But first, Lily’s beautiful old smile.
One of the reasons for our recent trip to the lower mainland was to take Lily to a Paediatric Dentist. Lily had the most horrific dental experience here in Prince Rupert (Dr. Adams for local readers; Beware!) which needed a miracle to turn Lily’s view of dentists into a positive light. The paediatric dentist in Vancouver offered us that miracle. Lily was able to have a cleaning, check up and x-rays with willingness and ease.
The outcome of the check up and x-rays meant extending our stay to take advantage of a cancelation so Lily could get the work she needed done under general anaesthetic. Allowing my child to be put under general anaesthetic was not an easy choice to make but after some research and support from a friend who also took this route with two of her children, we decided this was the best option for Lily. The paediatric dental group use the best children specific anaesthetists and that made the choice easier.
What would normally be simply a routine doctor’s visit to determine Lily’s ability to undergo surgery, left us with more questions. We’ve been waiting for a Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist to come through town since December. Lily’s been dealing with adenoid and tonsil issues and every doctor who looks at them readily agrees that she’ll likely have to have them out, especially because it’s causing some sleep apnea. We left the doctor’s office for Children’s Hospital for an x-ray of her throat. Everything turned out okay. The space in her throat was tight but workable and the surgery was on.
I had really struggled with how approach the subject of the surgery with Lily. I’ve always been honest with her but this time the dentists suggested I focus on making the occasion a positive one by not giving too much information. I have to say that this turned out to be exactly the right approach.
Lily wasn’t falling for any of the “sleepy straw” explanations when they were referring to the needle going where the emla patch was on her hand but she was able to be distracted with blowing bubbles while they put the needle in. I felt so uneasy and afraid when she went limp in my arms after only a few seconds. I cried as they kindly led me out with assurances that she would be fine. I cried out all the tension I’d been holding in and was better off for it. I had a job to do while she was getting the work done, which also helped focus me. I walked to the grocery store and bought some children’s tylenol (which I’d never bought before!), delicious organic chicken broth and tomato soup. I decided to pass on the apple juice they suggested knowing that Lily would be happy drinking a cleansing and nourishing herbal tea I’d been giving her for days and her favourite, Bear Trap tea.
After almost two hours, the nurses were so pleased to inform me that Lily woke with a smile. I was brought into the recovery room where they were cooing over her. The nurses completely charmed, she was given not one, but five treasures for herself and three for her to take home for Leif.
The surgery resulted in Lily having five baby teeth removed to accommodate her permanent teeth coming in straight. (Orthodontics start a lot earlier these days.) She was fitted with five stainless steel crowns that will grow out when her permanent teeth come in, put one filling in a permanent molar and took an annoying and now defunct spacer off one of her teeth. Lily’s teeth were also given an extra good cleaning.
She recovered faster and better than the best case scenario the dentist presented me with. A little woozy in the legs and a slightly sore lower jaw the next morning but otherwise she was back to normal by the next day. Her quick recovery was fortunate because she hated the sickly sweet grape flavoured tylenol.
Afterwards, Lily struggled with having been distracted while the needle was put in her hand. I tried to explain that they used distraction to make it easier for her to have it done and it did, in fact work- she didn’t feel scared about the needle when it happened and the work was able to be done. She seemed to process this and not feel aggrieved about it anymore. Lily’s very happy with her new smile!