Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Blow by blow of my oldest son's mouth and dental ordeal this morning.

It was a rough night. First off trying to get Leif to take his pre-op medication the night before. AB tells me it tasted like peppermint schnapps. I knew it smelled like it. Finally we got smart... if we were to have peppermint schnapps, how would we drink it? Straight? Gag. Why in hot chocolate of course! And with whipped cream. It worked.

The 4:45am dose though... had to be on an empty stomach. So no doctoring the stuff up then. AB and I got up when the alarm went off. AB restrained while I dumped it down Leif's throat. Luckily, a sleeping child resists little and remembers even less. We wandered back to bed, both with a look on our face of how fruitless heading back to bed even is at this point. Neither of us had slept much. The night had dragged by.

At 6:30am, AB headed out the door with my little boy in his arms. I tried not to cry. Really I did. I just kept thinking of those albeit rare stories you hear about general anesthesia. I was not ready for this. I finished getting myself ready, got Skadi up and ready and ran her out to daycare. Then headed back to the office. When I arrived they had already taken Leif back for the work. I felt my heart sink a little. Then forced myself to be confident while AB and I sat there and waited. A nurse brought us odd snacks... 8 Ritz crackers, some very mild, thick hunks of salami and what looked like leftover Olive Garden breadsticks. At 8am, none of it looked appealing.

AB told me about the arrival. The anesthesiologist had wanted to take Leif back to the room without AB. AB says he "insisted" upon going, and I agreed with this immediately. Why they would expect a 3 year old to willingly go with a stranger into a room with instruments and not pitch an enormous fit is amazing to me. The anesthesiologist was NOT happy with AB's insistence, but the dentist agreed and allowed AB to walk back with Leif. AB said after the fact when Leif was knocked out, the anesthesiologist made the comment that he never has a 3yo behave this well. Well duh. I am sure the "no parents in the OR" is more for the parents, but if you have a reasonable parent who understands they are putting the kid out, it really shouldn't be an issue, and should make the process easier.

About an hour later Dr. W came in and said that all four teeth badly needed crowns, and one he initially thought was going to need a root canal, but didn't once he got "in there". Additionally, he said that once he was able to get in and see Leif's teeth he saw that his four first molars, the centers (where they had initially told us were really deep pits and he would need seals - which they were also planning on doing at this time) were actually hypoplastic in the center - which also explains the need for a couple of fillings last year. So he ended up hollowing out those teeth and filling them, then sealing everything. There is some concern that his next molars could come in the same way given that so far all eight molars that are in, were affected to some degree. They are somewhat hopeful that his permanent teeth won't be. (Crossing my fingers.)

Dr. W made reference to this being either "genetic" or something that happened during pregnancy. He told us that these teeth were forming during 6-8 weeks gestation (which just amazes me thinking about it) and said, "so you might have done something and never known you were pregnant". Umm no. I knew early, early. So I racked and racked my brain. I didn't take meds while pregnant with Leif. I was so paranoid, I didn't do ANYTHING. The other aspect is the genetic side. Hypoplasty is an X linked trait. My neice has also had problems, so maybe it is just plain genetic. I had very strong teeth as a kid. Wacky teeth, misplaced and missing teeth, horrible bite, but no cavities until I was in my early teens. But maybe that other X choromosome was just more dominant in me. Maybe Skadi does have hope of nice teeth.

They warned us that coming out of anesthesia would be awful. He would scream and cry and so we were prepared for that. Amazingly, he didn't. He woke up and said, "mommy!" Broke my heart! I said, "I love you honey" and he said, "I love you too". Then he saw the bin of toys for being good and said, "I want the orange bracelet". Of course I went and got it for him without asking permission of anyone.

Things did kind of go downhill from there though - he wanted me to hold him and not Hans. He started crying, "I want to see the doctor". We were discharged and left, got to the parking lot and he was livid he wanted to go back and play with the toys. I have never seen him so angry ever. And strong too, Leif is a very strong kid. I could not have gotten him into the carseat myself.

AB thought strongly about taking him back inside to play for a little bit, but thought better of it when we became concerned that other kids would be frightened by this screaming, crying, red-eyed, swollen mouthed, blood encrusted child. We (ok, AB) overpowered him into his carseat, where he screamed bloody murder for a few minutes before konking out completely.

Things quickly returned to somewhat normal when we got home. Leif wanted oatmeal really badly. Kept asking for it. But we needed to push clear liquids first. I bribed him with the oatmeal to drink some apple juice and eat some jello first. Then he chowed his oatmeal and life was better again.

Very happy this is behind us.

Also as I have said a few times this week in regards to our daughter and her staph infection... very happy to live in the era we live in. An era of antibiotics and dental care.

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