Today was a big day for our little guy! It was his first appointment at the orthodontist! If you remember from the previous post, the orthodontist is basically the key decision maker for the first step of David's care plan. We were waiting to see him to find out if we could use braces to close David's palate before surgery or if we would need to have an appliance put in like we did with Lily.
So today I had to be in Tampa by 10:25 after dropping the other three kids off at school. I managed to get Matthew to the bus on time and Caroline to her class a little early so that I could drop Lily off in the office by 9:15 and get on the road. Of course when I took her into the office there were other people waiting and the secretary was nowhere to be found. By the time someone came up to help us it was already 9:15. She called Lily's classroom and Ms. Cindy came up to get Lily. David and I were on the road by 9:20. According to my GPS arrival time I had only 2 minutes to spare. I made great time on the highway and was set to arrive 10 minutes early! Then I made the mistake of getting off on Fletcher. The traffic was awful and I watched the minutes tick away. We slid into the parking lot at 10:24 and made it just in time!
David was all smiles until we got out of the car. Then he got his nervous look and started shaking his head no. Sorry buddy, there's no turning back now! He was fine when we went in and played in the waiting room while I filled out paperwork. Then they brought us back to the new patient office to fill out paperwork. David was very clingy and wanted to be held so I could tell he was nervous. After the paperwork was completed we needed to take some pictures.
We went into another room and I tried to put David on a stool so they could get a regular old normal picture of him smiling. He lost his mind. As soon as I put him down he started crying and tried to catapult himself off of the stool. I scooped him up and tried to calm him down by taking a picture of him on my lap. It didn't work. He is totally crying in his picture. Then we had to go sit in a dentist chair for more invasive pictures. Seeing as how just sitting and smiling caused so much trauma, I was dreading the rest of this task. But thank goodness for Wendy. She was the wonderful woman taking the pictures. She handed David latex gloves and helped him put them on, then gave him one of those plastic things they use to hold the lips back. He was completely distracted and warmed right up to her. Next thing I know he's holding the plastic thing to keep his mouth open and biting down like a champ while Wendy took pictures. No tears!
We headed back to the office while the pictures were uploaded and printed and shown to Dr. F. for his opinion. David was happy as could be. I kept him busy with the Chinese/English app on my phone. Then Dr. F. came in, and of course he started crying again (he's really got the stranger danger thing down). To calm him down Dr. F gave him a musical toothbrush which he then proceeded to hold up to his ear and play repeatedly. Eventually he stopped crying and I could actually have a conversation! I was so excited to hear that Dr. F didn't have any hesitations about doing braces! He asked me if I wanted to come back or go ahead and do them today, and I decided it was better to just rip off the band-aid and get this party started.
At this point it was 11:20, and in order to get Caroline on time I would have to leave at noon. I had no idea how long everything would take so I called my mom for backup. Dr. F wanted to have the same tech that put Lily's brackets on do David's so we had to wait a bit for her to finish with her current patient before she could work on David. Finally it was our turn! David followed Carmen over to her chair, but as soon as it was time to sit in the chair he started freaking out again! I think that the fear and nervousness about not understanding what is happening is actually what makes him cry. Once he realizes what is going on he calms down and is pretty compliant. Carmen quickly realized that getting David to lay in the chair wasn't an option, so instead I crouched down on the floor and held him half standing in front of her. She showed David how she was going to blow air on his teeth and clean them with cotton and all of a sudden he was totally fine with it! I think he just wants to know that he can escape at any time ;o) From that point on David did awesome! He stood right there in front of her and let her do the whole cycle - dry, clean, place bracket, heat light - for every tooth! A few times he got tired and signed all done, but he hung in there. My legs lost all feeling sitting on the floor with him and Carmen's back almost died from leaning over, but at least he didn't cry! Once all the brackets were on she placed the elastic chain and we were done! David was all smiles and was so proud of himself for being brave. Now we go back next Wednesday for tightening - yikes!
Thank you all for praying for us through this journey. We are ecstatic that the first step of this journey has gone smoothly, and now we pray that the braces do their job and pull David's palate together. We probably need to visit Dr. R again and schedule surgery sometime soon as well. But today, we celebrate success!