Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: I Cast All My Caries

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I Cast All My Caries

I took Erik to the dentist today. Dr. Mike apparently retired, so Dr. Brent took over. After I got over the initial shock of having what appeared to be a sixth grader take care of my son, Erik made some comments under his breath about one of his favorite television shows. As it turns out, Dr. Brent does look an awful lot like Steve, the original host of Blue's Clues. He just needs that fruity striped shirt.

The hygienist was able to take Erik up and down in the chair, and he is now an expert at operating the plastic suction tube (or, as I call it, the little "vacuum"). He used this device on Stinky-Dog's snout and laughed maniacally.

Although Erik stayed in the chair and remained fairly calm, he was obviously annoyed by being touched by the staff. Getting Erik to open his mouth is still almost impossible without prying it open with torturous dental devices, but they gave it the old college try. He was eventually distracted by the ominous noises coming from the next chair and became limp and semi-compliant due to his anxiety. Because of this, Dr. Brent was able to get a better look at Erik's bottom teeth. He then asked me if Erik had chocolate for breakfast.

Uh oh. Not a good sign.

We have two more "happy visits" scheduled for the next month to try to get a better look at the suspicious tooth. The dentist was unable to see much of Erik's top teeth at all. He very gently mentioned the "S" word to me.


I have more research to do on this topic about what is required in a dental setting, but I would be lying if I said this didn't scare the dickens out of me. I was barely okay with it when he was in a cardiologist's office surrounded by crash carts.

I allowed Erik to play with the toys in the waiting room for a few minutes on the way out and tried to shake off the curious stares I received from the other father who was at the next station in the examination area. I have to laugh because we make a complete scene at each and every appointment in offices all over town. Erik is always behind the desk helping schedule his own appointment, rolling on the floor trying to get a better look at the wheels on clinical chairs and tables (and asking where the lugnuts are), or singing songs in his own language at the top of his lungs. And he doesn't open his mouth at all without making some sort of loud sound. When they ask him to open it wider, his volume just goes up. Erik also cracks everybody up with his quips, Stinky-Dog voice, and reactions to things. I am quite confident that nobody will ever forget us.

And if they do, we'll be back for another round in two weeks!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erik is supposed to be unforgettable—he is full of life!

Most have no idea what's up at first, but I guarantee all are touched by his presence.

All this talk of dentists scares me. I have a severe case of phobia to anything dentist and my daughter is due for a checkup. Yikes!

11:50 PM  
Blogger jbgrinch said...

I still have a hard time at the dentist, after one tried to work on me without any novacaine (sp) I was only 11 then and Im 50 now. Sounds like you have a nice guy who is willing to be slow with eric.

5:44 AM  
Blogger Tes said...

sedation yep that will make your brain take a leap like it has been hit with a taser!
Lila wound up having a dose of valium at the last visit and they were able to get xrays which we had been putting off, good exam and sealants. She was not totally out of it, just really really relaxed. I had my hand out for my dose and i think they were actually gonna give me some too bad i was driving! darn.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about bringing in a portable DVD player with the John Deere video? Does Erik love (or hate) the kids' toothbrushes that are battery-operated and spin (and sometimes sing songs)? If he is busy brushing his teeth on one side, it would pry his mouth open enough for them to get a decent exam without sedation! I will come up with another 50 suggestions to avoid sedation, if possible...Tina

11:29 PM  
Blogger Lizard Eater said...

Erik has different physical things to worry you than LW, but let me tell you our perspective on sedation.

It doesn't bother me anymore. Okay, not MUCH.

LW was sedated every 3 months for scans until 3. And all her dental work was done under sedation. And at the start, that was when she had cardiomyopathy. Oh, and when she got radiation -- so she received sedation for 6 days straight. And then there's the surgeries ...

Excuse me, I'm going to go have a margarita.

IF you do it, let me tell you that different drugs will affect your child in different ways. I absolutely love propofol. (Though I don't recommend one take it as a nightly cocktail, aka Michael Jackson.) She'd wake up happy and fine. Gas, though ... horrible! Would wake up ready to kill everyone with her bare hands.

Your child could be completely the opposite.

Anyway, not encouraging or discouraging, just passing on our experience.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

I wish I could come hang out with you and Erik sometime! :) We have a dentist appt. scheduled this month so I'm sure that I will have a similar-scene-causing-story to post about! I love how you describe him, wanting to help schedule is appt. and asking about lugnuts. You should record him talking/singing in his own language, perhaps Summit would understand! ;)

I'd be scared with the sedation as well, I hope they are able to come up with another option or that the sedation won't be the kind that could be harmful, if such a kind exists! let me know!

9:05 PM  

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