"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Friday, June 17, 2011

Teeth and Tissue

Sebastian had his dental surgery today.

Due to the issues he experiences because of his autism, Sebastian doesn't do well at the dentist.  I try to be as tolerant of his outbursts and anxieties and fears as I can be because I know he has little to no control over them.  The only thing I have ever really lost it with him over was his behaviour at the dentist.  After a particularily trying visit where he kicked the hygenist in the chest and screamed loudly throughout, we got to the car and I let him have it.  I yelled at him the whole way home.  I was embarrassed and furious.  It must have made an impression, because for years after that whenever I told him he had a dentist appt, his response would be a long pause, followed by a heavy sigh.  "Uh-oh," he would say.  I can laugh about it now.  Now.

Anyway, because of his behavior, he has never had an xray done of his teeth.  He has never had a full cleaning.  Even though we knew he had 2 cavities, we can't get them filled.  Our only option was to have him knocked out and the work done.  There is a dentist in Hamilton, Dr. Panozzo, who does this work.  He actually works out of McMaster Children's Hospital. 

Today was Sebastian's appointment.  I got a little annoyed with everyone this week, because everyone- including his father- kept forgetting about the appointment.  Like, more than once!!  I had to remind Geoff constantly that it was coming up.  GRRRR.. 

Becuase Geoff and all of his family are in Windsor this weekend doing the Relay for Life walk in honour of Kit, none of them could come with me to help.  My mom had booked the weekend to work.  Because his surgery was booked kind of late, she couldn't get out of it and she wants as much work time as she can while she can get it.  So that left me to go by myself.

Based on my previous experiences with Sebastian and anethesia, I was nervous, to say the least.  He tends to get very agitated and upset when he comes out of it.  He fights and cries.  So, I wasn't looking forward to going through that again.  But most of all, I was worried about the car ride home.  If he was sick or agitated, then I didn't think I would be able to drive for an hour to get home.  If it was really bad, my plan was to either stay in a hotel with him or call my dad to drive up and meet us.  I could always take him back for his car tomorrow.

We got there a little early.  I didn't really know what to expect, since my pre-op appointment didn't give us a ton of information.  We got checked in, and Sebastian got to play a bit and watch Scooby Doo.  His surgery appointment was 1:30pm, and they came to get us right around that time.  We went to another waiting room and met the anethetist.  What is it with them, that they all have wonky eyes?  This one was really wacky, and I am sure I looked in the wrong eye most of the time but whatever....

I had come prepared and brought pyjamas for Sebastian to wear if they would let him.  They did, at least on the bottom.  We had socks for his feet and even brought Jack and Sally.

Everyone there was very nice.  They are all about a good experience for the kids, traumitizing them as little as possible.  They let the kids play right up until the last second.  Sebastian and I wheeled down to the operating room and I got to go in and get him up on the bed.  They gave him cool stickers and let him look at all the computers.  They tried to put the monitors on him but he kept pulling them off.  They decided then to use the mask first and put him to sleep and then do everything they needed to do.  They wrapped him tight in his blanket and held him down.  Within a minutes, his eyes were rolled up in his head and he was out.  I held his hands the whole time. 

After that, I went to the waiting room and read Harry Potter on my Kindle.  After about an hour, the doctor came in, and let me know that everything went ok.  He got everything done that he wanted to and there were no unexpected surprises. 

After about 10 minutes, they called me into Recovery to see him.  This is where things normally go wrong.  But he was actually ok.  He had a lot of blood on his face, right up to his ear, but he is sleeping.  He would wake up every couple of minutes and cry, and cough and choke.  After about 10 minutes, with me holding his hand and stroking him, he fell into an actual sleep.  He was resting well.  They unhooked him and wheeled him down to the holding area.

About half way there, he decided that he wanted the IV out of his hand.  He started pulling the gauze wrapping his hand, and using his teeth to cut through the tape.  We finally got him to the holding area, and I wrestled with him for about 5 minutes.  He fought with me in spurts, but he was starting to calm down.  He would take deep breaths when I told him too, which is how I get him to focus and calm down.  Once he started listening to me and doing that, I knew we were going to be ok.  The nurse came in and right away got to work getting the IV out.  After that, he has some apple juice and fell into a real sleep.  The nurse came back after we had been there about 20 minutes and told us that we could go anytime we wanted.  He was doing great, and he could go.  I was shocked, because normally you have to jump through hoops to get the go-ahead to leave.  I let him sleep about 10 more minutes, then got him into his pyjama top and into his wheelchair.  We were off.

I was worried about the parking lot.  If any of you have ever parked at McMaster, you know how incredibly tiny the parking spots are.  I was parked beside a concrete wall, and there wasn't enough room on the side for me to bring the wheelchair up to load him into the car.  I didn't know how I was going to make that work.  I hadn't taken into account the fact that we were leaving around 5pm, when most of the others had left.  I parked Sebastian's wheelchair beside the front of the van, and then just pulled the van out into the driveway.  It was enough that I could get him in the front seat with his pillow and blanket.  He fell asleep before we even got out of the garage. 

We made it home with no incident.  He slept the whole way.  I got him in the house and settled in his bed.  He slept for about 2 more hours, woke up, had 2 giant glasses of milk and some fruit and toast to eat.  It's now 11:30, and he is just falling asleep again.

So, I am pretty proud of my little man- for handling it like a trooper and being such a brave boy.  No kid should have to go through the stuff this kid goes through.  And he does it, time and time again.  I love him so frigging much.

And I am pretty proud of myself, for going it alone, and handling it like a superstar.  No tears.  As Bon Jovi so eloquently put it..."We've got each other and that's enough...."

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "not bad for day's work."

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad for both of you that it went (for the most part) uneventfully. :) You're both very brave :)