Right now, on my fridge, I have school pictures of my nieces and nephews from this school year, a picture of Mimi kissing a sting ray and Jack holding a giant conch shell in Grand Cayman, an old picture of Tim's dad in his red jeep with Tim, his brother, and his sister in the back...his sister sitting in her "car seat"...aka an umbrella stroller that was held in by the boys. Oh yeah, and a pamphlet entitled "Trauma to the Teeth", outlining steps you need to take when you have such an injury....which Jack now has.
Remember when I wanted to put him in a giant hamster ball? Well, I'm ready to buy one. Right on cue, it's been about 8 or 9 months since the last major injury, which was a broken arm that he got in his first soccer game of the season. What happened this time, you ask? Oh, just a baseball to the mouth...that's all.
It was a semi-final baseball game, about 7:30 at night, with the sun blazing just before it set. He was in left field and lost sight of the ball at the last minute in the sun. It hit off his glove and into his mouth. There was a collective "ooohhh..." from the spectators but Jack made the third out and THEN put his hand to his mouth. Clearly he has his priorities straight...make the out first, Buddy. He seemed ok as he ran off the field so I got ready to head to my car to watch the last 2 innings. By the time I got to my car and turned around, I saw Jack and Tim walking towards me with all of Jack's gear. Uh oh.
As he got closer I saw he was holding an ice pack to his mouth and it looked like he was wearing a crime scene on his white baseball pants. I think I have been very clear with everyone...I don't do well with blood. Thank God I was sitting...I immediately felt woozy. Then he took the ice pack off his mouth and I tried to keep a straight face so I wouldn't worry him. Have you even seen the Martin Short movie "Pure Luck"? It's about a guy with terrible luck, including the scene where he is deathly allergic to bees and gets stung by one causing his face to blow up like a puffer fish. That's immediately what I was reminded of when I saw Jack's mouth. I have come to learn that the mouth really swells...and bleeds quite a bit. Let's just put this on the list of things I wish I didn't know about from first hand knowledge. His mouth was swollen and his beautifully straight teeth which had just been freed from braces about 5 months ago, were no longer straight. He had 3 loose teeth, and two of which were a bit out of place.
Deep breath. Tim took him home while I called the emergency line at the dentist. Apparently as long as you haven't knocked out any teeth or have any dangling, it's not really an emergency. I hung up with an appointment in the morning. He was asleep about an hour later, with trickles of blood still drooling out of his mouth. I slept on the couch with him because I didn't have the heart to wake him up once he conked out..and I was worried he would wake up in pain.
The next morning at the dentist we got some good news. No root damage. But we were instructed to be on the lookout for his tooth to turn color, which would mean it was dying. Ultimately that would mean he would need a root canal. And, I learned, this could happen anytime in the near future....or within 4-5 years. Oh great. Next it was off to the orthodontist. I'm not sure what I was expecting...because his teeth definitely needed some help getting back into place...but I just wasn't expecting the words "We'll have to put his braces back on for 6 months". He wasn't expecting it either because as I yelled "What?!", his eyes started to well up. Which, of course, made me well up, which made him well more. It got to the point that the orthodontist was comforting both of us. Jack couldn't stand the idea of going into high school with braces on and I couldn't stand the idea of him being upset. We left there with all the staff rubbing our backs and telling us it would be okay. In hindsight, as a mother, I wish I had held it together more, put on a smiley face, and said something inspirational and motivational. Instead I cried alongside him and apologized in the car for not being stronger for him. He told me "It's okay...it's just bad news. What else were we going to do?"
In the grocery store while we shopped for soft foods together we talked about the things that could have been worse (he could have knocked his teeth out completely, could have root damage, and could be in terrible pain). By the time, we were done Jack had come to accept that "it is what it is" and he would just have to deal with it. And we both agreed, that 6 months would go by fast.
Today, Jack had his braces put back on and said he immediately felt better. "I could feel my teeth crossing over a little in the back before and now they don't. And they don't feel like they will fall out when I eat." Oh good. (Insert picture of me getting naseous).
Here is what I learned from the latest "incident". I am still no good with blood. I do cry at the drop of a hat. Jack is shortening the time it takes him to move from "I have the worst luck" to "it's not so bad". Ice cream 3 times a day makes everything all better. Sometimes just laying on the couch all day with your mother waiting on you hand and foot is just what the doctor ordered. And shit happens...and continues to happen....and you just have to make the best of every moment.