One tough week for my kid

This was Caden yesterday, early afternoon, when I picked him up from his last day of baseball camp up at the U of U. (pic taken with my Blackberry)

This is him roughly 5 hours later with a scary laceration above his lip. Let me tell you how much I want to cry when I see this picture. And this is on top of a week where he got hit in the back of his head with a bat at baseball camp. Nothing scarier than feeling an indent in the back of your son’s head and having him checked out for a concussion. Scary stuff, let me tell you.

Yesterday, I ended up working from home but almost taking the day off as my throat was killing me and I had body aches which led me to worry if I wasn’t getting some sort of summer flu thanks to our crazy yo-yo weather. Caden was home from baseball camp and like every kid during summer time, wanted to spend the afternoon outdoors with local neighborhood kids, riding bikes, playing games, kicking a soccer ball. No problemo. I just told him, “Stay close to our house and if you decide to go to a friend’s house to play inside, call me.” I headed upstairs for what I hoped would be a calming, late afternoon nap to cure me of my aches and pains.

I had maybe been lying down for 30 minutes when I heard somebody bang on my door. BAM-BAM-BAM! Oh great, I thought. It’s one of Caden’s friends and I am so tired…maybe I just won’t answer it…BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM!! The banging became more pronounced, more urgent, and suddenly I could hear some crying. My mother instincts kicked into high gear. Is that Caden? Why is he crying??

I flew down the stairs, opened up the front door, and standing on the front porch were two 12 year old boys from our neighborhood, standing side by side next to Caden who was covering his mouth with both hands. And his hands were dripping blood. Blood all down his arms, all over his pants, all over his shirt, oozing between his fingers. I panicked.

“What happened?!?!” I gasped as I reached for him. The boys started to explain that they were out playing and another kid was just playing around, picked him a rock, threw it on the ground and it ricocheted off the dirt and came back and hit Caden in the face. In the face. I moved Caden’s hands (all the while trying not to throw up and pass out from all the blood) and immediately saw a huge, gaping hole above his lip that led me to exclaim, “Oh my gosh!! I have to take you to the hospital NOW!”

Caden started to sob, the boys kept apologizing, saying it was an accident and that they would bring his bike back (“Thank you. Can you just set it on our front porch for me?”), and I proceeded to run around my house grabbing a towel for his face, a hat for my crazy hair, and my insurance card.

I took him to the Bountiful instacare first since it was closer than driving all the way up to Primary’s. At first glance, I wondered if they would be able to fix it but if not, they could at least help numb it and clean it a bit before we headed up there. A nurse came out and began numbing him which for some reason made me quite woozy – and it was just a topical gel! Not a needle! So I had to lie down for a few minutes to not pass out. The nurse also took him to a wash room and helped clean him up because the blood everywhere was clearly getting to me. I felt so awful and helpless; I HATE that blood affects me the way it does!! The doctor saw him shortly and recommended we take him up to Primary Children’s Hospital because his cut was so very deep – all the way through his mouth – and they are experts at stitching cut kids. Off we went, up to the hospital to close the gap in his face.

I had called my mom to tell her what had happened and being the smart woman she is and knowing my adverse reactions to needles and blood, she met me in going up to Primary’s just in case I got too woozy. And just to be there for fabulous moral support. Thanks, Mom!!

This is him at Instacare right before we headed up to Primary’s. Notice the lovely blood-stained pants. Yeah…just looking at it makes me get a little lightheaded.

At Primary’s, they have how to treat and deal with hurt children down to an art. It’s a beautiful thing to watch and observe, how they can make a scared little boy who is terrified to get stitches be calm and comfortable. Too many people I know and love can attest to their wonderful bedside mannerisms and sheer professionalism in the face of tragedy and uncertainty. I appreciated the fact that when the doctor (Dr. Nadesh?? I think…) came in to talk to Caden, he was extremely calm and explained that there would be “No surprises. We’re going to tell you what we’re doing before we’re doing it so you don’t have to worry, okay? And we want to make sure you’re comfortable so if you feel any kind of pain at all, you raise your hand and we’ll help make it stop, okay? And it’s okay to be scared, pal, it is. But your mom and your grandma are right here and they will watch out for you, make sure we do a good job.”

And a good job they did. The worst part was the Lidocaine shots he had to get because he required three levels of stitches to close the cut – on the inside of his mouth, a few subdermal stitches, and finally on the top. Once he was numb he was so brave! My mom read a few stories aloud while they stitched away and it really brought another level of calm into the room. When it was all done, the nurse practitioner who sewed him up started to show me the inside of Caden’s mouth and that’s when I could feel myself start to get all woozy again. I lost color and pretty soon I was the one lying down on a bed with a Coke, cheese, and crackers to help me out. Shoot. I hate that.

Oh my poor, poor boy. You were very courageous and you stuck it out. But I want to just die when I see something like that on your face. I’m hoping and praying it doesn’t scar too much, that it will heal nicely and this will just be a distant memory long into the future. Yet it just makes me sick to my stomach to see his perfect, charming, angelic little face swollen and marred by stitching. I had to remind myself late last night and this morning that it was very fortunate that his eyes weren’t hit, his nose wasn’t broken, his teeth knocked out. There really were more terrifying scenarios that could have taken place so a few stitches is really low on the totem pole of distress. But it still breaks my heart.

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6 comments

  1. Natalie · June 13, 2008

    Yikes! I guess the horrors of Friday the 13th are extending to neighboring days as well. Sorry, buddy! I hope you don’t end up having two mouths, or a third nostril.

  2. amanda · June 13, 2008

    Oh, I’m so sorry! There is nothing worse than your children being hurt. We’ve been to Primary’s for everything ranging from amputations to surgeries to broken bones. They are pros and really make the whole process much better. Man, though; that Caden is one cute kid!

  3. Susan · June 13, 2008

    That really stinks about the stitches! The good thing is that kids heal a lot faster and better than we do in our old age! See you soon!

  4. whitney · June 17, 2008

    That post made me woozy! I hope he is doing better. Did you know that mouths heal really fast? Primary’s is so good, I agree.

  5. Julie · July 18, 2009

    Hi, I’m Julie from England. I have just recently been through a similar trauma with my 18 month daughter who ran in front of a swing and got hit by her 5 year old brother in the mouth. I saw it happen and let me tell you I am still having flashbacks of the swing hitting her full force in the face. The scar looks very similar to your sons. I, like you am grateful she wasn’t killed or has brain damage etc but I am broken hearted about my angels little face as it will leave a scar. If you have a recent picture of you son post it on the net as I would feel comfort seeing him all healed properly so I can imagine what my little girl will look like. I have looked on the net for scars before and after not much around, this is how I found your website. The accident happened a week ago and plastics have done a fine job on her upper lip. Thanks for posting this. Kids bring us such happiness and so much worry as we love them so much. Bye Julie.

  6. angelbrew · July 22, 2009

    Julie, thanks so much for leaving your nice comment! I should give you some hope that the scar will fade a bit in time. It has been just over a year now since this happened and Caden’s face gets better and better all the time. We do put Mederma for Kids on the scar to help it heal and fade and it seems to be doing a bang up job. I hope that your daughter’s will heal just as well, too. Look for a picture of Caden coming soon where you can see him up close to see how it’s come along so far. Best wishes for you and your daughter.

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