Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bad Vicodin in the Schoolyard

My little baby girl, who is now 13, got EIGHT of her still-residing baby teeth pulled today.

8 teeth! I was strong, wonderful, supermom during it but inside I was a mess! I had never seen such a thing. The last two were incredibly hard for him to get out. I still don't totally believe they are baby teeth. One of them has all four roots! I've had my share of dental work - some really horrible stuff - root canals, bad novocaine, periodontal cleanings, and I think tooth extraction is really one of the more traumatic things that there is, as far as dental work is concerned.

She was amazing through the whole thing. When she decides she wants something (in this case, braces) she just gets it done. Now we wait for a month to see which permanent ones start growing in. I am really, really skeptical that this is all going to work out ok, but I'll wait and see. I was expecting them to extract 4 or 5 teeth, not 8.

The dentist is our friend, Stephen Perry. He's a very charming guy, particularly for a dentist. He's the last guy you'd ever think would be a dentist. Even Stephen was a little shocked at how hard it was getting the last one out. He gave me a look, as if to say "holy crap, trrish, I didn't know it was going to be like that." I think because of that last one, he gave us a prescription for Vicodin.

Now, if I was a celebrity, I'd be addicted to Vicodin. I love it. Sure, it helps with the physical pain, but the great part is how it temporarily erases the emotional pain and anxiety as well. I once read that Vicodin is the kind of drug that makes you want to call the phone company and tell them what a good job they are doing.

So, after we got home, the novocaine was wearing off and she was pretty miserable. We started off with two Tylenol. After a while, she was still hurting, so I gave her a half a Vicodin. About 30 minutes later she says "Mom, Vicodin is great!" Like mother, like daughter. She was, thankfully, referring to the fact that her mouth wasn't hurting so much.

On the other hand, I was still kind of a wreck. I think my emotional trauma was worse than hers! It's funny about that parenting thing that kicks in. I would have done anything to have it be me instead of her getting her teeth pulled.

I took a moment to talk to her about Vicodin and the inherent risks there are in taking it for too long. I want her to think of it as a "tooth pain only" kind of drug.

I feel lucky because I have a natural force in me that stops me from taking too many drugs or cigarettes, etc. That force doesn't work as well for me with alcohol or certain kinds of food. But I can manage the pills for some reason. I hope she inherits that quality. I've been thinking about the idea of "selective inheritance". How nice if we good pick the things our kids get from us. I'm sure it would end up more like a Twilight Zone episode, however. I always felt that there was a lesson lurking underneath all those old TZ episodes - a "be careful what you wish for" kind of thing.

Which is harder, my little darling having 8 teeth pulled, taking her first half a Vicodin, or starting 8th grade in two weeks? I don't know. There is a bittersweet quality to parenting that I never expected.

And yes, I did take the other half.


1 comment:

Paul O'Brian said...

Perfect ending line -- that was indeed the question I was about to write.

That phone company line is pretty awesome too.