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No Time Off for Mother’s Day

No Time Off for Mother’s Day

May 15, 2012

I broke my own cardinal rule and ran out on to the field when my son was injured.

My 13 yr old son plays on a 7-7 football team, which, for the uninitiated, is pretty much like playing tag. Tag with aggressive, fast, competitive kids. My son and one of his team mates violently collided head-to-head, or more accurately teeth to head. They slammed into each other and both immediately fell in opposite directions onto the ground holding their heads in their hands.* They laid there like that for what seemed an eternity, but in reality was probably less than 5 seconds. Through the sea of legs that surrounded them, I heard my son cry out in pain. If you knew this child, you would know that he is not one to complain about physical injuries. He has broken his finger, taped it up himself on the sideline and continued on. He dislocated his shoulder, popped it back in himself and continued on. So this was unusual.

And so I ran across the field to where he was on the ground. I pried his hands away and looked in his mouth. At this point all I saw was blood and what appeared to be a deep gash inside his lip from his braces. I wasn’t all that worried. As I walked him across the field he started saying, “My teeth, Mom. My teeth.” I sat him down on the sideline and took a better look in his mouth. The four bottom front teeth were pushed back, like they were all leaning backward, and one of them was pushed so far back that the root was coming through the front of the gum. It was horrifying on so many levels.

Immediately I gathered up all of our stuff, my kids and the extra kids I had brought. One of the moms thrust an icepack into my hand. (I don’t even know who it was, but thank you! Also I need to be more prepared.) I think I was driving on autopilot, trying to stay calm and make sure everyone else was calm. My son was in so much pain that he was shaking, though it didn’t stop him from turning around and (playfully) punching his girlfriend when a VW bug drove by us. It made us all laugh because it is so typical of his personality.

We lucked out at the emergency room and it was completely empty when we arrived. We were taken right back into a room. They gave him some heavy duty pain medication. And then he felt well enough to respond to the many, many texts he was already receiving, as well as texting me. His mouth was so swollen he couldn’t talk. The doctor came in and examined him. He needed stitches (5 or 6 of them, I’m really not sure) and we would need to see the orthodontist about his teeth. He felt confident about the viability of three of the teeth. I would have preferred to hear better news.


I wrote the above two days ago, on Mother’s Day.

Yesterday I brought him to the orthodontist, who pushed the teeth back into place, replaced the broken brackets, and put in a new wire. X-rays showed no obvious root fractures, so it looks like all of the teeth might just make it. I believe the orthodontist’s words were extremely confident they would be just fine, though I guess it can a while for nerve damage to show. I’ll take that. He also said that the braces are what saved his teeth from being completely knocked out.

My daughter made me a book for Mother’s Day. Full of all the reasons she loves me. There was one page that I found disturbing. It was a picture of me with the caption: My Mom Doing One of Her Favorite Things.


I swear I only go there for the cheap snacks.

*The other boy also went to the ER with a giant lump on his head and a suspected concussion.

Posted by Chris @ 8:39 am  

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  1. eko says:

    That Walmart looks suspiciously like a church entrance - very, very disturbing - Chris! ;-) J/K! I am so glad your son is okay - wow, I am not sure how/if I could have handled that. He has such an amazing personality - and while, I think we are born with certain traits - that his is so pronounced, life/light hearted and appreciated speaks loudly as a testament to/of his mom! :) AND a concussion! - wowza!- hope he is okay too!

  2. Michelle says:

    My biggest fear is that I will run on the field. Or that I won’t and I should have. 2 broken arms and 1 broken hand and I’m still a rookie.

    Kids are C R A Z Y.

    Random teeth story. : my nephew fainted at my wedding in the church row, fell face first into the bench in front of him. Knocked his 2 front teeth out. Braces held them in. (the teeth did not make it) But it was quite the bloody mess.

  3. Leeann says:

    YIKES! Those are the moments that make a Mom’s heart stop. My youngest got a concussion at his Elementary school and was half conscious/vomiting as I got there to take him to the Pedi. Needless to say, he took an ambulance and I grew about a million gray hairs.

    I hope your son’s teeth are indeed okay and bless your heart for the trauma of the moment! You are earning your Survivor Mom stripes indeed!

  4. MomQueenBee says:

    Braces saved Boy#2’s teeth from a fastball to the side of the face, which pretty much made the bazillion-dollar investment in straight teeth pay off. Being a mom to boys is not for the faint of heart. Or stomach.

  5. lucy says:

    Oh my, I was choking back tears on this one. My daughter plays fastpitch and I can truly understand how you feel.
    Thank goodness he’ll be all right.

  6. Ruth H says:

    Cardinal rules are made to be broken. I’m pretty sure you knew that by now. Happy to hear it will be okay. My youngest sister has found you on Alphamom and sent me a link! One reason I’ve been your voyeur for so long is because we are from a family of seven. She is 12 years younger, the baby of the family.
    I feel like I’ve been reading you forever! And love it all.

  7. Katherine @ Grass Stains says:

    Chris, I can imagine how scared you were! It sounds like it’s the best possible outcome — given the nature of the injury … I hope all will be well! Being a mom of boys is nerve-wracking (I have three, myself). Goodness!

  8. Navhelowife says:

    Oh dear, I’m so sorry! I am glad the docs think that the teeth will pull through, so to speak.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Yikes! Glad he’s okay! I can’t even imagine how scared you were!

  10. Scott says:

    Reminds me of a few weeks ago when I came in from lunch, headed toward the elevator, and nearly walked into a puddle of blood coming from two of my students. I ran for milk per the EMT. We saved the teeth.

  11. Arnebya @whatnowandwhy says:

    Oh, but you look so happy to be entering the large, yellow doors!

    Ugh. My nephew was playing at school last week and things got out of control and he fell down hard. The orthodontist said the same thing: his two front teeth were hanging on by strands it seemed like to us, but he said the braces are what saved them. I’m glad it wasn’t much worse, holding out hope that all four make it and I hope the other boy’s head fares well too.

  12. hennifer says:

    Um… ouch! and your way with words made that all too easy to imagaine :-)

  13. Deborah says:

    Been there, done that. My daughter played varsity soccer. A starter all four years, in the 9th grade, she was intentionally tripped from behind. She did what looked like a front walk-over w/out using her hands. She came down on her head. I immediately jumped up to go down on the field but was told by other parents I could not unless the ref motioned to the stands for me to come down. After what felt like an eternity, a man got up from the stands and went down onto the field. When asked who he was, I was told he was Dr. S0-and-so. I decided whether they liked it or not, I went to my child. She had been knocked briefly unconscious. We went to the ER in an ambulance. She was okay. It was only a mild concussion. I say “only” because she went on to play 4 yrs varsity, 4 yrs college, coach one year middle school and coach one year abroad in the Czech Republic. She has torn her rotator cuff, blown out her knee, broke an ankle and had numerous black eyes, sprains and bruises. But I will never forget that first trip to the ER. I am glad your son is okay. I am sure he is going to brag about it. I have been reading your blog for a while now and know that most your boys play a sport of some sort. I am surprised (in a good way) that this hasn’t happened sooner. My son chose tennis and music over soccer - thank you Lord.

  14. Beth says:

    Chris, I just feel like I want to give you a hug, even though I have a hunch you’re made of stronger stuff than I am. ;^) My son plays baseball, and although the coaches ask that parents stay off the field when a kid gets hurt, I think sometimes running out there is absolutely the right thing to do. Your son sounds like a real trooper! I’m happy to hear his teeth will (hopefully) be saved, and I’ll say a little prayer that there will be no nerve damage.

  15. Wendy says:

    Oy! I just signed up my 8 year old up son for football starting in the fall. This does not make me feel better.

    Hope your son, and his teeth, are okay!

  16. Nelson's Mama says:

    My daughter bit the pavement while riding a scooter when she was about thirteen. I was amazed that the orthodontist said her braces saved her front teeth as well - who knew?

  17. Bonna says:

    Glad to read that there is no permanent damage. Hope he has a speedy recover. Kids are resilient that way :)
    Soon it will be a memory. One I am sure you’d rather forget! Hopefully the other boy will fare well also…

  18. Mrs. Pickles says:

    I actually had something similar happen to me when I was a teenager; only it wasn’t football, it was doing flips on a trampoline. :) We were all convinced that it was the braces that kept me from losing all my front teeth during a bad landing. (shudder) And I’m happy to say that I still have all those teeth, 20 years later — one temporarily turned gray a short while after (from bruising) but soon looked normal. However, I have suffered some nerve damage over time — although considering how sensitive my other teeth are due to receding gums, I actually consider this a blessing! :) I had to have one root canal last year, but that could have been from something else totally unrelated.
    This isn’t to give you my whole sordid dental history, but to offer some hope that everything will indeed be alright, as your orthodontist indicated.
    Good luck!

  19. liz says:

    Yikes! Sending hopeful thoughts for all the teeth to make it.

  20. Dianna says:

    In my experience, it takes about one month for a dying tooth to darken. If the teeth are still white in a month, you are home free. Oh wait that’s baseball.

  21. Jody Brettkelly says:

    Hi nice to meet you, came though Cricketers Mum in England. (I’m a Kiwi living in CA) Of all the sports my eldest chose to play Football (and ironically none of my Kiwi MUm friends let their kids play rugby) so just waiting for that run onto the field.

  22. Lela says:

    Debra told me about it - I’m still cringing!! Tell him Mrs. Lela says, “Gross me out! (but get better soon.)”

  23. Norah says:

    Oh my gosh…. How scary! Amazing how a Mom can stay “together” in a situation like that!

  24. Janet says:

    So sorry to hear about your boy but so glad to see a post from you!

  25. Laura says:

    Wow! Did that ever bring back memories for me. I was in Grade 3 and was tripped on the ice rink at school. Hands in my pockets of course so I fell onto my face. My two front teeth were pushed way back. A quick trip to the dentist and all he did was pull them forward. The nerves eventually died, but I was able to keep them for about 20 years before they became too unstable. I now have implants and no one can tell that my two front teeth aren’t mine! I hope your orthodontist is right about no nerve damage. Speedy recovery to your very lucky son!

  26. usafinks says:

    can’t.even.imagine. going thru this!
    glad he is ok (for the most part :)

  27. CaliforniaGrammy says:

    Oh my gosh, how scary that must have been. So thankful he and his teeth are okay . . . hmmmmm, that Walmart picture is a bit scary. Are you sure it’s only the cheap snacks you’re after? TeeHeeee!