Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yet another ride on the roller-coaster...

(I really need to find another metaphor for these upsy-downsy days... I think this is my third roller-coaster title...)

We began the day at the dentist, which set our regular schedule on it's ear quite a bit. We didn't have to leave the house for 1/2 hour after our regular time, but of course we were running out the door anyway (I forgot to pack B's lunch, etc.). It was raining & I had to drive across town in rush-hour traffic, which really tests my driving patience. But the dentist's office was peaceful & B was relaxed- he's been going to this dentist twice a year for 8 years & is very familiar with the routine. All went well until the actual exam, when a cavity was discovered. He's had one before, when he was 6, & he got through with flying colours (and nitrous oxide...). B was instantly anxious about it. He asked if he'd get "laughing gas" again & the dentist said yes. B told me there was a tic about "laughing gas" so I told him that the scientific name was "nitrous oxide", & that we'd only called it "laughing gas" because he was little at the time. Usually having a scientific name to latch onto helps B a lot, but he wasn't buying it. I told him that he'd done just fine when he was 6, but he said that he hadn't had OCD or Tourettes when he was 6... He asked me if it hurt more without the gas, while we were making the appointment for the filling to be done, & I said yes... the receptionist looked at me as if I were a child abuser. Sigh. So I told her that B has autism & Tourettes & that the dentist would not even consider doing this filling without the nitrous. Her face became a bit more civil... Oy.

B fussed all the way to school. I told him that he's not the only kid with autism in his dentist's practise & so his dentist really knows the best way to do it, he has experience & we have to trust it. I also told him that a lot of people are more comfortable having their fillings with nitrous (the dentist uses novacaine too, of course, but with the nitrous B doesn't feel the injection) & that I wished they'd had it when I was a kid... He was not terribly conviced, & was still out of sorts when we got to school. I told Cherie what had happened when we got there so she got him set up in her office for a quiet snack time before he jumped into his schoolday. He seemed like he'd be ok when I kissed him goodbye. From school I swung over to the grocery store to pick up a refill of one of B's medicines. His psychiatrist had incorrectly filled-out the prescription form last week, so he had to call-in an emergency refill of 5 days & then mail in another script to the pharmacy. They'd told me it would be ready today & B would run out at dinnertime, so time was running out... On the way over I felt myself having a delayed reaction to dealing with B's distress about having the nitrous oxide. I felt sad & helpless- I really don't want him to develop the phobia to dentistry that I developed because of the pain & fear I felt from dental work I had as a child. We've worked so hard to make dental appointments easy for him. I was not in the most peaceful mood when I went in to pick up the prescription... & discovered that they had received the script covering the 5-day emergency refill but not the longer-term one. They called, but this doctor does not have a secretary, just an answering machine & a pager. The pharmacy recommended that I also call the doctor, & I decided that this was definitely a pager call... I was rattled by all the running around I've had to do for just one lousy prescription & worried what would happen if B ran out of his medicine. I did hit the bookstore on the way home for some more of my latest manga fixation- Rurouni Kenshin- since it seemed likely that I'd need some distraction while waiting for the doctor to call me back.

It was a good thing I had new manga to read... it took him a couple of hours to get back to me. He said he was certain he'd included both prescriptions in the envelope to the pharmacy... but we arranged for me to pick up a new script at his office, which is pretty close to the store anyway. I decided that I'd go back after picking B up from school. He'd probably be delighted to have snack at the grocery store :)

When I picked B up I was in a much better state of mind (thank you, Kenshin :). He was in pretty good shape, too, although Cherie said he'd had a rough day. At one point everything around him was triggering tics & she finally suggested that they just walk around to see if he could find a safe place. He didn't want to leave the 3rd floor, so they zig-zagged the whole floor until he found himself in a corner & just collapsed. Cherie sat with him & talked to him about incidental stuff until he felt better. Lunch was next & he continued to perk up right through gym (which he participated in without a hitch). He managed to earn all 5 checkmarks today, which we all thought was wonderful considering how much trouble he'd been having with the tics.

As predicted, he was delighted by the idea of eating out for snack. We got the prescription without any trouble & dropped it off to be filled. They gave us a pager & then B picked out some juice a & bag of cheetos while I got sushi (I shared it with him :) & a decaf latte. We sat in the cafe to eat & played "I spy" in japanese while we waited. When we got home B spent the rest of the afternoon either playing legos with dad (who had worked in the morning & had some errands in the afternoon, but got home just a little after we did) or watching Weird Al videos on YouTube. The issue of B having a cavity came up at dinner & he started getting "moofy" about it, but then I remembered that the dentist's office has installed a video screen on the ceiling of the room they used for doing fillings- I remembered seeing a little girl getting settled-in at B's appointment last spring. They chatted about what she'd watch & she sat back very happily with her eyes on the ceiling once they'd started the video. I told B & C about this & we started speculating as to what B might enjoy watching while under the influence of nitrous oxide... His whole attitude turned right around. We giggled at the thought of watching "The Elegant Universe" with all it's cool, animated graphics of string theory & other physics concepts. C thought that maybe you'd understand string theory a bit better with a little nitrous... By the time dinner was done the whole nitrous thing seemed a non-issue. B was wearing his InuYasha hat & gleefully launching himself onto the floor when we'd say "osowari!". We had ice cream for dessert & as I had my face buried in the bowl (Cherry Garcia...mmmmm!) I noticed C swaying back & forth in his chair out of the corner of my eye (C is quite tall, so the swaying took him a fair bit into my personal space). I finally told him he was making me seasick & B burst out laughing. It turns out that leaf-raking over the weekend had triggered some sciatic pain & the swaying was making him feel better. We all ended up with the giggles as we kept thinking of what dad resembled, swaying back & forth like that (I said he looked like a cobra about to strike...).

So- another disaster averted, for the moment. I'm still feeling a little shell-shocked by everything that's been thrown at me the past few days. I have to say, though, that hearing B's laughter & seeing his gleeful face helps me put things back into perspective when the roller coaster gets going so fast...


At 10:55 PM, Blogger Kristina Chew said...

Or the ferris wheel---the ups and downs and ups again, and the great views from the top------no cavities for Charlie, yet but I heed yours and B's experience.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger mcewen said...

I actually count the meltdowns that they don't have, the ones that they narrowly avoid, a new twist on counting the negative. Cheers

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Lisa/Jedi said...

I like that perspective, mcewen :) Love your blog, too!

Kristina, yeah, I suppose I could use just about every amusement park ride at some point or another **giggle**
Poor B has not only inheirited my tooth morphology (deep fissures in the molars) but somehow got my bugs (strep mutans) rather than his dad's... & I was so careful! Even having been a pediatric dental caries researcher for 10 years couldn't prevent this... but sealants are helping.


Post a Comment

<< Home