Monday, May 28, 2012

Bleeding Mouth Story

(This blog is our family journal so that's why the long posting- you really don't have to read it all, especially if you don't like to see the word BLOOD. :)

 On Wed. May 16th I had a Free Gingival Graft Procedure done by my oral surgeon, Dr. Peter Smith. I've put this off for about 2 years (mainly because I kept getting pregnant, haha) and needed it because I had a receding gum line on my front bottom teeth which was exposing nerves and the roots of the teeth. I had a frenectomy done (that's when they cut the attachment that connected my lower lip to the bottom of the gum, which was pulling and causing some of the receding) about a month before we were married which stopped the actual receding but I needed to have this procedure done to totally fix it. They don't know why I had the receding in the first place except oral surgeons are seeing a lot of people in their 20's and 30's who had braces in their teens come in needing this fixed. So maybe it was the way they did braces back in the end of the 90s?? Who knows and if you would've seen me in 1996 you would've said, who cares!! Take whatever chances you have to fix those wild teeth- woof!! :)

Anyways, they took a strip off my pallet on the right side of the top of my mouth and sutured it in place on the bottom front to cover the exposed roots and nerves. The gums would grow underneath it and the actual graft would sluff off while healing. The actual procedure went great and I was surprised that it didn't hurt as bad as I thought it would. He did have trouble placing an IV to give me the sedation so he had to give me the Versed injection in the bottom of my mouth- ouch! 
It was pretty tender and hard to eat but I thought it was healing pretty good. It was a pretty good diet so that was the good side of all this. :) Then on the following Tuesday morning, almost 1 week post surgery, (and the night before Levi had his skull fracture) around 4 am I awoke because I felt like my mouth was completely full of saliva and I couldn't swallow it fast enough. So I got up and went into the bathroom and when I spit, the sink was full of blood! And it was just squirting out. I finally got it stopped by holding pressure and this happened three more times during the day. I called my oral surgeon and we agreed we'd just watch it because I thought it had stopped and was fine at this point. 

Then around 8 pm I was giving Levi a bath and getting the boys ready for bed. Suddenly it started bleeding and I mean, BLEEDING!! Worse than any of the times before and I couldn't stop it!! As I was holding pressure on it as hard as I could I felt it pulsating and knew it was an artery!!! It would fill my entire mouth in literally 2 seconds and it was like a faucet, just pouring and squirting out hard and fast. I quickly soaked 2 big washcloths and blood was everywhere in the bathroom. TJ had taken my sister-in-law home and had just barely left to Provo. The worst part was that I couldn't talk to tell anyone what was happening. The bleeding wasn't stopping and I don't freak out very often but I was starting to freak! It was A LOT of blood, which I'm used to dealing with as an ER nurse but from OTHER people- not from me!! My hands were shaking and Levi was still in the bathtub crying to get out and Ty was cranky and tired too. I had given Levi prune juice a few hours before since he seemed to be constipated and of course, he had a blow out in the bathtub and so was covered in yucky bath water and stool. TJ didn't understand how bad it was bleeding in my texts and so I debated on calling 911 or rushing to Instacare or something- I didn't know what to do and couldn't load the boys up in the car even if I wanted to. I just kept praying to Heavenly Father to HELP me and that I needed it NOW!

I grabbed Levi out of the tub and rinsed him off, somehow with one hand, and put a diaper on, again- don't remember how with one hand- which had blood spots and finger prints all over it. Probably looked like Levi was the one bleeding from somewhere. I told Ty to follow me and we walked over to my neighbor's house, Jana. She saw me and came over talking and smiling and then realized I was covered in bloody dishtowels and couldn't talk! She stayed calm and took Levi from me and followed me to our house while I motioned to her what to do and what was going on. She put Levi to bed and then took Ty with her to her house (she has three little boys) while I waited for TJ. During this time I had texted my oral surgeon (since I couldn't talk) about what I should do and he told me he'd meet me at his office in 30 min. Once TJ realized what was happening he hurried home really fast and we found another neighbor to come over and sit in the living room while Levi slept and Jana kept Ty- we have such good neighbors and friends, they are wonderful. 

It took Dr. Smith an hour and 45 minutes to get the bleeding to stop!! It's the worst case he's ever seen and said he was expected me to come in with a little dribbling but not even close to what it was actually doing. He put pressure on that surgical site as hard as he could which hurt SOOOOOO bad!! I was crawling up in the chair and squeezing the chair arms as hard as I could. Then he injected the Lidocaine/Bupivicane with Epi with a huge 18 gauge needle- OUCH- and that killed as well and I actually had to cry out (I'm a silent pain taker but not this time!!). Once it was good and numb, I was fine and he ended up suturing that artery with two stitches and gluing the entire site. His office looked like a murder scene- I felt so bad- and these pictures don't even do it justice, don't even begin to show how much blood. The one with the sink is after it was rinsed out several times and the gauze was only one of several soaked. The next morning I was pretty tired but other than that I was fine with all the blood loss. 

Hopefully now it will continue to heal even though it has definitely set back the healing process and has  made my pain much worse. I have to take Lortab throughout the day just to even be able to eat. I am so SICK AND TIRED of smoothies- hahaha- and crave real food. It takes about 30 min to eat cause I have to cut everything up really small and chew on my left side and in the back only with my mouth wide open- it's a lovely sight. 
The other day at Costco I ate a chip which stabbed directly into that graft site- I wanted to die and vowed to never eat anything again. Didn't last long :)

It's funny how when you're healthy you take little things for granted and it takes a set back like this to remind you to be grateful for all the little things in life. And then the very next day was Levi's skull fracture and this little incident was quickly forgotten and shoved aside in terms of importance and priority. :) 
I'm grateful for my family's health and for Heavenly Father helping us get through things one day at a time! I'm also grateful for modern medicine and pain killers that make the day do-able (but oh so tiring!! :) I'm such a push over when it come to narcotics! 
Ty can NOT handle blood and starts gagging whenever he saw me spitting out blood- it made me laugh out loud the first time. He takes after his dad.
But anyways, that is my bleeding mouth story. Enough about blood for now. :)

Gross, I know- that's the site where they took the graft from. It's just a tender, bloody but now scabbed over section.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Levi's Bump

 On Wed. May 23rd around 2 pm I noticed this bump on the side of Levi's head. It was squishy and not hard like a normal goose egg and BIG! I racked my brain trying to think when he might've fallen that hard to get such a big bump and such swelling. But what worried me the most was that he also had a fever. I gave him some Tylenol and kept assessing his neuro status and everything else I could think of but everything seemed fine. 

Then after a good nap around 5:30pm I retook his temp and it was higher, 38.7 c, which worried me more. I started thinking it must be some neurologic/brain disfunction problem or infection and freaking myself out! I gave him some Motrin and started calling my pediatric nurse friends to see what they thought. It's so hard as a nurse because I feel like we're a little jaded and assume everything is one extreme or the other. And I'm always afraid I'm overreacting and it'll look so dumb being in the ER for no reason at all. :) My neighbor, who is my ER manager and a nurse, stopped by soon after to take a look. He thought I should take him in to get it checked out so off we went to Urgent Care. The PA there found an ear infection (another one!!!) so that was a relief because that explained the fever. But then she felt the bump on his head and started to freak out! She told me to rush him up to Primary's and talking about getting ahold of a neurosurgeon and all this stuff! I told her to hold on, that I'd take him to Utah Valley ER first and get a CT to see what we're dealing with and then decide if we need to transport up there. 
So we headed off to Utah Valley ER- love having perks from working there!! haha, totally paid off that night. I called the charge nurse and our visit took about an hour and a half, that's it. We walked through the back door, straight to our room and by the time we walked back from CT, they already had the results up and waiting. It was soooo nice. Everyone came into see Levi and it was like a little party. 

Dr. Boyles was our ER doc and Carly was our nurse. He thought we'd go ahead and try the CT first and then come back and put an IV in and do sedation if he wouldn't hold still. I was praying soooo hard  and texted TJ and my mom to pray too. I didn't want to put him through that and make so much more work/paperwork for the nurses and make our stay way longer. Plus, it scares me when it's MY baby!! :) 

I was so shocked!! He did SOOOO good! They put lead on both of us so I got to stay in the room with him and held his hands. They secured his head to help him stay still and then I sang to him and just talked to him. He's so awesome! :) He stayed perfectly still, looking around with his big eyes at and then after a while just fixated on me. The CT tech said she'd never seen a baby his age lay so still- I was so proud and humbled that Heavenly Father had answered our prayers over something so simple yet something so big to me. 

When we pulled up the images of his head everything seemed fine so we were all relieved but we had to wait for the radiologist to read it. We were SHOCKED when it said "left skull fracture." However, there wasn't any bleeding and the brain itself looked fine. That was a HUGE relief since instead of coming home we very well could've been life-flighted to Primary's for emergency surgery- scary!!!! The CT showed a 1 mm step-off, which means that difference between the two pieces of broken bone and is very small- another HUGE blessing.  I kept trying to rack my brain to figure out when/how that could've happened. It did make me feel justified in bringing him in too. :) Dr. Boyles consulted with the Primary Children's Neurosurgeon team who looked at his images and agreed that the best treatment would be for us to go home and not be admitted to the hospital for observation since the window of time had passed of when he'd show worsening neuro signs and symptoms. I felt comfortable in bringing him home too and watching him closely. He was soooo tired at this time and fell right asleep in the car while we waited for the antibiotics to be filled at Walgreens in Provo at 10:30pm. 

Since then he's been pretty fussy, clingy and irritable, poor baby. The site is tender and it's hard for him to sleep well. It dawned on me yesterday that he probably has a bad headache too- I know I sure would if I had that. I've been giving him Tylenol and Motrin to help with that.  Last night was probably the worst night he's ever had, even worse than newborn stage. He didn't go to sleep until about 4 am and couldn't lay still and was exhausted. TJ drove around with him twice and finally Levi fell asleep and stayed asleep watching Baby Signing Time- haha, he loves that show. 

I'm expecting him to be this way for the next week and hopefully the swelling on his head will go down during that time too. I'm supposed to not let him fall for the next MONTH to keep him from falling that exact same spot and worsening the fracture or creating a bleed- makes me cringe. So much for walking anytime soon- sorry, buddy, I'm not letting you!! I'm also guarding him from Ty. My only guess is that Ty picked him up and dropped him on the tile or hard wood floor at sometime and then on Wed. he must've fallen slightly on that same site and cause that vulnerable spot to give way- that's my only guess?? My arm is already about to fall off and is sore from holding him so much. He weighed 20 lbs at Urgent Care- big boy!

Things have been a little rough, especially since I had some complications on Tuesday (the night before) from my mouth surgery last week (that's a whole story in itself, haha, more on that later) and I'm trying to not take pain meds since it's makes me sleepy and I work tonight and tomorrow and TJ and I are both exhausted but we'll make it through! Thank you to everyone who has helped us already! :)

I am mostly so grateful to Heavenly Father for blessing us when this could've been soooo MUCH WORSE!! I feel so much gratitude and know He's aware of our lives and the small details and answers prayers and helps us to know what to do when we're unsure in life. :)
 So you can see the bump above his left ear there. 

Wider view of the CT scanner and little Lev getting ready to go in it. 

 Again, the swelling above his left ear.

But such a sweet little boy!! Sorry, son!! We love you!!

10 1/2 months old

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Our "new" car

Say goodbye to this.....
and hello to this!!! 
We got a "new" car- a 2004 Nissan Xterra- I LOVE it! It's been wonderful to not have a car payment ever but TJ's good ol' truck has been dying for the past 6 months. Heavenly Father has blessed us so much to make this truck last soooo much longer than it should've. With TJ commuting so far everyday and summer coming, it was time. It felt like it was a ticking time bomb and any day I was going to get the call from him that he was stranded. The lights would go out at night, when we'd come to a stop at a light it would die, and TJ had to fill up one tire every other day with air. So yes, it was time.

We found this beaut on ksl and bought it from an awesome family who gave us an amazingly good deal. We were able to get a car loan through a credit union in 24 hours- it was amazing how everything just fell into place. We pay $130/mo and so it's so worth it to have 2 reliable cars with AC, better gas milage, more room, and two vehicles that can both hold 2 car seats!! Yay for "new" cars! :) 

Monday, May 21, 2012

28 reasons why....

28 reasons why my nephews are the ______________ (fill in the blank with coolest, cutest, awesomest, bestest soccer players ever, etc.) :) On Saturday we went to watch the three older kids' soccer games. It was so fun to watch and made TJ and I excited for our boys to be in sports someday. 

But, okay, the real reason why there are 28 pictures of these kiddos is for my sister-in-law Dezi and I couldn't control my finger taking pictures with my camera. Here you go, Dez! You can have whatever pics you want. :)  

Easton- turning 9 years old at end of summer
Cole- turning 7 years old next month
Peyton- turning 5 years old this summer
Trey- turning 3 years old next month
Ty- 2 years old
Trey- 1 year old
Levi- turning 1 year old this summer

 Easton's game

 Cole's game

 Love these boys!
Peyton told me, "Tawa! Guess what! I got what I prayed for! I prayed that Easton and Cole wouldn't fight at my game and that I would score 2 goals! And I got it! I got what I prayed for!!" He was so excited, it was so cute. I actually had to teach Relief Society the next day on prayer and included that in my talk. So cute. 

 Peyton's game

Friday, May 18, 2012

Date Night

  The zoom on the camera is awesome! Look how clear you can see everyone's faces!

I love my new camera! I sold my old one and found a good deal on a newer one and TJ bought it for me for my birthday- love it!! And him! :)
 TJ won tickets to a ReAL Salt Lake game from work- they were pretty good seats with very close free parking! It was Cinco de Mayo so we had to eat Mexican food at the Red Iguana before the game- sooo yummy!!! It was super busy and we had to wait a while but we ended up sitting in our own private, closed off table- pretty cool! Ruth watched the boys and everything worked out perfect, except it was COLD!!!! I'll never understand Utah weather!!

 Love it when babies sleep like this... :)
 Playin in the hay bale :)

 Cool diaper sticking out!
 Watching cartoons