From Diane MacBeth
Hi, Tom & Sherry! Hope all is well.
Right now, Robbie is in need of a little help. Last year when I put out a
distress signal, I was overwhelmed with the response for help. His knee injury
of 10/2/06 is completely healed and we needed no orthopedic surgery. All of the
rehab was done at home. That's a story for another day!
But the struggle for special needs adults is still the struggle for complete and
caring dental care. Robbie's first brush with dental surgery was in 1989 when he
was 13 years
old. The wonderful ENT at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia combined
tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy with the dental team at Children's and he had 2
teeth extracted and 4 root canals with caps. . YES, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. And
this was DAY SURGERY!!!! The miracle of Tylenol with codeine got him through the
pain for about 3 or 4 days and he was off and running.
I am not sure if all children and adults have the same reactions when it comes
to dentistry, but Robbie is a complete dental phobic. He cannot even sit in a
dentist chair without breaking out in a sweat. . . .last year when we went for a
'friendly' visit with my personal dentist, he nearly had a heart attack in the
chair just sitting under the huge light. And let's not even bring any type of
stainless steel surgical tools into the room. . He gets the strength of 10 men
and gets up and leaves!!!
About 8 months ago I thought I had found a wonderful place (which shall remain
nameless) at Temple Hospital in North Philadelphia. To make a long story short,
it was a total chamber of horrors. . .
They WALKED Robbie down a long dark hallway into an operating room which
was not even cleaned up from the last patient! I'll spare you the rest of the
details. No, he was NOT EVEN OFFERED PRE-SEDATION!!!!! But, at this writing. .
.one of those metal caps from 1989 has broken off leaving the nerve in his tooth
exposed and him with nowhere to go for help.
Believe me, there are tons of caring dentists here in this part of PA, but
because of the insurance nightmare of Keystone Mercy - none are able to help
-BECAUSE HE IS OVER THE AGE OF 21. Sad, isn't it. So, I guess this is what I
need. . .A SMALL MIRACLE FOR ROBBIE. If there is anyone out there, ANYONE who
has a connection with a dental SURGEON with access to a full hospital setting
who is willing to help us? If so, I may be able to persuade the insurance
company to work along with me so that Robbie can be relieved of his pain. He has
had absolutely NO DENTAL work done in almost 20 years. Remarkably, he has had no
cavities to speak of and has NEVER COMPLAINED about a toothache. Not even with
this incident. . it presented itself as swollen glands and ear pain.
The family doctor cleared him today of an ear infection, but has him on an
antibiotic because of the exposed nerve and breakage of the tooth.
Is there anyone out there with a a child or adult with Downs who has had similar
experience with dental phobia? Are there any dental surgeons out there with whom
I could speak who may be willing to point me in the right direction? I am open
Robbie is such a great 'kid'. He will be 32 in May. . .I can't believe it. And
those doctors said he wouldn't make it to see age 2!
I give you full permission to post my letter and I'll accept any and all
Please email all responses to:
Please use: Robbie
Dental in the subject line so that I'll know it's not spam! Thanks!
All of our children deserve the best that medicine has to offer and I know there
ARE people out there who can help. . I JUST NEED TO FIND YOU!
Thanks so much and I'll keep you posted.
God Bless and keep you in His care!
Diane L. Macbeth ~ Romans 8:28