As some of you know, a little over a month ago, Doodle had a fall while at our cousins house. There was quite a lot of blood and we spent 3 hours in the Milton Keynes A&E. The upshot of that was that he had chipped a bit of tooth (a tooth he had already chipped a bit out of a couple of weeks after we first moved here incidentally), cut his gums, frenem, and lip. Fortunately nothing needed stitches and all was likely to heal on his own. A couple of weeks later, just as things were healing up nicely except for a bit of gum still swollen, a lovely child at playgroup hit him in the face with a chair. Not quite as much blood this time, and it turned out to only be coming from his lip but it made me a bit concerned about that still swollen bit of gum. It looked suspiciously like the shape of a tooth, but I was sure I was being paranoid and thought perhaps we should just get it looked at again by the dentist.
I wasn’t being paranoid. Not really what I wanted to hear. It mostly likely is in the shape of a tooth because it most likely is a tooth. His adult tooth appeared to have been dislodged just a bit from that fall. The dentist said it wasn’t really worth the drama of taking x-rays because there’s not much they could do for it anyway. It would either be fine and come down in a few years as it’s meant to, or it would die and they’d take it out once his baby tooth fell out. Only time would tell.
So I’d come to terms with his little tooth-shaped bump when Wednesday happened.
ZuZu and I had been suffering from a cold all week and so my poor little man had been stuck playing around the house and was going a bit stircrazy. So I let him play outside. By himself. I know everyone insists that I not beat myself up over this, that it could have happened even if I’d been right beside him, but I really don’t buy it. Not now anyway. I was on the couch, the backdoor open, I could see most of the patio and yard. But not enough. I heard the fall (which sounded awful on its own) and then the screaming. I wedged ZuZu on the couch and ran out to find my beautiful little boy with blood gushing out of his mouth. Again. His ride on motorbike topple beside him half on and half off the patio steps. He’d tried to ride it down and had bashed his teeth on a brick at the bottom. I got him inside and tried to put a cold wet cloth on his teeth to stop the bleeding but as I realize now that must have been excruciating for him. He had not only pushed his four top front teeth up into his gums but also back into his palate. I called friends to come and stay with ZuZu and the Rocket Scientist to come home from work and take us to the hospital. All the while, sitting on the kitchen floor with my poor son screaming and writhing in pain and bleeding all over the both of us.
Another 4 hour stretch in the A&E. This time we actually were seen by a Maxillary Facial Specialist. Only to tell us we’ll just have to wait and see. Again. If he’d been younger, they could have put him under a general anesthetic and pulled the teeth down and out again, but at this age, his adult teeth are pretty well-formed behind his baby teeth and moving them might cause more damage than just leaving it alone. So all we can do is give him soft food for a couple of weeks while the swelling goes down and the pain subsides, keep his mouth clean and see if anything falls out. The dentist is seeing him every couple of weeks for the next few months to watch for any signs that the teeth are dying. They’ll have to come out right away if that’s the case so they don’t cause any infection in the permanent teeth. They’re going to try to do x-rays next visit to make sure there’s no damage to the bone. I have no idea how that’s going to work.
I think I could have handled a broken arm or something. Sure, painful, traumatic even, but you put a cast on it and it’s protected, in a few weeks it’s over and done with. As it stands, I’m terrified of him falling again while they’re so fragile and finishing them off. Heck, even if he waits until it’s all healed and falls on the again, I don’t know how much more trauma his teeth can take without just giving up and falling out just from the sheer stress of it all!
And I of course, like any good mother, have made this all about me:
If I hadn’t been so lazy I would have been out giving him proper supervision for a 2-year old.
What a horrible mother I am because all I can think is that his beautiful smile is completely munked.
What if I give him a complex and he never smiles in photos again?
When really I should just be thankful that he didn’t crack his head open or take an eye out or that I have a son in the first place and he’s active and adventurous enough to want to be out and playing and pushing his boundaries all the time.
See, I know all that, and I can even type it here with all confidence, but I’m still completely gutted. That it happened. That we won’t really know how bad it is for years yet. That my beautiful child is damaged. That I care that my beautiful child is damaged. That I’m now terrified of him falling again and my heart is in my throat all the time that he’s not sitting quietly (which is of course, all. the. time.). That I may pass on that concern over his looks or that fear and make him less than who he is.
How can I not be cheered by the mere sight of him.