Weasel’s teeth are still not fixed, and I’m coming up to the final option of holding her down, Cuckoo’s Nest style. You may recall our general dentist sent us to the pediatric specialist who recommended I sell a kidney and get the work done under a general anesthetic. Plans were drawn up based strictly on visual inspection, since Weasel wouldn’t allow the x-ray plate into her mouth.
Since I could not afford that, and it turned out Medibank would only rebate a pittance on that specialist’s costs because she’s not ‘member preferred’ (ie, she doesn’t pay Medibank a massive kickback), I devised Plan B – use the free school dentist.
Plan B failed. Plan B actually made things so, so much worse. We now have a full blown dental phobia, working in conjunction with sensory issues.
First visit to the school dentist got a quick peek in the mouth, and then they showed her the water squirter and vacuum they would be using. They made noise and wet and feelings she didn’t want to feel. Cue freak out, dentist telling her off for thrashing her head around, and being sent home to relax. The dentist wasn’t mean, but she was very firm and no-nonsense. Kind of like the Nurse Ratched from Cuckoo’s Nest actually. No, I take that back, I could tell she had a soft spot and was just being firm because wiggly kids need that, so I’m going to liken her more to Surgeon Sally from Hilltop Hospital.
Second visit failed too. I’d bought some phernergan, which is all the GP would let me have to chill her out. Weasel spat it out. Nil effect. She was already reluctant to visit the ‘mean dentist’, but hopped up onto the chair happily enough. Surgeon Sally lowered it and before I knew it was trying to pull Weasel up onto the headrest. Weasel of course gripped the armrests for grim death and began a panic attack. All she had to do was move 10cm, but the loss of control over her own body and the sensation of falling backwards was too much to bear.
Many tears. Obviously she needs the chair adjusted before she hops on, and the dentist needs to be aware that all movement has to be in her control. I feel bad for not realising this would be an issue, but I also know she’s been having checkups and rides in the dentist chair every 6 months for the past 4 years with only a few nervous squeaks. I waver between admonishing myself for not being a better advocate for a gentler approach and not being forceful enough.
The trouble is she entered the room anxious and it spiralled from there.
After much alternating between cajoling and stern instructions, a temporary filler was put into one tooth, but without the decay removed first or being shaped afterwards. She bit Surgeon Sally, and the hygienist too.
Plan C: Since the only way I can afford this is for it to be either free or at an approved dentist where I only have to pay 30% of the bill, I located an alternate ‘members choice’ dentist, who offers the green whistle paramedics use. My research indicates it would work quite well and make her nice and loopy for just long enough. I made the appointment for morning time and planned a day off school. We discussed the green whistle, looked at pictures of it, talked about how it worked and how it would help at the dentist.
The morning of the appointment arrived and I found myself phoning in to cancel, because Weasel had commenced her freak out before we even left the house.
So, what comes next? Little help from others with special kids?