Yesterday was a hard, terrible, no-good day. Sometimes those happen, and as those go, it wasn’t that terrible. It was hard and a little overwhelming. It was a day that really could have used some family back-up. My mom. My dad. My sister. Someone. Even having Cole back would have given me a little breathing room. Sometimes living overseas, even in beautiful Germany, just blows.

It started Thursday night. Dane’s tummy hurt. Not entirely unusual, he’s hitting that pre-teen growing spurt where he’s hungry all the time but his tummy can’t fit all the things he eats to satiate that hunger. He took a nice, hot shower, seemed okay, and I tucked him into bed. Crisis averted.

Nope. A hot shower wasn’t enough. Too much food wasn’t the cause. It was an actual tummy bug. A couple hours later a hot little hand tapped on my shoulder and the lovely smell of vomit wafted over me:

“Mom? I’m sick.” and sure enough, he was. Luckily he’s pretty good at making it into the bathroom, and usually the toilet, when he needs to throw-up. This time he made it really, really close. Poor guy. Poor me.

He spent the next couple of hours sleeping off & on on our, thankfully, heated bathroom floor. I alternated between sitting with him, helping clean, and catching cat naps in my own warm, delicously cozy bed. I figured I’d take a nap the next day, and catch up on lost sleep. Ha! The hubris!

I forgot I still have two kids at home. Here I’ve been thinking “only” two kids is easy. I got this. Piece of cake. After all, I’ve had six kids at home. Two kids? Beginner level mom.

I was so wrong. Dane’s tummy was settling down by mid-morning. I felt confident leaving him home alone for an hour while I ran out to the orthodontist with Tess. She needed a tightening and one of her brackets had popped loose. At Christmas. But. Well. Things are closed around here at Christmas and Tess is not a whiner. Still, I didn’t want to miss the appointment after really waiting too long already to take her. I tucked Dane into my bed, popped on his Netflix, gave him the phone and ran out the door. Little did I know I would be gone for six hours!

Despite a light snowstorm, we made great time to the orthodontist office. We only had to wait minutes in the waiting room, and I was feeling so good about all the things. Happy I did take Tess, comfortable I left Dane home alone, things were going smooth.

Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech! BOOM! The orthodontist took one look in her mouth & decide all was not okay. Tess has been struggling (for years) to get her adult canines to come in. Last April, during Spring Break, we had the baby canines pulled and the gums in the roof of her mouth cut open and brackets glued onto the adult canines. The adult canines stuck in the roof of her mouth.

Our orthodontist had attached leashes to the brackets on the adult canines to help pull them forward. This summer, during our trip to the states, just before my fall, Tess bit through the leashes. The wire leashes. By the time we got back to Germany, I was broken and couldn’t drive. Cole drove her to her orthodonist appointments and the orthodontist removed the leashes. Hoping her teeth would continue their forward motion.

Yesterday that hope was dashed. Her teeth were firmly stuck in the roof of her mouth. She needed an additional surgery. Now. Luckily his brother in law is an oral maxillofacial surgeon. A surgeon that has a free hour every Friday to meet new patients. Our orthodontist called in our favor to go see him. Could we go see him? I readily agreed. Anything to help Tess!

It was only then that I learned we weren’t being seen for a consult, but for same day surgery. Eeep. Dane. But Dane was doing great. He hadn’t thrown-up, was happily watching Netflix, and thinking maybe he was  hungry. I forbade the eating. Okay’d some tea and hung up the phone.

Tess and I got to the hospital just before noon. Lunch hour. And the nurses were waiting in the hall for us. They bundled us off to the same-day surgery suite, which looked remarkably like a dentist office, and pushed two papers in my hands. One for insurance. One for pre-op allergies & warnings. 10 minutes later I’d met the surgeon, positioned myself near the chair, and watched him give her 4 numbing shots in the roof of her mouth.

Those shots hurt! Then I watched him take a soldering iron (I’m sure it has a different technical name in the dental world) and start burning the gums away around her super stuck teeth. The smell of burning human flesh is almost as bad as watching little chunks get taken out of her mouth.

Tess was a trooper sitting still as a mouse. Then I saw her eyes scrunch. Her toes pushing together, our family signal that she was in pain. I spoke up. The surgeon stopped. She denied pain. He kept going. Repeat times three. Finally it was over. We waited a little bit for the bleeding to stop, and we were on our way.

“That was the worst experience of my life.” Said my up-until-now smiling daughter; “I felt that burn away my gums.”
“Whhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyy didn’t you say something?” Why must she be so tough?
“Because. I just wanted it done.”

I couldn’t get to base fast enough to get her a milkshake & ibuprofen. The rest of the way home she giggled and kept poking her nose. While the roof of her mouth never got fully numb, her nose sure did!