Monday, March 27, 2017

Brooke in Stitches

Sometimes, people will ask me what I do all day as a stay-at-home Mom. This question makes me chuckle a bit because I always feel like I stay busier than what I'd like to! Just keeping up with the housework, laundry, and cooking for a family of six is a job, but when you factor in the appointments, errands, play dates, and oh, spending time with my kids, it's sometimes difficult to feel like I have enough hours in the day!

I try to pay close attention to how many activities I plan in a day because it's easy to put too much on our plates and end up cranky and stressed out (both myself and the children). I stay very aware of how hard I'm pushing the children, but sometimes we end up with an overly full day despite my best efforts. Wednesday, March 8th was one of those days.

After taking Brianna to school, Chris took Brenson for his Kindergarten enrollment. As soon as they returned from that, I went and checked Brianna out of school early to take her and Brenson to their well checks with their pediatrician (Chris followed with the twins). It takes us 45 minutes to drive to our pediatrician's office, and by the time the appointments were over, it was time for lunch. We grabbed a quick bite out as a family, then Chris headed to work for the rest of the day. I drove home with the children, and got home in time for a short nap. After nap time was over, I did homework with Brianna and got everyone ready for Bible study that evening. We ate dinner at home and went to Bible study like we always do on Wednesday evenings.

Bible study is over around 8:00pm, so Wednesdays are always a "late" night out for our family. By the time we get home, it's generally 8:30pm-ish, so a full hour past when we typically begin our bedtime routine. This night, Bible study had ended, and we were getting our things collected to leave for home. We attend a small church, so our kids and their friends will often go and play after services until we call them to leave. Chris and I were visiting - as we often do - while the kids were down the hall playing when we heard Brooke cry out. Chris was the first to go toward the crying, and he startled me when he screamed out when he saw Brooke.

He called for me, but as soon as I saw Brooke I turned around and said, "I can't do blood!" Her mouth was bleeding badly, and Chris's hand was also covered in blood. My brother-in-law, Russ, went to help Chris with Brooke while I collected all the other children. They were all kind of worked up, but Brecklyn especially was anxious. I asked them all what happened, but none of them (including my niece) could really tell me at that time.

We did figure out later after looking at Brooke's injury and talking to the kids more that Brooke tripped and fell into the metal door frame of one of the classrooms at the church building. This is what the kids told us after they calmed down, and Brooke's injury and blood trail was consistent with this.

Chris and Russ determined that Brooke would need stitches in her mouth and lip, so we quickly came up with a plan. We decided to take Brianna, Brenson, and Brecklyn to my sister's house to stay while Chris and I took Brooke to the ER. By the time we grabbed an ice pack for Brooke, loaded everyone up, dropped them off with my sister, and started driving to the ER, it was nearly 9:00pm. 

We decided to take Brooke to an ER that is about 15 minutes from where my sister lives. We figured it would be a quick in-and-out thing because while she definitely needed stitches, we didn't feel like her wound was too bad. 

We didn't have to wait long in the ER waiting room, thankfully! Brooke was sober, but not crying or fussing at all during our wait. 

Once all the blood was cleaned off the wound, it didn't look nearly as scary!

You can, however, see why she needed a few stitches. 

She was kind of over the ice pack, but being a trooper!

Brooke is a Daddy's girl through-and-through, so it wasn't long until she wanted only Daddy to hold her.

After just about 15 minutes, we were called back to triage where they took Brooke's vital signs.

Shortly after that, we were put in a room to wait for the doctor.

Brooke was fascinated with her bracelet. She wasn't really smiling or talking, but she kept holding it up for us to see.

After about 15 minutes in our room, the ER doctor came in to examine Brooke's mouth. The doctor determined it was a "full thickness laceration", and felt it would be best for us to go to a Pediatric ER about 30 minutes away so that Brooke could be "put under anesthesia" for the stitches. Obviously, this isn't what we wanted to hear, but we remembered well when Bren was two years old and had stitches in his lip. We took him to a local Urgent Care where it took five people to hold him still enough for the doctor to stitch him up while he flailed, thrashed, and screamed. It was a terrible experience and certainly not one we were interested in repeating!

The ER transferred all our paperwork for us and discharged us. It took a while for all of that to happen, so it was after 10:00pm before we left the first hospital to head toward the pediatric ER. We arrived at the pediatric ER just before 11:00pm. In the meantime, we received a text from Russ with this picture. Brianna and Brenson were in bed, but Brecklyn and Chloe Jo were still trying to wind down from all the excitement :-).
Brecklyn did eventually go to sleep, thankfully. 

Brooke was still doing great. She was visibly tired, but not crying or fussing at all. When we arrived at the pediatric ER, the place was packed out with sick kids. I told Chris I didn't even want to walk in that waiting room! Thankfully, we were called back to triage and then to a room fairly quickly, so we didn't have to spend much time with all the sickies. The nurses at this ER gave Brooke a wet piece of gauze to hold in her mouth to keep the wound moist since it was getting to be hours from when the injury occurred. 

Once we were in a room, we waited and waited and waited. This was easily the most exhausting part of the night! Brooke was done with the gauze and the ice packs. We were all tired and just wanting to go home. Brooke did fall asleep for about 45 minutes, but she didn't stay asleep long as she was obviously beginning to feel a lot of pain.

By now it was after 1:00am, we still hadn't seen a doctor, and Daddy was crashed out :-). Brooke was kept entertained by Elmo on Daddy's phone while Mommy watched some TV. I did change Brooke out of her bloody shirt because it was nasty.

FINALLY, at around 1:30am, the doctor came to look at Brooke's mouth and lip. This doctor determined that the other doctor was a little dramatic in her assessment of the wound, and that a little sedation and topical anesthesia would be sufficient. We were thankful to hear this and to finally be moving toward getting her stitched up so we could go HOME.

About 15 minutes after the doctor left our room, a nurse came in with pain meds for Brooke. We were thankful for her to get a little relief. The meds were administered as a nasal spray, and Brooke took it like a champ. She didn't whimper or flinch at all! The nurse was surprised at how chill she was about it. Ten minutes after receiving the pain meds, the nurse came back with another nasal spray to sedate Brooke a bit. It took about 20 minutes for this med to take effect, but when it did we were quite entertained, haha! Brooke's speech was super slurry, her balance was off, and her eyes looked like she was feeling goooooooood.

At around 2:30am, the doctor and two nurses came in the room to finally stitch up Brooke's mouth and lip. They swaddled her in a blanket, and she laid there as calm as could be while the doctor put three stitches on the outside of her lip and two stitches on the inside of her mouth. Brooke was awake and watching the doctor closely, but she was SO chill during the entire procedure.

Afterwards, her mouth looked GREAT!

 Five stitches and ready to go home!

We were discharged from the hospital and started for home at around 3:00am. Things were great until the sedation began to wear off. We couldn't believe how crazy Brooke was acting at that point! It was a 45 minute drive to our house from the hospital, and Brooke screamed, sang, giggled, raged, yelled, kicked, flailed, and talked the entire time. At one point, she was screaming at the top of her lungs, then started right into singing the ABCs. I've never seen her acting so crazy!

Because of this, Chris dropped Brooke and me off at our house before going to get our other children from my sister's house. I wanted a chance to hopefully get her settled before the other kids got home. Her raging and crazy acting continued for about 20 minutes after we got home, but she did finally settle down and go to sleep. Chris got home with the other children just after 4:00am, and we fell into bed!

Just a {very} short hour and 45 minutes later, Brenson was up and ready to go for the day! Brooke was fussy but still sleeping, so Chris laid in bed with her while I got Brianna ready for school and attempted to keep up with Brenson and Brecklyn. After dropping Brianna off at school, Bren, Brecklyn, and I went and picked up meds for Brooke then grabbed breakfast out. I didn't want to risk waking Brooke and Chris after the super late night we'd had! 

Chris and Brooke got up around 10:00am, and Chris headed to work for the day. Brooke was a little cranky, but doing okay. We were instructed to feed her a soft diet only, so for lunch she had some yogurt and some smashed up macaroni and cheese. However, when I went to clean her up after eating, I noticed that several of her stitches were missing! I immediately called Chris to come home and look at her mouth. 

Sure enough, he agreed that four out of five of the stitches were out. We called our pediatrician's office to see what we needed to do, and were told that she would need to be seen by someone and have the stitches put back in. Unfortunately, only two doctors in the practice (one of which is our doctor) does stitches, and they were both out of the office for the day. We were advised to take her to a pediatric Urgent Care immediately. As we were getting her ready to go, we received a call from an ER nurse following up with us about our visit. She also advised that we take Brooke back in. 

We checked Brianna out of school early and took Brooke in to Urgent Care only to be told that there was nothing they could do. We were pretty frustrated with this! The Urgent Care doc said that since it had been more than 12 hours since the injury happened, no good doctor would put those stitches back in. We understood that, but we were frustrated because WHY couldn't someone tell us that over the phone?!? We had wasted part of our afternoon, and we were SOOOOO tired from the night before. AND, I was super sad because I felt like Brooke would be left with an ugly scar. 

Thankfully, we were able to get a good night's rest that night, and things didn't seem so bad in the morning. I'm so glad I didn't know at the time that we had a stomach bug and the flu coming our way very soon :-). But, that's for another post! 

It's been several weeks since this happened, and Brooke's mouth is looking great! It's not going to scar nearly as bad as I had feared. 

Twelve days after the injury, and Brooke's mouth is healing well!

We were definitely sad that our girl had to have stitches, but thankful that it has healed so well for her! 

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