A few weeks ago, Kaitlyn started complaining about tooth pain. She had just been to the dentist and had two cavities filled. (I like to think that we had a good excuse -- all that juice given for lows at night!) For a couple of days, I kind of ignored her complaining and kept telling her that I bet it would start feeling better soon. It didn't start feeling better, and at a closer look, we realized that she had a tooth coming in behind her front, bottom teeth. The baby tooth that was sitting in front of it wasn't going anywhere! She wiggled and wiggled, but it wouldn't budge. The tooth behind it was coming in more and more every day, and the tooth wasn't getting any looser. Finally, we decided we better go to the dentist to get it pulled.
Each time we were at the dentist, first for the cavities and then for the tooth pulling, Kaitlyn was so brave! The dentist was so impressed with how well she did. She didn't even flinch when she was given a numbing shot. She held so still even when her teeth were being twisted and yanked from her mouth. Even I cringed a little bit as I watched the dentist wrestle it out -- it was a lot bigger than I expected! We were talking about diabetes a little bit as the dentist was working, and she wondered if maybe Kaitlyn was doing so well because she was so used to getting pokes and pricks on a daily basis. I hadn't thought about it before, but I agreed that it must be the case. Getting vaccine shots from the pediatrician or getting a numbing shot at the dentist doesn't seem like such a big deal when you deal with handling diabetes every day.
I also loved that the dentist was concerned with how Kaitlyn's blood sugar was doing. Each time we were there, she remembered to ask me if I had checked Kaitlyn to make sure she was okay. I'm really glad I did too, because I certainly wouldn't have been able to tell how she was doing by her facial expressions. She was completely covered with a mask, movie glasses, hands, instruments and gauze. I kept thinking… type 1 diabetes is a part of everything we do -- even going to the dentist!
About the author: My name is Kim. My daughter Kaitlyn (the third of our five children) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few years after my nephew James was diagnosed with the same disease. I'm excited to pair up with my sister-in-law, Jen, to share our story with you!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.
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