Friday, January 18, 2013

Toddler Tooth Trouble

By: Megan

So, on Tuesday (1/2/13) Cady went in to the Children’s Surgical Center and was put under anesthesia to have some dental work done. Around the time she turned two she started having serious anxiety issues where medical professionals are concerned. We knew she had at least one cavity that needed filled, but she also needed a set of full mouth x-rays taken to assess the parts of her teeth she wouldn’t let anyone get to while awake (due to sobbing/screaming/thrashing/clinging/kicking/clawing etc.).

Anyway – one dentist tried to tell us that “conscious sedation” (a drink that makes your kid seem three-sheets-to-the-wind drunk) would be good enough to do what they thought was one filling and a full mouth set of x-rays. David and I did some research, and we disagreed. We found that kids who are anxious or high strung often come out of consciously sedated states during the procedure. If this happens the common procedure is to swaddle the child and administer another dose of the sedation medicine. While the child is swaddled they just keep working on their teeth. If Cady were to wake up, see medically garbed strangers, and then be mummified in sheets while they continue to drill her teeth – OMG! We’d never get her to another doctor again; she would never trust us again! No way!

We told the pediatric dentist that we wanted to proceed, but with full sedation. He said “no”. Um, excuse me? Not your kid, you don’t get to just say “no”. After multiple conversations with the practice’s manager (and a switch of doctors) we had a surgery date scheduled. We got moved to the top of the waiting list by paying the full estimated amount that we owed (after insurance) upfront. Due to some other people’s unfortunate monetary issues, they had to cancel and we got their spot with one day’s notice.

Anyway, fast forward to the surgery center. It was a kid’s surgery center, but the waiting area didn’t have any toys or books. Just TV’s. Great. I let Cady play games and use a coloring app on my phone while we waited to be called back. Getting her back there, gowned, etc. was MISERABLE. She was sobbing and screaming and clinging. They gave her a little of the conscious sedation liquid to calm her enough to take her away from me. Even that was a struggle. She refused to drink it. I finally told her if she didn’t drink it they would have to give it to her as a pokey shot. She Got it down, but not without a fight. The nurses said “Don’t worry; you’ll know when it kicks in”. It kicked in while Cady was sitting on the toilet. She nearly fell off. She started giggling hysterically, and saying “Toes, oh toes. Potty. Hold me mom! No, no, no, I’ll walk. No I can’t walk!” Basically she was shit-faced drunk. It was like watching a toddler version of myself leaving a bar a few years ago. Probably a good mom wouldn’t say this, but it was hysterical! It was the only non-terrible part of the whole experience, Cady and I will take our jollies where we can get them. I held her and we giggled through Mickey Mouse Clubhouse until they brought out her gurney. I took her picture quickly – but that was all I got. Cameras were technically not allowed.

An hour later they called me back to post off. Cady was just starting to wake up, and she did not wake up well at all. She was crying and moaning. I insisted that they take out her IV before she fully woke up. I thought she’d freak if she saw something UNDER her skin like that. We spent close to an hour in recovery just trying to get her calmed down and woken up. She drank some juice, ate some applesauce, let me put her clothes on. She ended up with two crowns and three filling. AHHH!!

Basically, she has a tiny mouth. David and I weren’t brushing along her gum line well enough and she had cavities because of it. Two that wrapped around the tooth and required crowns, and three that just needed fillings. We were sort of horrified. Needless to say, we have been stretching her cheeks FAAAAR out to brush her teeth now. I’m fairly certain I brush her gums too, just like when she was a baby. I hope we NEVER have to do this again. If anyone learns anything from this I hope it’s to brush your kids teeth like you have OCD. I mean, SERIOUSLY, with a magnifying glass! I wish I had a speculum for her mouth for crying out loud! Well, ya know, an UNUSED one of course. Just to be sure her mouth is WIDE open and I got every teeny part of every teeny tooth.

So there it is – my bad mom story for your consumption. I know lots of kids get them, but it’s a crappy feeling when it’s YOUR kid. Ok – Lexy just woke up from her nap. If she lets me, I’ll be back in a little bit with a crafty post J

Cady - consciously sedated (aka: drunk) on her way to the OR

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