Friday, February 6, 2009

"Farewell to D, E, F, & G"

D, E, F, & G. These are the front top teeth of a child's mouth. Today we say farewell to those from Anastasia's mouth.

It all started when my husband took our daughter to a birthday party and she had "two big pieces of cake" (her words). She came home and started to complain that her teeth hurt. By the way, she had severe decay in those teeth that tow of them were decayed to the gumline. So thus began "The quest for a great dentist"! We had gone to a pediatric Dentist in Titusville about a year and a half back, but I did not get a good feeling from them. So I checked the dental insurance website for a list of in-network pediatric dentists. Then I cross-referenced them with any hits from Google searches, forums, Yahoo groups, online Mom groups and such. I am one to research things until I am satisfied with a decision. Just like BirthNetwork, "...Know your options..."

The list was a short one, only a few names. I even added several dentists that were out-of-network but came highly recommended. Not that we have money, but this is one of those things did not really matter what we spent, just as long as I was satisfied with the decision or treatment. We started by going to our family dentist here in town. They were very friendly and good to DD. They attempted x-rays and kind of got an image, but nothing great. She was having fun on this new adventure and got to learn about dentist stuff and check out the treasure chest, coming away with all sorts of chinese-made junk... This dentist gave the option to pull said teeth, then place a retainer in to keep the teeth from drifting...He did not think it was the greatest idea either and suggested that we talk to the pediatric dentist.

So onto the next on the list. The pediatric dentist in the next town was a nice younger woman and everyone in that office was wonderful...though a couple of hygienists did seem kind of rushed and a little apprehensive...anyway...they got excellent x-rays of DD's teeth and came up with a treatment plan that included chasing me out of the room (which I understand why they do), letting her hang out with a laughing gas mask for a time, then giving her a local of lidocaine and proceeding to "wiggle out" the teeth... no straps or "papoose" involved (which I like). Scheduled for the day before Valentine's Day.

But then there was this recommendation from a Yahoo group that I am on related to natural food, healing, and more. Go to this oral surgeon several towns south. God, a surgeon? First thought was, "How much is this going to cost?" followed by "How scary is it going to be (for her and for me)?" But I read the mom's story, it seemed alright, why not check it out? All I might have to pay is a consultation fee...

The final one. The last time I can do this, and put her through more strangers poking around in her mouth. She has been excellent and fantastic about it this whole time. She has taught me about bravery and persistence and resilience. My DD is awesome! (Especially for 3 1/2 years old!) It started out as any other day, breakfast of Nutella on bread (her current favorite), plus vitamins, supplements, herbs and immune boosters for the both of us. Then I contacted my Mom to see if she could tag along and help with DD - because God knows the amount of paperwork one needs to fill out at a medical office is just enough to drive a mom with an active youngster crazy. And having "pregnant brain" doesn't help either, forgetting everything and trying to put the right numbers in the right spaces...ack!

We arrive at the office, which is beautifully decorated with dolphins and undersea life. (BTW, we are currently in our "Little Mermaid" phase of movie watching so this place was great for DD!) She is comfortable exploring the waiting room with my Mom as I begin the paperwork. Not a terribly long wait, but it is the afternoon and seems busy. Anyway, they finally call us back and DD is off like a shot! She is ready and happy to see what is back there and ready for the dentist! Smiles everywhere form everyone! We get to the room, have a seat, hang out for a bit, talk with the hygienist about DD's teeth, she says she will get the dentist and they are back very shortly. I discuss the two options he has - someone holds her in the chair, lidocaine is given, then the teeth come out (less than 5 minutes) - or schedule actual surgery, with an IV and sedation and she won't remember a thing. Quick and screaming, or drugs and the risks associated with them. I asked to see what it would cost. And VERY soon, the receptionist came back with the damages. "Quick and screaming" ended up being about half the price of the pediatric dentist and somehow this seemed like a good decision given the options. And they could do it within the next few minutes!

Okay, breathe. Read fast: Mom held her in the chair (my prego belly bump exceeds comfort level for everyone), two hygienists assisted the dentist, he stuck a thing to hold open her mouth (she did NOT like that one bit), he came in with the lidocaine shot in her upper gums - the screaming began - he methodically pulled four teeth out (D, E, F, & G) so fast ("I do this all day," he said before anything happened), I was holding her hands, watching holes appear in my DD's upper gums, listening to her scream bloody murder, then it was all over. Boy, she was pissed! and in so much pain! I was shaking a bit but knew I had to hold it together for her. I could not loose it, had to be strong, loving, compassionate, let her know it was going to be okay...soon...I would let it all go later tonight when she was asleep and my husband could hold me and tell me it was going to be okay...soon...

How did I not pass out or go ballistic or loose it while this was happening? Right before things happened, I knew I could not be a mom - moms always loose it when someone is hurting their baby. I became what I went to college for: an archaeologist, a scientist, one who could look at things with an objective eye and not lend any emotion to it. It seemed to work.

After this event took place, we went to Cold Stone Creamery in Viera and had ice cream. By the time we got there, she seemed fine and even laughing a bit. She shall be treated like a princess and probably could get away with things easier for the next few days, but come Monday - and I know she is not in pain - back to normal! Now I will not agonize over this problem any longer, and I am free to live my life and love her totally until her sibling comes by the end of the month.

...I just hope she can forgive me for putting her through that...i'm going to go cry now...