So, while Lara is busy telling Tenoch about her long school day, I go straight into the bathroom. I have potty on the mind, all the time. I didn’t know when the last time she peed was so, I was going to clean up her potty just in case she needed to use it. Tenoch and Lara were right behind me and followed me towards the bathroom. I had my back to them as I was bending down to wipe her potty down. They were right outside of the open bathroom door. Right outside. She was sitting down next to him and playing with him.
Like. She. Always. Does.
Suddenly, I heard him growl aggressively in a way I have only heard him growl at another dog. I turn around to blood. All over. (That’s how it seemed, anyway. When we got home later on that day, there wasn’t any blood anywhere. Thank goodness.). I scooped Lara up and took her into the living room. The dog walked ahead of us and went right into his crate. I never actually saw him on her or anything like that, it happened too quickly. She is screaming like she has never screamed before. I go for the phone and call Stephen first. No answer. My next call is to 911. I know exactly what to say so that the conversation doesn’t last more than a minute. I grab my purse and stand by the door to wait for the paramedics while I try to get a hold of Stephen again. I finally get him on the line. As I am hanging up with him, I hear the paramedics in the distance.
By the time they pull up, I am already on the curb, handing her over to them. They strap her in and help me into the back. I manage to tell them that Stephen works in their office and someone needs to inform him that they are transporting her. Because I had no words at the time and could only focus on trying to comfort her.
“It’s okay, Baby. You’re okay. It’s alright”.
It was so hard to lie to her at that moment. She was not okay. She had blood on her cheek and 4 puncture wounds on her tear-stained cheek. The paramedics went above and beyond. They cleaned her hands and face gently and gave her stickers. We arrived at the ER a few minutes before Stephen did. From that point on, Lara didn’t leave her Daddy’s shoulder.
My little girl had to wait for about 1-2 hours for the on-call plastic surgeon to get there. Not that I’m complaining, of course. Only Huntington Memorial and Cedars Sinai (locally) have on-call plastic surgeons. Any other hospital would have sewn her up with only blood-loss and infection in mind. A plastic surgeon also thinks about keeping scaring to a minimum.
I can only imagine the kind of pain she was in. When she talks about it now, she says that she “couldn’t talk”. Then Dr. Cox showed up and he was fantastic. All of the nurses who cared for us were fantastic. What followed was pretty traumatic for all of us. Stephen and I (and a nurse) had to hold Lara down while the Dr injected her face 5-6 times and sewed her up (a total of 8 stitches). It was TERRIBLE. I can honestly say that it was the worst day of my life and I have never known heartache or pain until that moment. She was begging Stephen to pick her up and pleading for our help:
“Pick me up, Daddy. Pick me up! Hands to yourself, Doctor! Hands to yourself!”
She was in pain, she was upset, she was scared. And, we couldn’t help her.
Finally, after what seemed like FOREVER, it was over. We went home to start the healing process. We went to to see Dr. Cox a few times to make sure there was no infection (which is the main concern with dog bites). We gave her antibiotics twice a day (you know she hated that). We checked her for a fever about 10 times a day. We spoiled her rotten. She got everything she wanted. Stephen and I didn’t go to work most of that time. We wanted to stay together.
Finally, 10 days after the incident, the stitches were removed last Thursday. And, we are so happy. All 3 of us. The blue strings are gone and she can be “normal” again. No worries. A brave little girl. She finally got to have her second day of school on Friday (she pretty much missed the whole 2 week session). We no longer have to mix her medicine with her OJ. Or give her showers instead of baths (to prevent infection, again). Now, we wait for time to erase as much of that scar as possible. We will be seeing her plastic surgeon in a few weeks and he will discuss options with us.
Lara is doing so well, too. Not just physically. She completely understands what happened and isn’t as traumatized as something like that should have been. She is not afraid of the dog. She can explain what happened and remembers EVERYTHING. She is happy that her “blue strings” are out and barely notices her scars.
I want to thank all of you who sent your prayers and support via Facebook and Twitter. I also want to thank all of you who came to visit and gave her such thoughtful gifts (she is working on those thank-you cards). 🙂
Stephen and I debated on whether or not we would take photos of her like that. It was so painful and sad to look at. We finally decided that we would. We have documented everything and this is just another event (albeit a sad one) in her life. I am SO GLAD that we did because the transformation is astounding. It is amazing how fast her little body was healing. The day after the incident, her face was so swollen, she looked like she got punched in the face (There will be no pictures of that on here. Too, too sad). The following pictures were taken 4 days after it happened. She already looked so much better compared to the first day.