"I'm desperately trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore helmets." --Dave Edison
2010 has not been a good tooth year for me. I don't know, I guess having children and getting caught up in all things "kid" had caused me to neglect my dental care. Way back in March I wrote all about my dentalphobia and the fact that I could think of nothing worse than a trip to the dentist. Now in July (and with much thanks to Valium) and just one appointment short from finishing up all my dental treatment-which had included five trips to the periodontist and three trips to the regular dentist. I had a new lease on teeth! I was going to be the queen of all things dental! I was flossing and brushing..AND even though it burned the hell out of my mouth-I rinsed with Listerine! What's a little bone loss? I had bought a Braun! I was none too cocky. I had endured and I was feeling perhaps a bit too proud of myself. I had survived my trips to hell and back. I had saved my teeth..no worries-right?
I certainly didn't see it coming. I was an innocent mother romping in the pool with her kids. It had been a hot day..and I was looking forward to floating on my tube. My tube-not my kids...mine. I had bought them a variety of their own floaty devices..but it seemed that mine was the one they wanted. So there I was playing (if you are a parent you know this game) "please don't jump on me or my tube-that is why I bought you forty million tubes of your own" (the simplified version is called "STOP HANGING ON ME!") with the Sam and Zoe...Omar was playing the same game on the other side of the pool with Lily and Oscar. I turned to him to say that we would come back later after the herd was in bed..when BAM! Sammy's elbow going at about 900 mph hit me straight in the mouth knocking my left front tooth snuggly behind the right one. Holy crap! In my life I have broken bones...burned myself, fallen down staircases..I have given birth! But this-this was a level of pain I had never before experienced. The Godzilla of pain..pain to the zillionth degree! I can't tell you exactly how I wound up on the kitchen floor with a towel of ice covering my face...but there I was..hyperventilating..and writhing ( writhing galore) while Omar kept the kids away from me.
Two Vicodin and many bags of ice later, Sammy came upstairs to find me. He was beside himself and in tears because he had accidentally hurt me. "Thammy buddy..(a combination of Vicodin and loose tooth has left me with an interesting lisp) it wath an accthident! We were playing..you didn't mean to knock me!!!" "I hate my elbow!!!" "Oh Thammy...ith alright..I'm o.k.!!! Thee?? "(I attempted to smile) "Why do you sound like that?" "Oh my tooth ith a little thore thath all.." "Can I kiss it?" "NO!" "But if I kiss it, it will make it feel better..you always say that...Oh I'm sooooo mad at my elbow!" Sigh...or should I say "thigh"....How do you explain to a boy that kisses don't always fix everything? More importantly, do I want to just yet? Sammy holds things like this so close to his heart-dwells on them..really obsesses. It is only now, eight years after accidentally breaking Oscar's nose by swinging a snow shovel around, that Sammy can look at his brother's nose with out feeling guilt. And since I have enough tooth anxiety for forty people... I did the only thing I could think of-I lied. "Thammy-the dentiht thaid that it wath o.k. to could blow kitheth to my tooth." So he did. I thought things were o.k. after that,-until three days later when I caught him sobbing uncontrollably. "Buddy! whath wrong?" "I don't know!!" "Are you thtill upthet over my tooth?" "No! hiccup..I said I was over that!"
"Then whath going on?" "I don't know!! I just feel really sad..." I know this is about my tooth(even if he doesn't)-because I know my boy. He will not be o.k. until this tooth is fixed..until I don't sound like Sylvester the cat..until I let anyone within two feet of my mouth again.
I have another dental appointment on Thursday. Hopefully the swelling will have gone down enough by then for them to fix it. Scary- for the first time ever in my forty six years of life, I am looking forward to it Although not enough to skip the Valium. I may have embraced a whole new philosophy of dental care..I may floss and brush and rinse with the finesse of a hygienist..I could even be the poster girl for "Dental Living"...but I am not crazy.
Awwwww. Poor Sammy. Poor you. And yet, you had me laughing and crying along with you, even though parts of this I already knew. Of course, you're not crazy. Valium and dentists go together. The sooner people realize that, the better off we'll all be. :-)
Thanks for agreeing on the Valium dentist thing...sigh..as long as the dentist doesn't take it before seeing me- I think it goes together as well..:)
Oh, man, Kathleen, I hope it heals up fast! This Thursday? Will Friday be too soon to get the kids together?
That sounds so painful, I hope it can be sorted out quickly and with less pain. Poor Sammy, I hope he is ok.
Hi Stork!-yes we are hoping for quick healing..and saving of the tooth..sigh
Hi Jen-yup-I have never in all my life felt anything like this..but I have to hide it from my Sammy..poor little guy-I'm hoping it heals fast-for his sake more than mine!
Oh no Kathleen...how awful. I'm with you all the way on dental pain. You poor thing. And poor, poor Sammy too. Of course, you made me laugh too!! Hope you get sorted soon.
And I sooo agree with Kim. When you make a dental appointment you should automatically be given a Valium script!! It should be mandatory!!
I'm sorry to hear about your tooth, although the post was sort of hilarious at the same time. Love your writing style.
I kind of have guilt the way Sammy does, too. I don't feel better about doing something wrong for weeks or months sometimes. Since I'm an adult now I've either learned to control it better or have someone grown out of it, and I don't know which.
I agree about the valium as well. I don't get nervous at the dentist but lots of people do and if he's doing anything more than a yearly cleaning it's likely to hurt. I'll refrain from telling personal stories. But good luck and I hope your teeth hurt less soon!
Hi Jazzy! Yes! Valium for everyone! And lots of it!
Hi Kathryn-thanks for the compliment-it means a lot. Sigh..I hope Sammy outgrows this sooner rather than later. It is too much of a burden to carry. Though I'm glad to hear that it has gotten better for you-so I have hope. :) Dentists and all things dental freak me out-I've not had much luck with them..
This reminds me of a time when my wrist was still broken. I remember walking up the stairs. I don't remember what they were fighting over, but Willy had something Alex wanted and Willy wouldn't give it to him. Alex ran up to me while I was still on the stairs and squeezed my wrist--something he used to do a lot when he was frustrated. But it was my broken wrist and the pain was intense.
I cried out rather loudly, which made Alex grip me more tightly, and the pain was so bad my knees went weak. We didn't fall. I just plopped down on the stairs. And Alex gripped me tighter when I pulled him forward.
Willy started tugging at Alex's hands trying to get Alex off of me, which hurt worse. Then Mark got there and it all ended. I could barely walk to sit down on the couch.
Once the crisis was past, Willy started bawling because "I made Alex hurt Mama".
It amazes me that there are people who claim people with autism have no empathy when Willy has such a tender heart.
Hi Stephanie!-THAT must have HURT..big time hurt..you poor thing. Sometimes it is so hard to be the adult isn't it? I so tatally agree with what you say about empathy..sigh..sometimes I think my kids were given an extra dose of it-they feel so deeply..and are so concerned when ever someone is hurt or feels sad...I don't understand the idea of lack of empathy either...
It did hurt. But as I remember this occurred shortly after the surgery (they needed to put my wrist back together with a metal plate) and I was close enough to shock that I slipped back into it shortly after Alex grapped me. It's funny how shock doesn't really dull the pain, but it does make it hard to remember afterwards.
If I had to guess, the perceived lack of empathy is the difference in communication. Sometimes when Willy is upset by something he cannot communicate his feelings effectively and because his response is so dramatic compared to what you would expect from a "typical" child, some have dismissed it as attention-getting.
On the other hand, there are something people are expected to feel empathy for that he just doesn't get. These usually involve observations like "You're really old" or "You're fat." When he used to say them, he was making an observation and he was rather proud of himself for noticing. He'd say it in a similar way to how he'd notice other less sensitive things about people, like "You're hair is really long." He didn't get why such an observation would make someone feel badly.
But you know, I think he's right about that. Our sensitivities to weight and age and other "unmentionables" are learned. I think it's very likely that our learning is what's really wrong, not his responses.
I think you made a really excellent point Stephanie..It is our learning-and not the response. My kids all state things-and don't quite get the social taboo of doing this..I try and tell them that if someone is very tall, or heavy, etc. that they are well aware of these things and don't need us to remark on it.
I'm glad your wrist is better-and yes, shock doesn't really dull anything. But yes-you do kind of forget the pain. Otherwise most women would probably only have one baby..:)
You know, my first pregnancy took 23 and 1/2 hours, and they gave me something that made me very loopy. Don't remember the pain. My second delivery took 5 hours, including the first contractions, and it was relatively easy. My third delivery I had to be induced--going from zero to open, if you know what I mean--and that hurt and I remember it. I'm not saying that's why we haven't had another child, but I suspect it contributes.
I was induced with my first-and yeah..the intensity of it..wow..One of my sisters had a horrible first birth-and it did contribute to her waiting 5 years to have her second..I remember the intensity of it..but the pain..not so much..until I hurt my teeth...I have to say though, that since giving birth-my threshold for pain increased..things that would have really hurt 12 years ago-don't seem to hurt as much now..funny isn't it? :)
I seem to tolerate pain less well as I age, or maybe the pain is more intense. It feels more intense.
But now I mostly rate pain by things that really hurt. Giving birth, breaking a wrist, breaking a tooth, gallstones--those things hurt. Stubbing a toe or something is just a minor annoyance.
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