Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Can I get a do over?

Even though it is me expressing this statement, I know that if BB1 was older and aware enough she would probably chime in and even beat me to this statement. We have had, to say the least, the worst run of luck in the last few days. I'll let you know that this is going to be a pretty long post, but you will get the full details as it's the only way to convey what we have been through and why I want a do over. Just hang in there with me as I relive these moments - hopefully for the last time.

Do Over Scenario #1.
Last Friday we had multiple power outages at our condo, so on Saturday, I decided rather than hang around and wait for the power to go off and then come back on a few hours later, me and the girls would spend the day shopping, having fun and playing around at the local mall. Upon returning home, we found out that the power was still out. Frustrated, but like the troopers we are, we set about getting ready for bed in the dark. I had one flashlight that survived the trip to our storage unit, and with that I located some candles we had bought previously (because of the frequent power outages up here - it must be a remote mountain location thing) and proceeded to lite a few.

The whole time I was doing this, I was also telling BB1 about how dangerous candles can be and how we don't play with them, move them, or touch them or put anything around them, we leave them alone, just where mommy had placed them. She seemed to get it and all was well. In fact we had quite the adventure locating our jammies and brushing our teeth, all by candle light.

So, I go and put BB1 to bed first. I get her all tucked in with Brianna Bunny, turn on her songs, sing her a lullaby and (with what is to be the one moment I would go back to and do over) I leave one candle in her room (as she is afraid of the dark and still sleeps with a nightlight). I set it in the middle of her little table and I again re-iterate how we leave them alone, don't touch them, don't move them, etc, etc, etc and with a belief that my child gets this and won't do anything, I leave the room to go and put BB2 into her bed which is just down the hall and around a corner.

With no lights on our downstairs is like a tomb, but with the candle in BB1's room I can make my way around without a flashlight. I am rocking BB2 to sleep and feeding her her night time bottle, when I see flickers of light that are stronger than before and I immediately know somethings wrong. Not a half a second later the smoke alarm starts wailing and BB1 shoots out of her room like a rocket, screaming "I'm sorry, mommy".

I immediately put BB2 down and rush to see what in the world has happened. I see that BB1 had gotten out of bed and, for whatever reason known only to the 5-year old mind, had placed a plastic shopping basket on top of the candle, it has caught fire and is burning in all it's acridic glory in the middle of her table. Not even thinking for a second, I rushed in and grab the basket and carry it into the bathroom and throw it into the sink and douse it with water. So the fire is out but, the smoke alarms are still going, so I grab a towel and rush back out of the bathroom and back into BB1's room and throw open the two windows and start waving the towel around like a mad woman trying to dispel the smoke because of the sprinklers.

Did I happen to mention that the condo has a fire sprinkler system in all the units (again a mountain location thing), and I am just waiting to have the sprinklers descend down from their little holes in the ceiling and start soaking everything in sight. Luckily, the sprinklers never came on, the smoke finally dispersed and the alarms shut off.

Now here's the worst part (you've got to be asking yourself "wait - there is a worse part"). To set the scene again, BB2 was screaming her little head off the whole time I was waving the smoke out of the windows. She was trying to climb up my legs to get away from the sound that was scaring the heck out of her. So finally, once it's quiet, I pick her up, and then I realize I can't hear BB1 anywhere, which is weird cause she had been screaming the whole time I was putting out the fire and waving the towel around as well, so I yell out her name...no response. I yell out her name again, this time using the middle and last name, to let her know I am serious. Still nothing. Panic mode sets back in as I realize I have no idea where she is. It's still pitch black and now I have no candle light to see my way around.

After fumbling around the downstairs, I check the door that leads outside from our room downstairs. It's locked and I know she can't unlock it. I start checking all the closets, thinking maybe she ran in there to get away from the noise - nothing. So I stumble up the stairs and it's dead silent. Where is she - I know I should at least hear some little noise, like her crying or whimpering, but I get nothing. Then I think - maybe she's gone out the front door and possibly outside. Sure enough - to escape the smoke alarms, she has run outside and climbed in the car (which thankfully wasn't locked because then who knows were she would have gone). I see her upset little face in the middle of the window, I go and open the door and ask her what she was thinking running from the condo, why she put her basket on top of the candle, why she didn't listen, everything I was thinking just came pouring out of my mouth in a near hysteric tone. All it succeeded in doing was to freak her out even more than she already was. It was definitely not my most brilliant moment as a mother. She kept saying she was sorry, she didn't mean to and I did what any other parent would do in that moment (thankfully) and just took her in my arms and hugged her as hard as I could. Both BB1 and BB2 received quite the smooshing as I tried to calmed myself down.

After returning to the condo, it took a little while to get the girls settled back into bed, but we did it minus the candles, of course! I called Papa Bear (who was in Reno for the weekend) related what happened and just broke down crying and shaking. It's hard to describe the feelings that rush through you once the adrenaline turns off and you are left in recovery mode with just your thoughts of "what if?" It was a horrible night. So, that's do over moment #1

Do Over Scenario #2 (happened today-Tuesday, July 17th-not 2 days after scenario #1.
BB2 was down for a nap, BB1 was playing in her room and I was getting dressed as we were going to spend the day doing something fun, whether it be at the park or running errands, it didn't matter, as long as we weren't at the condo. So that was the plan - get out and do something fun. This was before the crash that I hear from BB1's room followed by a frantic call "MOMMMMMMMMMM" I rush into her room to see her in (of all places) the closet and she has one hand over her mouth and the other in between her legs. I have no idea what happened but she is looking a little dazed, and seems like she is in great pain. She goes to open her mouth to say something and all I can see is blood. Her entire mouth is filled with it. I can't tell where the cut is or even how deep it may be, but I know it has to be deep from the sheer amount of blood pouring out of it.

I take her into the bathroom and get her to rinse out her mouth to try and get a good look inside and see that the gash is about 1/2 inch long and 1/4 inch across on the side of her mouth. I also realize that this is probably not going to close up on it's own and I am going to have to take her to the ER or Urgent Care. I call Papa Bear (who was an RN for 15+ years) to ask his opinion and, after seeing a picture I took and sent over to him, he agrees with me.

So, I grab both kids, rush them into the car and head over to the ER, which from where we live is a good 20-25 minutes away as we have to drive down a canyon - Stupid mountain living - atleast this is my way of thinking in the moment.

BB1 is now dutifully holding a wet washcloth to the wound, which is making it a little difficult to talk, but I finally get out a very disjointed story about how she fell (obviously), while trying to get a box that was on the top shelf in her closet. Later on I found out the whole story which was she had climbed up on top of the dresser in her closet (a huge and rustic looking thing) and fell trying to get down which is when she hit her mouth on the top of the dresser and her legs on the dresser handles on the way down. Of course, this was a little frustrating for me to hear all of this, as I had already told her multiple times to not climb on the dresser, to not use the handles as stairs and to ask if she ever needed to get anything that was on the higher shelves, but like all kids, when they get an idea in thier head, they always want to do it themselves and I digress from my original story.

So - We get to the ER at 1:00 pm. Unfortunately, we don't leave until 6:00 pm because even though the Dr's quickly determine that the cut can be fixed pretty easily (and yes, stitches will be required), the patient is scared to death about the prospect of getting a shot. The whole way to the ER, she kept asking "Will I get a shot?" "What are the Dr's going to do?" "Will he give me a shot?" and just the thought of it had her trembling and inconsolable.
The good nurses tried numbing her check with a topical medication, but the minute she saw the needle for the medicine prior to the stitches, she freaked out. It took, 2 nurses, the Dr and mom to hold her down and she still wouldn't calm down enough to be able to put the stitches in with any accuracy, so the decision was made to put her under.

The Dr's suggested a "conscious sedation". New concept for me, but the way it works is you are given a drug, which pretty much puts you to sleep, but your eyes remains open and you appear to be awake. Of course, it would have to be administered with a shot, but by this time it was the only option.

So, to wrap this story up, she got the shot, went under in a matter of minutes, got 4 stitches - 2 that will dissolve and 2 that will have to be removed. And one big puffy lip to show for it. It was pretty scary watching my baby put under that way but, it was almost harder watching her come out cause she was so unsure of where she was. She couldn't focus on anything and the medication was making her nauseous. Mostly I think she was just plain exhausted from all the trauma of the first attempt to stitch her up, she was hungry and just not sure of what had really happened too her.

One of the side effects to the medication is loss of short term memory and the first intelligible words she uttered after asking for mom, were "Did I get a shot?" I kid you not. I guess that side effect may have been the best one possible she could have had. She is back home and after eating a little bit, has gone to bed.

I have a feeling it will be another long night, as I never sleep well when I am worried about my kids (or any loved ones for that matter) And after reading all of this (I hope you made it through in one piece), I throw it out there to the powers that be in the universe - can I just have a do over?

1 comment:

Nataluscious said...

Wow Julie - yikes! The fire story nearly had me in tears... I can totally feel how scared you were. What quick thinking though! And thank HEAVENS it wasn't any worse than that.

And poor Avery with the busted lip. It's hard to imagine we are just at the beginning of a lifetime of these stories.

I give you even more props for handling all of this by yourself. You are a real trooper, a truly awesome mom, and my hero :).