As I mentioned in my last post, Wes flew off his bike on Saturday and snapped an adult tooth in half. I was laughing about how nonchalantly I slipped that into the post, right after a breezy retelling about our weekend, but since we are not totally neglectful I made him a dentist appointment for yesterday morning at 8:00 AM.
I assumed that it would be a quick in and out, they would xray his mouth, shrug their shoulders, and send us home with a diagnosis of "shit happens".
Instead they xrayed him, looked him over, and declared him in need of a procedure in which they would create a new tooth on top of the old half-tooth using some kind of space age material. He would have to have gas and a shot to numb his gums. They wanted to know if they could do it right then or if we would like to come back later. Since we were already there and missing school and I didn't have anything better going on until my class at one o'clock I decided to go for it.
I don't know if you know this about me, but I have some MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF ANXIETY about dental procedures. But I've watched Charley get a filling before so I was unprepared for the overwhelming fight or flight response I experienced for the ENTIRE HOUR we were in that office.
(In retrospect, the cup of coffee I had helped myself to in the waiting room was a mistake. But it smelled so good. And it tasted so good. But it was my second of the day and instead of making me feel calm and alert, it propelled my cortisol levels into Mission Control during Apollo 13 levels. I know this now)
They gave him the gas and after a few minutes he started taking these weird long slow deep breaths and gripping the arms of the chair like he was having a bad acid trip. Then they gave him the shot in his gums and his lip looked really weird and I was certain he was going into anaphylaxis. I stood over him rubbing his leg protectively and staring at his chest rising and falling, just waiting for something to go wrong.
I tried sound casual when I said to the doctor, who was sitting nearby in a relaxed fashion, "So his lip looks really swollen..." "Yeah," she said nonchalantly. It's because of the injury and the shot I just gave him." I rubbed his leg protectively, standing awkwardly over the chair and wondering if it would be too much of a spectacle if I dragged the new age carpeted bench over from the other side of the room so I could hover in comfort. Or if maybe it would be OK if I climbed up into the chair and spooned with him.
The procedure itself was EXTREMELY ROUTINE. But I was a FREAKING MESS. It was totally beyond my control. I had to take frequent breaks to stare into my phone. Then I would rub his leg some more. And also don't forget the highly distracting awkward small talk I attempted to make with the dentist.
I don't even remember what we talked about. I only remember that at some point it was clear I had passed polite and sociable and had become annoying.
I spent several minutes wondering if I was strong enough to scoop him up and run out to the car. I wish I was exaggerating.
After approximately fourteen hours of terror, the new tooth was ready and they let him sit up. He jumped off the chair and gave he a huge hug. For me? For him? I'm not sure.
Then he told me "It felt like the chair turned to goo and I was sinking into it" which explains the desperate white-knuckled grasping onto the arms of the chair. It *was* a bad acid trip.
We got a school note and then went straight to Whataburger for a milkshake for him (doctor's orders) and a number one with cheese for me. At ten o'clock in the morning. I ate it like a caged animal in the parking lot. And then I took Wes to school and then I stopped at a bakery for a blueberry scone and a chocolate chip cookie.
After school Wes was angry about EVERYTHING. After lots of door slamming and stomping and yelling about every. little. thing. he mused "I think the gas makes me feel stressed out."
"Oh buddy" I said "that whole morning was REALLY stressful. I'm not surprised you are feeling stressed."
We read books together and cuddled up and then he went to bed (with more stomping and door slamming). Later I went in because his light was still on as I was getting ready for bed. I rubbed his back for a few minutes and he said "Today was the BEST DAY EVER." Because he got to play video games in the waiting room at the dentist, watch Lego Batman, have a milkshake, and miss three hours of school.
Best day ever, man.