Thursday, July 7, 2011

When a toothache reduces me to tears

Dolly and Dude had their dentist appointments today. Both did well given the circumstances. I think dentists are scary for a lot of kids.

Fortunately, Dude's teeth look fine. He was given a clean bill of health.

Dolly on the other hand is a different story. Even I could see the huge gaping holes in her teeth. She's been complaining of pain since she came into care. It hurts her to eat most of the time. The dentist did a quick exam and let me know that he will be scheduling her for a hospital procedure to fix everything. She's young. The decay is extensive. And she is uncooperative.

So, just like Pumpkin, I have to get a judge to OK the procedure. Thankfully court is Monday so we should get everything taken care of then.

I called Dolly's CPS worker to let her know and double check to see exactly what paperwork they need from me prior to the procedure. Because we haven't had court yet, our worker is still the one that handled the removal. Because the case will switch departments within CPS on Monday at court, our current worker directed me to the new SW that will be taking over.

I called the new worker while I was still in the car on the way home from the dentist. On a positive note, she answered her cell right away. (I like workers that answer their phones!) She said she needs a letter explaining the amount of damage and what the dentist is planning on doing (caps, extractions, etc.). Then she muttered something along the lines of, "Send me that letter as soon as you can. Email or fax would be fine. We can take care of it at court on Monday. We can get Mom for medical neglect too."

I shuddered a bit at that.

Yes, Mom is responsible for the fact that Dolly's teeth are so rotted away. But it sounds so callous to say we can "get" her for something else too. I guess I'm still so new at this that the realities of the system still smack me upside the head sometimes.

I brought Dolly and Dude home and tried to feed them lunch. Despite the fact that they seemed "fine", both kids were quite out of sorts from the dentist appointment. Neither child wanted to eat. Then Dolly started crying and holding her mouth.

She cried and cried.

I grabbed her up and held her on the couch for awhile. But, as she sat up and pushed away from me after a few minutes, it became apparent that the crying had deeper meaning. Yes, her teeth hurt. But there are bigger hurts she's feeling and they started pouring out. She didn't want to sit on my lap. She didn't want to be comforted. And she kept crying harder and harder.

I couldn't give her more medicine for the pain. I had given her Tylenol before the appointment and it hadn't been four hours yet. She asked for medicine and I had to tell her no.

When her brother decided to join the crying party I scooped them both up and determined it was nap time. As I held Dolly in her bed and prayed over the children, I joined her in the crying. She just wants me to fix things. Despite the children asking for Mommy repeatedly, I don't seem to be able to come through on that one. I keep saying, "Mommy is bye bye" over and over. So Dolly asked for medicine because her teeth hurt. I couldn't do that for her either. I felt so helpless.

Foster care sucks.


MamaFoster said...

i have been there. they cry because they need to cry and honestly...trying to get them to stop probably isn't helping them emotionally. I have made that mistake a lot.

as an adult, i often feel better after a good long cry. when i have spilled everything out by crying i feel relieved. i think they do too.

Anonymous said...

Yes. It does.

jendoop said...

I've been out of the loop because of the move. Sorry about this, it is a lot to deal with.

"Getting" Mom is a good thing. You know how hard it is to protect a child, everything has to be documented and prosecuted so that the children can be protected. It isn't necessarily about getting Mom, as much as it is about preventing it from happening again. Put that sadness and responsibility where it belongs - on their mother.