Friday, April 26, 2013

What I Should Have Done

Today my 8 year old is in sedation dentistry at the local hospital. He has Autism, ADHD and Severe Anxiety, we've been treating it all with Behavioral Psychology and considering starting a medication trial over the summer.  I knew today was going to be difficult.  This is scary even if it is just a full dental exam, fillings, an extraction and sealants but there was no way his anxiety would allow him to have this done in the dentist office. He won't even let the dentist near his mouth.

We were up at 5:30, at the hospital at 6:00 and headed back to Pre-Op by 6:30. Minimal waiting was great, his anxiety didn't get a chance to take hold (yet).  I gave him a bag on the way to the hospital, special treats to help him through the day. Inside was a:


This is a super cool distraction tool which helps with pain from shots, blood draws and IVs. He has played with this before but never needed it for anything yet, it was familiar to him. (His doesn't look like a bee though, it is just black because he is afraid of Bees. It came with stickers to personalize but he liked it black. Available in Lady Bug as well.)
The Skylander Giant Hot Head

Art2-D2's Guide to folding and doodling

Not a bad loot for a days work but each had a purpose. The Buzzy was just in case he needed a shot or IV, the Giant is for him to hold and to play with when we get home and he is resting on the couch and the book was to look at in the waiting room.

Best laid plans and all that... nothing really helped him once we got back into the Pre-Op room. He had a MASSIVE Anxiety attack and there was very little I could do to calm him down.  What I want to share with you is the pro-active things I could have done to make this morning go easier. Anything for less screaming, less tears (from both os us), less anxiety.

Gown: This was a MAJOR point of contention today. The gown they gave us was small and it was paper. When he wouldn't put it on I thought it was because it was too small so I asked for a bigger one. He still wouldn't put it on and freaked out and was screaming and crying. After an HOUR of me saying, "I know its scratchy, I know it's paper, it will be okay" the nurse who had watched the entire thing said, "how about this one?" Fabric! After an hour? Really? At this point, not even the fabric gown was going on and he was getting tired and was still crying.  He wimpered, "I don't want to wear a gown, girls wear gowns." BIG TIME DUH MOMENT!!!
Lessons learned:

  • Get a gown in advance and practice wearing it. 
  • Call it a ROBE (duh mom!)
  • Ask the nurse if it is absolutely necessary (he ended up going back with a blanket over him but no robe.)
Hospital: I should have called ahead to see if they have an Autism trained nurse on staff. I forget how much time you spend with the nurse prior to the procedure. I very carefully chose his doctor but I forgot to follow-up on the nurse. Meanwhile, are all Anesthesiologists amazing? Once she arrived everything went so much better!!!  She is my hero today. 

 Medicine: The anxiety diagnosis is new but the behavior is not. At this point I should have talked with our doctor about an anti-anxiety medication that he can take as needed even if I have not started the medication trial for a preventative medication yet.  This isn't the first time his Anxiety has made an appointment impossible, after all we are here because he won't let a dentist anywhere near his mouth.  There are times that he has similar reactions to doctors and blood draws as well. 

I am sure there will be more lessons learned today... right this second I am kicking myself for not remembering my own Xanax prescription. After holding him screaming and terrified for an hour, shedding tears myself and feeling hopeless I ended up in the waiting room shaking and upset and hoping my husband would be arriving soon (he had to take my older son to school first).  I'm thinking that if there were ever a time for Xanax, this is it!  

I will update this later as I learn more and make it though today.  

1 comment:

  1. Both mom and son are happily home snoring on our couch. :) -Dad