Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Please don't call CPS

Yes, Miriam has a black eye. But it was obtained legitimately, I swear.

Miriam was born with a dermoid cyst on her right browbone. At various times in her life, it has been very noticeable, moderately noticeable, or not noticeable at all. I don't know why. It seemed to show up more between the ages of 0 - 2, then it blended into her face pretty well until she was almost 3, at which time strangers started asking the same old "did you bump your head?" question again.

Here it is at age 3 months (while being tough-guyed by my cousin's baby, who is two weeks younger than Miriam):

and at age 1, after a visit to the opthamologist to make sure it wasn't affecting her actual eye at all:

It was a decision three years in the making, but we recently decided to have it surgically removed. The surgery took place on Thursday. The black eye showed up on Friday afternoon.

Sending your child into surgery is not a walk in the park, no matter how often the doctors involved tell you it's no big deal. General anesthesia is always a big deal. In fact, in Miriam's case, the fact that she would have to be put out for the surgery was a bigger worry to me than the procedure itself. Like I said, we've been thinking about doing this for three years, and so we went to the hospital on the morning of the surgery confident but not entirely without fear.

Everything went well - the surgeon was able to remove the cyst without any problems and Miriam didn't have any trouble with the anesthesia. In the end, the most traumatic thing about the whole experience for Miriam was in the waiting room when a little boy grabbed a toy dinosaur right out of her hands. That made her cry. Several nurses wheeling her hospital-gown-clad self away from her mom into a brightly lit, sterile medical corridor did not.

I was hoping for a quiet day on Thursday afternoon, post-surgery, with Miriam recovering meekly on the papa-san in the living room, watching movies or reading books. Instead, she was back to normal in about 20 minutes. Typical.

The doctor had said we could expect some "bruising or bleeding," but I confess I was taken aback by the severity of the black eye as it took shape so ominously on Friday afternoon. We've gone out in public as normal and it's been interesting, funny, or unnerving to observe people's varying responses to a three-year-old with such a grotesque injury.

Some people shake their heads and smile in sympathy, or even volunteer to me the story about the time their kid got a black eye while [whatever]. Some people glance and then look away, and then sneak a few more peeks at Miriam (and me, possibly to assess my child abuse potential) when they think I don't notice. Other people flat-out glare at me, as if I had the audacity to beat my kid and then take her out in public. Very few people (strangers, at least) have actually asked me what happened, but I wish they would rather than assume the worst.

So far, it appears that no one has reported us to Child Protective Services. Hopefully that won't change. In the meantime, I'm considering digging out my copy of the doctor's post-surgery orders and pinning them to Miriam's shirt just as a preventative measure. Let's hope it works.


Liz Johnson said...

WHOA. That is a serious black eye!! Does she seem to be bothered by it??

Also, do people seem to buy your story? Or do they nod and look at you like, "Sure... surgery... ok..."

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Daniel was born with Mongolian blue spots on his back & behind, which gave him the appearance of having been hit. Fortunately, the general public did not see them except when he was in his swimsuit or having his clothes changed in public. And at those times I received scathing looks, though few asked about it. No one ever called CSD which is good, except that if he had been mis-treated, did no one care enough to call? I always wondered . . .

Meme should be as good as new by the end of the week.

Alli E. said...

Wow!! Poor girl!! I am glad she is not letting it slow her down though!!

Britney said...

Yikes. Like Liz, I was wondering if Miriam is bothered by her eye.

Emily was put under for eye surgery last summer. In her case, they were using a microscopic balloon to inflate a tear duct that had been plugged since birth.

Like you, though, I was much more nervous about the general anesthesia than the actual surgery. Everyone reacts to anesthesia differently, and it's what COULD go wrong that's scary.

Anna said...

Sure. Likely story. If I dial 911 can they transfer me directly to Child Protective Services?

Psyche. That's a nice shiner. You should prep Miriam to respond when people ask what happened by saying, "you should see the other guy."

Kristen said...

Poor girl. Another great photo for the wedding slideshow, though. I am very glad that it all went down smoothly (well, besides the shiner, that is)

Brittany Cornett said...

I didn't see that Friday morning are you sure my child didnt punch your child in the face?

Glenn E. said...

I'm glad the surgery went well! Glenn had to be put under this summer for knee surgery, and it is no fun at all to watch your loved one be wheeled away on the hospital bed!

I hope little Miriam's eye starts to look better soon!

Julie said...

Oops, I left that last comment with Glenn's account- it's me, Julie.

Fadi K said...

Hope Meriam will recover and get soon well.


Nancy said...

Nice shiner. That is so impressive, really.


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