A New Kinda Pain

A New Kinda Pain

I’ve felt pain, sure. Who hasn’t? A paper cut here and there, stubbing your toe or hitting your elbow on the funny bone (when trying to put your hand casually on your chin). I mean let’s be honest here I’ve experienced my fair share of pain with two C-sections and am looking forward to my third in December. But I was introduced to a whole new, icky kinda pain when NURSERY flashed on my phone…

I was at my favorite café to write and just finishing my egg white omelet with vegetables when I got the dreaded phone call. You know the one that every mom doesn’t wanna get. When your worst fear rings up. “Hi Rasha, what is it? Is Adriana okay???” Rasha let me know that Adriana bit her tongue. Badly.

I jumped in an Uber forgetting it was an Uber and handed him money. I’m not even sure if he took it or if I took it back or what. Who cares, the 20 dirhams were worth the extra two minutes I saved getting to nursery.

I found concerned kids trying to hug Adriana as she brave faced it in front of a queasy-looking head of staff. She had tripped and bit down hard. Honestly almost through to the other side.

The pain you feel at that moment is real, mamas. It can make many of us want to faint. Or at least slide to the floor for a rocking session. But the second they see you lose it, they lose it so it’s even worse because we have to put this face on called, ‘Hey, Mama just came to pick you up early! Fun, huh? Let’s go maybe see a doctor and mainly just GO HIDE in the car so I don’t hyperventilate with the effort of smiling at all that dried blood on your clothes and shoes…”

Let me digress to explain why this particular injury was so going to happen. All kids acquire random habits that they pick up from older cousins, classmates at school, or invent themselves. Whatever the origin, this habit is more than often something totally annoying. As mamas, we can try to explain why they need to stop doing this – for example, picking your nose and eating it provides zero source of nutrition… or acting like a cat may get you a trip to the vet. Or we can simply wait it out for them to drop the annoying tic. I tried the explaining that with Adriana and then sat back and hoped it would self correct.

Adriana’s habit was sticking her tongue wayyy out. And no, not in a cute let me lick my lips in excitement at the prospect of eating ice cream later or gobbling up the last bites of pasta bolognaise or a lollipop. No, this was much more dog-like. To the point of slobbery.

So… her tongue-biting accident? Well, you can imagine where I’m going with this. Yup. She was running… of course with her tongue out – the whole thing – hanging way out of her mouth when she tripped and bit down. So much blood. So inevitable.

Fast forward to me and her in another Uber, and me taking photos to wake up my brother in New York because he’s a plastic reconstructive surgeon asking him if he can Skype, and sobbing on the phone to get an appointment with the pediatrician… The pain wasn’t stopping on its own, I mean, you can’t even stick a Band-Aid on a tongue.

I took her to the most maternal pediatrician I know, the one who’s more like a mama… the one who gives me the prescriptions when necessary, but is old school in treating colds, insecurities, and new mama fears. I knew she would care for Adriana (as always) like a granddaughter. Diagnosis? After repeat proddings and numerous requests to stick out her tongue so we could get a good look… the remedy was ice cream. Yup. Something cold and squishy. Someone was in heaven.

She couldn’t chew properly for 5 days. We had an ice-cream-filled week, my pain receded, and the silver lining is that the tongue has been nowhere to be seen ever since. It now stays in her mouth and she’s learned “Everything has a house.” And she took that a step further to share, “Even poopoo has a house… it’s in the toilet, right?” Yes, Adriana. Yes, my love. Just keep your mouth closed. Literally.

With my 3rd C-section looming, I know what’s waiting for me, but I know I can control it with upbeat thoughts, meds, and the number of times I send my husband out into the hall to track down the “nice nurse” to up those same meds. I’m not so sure I can handle another injury to one of my puzzle pieces and I’m sure there will be many many many to come. I am going to be a mom of a strong-willed girl plus two boys, after all. Note to self – I seriously need to buy another first aid kit. Maybe three. One for each child? Or maybe I just need to become besties with that doctor in my building?


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