Monday, May 15, 2006

Conclusion - Saga Of The Teeth

Thanks to everyone who helped by sending money, housing us, feeding us exquisite meals, supporting, loving us, and just being there in our time of need. You define the word community.

Our visit “home” was a success in so many ways.

First - the teeth

The dentist and support staff who treated Winston were an extraordinary example of compassion, empathy, knowledge and skill. They scheduled the surgery for 6:45 AM - which was such a blessing as he could not have any food or beverages from midnight prior to the surgery. So - we were able to get him into the office with a minimal amount of discomfort from bodily needs. (Our appointment in the U.K. was scheduled for 11:00 AM no food or drink after 10:00 pm.)

The procedure was done with sensitivity and an awareness of our lifestyle choices as parents. For example, Winston was not happy to arrive at the office the morning of the surgery. But, they waited for him to calm down and adjust to the idea. I’m so grateful my daughter was there. She won Winston over and they played happily for a long while.

Then, the anaesthesiologist came out to the waiting room. He chatted calmly with us and put Winston at ease by playing with him. I’m overwhelmed by the fact that they respected my child, his attitudes and perceptions so much that they were willing to give him their precious time. They waited for him to be ready and he didn’t need to be ready on their timetable. Amazing!

There was no struggling or pain - except one tiny pinch from the shot they gave him to put him out before they put in the I.V. He went quickly to sleep. Woke up a bit groggy from anaesthesia. We gave him Motrin. He slept off and on all day. When he was up, he was happy and bouncy. He ate non-stop the entire trip. And didn't stop after the surgery. (Soft foods but lots of them!)

The dentist was able to save five teeth. He had four extracted. Only 9 teeth needed treatment - as opposed to the 10 to 12 that the NHS suggested completely removing. So we saved him a lot of pain, cruelty, inappropriate treatment, and danger by coming back to Pittsburgh. The Sunday New York Times had a huge article about the appalling condition of dentistry in the UK. How's that for timeliness?)

Second - the place

He doesn't remember anything from the surgery. He mostly remembers being surrounded by loving friends. We arrived and he ran into our friend’s garden to play. He slipped right into our old way of life as if he’d never left. Well, all of us did. He remembers all of the loving "dolts," who take care of any problems that arise. (I love that phrase - all of the children call us The Dolts - because they aren’t quite catching the “a” sound.)

He did gain an example of children who play well and cooperatively with each other. He was able to develop his peer conversational skills. (The children were actually listening and talking to each other about all kinds of things.) He learned that children can successfully engage in conflict resolution on their own and when that doesn't work out - the "dolts" will help make fair and reasonable solutions. He had a great time at the Science Center and the Zoo. He became even more aware of letters - as many of his friends are already beginning to write words. Finally, he saw that playgrounds don't have to be scary, frightening, dangerous places.

He is happy not to be in pain anymore and has really blossomed. I hope it lasts here in London. He was willing to eat so many "new" foods back in Pittsburgh! He slept heavily and well. His conversation skills burst open. His active engagement with the world became wider and more trusting. He didn't want to come home. But, he did want to see his Daddy - so home he came without a struggle. It was a good trip.


Jax said...

I've been waiting and waiting for this report - it seems ages since we last heard from you! So glad to hear it all went so well.

Fiona said...

Christina I have also been eagerly awaiting news. I dreamt you were back and smiling last night! I'm very happy that you are all well.

boodafli said...

so glad all went well. :) more hugs, because you can never have enuff.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear all went well for Winston. There is something to be said about the choices available medically back home.

Anyway--have you hooked up with phone calls home via the computer. It works great and the kids can see my family--feels as if they are 'real' to each other.

Elizabeth from Early Years