It was my birthday, 12/12 – BIG 35! I told joel I want a special birthday this year, a full day to myself to relax, drink wine, bake, have a bath, watch movies. I was going to jam pack that day with ME TIME!
10am – I was baking scones when the phone rang. Ella’s school number popped up on the screen. I hate to admit it but inwardly I groaned… I had a full day planned!!
“Ella’s had a fall and chipped a tooth”
I laughed, thinking thats not so bad! She’s such a clutz! I actually asked if she could finish the day – being the second last week of school they always do such fun things!
The voice on the phone said no, and you’d better book her in to the dentist asap.
I called around, Of course I couldn’t get her into a dentist around here on short notice. No biggie I thought, we’ll work it out later. I jumped in the car and off I went to pick Ella up. No handbag, no water bottle, (I usually dont leave home without it) just my wallet and my phone. I told Joel I’d be back in an hour (Ella’s school is 40ks away, about half hours drive) and to finish the scones and have the wine chilled for when we got back 😉 I Gave Reece a wave and off I went on what would turn out to be one of the worst trips ever.
Half way there I get another call to meet them at the district hospital… Ok? I was Thinking thats weird – but still not too worried.
I walk in to reception, the receptionist explains that they got the tooth back in…
“WHAT?! Her tooth had actually come out!? ”
It was more serious than I thought. Ella had fallen and knocked one tooth out and damaged the other one. I walk in to her room, she looked…. AWFUL! Blood all down her front, half a tooth jutting out at an awkward angle and the other one half gone. 😢 It was shocking to say the least! They warned me that her tooth wasn’t in very well and there’s a container of milk on the table if it falls out. I was then left alone with her for awhile.
I picked her up in a big bear hug. Within 5 minutes the tooth fell out again and I popped it in the milk they had ready. I called Joel and let him know this might take longer than I thought!
The dentist came in and told me they had called ahead to royal Melbourne dental hospital (about 3 hours drive away) and we have to leave right away. I mentioned going home (which is the oposite direction) to pack a few things, change of clothes etc and was told No, it’s really important I get there asap – to hopefully save the tooth!! Going home would had at least an hour to my trip. I can’t fault them, they’d organised for Ella to be seen as soon as we got there, printed a map where the nearest parking was (about a 10 minute walk from the hospital) one lady even went to her house to get Ella a change of clothes, as her uniform was wet and bloody. So off we went! Tooth in its container of milk carefully placed in a towel on the passenger seat.
BIRTHDAY ROAD TRIP! (I guess?😂)
So after an uneventful drive, I find a park and look up on Google maps how to get to the dental Hospital.
Of course Melbourne is a lot colder than home, I’m in shorts and a singlet, Ella in a summer dress, and All I had was her swim bag to carry stuff in (Including the container of milk holding her tooth) The 10 minute walk turned into a 20 minute walk with ella – she was tired, shivering and really not happy. (Who could blame her!) I was practically dragging her – and even carried her for as long as my back could take it. I would have given anything for her wheelchair, and a jumper for her. Nearly in tears myself I was working out how much cash I had on me, and seriously contemplated asking strangers to literally buy the jumper off their back for her (of course being melbourne, and me being very country, I was also concerned about getting stabbed so I didnt do that lol)
Once at the dental hostpital I gave the refferal letter to the receptionist, told her they were expecting us and explained what was going on. she told me to take a seat and wait, and I did. and waited, and waited. Wrapping Ella in her damp towel (because that was all I had) She was clearly going into shock – shivering and crying. There we sat, probably looking like we’d been through the ringer, and We waited.
After the first 2 hours I went and asked how much longer.
After another 2 hours later I complained, almost in tears, face red, shaking, I hadn’t eaten all day and I was just so bloody over everything at this point. Different receptionist this time, she really went to bat for me, went and made sure we’d be next, was disgusted that we had waited so long, she got me the forms to make a formal complaint – and an hour after all that, she even stopped someone else from going in as we were supposted to be next! (Sorry whoever you were!)
Finally we went in – the dentist took one 5 minute look at Ella and said we needed to go to the royal childrens hospital. I think I broke a little inside at this point. It was 8pm now, absolutly freezing outide and getting dark.
It took 40 minutes for me to get Ella back to the car. She was crying the whole way and I tell you I wasn’t far off sitting in my gutter and doing the same!! We got in the car and I took a moment, turned the heater up and sat. It was now almost 9pm, I hadn’t eaten all day, Ella hadn’t eaten since morning tea. I took a deep breath, typed the royal children’s address into the GPS (thankfully it wasn’t far!) and got on with it.
Once there I was able to get us a drink of water (if you recall, I’d left my drink bottle at home, and I was dying of thirst by this stage!) Thankfully Ella got seen by the intake nurse in about an hour, then saw the dentist on call about an hour after that.
This detist was AMAZING! She explained that they could put her under – fix the teeth and reimplant the one that was out, they’ll put a brace on to keep it place until it fuses to the bone – but unfortuntly the tooth is dead, so it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ she looses that tooth again. I sign the paperwork, surgury is booked for the following day.
I drove to my grandma’s, luckily she lives around half an hour from the childrens (with no traffic) She had some pj’s ready for Ella, I got her into bed and then drove to Kmart to pick up a few things. My Brian was fried. I wandered around Kmart aimlessly picking up a toothbrush, deoderant, change of clothes for both of us. It was about 1am by the time I crawled into bed, and I couldn’t sleep at all, my mind buzzing with the day. Finally conking out around 3am – and Ella gave me a nice 5am wake up call.
Thankfully the next day could not have gone better! 😁
I got to see some family I hadn’t seen in a while – traffic back to the hospital was pretty good and Ella got called in almost straight away. Ella’s generally terrified of the face masks but We did lots of practicing ‘blowing up balloons’ and decorating the mask with stickers, plus a bit of bribery with a new hat I got her from kmart the night before – she finally got it on her face.
The chat with the dental surgeon beforehand while keeping Ella calm and entertained was hard – unfortunately the fact of the matter is the tooth won’t take. After being out for so long, It’s dead. She said I had two options, she could go ahead and replace the tooth today, so the root will fuse to the bone.
This means we’ll need to go back in two weeks for review, then she’ll need to be put under a general again to get the braces taken off, and then under again for a root canal, and then again after the root fuses to the bone when they’ll cut her tooth off at the gum and screw in a fake one, and As always there’s risks every time she gets put under.
The other option would be to clean it up, and leave a gap – which has its own problems, the other teeth moving, trouble eating, infection etc
In the end I decided to get it put back in – still not sure if I made the right call! 😬 It’s so hard to make a huge decision like that in the moment – and on very little sleep!
2ish hours later, She woke up pretty sore and upset, which is to be expected – but the braces looked adorable and she even got a certificate for being so brave! 😉
Home the next day with an appointment in two weeks to check and possibly get the braces off. On the plus side since we actually knew about the next trip we made a family holiday of it, spent christmas with my family from melbourne, went to the zoo and got her braces off all in the same trip. (we even took our dog Lucy 😁)
So basically thats where we’re at now. Ella needs to be careful with her teeth, semi restricted diet (no apples, biscuits, or anything crunchy) and eventually they will need to be cut off at the root and fake ones drilled in, and hope to hell they don’t fall out (or get knocked out🤦♀️ ) before then!
All in all I’m incredibly proud of how well she has handled everything, once again taking it all in her stride. 💚