Thursday, December 13, 2012

How Do They Do It?

I know a few women, both IRL and online who's children who have had serious medical issues. Some had birth defects that had to be addressed with medical intervention and some have had a child with cancer.

One of my blogging friends has a teenage son who had cancer at the same time I did and I can remember her telling me how strong I was and I was thinking, "are you kidding me?" I think it's so much easier to go through it yourself than to watch a loved one going through it and I couldn't don't want to fathom one of my children going through it. I think that is where the real strength lies.

It's in the spirit that I write this post.

But I also want to preface this by saying that I am NOT comparing this situation to a child with cancer because they're not even in the same galaxy. But what it brought to light for me was an idea of the true strength of these parents.

I took Connor to the dentist on Saturday for a routine check up. He wasn't in the chair 12 seconds when the hygienist said "Oh, I see a problem." Cavities, big ones, in his molars. But not just one, or even two. 6. Yes, 6. And that was the ones they could see, they haven't done x rays yet.

The hygienist did her best to clean his teeth and the dentist did his best to look in his mouth but Connor is a less than cooperative dental patient. Our dentist recommended he go to a child specialist.

The whole situation smacked of my childhood. You see, I am cursed by genetics. I have horrible teeth. So did my mom. So does my oldest brother. I can brush and floss after every single meal and I'm still getting cavities. I have virtually no enamel. And because this was an issue from an early age my association with the dentist is pain, discomfort and misery. (more so than most people) I too had to go to a child specialist.

But I vowed my kids would not see going to the dentist as a horrible thing and so far I've been lucky.

My luck has run out.

So I took Connor to the specialist last night. He's got 6 visible cavities and the dentist is going to do sleep dentistry.

They're going to put him to sleep for roughly 1.5 hours to take x rays and fill these 6 (maybe more) cavities.

At the mention of anesthesia my anxiety level went from 5 to 107,000,000. 

They have to put him to sleep. If you've been reading my blog long enough you know that there was some question about my being allergic to general anesthetic. I almost died when I was 7 after my tonsillectomy. When I had my mastectomy I was more anxious about being put to sleep than I was about the cancer itself.

I left the dentists office and made it to my car before the tears came.

And how stupid is that? It's dental work for Heaven's sake. It could be a hell of a lot worse....and any of my friends who have had a child who have dealt with anything remotely worse than this are shaking their heads at me and thinking "you stupid bitch, I'd give my right arm for the worst thing for my child to have to deal with being 6 stupid cavities. Suck it up buttercup!"

And while I know this and feel ashamed for being as upset about this as I am, I can't change that fact. I'm terrified about them putting him to sleep. I'm terrified of him reacting the same way I did. I'm afraid of losing him because of something as ridiculous as a cavity.

And as I type those words I know how ridiculous it sounds because I know there are so many mothers and fathers out there who are in the very real position of losing their child to something significant.

And yet, you can't change how you feel.

I'm sure on the afternoon of January 4th when we're home and Connor is annoying his sisters and complaining his jaw hurts I'll look back on this and realize how minor it really is. But for now, it seems huge.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry for you and Connor. Topher had dental surgery at 2 because his teeth were rotting in his head, the dentist was a real asshole but it didn't help that my kid looked 5. He had dental surgery again at 7 fillings and several had to be pulled; and the stupid dentist tried to give him tylenol (he's allergic) The poor kid then had to have a WHOLE bunch of work in his mid-teens. Genectics suck! I have had a bunch of work done and have more to do. So much fun-NOT!
    There is nothing ridiculous about your fears-handing you kid over to someone and having no control (like we have any, lol) is awful.
    It's amazing how quickly they recover-much faster than their parents!