Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rites of Passage-big and small, painful and exciting (and painful)

Yesterday morning I got a call from the school nurse.  The parents who have school-age kids likely clenched a little bit reading that sentence, as a call from the school nurse is never a great sign.

I heard her say "Hi, this is the nurse from Maya's . . . " and then my mom-hearing shifted as my ears found, and locked on, a noise in the background.  Maya was screaming, hysterical.  This is where my stomach dropped.

I heard her say that Maya had an accident at school, that she had fallen, and visions of broken bones flashed through my head.  I was simultaneous relived and sad-for-Maya when the nurse said that she had split her chin open a bit, that it was bleeding and kind of deep and I needed to come in.  I spun around the apartment, kind of frantically gathering snacks, drinks, favorite toys, trying to figure out what I would need to keep us happy (well, as happy as possible) at the hospital.  Once I was in the car I started making phone calls: Dave, the pediatrician, etc.  We decided to go straight to the emergency room (our ped will do simple stitches, but I didn't want to get there and find out that her cut was out of his league.  In retrospect, this was absolutely the right decision, since we ended up needing some major hospital muscle involved.)

Upon reaching the school I was reassured by Maya's happy face.  She was quite content watching cartoons and having lunch with the nurse.  Her teeth and mouth were fine (sigh of relief) and her chin was bandaged.  I learned that she had been walking to the gym at school and just tripped, forgetting to break her fall with her hands and going right down on her chin.  Poor thing.  (Funnily enough, my first set of stitches were in the exact same place, when I was 18 months old or so.  And yes, I said first set.  I've been stitched many-a-time.) 

We got to the ER and were seen pretty quickly.  A numbing gel work its magic as we watched cartoons, and then she got all wrapped up for the numbing shots and stitching (the cut was too wide for glue).  She screamed and screamed and wrestled like an alligator, actually working her way out of the papoose at one point and needing to be re-wrapped.  I sang and told stories and was in charge of her legs, laying across them as I held her hands.  When I initially laid across them the doctor thought I was going to pass out, but I told her that my weakness was my lack of upper body strength, not a queasiness.  I watched the stitches go in (4 of them), learned how to apply the dressing, and we were on our way.  Poor Maya was beyond exhausted.

Here she is this morning, my tough girl:

That's not saran wrap on her chin, it's a plastic adhesive dressing over the gauze and ointment and stitches.

The internal parts of the stitches will dissolve over the next week, and I'll pull any remaining knots next week.  Good times. 

And while yesterday brought Maya through the First Stitches rite-of-passage, I marked a milestone of my own on Monday, albeit a less painful one.  I've registered to attend the ISAAC 2012 conference in July/August, booked my flights and hotel room and everything.  Milestones that will be observed: first AAC conference (actually, first professional meeting that's not related to my actual profession, teaching), first time away from Maya, first time flying while pregnant (eek).  This international conference hasn't been in the US in 12 years, so I'm seizing the opportunity, although I'll likely be kind of big and waddly by that point.  I think that there will be an amazing amount to learn, and I'm really excited to soak up as much as possible.  I'm kind of getting  passionate about AAC related stuff, and every time that I see Maya using different tools and strategies to communicate more effectively, I get more excited and enthusiastic.  I want to learn as much as I can.


Anonymous said...

If Maya needs facial stitches again, and I hope that she doesn't, you might consider requesting that a plastic surgeon do them. Most major hospitals keep a plastic surgeon on call, and chances of scarring are much less.

Teresa said...

Cocoa butter will help reduce scarring.

Chicory Blue said...

I really want to attend that conference....But sadly, it is out of my budget..and I live in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, my employer will not pay for it either. But you will love our city.
Lisa, slp

Nancy Cavillones said...

Ah, my first instinct is to say congratulations, you got the first (and hopefully last!) ER visit out of the way. When I was 4 or 5, I walked smack into a fire door at school and split my forehead open. :)

Have fun at the conference. I miss going to professional conferences. I was in Pittsburgh a few years ago for an English teacher conference. Great city! I love the bridges.