More commonly known as the webby thingy between your gums and lip. I bet most of you have never heard this word. I hadn't either until the second week of December. It was a cold chilly December afternoon and I was going through my first miscarriage. We had all been sick with the stomach flu from H*** and were trying to recover. I was busily trying to plow through many backed up jewelry orders that I had put off due to said stomach flu. I was in the living room and the kids were in the family room where the wee lad Alastair was crawling around happily messing with stuff. All of the sudden the wee lad starts crying. I am never one to panic over a cry, it sounded like he got hurt, but I didn't think it was bad. Duncan brought my babe over to me and he had a good amount of blood oozing from his mouth. I grabbed him and put a wipe in his mouth to get some of the blood so that I could see what was up. I had assumed he split his lip little or something like that. I held tissues and wipes to his mouth until the bleeding stopped. Then I decided to take a look. This is what I saw:
Seriously creepy-looking, right? Now I kind of panicked. Not so much that I was worried about my son's well-being, but that I now had to take him to the urgent care or something and that entailed me having to shower, lug all five kids with me or find a babysitter. I knew this was not life-threatening, but rather a nuisance that I didn't need in a week that was already rougher than most I had experienced in the past.
I called my fabulous friend, Kari, who agreed to take my older four off my hands while I ran off to take care of the wee lad. Such a relief to not have to take all five. If any of you have this many children or close to it, you know that a trip like this with no prep is not easy with 5.
I ran off to the Urgent Care by my house. Now, we didn't have insurance last year(2011). It was a way to help us save money and pay off our medical bills(I strongly warn against this, all things medically bad will happen). I get to the urgent care, my baby is in his pjs at 4:30 in the afternoon(this will make them sympathize with me more, right? Wrong!). I tell them whats going on. The lady at the front desk asks for my insurance and tell her I don't have any. She said, "We would like it if you could pay $75 for this visit. If he need stitches, those alone will cost you about $400." This is when my jaw drops.
I say, "Could you bill me? I don't have the money for that right now."
"Maybe we can work something out here," she smiles(a little fake-like). She then gets on the phone with the Dr. who would take a look at the baby. All I wanted was to have them take a look and tell me if something really needed to be done. She gets off the phone, "He won't see you unless you pay the $75 today, now."
"Are you sure? I really don't have that much on me right now, but I will next week. Could I just pay next week?" I am a little bit on the verge of tears. She was being a little heartless and mean in her tone. Not to mention she did not have the sweetest demeanor once she found out I didn't have insurance.
Then she very coldly said, "No, he cannot see him unless you pay the $75 today. Now."
"Well, I guess I will just go to my regular doctor, if she's still open."
"That's probably a good idea ma'am." I hate being called "ma'am," especially in a situation like this. You know it's the only time they say it and it's never in a nice way.
I turned and left. I just started crying and sped off to get to my doctor before they closed.
By the time I got there is was 5pm and I saw that they changed their hours recently, they were now open until 9pm! I wouldn't get to see my usual doctor, but I knew most of the ones there, so I didn't care at this point. I arrived there and it was almost like coming home. I got to see the nice familiar faces I was used to and the polite responses I deserved. I got to see the doctor right away. This was when I decided to have my blood tested for my miscarriage, you know, kill two birds with one stone kind of thing.
That, my friends, is a 9mo. onesie on that little dude. He was 14mos. here. He weighed in at a whopping 20lbs. My two other boys were over 25lbs. at this age.
Back to my story. So the doctor(a very nice woman whom I had never met before) took a look at him. "Oh, looks like he's torn his frenulum."
"Frenulum, the webbing here," she says pointing at the fighting baby. "Now, it looks pretty bad and I could suture it here, except, I'm guessing he wouldn't like that too much so he would have to be put under. That is something I can't do here. I would suggest you take him to the ER."
"Okay." Great! Another trip in the car to another waiting room with another bill.
"I won't charge you for this visit. I will just have them wipe it from the records. It's not really fair of me to charge you when I can't do anything for you." Is she really a doctor? I think I love her! I give Mark a call from the doctor's phone (since I don't own a cell anymore) and tell him to meet me at the ER.
I get to the ER and tell them about the "frenulum" situation. They get us in right away. There was almost no one in the ER. I say if you are going to have an emergency, have it on a Tuesday. We wait in the exam room for the doctor.
"It will probably just heal up on it's own in the next week or two and probably won't even get infected. Just don't have him eat or drink anything that would cause it to sting or burn, like orange juice."
"Wow. Really? Sounds good." Really I'm kind of ticked because I went to three different places when I could have just stayed home. This is the last time I play "good mom."
"If it was my choice, I wouldn't even charge you for this visit because I'm not doing anything for you. But by law I have to. So, that's the downside to this whole thing. This upside is you won't have to pay for more than this visit." Why doesn't rich man doctor just pay for it himself! Ugh! Oh well.
We head on home and pick up the kids. It is now after 7:30pm.
The said "frenulum" did heal just fine and looks pretty normal. My baby is alive and healthy and I am grateful for that.