Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Break from Being Carefree

Today was quite an adventure... and not a real fun one, either. But it all worked out better than I thought.
Jenna had extensive dental work done today under what they somewhat euphemistically call "Conscious Sedation". She is not unconscious but pretty well asleep so they can really get in there and fix things. We discovered several months ago that Jenna's front tooth, which has had a band of discoloration since it erupted, was developing cavities at both sides of the tooth where the discoloration was. To say I was horrified by the fact of my two year old having cavities is an understatement. But we saw the dentist, he tried to fix it and Jenna started freaking out so he recommended a pediatric dentist, we had a consult with a pediatric dentist, and today was the day to get it all fixed.
She had to take an anti-nausea medication last night and not eat or drink anything after midnight until her appointment at 8:40am...which I was particularly dreading because it meant not nursing her in the morning when she woke up as she has done since birth. Thankfully she is old enough to understand my simple explanations of what was going to happen so she was actually pretty cool about the whole thing.
Dan, who I roped into being with us through this whole adventure, volunteered to be with her in the morning when she woke up to keep her mind off things and he did a fantastic job. We got ready, went to the dentist's office and got the ball rolling. They give her a sedative and you wait with your child in a side room with padded benches and comfy chairs and pillows and blankets and low lighting for the 45 minutes it takes to kick in. I was nervous about this whole process on many levels, as you can imagine, but mostly because the dentist said there is a small percentage of children who don't respond to the sedative and the only option you have left is to bring them to a hospital and give them general anesthesia and that was just something I really, really didn't want to do.
But Jenna started acting kind of drunk after about 30 minutes and blinking realllly sloooowly. She was asking for something to eat and drink ("I hun-gy!!") and right before she passed out cold asked me, abnormally loudly, "Whadda they got to eat here???" And that was good comic relief.
The nurse took her and they brought her to the treatment room and sent someone out every 15 minutes or so to tell us everything was going fine. We got her back after about an hour and she slept off the medicine the whole day and is now in good spirits and has a beautiful, restored set of healthy teeth.
I am wiped out from the day and my neck is hurting from wearing my Scarlett N around my neck for Negligent Mother. Because for every time I think about putting poor Jenna through this, I think of all the times I have nursed her to sleep, bathing her teeth in sugar, and took the easy way out when she fought me about brushing her teeth. At the appointment with the pediatric dentist, I told her how terrible I feel about the whole thing and just how incredibly white trash it is for my two year old to have cavities. Everyone I've confided in about this has been more than gracious and my mom pointed out that the real white trash thing would be to do nothing about it. So here is my confession for the whole world to read and now it is over and I can, as they say in the soap operas, move on with the rest of my life.
But of course I cannot end without telling you about the encounters we had with other parents whose children were also going through the conscious sedation thing. The first mom we talked to was near tears the whole time and I felt bad for her. She was really freaked out about the process and I'm not sure she had a spouse there for moral support.
The other family, however, was totally blog-worthy.
They came in to the quiet side room with their children right before Jenna went to the treatment room. Their daughter was also named Jenna, so we exchanged pleasantries about that. I was reading a book and trying to just quietly slog through the morning, Scarlett N firmly in place, but not this family. They were ready to talk! To us! About everything! Cheerfully!
We learned alot about this family. And got a good glimpse of their parenting style when the dad blissfully ignored the multiple signs posted around the office prohibiting cell phone use and started talking loudly into his wireless cellphone earpiece to someone and telling them how this was their second time doing this- while the poor four year old girl is laying down, waiting for her meds to kick in and trying to relax- and then got annoyed with the four year old when she wanted his attention.
I wanted to ask him, Where is your sense of humility? Where is your sense of decorum? We should all be sitting in here quietly thinking about what we can do as parents to make sure this never, ever has to happen again to our babies. At least that's what I was thinking.
Our last encounter with the mom, who cheerfully! announced she had just had her appendix out this weekend, was watching her take out a wireless laptop in the waiting room and asking us if we were familiar with Excel because she has a homework assignment and her teacher didn't really explain it too well. Dan and I said, No, sorry, we're not really able to help, and then she started looking at things on her computer and providing us with a running commentary on the things she was reading. Like, "What does that mean?" and "Holy Cow!" and "Ohhhh, boy..."and "Harummph!"
I know you're smiling now because you know the type of person I am talking about.
Well, enough cattiness... I am going to see how my sleepy baby is doing. And to admire her beautiful teeth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are SO glad that Jenna did well yesterday at her "dental event." What a trouper (or is it trooper in deference to our NYS Police?)! Loved the story of the talkative fellow parents-people never cease to amaze! Sounds like a "gee, Kath" situation at their home! Love, Gamster and Pops