Monday, February 15, 2010

It's Not Me, It's You.

I took Luke and Emily to see the dental nurse today. Em was due for a check-up and Luke hadn't been before as he didn't have any teeth! So off we went this morning. I had let the nurses know that Luke has Ds when I made the appointment, and said I had some concerns that he was missing some teeth. I said I wanted someone with experience with children with Ds, and if not, a referral to someone who was in the know. The lady assured me that the nurse was very experienced, and would refer me on if there were any problems.

So in we went this morning. Emily got the all clear, and was rapt with 2 stickers, a new toothbrush, and a necklace made in the shape of a butterfly which the nurses had made using dental supplies. I loved them too when I was a kid.

Luke was up next. He stayed in the buggy and the nurse had a quick look in his mouth. She agreed that the teeth alongside the middle two in the bottom row were probably missing, and said she believed this was common for 'Down syndrome kids'. She went on to say a few more things about 'Down syndrome kids' before I told her (as nicely as I could manage) that Luke was not a 'Down syndrome' but was a boy. He happened to have Ds but he is mainly just a little boy. The nurse blinked then kept talking. She said that the missing teeth were probably not a big deal, and then when I said something about braces, she said Luke probably could not have braces because it would be too difficult.

I just looked at her. The woman was not saying it would be difficult for any medical reason, but difficult because Luke would be difficult. The little boy who to date has been the easiest of my three children. Who had a blood test this morning, and only let out a little growl of frustration because they were holding onto his arm.

So the mama bear came out. "If Luke needs braces, he will have braces, just like my other children." They looked at me with pity. What is with these ladies? They are probably congratulating themselves for handling me so well. And I just want to slap them.

So I'm sorry to break this to you ladies, but it's not me, it's you. And all those like you, who only see that extra chromosome and miss all the beauty it holds. And man am I sick of people like you.


Monica Crumley said...

OH, I'd be so angry! I'm proud of you for standing up to her and saying something... FIRST about Luke being a boy first (I wonder if she got it), and why on earth couldn't he have braces? I've seen many kids w/ Ds have braces eventually. I mean, why not? How sad that she really doesn't have a clue! You're awesome! Keep up the good fight. Oh, and darling photos! I have yet to bring JM to the dentist... it's on my list.

Cheri said...

I tried to comment earlier but it wouldn't let me. Do you see me over here oceans away giving you a standing ovation???? Well, I am!! I am so proud of you for saying what you did! Yuck, just yuck....I hate encounters like the one you had...but so proud of you for handling it beautifully!

Cathal's Mammy said...

oh dear, if you need some extra muscle when it comes time for Luke's braces, give us a call, Cathal is very good at showing off his muscle.

It is so very sad that there are people who still think like this, but you are doing the right thing by challenging them, maybe, you might just have changed someone's way of think (we live in hope:-)

Unknown said...

mel, loved the photo, reminds me of Aidan when we are tickling him and he cant get away! As for the stupid lady.... well what more do i need to say!!

Tara said...

Argh! Sounds like you handled it well, but I hate stuff like that. When people just. don't. get it.