W20: The Dental Hospital 

Son went to the dental hospital today. He had never been before and he was very anxious that he would be put in an MRI scanner with loud clicks and noises, or have his teeth removed. He doesn’t like having to lie in the chair as it is raised and lowered until he is lying flat, it makes him feel vulnerable. He doesn’t like have the bright light shining in his face and the dentist peering over him, face close to his – too much invasion of personal space. He hates the dentist poking around in his mouth.

It made him hyperventilate, he shook and his heart raced. He squirmed and suffered and was almost in tears but he got through it. Unfortunately he hadn’t opened his mouth wide enough for the dentist to have a good look. The dentist chap went away and came back with a senior consultant and we went through the whole process again. The poor child suffered anew but again we got through it. Finally all teeth were counted and assessed and he could relax and recover his composure.

But we weren’t done even then! Next we found out that he needed to have an X-ray. The X-ray machine buzzed round his head and he had to keep as still as a sentry on guard duty. He struggled to keep still with the buzzing machine so close to his head but he did it. He clung to the hand grips and resisted the urge to pull away.

Then – oh joy! He got to see his teeth on the screen. We took a photo so he could keep it forever. “My heart is bursting with joy!” he cried. “I never thought you could do such a thing!” His eyes were glued to the screen. “These are really my teeth?” Ah, the marvels of technology.

“My heart is bursting with joy!”

Finally, after two hours of waiting and poking and scanning and a whole morning of anxiety, he was free to go, Spiderman sticker proudly displayed on his jumper. Back home to lunch and a quick recuperate; he was white and freezing cold with exhaustion from the after effects of his fear and anxiety and the sensory drain on his nerves.

However, the afternoon session of school was waiting and even though he was so tired he went without complaint. I’m so proud of that boy.

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