. And he was crying in a spine scratching way that was not normal, not scared, not mad, but this visceral keening cry that scared the hell out of me.

I reached for him, and tried to calm him. He would try to talk but more blood came out of his mouth.

The first thing I examined when the teacher said he fell was the arm with the pin in it (right arm). No blood, no pin sticking out.

Then I went to his mouth, and dread already rising, I saw his teeth. And they looked not right. Aside from the 1/2 inch gash on his lip, his teeth were rearranged.

It made me nauseous to look at it. I put his head on my shoulder again until he was quiet.

I called Jeremy to see where he was. Something I learned - if I can't explain it in a calm manner to Jeremy, it's bad.

At this point, it was after 6pm. Dentist closed. Pediatrician closed but talked to a triage nurse who said we had to go to the emergency room.

At that point, Brody was calm. Talking, laughing. He drank a whole bottle of milk.

We were not. I went to the ER, but Jeremy stayed home because he had promised his boss something the next morning. J sent me a long, sweet text about how it would be alright.

Then an hour later he wrote asking me to tell him what was going on because he was very upset and couldn't concentrate and couldn't work.

The short story on the front tooth is it's still shoved halfway into B's gumline, swollen, and he doesn't like me touching it but he can eat and laugh and play. It's not loose. We went to the dentist, and he said wait and see. It might fall out, it might not.

The real issue is....this threw us for a loop. I say US because usually one or the other of us, J and me, balance each other out. I comfort him when he freaks out, and he comforts me when I freak out. We each have our pressure points. Mine is the kidney. J's was the head. We go back and forth on B's hands and arms.

You'd think after 11 surgeries and living for 2 1/2 years with a medically complicated child, we wouldn't blink twice at a fractured tooth. A tooth pushed into his gumline? No big deal.

And yet. And yet and yet and yet.

We got home from the ER at a reasonable hour, and Jeremy was desperate to cuddle Brody. Brody was having none of it. Brody, at 9pm, wanted to play hockey and run around the house.

We finally got B to bed, and Jeremy sighed and said, "This just sucks. We can't catch a break."

"I know, but it will be okay. He's fine. There was a lot worse at the ER tonight."

"I know that, but still," J said. "Why is it us? Why this too?"

And the problem is that we weren't balanced. I felt the same way. We had no reasonable person.

And so I've analyzed what, exactly, we were and are feeling. And it's this: we feel like if we have a child who has multiple medical issues, then we should be exempt from all other trauma associated with childhood. It's not nice, and doesn't particularly display us as saintly people, but there it is.

That's why this seemingly innocuous episode affected us so much. We believed - on some elemental level that we didn't even know existed - that we were immune. I wrote at one point that we were not immune from more serious illnesses, like cancer, just because our child has Vacterl. But we never even gave a moment's thought, I mean we just assumed we were immune, from regular, less serious illness and injury.

And the jammed up tooth threw us for a loop.

I felt like an ass being so upset on the carepage. I didn't know how to characterize or express our level of upset over something so common, so ridiculously inconsequential in the universe, as a busted, loose, lost front tooth.

And what pisses me off so much about the entire thing is that I had this same feeling before Brody was born. I assumed I was entitled to a perfect child. I lost 4 other pregnancies, for chrissake. We spent thousands of dollars and years trying to have a child. We were entitled to a perfect one, right?

Wrong. The strange and miraculous thing is, I don't feel that way anymore about Brody. I don't think he is less than perfect. I believe it is an honest to God miracle that he is here, and that the Universe gifted us with him because we are, well, a favorite of sorts with the Universe.

The point being, at one point I did feel this weird karmic entitlement, and so it surprised me that I would not have learned more from that expierence and, well, basically, have my emotional and mental bullshit under better control at this point.

Which is all written to say thusly:

Dear Universe:
I got it now. At least I think.
Please let Brody keep the tooth.
Love,
Me
xoxo

9 comments:

Hef said...

Hugs to you.
Hugs to B.
Hugs to J.

The universe is effing twisted. You deeserve a break. And you deserve the freedom to acknowledge that you deserve a break.

Jacque said...

I hope the universe listens. I agree with you, you have enough to deal with so everything else should fall in line.

My friend's daughter fell and knocked her tooth out last year when she was three. It's a tooth beside of the top two teeth. My friend said she would have rather her daughter broke an arm instead of losing that tooth. It's something she has to look at every day and will for years.

I hope Brody keeps his tooth. ((hugs))

Nicole said...

Aww poor Brody!
I'm so glad he was (mostly) okay though.

What a strong little guy.
:)

Dawn said...

Hugs to you all!! Your feelings are completely normal. I am so sorry Brody was injured. I hope he doesn't lose his tooth.

Tracy said...

I know exactly what you mean. We've delt with so much with Maggie that when the normal, everday stuff happens we just end up feeling like we can't get a break. I mean I should be able to handle it. I have three other daughters that have gone through the normal , everyday , kid ailments. Yet I too, feel that we should have some sort of immunity with Maggie.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way.
Its the same with my husband and I. One pulls up the other when the other is down. But when we are both in a funk its not a good thing.

I wish God would give us VACTERL insurance.

www.caringbridge.org/visit/margaretreed1

SaRaH said...

Dear Universe,

Please let Brody keep his tooth. And while You're at it, a kick ass vacation wouldn't hurt.

love,
Sarah

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think you cannot critique your reaction to things like this. You have been through so much that your reaction to any event has to be bigger, more frantic. Especially given the upcoming surgery. I wish you every good thing you deserve.

Kristin said...

Poor little man!!!!

I agree, Brody should get a break from the normal kiddo injuries and sicknesses!!

I hope that he can keep his tooth and I hope that you guys have an AWESOME vacay!!

Alina said...

Universe, I offer up all of my good karma (except what is needed to keep my family well--go ahead and COVER my house in poop, though) to aid Brody's tooth keeping campaign.

I hope your vacation is everything you hope it will be!