Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The Silver Lining!
This week started out rougher than most. Sam began to limp more significantly. On Sunday evening Sam had some evening pain episodes, he groaned and whined in his sleep, tossed and turned and woke up sluggish and disoriented. Although I love to jump into every Monday with a fresh approach on Sam's NACD program it quickly became evident that I could have turned myself inside out and blue and Sam would not have even noticed. I'm pretty sure Buddy got more out of program on Monday than Sam did.
I spent the afternoon doing some research on bone growth. A friend had asked me if Sam was taking Cod Liver Oil with butter oil as recommended by Weston Price. Vitamin K2 is essential for strong, healthy teeth and bones. I was already giving Sam butter oil on his gluten free bread so I placed an order with Green Pastures for their combination Cod Liver and Butter Oil because at this point I'm pretty much willing to try anything to encourage bone growth. On Monday night I rubbed in Sam's hip with some Heritage Essential Oils. Due to his discomfort I used Birch, Pain X and Bone Regeneration. He seemed much more comfortable after the oils were applied. Sam has done very well with these oils especially during times of illness or respiratory issues, so they are a must have in our arsenal. During those times I often rub on his feet/chest and diffuse into the air Respiratory Relief, Plague Defense, Warrior and Lung Healing.
Along with worrying about Sam's hip we were headed back to Children's Hospital on Tuesday for an appointment that I absolutely dread...the Dentist. Sam has always had sensory issues especially around his head. He has forever hated hair cuts and going to the Dentist. Sam got to the point with haircuts that Jeff and I could not hold him still enough to get his hair cut and by the end we were both physically drained, emotionally traumatized by the stares and comments of the other customers and had to tip the beautician more than the cost of the haircut for performing her job under hazardous conditions. I solved this problem by purchasing a FlowBee since Sam's main issue was having the hair fall on him and he wouldn't wear a cape. He still does not like his hair cut but we accomplish the task in the privacy of our own home and he gets better and better with each hair cut.
But the Dentist...I had myself tied in knots before we ever even pulled into the parking structure. My right shoulder had stiffened and I felt the nagging pain of a headache coming on. Sam's last dental experience was under sedation and he had his teeth cleaned, x-rayed, filled and a few of them pulled. The Doctor who did the surgery asked us to bring Sam in to see him in 3 months and he felt he could work with Sam. That sounded good...but that was the same thing the last 6 dentists we saw said about Sam. Some of them simply gave up and never really got a look at his teeth and others took the aggressive method of papoosing Sam and using a metal clamp to hold his mouth open. Sam would come out of all of these appointments with puffy eyes, broken blood vessels in his face and back and with a Mom that cried as soon as she reached her car in the parking structure. I just couldn't understand how a child that is so smart and usually happy could turn into the upset, screaming, kicking, and irrational child that I saw each time in the dental office. This dentist said he would take Sam back on his own and work with him.
I can't even begin to tell you the nightmares my mind congered up with that idea. So you want to take my medically aversive, semi-verbal child that can't really tell me what happens to him away from me into a room with just you and him and work through his issues??? Part of me became the Mommy Warrior and wanted to tell this doctor that I don't appreciate his inference that he can figure out my child better than me or that maybe I'm the issue. I'm the expert on Sam, plain and simple...when you have had the opportunity to walk in my shoes and care for Sam 24 hours a day, 7 days a week...then we can talk. Part of me thought about a recent article of a Doctor abusing his child patients while their parents were in the waiting room.
But part of me understood how a child can work off their parent and have behavior issues that they wouldn't have if the parent wasn't present. Part of me knew that to give up wasn't an option or in Sam's best interest. Part of me hoped and prayed that this was the Doctor that would answer my prayers.
So we walked into the Dental Clinic. I did my best to show my brave face to Sam while this hurricane of emotions was reeling through my head. Unfortunately I saw a dental assistant I had a rather loud encounter with during one of Sam's previous dental appointments when she rather roughly pushed Sam down into the dental chair with little regard to his respiratory issues which caused Sam to choke and gag. We exchanged sparring glances but she quickly moved on to her next patient, I prayed for that little girl. But when Dr. Fisher came out to get Sam I felt a surge of calm and an almost comforting feeling that overpowered my need to straighten this Doctor out or just run out of the clinic with Sam. Although I was still nervous I stayed seated and watched him wheel Sam into the back clinic. I tried to look at a magazine but honestly I didn't even notice it was written in Spanish until I put it down. After a few minutes his dental assistant came out with a smile and told me that Dr. Fisher would like me to come back and observe him working with Sam through the window. I hadn't realized I was holding my breath and let out a sigh of relief but still didn't know what I was in for.
When I got to the quiet room Sam was in; I saw he was seated in a regular chair instead of the dental chair. Dr. Fisher was counting his teeth and showing him all the dental equipment he would use to check and clean Sam's teeth. Things that normally terrified Sam like the suction tube were taken apart to show him each piece, let him hold them and examine them and then Sam was allowed to use it to suck water out of a cup. Dr. Fisher even got Sam to put the suction tube into his mouth, Sam would often begin to protest but Dr. Fisher would lower the tone of his voice and talk Sam through it and each time Sam relaxed instead of tensing up and escalating his behavior.
No papoose, no metal clamp, no broken blood vessels, no heart wrenching screams that make a Mom want to run out of the clinic.
I promptly said a prayer of Thanks and watched Sam interact and work with Dr. Fisher. The relief I felt is hard to explain, it was as if the weight of the world had been lifted and this Dentist had finally figured out how to work with Sam. When Sam was done he went with the assistant to show her his Ipad and I sat and talked with Dr. Fisher. I heard the words I had never thought I would hear from Sam's Dentist.
"Sam is no problem and he is a pleasure to work with." He said it and I wasn't sure if I wanted to cry or hug him but I immediately knew that this man was a blessing and had touched our lives in a very positive way and at a time that I needed some silver lining in the black clouds of Sam's Perthes diagnosis. I thanked him...really over and over again. I left the clinic feeling happy, even joyful.
As I sit here and type this post I am also reminded of something that happened earlier in the day. Sam had speech and aqua therapy before we headed to Childrens...you know a typical day in the life of a parent of a child with special needs. During aqua therapy one of the life guards approached me and offered that if I was ever looking for someone to watch or work with Sam she would love to do it. Her Aunt has Down syndrome and she loves spending time with her and she would like to work with special needs children. This lifeguard's personality is strong, she didn't seem to be someone who would baby or do things for Sam that he can do himself...I think she would make him tow the line. She reminded me of my niece Katie Jackson. She continued talking with me and said that so many people under estimate the capability of people with Down syndrome (music to my ears) and that she is CPR and First Aid trained and certified. (I'm thinking can it get much better than this) and she went on to explain that she applied for school but applied late and won't be starting until Spring so she is available now and for a while. She also asked if she could continue even when she is going to school, if the hours could be flexible? She drives, has had numerous background checks but what I loved was her enthusiasm and the way she looked at Sam. She was interested in hearing about his Perthes and how it affects him, his home program and what he likes to do. She believes learning should be fun. I should have known then and there that God heard my worries and fears from the night before and he was going to show me that he was listening. It's funny how a week can start so badly and it takes one day and a couple of events to make it all turn around.
As I rubbed Sam's hip in tonight, I reflected on the day....the warmth I felt from my hands spread through my body comforting my heart and mind. I think tonight, both Sam and I will sleep well. Sam and I are blessed, the dark clouds have parted and we are basking in the sunshine and warmth. God is good!