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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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right, this will end well
children of dune - leto 1
So just seeing how this sounds:

Vacation with entire extended immediate family including: mother, both sisters, sister's husband, sister's MIL, sister's three kids, other sister's kid, mother's parents, me, and Child.

In one house on the beach.

Okay, that does in fact look terrifying when seen in print. I was wondering. There will be the gulf and a confection store that makes their own fudge. I'm clinging very hard to that right now.

Wait, there's more:

Child in his infinite wisdom at some point in the past--who knows when--broke a tooth but couldn't be assed to tell me or care until Friday evening, when the entire left side of his face rounded out not unlike a ripe tomato. At first--not knowing the tooth sitch because who hides tooth pain? How?--I thought it was an unexpected reaction to a topical anesthetic we keep for those times you bite the inside of your cheek or poke yourself in the gum with a pencil which no, isn't something that happens to me because I have much better hand/eye coordination than that and will fight any comment to the contrary to the death if necessary or whatever. It became very clear, however, that it wasn't and he reluctantly admitted maybe there was a tooth that was bothering him maybe a little, which you don't say, ye who has lost any vestige of facial symmetry.

Saturday morning was spent frantically googling for a dentist open on Saturdays who took walk-ins or emergencies or both. Found one, who didn't have a time open and then listening to me start to dissolve into tears--seriously, over-ripened tomato Child, but not that color, it was unsettling--offered to fit him and for that will love her until the day I die. Fortunately--and this is literal--Child was still in pain and the appointment was in less than an hour, and even so, it was a bad ten minutes getting him dressed and to the vehicle while he protested--with asymmetry growing by the moment--that it didn't hurt that much and he was fine (I actually stopped to stare at him disbelievingly, wondering if the infection reached his brain already).

We shall not speak of what we discovered of Child's unbelievable lack of interest in what goes on in his own mouth (I whine when I poke my gum with a pencil, fine, judge away), but anyway, surprise, he broke a tooth and it got infected and how. So we left with antibiotics, painkillers, and a very serious speech that if he starts having vision problems to go to the ER immediately, which was one of those surreal moments where I stare at Child and Child acts totally shocked about how nature and infection work.

Strangely enough, last night was different than Friday, better, yes, but different. While the painkillers and antibiotics were definitely working, the pressure was now a problem as well, which makes sense when the stabbing pain finally faded (which took a while), and it bothered him a lot. He was in no danger, I repeatedly told him, of having his cheek pop like a balloon, seriously, it looked worse before the dentist when he was saying no, it was fine, but he just wasn't convinced and repeatedly watched the mirror suspiciously. It was also very, very uncomfortable to lie down for too long, which I get; yes, pain is much worse, glad that was out of the way, but that powerful pressure sensation is really, really unsettling and uncomfortable in a completely different way than active pain.

To be fair to Child: when he was young, he had to have oral surgery on his back teeth that wasn't fun for anyone. The dentist was fine but not the most sensitive with kids and mistook condescending for kind, which even before the age of reason Child didn't take well, and the regular dentist was nice, he had a very bad habit of being disapproving and lecturey, which doesn't contribute to dentist-patient desire to talk or ever see them again. As I found out from a coworker, this problem is rampant among adults (her husband, for example, might very possibly die of sepsis if she didn't put her foot down).

My youngest sister had a condition officially diagnosed by a oral specialist that existed from birth that her teeth produced extremely substandard enamel, so she had to go a lot for regular cleanings and very careful examinations to catch any problems--and there were guaranteed problems--immediately. Also, she needed to be checked as her adult teeth came in because they might have the same problem (they did, very much, but it didn't show up immediately). This was in her dental records, by the way, so the regular dentist would know to do a very thorough exam each time and what he needed to look for so they could fix it very quickly. One useful side effect should have been that knowing ahead of time this was a losing battle would be concentrating all their efforts on making sure she could keep her adult teeth and not go through intense pain every time.

This worked very well for a while, until suddenly it didn't. Around age eight or nine, due to reasons beyond all of us, she was badly traumatized by his extended and rather less than kind lecture after he found--no surprise--one of her newest teeth would need a cap immediately. My mother found out about it when she went into genuine hysterics at the idea of visiting him or any dentist ever again and had the adult oral problems to back it up. Not that we're bitter still, but what the fuck?

As her son has the same problem, she was very proactive in a.) getting everything fixed fast and b.) not trusting the dentist a single moment with him and reminding him regularly during visits of the diagnosis written very clearly in his dental records and the long-term treatment plan (modern dentistry has made some definite advances since she was a kid, so there are far better options). She also never, ever leaves the room for a moment, which me and my middle sister also picked up with a vengeance.

After this adventurous weekend, I wonder why there aren't more dentists who decide to specialize in 'emergency' and 'weekends' only because seriously, they could probably make a killing doing nothing else. Every weekend dentist I found (very not many) wasn't just packed, but stacking them up in the waiting room. I didn't even bother with trying to negotiate my (annoying) insurance and paid cash, I was that desperate and from the looks of those waiting with me and Child, that wasn't unique. And why isn't there a Dental ER somewhere?

Note: Child still looks asymmetrical but much better, and is hilariously following almost exactly the dentist's prediction on how long it would take for the swelling to go down and the pain to taper off.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/1005359.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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I do it the other way around: as I live with various members of my family all the time, I went on vacation WITHOUT them. Yay!
And all the best to child from my daughter (who had no dental problems ever).

I am less than one week from embarking on almost same vacation with mom, dad, two brothers, two wives and seven kids in a four bedroom house on the bay. This is the fourth year in a row for it, so it's got something going for it. :)

Wow. Well, good on you for being a heroic emergency-dealer-wither. You must be exhausted now. But can then relax and recover on your FAMILY HOLIDAY.


My mom-in-law broke a tooth (snapped right off at the gum line) the night before Thanksgiving. A call to our dentist's emergency number got the response "How quickly can you get to the office?" We will always love our dentist for that!!

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