The fall

Okay, Scott told me that I may be worrying grandparents by not filling you in on the details of Zachary’s fall. Let me start by saying that he’s fine!

The children and I went to Plainview yesterday morning to turn in the receipts from my trip to Kansas City so I can be reimbursed, to return a bag that was left in the van, to close our old bank account, and to visit some friends. We left to come back home around 1:00. Zachary fell asleep on the way home. He got about a thirty minute nap, so I thought it best for him to lay down for a bit longer after we returned home. He would have no part of that.

Then, of course, the phone rang. The caller id said it was a friend of Emily’s from Plainview. I had tried to call her while we were there, and had learned that they were in Lubbock that day. So, I left Zachary crying in his bed and went to answer the phone. I was talking with Emily’s friend’s mom about when her friend could come over to play when Timothy came to tell me that Zachary was awake and to ask if he could play in his room. I didn’t have any more plans for the day and would possibly be going to the park to meet up with Emily’s friend, so I decided not to push the nap issue. I told Timothy that he could play with Zachary.

A few minutes later I see both boys head downstairs. They really like the hardwood floors. The like to slip around on it. I continue my phone conversation and then hear a crash and Zachary crying. I figured this was a result of fall and being tired, so I looked down from the stairs landing just to be sure everyone was okay. Zachary was laying on his belly in front of the couch. He was looking around and was crying pretty loud. So, I made my way down the stairs while talking on the phone. Zachary met me by a chair in the living room. There was a little blood on his mouth, so I figured he had busted his lip. This happens at least once a month, so I headed to the kitchen to get a wet paper towel and an ice pack. I finished my phone call and checked him out. That’s when I saw the extent of the damage.
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Can you see it? His top left front tooth is chipped. Timothy informed me that Zachary had jumped off the couch and slipped.

Coincidentally, I had called the Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) office on Monday to get information about the dental coverage mailed to me. We had not used it in Plainview, so I did not have any information about the program. Turns out they have pretty good dental coverage.

Obviously, the dental I.D. cards and provider directory had not arrived yet. So, I called CHIP to see what I need to do with Zachary. By this time, he was fine. He was wandering around the house saying “couch, break teeth” to Emily and Timothy. I called CHIP and filled them in on the situation. They told me not to worry about not having our dental I.D. cards, I would just need to show the dentist their health I.D. cards for now. So, I asked who I could take him too. After informing me that there are no pediadontists in Lubbock who are in-network, they gave me the names of three “regular” dentists to call. The first two were very close to here, so I called them. They both told me that they do not see kids until they are 5 years old. This bugged me as I couldn’t understand why a dentist who is covered by CHIP would not see young children, even in an emergency situation. So, I called the third place and learned they would see him but not until Friday at 2. I went ahead and made the appointment just in case I would need it.

Waiting until Friday just did not sit well with me, probably because I had so many dental problems as a child most likely as a result of falling on a Little People bus when I was 2 years old. I knocked my teeth completely out though, so this was a little different. I wanted to be sure there was no permenant damage to Zachary’s mouth that is already a bit messed up due to his extensive thumb sucking, and I was wondering what we could do about the chipped tooth.
So, I called the insurance company back and told them what I had learned.

CHIP gave me two more numbers to call, both of these were out of town at least thirty minutes away. I called one and was given the same story about them not seeing children under the age of 5. It was explained to me that young children don’t sit still. (Hmmm…. I didn’t know that!) Anyway, I asked this one if there is anywhere in Lubbock where I can take him. At this point, I really didn’t care if insurance covered it or not. I just wanted him to get checked out before Friday. She gave me the number of someone I could try.

I called the place she recommended. The receptionist told me that they do not accept CHIP and told me how much it would cost. The visit would be $71 and x-rays would be $25. I told her I would pay it myself, and she said the doctor could see him in 15 minutes. By this time I had found some information at the CHIP website about emergency dental coverage. The dentist office is about 5 minutes from here, so I called CHIP to learn about the emergency coverage. I knew the extension of the person I had been talking to all afternoon, so I got past the automated directory very quickly. She explained the emergency coverage to me and said she would fax something to this doctor. It would be there waiting for me.

So the kids and I get in the van and head over there. The fax was not waiting for me. I didn’t worry about it. I would pay what I needed to pay and straighten things out with insurance later. The dentist called us back and looked at Zachary. Everything’s fine. His tooth is chipped. There is no nerve damage and the tooth was not pushed up into his gums. There is a slight bruise where his gums meet his lips at the top of his gums, but that is all. His tooth may be sensitive for 4-6 weeks. We need to watch for discoloration, looseness, or any pain. In 4-6 weeks, we may cap it so he doesn’t have a chipped tooth for the next 4 years or so. All three kids got a new toothbrush and sticker. I paid ($57) and went on my way. I called CHIP again when I got home to have them send the fax again and they said to check on it in a few minutes. By this time it was after 5, so it was going to need to wait until morning.

The saga continues. I just called the dentist office. They still don’t have the form. I will be calling CHIP in just a minute.

I am going to keep the dentist appointment for the in-network provider that we have for Friday. I realize the tooth is a baby tooth, but I would like to get it capped. Not only because it looks a little odd, but also because I don’t think it would be good for Zachary to get used to his tooth being like that. Poor guy is just now starting to talk in a way we can understand. I’d hate to set him up for a lifetime of speech defects.

This is really pretty trivial, but has served as a good distraction for me. A good friend of mine is have an endoscopic upper g.i. done today and my dad is having a needle biopsy on some swollen lymph nodes. At least Zachary’s fall is something I can actually do something about without just waiting for details.

UPDATE (later the same day): After four phone calls each to CHIP and the dentist, the form has been received. The dentist doesn’t really know what to do with it, so she will be filling out what she can and will send it to me to send to CHIP. Strange.

My friend came through the upper g.i. just fine. I haven’t heard from dad yet.

UPDATE (Friday): Dad called with good news! His biopsy came back negative for cancer.

After speaking with a Speech Therapist friend of mine, I have learned that having a chipped tooth at the age of two should not affect Zachary’s ability to speak. Apparently, the “th” sound doesn’t develop until about age 7 anyway. Sure enough, Emily is the only of our kids that says “thirtieth birthday” correctly. To the others, it is “firstief birfday.” We did not take Zachary to the dentist today. The pedidontist we saw on Tuesday said we should wait 6 to 8 weeks to do anything anyway. No need to have another dentist tell us the same thing. We’ve not yet decided if we will get the tooth capped or not.



4 thoughts on “The fall

  1. What a day it was!! We’re going to have to work extra hard to avoid nicknames like “Cletus” or “Sawtooth”. We wouldn’t want to scar him for life. This boy will be lucky to survive childhood having already gone through a broken collar bone. Once is an accident, twice is unlucky, if he hurts himself again, it will be a pattern.

  2. Sorry you all had to deal with the tooth thing. Jacob fell in the bathtub and chipped the same tooth as Zachary. Jakes was a smaller chip though. But that was about a month & 1/2 ago. It pushed it back a smidge and it has turned a little grey. The dentist said they’ll keep it there as a spacer unless it starts “rotting”. Anyways, it’s good for me to hear your story too, it’s like a second opinion hearing what your dentist said.

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