Thursday, June 15, 2006

two days ago

around 10am, i stood at my kitchen sink washing the leftover breakfast dishes, when i heard a scream from the next room. a scream, like i've never heard before. the scream was from my baby's mouth. i knew that before i started running toward the family room. i found greyson sitting on the hearth of our fireplace with a look of terror on his face. his hand was extended toward me. i scooped up his little body with one movement and found burns on two of his tiny fingers. the pad of his middle finger was almost completely white. i've never seen skin turn white from a burn, until now. at this point i'm completely clueless as to how this happened, because it's JUNE!!! obviously our fireplace wasn't on and there are no candles burning anywhere. there is no fire or flames in our house, so can someone please tell me why my precious angel is enduring pain that he shouldn't have to know exists. but, there is no time for questions. i have to think, act, and remain calm. definitely easier said than done when you're home alone with two children under the age of three, and your entire life in ONE brief second is being held hostage by a tragedy.
next, with greyson in my arms i run back to my kitchen sink and hold his hand under the cold water, as he fights me. he fought hard, and i fought tears.
next, i manage to call our pediatrician office. i felt completely stupid explaining that "i think" my toddler has been burned. who says "i think my child has been burned?" i felt about an inch tall. after some brief questions, they assure me that it will be fine to go to our med. center instead of our hospital's emergency room. i hung up and called jim. he was working out, but immediately dropped everything and was home within 15 minutes. during that time, i keep jordyn calm and held a cool cloth on the burn. as i'm sitting in the family room, i look over one more time at the fireplace... and i see it. a small bluish orange glow coming from under the logs. the same light that caught greyson's attention probably for the first time in his little life. it is the pilot light from our gas fireplace. and there is an opening between the logs, just big enough for one tiny fist. on tuesday morning it happened to be greyson's.
the med center was beyond wonderful. greyson did suffer second degree burns, but amazingly enough it has not slowed him down one minute. not through the bandage changes, not at all. the doctor called him a little trooper. we agree.
i know there was a hand upon greyson two days ago, it just breaks my heart in a million pieces thinking how much worst it could had been.
so to anyone reading this post with small children, i beg of you to check your pilot light on your gas fireplace and turn it OFF until you need it. i wish we had sooner.

18 comments:

Gerardo Hilbrecht said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Magnolia Mom said...

Aw! I know how you must have felt and I've been there, where you 'think' something has happened to your child, but you're not sure. I'm so glad you found what it was and that he's ok!

Chris said...

Oh Tara, I am so sorry. Things like this happen and sometimes there is nothing we can do...they just happen. Thanks for the warning. I am not looking forward to accidents like that. :(
I too am doing the "I think" this is wrong with my child. Brynn started teething (we think) last week. Now everyone is getting the stomach virus. So I am wondering... Did she have the stomach virus or was she teething? Very similar symptoms sometimes. Except she was chewing like crazy on her fingers and toys.
We are giving her pedialyte and tylenol when needed. And a lot of love and attention. :) That should take care of both. If she keeps it up, we will be at the pediatrician Monday.
I hope everything is better. Little Greyson is a trooper! :)

Renee said...

Tara,
I'm so sorry about that. When my oldest was a baby, she burned her fingers on a humidifier that we had left on the floor. It was very careless of us and I felt so stupid for doing it. And guilty. Things like that happen, it's just part of raising children. Sounds like you handled it beautifully. Glad Greyson is okay.

Jenny said...

I had to go thru my house and check everything and make sure that is was off too. I have not had any accidents like that yet. All I have had are the bumps and brouses. I am glad that he was a BIG TROOPER.

Kari said...

Poor little guy! I hope he's healing well.

Ex-playgroup mommy said...

Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry that both you and Greyson had to go trough that. As parents I know we beat ourselves up when something happens to our kids. I just looked at our fireplace and we have the same pilot light. I'm going to have Sal turn it off tonight.

I'm glad that Greyson is still himself and I hope the healing is quick! You both need lots of love and attention from Jim this weekend!! ;-)

Thanks for the warning!

Michelle said...

What a story! We all try so hard to keep our children safe, and things like this will inevitably happen. Not that it makes it any easier to deal with. Greyson is so blessed to have a mother who runs when he screams, who picks him up, and heals his wounds. You are loved beyond measure by your sweet son.

Drywall Mom said...

Wow, that's got to be the worst sound in the world. I hope he's ok.

Heidi said...

WOW Who would have thought?? Thanks for the heads-up! You never know what they'll get into and it can be beyond our control. I'm so sorry you both had to go through that! I know what it's like and it sounded like you handled it very well and kept focused. Poor little guy, I hope he heals soon!
-Heidi

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Just when things were getting better for greyson! Sounds as if everyone came through this better than you would imagine! Someone from above must have been looking out for you guys!

Trish said...

I know that must have been incredibly scary and just heartbreaking on many levels.
Bless your and your baby's heart.
I enjoyed visiting your blog, by the way. Great writing and pictures.

1girl2boys said...

Oh how scary! I never would even think to check for a pilot light. But I just checked mine and thankfully it's all the way off.

Melanie said...

Tara,
Hello, I found your blog through my cousin, Chris (Sweet Tooth). I was reading over your blog entries and I saw this one. It made me sick when you typed, "I've never seen skin turn white from a burn..." I know exactly what you were feeling and the horror of it.
When my youngest, who is now 3, was 5 months old, I left him in the living room on a blanket while I ran to the bathroom. I knew that he could roll from his tummy to his back and his back to his tummy, however I had never seen him actually roll over and over to change his position.
Anyway, I was gone for a minute maybe and was getting off of the toilet when I heard a crash. I immediately started trying to pull my pants up and run out of the bathroom at the same time because I knew that it involved Cade (his two older brothers and my husband weren't home, just Cade and myself). Anyway, just as I was running into the living room, I saw him grab the lightbulb. He had rolled off of the pallet over to the end table, pulled on the cord, knocked the lamp over and the shade came off and grabbed the bulb, which had been burning all day long!
It was horrible! I, too, had never in my life seen anything burned white. On his left hand, he burnt his pointer, middle, and ring fingers and the top of his palm.
He went through major dressings, whirlpools, exercises for two months, everything healed correctly, except for the middle finger, which was burned almost to the bone, and scarred so badly his finger was completely contracted. When he was 10 months old, he underwent surgery to remove the scar tissue and a skin graft was done. All in all, it was about a year and a half worth of healing, therapy, etc. As I said earlier, he is three now, and his middle finger his horribly scarred, but he has full flexion and movement. The guilt I experienced was terrible...how could I not have realized this could happen. He is my third child, I'm supposed to know everything by now...not quite. The truth is, we can never possibly think of everything and shelter them from it.
I hope that Greyson healed wonderfully and he didn't have too long of a recovery.
Sorry to be sooo long-winded, your story just struck a cord with me...

superclosetnerd said...

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