Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Breaking Three (and a half)

Longest post ever...Hang in there...there are more pictures toward the bottom...for those that need that sort of thing.

As I mentioned yesterday, the first day of school was awesome. It was perfect in many ways. What you didn't know about was our little "accident" while on vacation last week in Los Angeles. Now, you may remember this little incident. Same kid, different day. Hayden is what we commonly refer to as a "flight risk." Blink, and he's off and running. To's hilarious. To us, it is growing increasingly more dangerous and it's breaking us...and well...him.

"Where should I bolt to next?"
Rewind to last week. We were frolicking on the beach adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier. We settled in amidst a sea of smoking foreigners. I dug myself into the sand as I was on crutches last week, nursing a calf muscle injury and could barely limp. It was crowded, and Hayden thankfully had decided that the ocean was even a little too daunting for him. Usually, I encourage my guys to face their fears - but in the case of my magic Haydini, I was happy to have him sit still with me. But that quickly changed... and he fled.

He ran towards the lifeguard stand and proceeded to climb up the rail. These were your run-of-the-mill Baywatchesque towers, and quite honestly, a fall from the stand to the sand would have been more startling than overly dangerous. I felt paralyzed (which has since morphed into guilt) because I physically could not run to grab him. Andy was in the ocean with Ry and I was surrounded by Borat meets Studio 54...these beach goers would render themselves useless.

In any case, I began to yell my usual chant...

"Hayden GET DOWN... Hayden, NO...ANDY!...Hayden STOP!"

Finally, my cries were answered and Andy ran to the scene to grab HasselHay from the stand. As he was coming down, BONK. For the second time this year, those two Tic-Tac front baby teeth made contact with an inanimate object. The first time the teeth took a beating was from a failed dresser-to-bed dive. We have small teeth marks in the bed frame to this day to prove it. That time, we were able to save the teeth, even though they had been knocked slightly loose. This time? The lip gushed with blood like before, but those teeth were way more mobile.

Well, since we were well versed in what-to-do-when-you-have-a-baby-tooth-trauma, I made the quick decision that we would bypass the lip and work to save the teeth! It was clear that we needed to find a pediatric dentist, STAT. Important to was almost 5pm in Los Angeles.

If you know anyone who has yet to jump on the smartphone bandwagon, this scenario could not make me advocate for this convenience more. We had NO referrals for a dentist in the area, and so the search began. I called my dental office back home for my insurance information and hopefully a referral. They had none. Meanwhile, the crying was thankfully silenced by Hayden falling asleep after his traumatic experience. Oh, did I mention it was now 5pm?

Where to turn now? YELP! Armed with my insurance info and my smart phone of course, I searched "Pediatric Dentists West Hollywood." I barely read any reviews, but chose the closest mapped dentist with the most stars. We found a place called Toothbuds in West LA. After some back and forth calling, finding out that my youngest was uninsured *WHAT HUH WHAT* and a quick call to Delta Dental and my employer's HR department to straighten this sh!t out, I had what I needed. Thankfully Dr. Tali and her team could fit us 5:45pm. Read more about them here. So we drove 4 miles in 30 minutes. I love LA.

Here was the waiting room scene...One. Hot. Mess.

Diagnosis? The bottom line was, he'd been through enough that day, so better to just let his lip heal and the swelling go down. Anything she would do that day could be done days later with no repercussions. Dr. Tali = Awesome. I even received a follow up call on Monday, her knowing fully well, we might never set foot in her office again. I Yelped her awesomeness immediately... my second entry ever. I'm not a chronic Yelper, but I may start.

So here we are...finally. Six days later, back home, and geared up for our post-first-day-of-school dental appointment, with awesome Dr. Quo in Palo Alto, the local go-to Peds guy. Hayden was feeling good about the idea of getting some help with this painful and loose tooth that had kept him on a soft food diet and without his beloved pacifier. Note - Dr. Tali recommended taking advantage of this paci-less window to ween him. So far so good. No Paci for almost a week and he had done well with the excuse "Doctors Orders!"

Hayden saddled up to the dental chair or table-bed... whatever that thing is called. He was in good spirits because where else can you lay on a table and watch TV on the ceiling? Tom and Jerry. He was psyched.

He needed some X-rays. I had never seen this kind of medical cooperation from him. I was relieved when he followed the instructions to open his mouth, hold still and bite down. Ah-mah-zing!

All was hunkydory until....

Here is where we took a turn for the worse. Hayden's tooth was indeed fractured. We could have left it in to run its course, however, the discomfort and inability to eat normal foods lead us to the decision to pull the tooth. Now, Hay has never really had a dental visit before, except for my wonderful Dr. explaining the perils of sugar bugs and counting his teeth. So basically, after this fiasco, we are totally screwed for all future visits. Dr. Quo agreed that there really was no fabulous other way to do this. Here we go.

First came the laughing gas. This was supposed to comfort him enough to be able to get a couple of shots of Novocain in his gum line. He wasn't having it. We tried tirelessly to liken it to an elephant trunk, a batman mask, crap...just drugs to make his face feel better. He was fighting. Soon, the cool shades came out and it helped to somehow blind him from the gas mask enough to go for it. Step one. Completed.

Here is where things got super sucky. The needle. I don't think the gas disguised that needle one bit for Hay. At the first poke, the wailing started. Seeing your child in pain is the worst, and knowing that I made the call to yank the tooth just added to the devastation. We were also in a situation where the dentist, the assistant and I had to pin him down so that we could get the injections finished while he screamed and was shaking with fear. The actual extraction process takes only seconds, but the lead-up was excruciating.

When all was said and done, the crying persisted out the door and into the lobby where the parents in the waiting room just looked at me with empathetic expressions. The wailing was soon replaced by crying over the "prizes" in the prize machine. Hayden wanted a red ninja out of the ninja gumball-like dispenser. Six try's later, we were good-to-go...and we then hit up the Creamery for some ice cream.

And so... we close the book on another unwanted and unwelcomed first. I now have a 3 1/2 year old with one less tooth, a bounty from the Tooth Fairy, serious bragging rights at Nursery School, and no recollection that this entire situation could have been avoided by not running off, coupled with listening to his parents.

Congratulations. You made it to the end. Thanks for listening.


  1. That Hay Cray!

    Glad it's all over.

    See you in a few days...I hope!?