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Saturday, 12 October 2013

A week of dentist trauma, possible concussion and then swimming antics

Well this has been an emotional roller coaster of a week!

Last week I had been offered a dental appointment for mid-week. However, after a terrible weekend for Seth (and us!), I phoned again on Monday and attempted to get a sooner appointment. I succeeded on getting us in on a cancellation Tuesday afternoon. Craig took Seth.

The dentist is the dental department of Isebrook Hospital in Wellingborough. They visit Seth's school once a year  and have seen Seth twice there, and I have taken him in to the hospital before and seen a lovely lady dentist. By their own admission they are experienced with receiving clients with special needs. & yet the dentist that saw Seth on Tuesday clearly has no idea what he's doing. He took one meagre look into Seth's mouth and announced that his teeth were probably all decayed and that they might well need to be removed, obviously under general anaesthetic. When Craig queried this, he then admitted that the discolouration he saw may be that Seth had just eaten his lunch and referred him to a specialist. On receiving this news from a rather shaken Craig, I initially took it pretty badly. 1) what the hell? I've been cleaning his teeth most nights for the past couple of years 2) oh my god what pain must he be in! 3) oh my god we're those kinds of parents that let our child's teeth rot and need to have them be removed before he's 6 and 4) how on earth is he going to eat and ever learn to chew while he waits for his adult teeth to come through?!!!!! Then after further discussion with Craig that night, I just got angry. There was still the fear and worry but mostly I figured the dentist must have been wrong. We had a follow up appointment booked for Thursday so we wouldn't have long to get it resolved. For Seth's part he calmed down and actually spent that evening and night sleeping peacefully.

Wednesday took on a whole new angle. At 1pm I got a call from school because Seth, who was sitting freestyle on the floor, had got annoyed because he wanted to eat the cakes they were making in class and threw himself backwards hitting his head hard on the floor. There was no school nurse around and his teacher was worried about possible concussion and so called. I liaised with Craig and he travelled into school whilst I left work to meet them in A&E. In the meantime the nurse had arrived, shared their concern and then phoned for a paramedic because Seth started fitting. Craig arrived to find the paramedic giving Seth oxygen but after some food and a ride in an ambulance Seth returned to his exuberant self and we didn't spend too long in hospital before a rather pale but otherwise healthy boy was allowed to go home.

At this point I think I should mention that Craig is home because he's signed off from work with stress!

Thursday we went back to the dental department. This time we saw the nice lady dentist that I had met previously. She had a very thorough look in Seth's mouth and said that all was healthy. It turns out that whilst one tooth is coming through, another front tooth is wobbly and that it's also likely that some more molars might be starting to come through as this all usually happens about the same time, around the age of 6. She introduced us to the team who go into the schools and left us to make 3 monthly appointments so she could keep an eye on Seth: it's possible that his small head may cause problems in the future if there is not enough room for the teeth to come through. She also explained that calpol does not help with tooth pain at all and to just use ibruprofen.

So we left mightily relieved and today I spoke to a friend who had a very similar experience to us; she also made an appointment for her son at the dental department because of their experience with special needs. The dentist she saw also spent scant time actually looking at his teeth before diagnosing decay and that they would have to be removed. After a very anguished time, they then received a contradictory report from a second dentist who told her his teeth were completely fine. I need to find out the name of the dentist we saw and doublecheck it's the same man. Then I feel a complaint coming on. I feel I should be more outraged about all this - it's likely that there is some dentist giving out the most awful, completely incorrect information, traumatising parents. Is he just an idiot? And how is he still practicing? But the truth is that we're just so relieved that Seth is okay and we've got so many other things to focus on...maybe that's how they get away with this stuff?

The week has ended on a real high though. Seth has slept well all week and is in much better spirits (and so are we!). Today, Craig swam with Seth at school. Seth swam completely unaided for the width of the pool. He lay on his back, kicking his legs and kept his head above the water and laughed his head off. Fantastic! I'm so happy Craig got to experience this but I'm also very grateful for my brother in law, Rob, who has volunteered to swim with Seth almost every Friday. Without him Seth wouldn't have swam as often has he has and wouldn't now be swimming unaided.