Friday, June 15, 2007

Some of those parents would call them 'teachable moments' or any assortment of treacly crap.

His former hockey coach would say 'Suck it up, Buttercup'.

They both apply.

We went to the dentist yesterday, even though he swore - as he got off the bus - that his teeth did NOT bother him. They're fine, FINE Mom. Now can I go play baseball?

Of course the dentist didn't have office hours in the nearby office - we had to travel. And be the last appointment of the day (i.e. 45 minute wait time) but such is life. He gets into the chair, the dentist squirts some air on the tooth to dry it out and whammo - the boy goes all snakelike. He was squirming and fighting and then he ripped the cotton thing out of his mouth and sat straight up. The dentist, who specializes in pediatrics but apparently has the patience of a gnat, stepped back and said he was done.

There is no doubt it hurt. None. I have to say, though, I was a little surprised at how snippy the dentist got with us, mostly the son, but I could tell he was judging me based on the boy's minor fit. Whatever, judge away, dentist man. I know my boy has precisely zero pain tolerance - I used to have to pull splinters out while he was asleep because he would kick and flail if I tried any other time. And ripping a bandaid off? You'd have thought I was doing a skin graft.

I do take some responsibility for said wimpiness...over the years, because he used to go so hog wild, I've let him handle things himself a bit more - his usual course of action is ignore, ignore, ignore. And foolishly, I didn't mess with it. But sometimes I'd see him with the tweezers, trying to get at a splinter or something and I'd think there was some light at the end of the tunnel.

Anyway, the boy refused to lay back down and the dentist didn't even try to cajole him. We were told to get into the root canal guy as soon as we could and that the next week will be a world of hurt every time the kid tries to eat something that isn't pretty much room temperature. Never mind if he bangs his tooth and totally exposed nerve on something.

So we left the office and the boy started to cry. I hugged him and told him that he had his chance and made his choice and now has to live with his decision. The entire ride home and all of last night he was kicking himself for not getting it done. The husband and I were the very picture of calm, rational people while we gave him a straw for his drink and cut his lukewarm hotdog into bits. We explained how the short time of kind of intense pain is far less to deal with than one week of drawn out, intermittent but intense pain.

He's completely bummed as today is the last day of school and they're having popsicles (too cold!) and a fiesta in Spanish class with his favorite, tacos (too hot! too crunchy!). I am bummed for him. And this next thing might make me a fairly horrible person - I'll admit that I'm also secretly semi-pleased and totally wondering if this is finally the thing that will make him realize that he does in fact just have to suck it up. Buttercup.


Anonymous said...

I'm not a big drugger of children and I know this goes against exactly what you are saying (but I feel for the kid being a huge dentist chicken myself), would the pedi give him a tiny dose of valium or something, just for this one procedure?

I hope he feels better soon and gets through the week without too much discomfort.

jenny said...

Anon - We tried valium in December when he originally went for his root canals on these teeth...didn't work, at all. And two doctors were in agreement that the dose prescribed should've made him very droopy. So, unfortunately, that's out.

Our next stop is an endodontist that uses nitrous for the root canals and then he has to get his teeth sort of rebuilt until he's old enough for permanent crowns.

SneakyPeek said...

How about Gentle Dental? I hear them advertised on the radio but it might be they don't do root canals.

I feel for ya ... totally!

Anonymous said...

(Same anon as before)

I should have guessed you'd have tried something to spare him all of this. I do still hope the little guy (big guy? I guess he's in between) feels better soon.

jenny said...

sp - gentle dental uses some awake but sleepy thing but NOT on kids. So that's out.

anon - he just turned 11 so he's about halfway between big & little.

catsteevens said...

Yuk, hate dental crap. Hope he's gonna be ok.