There's always more
About a month ago I took Lila to see a pediatric dentist about her broken front tooth and received some shocking news. The dentist told me that she had tooth decay on every single tooth and that every tooth in her mouth would have to be crowned. I was more than shocked; I was completely stunned. I think the only word I could utter at that time was "what?". Tears welled up in my eyes and I had to work hard to keep myself sort-of together. I left feeling worried and panicked. All I could think of on the drive home was: how could this happen?
After the initial shock wore off and I had gathered my thoughts and feelings back up, I decided that the question of "how" did not matter so much as "what do I do next". So the next thing I did was start asking friends for dentist recommendations. I called 7 dentists and took Lila to see 4. It's been quite a ride and I've learned that there is always more. There's always another perspective or opinion, approach or way to go about doing things.
So after seeing 4 dentists, what we now know is that Lila does not have tooth decay on every tooth and that she does not need to have crowns on every single one. Yes, her front two teeth on the right have decayed and need to come out and she has 3 or 4 cavities to be filled in the back (molars), but that is it. Three out of the four dentists we saw had a similar diagnosis regarding her teeth, so that was helpful to me as someone who has to make the best decision possible for my daughter's care. In fact, the last dentist we saw said he had no idea how only the two front teeth have decay while the others have none. He said it's an anomaly really. He didn't seem to think it was that big of deal or such a big problem, which I was surprised by. So, quite thankfully, I left the last dentist feeling relieved and hopeful for Lila. I hope that the x-rays will reveal the same as the lap exam so that that's all the work she will have to have done: two teeth pulled and a few fillings. And I hope that once this whole dental procedure is done, that Lila will be pain free, and that all her teeth will be happy and healthy from here on out.
As odd as it seems, this has been a quite a learning and growing experience for me as a mother. I left the first dentist feeling so panicked and was totally taking on the tooth-decay problem as my fault, like I had failed the nutrition portion of my mommy test. As I started researching tooth decay and taking Lila to different dentists for a second, third and fourth opinion, I realized that the power is in my hands. No, I am not a dentist, but I do have great intuition and I will do what I think is best for my child no matter what. I can choose to say "no thank you" to whatever doesn't feel right or work for the best interest of my child or myself for that matter. Being strong is a must on this path of motherhood and of life in general if you ask me, as is faith in one's self. We have to have faith in our ability to make good choices in all situations so that we feel empowered and strong enough to say, "NO" when necessary. I mean really, if something doesn't feel right or good, than it probably isn't. And this is applicable in all situations.
So the big take home lesson for me in all of this is that there is always more. It's up to each and every one of us to educate ourselves and really look at things from all angles before we do anything. What I mean is that a good decision or finding our way forward sometimes takes some investigating. The answer or solution we need or are looking for isn't always so obvious or clear. So sometimes we just have to sit with things, listen, dig a little deeper, reach out for help, ask more questions and be willing to learn in the process. Then, the next step forward or the right choice to make will be clear.
Live and Learn,