One day Anni was twirling and singing one of her original compositions.
"It's my gift!" she declared.
Dizzy, she fell with spectacular gracelessness.
Laying on her back on the tile floor she began flapping her arms and legs
as if she were making a snow angel.
"Falling down is also a gift!" says she.

Friday, February 03, 2006


So the bleeding continues, sometimes new and bright red, and sometimes old and black and sticky. But always with that smell, like old and tarnished silverware, that will henceforth forever more send me into an emotional tailspin. There is no plan right now. There is noone coming by to tell us what might be the problem or what might be the solution. Given that I was already an emotional wreck even in the comfort of my own home, you can imagine what kind of tightrope I'm walking here. And if there is at least some goal you're working toward, some idea of a map you can follow to lead you out, then I can hold it together long enough to follow the plan, no matter how rocky. But this not knowing and no action and nothing to look to for answers, it is like a little drop of water beating on my forehead every two seconds while I try my very best to keep the mood light for Annika's benefit. I don't think I'm fooling her much. Again, I forgot to pack Annika's toothpaste, the one that tastes like bubblegum. In fairness, I also forgot to pack my own, so we are both left with the crap that the hospital here has in stock. It is truly the nastiest bit of goo that ever found its way onto toothbrush bristles, with an aftertaste that reminds me of walking past a lawn that's just been coated with herbicide. Needless to say, Annika did not want to brush her teeth with it. I made her, anyway, since good dental hygiene is especially important for the immunosuppressed. But the next night, I was just feeling so low and it struck me what an optimistic thing it is, to brush your teeth every night. A real affirmation that you're thinking ahead to those days when all your faithful devotion to the fluoride deity will pay off in good chompers when all around you are losing teeth right and left. I just made her swish her mouth with water that night. But then Annika took a bite of her breakfast the next morning and said, "Ouch. My tooth hurts." Wondering if there could be retribution that quickly from the tooth gods, I checked her mouth. There, dangling at an odd angle, was her very first loose tooth. And behind it I could already see the imprint of an impossibly huge tooth pushing impatiently up from her gum. "Well, hello! Annika, it's your first loose tooth!" She beamed and reached up to wiggle it, almost shyly. Then we had a long conversation about whether or not the tooth fairy visited hospitals, and what kind of stash might be available to fairies doing hospital rounds. She had the tooth out in less than 24 hours. And I've been making her brush her teeth again. I mean, optimism has got to be the best policy, right?


Blogger DevilMacDawg said...

YES - the toothfairy most certainly DOES visit hospitals. I think something a little more glitzy than the dollar coin may be in the works for Anni, though.

My heart goes out to you. Keep faith and hope alive. Here's to decades of tooth brushing.

2/03/2006 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Emma said...

I lost a tooth when I was in hospital once and the tooth fairy at my hospital is sooooo much better than the regular one, LOL. Hoping that Anni's hospital tooth fairy is a great one and gets the princess something oh so special for that important first tooth!

Love and Hugs

2/03/2006 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How fun for Annika to have her first tooth come out! Something for both of you to take your minds off of it all for awhile!

Praying for peace and most importantly, God's direction for the doctors..that they know exactly what they will need to do to help Annika...hugs.

2/03/2006 12:52 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Sorry that you are not getting any answers.

Yeah for Annika's first lost tooth. Keep on brushing!

2/03/2006 12:58 PM  
Blogger ccw said...

How exciting! I'm certain the tooth fairy vists the hospital.

Hope you have some answers soon.

2/03/2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger susan said...

Moreena, you constantly amaze me with your ability to find words, images, themes in the midst of such worries. I wish you and Anni decades of good hygiene for all those big teeth that are just waiting to come down.

2/03/2006 1:23 PM  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

I am sending prayers your way too. I agree that going without a plan is impossibly hard.

I hope the tooth fairy is very generous these days. Hugs.

2/03/2006 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Mary Lee said...

Sometimes the tooth fairy in the hospital is the highly trained doctor who knocked the tooth out with his endoscope!

God, I wish you had some better news.

As always, I am praying to Padre Pio for Annika.

2/03/2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

I hope the hospital tooth fairy left an excellent stash. And some hope under the pillow, too.

The uncertainty must be so hard to take. Hugs... and more hugs. We're thinking about you constantly.

2/03/2006 2:18 PM  
Blogger Sarahlynn said...

*Awesome* perspective.

What did the tooth fairy leave?

2/03/2006 4:05 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Hospital tooth fairies are lovely, wise and gentle souls who not only collect the teeth and treasure them, but hand on a hug to the battered parents as they pass.
Praying for some answers, fast, and for the strength you need to deal with each thing as it comes.
Much love and many blessings

2/03/2006 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Mary M - KaitlynsMOM said...

I hear hospital tooth fairies are very generours! LOL!

So sorry to hear you guys are back in and not getting the answers you need.

Thoughts and prayers to you..

2/03/2006 7:03 PM  
Blogger liz said...

Toothfairies are exceptionally generous in unfortunate circumstances. Mine gave me 4 times the going rate when I swallowed my first tooth accidentally.

Congratulations to Anni for passing that milestone.

And hurray to you for making her brush her teeth.

Big hugs and lots of optimism.

2/03/2006 7:16 PM  
Anonymous Beanie Baby said...

Congrats on Annika's first loose tooth! And I'm so sorry it couldn't have been in better circumstances.

Can aspiring tooth fairies send packages to the address at Kohl's house?

2/03/2006 7:16 PM  
Anonymous Joanna said...

Oh gosh, Moreena, once you have smelled the metallic scent of your child's blood you never forget. I am so sorry you are still enduring this. How impossible for you that there are no answers just now, especially on a Friday, we all know what hospitals are like come the weekend. Strike me off for saying this (because I think I may have said it once before), and tell me to sod off if you want, but is this not the time to ask your docs to communicate with other centers to see if anyone else has any ideas or has dealt with the same issue. Is there anything other than toothpaste that you need just now? We're all here to listen to anything you need to vent anytime. Stay strong!

2/03/2006 7:18 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

First tooth! How exciting! And so like Annika to have that tooth out in 24 hours so she could make out with some good loot for it, too! Sounds like something I would have done as a kid.

We're still here, hoping you get answers (and home) soon!

2/03/2006 9:18 PM  
Blogger angie said...

I'll personally send a note to the tooth fairy if necessary...Annika deserves only the best!

You all deserve a break from the hospital life. I hope that the bleeding issues are resolved quickly. I'm thinking of Annika!

2/03/2006 9:39 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...


That space is for your missing tooth Anni. I know the TF was especially good and generous to you girlie.

M... Faith and hope... praying always for you all.

2/03/2006 10:23 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

Congrats Annika! We need to see a picture of your little toothless smile now!

I am keeping you guys in my prayers..I pray for your strength and Annikas complete healing!

2/04/2006 7:11 AM  
Blogger angela marie said...

I know for a fact that the hospital tooth fairy not only treats a sick child with extra love, but also their parents. Look under your pillow too, Moreena. There is a big box of strength under there. It may be uncomfortable to sleep on, so open it up and use whatever you can.

2/04/2006 10:55 AM  
Blogger Rev Dr Mom said...

I hope the hospital tooth fairy was very good to Annika, and I'm glad there was something happy for her to focus on for a while.

I hope you can hold onto the optimism, Moreena. You and Anni remain in my prayers.

2/04/2006 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Growing UP!

2/04/2006 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't comment yesterday because I just didn't know what to say. I still don't - but here goes. . . .

I'm so sorry to hear you've back in the PICU. What a bummer for you all and I can only imagine how it is affecting each of you emotionally. On the other hand, hopefully the loss of the first tooth cheered the little one up. The tooth fairy will find her wherever! LOL

You are right - optimism IS the best policy. I know it's got to be hard to keep it up. Keep going and have faith and hope. My prayers remain with you all. I keep a small picture (printed from here) of Anni and Franki and look at that picture daily and think of you all often and keep you in my prayers - as I know do MANY. I hope a tiny bit of our love and concern reaches you ...


2/07/2006 9:33 AM  

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