Tag Archives: dentist

Appointment Recap and Surgery #4

This has been quite a week for us! Braxton had 3 follow-up appointments and is having surgery this Friday.  Definitely keeping me on my toes!

Monday, he actually had 2 appointments.  First, we saw the Dentist for a regular cleaning and check-up.  As we waited, Braxton became pretty fixated on the aquarium. Aileen was with us and she put him up on the chair to look at the fish and he was just in complete awe.  He really watched them and turned his head to figure what the heck they were doing and where they were going.

Once we got back to the room, the hygienist came in to do his cleaning.  He sat in my lap and they had him lean back and at first he didn’t fight her, but then he got pretty upset and starting screaming/crying.  It was over pretty quick though and he calmed down.  He did the same when the dentist came in to take a look at his teeth.  Almost immediately after the dentist looked in his mouth, Braxton fell asleep.  The dentist said his teeth look great and he was surprised that he didn’t have excessive tartar buildup since that is so common among tube fed children.  Maybe it’s all that chewing on wood he does that keeps his teeth clean? haha jk. Sorta. We did address that and the dentist said there is no real harm, but obviously not to encourage it.  Overall, a pretty good visit and we go back in a few months.

Kisses from sister for being a good boy

Kisses from sister for being a good boy

After the dentist, we followed up with Braxton’s hand surgeon.  It’s been about a year since Braxton had his surgery to cut the webbing of his ring and pinky finger on both hands.  He has healed very well and is using his hands much better. The doctor took a look at his hands and said everything looks good.  We have to continue with yearly checkups because as Braxton grows, the skin between his fingers may not grow as well with him.  If the skin doesn’t grow with him, it might be necessary to repeat the surgery and continue cutting back and creating the natural pit between the fingers so he has functional use of his hands.  It may be several years before anything more needs to be done and doc was happy with how he’s healed.  More great news, yay!

Tuesday, we saw the ENT for a routine follow-up.  The doctor checked to be sure Braxton’s ear tubes were still in place, and they are! He had tubes placed in April of 2012 for chronic ear infections, and surprisingly they are still in there.  The doc said that often times tubes fall out after a year. Let’s hope they stay in so we don’t have to worry about ear infections again! Then, we addressed Braxton’s tonsils again. They are definitely larger than they were at his last visit in March. Our doctor explained that for most kids their tonsils grow faster than their mouth until about 5 or 6 years old, so he’s highly suspicious of Braxton’s already being so large that they will cause problems for him.  He said we don’t need to do surgery immediately, but we definitely need to keep an eye on him and watch for signs that indicate surgery is warranted.  At this point, I’m certain Braxton is going to need a Tonsillectomy in the next year or so.  In fact, we follow-up in January and I’m thinking I may ask him to go ahead and take them out.  He’s just now starting to make feeding progress, so I’m concerned how the Tonsillectomy will affect him and whether I want to deal with a setback now or later.  *sigh* Hate to delay his progress, but would also hate to get him eating well and then have to go all the way back to square one.  We shall see over the next few months.

Finally, Braxton is scheduled for his 4th surgery tomorrow.  He is having a few procedures actually. If he has to be under for anything, we try to get as much as we can done so he doesn’t need to be under again.  Braxton has been under anesthesia 4 times so far, and 3 of those was for surgery.  The 4th was for all those MRIs and his EEG. So, tomorrow makes 5 times under.  Yikes! Thankfully, he has done well each time so far, but there is always a concern especially now that we know his tonsils are enlarged and that with his RTS diagnosis he is susceptible to sleep apnea.  I’m making sure to request an anesthesiologist who has worked with him before.

He is having a repeat ABR to check his hearing.  This should be the final one for a while and it’s just to confirm the results of the last 2 that he’s had.  He seems to be hearing better even without his hearing aids, so I’m very curious to see what the results show tomorrow.  He will also be having a CT Scan of his inner ear to see if there are any structural abnormalities that are causing any of his hearing issues or that would interfere with his speech.

The main procedure is a circumcision.  Without going in to too much detail, we weren’t able to do it when he was born and were told to give him some time to develop a little more.  When we got the RTS diagnosis in April, we learned that boys with RTS are prone to Urinary Tract Infections.  Our pedi suggested we see a Urologist to start following him and make sure there weren’t any kidney problems either.  Our urologist explained that since he had not had a UTI yet, further diagnostic imaging wasn’t really needed at that point, but that we should go ahead with the circumcision since that would be a key way to keep him from getting UTIs. So, here we are.  I definitely didn’t want to prolong getting it done as I’m sure it would be much more difficult later on.

His ophthalmologist is also coming in to try a probing and irrigation of his tear ducts once more to see if that helps the constant crust on his eyes.  Hopefully his tear ducts have grown a little more so that the procedure is really beneficial this time.  He has been waking up with his eyes crusted over less and less, so I think that’s a good sign!

I’m now impatiently waiting for the hospital to call and give me all the final instructions like when to stop feeding him and when to arrive at the hospital tomorrow.  As always, we will keep you posted here or more than likely on our facebook page, so if you haven’t already, make sure you ‘Like’ us so you can keep up with Braxton!

Thank you for all of your love and support, and of course the continued prayers.

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Filed under Kids and Family, Life, Special Needs Child

Good Thing I Had My Orange Juice

You’ve seen the Florida Orange Juice commercials right? The ones where the people are sitting at a table and a whole group is telling them all the things that are going to go wrong that day..and at the end they say “Well…good thing I had my orange juice” Ha, well I totally felt like I was in one today…and if you haven’t seen one, here ya go:

[Disclaimer: I am not being paid for this, it simply related to how I felt today. I actually prefer Simply Orange orange juice instead. No, I wasn’t paid for that either.]

Today, Braxton had two doctors appointments.  Normally, I schedule appointments around Joseph’s schedule so I will have help getting him to and from appointments.  I work about 5 miles from most of his appointments, so it really helps when Joseph is home for him to bring Brax and for me to just meet them there.  Well, unfortunately, this week, Joseph was called in to work early leaving me to fend for myself with today’s appointments.  Normally, I leave about 15 minutes til the appointment time and arrive just on time. When I’m on my own, I have to leave an hour earlier than I planned so that I can drive all the way south to pick Braxton up from daycare and then all the way north for appointments.  Sadly, none of the specialists we see are near our house so it’s a good 30-40 miles from home for every one of them.  Blah! Needless to say, my breakfast table had Joseph telling me he had to go to work early. Excellent. Work telling me I’d be incredibly busy for the morning. Lovely. Braxton telling me I’d have to drive all the way to his daycare to pick him up. Sweet. The dentist telling me to arrive 15 minutes early for paperwork. Fantastic. The ophthalmologist telling me I’d have to wait an hour and a half to see her for 5 minutes.  Stupendous! And the weatherman saying it was going to rain all afternoon. Oh, joy! And finally, Aileen telling me she was going to have a bad day and throw a fit when I got home.  Swell. Unfortunately, I did not have a glass of magical orange juice.

The Dentist appointment went really well! There is a special needs clinic near the other specialists that Brax sees, but the waiting list was too long, so I found another dentist who has experience with SN children.  She was super nice! The whole staff was! From making the appointment, to filling out paperwork, and even the exam everyone was very nice and patient and helpful about the whole process.  Since he is still a baby his first cleaning was a lap exam, where he sat facing me and then he was laid back so the dentist could check him.  Usually, you have to sit awkwardly on that uncomfortable exam table, well this clinic had a large comfy chair I got to sit in! Pretty nice!

Quite the cozy exam room!

Quite the cozy exam room!

The comfy chair I got to sit in while they examined Brax

The comfy chair I got to sit in while they examined Brax

The dentist checked his mouth and we knew Brax had his 2 front top and bottom teeth, but turns out he has SIX more teeth coming in!! They are all in a crazy order, but the dentist reassured me it’s perfectly normal (regardless of him being SN) His top molars are coming in on both sides and his top & bottom canines are also coming in! Holy cow! I had no idea!! Guess we’ll be investing in a toothbrush sooner than expected. I also talked to her about taking his pacifier away and she said from a professional standpoint, she didn’t see any reason for me to take it away.  She mentioned speaking to a child psychiatrist who told her that taking away the pacifier could actually be detrimental because it’s something that is familiar and is comforting for him, so if we take it away it could set him back.  He hardly uses it anyway, so I’m not too concerned about that.  Brax also has one of his front teeth coming in a little crooked and covering the frenum on the inside of the upper lip.  The frenum is that small piece of tissue that you see under your upper lip connected to your gums.  Anywho, Braxton’s tooth covers that and I thought it might have to be cut or something, but the dentist said that wasn’t necessary.  She mentioned that it didn’t appear to be losing blood supply or anything and that in the future we could put an extension device in to help straighten the front tooth out. Overall, the visit went very well and multiple times the dentist told me she sees a lot of the same things in “typical” children who have no underlying genetic issues…that kind of made me feel a little better about everything. At least not everything about him is out of the norm.

Brax's tooth covers the frenum

Brax’s tooth covers the frenum

Our second appointment of the day was with the ophthalmologist.  I have a love/hate relationship with her.  I think she is very knowledgeable and thorough, but her office is terrible! I wait over an hour EVERY. SINGLE. TIME! We went straight after the dentist, so we arrived a little early (about 2:45 for a 3:00 appt) and there was no seat, so I had to sit with Brax on one of the little kiddie super uncomfortable wooden chairs -__- until we were called back at 3:55. Doc came in right away and visited with us for maybe 5 (ok ok I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt – 10) minutes.  This was a follow-up regarding Braxton’s abnormal tear ducts.  The lower ones are very small and the upper ducts are missing.  We tried probing and irrigation in April of 2012, but even the smallest probe had trouble fitting in to Braxton’s tear ducts. We’ve been playing the “wait-it-out” game ever since. The doc said that over time his ducts would grow and eventually they could try the probing again.  Well, today she looked in office and said that she could somewhat see the tear ducts, but that they still looked a little small to try and probe again.  She recommended we again wait until just before his 2nd birthday to see if they get any bigger.  If they do, Braxton will be put under anesthesia again and she will attempt the probing & irrigation again and possibly insert silicone tubes into his tear ducts.  The tubes will help to open up the tear ducts and allow the tears to clear naturally and eventually the tubes would come out, but leave the new tissue that has grown in tact so he would have working tear ducts.  She said we’ll be coordinating this procedure with the occular plastic team, because if, for some reason that STILL doesn’t work, we will have to go ahead and do a reconstructive surgery. 😦 He would have to have Lacrimal Bypass Surgery with Jones Tubes, which means they will break a small connector bone at the top of the nose and essentially create NEW tear ducts, therefore bypassing his original ones completely.  After 3-4 months the tubes would come out leaving the system in tact for his body to use instead of the original ones.  Blah, poor kiddo. (Images below from here.)

Illustration of Normal Vs. Blocked tear duct

Illustration of Normal Vs. Blocked tear duct

Before the surgery

Before the surgery

After the surgery

After the surgery

All in all, it was an ok day, albeit an extremely busy one! Good thing is, that it didn’t rain! Woo, take that weatherman! Haha…small victories.  It’s also a good thing that aside from daily therapies, we don’t have any appointments until the end of February! Could that be right?! o_O

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Filed under Family, Kids and Family, Life, Special Needs Child