I got a call Thursday morning from K-'s school. "Is K- okay?" "Um, no. She's crying and saying that her tooth hurts." Ugh. So, I grabbed the cell and called the dentist while I was on my way to pick her up. You see, K- doesn't complain about pain. If she does, you know that it is something big. I talked to Lindsay at the office, explained what was going on as we were just there Wednesday for the same exact tooth. She told me that she would talk to Dr. Rick and find out what he had to say. He told me what I basically already figured.
Baby root canal.
Poor K-. We've tried, but she is going in at 10 AM for a pulpotomy. What the heck is a pulpotomy? Well, it's referred to as a baby root canal, but technically isn't an actual root canal. It is the removal of some of the pulp of the tooth, you sterilize the empty cavity, then fill it in. Often, but not always, a stainless steel crown is placed on top. A pulpectomy, however, is the removal of all of the pulp of the tooth. Rinse. Repeat.
Aren't you glad that I read up on this stuff? What can I say? I'm a mommy that likes to be informed. I frightened the doctor January 2008 when I could tell him the exact reasons that he was running precautionary blood work for K-'s limping. (Rest assured, all she did was truly injure her leg which took about 6 weeks to heal.) He asked me if I was a nurse. After I said no. He asked how I knew. I told him that I was a mommy that read a lot. He told me to stop reading.
For the record, we take K- to the dentist regularly and have done so since the ripe age of 3. Unfortunately, her in utero drug exposure has done a number on her teeth. We keep up on it with flossing, brushing multiple times daily and fluoride swish. We've had two teeth filled now multiple times (due to a nasty strong overbite) and one nerve has just now decided to say no thank you.
Writing this on Thursday afternoon, we're having a bit of a home day. K- has dollies strewn all over the living room floor. She has a Piglet ice pack placed on her face. She has been liquored up with Tylenol on regular intervals and will continue to be so until we go for whatever pulp removing procedure that her tooth requires. She's been crying that her tooth hurts. She's been hanging out in my lap. (She's not typically a lap kid, she's more of a side snuggler.) She asked that I wait to go to the grocery until after "Daddy gets home, please." She didn't even want to go to the store. Wednesday we settled for a milk shake. This will require a toy. I purchased a Disney Favorite Moments Snow White Set (the little Polly Pocket variety.) I have it in my console. I may need a toy, too.
And yes, I've already cried. It's not like I'm sending her to the chop. (Ref: Edwina in Chicken Run.) There are certainly worse things. However, my child is in pain and I'm not a fan of that. It breaks a mommy's heart. Belt out a prayer if you would like. We would appreciate it.
(I'm adding that it is Thursday night and she has been awake already once crying from pain. Oh, this night should be good and long. :S )
So, off we go with insurance card in hand. Hopefully, we can happily skip on our way out. I'll update later. Hopefully a good update!
Edited to add: The afternoon update.
Last night was not so good. Each time K- fell asleep, she woke up crying. Tylenol did nothing. It was a very, very long night.
We got to the dentist and she suddenly decided that she didn't want to be there. I had to talk her into going into the office, then I had to pin her down for the actual shot. Believe me, we tried everything prior to the pinning. Once the numbing was beginning to take place, we were good to go.
Dr. Rick, a dental saint, kept K- going. He jokes with her, let her watch TV and cruised along. I'm pleased to say, the pulpotomy (baby root canal) is complete.
So what happened? Well, I did ask if it was my fault for holding off on taking her (I had an appointment 2 weeks out from my initial call. I set one on my day off, rather than just another day and taking off work. *smack to the forehead*) He said that it wasn't that. He said that the nerve would have let loose regardless. In fact, my next day call surprised him. He said that he felt horrible. He thought of us last night at 10:30 PM. He said that on Wednesday, everything seemed fine, the filling was close to the nerve but not on the nerve. He said that when he did get into his task today, the nerve was necrosed. And I gave K- Tylenol which was like Smarties for the pain. It did nothing.
So, her face is still numb. She lost some of the Motrin and ice cream out of the corner of her mouth. She is on Motrin for a few days and antibiotics for 5. We had a long discussion about her in utero drug exposure, how it has affected her teeth and steps that we can take to avoid this-- to the best of our ability. We're increasing our swish routine to twice a day, making certain that our toothpaste is fluoridated (which I swear that it is), flossing religiously and doing a fluoride treatment each visit we are in. Visits will be 6 months, no skipping (I haven't been, but all the more reason to keep on track.) We're trying to avoid nastiness to the adult teeth.
Thank you for all of your prayers. She is smiling, laughing and doing great. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with her for some "Little Fairy on the House", playing with Polly's, dollies and Hot Wheels.
Have a great day!
Day 7: Love believes the best. [Love] believes all things, hopes all things. -- 1 Corinthians 13:7
For today's dare, get two sheets of paper. On the first one, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse. Then do the same with negative things on the second sheet. Place both sheets in a secret place for another day. There is a different purpose and plan for each. At some point during the remainder of the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.