Well we got in off the waitlist for an appointment with the dentist today, and I took extra call this Sunday night in order to be able to take him, but anyway, Cal got his cavity taken care of. It was...kind of terrible.
They did it with nitrous and local, and I think it was a sub-total block, because he was real good up until they started doing the pulpotomy, at which point he started screaming how much it hurt, and they had to call in two nurses to hold him down. I was waiting outside the door (per practitioner request), but basically bullied myself in when I heard the screaming. I know it sounds pretty barbaric, and it looked that way to eyewitnesses on the scene (that is to say: me), but I appreciate the fact that once they started getting into the pulp, no matter how much Cal was struggling, the important thing is to get in and get out with as much expediency as possible. However, I have to say that as an anesthesiologist, who every day lays hands on the tools and the meds that could have made things better, having to watch this particular procedure on this particular patient under suboptimal anesthesia was no less than psychological torture. It kind of reminded me of...what's that Greek myth with the guy who has to be thirsty for eternity, and every time he reaches down to get a drink of water from the pond he's standing in, the water line recedes? Oh right: Tantalus. It was like that. I knew exactly what I would have to do to stop my own child from freaking out in pain, and I had absolutely no means nor authority to do it. Again I say: torture.
Anyway, they at least did the pulpotomy (which, despite it all, I'm glad they did--still remains to be seen if there was an abscess but it was at least pre-abscess stage), and he has a temporary filling in place. The rest of the dental work, which consists of the permanent crown and two smaller fillings, will be completed with a Pediatric Anesthesiologist and IV sedation. And of that I am grateful. Cal seems to have recovered nicely from the experience and is running around as we speak (I started pushing Motrin basically the second he was out of the chair and will continue it round the clock for at least 24 hours, in an attempt to at least tamp down the inflammation to a low roar) but I will need some counseling for the PTSD. Parents of chronically ill kids, I don't know how you get through it all.
Anyway, after we left the dentist, I kept Cal out from school for the rest of the day (it was already noon, so whatever), and then took him to the toy store with basically blank check privileges to get whatever damn thing he wanted. And I don't care how overpriced it was. (Though: Playmobil, you are overpriced! OK, now I said it. I'm good.)
We'll be back at the dentist in a month and a half to finish the job with an actual anesthesiologist on hand. Anesthesia saves the day again, I guess.