All systems go

As always, Angel woke me up rather early today.  His face isn’t swollen at all.  I kept his head elevated with a pillow and my arm throughout the night, and I tried to put a cold compress (some ice in a small ziploc bag wrapped by a thin face towel) for a few minutes before I drifted off to sleep.  He looks as normal as can be except for the patch on his forehead. 

So we’re going after all.  I see now why the plastic surgeon was wary of telling us to postpone our trip.  He did say that the reaction to the stitches to the injury varies from person to person, so he told me to play it by ear.  No prescriptions, too, except for the pain reliever which I already had at home.

I fed him breakfast and lunch and held him as he put the food in his mouth.  I held him close and told him I never thought I would have a son like him.  I guess we never really know the wonder of having children until we hold them in our arms.  He’s busy packing his favorite cars in a supermarket plastic bag.  I ask him where he’s going and he tells me “Car..” .  Alan went to the gym but we’re going to do our errands shortly. 

I see his personality emerging and sometimes he gets to be quite a handful.  But I’m grateful that he’s very affectionate and helpful, and that he is very demonstrative towards his two grandmothers.  He lights up when he see his half brother who is hardly around.  And when he knows he has upset his Dad or me, he looks genuinely remorseful for the trouble he had caused. 

It’s a long journey ahead, I know.  I have been teasing him I don’t want to make friends of the people in the ER which elicited a laugh from my Mom.  I’ll take the cuts and bruises — I always pray he be healthy always.  We’re trying.. we’re praying.

The glass half empty.. or is it half full?

It’s an illustration that never gets tired.  You see a glass with water to its middle — is it half empty or half full?  This came to mind because I was struck about how people, in general, can differ so greatly in how they view the world.

There are those of us who go out into the world with open eyes (and open minds) which allows us to absorb and imbibe as much as we can from the things we come across.  Then there are those who have restricted their sights to focus only on the negative and the dark side of life and end up missing out on so much. 

On any given day, so many things can go wrong.  But why dwell on the bad when there are a hundred and one blessings you can count?  It’s a conscious choice to see the glass half empty or half full — and whether we admit it or not, how we see that glass shapes how we see everything else in this world.  We can choose to see the smiles and hear the laughter instead of dwelling on our worries and the darkness. 

So tell me, is your glass half empty or half full?

A trip to the ER

Crossposted on Motherhood, etc. 

I came home just before 3PM and found Angel napping on his fold out sofa.  My mom immediately told me that he had fallen and had a cut on his forehead.  He stirred and woke up and I saw a slight trickle from a tiny gaping wound — small, but open, so I tried reaching out to our pediatrician who turned out to be on vacation.  I immediately decided to call Alan to tell him I was taking Angel to the ER.  I figured the wound might be closed by a staple (which, I was later told in the ER doens’t work for wounds on the forehead), or some stitches.  In any case, I didn’t want to take the chance that the wound might get infected or that it might not heal properly and scar badly.

I called for a taxi and Mom and I hopped in with Angel.  Other than what must’ve been pain on the forehead, he was okay and alert.  The bleeding had abated some but had not stopped totally.  I wasn’t worried and kept telling him that it was part of growing up.  I was surprisingly not panicky, although I felt worried about the wound.

After triage and registration at the ER, we were called and ushered in.  An ER doctor came and asked what happened, read his stats and inquired if we wanted a plastic surgeon to handle the wound since one was in the area.  I didn’t want to overreact but when he said it made no difference really except that most people preferred a plastic surgeon when the would was on the face, I immediately grabbed it.

A male nurse held his head steady and I held him down by the shoulder and arms.. My face was right in front of his face which enabled me to talk to him, and Mom held his lower body down.  The wound was injected with novocaine which caused the immediate area of the wound to swell.  The surgeon proceeded to cut the skin to trim it and stitch the wound closed.  I couldn’t really bear to look although even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. I was too busy trying to distract Angel.  While the surgeon assured me he could no longer feel the stitching, I knew Angel was very distraught to have a strange man holding his head steady.

We were done in 10 minutes.  Angel was sobbing slightly but had quieted down by the time he got up to have me carry him.  No bathing the head for three days, (and definitely no swimming), and I was given some extra waterproof bandage to put on the incision if the original one falls off.  We’re seeing the doctor again in 10 days.

Alan picked us up from the ER and drove us home.  Except for the 1 x 2 inch white flat bandage on his head, you wouldn’t even know there was anything wrong with the boy.  He was going around and playing in the ER waiting room and he’s his usual active self again.

No matter how small the injury may be, I wish I could’ve taken the fall instead.  I knew my Mom felt the same.  The other Lola, too.  Yet with stories from Alan himself about how a family friend who is a popular surgeon in Manila used to stitch him up — so I know I’m in what will become familiar territory knowing how much of a livewire Angel is. 

We’re seriously considering cancelling the vacation but want to wait and see how the swelling goes tomorrow.  I’ve given him the Tylenol pain reducer as recommended by the doctor, and I’m going to put some ice on his forehead once he’s asleep.  I keep telling myself he will be fine as he seems to be.  I just need to keep reminding myself that.