Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dental Woes

About two weeks before my induction was scheduled, I got the kids in to see the dentist, since I knew it would be a lot easier before baby came than after.

They both did great, but Squirrel had lots of bad news--several cavities, two bad enough to require crowns. The crowns had to go on opposite sides of her mouth, so that meant two appointments to accomplish all the work, since my preference was to avoid sedation. We also decided to cram them into a week, so that it would all be done before her little brother arrived.

At her first filling appointment, she was great--happy, compliant, brave, the works. The only thing she did complain about was the taste of the novocaine jelly, and she squawked a quick "Ouch" once while they were numbing her with that big ol' needle. Later, after we got home and the feeling started to return, she complained that she was hurting, but after some ibuprofen and a little nap, and she was as good as new.

Her second appointment didn't go quite as well. She was onto us that time and knew what was coming. She definitely entered the office with a level of trepidation that hadn't been there the first time around. While she hadn't had the nitrous oxide the first time, they decided to try it the second time. However, I think it only added to her anxiety as she didn't like the nose piece it came in and freaked a little, like she was feeling claustrophobic. When it came time to actually numb her, I felt like pretty much the worst mom ever--there's nothing like having to witness your child screaming bloody murder because of something you are having them do, even if it's for their ultimate benefit.

I think, either because there were more teeth to take care of on that side, or perhaps because of her obvious anxiety, that they numbed her up WAY more than the last time. Luckily, they were as quick as they could be, and then gave her a nice long break to relax. Also, the dentist and his staff are completely awesome. They were so sweet and patient and helped her through every step of the way. He was also super quick, which was great for all of us.

She was really exhausted after, and drooling like a drunk bulldog. At lunch time, she didn't want to eat anything. I even tried to offer her a milkshake to get something in her. She just looked at me pitifully and said, "I cmmph cumph ma mumppp." (Translation: "I can't close my mouth.") She wept mournfully when her brother had the audacity to tell me that she was "talking funny," one half of her face falling to the side as though she were a master of facial contortion.

After a couple hours though, she started to feel better. Still drooling copiously, she began to shout that she was feeling better, feeling happy, and would in fact take me up on that milk shake offer (this kid never forgets about sweets--a likely cause of her predicament in the first place). And it is this part of the day that made it all worth it: as she danced around happily in my office, wearing an oversized bib to catch all that drool and singing about how much better she felt, I couldn't resist snapping this photo, showing half her face, all the way from her chin to the bottom of her eye, just as numb as could be, drool running down her chin and splattered across her bib.

I think this will make an excellent photo for when she brings a boy home from college someday...

Poor kid. She's back in business now, with two shiny silver crowns to show for all her suffering, which she will proudly show to any person, friend or stranger, who she can get to look in her mouth.


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