Nathan is Hebrew and means "gift from God" - we couldn't have been more blessed than to have been chosen as his parents!

Thank you for keeping up-to-date with Nathan. We hope you visit often and enjoy experiencing our son's journey as much as we do. Please feel free to leave comments.

We love hearing from everyone!!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

All I Want for Christmas Is.......

You guessed it ~ his two front teeth.  The first x-ray, which wasn't a good one, because Nathan was uncooperative, showed that he not only knocked out his upper front tooth, but it appeared he also fractured the tooth next to it. Our hearts literally sank.  The first thing I thought of was the aesthetics: how will he look with no teeth for the next four years!  He's already going to be the subject of ridicule, teasing, and harassment by his loving classmates (sense the sarcasm) when he enters public school ~ having no front teeth is going to make it worse.   Not to mention, he is just beginning to produce sounds and say all sorts of new words ~ what's going to happen when he can't produce them because he doesn't have any front teeth or even have the opportunity to learn how?!  The teasing will be worse, and Nathan's ability to communicate will be diminished.  This was getting worse by the minute

The following day, Nathan went to school under the watchful eyes of his classroom teachers.  After this x-ray, and the ones yet to come, we were going to do everything possible to keep his tooth in for a long as possible.  We cut everything up and won't let him bite into anything using that tooth.  If he was verbal and possessed the ability to produce sounds like "th and f, " then it wouldn't be such a big deal, but it is.  He won't have the ability to even learn how to produce these sounds until he's probably eight years old.

After school, we headed to the pediatric dentist for his initial consult.  Nathan ended up having Dr. Christine because Dr. Jason was on vacation.  What a great kid friendly dentist office!  I was really glad we chose this dentist and have to thank my friend Lisa Carney for the recommendation!  Another neurotic mommy of a super special kid.

Look Mom, a t.v. and it's playing Toy Story!

After the initial exam, Dr. Christine gave us the sobering news: Nathan's front tooth is loose to the touch, he is missing four baby teeth, and the enamel on his back teeth didn't form correctly and calcium has built-up, which will eventually eat away at his teeth. (WHAT? This gets worse?)  This was a classic example of: when you think things are bad, just wait - they'll get worse. 

So, here's the bottom line ~ Nathan is missing both of his eye teeth on the top and the bottom.  Just upon examination, she said that, if they're not present as a child, they probably won't be as an adult.  Sometimes, this happens ~ the body just doesn't produce all of the "normal teeth."  I think she said, this happens in about 2% of the population.

The enamel issue is a rather big deal too because the calcium buildup will eat away at his molars and those teeth will eventually decay and need to be removed. But as the doctor said, Nathan needs those teeth until he's about 10, so we need to do something to protect them.  We now have to apply a Mi Paste to his teeth every night before bed.  The paste breaks down the calcium and will keep his teeth healthy. I don't know if any of you are aware of Nathan's love of teeth brushing, but it's just slightly less unpleasant than his hair cutting fits  It's a daily struggle, but we are absolutely seeing improvement.  His speech therapist has been working on it at school for us too.  It's made a difference.  Anyway, I actually thought Nathan's teeth were yellowing because I wasn't brushing them good enough, but that's not the case.  The first night I applied the Mi Paste, he bit me so hard, I was in tears. 

Next up ~ the x-ray.  The results showed that Nathan indeed has fractured his other front tooth and that we can expect it to loosen up and fall out.  We also learned that his "missing" teeth are in fact in his mouth, but are impacted.   It appears Nathan didn't have room for them to come in, so they didn't. The only upside to Nathan knocking his front teeth out is that the ones missing on the top may now come in.  However, if none of them come through by age six, they'll need to be surgically removed.  As will his adult teeth.  We are going to have a long and very expensive relationship with the dentist.

After learning all of this information, my greatest concern is still with Nathan's speech and his ability to make certain sounds.  I asked the doctor if we could bond the current tooth that is still pretty tight with the one next to it, so we can save it for as long as possible.  Hopefully, just long enough to learn how to produce those sounds and then let it fall out.  She said, no we couldn't because she believes the tooth is just too detached from the root for it to be successful.  I also asked if it were possible to put artificial teeth in his mouth until he could learn to speak.  Yes, but again, she didn't think it was going to work for Nathan because 1. they would have to cement a retainer to back teeth that he may not want to tolerate, 2. Nathan wouldn't sit that long, and 3. he may pull them out.

I'm not satisfied with having no options.  We're going to seek a second opinion next week, when Dr. Jason returns from vacation.  We're also going to discuss sealing his molars to prevent decay.  Nathan has appointments scheduled every three months for a while, so I'll keep you posted on any new developments.  Thanks for stopping by. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's A Hard-KNOCK Life For Us...

You don't always have to live in a fictional orphanage to wonder why life is so hard sometimes. Or wonder why some children are chosen to live in a perpetual state of challenges while others are left unscathed. 

This blog post was suppose to be about the great hair cut Nathan received at SnipIts, located in 20 Mall in Guilderland.  It was suppose to introduce you to a salon that not only specializes in entertaining and cutting just children's hair, but to also inform you that the salon owner has an 8-year old son with Ds, so they get it.  They were amazing ~ blowing bubbles, singing to him, and just loving him.  All while he was throwing a classic Nathan hair cut hissy fit.  I even took a few before and after pictures.   


Without a doubt, we will return to SnipIts for Nathan's hair cuts. They were beyond wonderful with him and so patient. There are a few of you out there (Nicole and Grammy) who have had the pleasure of experiencing a Nathan hair-cut-hissy-fit, so you know that having the assistance of anyone is greatly appreciated.  Not that it makes it emotionally easier for either of us. 

However, had I known this picture was going to be the last one Nathan would take with ALL OF HIS TEETH, I would have snapped a thousand of them. 

On Monday, at around 1:10PM, I received a phone call from Nathan's special education teacher because he apparently tripped or fell in the classroom and hit his face on a wooden step stool.  He was ok, but it appeared that his front tooth had come loose because it was crooked. (Nice. Oh, shit.)

Luckily, I was already on my way to pick him up and when I arrived he was sitting happily in the kitchen eating a green Popsicle and reading an Elmo book.  It took at a nanosecond to see that his top front tooth indeed had come loose ~ very loose. 

Once we got into the car, I started calling every dentist I could think of to see Nathan.  I called Jason Decker's Office and because Nathans not their patient, they wouldn't take him right away, but would schedule a new patient visit the next afternoon.  How nice.   Next, I called my own dentist ~ Dr. Lyons.  His secretary again informed me that he doesn't usually see new emergency patients not even 4-year olds.  Great.  My won dentist won't see my kid.  However, to his credit, he did call me back to tell me there was little he could do for Nathan, and that we might want to consider calling an orthopedic surgeon to have the tooth removed. Super.

Next call, the surgeon who doesn't take patients as young as Nathan and they have no idea who does.  I was really batting a thousand here.  So, you ask ~ why didn't I bring Nathan to his own dentist?  Because I couldn't remember who that was!!  It had been so long ago that I took him there that I couldn't recall his name and, as I told Dr. Decker's office, he reminded me of John Wayne Gacy, the American serial killer of teenage boys.  My son was never going back there.  And, that's the truth.  He even looked like him.  But, this was an emergency, so I tried calling every pediatric dentist I could think of on Western Ave, because that's about the only thing I remember.  No luck. 

I was seriously getting nowhere and had a little boy with a big problem.  Then, I remembered we know someone in the dental field ~ Jeff McMinn!  He was my cousin's next door neighbor growing up, a fellow instructor at HVCC. I sent him a message on facebook and then called his mom, who gave me his cell number and within minutes he called me back.  He agreed to see Nathan after his scheduled patients, to be sure he was ok.  Thank God!!  Someone actually cares about my son and the tooth that's about to fall out of his mouth.

As Nathan and I were walking down the stairs his tooth fell out. 

We went anyway.  BTW, someone told me to put the tooth in milk because they heard it could be put back in.  Yeah, I didn't try it. Could you imagine me walking into the dentist office with Nathan's tooth in milk? lol. 

Anyway, Jeff needed an x-ray of Nathan's tooth because the tooth literally broke off and he wanted to make sure there weren't any fragments left in his gums.  As you could probably imagine, a mouth x-ray was about to go over about as well as a hair cut.  So, we tried to make him comfortable and the machine became a giant microphone. 

 He is so cute! Pisses me off that he has to go endure so much.
Look at those cheeks!

We ultimately got the x-ray, but it wasn't without a fight.  What that x-ray showed and what we uncovered at our dentist appointment the next day is still sinking in.  We're anger, hurt, and scrambling to help him.

Stay tuned.....I'm out of time today.