Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Anti-Dentite

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I continue taking Erik to the dentist every two to four weeks. The photo above is of Erik using the suction tube on Stinky Dog. I tell Erik this piece of equipment is a miniature vacuum, and he enjoys playing with it.

The dentist no longer amuses me much, as I feel like he views us both as a gargantuan inconvenience because of our requirements for a private room and extra attention. Even his pimp-like, leather-inset pants and freshly-pressed shirt quietly irritated the crap out of me. I was informed that "Ms. Nikki," the woman half my size who insisted we deal only with her for Erik's special needs, is no longer employed at that office. Our new technician was able to sit Erik in a chair and eventually convince him to open his mouth so the dentist could paint foul-tasting fluoride lacquer on a couple of his teeth. Of course, I was required to explain hyperacusis all over again to the new technician. The dentist repeatedly instructed Erik to "calm down" and "stay still," and not in the kindest tone, but Erik seemed almost shocked into obeying. As he peeled off his orange gloves and got up to leave the room, Dr. Mike gruffly told his assistant they would be using the device to pry Erik's mouth open for an extended period of time at our next visit. Knowing Erik, this likely will traumatize him all over again, erasing any progress I had made with the whole desensitization process. Weeks of work down the drain.

I then took Erik to the main waiting room the office shares with a pediatric medical clinic and let him spin some wooden wheels on a bus-shaped play structure while I gathered my thoughts. I noted how strange it was to feel angry and disappointed while wearing a bobbing helium balloon tied to my wrist. Erik looked up at me and laughed, obviously delighted to indulge in some good, old-fashioned stimming. When it was time to go, he protested and began to cry, telling me he wanted to keep spinning the wheels. I practically dragged him out the front door, as he is too heavy to carry anymore.

Fun visit, my ass.

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Blogger camille said...

that dentist is an ass. pry his mouth open? is he insane???? i don't know about you, but i wouldn't allow it. ugh, i'm pissed for you.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gua says..
It makes it worse that people see Erik as such a charming little boy most of the time.. and that his behavior then looks just like that of a spoiled kid! As the world's most reluctant patient, I know I'll never be in a dentist's chair without thinking, "Bolt! Now! You can run for it!" To put that on top of Williams, I can't possibly imagine how he feels, or how you feel dealing with it! I'm hoping that at least this is one thing that will improve with Erik's maturity. Meanwhile, as usual, you're stuck!

Maybe you can get comfort from knowing that you're helping him and others, too. The help coming your direction is a little harder to realize. As always, I'm proud of you, and wishing I could fix things. A fine bucket we're all in!

Love, Mom

6:29 AM  
Blogger Noel said...

I too would be disapointed at all of the work that will have been lost. We saw one dentist who suggested the same " mouth opening" device and we have not been back since. He thought she was " going to have to learn sometime"...I don't agree at all.
Knowing how you feel!

6:49 AM  
Blogger Leesa said...

Sorry for this, sweetie. Reading about Eric's treatment at the dentist makes me so mad.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Aspen said...

That is disappointing and frustrating! I admire your courage and consistency. A dental hygienist tried to look at Daven's teeth at school this week and she was confronted with a full on MELT DOWN! She had no other choice but to stop and suggest sedation dentistry. Sigh.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Auntie Dee~ta said...

I can't believe all this!!! I just can' baffles me and totally pisses me off! I do not even know what to say or think!

Like your mom said... I to am proud of you girl and I so wish that I could fix things for you as well!

I love you girl and so love my nephew!!!

3:54 PM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Nancy ~ I think you are a just a wonderful mom! Erik looks like one very happy kid (even where he is at the dentist. I've never smiled like that at the dentist unless I was walking OUT the door! (and by the way... my best friend is a DDS) and I don't even like HIS chair! ~ jb///
P.S. ~ About your post on our anniversary. Next time You are out and about... get those eyes checked. No NOT Eric's... I meant yours! But thanks anyway, you are sweet! ~ jb///

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also have a WS kid, born dec31, 2004 so she is just a few months younger. Dentist and doctors in general creat a similar level of anxiety. Luckily we have in our local hospital a dentistry branch for high risk & special needs kids, so their approach is a little less abrasive. Recently she has so many cavities and a cracked front tooth above the gum line, that they decided to removed her front teeth and fix her cavities under full anestesia. It took 3 1/2 hours, 8 cavities later and 2 less teeth. I was glad of the decision to go ahead with the precedure; I can't imagime her sitting thru so much drilling and stuff awake. She woke up, with a little pain in her throat and her jaw was a little tender, but no trauma. It took her a few days to understan what had happened to her front teeth, but as her cousin is also missing hers (she's 6) it's okay. Now at the dentist, it is the usual fear,, stress and anxiety but not more than usual - I don't think I could take more than that.

11:08 PM  

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