We were taking advantage of the nice weather to do a family walk in the evening. It was starting to get dim, but we were aiming to be home before dark. She hit a bump hard and went over. Her mouth hit the handlebars, and her helmeted head hit the ground hard.
She was bleeding profusely from her mouth and lip, and it was pretty clear a couple of her teeth were pretty mangled. Hubby handed her his handkerchief, which is somewhat nostalgically charming in retrospect, and we hustled her home in the stroller.
My go-to medical adviser, was out of the country, so I spent ten minutes on the internet to find the phone number for our insurance's nurse hotline. Then I spent ten minutes on the phone explaining to three separate people what had happened. The third person advised us that yes, she should go to the emergency room, and no, we did not need any kind of pre-authorization for the insurance to cover that ER visit. Good to know.
Four and a half hours later, she was back with two stitches in her lip and a visit to the oral surgeon scheduled for the next morning.
The oral surgeon gave us the good news that she hadn't damaged anything permanent, but she did need two teeth pulled. She did not cope well with the needle for numbing her mouth, or with the extraction itself, despite the nitrous oxide. I don't do well with medical procedures, so I was trying to manage curious three-year-old L and comfort screaming, crying V all while feeling progressively more light-headed. My poor daughter was freaking out, and all three staff people in the room were looking at me, because of how white I had become.
V couldn't pronounce half of her words for three days, because her lip was so swollen, so she was embarrassed to talk at all. She couldn't look at herself in the mirror, either. Anytime she went to a mirror intentionally, she'd hold her hand over her eyes so she couldn't see her face, and when she walked past and glanced at one accidentally, she'd jump and turn away.
There were bright sides, though.
Beyond the obvious fact that her injury was only a couple of stitches and two baby teeth, and not something worse, I was keenly aware of how blessed we are to have access to modern medical care. We have an ER and an oral surgeon to go to, insurance to help us pay for them, and money to cover what insurance won't.
She's recovered so nicely, with no additional complications, and is now quite happy with her gap-toothed grin.
I also loved having the opportunity to see Z demonstrate compassion. The morning after her accident, while V was still sleeping, Z and I were chatting over breakfast. He was mulling over some ideas about to help her feel better, and came up with giving her a note from the tooth fairy. He wondered if he could give her money, too, and I told him that the ER nurse had told V to eat popsicles to help her swelling. So Z wrote a note and gave V one of his hard-earned dollars.
V caught him sneaking in to put the envelope under her pillow. When she came downstairs she reported, "Z was trying to look at the note the tooth fairy gave me, but I saw him, so he said 'shoot' and put the note back under my pillow."
Also, today she got back on her bike.