Christian flew to Adelaide for the funeral of his uncle a week before Christmas 2010. It was just a short, two day trip. What could go wrong?
It was nearing lunchtime on the morning he left, and I was just setting about to get lunch. I looked out to the concrete verandah to see the three older children pushing Tank on the tire swing. I remember smiling at the fun they were having, when suddenly Tank was on the ground. I initially thought he had hit the water sodden grass and that all would be fine, but by the time I looked in his mouth I was horrified to see no teeth. Three teeth were completely gone, and one pushed up. At this point I thought my eyesight had failed me and he had hit the concrete.
The children rallied. Princess grabbed the ice pack, Tiger the wet cloth, Man grabbed a dummy, and I grabbed the phone to call Christian, who had just landed in Adelaide. Best advice: "Go to the surgery at once, and they would refer me on." We didn't have a dentist at this point.
As it was just on lunchtime, I knew I had to feed the kids to keep this from being 4 children upset and hanging off Mummy. A sudden memory (God) reminded me of the pizza pockets in the freezer for "a rainy day". I grabbed these as the children were getting in the car.
We arrived at the surgery with a very calm, dummy sucking Tank, and went straight in to see the doctor, and nurse. The children went out to the staff room to make their lunch. Dr Peter called his dentist, and we were to go straight there, to the other side of town. I was walking out to gather the kids, when a parishioner walked in. Christian had called ahead and arranged Mrs. Burger to watch our children. So we dropped the children back home and I went to the dentist.
The dentist looked, it seemed like only a cursory look as Tank was not dreadfully keen to release his dummy, and I wasn't keen to apply force because of the injury. But the dentist went off to call a paediatric dentist. I was sent home with the understanding that there was one in Toowoomba, and that he would call.
On the way home I filled the car with fuel, and listened to the warnings of a big hail storm coming. I could see that it was about to start.
By the time I got home the dentist had called three times, and I discovered I was to drive to Brisbane immediately. I grabbed my bag that was already packed with my things, the kids grabbed their change of clothes, and I delivered the children to the Burger's house.
And off for the two hour drive to Brisbane. Tank slept, I cried, and pulled myself together. I just missed the storm, which turned out to be a big one in Toowoomba.
I arrived after the dentist had closed his office, but he was waiting for me. Dr Daniel Ford had no more than a two second look and informed me that Tank needed surgery, he had fasted enough (I knew enough not to give him anything once the accident happened), so I signed the forms.
Then I was told to head to Holy Spirit Hospital. I didn't know there was a hospital with such a name, and the name itself made me want to cry. God's hand had been with me all day, setting things in place.
Christian rang to pray with us before surgery, and told us that he had told Tank's godparents, one of whom had also lost teeth as an infant.
So, the accident happened at 11:45am, Tank was in surgery by 7pm the same day.
When he woke, thoroughly distressed, the doctor told me he had taken 5 teeth. Tank had shattered his per maxilla, 4 teeth had been pushed up, and one more was in the fracture line. We had a night in hospital, with regular wake ups because Tank required post op observations.
The only forgotten thing? I forgot to take clothes for Tank, and a nappy (he was 18 months old). I found enough nappies in the car, but for once not a single shirt, so I turned his blood stained shirt inside out, and that is what he wore home.
We arrived home two hours before Daddy. Tank recovered quickly, he was supposed to be on soft food for a week, but snatched toast off me, and adapted. He learnt very quickly how to eat apples without his front teeth.
But wait...there's more!
A week later on Christmas Eve, I prepared a special meal. At the end, I asked Christian for five minutes to get dressed, and to please watch Tank, who still loved to climb. By the time I had my silk blouse on I heard a bang, a Tank scream and a screech from Christian. Tank had climbed, and fallen from a chair and was bleeding from the mouth.
The wonderful Dr Daniel Ford arrived on Boxing Day and, with the aide of equipment borrowed from the surgery, announced that whilst he had split the stitches it would still be okay, and was sitting together nicely.
Now we await the day his adult teeth arrive to see if any long term damage was done.
Praise God for swift treatment, and a good paediatric dentist!