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Monday, March 28, 2011

The Dentist

I took Teale to the dentist today, stupidly assuming all would be fine. She has gone to the same dentist at Eastman for years and he's done very well with her. The problem was, they changed dentists on Teale and did not communicate all her issues well to the newbie. The new dentist was young and cute with lots of spunk and way too many words for my deaf child. She talked a mile a minute, explaining too much and not looking at Teale. She didn't know any of Teale's history and went into the task with no understanding of what Teale would need. I, the naive Mom, thought her previous dentist had prepared the newbie but quickly realized I was dead wrong and in big trouble. The dentist asked a few questions about medical history, but she was not really listening to me. Don't these professionals know that Moms of children with severe issues don't want to tell their life story in a few minutes and in front of our children? I realize she needed more of an understanding of how to handle my child, but this was not a good way to do that. As I tried to cue her into some of Teale's fears and idiosyncrasies Teale started to meltdown. She began kicking, kicking her sneaker right off. She started to scream as loud as she could. In general she looked like a raging animal, out of control. There was a slew of people who quickly moved in on us, making Teale behave even more violently. I knew I was done and needed out, but they wanted to correct the mistakes they made by not being prepared in the first place. I tried to explain, reason and help Teale, while way too many people stared and talked about us. Three months waiting for her specialized dentist and not one thing was accomplished. We lost ground on years of getting her used to going to the dentist in a ten minute period. I walked out with Teale screaming at the top of her lungs. The stares were piercing, as I could hear whispers about my bad parenting. I noticed my face didn't flush as I walked out with my head held high. I just didn't care what people were thinking. I was doing the best I could with a child who often doesn't understand her world. If the dentist had prepped, it might have gone much better, but at this point, I can't change what happened. I called Mark for support and fell into tears. The last few days have been so wearing, this was just too much. How will I ever get her decent dental care. The long ride home was fearful for me, I've been in cars alone with Teale in rages but sitting in the parking lot would be bad too. Moving toward home, toward safety was the best thing to do. She was still raging, screaming that she wanted "her dentist." I said a prayer for God to get us home safely and drove. On the way home I wanted to bawl, I wanted to scream, I wanted to freak out at someone, why is everything so difficult for my daughter? I just drove praying my feelings would pass and Justin Bieber's music would sooth her...

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