May 24, 2012

Our Recent Medical/Dental Interventions and a Healthy Dose of Perspective

Wow, what a month!  I'm not sure where to begin.

I mentioned in Jason's birthday post that he and I had gone on a date without  our children on Friday evening.  When we arrived home, we were greeted with a moaning boy who was trying to stabilize a swollen left arm with an ice pack while trying to play games on the baby sitter's cell phone with his other arm.  It turns out that Garrett and Spencer had been climbing in the cherry tree (something they do often), when Garrett fell and reached out to catch himself.  The landing was hard.  With only thirty minutes until closing time, we thought it best to get  him to the instacare for a quick x-ray.

The diagnosis was a buckle fracture of the arm, just above the wrist.  He was given a splint and a token to purchase a ninja from the toy dispenser in the lobby, and we had instructions to have his pediatrician put a cast on early during the next week.

Tuesday of the next week, Garrett had an early morning appointment with the dentist to have a cavity filled, and then I was to take Ella to her 15-month well check.  The pediatrician allowed me to schedule Garrett's appointment for a cast on that same visit.  Unfortunately, the medicine used for sedation for the cavity turned him into an agitated, aggressive demon child.  I brought him into the doctor's office screaming, fist flinging, slapping, and  hair pulling. It was not pretty.  After checking Ella, the doctor recommended that we not cast Garrett until the following day because he did not think it was a good idea to do it until the affects of the medicine wore off.  He didn't think I'd appreciate being hit by a hard cast on a flailing and out of control arm.  

I was frustrated and reduced to tears as I thought of having to make an additional trip to the office during the next day when I was supposed to be making and delivering fifty chocolate cupcakes to the elementary school for teacher appreciation week. Deep breaths!  Now take demon child home.

Well, I made the cupcakes that evening and handed them off to someone else to deliver instead. Jason stayed home from work Wednesday morning to take Garrett to get his cast on and allowed me to go get a much needed Zumba workout in.  I was now recharged and ready to take Brevin and Spencer to the dentist in the afternoon to have teeth pulled and impressions made for retainers.

Well, there's his shiny, new cast.  (Please excuse the fact
that he is wearing the same shirt as he was on the day he
broke his arm.  In my defense, there was a laundry
cycle between the two days..I think.)

Yes, those are Spencer's teeth in his hands.  Ouchy!

Brevin got off a little easier this time.

Two weeks after Garrett broke his arm, Ella was climbing on a chair in the kitchen and tipped it over backwards.  She had been holding onto the chair back, and as it hit the floor, her fingers were crushed and she severed a piece of her left ring finger.  We gathered the tiny piece of flesh with nail bed intact and put it on ice.  We then rushed to the emergency room to see what, if anything, could be done to salvage the fingertip.

After five hours at the hospital, Ella had been ex-rayed, given a shot of local anesthetic to the hand, examined, sedated, had the tip and nail sewn back on, and was given a bright pink dressing on her hand.  We left with prescriptions to ease pain and prevent infection and with an optimistic outlook for healing.  The finger had been broken, the skin and tip would die but would act as a nice, natural "band-aid" to cover the exposed bone, and the nail matrix was still intact, so a nail could still grow.  We will just have to wait and see what the long-term cosmetic effect will be, but I am assured that everything is made better in this situation by the fact that Ella is a baby with great capacity for physical growth and healing. The bad news--it happens to be her left ring finger.

This was taken just two days after her fall.  Isn't she sweet!

I couldn't bring myself to take any initial photos of Ella's finger, but as it healed,
I was amazed how much better it looked with each passing day. 
I decided I should start chronicling the healing process.  Here it is at two weeks.

So, here is where I gained a healthy dose of perspective with these recent events: 

In just a matter of seconds, a life can be forever altered.  In our family's case, we were fortunate that things were not worse...much, much worse. 

I cringe to think how quickly I loose focus on the things that are most important and how quickly I become consumed with those things that are not.  These incidents served as gentle reminders to set me back on track (I don't want to have to have any more of the harsh reminders; I've had a few of those before).  Life is good, so enjoy it!

Also, with Garrett and Ella's accidents occurring in such a short time frame, I felt to confront my inadequacies as a mother. I even entertained the thought, Why can't I keep my children safe and free from harm or injury?  And then it dawned on me.  I can't. And I am not supposed to.  I need to accept that my children, at times, will become victims to the consequences of their own choices, others choices, and things that are completely out of their control...and mine.  I can do everything I can to help prepare and prevent, and I will do everything I can to comfort and assist in the healing process.  I will stay calm during the emergencies, I will fill prescriptions and make children take disgusting medicine (I'll try to hide it in their food and drinks if I have to), I will take them to follow-up appointments, and get up in the night several times to hold them when they awake in a fit of discomfort.  I will clean and dress wounds, apply needed ointments, and try to refit a cast that has slipped off a bit.  I will even deal with plastic bag barriers at bath times.  Of course I will be able to accomplish all of this because of help and support from my amazing husband, extended family, friends, and my sweet visiting teachers.

Likewise, my Savior, Jesus Christ, doesn't always prevent me from becoming victim to the consequences of my own choices, others choices, and things that are completely out of my control.  But He does everything to help me prepare and prevent, and He is everything in comforting and assisting in the healing process.  I've learned that the human body is extremely resilliant and with proper care, can be mended.  I feel the human spirit is just as resillient and capable of mending.  I just have to be sure to go to the Master Physician.

All is well at the Park household.  All is well.

This post authored by Amber


Pickle said...

love this post, thanks for wonderful reminder! Ill have to re read it again!

Karen said...

I will never complain again. Never. You've been through the mill this month and have braved it all very well.

Bri Olson said...

Amber, I am not sure what to say. Other than first, I am sorry about Ella and Garrett getting hurt. And second, that was simply a beautiful reminder of what matters most. And a deeply spiritual analogy draw between life's unexpected ups and downs, and the Lord consistent love, healing power and comfort. Thank you. It was exactly what I needed.

Noell said...

Great post Amber! You are a wonderful mother and don't ever think differently :) Kids will be kids and like you said, will learn from their choices. Your kids are so smart and beautiful, I have no doubt that they will turn out just fine!

Heather Child said...

You guys have been through it this last little while haven't you? Thank you for the lovely post and reminder of what is most important!