Monday, June 29, 2015
Tootsie trained her Eagle Ey on a dog at Concert in the Park on Saturday, and when she reached out to pet him, he reacted with animal instincts. To make a long story short (and to avoid the accompanying "control your child vs. control your pet" debate), I'll simply share that Tootsie required some exploratory surgery to rule out vascular damage and to stitch up wounds on her head and neck. She has minor (unnoticeable to the untrained eye) nerve damage to her face, but she's otherwise fine, acting like a typical toddler, alternately charming and defiant to her doctors and nurses and Mom and Dad. We remain in the hospital only to get comfortable with the PICC line and antibiotic infusions we will take on after discharge.
Every event in the hospital leaves us bowing with gratitude for how fortunate we are: Only one more inch to the right, and then...only one centimeter deeper bite, and it could have been...
We are thankful.
We are scheduled to leave for Boston and Maine on July 14. Need I mention that Tootsie got close to hijacking another Boston/Maine trip? Geez! I should probably knock wood until we are on the flight there...and BACK, as planned.
So here I am again, rooming in the hospital under unusual circumstances with my third baby. This time, though, she's mobile. This time, I'm not allowed to leave the room unattended. Last time the two of us were confined to the hospital, she was a baby in a bassinet. I could leave her there for an hour in the care of her nurse and venture forth into the sunshine. This time, the one time I defied the nurse and went to the in-room bathroom without putting her bed's side rails up, she bailed out, stretching her IV cords to painful limits. Last time, each moment I breastfed her I was triumphant that my preemie was latching on and taking advantage of my rich bounty. This time, I'm wondering how we got to almost-two-years-old still breastfeeding. AFTER THIS, I swear, WE ARE WEANING!
Not unlike last time, I'm at peace with our present and future. Once the paramedics arrived at the park and assured me our baby would live, I figured we could handle the rest.
So our two greatest challenges on the current horizon appear to be: 1) helping her kick her popsicle habit (averaging upwards of four a day plus lollipops), and 2) reaching consensus on a hairdo strategy (she's currently rocking the Rihanna).
Meanwhile, in typical Tootsie fashion, she's commanding the attention of the floor by doing laps in a push tricycle while declaring, "Ooooh; I like this!" and showing off how she administers her own oral meds via syringe. She's also seizing the opportunity to potty train herself. Why not?
In the ER at Children's Hospital, before formal names are established, patients are given "trauma names," established by alphabet much like hurricanes. Our Tootsie is "Eagle Ey" on my bracelet and hers. Which is just a new moniker for the same indomitable spirit which inspires us.
Hearty thanks to all those community members, neighbors, and friends who came to Tootsie's aid at the concert and who have provided support for all of us since.
And we send our healing energy to the dog's owners, who were devastated by the events, and as we can only imagine, feeling helpless and hoping for the best. We assure you we are well.