Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Day My Son Was Impaled: Fluke. Freak. Fright.

Sirens wailed down our Norman Rockwell street Thursday night. I was on the phone with the most calm, supportive 911 operator known to mankind, heralding the EMTs from my front porch. Bird was white faced in bewilderment at my side, never letting go of my hand, squeezing it a tad harder as the paramedics emerged in full flight from the ambulance. His voice failed him, leaving my little chatterbox speechless for the first time that day. Half panic half awe consumed him. Ambulance, firetruck, 3 paramedics, 4 firefighters, less than one minute response time. It pays to live in the city, I tell you.

Meanwhile inside...

Mac Daddy was holding a bleeding Deal over the kitchen sink. What seemed like gallons of blood flowing from an unknown wound in his mouth. Sounds of gagging and gasping hammered out the beating of my own heart. Mac Daddy, who is normally faint at the sight of a paper cut, managed the situation with aplomb. Clearly adrenaline was driving him. Bird stood back in the shadows, an unnatural feat for a kid who embraces the limelight.

Deal was gagging, trying to breathe in some air, while nothing but red, red blood spewed, yes, spewed from his mouth like a horror movie stunt gone bad. Tears mingled with blood, though it was unclear from whose eyes the tears came. The gurgling noises coming from my son, my 3-year old baby, were alarming, frightening. The whole scene was playing out in slow motion, and I felt as if I were hovering above it all. I forcefully stopped my mind from playing the "what if" game.

And almost as abruptly as it started, the bleeding stopped.

Deal laboriously took in some big breaths of air, calming him and us. The paramedics propped him up to look in his mouth with a pint sized flash light. The scene quieted down enough for the fire fighters to be dismissed. Deal had three lacerations on the roof of his mouth, an area that cannot be stitched but luckily heals quickly. I worried his thumb sucking would reopen the gashes so I slept with Deal all night. As you mothers know, in reality I stayed awake to watch him breathe in a fitful slumber, checking his pillow for signs of blood, stroking his sweaty head, caressing his back, resting my hand on any part of him just to have bodily contact. I imagine my father feeling this same way when I was in a car wreck in high school and had a concussion.

But you know what? Deal stopped sucking his thumb cold turkey. The dentist told him on Wednesday to try to stop so his teeth don't get all crooked. Something about a 6'4 gentle giant instructing him to stop sucking his thumb made him take note, and my baby, who has sucked his thumb since his in utero days, now has two free hands. For if he had still sucked that thumb, it would have surely reopened the wounds. Timing, as they say, is indeed everything.

A doctor's visit the next day uncovered additional injury to Deal's throat. Something to monitor, but nothing serious. It went unsaid that we were lucky. Deal had license to eat all the popsicles and ice cream his tummy could hold. Bird got the same privileges simply out of solidarity.

Three days later, and Deal is back to his old self. W-H-E-W. Cheerios for breakfast (he was so tickled by the free sample box that came with the Sunday paper that he just had to tear into it) and non-stop jabber. He's relishing some watercoloring and glitter gluing next to me as I write.

And so what happened to cause such trauma? A plastic toy microphone stand is to blame. A perfectly age-appropriate toy used as it should be.

In a freak accident, Deal was singing into the stand (because the microphone has been long lost). Mid song, he must have tripped, jabbing the microphone stand into his throat. In essence, my son was impaled on a microphone stand. The details are fuzzy since no one saw it happen. From the sounds of it, the bizarre accident happened in a flash. Bird and Mac Daddy were doing a spaceship puzzle in the play room where Deal was performing. In Bird's words, "He was singing, and then there was blood gushing. I think he tripped on a puzzle piece."

We are thankful once again for our children's health, for the amazing response of our city's rescue units, and for hearing the super sonic chatter of our children at play again.

I tossed that microphone into the garbage bin.

Oh, and the whole stereotype about firefighters being hot? It's true.
The Day My Son Was Impaled: Fluke. Freak. Fright.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


San Diego Momma said...

Wonderfully described (too wonderfully, I'm tossing out any and all plastic possible impalers right now).

I can only imagine your fear but am so glad there was a happy ending.

I hope that I'm as lucky when we get the inevitable injuries around my household.

Anonymous said...

WHEW, is right! I am glad Deal is alright. I can imagine how you felt (because you right such clear descriptions). It seems that no matter how watchful we are...freak accidents can occur!

High Heeled Mama said...

Wow...glad everyone is okay. What a scary scene.

Anonymous said...

My heart is still in my throat and tears are still in my eyes. I. Cannot. Imagine. The. Fear. You. Felt. Your poor little baby. Thank every lucky star (and the star that HE is trying to rock out into the microphone) that he is ok now. Seriously, I am feeling weak with the what-ifs. Off to tell my kid not to play with any toys ever again or they could poke their throats out. ...Great googlie mooglie.

And a thousand hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

Give Deal and Bird a hug, I am glad that all is well. How frightening. Yes, hot firefighters, even my hubby!!!

Mayberry said...

How scary! Glad he's OK. I've heard cuts inside the mouth bleed like crazy. Guess so!

Unknown said...

Wow...amazing. Yo, friend, I know the internets are the shiz and all, but is this how I'm forced to keep up with one of my favorite kids? Your blog? How about a phone call?

Seriously, glad to know the lil' fella is all fine. I had this all playing out in my mind as I read and don't doubt your main man handled things like the smooth dude he is.

My only question is how did the notion of a fire fighter being hott enter your mind when all this was going on? You're like a dude with all the checkin' out going on...;--)

Love to all...

Anonymous said...

Oh Sparky, that sounds terrible! What a mess you guys must have been. I think paramedics would need to hook me up to an IV if something like that happened to Cheeky.

Then again, it's gonna be good story some day. "I remember the time you impaled yourself on a microphone stand!" That will be good fun when he brings his dates home to meet the family.

Maybe this will cheer up your image of the whole thing:

Angel said...

Holy freaking crap. I am not sure I even know what to say. I just thank God he is ok!

I'm not so sure I could have held it together like you did.

Papa Bradstein said...

We were visiting the firehouse on our evening dog walk one night and I was explaining how they were our favorites because when our car was totaled when Mama was nine months pregnant, they were the ones to respond--from all of the half a block away that they are. One of the firefighters explained from his own experience that even firefighters get scared when it's their child. He said that even as a trained first responder, when it was his child, as soon as the EMTs rushed in, he handed her off as soon as he could because he couldn't think what to do. Impressive that you were able to stay so cool through all of that. Terrifying...and good to note the cause, since 3B is all about his microphone and stand these days.