Tomorrow morning my son is having his wisdom teeth out. They have been bothering him for months but the oral surgeon was delayed due to the shut down for the pandemic and then there was a backlog once they opened back up so, it has taken this long to reach surgery day. Due to his anxiety and sensory issues, they will be sedating him for the procedure.
I am fucking terrified. He is my only child and the center of my Universe. But I am unable to indulge my anxiety right now.
I have to suck it up and be the parent. Which means I have to project calm to help keep his anxiety in check.
He is also scared, but the pain is helping him be resolute about needing this to happen.
How does an anxious person keep another anxious person calm? Years of practice.
I’ve always believed that as the parent it was my job to remain calm no matter what was going on. If I am calm, I have a much better chance of keeping my kid calm. If I lose my shit, he will lose his as well.
I grew up in an emotionally abusive home so I learned to bury my emotions very early in life. This serves me well in situations like this. I can be falling apart on the inside, but nothing shows on the outside. Except for the occasional eye twitch.
Today is all about keeping him from letting his anxiety run rampant. He needs to be distracted. We have been watching movies. We played a board game. He’s streaming an episode of a show while talking to a friend right now which gives me a short break to write.
I’m letting him set the schedule, but also making sure to move things along. The worst thing would be for him to wallow. All that will do is jack up his anxiety. Give the mind of an anxious person time to wander around and it will go to a stressful place.
Today we had lunch from one of his favorite places delivered. We’ve made plans for another favorite place as soon as his mouth has healed enough.
He’s not thrilled about having to be on a soft food diet for a while. Today’s lunch was really just to make him happy. The future plans are to give him something to look forward to.
It also serves to remind his anxiety that this is not forever. There will be some pain after the surgery, though he’s in so much pain right now that it will be different but probably not worse. He needs to focus on it being temporary and then the pain will be gone and life will return to normal. Well, as normal as possible during a pandemic.
He is getting tenser as the day wears on. Tonight will be very long. I hope I can get him to get some sleep. I doubt I will sleep tonight, but the appointment will be a lot worse for me. Once he arrives, they will knock his ass out and he will sleep through it all. I will get to sit in the waiting room after they take him in and have every worst-case scenario blast through my head on repeat until they tell me he has woken up and is okay. The dentist said it should take no more than an hour. It will be one of the longest hours of my life.