Yesterday was Lilly's first dental visit ever. She's 3 years old, and I have really been trying to find a dentist who is familiar with special needs kids since she was 2yrs old. With Lilly having such bad anxiety with doctors since she was 1 between the pulmonologist and the regular ped, it was like we were at a doctors office every other week. I had to work extra hard with her with brushing since her SPD has given her a hard time with the sensations in her mouth, being extra sensitive to touch. She is to the point where she will let me brush them, which is fantastic for her but I had no idea what the dentist would bring.
I always prepare for the worst, hope for the best and when it's horrible for her, I don't feel extremely horrible. I have to do it this way because I know that if I prepare for the best, I then feel 10x worse when I have to hold her down, pin her legs with my legs and let random doctors touch her. This was the case yesterday.
Here's a vision for ya. Me in a dental chair all the way back, holding Lilly on my lap, hugging her with a bear hug from behind and my legs crossed over her legs so she doesn't kick the hygienist. Crying, and screaming but still at least holding her mouth open long enough to let her get the look she needed. Once the hygienist touched her, it was meltdown city, although she was gentle with her(Sure let me be the bad guy holding her down and all while you gently check her out!) it was her gloves that I think threw her off. Then, here comes the polish. Can you say, meltdown 10x bigger? This poor child of mine, bit the polisher, but then slowly relaxed and although still crying, and trying to scream "No!" , she at least kept her mouth open a bit and they finished up. Well... at least for the next 5 minutes, the dentist has still yet to come in.
While I get her to settle down, which usually takes at least 15 minutes, only took 5 minutres this time, thankfully, only to have her freak out even more when the dentist had to have her sit back in the dental chair with me. Bless this dentists heart, allowed her to sit facing me in a regular chair, and laid her back into her lap and was basically the same chaos above but quicker.
All for no cavities and an A+ report for the preschool. They even invited her back. In 6 months. Now I know it's a necessity, and I am not saying I would neglect it getting done, but I just know that this will be a reoccurring story as the years go on. On the way home, I was watching her in the mirror and she just looked so spent and worn out. She was so tired, and fell asleep, but I can't help but want to just keep apologizing to her for the horrible day we just had. I felt so helpless seeing her like that. As a parent, you just want to keep them from the worst possible situations and I couldn't today. Because it had to be done.