Prayers Please

Apr 12, 2012 by

This is not the post I thought I’d be writing today.  I had a grand plan to talk about how planting season has started and what that means for my/our life.  Not today.


A few days ago, a friend who is also a new mom, mentioned that someone made her feel really stupid for not knowing some child safety information.  She took it pretty hard, as I think any new mom would.  When it comes right down to it, I think anyone who’s been a new mom will agree…we pretty much have no idea what we’re doing.  You learn by trial and error a lot of times.  And that’s ok.  Just because you don’t know everything there is to know about parenting doesn’t mean you know NOTHING.  But it sure does feel like it sometimes…


G$’s 9 month checkup was this week.  I’ll save you the long & boring explanation but, suffice to say, we’ve been doing some things wrong.  Great.  We (apparently) were not previously informed of the proper post-circumcision care and therefore, let’s just say things were starting to reattach.  Not pretty.  This meant that they had to become UNattached.  Go ahead and get the visual on that one.  And oooooooooooooooh the screaming that followed.  Yikes.  Even the doctor was feeling bad afterwards.  I now know the proper daily care that Dr. Comforting said I need to continue until he is one, at which point he will start having MORNING ERECTIONS and this “daily care” will take care of itself.  I thought I was going to puke.  This shit starts THAT EARLY?  Gross.  My poor little boy.


While we were at the doctor, he checked G$’s mouth and asked if he had any teeth yet.  I said no.  Later in the day, I noticed he actually had TWO teeth on the bottom, but you could only see the top ridges.  The ridges are yellowish brown.  Not white.  Not even off-white.  Yellowish brown.  I tried not to panic.  I thought maybe it was bad lighting.  I even seriously considered that I might be hallucinating.  A photo and re-check with an LED flashlight confirmed that it was NOT bad lighting, I was not hallucinating, those teeth are unquestionably yellow.


Maybe most parents would not freak out over some tooth discoloration on a nine month old.  After all, they are “just” baby teeth, right?  Nothing permanent.  That’s all well and good but many people still have at least SOME baby teeth well into junior high.  That’s a long time with “just” baby teeth when they happen to also be brown teeth.


Most parents also do not have the family history that I do.  My mom and aunt are twins.  They were born with no enamel whatsoever on their teeth.  This means, you guessed it, yellowish brown teeth.  They were told the reason for this condition was that my grandma was given a morning sickness pill while pregnant and this was a side effect.  (This pill is no longer on the market, FYI.)  At the time, there was obviously much less to offer in the world of dental technology.  It wasn’t until they were nearly 14 years old that bonding even EXISTED and you can imagine the quality when it finally did hit the market…the lesser of two evils.  As a consequence, they suffered for almost 14 years with ugly and very weak teeth.  See, what most people don’t think about is that enamel is what makes your teeth so strong.  Without any enamel, they become very sensitive and weak.  My mom remembers some teeth randomly just crumbling in her mouth for no reason other than they were simply weak, unprotected teeth.  And then there’s the kids.  Kids are little assholes.  Would you want your child to have to go to school with a mouth that looks like it came out of a costume shop?  I don’t think so.


Since we’ve always been told this was a side effect of a medication, not a genetic problem, and neither myself, my sister or any of my aunt’s 3 kids have any enamel problems, it never even crossed my mind that this could be a problem.  Never ever.


So, given the history and the current situation, I did what every parent would do.  First, I called the dentist and made an appointment.  They asked if I’d taken any antibiotics (tetracycline family drugs are the ones to worry about, in case you wondered) while pregnant.  I couldn’t remember, but you can imagine my horror at the very idea that I could’ve unknowingly taken a pill that would affect my son in such a way.  I was appalled.  Therefore, my next step was to call the OB and my family doctor and find out what I was prescribed.  Both came up empty.  Then I remembered I went to a prompt care for a sinus infection when I was about 7 months pregnant.  Bingo.  I called CVS and Walgreens and found out I was given a zpack.  I hit the internet.  Zpack is not a tetracycline drug.  Crap.  I called the dentist and they informed me that they’ve seen patients on long term “safe” high blood pressure medicine while pregnant that caused similar issues, so you just never know.


Then I called my mom.  She was having a total meltdown over the very possibility that this could happen to her grandchild.  She was too emotional (rightfully so) to be of much assistance at the time, so I called my aunt.  I confirmed the story about the morning sickness pill given to grandma and a few other things…like how much an entire mouth of crowns cost her (because that’s the treatment if it affects adult teeth).  At the time, which was many years ago…it was TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.  And that’s if you don’t have to get them redone, like my mom did.  So I called my insurance agent.  Since we farm, we don’t have dental insurance.  It’s friggin’ expensive and it’s on a tiered scale where they won’t pay for anything but cleanings and exams for at least 6 months to a year.  If you need real work done, good luck.  The last thing we need is to find out, worst-case scenario, that G$ has a previously unknown genetic tooth condition and go to purchase dental insurance only to find out it’s now a pre-existing condition.  The agent tells me that it’s something to carefully consider.  But, after running the numbers, I realized that it would still be cheaper to pay for a mouth full of caps than to pay for dental insurance for 10 years, let alone his whole life.  UGH.


The bottom line is, I’m scared.  I think all you parents out there can understand why I am hoping, praying, PLEADING with God that this is not what I suspect it is.  No one, especially a child, should have to go through something like that.  It changes who you are as a person and, if you don’t believe me, talk to my mother.  She will be the first one to tell you that the ramifications are devastating.  She’s told me on multiple occasions how she felt that she had to be EXTRA…extra funny, extra happy, extra outgoing, extra EVERYTHING so that people would like her.  That  Period.  And if it was MY FAULT, however unintentionally?  I can’t even bear to think about it.  You always hear jokes about how parents inevitably screw their kids up somehow…I was picturing something more along the lines of dropping him off too close to school or hugging him in front of his friends.  Not this.


Maybe this sounds silly, and maybe I am overreacting.  It’s teeth, not cancer or some awful physically debilitating disease.  I hope I am overreacting.  I hope to God I am.  I hope I have written this blog, made the phone calls, done the research, worried…for NOTHING.  But until that can be confirmed or denied, I am asking you to please keep G$ in your thoughts and prayers.  Please.  He’s just a little boy.


There is one small light at the end of the tunnel: At least if he has weak, brown, no enamel teeth that fall straight out of his mouth…we live in the Ridge.  He will fit right in.  😉

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