Posts tagged boo boos

Nora’s Eye Update

It’s been nearly two weeks since Nora’s tear duct probing.  I’m so glad that it is over but honestly it wasn’t nearly as bad or traumatic of an experience as I had thought it would have been.  Here’s how things went:

On Tuesday morning,March 15th, Scott and I got up and ready.  Nora decided that she would sleep in which was honestly a great thing considering that she had to fast.  She couldn’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight.  When she woke up, I quickly dressed her in a sweat suit and we headed for the car. Scott and I drove Nora to the hospital which was about 25 minutes away.  Her procedure was scheduled for 9:30am but we were asked to be at the hospital by 8:30am. Once we arrived at the hospital, we checked in and then waiting in the waiting room.  We distracted Nora with toys and by looking out the windows at the birds and squirrels.  I knew that if she had time to think about it, she’d definitely ask for food.

A little bit after 8:30 we were brought into a pre-op room where Nora was given some toys to play with and we were asked a few basic questions like her height, weight and if she was on any medications.  Nora didn’t seem the least bit phased by any of this.  She played with the toys and during that time we changed her our of her clothes and into a hospital johnny.  She was given a bracelet for each wrist and one for her ankle.  Then a nursing student came in and brought in the mask that they’d be using to administer the anesthesia.  Nora was reluctant at first to touch it but eventually did.  They put strawberry flavored lip gloss inside it and encouraged her to smell it.  This was to help prepare her for when they’d place it over her mouth.

Since only one of us was allowed in with her, Scott and I decided that I would ride into the operating room with Nora and he’d wait in the pre-op area.  I had to wear a white suit, shoe covers and a hat.  Nora thought this was pretty funny.  Then I got into the bed with her and the team of doctors and nurses wheeled us into the operating room.  This was the first time I had ever been inside an operating room and boy was it bright!  You always see them on TV with all the lights and stuff but I didn’t realize how bright it really is.  Once we were in the operating room, I got off of the bed and helped move Nora to the operating table.  She was a bit clingy to me at first, not knowing what was going on, but she eventually got on without a fuss.  The nurses and doctors couldn’t believe how compliant she was being.  I helped her to lay down and then held her hands as she clutched one binky and sucked on another.  She looked a bit scared but never cried.

Then the anesthesiologist put the little mask over her face and she looked up at me and started to whimper.  It broke my heart.  She didn’t fight it, but just looked so sad.  I just held her hands and talked to her and in less than a minute she was asleep.  At that point, I left the room.  It was so hard to do but I knew that she was ok and that I’d be with her in a few minutes.  I met back up with Scott and we headed out to the waiting area.  Within about three minutes after sitting down to wait, the doctor was coming toward us.  She said that Nora was all done and that everything went great.  Nora was in the recovery room starting to wake up and we were brought to her.  She seemed scared but wasn’t crying.  She did eventually start fidgeting and crying when she saw us but I think it was because she wanted to get out of the bed.  She kept asking to leave.

In the recovery room, she got to snack on some Cheerios, apple juice and graham crackers and she watched Elmo on TV.  Coincidentally Elmo’s World was about going to the doctors.  We stayed there for about 20 minutes then got Nora dressed and were ready to head home!

It’s been almost two weeks and her eye looks great!  I had to give her eye ointment for the first week.  On Friday I thought we might be having a set back because some tears were starting to pool on her lower eye lid but I called the doctor and she said it was likely because Nora was developing a cold.  That seems to be the case.  She’s had a runny nose and slight cough for a few days now.  Her eye still looks awesome though.  No goop or wetness in it when she wakes up in the morning and no tears constantly running down her cheek.  Hopefully it will stay this way.  There is a chance it could close up but it’s not common.

Nora was such a trooper and did amazingly well with all of it.  I’m so proud of her!

Today is the day

By the time you’re reading this, Scott, Nora and I will already be in the car on our way to the hospital.  Today is the big day.  After a few visits to the eye doctor and discussing it at length together, Scott and I {along with Nora’s pediatrician and ophthalmologist} have decided to go ahead with the eye probing surgery.  They call it a surgery, but it’s really just a quick procedure.  I guess the fact that she has to be under anesthesia means it’s a surgery though.  But when I tell people about it, I just can’t use that word.  It makes it seem too serious.  Not that I’m not taking this seriously or that I’m not very nervous about it… it’s just that calling it a procedure makes it less scary for me.

I know that everything is going to go great and we’ll be home and done with it before we know it, but I’m still going to be a nervous wreck.  Nora can’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight tonight {last night when you read this} and I know that is going to make for a very rough morning.  I don’t even want to think about walking away from her once she’s in the hospital.  I know I’ll probably lose it.

When Brinley had her stitches I didn’t have time to prepare for what was to come and it was just easier that way.  It was awful, but somehow I remained calm for her because she was wide awake and I had to stay strong.  This is different.  Nora will be put to sleep and I’ll have to walk away and I’ve had plenty of time to think about it all.  That’s making it much more difficult.  But in a few hours we’ll be home and it will be behind us and Nora will {fingers crossed} have an unblocked tear duct.

Scars

I seem to get a lot of hits to my blog by people searching for dermabond, scars and facial lacerations.  It’s not much of a surprise to me considering the posts here and here.  So, I decided to do a little follow-up, if you will, on how things have turned out for my girls, scar-wise.  If you remember (or if you go back and read those two posts) Brinley and Nora both had accidents involving facial lacerations.  Brinley was just over two years old and Nora was about 16 months old.  Brinley had six stitches and Nora was treated with dermabond.

Over two and a half years later, Brinley’s scar is barely noticed at all.  It’s about an inch long and luckily it’s right in her hair line.  We’ll still be sure to put sunblock on it whenever we’re out in the sun for long periods of time, but for the most part it’s completely off of our radar.  We never see it and it has no lasting effects.  Here is a picture of her scar as it looks today (with me pulling her hair back off of it):

Nora’s scar hasn’t had as much time to heal as Brinley’s but so far I am happy with the results.  If you remember from my original post on it, I was a little bummed that her pediatrician said he’d probably have stitched it instead of using dermabond, but it was too late.  He obviously wasn’t there when we were in the ER and he didn’t see the original wound but that was his opinion.  It made me a little upset that we may have missed an opportunity to have the best outcome for her.  But now that time has passed and the dermabond has long since fallen off, I couldn’t be happier about the appearance of her scar.  It’s virtually unnoticeable!  Unlike Brinley’s, Nora’s is more in the front and center (well a little off to the left) of her forehead.  So a visually noticeable scar there wouldn’t be so great.  I guess she could always opt for bangs, but I’m not a huge bangs fan.  I can honestly say that her scar is never mentioned or noticed by anyone.  Again, we’ll use sunscreen and all that, but it’s a non issue to us.  Here is a picture of Nora’s scar as it looks today:

Nora’s scar wasn’t a nice straight line like Brinley’s is.  But honestly, I had to circle it in the picture because otherwise you’d never have been able to find it.  It’s more of a little bump in her skin than anything.  Hopefully it stays the way it is or gets even better.

So there you have it.  I know the wounds were different and they were on different kids, but that’s my experience with both stitches and dermabond.  I wouldn’t say that one was better than the other because honestly I’ll never know that.  I will say, though, that I am very happy that we went with the dermabond for Nora.  I think that she’d have a much more noticeable scar with stitches.

THE END

Stitches, Derma-bond, and Scars – Oh My!

After having had to take both of my daughters to the Emergency Room in their first two years of life for facial lacerations (try saying that five times fast!) I’ve done quite a bit of research on the best ways to reduce scarring in young children.  There are lots of helpful tips on the internet and I’ve learned quite a few things both there and from doctors, a plastic surgeon included.  When my girls’ injuries first happened, I was so caught up on how they would each be left with a terrible scar.  It really bothered me and I was, and still am, determined to make them as invisible as possible.

So, I’m going to share with you some of the things that I have learned in case you are ever in this position with your child, or even yourself!  Please note that my experiences are both with facial lacerations in the forehead region so other areas of the body may have different protocol.

First, if you have any doubt in your mind whether or not the injury may need to be stitched, go to the Emergency Room.  If a wound does require stitches they must be done within a certain amount of time, generally six to eight hours, but the sooner the better.  It’s also important to control the bleeding as much as possible by putting pressure on the wound.

When you arrive at the emergency room, be sure to tell the intake person about how the wound happened, whether or not the person lost consciousness, and the severity of the bleeding.  They should ask you most of this anyway, but be sure to volunteer it if not asked.  Then you will have to wait which is the hard part.

Once you are taken back into the room, be sure that you or your child are being treated by a doctor and not just a physician’s assistant or nurse.  In the case of a facial laceration, or would in another very obvious/prominent area of the body, you may want to seek more than one opinion on it’s treatment.  This is a piece of advice that I wish I had known before taking Nora in.  Also, if the wound is going to require stitches you always want to ask for a plastic surgeon to perform them whenever possible.  Remember you are the patient/parent and you have a right to ask.

Whatever the case may be, stitches, Derma-bond or just a dressing, be sure to care for it properly when you get home.  When Brinley had her stitches we had to put an antibiotic ointment with a band-aid on it for a week and then we had to take her in to the doctor to have the stitches removed.  For Nora’s Derma-bond we were told not to put any type of ointment on it and not to get it wet for the first 24 hours.  So be mindful of the proper care because it’s not always the same.

When I took Nora in to see her pediatrician for her follow-up visit, that is when I found out that I should have gotten a second opinion on the way in which her wound was treated.  Her pediatrician felt that since it was a facial wound that it probably should have been stitched.  Though he didn’t see the wound fresh so he couldn’t say that matter-of-factly.  It killed me to know that I may not have done the right thing for her but I really had no idea that I should have pushed back.  Lesson learned.

The most important factor in minimizing scars though, is the care that comes after the stitches are removed or the Derma-bond falls off.  The number one most important thing is to make sure that you apply sun screen to the area every single day for at least a year.  Even if it doesn’t seem sunny out or it’s the dead of winter, the virgin skin can still burn very easily.  You also want to massage the scar to increase the circulation and help promote healing.  It is recommended to use vitamin E oil and massage it into the scar.  It’s not known whether the oil itself helps diminish the scar or if it’s the massaging.  Maderma or some other scar reducing ointment is also recommended.

I am happy to report that Brinley’s scar from almost two years ago, where she received six stitches, is hardly visible at all.  Granted it is in her hairline, but it still healed very well.  Only time will tell with Nora’s but I have very high hopes.  It already looks 100 times better since the Derma-bond has fallen off.  In fact, we were at a BBQ this past weekend and no one even noticed it.

Every time I think about one of my girls being “scarred for life” it really eats away at me.  But I heard something on the radio this weekend that made me look at scars in a bit of a different light…. “A scar is like a tattoo, but with a much better story.”

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I do not claim to be one.  I also don’t play one on TV.  The advice given above is based solely on my experience of having two daughters who have both visited the ER and were treated for facial lacerations.  Please be sure to seek your own medical advice from a professional.

Play area police.

Rain, rain, go the eff away!

I say this with mixed emotions.  Most of me is completely hating the rain right now, but the homeowner, lawn owner part of my really likes it.  It means our near lifeless grass which we’ve watered (according to the water ban) with no avail, is now getting a grand old drink and beginning to look green again.  But this is day four of rain and the girls and I are beginning to go stir crazy.

Over two of the past four days we’ve visited malls.  And apparently so did everyone else.  They were both crowded and filled to the brim with kids of all ages.  We got some shopping done and had some delicious lunches in the foot court, but we also had some too close encounters in the play areas.  See, I’m used to going to the mall in the winter during the week when there is no one there except for me, some old ladies, and a few other SAHMs.  So, going to the mall int he summer when school is not yet back in session is a whole ‘nother beast!

Our mall’s play area looks a lot like this one:

It has a little club house with a slide and a tunnel and then 2 or 3 other climb in/sit in play structures.  The flooring is soft and it’s enclosed with benches.  The sign at the entrance specifically states that the area is for children under 42 inches tall and that children must be supervised by a parent/adult at all times.  However, no one mans the entrance or makes sure that people abide by these rules.

So, on Monday, we ate lunch and then hit up the play area.  It was teeming with children of all ages and heights.  I knew it wasn’t going to be an enjoyable time.  Just as I was about to scoop the girls back up and leave, a boy, probably 8 or 9 years old and well over 42 inches tall, clotheslined Brinley and she fell to the ground.  He kept right on running.  No one stopped him or came over to see if my kids was ok.  I took the girls out and went over to the “Member Services” booth.  I asked the lady working there if anyone checked up on the play area to make sure that people were playing by the rules.  She was very nice and said not typically but that if I had a problem that she could call the security guard over.  I said yes, please and left the area to do some shopping.  When we returned to the play area it was much more calm and the girls got to play for a little bit.

Today, we went to a mall again (I know, I know but sometimes you just gotta get out of the house!).  Again, this mall was crowded but I expected it after seeing the mall on Monday.  We did a little shopping and then went to have lunch.  After lunch we went to this mall’s play area which is almost identical to the other one.  It was pretty crowded but most of the kids seemed like they belonged there.  I decided to assume the role of “play area police” today.  I wasn’t mean or rude, but I stood watch near the slide for a bit.  Kids have a hard time waiting in line for the slide and I was simply there to help them remember to take turns.  (I was also watching out for Nora as she climbed the stairs.)  So anyway, Nora made her way up the stairs and then down the slide.  Once she got to the bottom she was so proud.  She stood up and started clapping.  Within a fraction of a second, one of the too big kids ran by her and stiff armed her to the face.  She fell and he kept right on running.

Now if Brinley, who is almost four, gets bumped into a little too roughly I usually let her work it out and things are fine.  But it’s a different story when a 7 year old boy stiff arms your 15 month old daughter to the face.  So, I did what any other mean concerned mother would do.  I stopped the boy and told him that he should slow down and watch where he was going.  I reminded him that the play area was for small children and that if he was going to play here he really had to be careful.  He apologized.  I’m not sure where his parents were but within a minute or two he was gone from the play area.  I win!

So, yes, I’m THAT mom.  I refuse to stand idly by and watch my sweet little bruiser girl get stiff armed to the face by a boy who is clearly too big for the play area.  I just wish some parents would be more responsible.  I know the day will come when my girls are just on the cusp of being too big to go in the play area.  They’ll beg to go in and I’ll have to tell them no.  Rules are rules.  And they’re there for a reason. ::Stepping down from my soapbox::

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