Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Story about the tongue cut in half

Rob asked me to tell this story, which I referred to when I blogged about Ma-Hue shoving a rock in his ear who-knows-how-long-ago. I forgot that I haven't been blogging for as long as I've had kids, so I would not have told this story on here! When Matthew was 15, almost 16 months, we went to Thailand to scoop him up. We came home the day before Christmas, 2005. [What an awesome Christmas present, hey? Here's a baby!]. Things have changed since then, but Matthew's immigration process was parallel to that of an adult immigrating to Canada from Thailand. His forms were the same, the waiting times were the same, he even got a letter reminding him to study for the test they give to adults before their citizenship gets approved. During this interim time, adopted kids had no medical insurance for the first three months (just like any adult newly landed). We bought private insurance to cover the three months, but it wasn't that comprehensive. We just don't have private medical insurance that covers your day to day and routine doctor's visits, etc, here in Canada. We paid our doctor a few hundred dollars for well baby and ill baby visits during those three months, which is virtually unheard of in Canada. Anyways, we purchased insurance that covered major accidents, but nothing for more minor stuff.
Three months and TWO DAYS after he arrived in Canada, Ayden and Matthew were sitting on our bed, and a scuffle ensued. A one sided scuffle in which Ayden pushed Matthew off the bed and Matthew's mouth erupted with blood. When he fell, he bit his own tongue so badly that about halfway back in his mouth, on the left side, it was cut all the way through. As though someone took a chef's knife and sliced it. It was still connected on the right side (thank heaven), but that left side was totally unattached except by the frenulum underneath. Most of the time, ERs will not stitch tongues, or generally the inside of mouths, because they heal well and quickly with very few infections. But I knew this one would get some attention. And he was hungry but there was NO WAY he could eat with half his tongue hanging off!
Brent took Ayden to our friends' place for dinner (we had been getting ready to go to their place when it happened) and I took Matthew to the ER. Triage made a face at me and said, "We don't usually stitch mouths," and I said, "I know. But look!" I opened his mouth, pulled the tongue apart, and she jumped back. "Let me get a doc to look at it, I think that really needs stitches!" Y'think?! I know it does. The doc took one look and said, "Oh yeah, that needs stitching all right! Come on back."
I was worried about the emotional trauma of being held down by a new mother while a scary and painful medical procedure was done to his mouth, but the doc sedated Matthew with a drug that causes amnesia. Matthew acted really drunk, it was VERY funny. He kept waving his hands in front of his face and looking at them in awe--a legal drug trip! We wrapped him in a flannel blanket like a sausage, so he couldn't grab at the instruments, and the doc put 4 or 5 stitches in his tongue. They were dissolving stitches so he wouldn't even have to suffer the discomfort of having them removed! Which was awesome. His pupils were the size of grapes, and he couldn't walk from the sedation...But his tongue works stellar now, and he was able to eat as soon as he came home.

There you go. The story about the tongue cut in half, almost all the way off. Paid for by our national health care system after a mere two days of coverage. =)


Louise Chapman said...

Yikes! Did not know that one!

Roboseyo said...

wow! thanks for sharing. glad everything worked out OK.

I fell off a chair and broke my arm once - I can still remember it - but I never bit my tongue off or anything.

lori said...

Dude. This is a ring-dilly.