I really don’t want this post to come off as a snobbish; “I’m super smart!” kind of thing. Because while I’m smart and have a good punch of common sense to go with it, I also realize that I have moments of absolute idiocy that involve making a complete fool of myself. Sometimes on this blog. So. That said.
Sometimes it sucks being smart. Today that was brought home in a rather nasty way.
This past summer the Princess had a bad fall that involved the corner of a wall making hard contact with her face. We were at a science museum with a water play table, and while trotting to the adjoining play area she was pushed by a little kid and slipped on water on the floor. Skidded right into the wall. Screaming ensued – that kind of panicked, pain screaming that every parent dreads hearing. Blood everywhere. We headed to the ER and then to an emergency dental appointment. She had smashed her teeth into the wall.
For the next few months we were terrified her teeth were going to die – they were very loose and wiggly but still white (grey teeth are dying teeth.) She sometimes said they still hurt, and the dentist told us to keep checking. Last night, we found little pimples on her gums.
The dentist told us to watch out for a few things but she didn’t elaborate. She didn’t tell us what each symptom meant. Us being super paranoid, smart parents, we did some researching and found out. Pimples on the gums means an abscess. And thanks to Google, WebMD, and various other resources – we knew what that meant.
So when we made another emergency appointment today with another dental professional, similar to that of this Dentist in Healdsburg as an example, we were hoping against hope that a round of antibiotics would squash the infection and allow her to keep her teeth. But we also knew that was a fool’s hope – that we didn’t really have a choice. I hate being right. The dentist solemnly told me what the X-Ray showed and gently said that we didn’t have a choice, the teeth had to come out. She looked surprised when I didn’t explode with anger/frustration/fear and simply agreed, telling her that’s what we had assumed. She said it again, as if she had expected to have to convince me. Nope, already knew that!
I did ask to see the X-Rays, and she carefully pointed out the pocket of infection, showed me the missing roots, and compared them to the last X-Ray. No doubt, the teeth had to come out. And they did. My poor little girl is missing her two front teeth, and will be for the next year at best.
I am SO MAD because that other little brat pushed my child and got her hurt. And I’m also guiltily aware that it could easily have been the other way around – with my child doing the pushing.
GHF recently put an image on their Facebook page that made me laugh and agree – the one saying that a worried mother does better research than the FBI. So true! I’m tired of being that worried parent. It sucks. It’s horrible. It’s worse not knowing what’s wrong, but sometimes it’s just as bad knowing and waiting for the “wrong” to happen.
I could have not done the research and been nastily surprised and upset today (I was still upset) but because I knew, I was able to prepare the Princess for what was going to happen. We talked about her sick teeth, and how they may have to come out so that they didn’t make her other teeth sick. It wasn’t a sudden “here kiddo, let’s poke around and then pull your teeth out” kind of situation. In fact, she wanted to go to the dentist because she was in a good deal of pain. An abscess isn’t fun.
The medical profession doesn’t always enjoy their patients’ ability to do their own research. Sometimes you end up with a worried patient who thinks they have cancer – because Dr. Google pops that possibility up for everything from a headache to a toe throb. Cancer! It’s cancer! Still, if you know how to research and you know how to vet websites – you can find the information you need and be a super informed customer. More informed than my doctors at times. (No, we shouldn’t do that Cortisol injection – it triggers my thyroid. Don’t you do your research doctor?)
I need to go consult with the tooth fairy, because losing a tooth isn’t nearly as bad as having 2 taken from you. We need some serious compensation for this one!
So sorry to hear about what happened… make sure you get Smile (graphic novel) for your daughter. And yes, I know all about research 🙂 but it helped me sort out my thyroid issues (along with Izabella Wentz)
Thank you for the suggestion! Putting it on our book list 🙂
Oh my gosh, this is so on spot right now. I’ve had to be my own health advocate for years. Especially when I got cancer, and for every treatment-related complication thereafter. (Due for a new surgery this week.) I can NOT get doctors to listen to what I have to say most of the time, even when I don’t reference research I’ve done, and it scares me. I had something that wasn’t healing right … I knew that from research from similar cancer patients … the doctor brushed me off and told me to give it more time. Saw the surgeon who put in and removed my chemo port and got her to look at that same thing, and she immediately said I was right, and she could fix it in one treatment right then and there, maybe one follow-up in a week. That helped me mentally and physically (and it started healing properly within the day). My whole health history is dozens upon dozens of stories like that. I generally avoid Google for anxiety reasons, but sometimes it’s the only place we can find what we need. The best place, I have found, is a well-moderated forum for those with the same health issues you face (if it’s a long-term issue) because you get common sense mixed in with the panic. I did once (recently) get the brush-off “You’re smart, you can research this” … and was left with less information than even an uninformed person on the street would have about the procedure I am now facing. I can look it up, but since it’s cancer-treatment-complicated, that isn’t enough. Sigh. (Okay, I guess I needed a safe place to vent.)
I’m so glad you listened to your gut and got a second opinion! Best wishes for the upcoming surgery 🙂