On the blog written last night I said “Tomorrow we are taking him (Ti Luc) to St Marc to see a dentist, in hopes something can be done. ”

We did indeed take Ti Luc to St. Marc to see a dentist this morning. I had no idea if or what might be able to be done but was feeling desperate to find help for Ti Luc’s ongoing bleeding mouth and to save his front permanent tooth.

I don’t think I can properly put into words how it was, how I felt, how Luckner felt, and how poor Ti Luc felt and suffered. I, however, am going to try.

We went hoping for help for him. It was not to be. The dentist tried to help by doing what he knew – what he could – but which scared me half to death.

We were put into a room, which felt like a matchbox, about 3 ft x 3 ft, where he had Luckner place Ti Luc in the chair. Dental chair? Consultation? What is that? The dentist left the room, returned with a needle – skinny and long in his hand. He tried to open Ti Luc’s mouth. I hear myself speaking saying something to the effect to hold on, what and why. Luckner, too, was asking what he was going to do. He was going to freeze the mouth so he could try to pull the tooth back into place. Okay. That is what I was hoping could happen – hoping the tooth could be saved. Ti Luc was looking terrified but when papa Luckner held him tightly he felt better. The dentist put the needle in three times, no problem there. That made sense to me. Each time, however, he pulled it out to put in again the needle bent – a little more each time – so that he was having trouble inserting it again and getting it to go where he was aiming. Finally having accomplished what he could with what he had – he put the pliers to the tooth to try and move it down into place. So far so good. Then out comes the tooth completely, and naturally, blood everywhere. I was in tears. He said he would be putting the tooth back into place and it would hold. Yeah sure, and I was born in 2010 too!!! If we were at a dentist in Canada I would have lots of faith and hope! I, however, had none whatsoever there today. What I had was fear for my boy and regrets that I had gone. The word that was in my mind today was ‘barbaric’.

At the dentist

The dentist then left the ‘matchbox’ room returning with a curved sewing needle and something long (some kind of thread). He placed Ti Luc’s tooth in his mouth and said he would be sewing it in place. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Luckner and I were trying to hold Ti Luc. The dentist was jamming that big dull needle up into Ti Luc’s gums like someone sewing up a soccer ball. The little bit of freezing in Ti Luc’s mouth had worn off and he wailed in pain. He had to get Ti Luc’s head in an awkward position closer to him so he could see in his mouth.

Ti Luc at the dentist office

Papa Luckner was leaning over Ti Luc holding him in position. I was leaning over Luckner’s back holding unto Ti Luc’s hands and trying to not let him see me cry but encourage him. The big problem with that was my eyes kept overflowing with tears even though I was speaking encouraging words. Papa Luckner held him and encouraged him, but a lot of the time had to look elsewhere. He could not watch his boy suffer so. I felt like Ti Luc was holding on by looking into mama’s eyes. But he kept saying “Papa, papa, papa”. At one point I had to run out into the street to take a deep breath and return to help hold and encourage him again. All the while the ‘huge and very dull looking needle’ kept going in and out to sew the tooth in place and Ti Luc suffered greatly. After awhile, Luckner told him our boy could not take another minute – he was suffering too much as the freezing had worn off too quickly. The dentist started getting upset thinking we were accusing him. He started arguing with Luckner and not paying enough attention to what he was doing to Ti Luc. Luckner tried ignoring the tirade of the dentist and focused on encouraging Ti Luc instead, while I asked the dentist to pay attention to Ti Luc and get if finished.

My poor suffering little boy

When we got out of there Ti Luc was shaking but relieved. Luckner ran to a pharmacy to get the meds the dentist recommended, one being an antibiotic (which I would definitely have given anyway) seeing what I had seen there today.

Just walked out of dentist office

We had gone in separate vehicles as I had to go to bank first, and Luckner needed to try and find some cement for the school kitchen construction. Ti Luc wanted his papa but settled for curling up next to Richard, our security guard, who had driven with Ti Luc and I. We got him home as quickly as possible.

Once home I quickly had Ti Luc lying on a mattress in my room. I was very close by, and within a short time I heard a scream and turned to see blood and that the tooth had moved down somewhat. I think perhaps Ti Luc’s hand had involuntarily hit his mouth. I sat with him for a very long time – holding his hands and telling him stories. I went for water and heard another scream – only to see the tooth had moved again on its way out.

By then I could do nothing – but cry and hold him. Luckner had arrived on the compound with a few sacks of, badly needed, cement and came running up to see Ti Luc. He took over. He encouraged Ti Luc, held him and removed the tooth. We had to give up on the idea of saving the boy’s tooth. He now has a big hole in the front of his mouth with a lot of ugly thread, some not so tiny holes from that needle, and a swollen face, but is finally doing better and has fallen asleep.

I wanted to try and save the tooth but could not. The tooth is big and long and is now sitting in a little medicine cup. I failed to save it in his mouth. Ti Luc decided he wants to save it now a different way.

All that suffering and the tooth is in a cup

Ti Luc is one precious and tough little boy. Luckner and I know that not one of our other children here at HATS could stand what Ti Luc did today. Absolutely could not. Luckner and I are both very proud of him.

Now to the adoption subject. We have a plan for Luckner to go to Port au Prince tomorrow morning. He plans to go to the office of the present lawyer who is, supposed to be, working on the paperwork for Ti Luc, and ask for the receipt that was given him when he deposited the papers at the social services office. With that receipt in hand he will then go talk with a lady lawyer who is willing to take over and try to get it finished. There will be another legal fee to pay for her services but since some of the work is done it will be less than before. Luckner will take half the money she asked for (correction – half of what she agreed to when speaking with him) to her tomorrow and I will pay her the rest when things are finished.
Do I dare hope once again???

Thank you for your ongoing support of prayer and encouragement in every way for Ti Luc. Hopefully the day will come when I can bring him to Canada for a visit and many of you will get to meet him in person.

It truly is ” ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN ” and Ti Luc is one of those ‘special’ children.

Love and blessings,

~Karen and Ti Luc