Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wired Shut

Emeline has been through quite the ordeal this last week. Last Tuesday night she was playing catch with her Dad and Sister Lexis. She went to catch the ball from her Dad. She had the glove on her left hand. (As she was throwing with her right hand.) I guess she turned her glove to the side and decided to turn her head away at the same time. The ball skimmed her glove and hit her in the middle of her jaw on the left side. She came inside with tears in her eyes but claimed she was "okay". We had her rest in the chair for awhile. The inside of her mouth was bleeding from an apparent cut but we weren't sure how or where the cut was. She didn't have much pain but I felt a strong urge to take her to the Emergency room for an x-ray.

We got to the Emergency room. They did a CT scan and it showed that the front right side was indeed fractured all the way through. With the doctors lights we could see the cut on her down her tooth on the right side, the front and back of the tooth. We were baffled why she would have fractured the bone there when she was hit on the right side of her jaw. The doctor wanted us to wait until she made an appointment with a larger hospital so she could be checked more thoroughly. We waited there for four hours. All this time Emeline was able to talk and communicate fine. She didn't even want pain medicines. We finally left at around Midnight with an appointment to Orthopedics in Iowa City at 8:00 the next morning.

I took Emeline to the appointment myself as I really thought they were going to send us home saying she just needed to heal on her own. Wow was I wrong. The surgeon looked at her CT scan from the night before. He also ordered an x-ray. Emeline and I were both shocked when he showed us the x-ray and told us she was going to need surgery. "Surgery.... WHAT?" He explained that she would need a plate and several screws to hold the fracture. They would also be wiring her jaw shut. She wouldn't be allowed to open her mouth for at least 4 weeks. Both Emeline and I were trying to soak all this new information up. A million things were running through my mind. I sat there looking at Emeline. She was so young. How would she handle all of this? I knew I had to be strong and not let on that this was a very risky and dangerous surgery. This was not small but would affect the next month of her life severely. The doctor and nurse were coming into the room giving us papers and information on the surgery and all the after care. I saw a tear run down her cheek when they mentioned eating all liquids for four weeks. She would not be able to eat all the things she loved. They explained so much that I was a bit afraid when it came to signing on the paper my approval of the surgery. This was all happening SO fast. Was I ready? I had no option.

We walked down to the waiting room. On the way I called Brian. He was not able to get out of work and still felt terribly bad about the accident. I let him know that I would keep him updated. We got to the big desk. The lady asked our names and what procedure we were having done. Okay now we would wait. I'd have time to adjust. We'd be able to talk. I asked Emeline if she was okay. She nodded and assured me she was fine. I picked up my phone again and called my Mother at work. I quickly explained all that had transpired in the last hour. She was shocked as well. As I hung up the phone a guy motioned for us to come with him. He asked if her name was Emeline. We both nodded and followed him. He told us that they were ready for us and that her surgery was scheduled for 10:30 AM. I have to admit I was trying to be strong but at that second I had to dig way deep inside and find a part of me I'd never known. I prayed and prayed that Emeline was going to be okay. I asked God to give me the strength. I asked Him to be with Emeline.

Here was Emeline in the room right before surgery.

I gave her a kiss and off she went. Now I was to wait. How is one supposed to hand their child over? How do you give them to someone you only met for 5 minutes? I just have to have faith that God will take care of her. So tough to do as a parent.

She was whisked away for surgery. I was left with this emptiness. She wasn't the first daughter that I'd had to say goodbuy to and they hauled her off to surgery. Surgery wasn't anything new to our family. Our youngest daughter Ava was born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. She had very little diaphragm at birth. She's been through seven major surgeries in her life. However this was Emeline and she had never been hurt. I was extremely worried and anxious. My Mother texted me and told me she was on her way up. My blessed Mother she always knows exactly what I need. We waited and waited... it seemed like hours. They told us it would probably take around 2-3 hours. An hour and forty five minutes later her surgeon sat us down and told us that he placed a two inch plate in her lower jaw with seven screws holding it in place. He also wired her mouth closed as tightly as they could. He assured us it all went well and she was doing fine. We would be able to see her in about a half and hour.

Emeline was a champ. She dealt with this better than most adults. Her pain tolerance is quite high we've learned. She quickly got adjust to drinking through a soft tube attached to a large syringe. She made progress quickly. She took it all in stride and grew fond of writing on the board and explain to us her needs. If you know Emeline you know she is a talker. Not talking has been the hardest part.

She got discharged the next night and has been handling this all pretty well. As her Mom I'm very concerned about her getting the flu or a cold. It hurts her a lot to sneeze or even cough. She's at day 7. She's had a few tough spots when she's wanted to eat but then she gets over it and goes on.

Please continue to pray for Emeline. We started a page for her on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/EmelinesVoice We'd love to hear from you. She's always in need of encouragement!