DIY, the Surgery Edition

What you’ll need:

(1) 4 1/2 year old, slightly overzealous boy

(1) child’s rocking chair, preferably one that is too small for the afore-mentioned 4 1/2 year old.

the culprit. purchased at a yard sale when B was 1.

(1) spill over the back of the chair onto his face

lots of ice and a couple of rags


Curious yet?

Yesterday afternoon, Bennett asked if he could watch “Talking Words Factory” DVD, which I will pretty much always say yes to. Excited, he sat down with quite a bit of force, and made himself fall backwards off the chair. Which seems like not a very big deal; he didn’t hit especially hard, and he certainly didn’t fall very far. But, he did a good bit of damage anyway.

He busted his lower lip, which has resulted in swelling that remains now, almost 24 hours later, and a dark purple bruise. He also got some kind of abrasion right below his lower lip (from the floor or a tooth or both, I don’t know) and a small scratch on his upper gum. But the part that hurt the worst and bled the longest, though thankfully not a ton, was due to the fact that he tore that little flap of connective tissue that attaches your gums to your top lip. It’s called a frenulum, and I know what it is because I had to have mine surgically removed (more on that in a minute), but it would be prudent right now to encourage you NOT to google the word frenulum, as there are, ahem, other body parts with a frenulum, and you will get majorly disturbing search results. Now, back to my story.

So, I had to have a frenectomy (complete removal of frenulum) when I was in 6th grade as part of my massive, multi-step orthodontia. My front two teeth never would have grown together because that tissue grew between my teeth and kept them separated (think Madonna’s teeth). And for a while now, it’s looked as though Luke and Jack Henry will have to have theirs removed, too. Except blissfully, it’s now a laser-surgery vs. excision like I had (can you even imagine the drama of a 12-year-old girl and this surgery? My apologies, Dad.), because I do remember how badly it hurt for a couple of days after.

Notice I did not list Bennett in the children who would eventually need a frenectomy. Not that I would wish this on another one of my kids, but couldn’t it have been one of them who is going to need the surgery? Because the way Bennett messed his up yesterday, I’d venture to guess that this would have taken care of it. His bled for a good 30 minutes, and I don’t know, it probably could have used a stitch or two, but I was here alone with four kids and it didn’t seem life-threatening. He did wake up in the middle of the night crying because it hurt (and then I felt like a bad mom for not thinking of that sooner…I should have given him Motrin to dull the pain! I know how bad it hurts!) but has seemed fine all day!

UPDATED: I talked to our pediatrician today, and she said they wouldn’t have stitched it, so I can absolve myself of that guilt. She said that very little in the mouth gets stitches due to injury…primarily cuts along the edge of the lip do for cosmetic reasons. Good to know.

Here are the grody pictures.

fat lips! and chapped.

really puffy and bruised.

because i want to spare you no gross detail, here's what his top lip looks like.

13 responses to “DIY, the Surgery Edition

  1. ummm ouch! but, some women would kill for lips like this. maybe instead of restylane we can just have them do what bennett did to save them from injecting chemicals into themselves.

    also, just a bit of advice to moms, if your little one has a frenulum (which can inhibit teeth from coming in correctly or if bad enough can cause a little one to have trouble taking a bottle or possibly delay their speech) AND by chance your child needs tubes inserted or their tonsils taken out, if you ask, the ENT will usually cut the frenulum while they are already under anasthesia.

    adali was born with a fairly significant one on her top lip and underneath her tongue and we asked to have them snipped while she had her hernia’s surgically repaired.

  2. That last picture is bad! Ouch!

    Allison had the frenulum underneath her tongue clipped at age one week….while awake!!

  3. poor bennett! he should get a popsicle for surviving like a champ.

  4. oh, poor guy. that really looks like it hurt.

  5. Poor guy…..but he’s tough.

  6. Hello! Talked to you today – didn’t mention this. THat is AWFUL! I’m going to inspect my kids’ frenulums tomorrow!

  7. I can’t believe his fall off the chair resulted in this!!! Poor guy!!!! All this + his usual chapped lips. 😦 Do you think you’re going to survive this semester w/ 4 little boys??

    Never heard the story about you & your frenectomy!!

  8. I had a frenectomy as a kid too. I think I was in 4th grade because it was right before I got the braces on. So yeah, no fun. But way to go Bennett! 🙂

  9. Poor guy that stinks I am sure it wasn’t fun for either of you. Who would have thought all that would happen just from tumbling out of his chair, wow!

    Glad to hear that they have laser surgery now for frenectomy because I am 99% sure that Paige is going to need one as her frenulum totally is seperating her two front teeth.

    Hope B is feeling better! 🙂

  10. Would it make you feel better if I told you that same injury happened at my house to a little girls I was to be “watching”?! I did find out like you that they won’t do much for the inside of the mouth it heals so quickly. But, OUCH!!!!

  11. Pingback: Strange, but Harmless | Here's the Diehl

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