Last week was rough. I took Sean to a pediatric dentist to check on his front teeth that he had fractured when he was younger. (I had taken him to a dentist then, but the advice was to just let it be. Since they were “baby teeth”, they were going to fall out anyway.) I’m so glad that I went. It turns out that Sean’s teeth didn’t calcify right from the start. The fracture just emphasized the problem. On top of that his front teeth grew in straight on top of one another. (Most of us have a slight overbite so that the teeth don’t bang against one another.) Long story short, he needs to have surgery to remove his top front teeth in the hope that his permanent teeth will grow in properly. In addition, his back teeth are going to have to be strengthened in order for them to be maintained until those permanent teeth come in. Suffice it to say, I was in tears for several days at the thought of my son having to be put to sleep.
The good thing is that Sean will have no memory of it/feel little to no pain. We have the best specialists doing the work. For that I’m grateful. The frustrating part was that there is no answer for why Michael’s teeth are fine and Sean’s are not. The dentist said that I could have had a cold or virus sometime during my pregnancy with Sean that I wouldn’t have even thought twice about. Nobody knows. Arghh. Besides the emotional aspect, there is the financial one. The anesthesiologist alone is going to cost $3,000. That is not even counting the actual dental work – they’re working on that estimate. We’re praying that insurance will reimburse us for some of it, but we have to pay upfront and hope for the best.
Once again, I have to remind myself of the positives. We’re fortunate that we even have enough money to take our kids to the dentist to get a diagnosis. We’re fortunate that we can pay thousands of dollars upfront to get our kids the best care possible. It’s just money. So yes, I might need to delay that trip to Paris…so what? (When the emotions had died down…I joked to Sean “You had better be entertaining this year, since you are our big family trip. Are you going to be good?” He promptly responded, “No!” Oh, well…)
Anyway, I was sharing with some friends that I had a rough week. My husband asked me if the responses bothered me. He had overheard someone say, “You had a bad week? No. You never have bad weeks.” I wasn’t bothered. I’m used to it. I was talking it over with another friend and she put into words why I get that type of reaction…I don’t talk about hard stuff the way a lot of people do. As she put it, “You’re still all smiley and looking at the bright side and stuff…”
I “get” it. I am an “in the moment” person. If you were with me when I heard the news, you would have seen me crying. If you were with me for the next couple of days (especially when I realized that the surgery would be on Sean’s actual birthday!) in the mornings, you would have seen me crying. However, I usually have my quiet time in the morning when I think and pray about everything that is bothering me (from the little to the big). I always end those times writing about what I’m grateful for…and it sustains me through the day. I also have this saying that helps me. “If this is the worst thing that happens to us in (fill in the year), then this is going to be a pretty awesome year.” (It’s true!) Lastly, my emotions are deep and real, because they are mine. However, in the grand scheme of things, I am very aware that my rough days would be some people’s golden days! I know so many moms who would love for there to be a “solution” to the (physical, emotional, etc.) challenges that afflict their kids. They would trade places with my situation in a moment. For that matter, there are people (like the woman whom I met in the subway who had lost family members in Haiti’s earthquake) who had much worse weeks than I did. Gratitude guards my heart.
Take my word for it though, if I said I had a rough day / week / whatever …I really did.
So, did anyone have a good week last week? I would love to hear some good news if you feel like sharing…