Thursday, April 4, 2013

Quotes from a First Time Cavity Patient

J had his first cavity filled. It was a moment awaited with trepidation, queries about dental equipment, and attempts to try and compare what it would be an equivalent to with other painful experiences he's had up to this point in his life.

Obviously, I fielded all the questions and responded to all his anxiety. It took a lot of creativity on my part and I had to be honest- a shot in the mouth isn't the happiest feeling in the world, I don't care if they do numb the area.

So I laid it out plain and clear. No, it wasn't like getting your ankle sprained. The drill was not as loud as the one he's heard Papa use on wood working projects. No, I didn't know how long the whole process would take but I knew that if he could play football, sprain an ankle, and have his tonsills removed AND drink vinegar by accident because it looked like a water bottle sitting out after coloring Easter eggs; he'd be able to handle a filling.

We arrived on time to his appt., his hygienist was waiting by the counter and we walked back into the room. It was a tight squeeze. And a comfortable chair for me, didn't look available. Turning to him, I grabbed his shoulders and said it would be alright and I'd be right in the waiting room.

No sooner had I sat down when the hygienist walked in and I knew we had a problem.

"Jaden is really feeling anxious."


"Yeah, he has not been looking forward to this event."

"Well, he is near tears- I know he's trying to be brave but I can tell this is causing him a lot of stress.
How do you feel about us giving him laughing gas?"

This new concept hadn't even crossed my mind. I thought it was reserved for pulling teeth, wisdom teeth-type dental stuff.

"Will it wear off in time for his practice later today?" I asked knowing it would make him feel groggy.

"Oh, yes. we will let him breathe oxygen afterwards so there won't be any problem."

"Sure." I replied.

"Okay. I will talk to him about it."

Relieved I picked up a magazine and let some relief fall off my shoulders as well. The prospect of your child in pain isn't fun. Even though I have been able to use the cavity as a reason why flossing is a good idea to do more than once a week. So, yes, I've used this as a teaching/scaring tool and gotten some good mileage out of it. Now he was going to go to la-la land and all the Q and A's would be for not!!

Barely into an article about organiztion, the hygienist returned smiling.

I put the mag down and waited to hear about his response.

"Well, I told him about it and he had some questions for me which made me smile. He asked how it would make him feel. I told him it would make him not worry and not even notice we were filling his cavity."

J. replied to Miss Hygienist: "I'd like to not worry for awhile." And then he asked the obvious: "Does it really make you laugh?"

Ms. Hy- "Some kids actually do laugh! Not all of them. It will just relax you."

J: "Well, I'm fond of laughing."

The hygiensist was laughing and smiling, making me feel reassured that he'd be okay back there.
However at this point I  had to go back and watch the whole thing unravel, even if it meant I was standing against the wall. At least I'd be able to stand watching him get drilled! (I did not want to hear the drill myself and was tempted to put in my ear plugs.

When I shimmied into the cramped quarters, I saw him laying there with head phones on and a pink oxygen mask.


I nodded and motioned for him to take off the ear phones so the people in the other offices weren't distracted by his talking. The process of allowing gas to enter his little body took the turn of a nob and within just a few seconds, he was as limp as warm puddy in your hand.

Dr. O entered and had a good laugh himself about J's response and we discussed getting vinyl lettering on the wall quoting him.

'I'm Fond of Laughing. Not having to worry for awhile would be enjoyable.'

Then J. commenced to laugh. Then giggle. They had to turn the knob down a bit to get him under control. I was stroking his leg to calm him down, not from back arching pain but to get him to sit there and try and suffer a bit or something.  I took the op to ask him some questions while he was under the relaxing drug.

Me: So what is so funny??

J: "I dunnnooo.. I'm here. At the dentist's. I had a mosquito bite me in the mouth and I'm getting a cavity filled!"

 giggle. giggle. belly laughing.

Me:Okay. Okay. Let's get calmed down. Try to be still so they can get the job done, bud.

J: Okay.

He tried to control a snicker and sighed then took my advice to close his eyes and just fall asleep.

The drill whirled and I didn't even notice it's decibel range and before we all knew it, J had his first cavity filled.

Oxygen was being replaced into the mask and he was starting to 'come to', asked if it was over, and tried to sit up.

So there you have it. He was able to skip the painful shot. The tense, stiff body waiting until the drill hit a nerve and you signaled with your hand to the dentist that it was getting too hot to handle.

Nope. He got to have some worry free time and laugh.

In fact, he went a few hours Not worrying. He did have to sit down as we ran some errands. But eventually, the groggyness wasn't so much fun because it made him feel dizzy and he had a headache he said.

Then he went from jolly happy to onery, need a nap now demeanor. Which backfired on me at the worst time. Yup. The care-free feeling was short lived. And now he had to pay for it.

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