Saturday night we became familiar with one of the hospitals here as we spent 5+ hours in the emergency room.
My youngest daughter and my Uncle had been playing in the living room having a great time. Everyone was so excited to have Uncle Jeff home – and the girls could not keep from climbing all over him and attempting to occupy every second of his time! While playing, Tala had asked for my Uncle to raise her up so she could touch the ceiling. He raised her up, at her request, and neither of them realized how close they were to the ceiling fan running at high-speed. Tala leaned in just a touch and the blade came in contact with her nose in one blow and her head with another. The sound made my body instantly react and I knew something was desperately wrong. My Uncle, who felt so terrible, rushed her into the kitchen for some needed attention. My Aunty who is a Nurse rushed to meet the need and immediately put gentle pressure on her nose in an effort to stop the bleeding.
We were all alarmed at the fact that our little girl was bleeding through both nostrils and her mouth. This was no trickle of blood, but enough to make her choke through tears. Poor Tala. Poor Anakala (Uncle). My Aunty pulled me aside and expressed that this laceration would definitely need stitches…and she was gravely concerned that there may also be a need for surgery because the depth of the cut may have gone the full thickness of her nose. I was concerned about this also. I kissed my husband goodbye, scooped Tala up in a towel and held an icepack to her nose as my Aunty and Uncle got us to the ER.
After arriving and getting checked in, I sent out a text message asking a few people to pray. My husband called me and told me what he was feeling impressed to pray. He said that he was believing that Tala was not going to need stitches and that she wasn’t going to be in any pain. I agreed with him and asked him to keep praying.
Soon, the bleeding stopped, and when I looked at the laceration, it looked better. Her nose was very swollen, but it was intact and looked as though the healing had already started. She said that her nose was itching and that it didn’t hurt anymore. Tala would begin to cry every now and then because she was worried about what the doctor may need to do to her nose and the fear of the unknown would nearly overwhelm her. She was easily comforted by hugs, kisses and some reassurance.
After more than two hours in the waiting room, we were finally called back to a regular room for care. We waited for some time, as it usually is in the ER and a doctor entered. He was not what I expected. He was young, and had longer hair, he was tan and he looked very familiar. I was trying to put it together in my mind and place where I may know him from. However, for the moment I knew I had to put that question aside and focus on his assessment of Tala’s injury.
He was honest about his concerns regarding treating her nose. He looked at it with a light and expressed the great news that her nose was not cut the full thickness as were originally concerned. Hallelujah! He did say, however, that the laceration was concerning and that we needed to be aware that there was no easy way to tackle this. He explained that this type of injury, being as deep and as large as it was, generally required stitches. He went on to explain that the nose was a difficult place to stitch because they would either not be able to numb it, or if they could get it numb the way to numb the nose was through the mouth. These shots would need to go through the roof of the mouth and they were difficult to place in the right spot the first time. This would require a very cooperative patient as well as someone being able to tolerate the pain and awkwardness of going through the mouth, all the while remaining as still as possible. I asked if there was any other way. He said that if this was the only option, they would have to put her under general anesthesia. He felt that would be too much for her to undergo to treat this injury. Oh and one other little problem, Tala was not insured at the time of this accident…..Ugh. We were willing to pay cash for whatever she needed, we just wanted her to have the best care.
The doctor continued to share that stitches would not necessarily mean that it would be less of a scar, especially if the patient is not cooperative. Stitches would secure the flap of skin so that it would hopefully stay in place. If we leave it be, it may heal up just fine, and then again it may come open again. There was also a risk for infection. However, if we could keep her from bumping it, keep her out of the sun, and keep her from touching her nose, maybe it would stay in tact for the next ten days, and from there it should heal well. He reminded me repeatedly, that there would be no guarantees. I knew at this point our prayers were already being answered – the bleeding had stopped and she was not in any pain, the cut had gone through the full thickness of her nose, and there may be another option besides for stitches. I knew God would continue to answer.
I looked at my little girl in the face with her swollen nose and her scraped scalp and of course I wanted what was best. As I looked into her big blue eyes and her beautiful, soft complexion, I kept thinking about how I did not want her to scar at all. I asked the doctor what he would do if this were his child. He said that he honestly could not answer. He said he knows he will someday have to face situations like this and right now he is not sure what he would do. Reminded again that it not through the doctor that I needed reassurance, I needed it from my Heavenly Father. Hmmm.
I put my hands on my little girls face again, smiled at her and prayed what felt like my thousandth silent plea to the Lord for wisdom. I felt comfortable with the decision if leaving it be, and putting dermabond over the top. He explained that the dermabond was not likely to stick well, and I still felt satisfied that this was the right course of action. Soon a med tech came in and began to clean Tala’s wound and her nostrils. The doctor followed up and worked diligently to place the skin right where it seemed it needed to be to minimize the gap and scarring.
As he was working I felt relief sweep over both Tala and I . She was glad that this hospital visit would soon be coming to an end and she was beyond pleased that we could take care of her injury without stitches. Whew! What a night!
As we finished working with the doctor, I realized where I knew him from. The beach! I asked him, “do you happen to have a little boy who is about one?” He said that he did. It was in that moment that I realized that his son was one of the first boys our two-year old had met. They met because my two-year old, attempted to engage him in play and walked up to his young son and hit him with a stick at the beach. Luckily their little boy was not hurt and they were very sweet in their response to us, talking about toddlers and the phases they go through. As I played this all out in my mind, I decided to keep it all to myself for the time being. Maybe I will share this another time when we see them at the beach or in the community…maybe.
Tala is doing well. She will likely have a scar. The dermabond fell off her nose today. And that’s okay. It seems to be staying sealed so far. We are always in awe of how God responds so quickly to our prayers, no stitches and no pain for our little girl, no surgery and no head injury. Thank you Lord for protecting her and answering our prayers.