Friday, June 17, 2011

The Cavity

A few months ago Silas started complaining that his teeth hurt. I heard him say it a few times and sort of dismissed it. Finally I came out of my sleep deprived state and actually listened to what he was saying. I asked him where it hurt, and he pointed to one tooth. I grabbed a flashlight and looked at his tooth and I could see a brown spot. I started looking at a few of his other teeth (all ones in the back of his mouth)- and noticed three more teeth with spots. I started to panic inside a little. I have had one cavity ever- and it was after I was married. I couldn't believe that my baby had a cavity- much less, potentially multiple. I called Luke and told him what I suspected. And then? You guessed it. I turned to google. (Why? I have no idea. I guess to just confirm what I suspected.) Google images can be awesome; it can also be very not awesome. This was one of those times. When I did a google image search for something along the line of "starter cavity" I got pictures of people who probably never brushed their teeth in their entire life. Rotten, falling out teeth. These pictures were way beyond "a cavity." I continued to worry about how traumitizing this might be for Silas if he did indeed have a cavity. To be honest, I probably spent a few hours being distracted by this cavity business- and just feeling like a horrible parent, wondering how my 4 year old ended up with a cavity. 

And then out of the blue I thought about Kate McRae. Kate is a little girl who was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was 5 years old. She is now 7 years old and still very much in the midst of fighting for her life. Here I was worrying about how my son will deal with a CAVITY. There are other parents who have real problems as they fight for their child's life. I instantly got a perspective check and realized that if Silas had a cavity, life would go on and he would be fine. And I was reminded how much I have to be thankful for right now. I have three beautiful children who are happy, healthy, and safe.

So a few weeks later we got Silas into the dentist and he did have one cavity. We made an appointment to go back for the filling. That appointment was today. Silas was a brave little trooper! We see a pediatric dentist- and he is great. Silas got positioned up in the chair, he got hooked up with some orange scented laughing gas, and he got some earphones on. Then he laid back in the chair and looked at the ceiling, where a flat screen TV is mounted. He spent the rest of this short visit watching Monsters Inc. He was pretty oblivious to what they were doing. I sat next to him, holding his hands while the dentist did the work. Every once in awhile Silas would squeeze my hand and I would wonder if he was scared or hurting... I would watch his little feet move around (an effect of the laughing gas I was told). I hoped and prayed he was doing ok- that he wasn't scared or feeling any pain... And then the visit was over. He sat up, went to pick a toy out of the treasure chest, and we left to have lunch at Chick-fil-a. As I was driving, I was thinking how relieved I was that this was over and the experience had gone well. And then it hit me again. I have so much to be thankful for. There are people out there with sick children, who sit by helplessly while their child endures procedures that are actually painful... parents who have to wait days and weeks to find out the results of tests that may tell them if their child will live or die. I have so much to be thankful for. What a reminder to me to not worry about such little things in life and to stop and take a moment to remember the blessings I have right now. Also it's a reminder for me to pray for Kate and other children (and adults) that I know who are battling sickness and fighting for their lives.

I have no guarantee that me or my family will always be healthy. I have lost family members to cancer. I have seen friends grieve over the loss of a child. I have much to be thankful for today- something I want to remember each and every day. To be thankful for life. Oh, the lessons learned from a cavity...


Kelly @ Love Well said...

Amen and amen.

Mrs. Hawk said...

Agree with Kelly. Can't say much more.