Thursday, February 19, 2009

Conscious sedation dentistry. Or in short, I like drugs. =)

I have always been deathly afraid of the dentist. I grew up an Army and Air Force brat, and no offense, but every dentist I ever saw was condescending, insensitive, and all business. No care or concern for my feelings, and I have memories of pleading for more pain medication, feeling the drill, and needing to use the bathroom going ignored. Once I became an adult, I said I'd never go back. No amount of prayer or positive thinking ever seemed to calm that fear, it was overwhelming to me, so I just avoided it.

I knew I needed to go. I was having some sensitivity in one tooth and could see a cavity in another. I heard a radio ad several years ago for "The Gentle Touch" dentist, who offered conscious sedation, allowing you to sleep through your dental work. I always kept his website in my favorites, looking at it from time to time, trying to work up the nerve to call and go in.

When I finally did about a month ago, I was so relieved to talk to the nicest lady who understood my fear and told me I wasn't alone. I made the appointment for the next day, and I was really happy not to have to wait long and stew about it.

The first visit was scary, and I was embarrassed about having not been to the dentist in so long, having to open my mouth, expecting to be scolded like I always had been when I was a kid. There was NONE of that. Everyone was so wonderful and calming, totally gentle, and everything (getting in the chair, x-rays, etc.) was my choice every step of the way. My dentist is an older gentleman with a soothing voice and quiet warmth, and he just took pictures, told me step by step what he thought I needed done, and reassured me that my teeth looked great for not having been to a dentist in nearly 12 years.

OK, so prep for the actual sedation. I went in a week ago to get the meds and prep sheets. My husband took the day off because I needed a driver and responsible person to stay with me after the appointment. I took a valium the night before to guarantee that I'd get a good rest. The morning of the appointment (yesterday), one hour before, I took two triazolam .25 mg (Halcion) pills. At first I didn't notice anything, but within about 20 minutes I felt sleepy and kind of heavy. I just lounged on the couch and waited for it to be time to go. I kept looking and the clock and realized it seemed like time was flying by.

My husband drove me to the office. I don't remember much about that, or getting inside. When I walked in there was a gal waiting to take me to the chair, and I didn't even say goodbye to my hubby or kids, I was pretty spacey and really sleepy by this point. She sat me in the chair with a warm blanket and put on a blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter. I don't remember much else until I got out of that chair.

At some point the dentist came in, but I didn't even see him, just heard his voice. He asked, "On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being (......something... I don't remember,) and 10 being you just want to go to sleep, where are you on the scale?" I didn't answer him, and I think that was his answer! I remember getting a few shots, but they didn't hurt, it was more like I just thought, "Oh, shots... I don't think I really like shots..." ykwim?

Then I remember someone asking me to open wider and to bite down once or twice, I think for my crown impressions. I don't remember any smells, sounds, or drilling. What seemed like minutes later, the assistant said something about being done and needing to move to the cleaning. I got up, she helped me to the bathroom (I used it alone, she just guided me to and from) and then they set me up in another room with another warm blanket.

I remember parts of the cleaning, some scraping... but again was just thoughtful about it, "Oh, I'm getting my teeth cleaned..." not bothered.

Again, within what seemed like minutes, the hygienist said I was done and sat me up. They brought me some juice and said my husband was on his way to pick me up.

They helped me out to the van (I could walk, was just a bit woozy) and my hubby brought me home. I had some ice cream and then slept for four hours. I think that's the best (only?!) nap I've had in years. When I woke up I was a bit sore in the mouth and still a bit numb, but by evening I was feeling almost back to normal.

Today I feel great! I had a couple of ibuprofen because I was a little sore where the shots were and my gums are a bit swollen, but overall it was an awesome experience.

I highly recommend conscious sedation for fearful dental patients. It was amazing, 4 hours of work (5 fillings, crown prep, cleaning) done with no pain, no fear, and no negative memory of anything. I hope this post and my experience might help someone who has been avoiding dental work to find a caring dentist and overcome their fear.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Yeah, Chickie, that cute little face you make when I stop you from pulling ALL of the wipes out of the container...

It's not working. Sorry.

OK, OK, it *is* working, a little bit. Stop it. And none of the sweet little pouty "uhhh!" noises, either. Not cool.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Photo recap!

Tell ya what - when the kids are bored and it's 5 degrees outside, here's a way to liven things up... bring a couple of twin mattresses out into the living room. Fashion a tent above them with a king sized comforter, chairs, clips and other various objects. Blow up balloons and let the kids go crazy.

Poor kiddos. They always look like overstuffed pillows in their winter duds. They love sledding, though -- and lest you think I outfit my boys in helmets for run of the mill snow fun, fear not - we were downhill sledding on a hill where a young girl actually passed away after hitting a tree a few years back. :( They really can move in this stuff, promise.


My hubby's creation:

Deep in the heart of Alaska!
These snowflake clings are really fun and easy to make, just use dimensional fabric paint on wax paper, let it dry, and then stick 'em up.
Another super easy craft even for littles, puffy scrapbooking stickers on clear ornaments. Voila!
This one is a bit more labor intensive. We loosely followed these instructions.
They turned out really pretty!
I can't get enough of the view above!
Photo evidence of why the sliding glass door is NEVER clean.

Where's baby Jesus?
We're having a most merry Christmas season!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How did three months pass me by?

Seriously. The days are long but the years truly are short, huh?

In the months (wow!) since I last posted, Chickie and I went to visit my best friend and her new baby girl in Texas. Chickie started crawling and is now standing for a few seconds on her own. (Sniff! My baybee is totally growing up. I'm sad.) She's got a super toofy smile, with 6, or is it 7 now...? little pearly whites in there. Bug is reading (!!?) and writing (!) and doing it all without much instruction or help from his mama. We find outselves leaning more toward unschooling every day. He self directs and retains so much... and he's so curious and bright. I don't want to squelch that spirit with what the curriculum dictates any given day, so we tend to meander and follow his interests. Monkey is very much 2, going on 3... I seem to recall three being worse than two with the Bug. Yikes, I am so in for it.

We're gearing up for Christmas with some serious craftin' round heyah'. The boys have been making ornaments and all manner of snowflakey-inspired items, we've had our fill of hot cocoa and Christmas movies, and I'm totally jazzed for the big day. We got the kids some things I'm really looking forward to enjoying with them and watching them enjoy. Christmas is so much fun as a mama of littles. I don't think it was even half this much fun when I WAS little. The anticipation is so fun to experience through their little eyes.

I'm working on several things.
  • My diet/health. I had some allergy testing done and discovered that I react highly to wheat, corn, and dairy. :( I also joined a gym and have been working out a few times a week.
  • Frugality/financial solvency. We switched to a cash only budget (again) a few months back, and it's a fun challenge for me, but I've realized how often I went shopping out of boredom. Not doing that has been difficult. I used to stop by a local department store or the new Target once or twice a week. Now I never go. Good for the budget, but my boredom meter is ever rising. Trying to find new things to do with three kiddos in the deep winter is interesting. Seeing the savings account grow is encouraging.
  • The art of homemaking. I'm trying to devote time to making my house our home, and doing those things I really love; decorating, scrapbooking, sewing, cooking...

Anyway. Next up, pictures!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A is for Apple

Caramel Apples, that is!

We washed.

We unwrapped.

And unwrapped some more. Great hand eye coordination activity!

Then we stirred.

Getting melty!

We dipped.

We looked in awe at such beauty.

(Yes, laugh. I know. But they are 5 and 2 after all!)

We cheesed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My little second cousin is sick.

Little Caden is just 3 years old, and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia two weeks ago. Would you please send healing thoughts and prayers his way?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fort building 101.

Apparently the blue and grey coats are getting along better these days. They even share a garage peaceably in Bug's latest fort.