Saturday, January 21, 2012

First Stitches

Olivia took a head dive into a coffee table tonight, gashing open her earlobe and the neck behind it.  She eventually ended up needing 9 stitches all together - 5 on the ear and 4 on the neck.  

The irony of all this is that it happened at an EFMP meeting - "Exceptional Family Member Program".  It's basically the military's special needs division and a wonderful resource. 

No, strike that, Mandy, it's AMAZING.  And AWESOME.  ;)  But I digress.

The flyer said children were welcomed.  They were and so both Rafe and I were there.  However, the meeting area wasn't really childproofed and when you combine that with a bunch of developmentally delayed kids running around, something was bound to happen.  I was actually surprised it was Olivia - I'm so used to her climbing, running, falling, crashing - all without getting hurt that I never thought it would really happen to her.  She's been remarkably good about falling with a kind of graceful descent.

It happened so fast that it was surreal - I heard this really loud thump like a book hitting the floor hard and then silence.  I didn't even realize it was a child at first, and it took me a second longer to realize it was Olivia.  Others closer to her grabbed her and she still wasn't making a sound and I couldn't see her face.  Rafe took her and started to hand her to me and by that time I could see her face screwed up in misery.  She finally burst out in a scream and cried for maybe a minute.  That's a pure PWS thing to cry for such a tiny amount of time...but it bothered me that she continued to whimper a bit after which is so unusual for her.  She feels pain, but not to the degree that most of us do.  I kept checking her face, even thought she had hit the right side of her face/ear and put ice on it.  I have no idea why I didn't check her entire face, but when one of the moms who had seen her fall re-enacted the fall I realized that I checked the wrong side.  

I lifted the hair off the other side of her face, expecting to see a red mark and that was about it.  Instead, I saw a torn ear, blood all over her hair and neck on the underside of her hair.  It's so thick and curly that had I not lifted it up, I would not have seen it at all.  

Needless to say we missed the meeting and went directly to the Naval Hospital (with all of one doctor in the ER).  She was cheerful and chatty until we had to put her in a papoose wrap.  2 nurses and myself held her down while the doctor injected her with a local anesthetic before stitching her up.   While they were doing this, she began crying again.  She kept saying "ahl gah, ahl gah" (All gone, all done) over and over again, letting me know she wanted out of this.  Finally she began crying, MAMMA!  MAMMA!  

It was beautiful and painful at the same time.  She's only recently (as in 2 weeks ago) said MAMA! again for the first time since over 26 months ago.  Hearing her cry out for me was bittersweet, knowing that she needed me and wanted me, but yet not being able to give in and take her away from the thing that was upsetting her so much.   All in all an exhausting night.  My poor girl.  

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