Grace had a dental checkup the day before the day before Christmas Eve. It didn't go well.
She couldn't go to her regular dentist because the state decided about a month ago that she was 'too expensive' - (their words, not mine) for the state funded children's health insurance program (known as CHIP here is PA). They moved her to Medicaid. And her old dentist doesn't take Medicaid. So we switched to one that did accept it. Grace was fine with the move and I had accepted it.
I'm still not sure how a state goes about analyzing your child's medical records and determining that they need to be on Medicaid anyway. We didn't apply for Medicaid for her. I was fine with the PA CHIP program and the only reason she was on PA CHIP was because when she was diagnosed, my husband's company was switching insurance providers, they found out she was just diagnosed Type 1 and excluded her from coverage. It seems like a bad dream, or incredibly bad luck on our part.
This whole Medicaid thing has brought about so many changes...
--- Insulet does not ship her pods any more directly to us, but goes through a 3rd party company who provides pump supplies for Medicaid patients (at least we created a job for someone out there!)
--- I am worried that the new rules at Medicaid will limit her test strips she receives each month
--- Can you believe I needed to send the 3rd party biller for Medicaid a month's worth of blood sugar logs to PROVE she had diabetes?? You can't believe it? Neither could I until they requested it and I found myself at the copier copying 30 small little pages of logbook
--- Getting NEW referrals for her endo appts. I realized this while standing in my kitchen on a Saturday before her Monday appt two weeks ago. I damned near had a heart attack. Luckily our reg. ped is a fabulous practice and got me a Medicaid referral mere hours before our endo appt.
--- Finding a new dentist for her.
Now back to our regularly scheduled post...
The dentist appt., of course. I completed major forms on her and came prepared with a new Pod to place on her, as I expected them to take x-rays. She was due for them. Now, let me tell you, I am not a fan of x-rays, I believe in the whole 'too much radiation' thing, but she only had x-rays one other time in her dental life and she needed them. I called Insulet, who told me that it didn't matter WHERE the x-rays were taken on her, she should remove her Pod and then put on a new one after the x-ray. No biggie. It was site change day anyway, so BONUS! I told Grace all about it and she was fine with it.
I tell them straight up at the sign-in desk what's going on - she has Type 1, she wears a pump, it needs to come off, etc., I am prepared. Well, until the lady behind the desk asks me 'Well, she is well-controlled and everything, isn't she?!' I honestly wanted to take the clipboard and whack her in the head. But I suppressed those urges and said 'Well, honestly, we do the best we can, but she has Type 1.' The lady looked at me as if I had two heads. Hell with it I thought. It's the day before Christmas, honestly lady, cut me a friggin' break.
Grace goes back to the exam room and so do I. The dentist comes in and I explain it all again. She's fine with it, it's just that 'they never have had a child who had a pump before' - OK, guess we are the first then. We remove Grace's Pod, take the x-rays and go about inserting a new site and pump. Those were the least of my problems. All is well and Grace gets her dental cleaning. She is a trooper and doesn't flinch as they scrape and clean and do their thing.
The dentist comes back and it's not good news folks. Grace has 3, count 'em, 3 flippin' cavities!!!
Moment of silence.
Two are in her back back teeth and one is under the one filling she does have, in a baby tooth. There is a shadow there and they suspect a cavity below the filling. My other two kiddos - ages 12 and 14 only have had ONE filling between them both in 14 years. I had a good run of 10-11 years with NO CAVITIES and now there are 3, on this child???!!! I honestly wanted to look to the sky and say 'Really??? Am I being punk'd or something?' cause this would be a grand time for good ole Ashton to appear and tell me!
But, you see, Grace is weeping in the dental chair as the dentist explains all this to me - laughing gas and filling cavities and three visits and one filling has to come out and another one go in and possibly a baby root canal - which only takes 5-8 minutes (there is a God - see!!!) and she goes on and on and Grace just keeps on weeping. And I know it has all gotten to her, cause my gal don't cry.
The dentist leans down and does the best she can.
"Why are you crying sweetie? I promise nothing will hurt you." and she means it, she does.
And I know why she is crying.
Because it is all TOO MUCH.
Because she is chronically ill and this is just ONE MORE THING on top of everything else.
Because this is our 4th doctor visit in the last 2 months and we have seen enough of doctors and dentist and chairs and sitting and waiting and being told something.
Because she knows that despite what the dentist says, it will hurt a little and she doesn't want one more thing in her life to hurt. Not one single thing.
Because she is feeling like she has done something wrong, despite what I tell her, that we will do this together, that we will find a new way to clean her teeth so there will be no more cavities, and we will be more thorough together and we will buy different toothpaste and flossers and that mommy will fix it, fix it, fix it.
And I get tears in my eyes right there in the dentist office because sometimes, it does all get to be too much.