Thursday, October 9, 2014


I am so angry. I'm furious.
I'm fucking tired of the world not being ready for my kid (our kids, kids who don't fit the mold, young humans in general).
I'm yelling and ready to punch someone or more appropriately slap someone upside the head so that their teeth rattle.

Simon went to the dentist today. A dentist that was recommended to us by another family that has a kid with 'special needs'.  The dentist that has, in his Bio (on the Medi-cal dental directory- THAT IS MOSTLY FOR KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS), that kids with special needs is one of his specialties.

Simon and have been talking about it off and on for a few days to help him be prepared but not stress him out. He's holding it together and as we approach the office is already talking about giving his new dentist a hug when he meets him.

The office is filled with waiting families and there is no where to sit so I take Simon just outside the door to sit and fill out the forms. The form that includes information on why we might be seeing a dentist that works with kids with special needs.


(I should have left at this point seeing the patient through the window that was being held down by his mother for a teeth cleaning but hindsight is 20/20)

As we are brought in to a shared room, Simon gets himself up to the chair, which is actually more like a table, and lies mostly down (pretending to do sit ups). I get asked a few questions (WHERE I REPEAT WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN ON THE ABOVE MENTIONED FORM THAT HE HAS CLEARLY NOT READ) as Dr x  places his hands around my son's ears and pulls his head down gently.

And he is where it goes south or really let's just say to HELL.  He doesn't tell Simon what he's going to do.  Just puts his gloved fingers in Simon's mouth and begins to feel around. I start to explain to Simon that Dr x is just feeling around as my child becomes more and more agitated.  When he's done with the feeling, he reaches over and grabs one of those really fucking scary looking dental picks and goes to put it in Simon's mouth.

It's here I have enough wherewithal to stop him and ask him to show the device to Simon and tell him what it's for.

I get nothing. He barely pauses and begins to tap Simon's teeth and asks me to hold his arms tighter. I do so automatically because at this point I just want to finish and am on autopilot.

I fucking hate autopilot.

Because what happens next I'm having a hard time forgiving myself for. Before I could even realize what was happening, the tech hands the Dr the electric polisher and then places what looks like a metal torture device into Simon's mouth to keep it open. I can see that he is starting to really lose it, with fat tears coming  out of his eyes and his tongue rolled back in to his mouth. He is terrified.
I am in shock.

What is happening? There is no talking, no explaining, no visuals, nothing. We move directly from that into a fluoride treatment and before I know it, we are done. Simon is released and as he sits up he vomits all over me and reaches for me clinging for dear life. As we are given a paper towel and shown where the bathroom is to "clean him up," I hear the Dr say " you know next time we can use restraints on him." He is saying that to me.

In front of my son.

As he his moving on to the next patient.

We get into the bathroom and I go to clean Simon's shirt and shorts but before I can get two swipes in, Simon has moved into my lap, buried his face into my neck and holds on for dear life as he lets out the most heartbreaking moans and sobs.

I let him rip and at this point start feeling what has happened. The entire appointment has taken less than 10 minutes.  I think we spent at least that in the bathroom just holding each other tightly and waiting for the feeling of trauma and violation to settle.

Simon is fine and even excited to get his goodie bag of toothpaste and brush. He manages a thank you and goodbye to the dentist and office staff and we are off to get some french fries.

He's ok.

I am not. I start shaking with fury.  I'm still shaking as I type this.
On my evening dog walk I finally call and leave a message on his office voicemail.
I am not kind.
I demand a call back.
I am not kind.

When does this end? When do I stop having to hold my son down?
When does the world slow down just a little to help the small person that's scared?
When do we give some power to the ones that feel powerless?
When do we let our special little ones have some semblance of control or honor their curiosity and fear?
When do we let the child that is afraid of the dentist touch the tools, hear what's coming, practice on Mommy, do whatever they and their big person think might make this easier to do before we move in with loud and scary apparatus?
When do we stop moving at a lightening fast pace to pack in as many patients as possible because it's the denti-cal program and pays significantly less $$ than private insurance?
When do the PTSD triggers end?




The video below only made the night end a little better.
It is one of my favorites.

Would that I could go all wild rumpus on Dr x's ass, I would.
And not in any kind of Quaker Tikkun Olam Chaplain sort of way either.

Scenes from the weekend.