Healthy Teeth, Hold the Whine

I’m not sure which was worse, seeing my son in a vegetative state-eyes open, mouth agape, carried by a doctor–or walking into a room where my baby boy was laid on a chair-tubes in his nose, iv in his arm, EKG monitors on his chest.

We had to put Count Waffles under general anesthesia for dental work on Friday and my mind is still playing tricks on me. I lost my shit at the dentist office, to say the least. He was given a shot to get him *mostly* sedated before they inserted the iv and really knocked him out, and it left him looking like he was in a coma. It was horrible. The doctor told us his eyes would remain open but he would be asleep. I was not prepared for what he would look like. Mouth open, eyes open, pale, but totally out of it. The doctor grabbed him from my husband’s arms and I was SURE he was still awake. I was SURE he was scared some strange man was grabbing him from us and that he was TERRIFIED yet unable to talk or scream or cry.

That’s when I started to lose it. They ushered us into the waiting room where I sat and not so silently freaked out. I Twittered. I read magazine articles on things like planting a fall soup garden and how to buy the best bathingsuit. I imagined the doctor coming out to tell me there was a problem. I imagined paramedics rushing in. I imagined things I can’t even type.

46 minutes later our dentist emerged to tell us all was going well and it would be awhile longer. It was like I didn’t believe him. I felt better, but not convinced my son was ok.

63 minutes after that, I was summoned to the back so I would be the first face my son saw when he awoke. He was asleep, oxygen in his nose, red marks from the tape and the heart monitors. Things were beeping. The doctor was talking to me but I couldn’t hear him. I must have gone white at the site of my son on that chair. I was told if I couldn’t handle seeing him this way I could leave. The look on my face showed my answer as I turned my head at the doctor and he quickly and shamefully turned away.

Count Waffles awoke and did, what I am told, only 10% of kids do in this situation. He did NOT just groggily fall into my arms and sleep it off. He did NOT do the drunken, happy, I’m all doped up thing. No. He GOT PISSED and tried to WALK HOME.

My husband had to carry him to the car, as I was not strong enough to handle his flailing. He then spent a good hour on our living room couch freaking out. His world was spinning. It was his “worst day ever” and he was miserable.

An hour after that he was sound asleep in my bed.

I realize my son is lucky. We are lucky. He doesn’t have a life threatening illness or disease. We don’t have to go through this on any sort of regular basis. However, just those visual of him…the coma-like state, the tubes…I can’t get them out of my head. I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t know how to make those images go away. I want them wiped from my mind forever.

I also want to apologize. I get on my kids for whining, yet as it turns out, I’m the biggest whiner of them all. I use the blog to bitch and moan about how the kids drive me crazy and how I want to escape from it all. The truth is…I would die without them. Die.

Had anything happened at the dentist office, I’d die. DIE.

While the blogging community gives me a great feeling of “you are not alone” when I complain about being a Mom, I’m going to try not to FOCUS so much on the more difficult aspects of motherhood. I invite you to do the same.

Sure, we all need to vent here and there…but lately I vent more than I praise. I bitch more than I thank. GOD I forget HOW LUCKY I AM and how I’d die without these kids. I’d throw myself off the nearest bridge. I’d crash my car into a tree. I’d without question be killed by the heartache.

So I’m going to try and curb the whine. Yes, motherhood is hard. Yes, bad days are frequent. But just like I tell the kids…no whining.

I don’t want to hear it.


  1. Omigosh, that sounds scary. I’m glad it’s over and I assume that all went well dental-work wise.

    I am also one of that 10%, apparently, as is a friend of ours. He had to be restrained DURING surgery and woke up with bruises on his arms after having his wisdom teeth out. I fought the nurses so hard in recovery before I actually came to (I have absolutely no memory of this) after a surgery once that when I woke up the blood pressure cuff was on my leg – they couldn’t get near my arm without me fighting them. And I was also told that I aggressively vomited on a nurse. Heh.

    As for the whine – I hear you. I do the same thing when I’m feeling depressed and/or hormonal.

  2. It is hard to see them under anesthesia and everyone reacts differently when it is wearing off. So glad that all went well and Count Waffles was better after it was all over.

  3. I’m so glad everything went okay, and I understand exactly what you are saying. Just don’t forget that as normal as it is to want to praise our kids, it’s just as healthy to vent too. Balance. It’s all about balance.

    Virtual Hugs to you and the family!


  4. Excellent post, Queenie. I make a point of counting my blessings whenever I am stuck in L.A. traffic (which is often) … after I go thru all those, I think of my family. We all need a little less whine … and a little more perspective.

    Thanks for the post 🙂

  5. Oh! That is such a scary terrifying thing! Alex has been under GA twice and Liberty once and I was soooooo beyond terrified.

    I am glad he is okay.

    And even when you do biotch about family and mommy hood we all totally get it. We all biotch like that but I don’t think a single one of us would be able to go on w/out our babies 🙂

  6. Oh I know your pain, having had my daughter under 3 times.

    The first was also dental – except that for the nerves of the experts and those waiting, mothers of those under the gas were advised to go and have a coffee and wait for the mobile to ring – in other words, I was not welcome to wait in the waiting room – which actually worked quite well, as the coffee shop downstairs was really nice and used to stressed parents from the dental office…

    The second was when she broke her arm so it was actually a relief to see her peaceful rather than in pain.

    The third time was just to get the arm wires out – she was healthy, it was a hospital and it was the worst time EVER.

    I am glad that everything turned out fine for your little one in the end.

  7. It is good to gain perspective every once in a while, isn’t it. We were just discussing complaining a little less at book club tonight.

    Sorry it was so scary. I know I would handle it, but I wouldn’t want to.

  8. As a reporter, I got to talk to some people who had just lost children, and even now I am moved to tears by their amazing strength and that they would even bother with me.

  9. Bless your heart ((((((giant hugs))))) Just reading that made my heart do flip-flops. I’m glad he’s ok.

    And I totally understand. My kids are my world. When my chronic illnesses get bad, when my pain is nearly unbearable, I keep going because of them.

  10. Been there, done that, got the “seen my child in a vegetative state” t-shirt. With two of my kids … one month apart. Suckity suck suck SUCKS!

    That was about six years ago. Unfortunately, you find yourself sliding back into the funk and the whine.

    Then I woke up one day to an eight-year-old who now has suicidal thoughts every couple of months.

    Slaps you in the face and takes you right back where you need to be.

  11. I hear ya!

    My daughter had to have her ear sewn back together after a dog bite when she was 16 months old…. and I nearly lost it. She was sedated in the same manner…the whole experience, the guilt that I let her be around the dog (which had ZERO history of biting) watching her go through the whole ordeal, her little head wrapped in gauze, all doped up..

    Me…. the 911 dispatcher…. the one people rely on to be calm for them in their emergencies…. bearer of enormous stress on a daily basis… I lost it. Completely and totally lost it.

    It is completely different when it is your kid, your heart and soul, that is facing something like that.

  12. Oh that is so scary. But I have to say I don’t understand fully. An IV?

  13. That is a beautiful message at the end.

    Trev had 4 teeth pulled when he was 4 or 5 and I remember feeling like you described. They did his work at the East TN Children’s Hospital, adding to the feelings.

    This reminded me of when I had to get stitches in my chin when I was 10 or 12. My mom, a nurse in a chemo unit, almost passed out. She had seen way worse daily, but when it’s your kid…….

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