Thursday, March 13, 2014

Down in the Mouth

It's hard to say whether the loose front tooth caused the strep throat,
but their joint arrival will always seem suspicious to me.

Scott's front tooth has been dangling for over a week. And you know that he has had his hands in his mouth, wiggling that thing around. And you know those hands have been dragged through all sorts of fabulous germs at school and around town. So it was no real surprise when he announced one evening that he had a very sore throat.

It hurt to eat. The poor guy sat at the dinner table and sobbed, his throat was so sore. It hurt to think about eating. Playing games on the tablet helped soothe the pain, but the moment he stopped that and sat at the table he was overwhelmed. He hated opening wide so that we could get a look at his throat. I kept asking him to open wider because I couldn't see his throat very well. Then I realized it was hard to see because his tonsils were so swollen that they were in the way.

The next morning R had an appointment that she really couldn't miss, so I took the kids to the doctor. Katie was slow to get ready until I said that we were going to watch the doctor do all kinds of tests on Scotty. She suddenly snapped to life and grabbed her jacket. Morbid curiosity, I suppose.

At the doctor's office they fought over the elevator buttons a bit. Finally they agreed that Scott could push the inside buttons on the way up if Katie could push them on the way back down. Whoever wasn't on inside-button-duty would get outside buttons. We had to sit in the exam room for a while, and R joined us while we waited. She started up a game of I-Spy to pass the time. Most things in that room were grey, white or black, except for Scott's Spiderman pajamas (you can wear PJs to the doctor when you're sick). On my final turn, I said that I spied something that was "red, swollen and sore."

Scott: "It's in my mouth."

They weighed him at 50 pounds. They peeked in his ear. The nurse and doctor both commented how swollen his glands and tonsils were. He nearly gagged as they swabbed his throat, and he bravely held back the tears just below the surface. In the end he was rewarded with a superhero sticker. And Katie got one too.

A day or two later was Saturday, and I told Scott we should take care of that tooth. For previous teeth, Scott had used a paper towel to help get a good grip on the tooth and had just yanked it out himself. He tried that again without success. I distinctly remember my Dad pulling out the needle-nose pliers to help some stubborn teeth when I was a kid. I told Scott that we could do the same. He seemed hopeful, so I handed him the pliers.

He gave it a pretty honest effort and even drew a little blood, but the pliers kept slipping off the tooth before he could quite yank it out. He preferred to do it himself, so I never got to try, which is probably better anyway. For his efforts, he got a piece of McIntosh toffee. I hoped his tooth would stick in the toffee but it was too wobbly to bite into it enough to stick.

The strep throat has now passed, but the tooth remains. Where will it take us next?

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