C came home from school last Friday with a scraped up chin, bloody lower lip, and swollen upper lip. She fell off the playground at recess about 90 minutes before the end of school. The cleaned her up and gave me an incident report at normal pick up time.
Upon closer inspection, the top gum was quite torn up and her frenulum torn. Two top teeth (baby teeth) are loose. By Saturday morning the right side of her face was more obviously swollen. Spoke with the dentist and he thought things were ok. Didn’t want us to come in, and cleared her for swimming and our afternoon ballet visit (M stayed with a sitter—G was out of town—and C and I went to see the Sleeping Beauty downtown. It was princess dress up day.)
The right side is clearly swollen, but she is in high spirits (as we walked to our seats said “We are going to have a high old time Mommy!”) and almost able to cram a brownie into her limited mouth opening. I am still thinking lots of soft tissue bruising.
Sunday still swollen. However spirits also still high.
By this point though I am pretty sure something is amiss and resolve to insist on the dentist seeing us Monday morning. Still thinking it is the teeth/gum issue. Call the dentist Monday morning, he refers us to a pediatric dentist who has us come and sit in her waiting room until she can squeeze us in (actually, didn’t have to wait that long). And then they freaked out. X-rays, follow the finger tests to judge for concussion, etc. etc. She fell much harder than I realized. The top teeth may fall out sooner than expected or may die, but since they are baby teeth it isn’t too big of a deal. The real problem was that swelling.
She broke her jaw on the right side, high up near the ear.
I still can’t quite say it without sounding shocked (or feeling incredibly guilty). We had the diagnoses confirmed at the Seattle Children’s Hospital Dental Clinic. She is on a restricted diet (soft food and drinks only), curtailed movement (No balls, No bikes, and feet always on the ground) and hopefully the jaw is going to heal without surgery or wiring. We go back on 2/25 for follow up. She is on regular doses of ibuprofen (which she loves) and has a special mouth rinse (which she hates) since flossing and brushing when she can’t open her mouth very far aren’t easy.
At the pediatric dentist on Monday they gave her a token to trade in for a prize and she picked a bouncy rubber ball. As we walked to the car to drive downtown to Children’s Hospital she asked if they would have prizes too, and I said they probably would. “Today is my lucky day!” she declared. That is my girl—excited about a rubber ball and small stuffed cat (they did have prizes there too). Excited that she gets lots of milkshakes. Hasn’t really complained or cried at all except for right when I picked her up from school on Friday. “I am quite a trooper aren’t I?” she brags. If you could hear how she squeals when M pulls her hair you wouldn’t peg her as a kid with a high pain tolerance. So I am not sure what to think.
Monday night she got a much needed bath and G finally followed through on a promise.
The only six year old with punk rock hair. G even reports that he used aluminum foil when doing the highlights! (Although he also left the tub stained blue…)
Things could have been much worse (concussion, permanent teeth instead of baby teeth, two breaks in the jaw instead of one) than they were. But I still feel just terrible about this. I guess better for me to feel bad and C to still have a smile on her lovely, swollen face.
(All pictures from between the accident and the Monday exams.)
Now, if only I could find some soft foods that she would eat. So far bananas, pudding, and overcooked noodles are a yes. Applesauce, soup of any kind, jello, avocado, mashed potatoes, polenta are all no’s. She also requests milkshakes over smoothies. Might be a long few weeks.