Sunday, January 24, 2010

The wiggly tooth

I realize life isn't all that easy for anyone, but for those of us who are dealing with sensory issues, I think it's even harder.

I'm not sure what it's like to be msk, but after years of living with him my guess is that all sorts of sensations are turned up to a higher intensity level. Music can be heard from three stories away. Images are etched into his mind and can be recreated years later. Certain textures and smells are just beyond bearing. Holding hands and eye to eye contact are very intimate for msk.

But at the same time, there's a need to revel in sensations. Without language, images and sounds and sensations are the only external stimulus msk has. That's why I have more than 50 notebooks filled up with pictures. And why I hear word for word with exact intonation and pitch of emotionally charged events for months and years after they occur.

This conflict, of sensations being too intense versus this need to experience these same sensations can make some things just so very hard to take. Take a loose tooth.

Like most kids, msk started loosing his baby teeth in first grade or so. We've been going through this for five years now and are back to molars now.
Teeth are especially hard for msk because he's had problems with defects in his enamel starting with baby teeth. That lead to some very intense dental sessions involving crowns. With non-cooperative little guys they use a papoose board to keep them still. The board is covered with Velcro and the fastened msk down with Velcro strips to keep him still. Remember, being held is hard for msk to take. That, and being physically forced to do something. It seemed like this was a torture especially designed for msk. My typically happy guy stayed pissed for days after a session.

So a loose tooth starts out as bad since it has to do with dental stuff. Next, they're hard with days of grumpy distractedness, then tentatively pointing at the tooth, but not letting anyone touch it. Then there are requests to make it stop, but all attempts to pull the tooth show it's not ready to come out. Then it starts driving him crazy and it's all he can think about as he plays with it and wiggles it constantly. Then with some very hard tugs from Dad it's pulled out followed by the shock of yucky blood coming out of his mouth.

Since it's happened so many times it's not so scary anymore. But it's still hard. And intense. And I wish I could be more comforting. Words, and explaining why this is happening are just beyond the level of language we've got at this point. Hugs are there, but msk isn't all that clingy. Plus, at 11 he's looking for a little space from Mom most of the time. So there's not much I can do, beyond trying to understand what he's going through and longing for easier days for my boy.

1 comment:

  1. It must feel very sad and frustrating to see your child going through that kind of process. I mean, he's too young to experience that. But I'm happy that he's way stronger and braver now. I know that you're such a great mother and you just have to stay supportive and understanding in dealing with this kind of situation.


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