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Amanda's age

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God Doesn't Make Mistakes

For Amanda

Our three T21 princesses

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A long Wednesday-and happy to have it behind us

You can see Amanda's band aid, this is where her IV went in.

We are so grateful that Amanda did well yesterday.

Neither of us enjoy these dental visits, having to hand our precious girls over to be put under is scary and stressful and we have to be brave for them, so they are not scared. I barely manage that.

We took Amanda in early, there was a cancellation, and we sat in the waiting room until the time of her original appointment. Figures huh? They weighed her on a regular scale and asked me to get on to be weighed and then hold her, you know, the scientific method. LOL I made DH do it, I hate getting on scales, I have not owned one in years. That is another story though.

We waited a little bit more and then one of the assistants came out to get Amanda.  I don’t know why I am the one who takes the girls in, because it is so hard for me, but I always do it anyway. I picked up Amanda and we followed her to the back.

The first thing that I encountered when I went through the door to the back room is that dental office smell; it has always made my stomach turn, bad memories from childhood? The dentist we saw as children was brutal. So once I adjusted to the unpleasant smell of the office, I took Amanda to the same dental chair I had taken Meghan to just a couple of months before.

The anesthesiologist; a very kind and gentle doctor, (he had been there for Meghan previously) came in with the pre-op shot and when I saw the syringe, my heart began to beat faster. Poor oblivious Amanda was facing away from me while the doctor tried to find a muscle large to give her an injection in. He mentioned that Amanda had very small muscles, it was no surprise to me, she is so little. He gave her the injection in her tiny deltoid, ouch, and she began to tremble and finally cried, poor little baby, it hurt her arm and her feelings, but what can you do about it, shots always hurt. :o(

I cradled her in my arms comforting her and giving her kisses on her forehead and I watched her carefully while the sedative took effect, first her arms went limp, then her legs, and finally her head lolled to one side and her eyes lost focus, this all within 2 minutes of admission. I felt so panicky, and God help me, but it reminded me of putting my beloved cat Lancelot to sleep and I felt so scared that I was losing Amanda too. I tried to see if she was breathing, I could not tell if she was and everyone was gone from the room but me, I was scared and was breathing so hard, my heart pounding in my ears, that I had to hold my breath to listen to Amanda’s lungs. I held my head to her chest, feeling for her breath on my face. I heard her exhale and was finally able breathe myself, but I was still concerned that the narcotic had depressed her respiration too much and I walked around holding Amanda trying to find someone to help. (this took place in a very short time, but panic skews reality, slows everything down to a snails pace). The doctor finally came back and told me to lie her down on the dental chair, I gently placed her there; her body limp, appearing lifeless, and I fearfully asked if she was she OK, and he said she was fine, just sleeping. However, with her eyes are half-open, I was alarmed.

The doctor told me that I could leave; and Amanda would be fine, so I reluctantly walked back to the lobby fighting back the sudden tears that welled up in my eyes, I opened the door to the lobby and saw Tom and the girls waiting and when I sat down, I the worried tears began to flow. Tom came over to hug me; he knows it is hard for me to witness the girls being sedated.

We both picked up magazines while Meghan and Kara played in the playhouse, and talked about movies coming out and inconsequential things, anything to take our minds off of Amanda, but we failed miserably. I closed my eyes constantly and prayed she would be safe, I know anesthesia is never to be taken lightly, and even though I had 6 surgeries, (31 hours total) and I did fine, Amanda was not my biological daughter and I knew nothing about her family medical history. I did not know what to expect or how she would react to the drugs. I could not help but be afraid for her.

After 45 minutes, I was feeling frantic, and began to get up and peer through the broken window to the door to the surgical suite. After an hour, I finally asked if everything was OK, and they said Amanda was on her way out, 10 minutes later they carried her into an exam room and laid her down on there. The anesthesiologist tenderly placed her in a side lying position and told me she did great, no problems. The dentist came in soon after wards to tell me what they did.

He did all the work they had feared she needed done, they do not do the x-rays until the children are under sedation, so we were not certain if he could save her little teeth or not, some may have needed to be pulled.

A big concern was whether her bruxism would loose the upper front crowns, he said if she was a side-to-side grinder, they would be fine, but front to back may make them fall out. I believe she is side to side, but her little mouth is closed when she does it, so I am not certain. I am hoping for side to side. He told me to be very vigilant about keeping her mouth clean.

Amanda slept soundly while the dentist spoke to me, he asked about her size and development, wondered if she was getting better since he saw her last.

I called Tom in after that, he brought Meghan and Kara in the small room with us, the double stroller half in and half out of the room. Kara was sounds asleep; looking huge in the back seat, she is HUGE; we cannot believe how big she is getting.

The doctor (anesthesiologist) came in to try to wake Amanda. He pinched her trapezius muscle repeatedly, more likely he is compressing the spinal accessory nerve plexus, (think of the Vulcan Nerve Pinch in Star trek, yes, I love Star Trek, but have never been to a convention…). Amanda she did stir, but would not open her eyes all the way, so he left to work, and said it would not be that much longer. About 15 minutes later he came back and managed to awaken her somewhat, he said we could go.

We put her in the stroller when we got home, she had no control of her neck muscles and her head kept falling forward. She stayed there 30 minutes or so and then tried to climb out, we knew she was feeling more awake, but another issue presented itself very quickly. Amanda was in pain, she kept grabbing her mouth and whining, she was so sad and began to sob, I held her, Tom held her, she scratched us and pushed away and we could not do anything to help her. We could not give her pain med's yet, she could not make her tongue work, it lolled out of her mouth, useless at that point. We had to wait for her entire body to wake up.

After a few minutes, we thought she would be happier in hr crib, but that made her cry more, so I held her like an infant and gently bounced and sang to her, she finally calmed down and let me snuggle with her. We could tell she was not used to being held for comfort, it made me sad, and I hoped that she would learn that it was OK to want comfort when she was hurting. I know orphanages do not have time to cuddle infants when they are sad or scared; it is heartbreaking to sit in an orphanage and hear hysterical babies hiccuping on sobs. You want to go to the back and pick up the babies, but you know you can’t. I tried to imagine being the caregivers there, and them knowing if they held a baby one day, the next day they may be too busy to, and it may make it even worse for everyone. Still, it is not an ideal situation, and this is where attachment issues begin for many children. Sorry, off on a tangent.

After Amanda was fully awake in mind and body, we gave her a tiny bit of water to drink, she can’t drink liquids well. We gave her a pain reliever ever so slowly and she was almost her old self 20 minutes later. I got to cuddle with her until it was time to go to her sisters Christmas choral concert. She did really well, I thought she may get fussy there, but she actually tried to sing with the chorus. She is indeed an Estonian; they also treasure choral music. I heard quite of bit of it staying next to the Soprus Theater.

Julia singing in one of the groups, she is in black, bottom row, second to the left.

After we got home, Amanda was finally hungry, so we gave her some food and got her ready for bed. She gratefully went to sleep; she had a long day.

Since I had been up since 2 AM the night before, I thought I would sleep well myself last night, but a nightmare awakened me; I had a dream Amanda and Kara drowned in the bathtub, I saved Kara, but Amanda was gone. I woke up screaming NO, and could not go back to sleep, of course I checked on both of them, the dream left me feeling unsettled, I knew I was up from that point forward, at least is was past 4 AM by then.

I can chide myself now for my silliness surrounding dental visits, but sedation of my children will always unnerve me. I know I have a fear of losing my girls, to me they are an incredible gift, as cliche as that can sound to some folks, and I am afraid that someone so precious, so special, cannot be with me forever. I have been working on that fear since we brought Kara home, I continue to feel that by adopting another child with Down syndrome, I am being greedy, hoarding them as a miser does gold and other prized things, sure it sounds strange, but is a recurring thought I have. I know that both girls also received the gift of a family, but I feel that we got so much more; we have them! I think another adoptive parent can understand my amazement over having two new children, but many folks just do not "get it" However; my fear is something I have to work through with introspection and prayer; I know it is not rational to feel this way.


Jennifer said...

Wow, sounds like a really rough day. Hopefully it will be worth it and Amanda's teeth will feel so much better now.

Flush said...

I am sorry both of you had such a rough day. I totally understand your fear of anesthesia. Sending you a big hug!

GoldenAngelsWorks said...

Poor Amanda having such a rough time.
I definitely know what you mean about the fear of losing your children.
I have had those nightmares since my first pregnancy.

Please know I am sending my prayers as well as a huge hug to all of you.

carol said...

I always get scared when Haley has to go under anesthesia also. I am sorry you had such a hard day. I bet when Amanda gets feeling better she will have a beautiful smile with all of that dental work behind her. Hope you can get some sleep.
Dreams are scarey sometimes they just seem so darn real. Take care you are a wonderful mother to all of your children.

WheresMyAngels said...

Glad she is feeling better after having it done!

My three little girls

My three little girls
Finally got all three to smile at once