Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Smiles and Frowns

Last week I saw a patient who did NOT want to see me.

(This isn't uncommon, especially in a practice that sees mostly pediatric patients.  Nobody likes shots.)

I'm used to dealing with fear of needles with my patients, and I find that most of the time I can get through the treatment without too much trouble, but this little patient threw me for a loop.

She had had some dental work done a couple of weeks ago and had not appreciated "the pinch," as she called it.  We went through a little song and dance trying to bargain with her--"we'll put extra numbing gel on before the pinch," "we'll give you two toys when you're done," etc...but to no avail.

After about 20 minutes of begging, reasoning, and pleading from her mom, my assistant, and me, she decided she had had enough.  She said (with a huge pout on her face), "I'm not doing it.  And why do you guys even call this place Kool Smiles?  You should call it Kool Frowns!"

I couldn't help myself--I giggled a little as I told her that we do our very best to keep everybody smiling here. 

Here's a little proof that I do make SOME people smile...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bad Day Gone Good

Yesterday was not a good day.

It started being bad the night before when Carter whined/cried from 7 pm to 10 pm instead of sleeping.  This meant that I did NOT wash the bottles, did NOT wash the pump parts, did NOT set out the frozen milk to thaw for the next day, and did NOT put new bibs and burp rags in his diaper bag for the next day.

Normally, Jeffrey would have done all these things for me (because he's a super dad), but he was at the hospital all night on rotation this week.  This made the bad day very, very bad.

"Don't panic," I told myself.  I figured I'd just do all of these things in the morning.

And I did.  But at what cost? 

Carter had to wear the same clothes that he'd worn the day before.  (Sorry, buddy.)  I did not get to have breakfast.  I DID wash the bottles and pump parts, thaw the milk, and re-stock the diaper bag, but I could NOT find my makeup.

Luckily I had some powder and mascara in my car, so I didn't have to go completely bare, but I imagine I ended up looking somewhat like Powder by using only those two cosmetic items. 

Needless to say, I was pretty grouchy by the time I got to work.

But at 10:00 these showed up...

(Caption reads:  Thanks for being such a great mommy!  I love you!  -Carter)

And suddenly my day wasn't so bad anymore!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

2 Months

We've added another month and another balloon!

This boy has learned how to smile, and he beams at us every day (although not for this picture, much to his momma's chagrin).  He simply lights up our lives. 

He's begun to be interested in books, pictures, toys, and funny sounds that his dad and I make to try and cheer him up when he's fussy.  This month his mommy had to go back to work, so he's been staying with his surrogate family, the Hubbards.  He has 3 older siblings over there, and we're hoping that his being the "youngest" over there will help to counteract all the spoiling he gets from being the first grandbaby on both sides of the family.  Our boy is getting bigger and bigger--he's definitely outgrown his newborn sized clothes (I know for sure because I tried to stuff him in one of my favorite outfits the other day and he busted the snaps right off).  There is nothing we love more than spending time with our little guy.

Happy eleventh, sweet boy.

Friday, November 9, 2012

This World Is Not My Home

A rare, serious blog post...

This week in the dental office I was scheduled to do some fillings on a pleasant young lady who I had previously seen for a cleaning.  At her cleaning, she had mentioned that she sometimes had pain in her jaw joint (TMJ) and we had discussed several common causes of jaw pain and treatments for them. 

When she returned for her filling appointment, I began as usual by numbing her mouth and placing a little rubber piece (mouth prop) in her mouth to help her stay open and give her teeth something to rest on.  When I placed the mouth prop she gasped and grabbed her jaw joint in pain.  Quickly, I took the mouth prop out of her mouth and asked her what happened.  She told me that her jaw joint really hurt with the mouth prop in, and then she asked, "Can I speak to you privately?"

I asked the assistant to leave the room and close the door.

Once we were alone, she started to cry as she told me, "I was punched in the face about a month ago.  Do you think that could have caused my jaw pain?"

Big tears continued to fall as (I imagine) she re-lived the moment of abuse in her mind.  I had tears in my eyes as I asked, "Are you safe now?"

She nodded that she was in a safe place now and so we talked for a while about trauma to the TMJ and how we could go about diagnosing if any permanent damage had ben done.  She obviously didn't want to talk about the abuse anymore, but I pressed her one more time to talk as I asked her if she needed help, and reminded her that there were lots of resources available if she needed them.  I told her I would be happy to help in any way I could.  She cried one last tear and brushed it away as she waved off my attempts to help her, saying, "It's fine now.  I'm ok."

I didn't know I would have conversations like these in my dental office, but I should have.  Abuse and neglect lurk everywhere, only surfacing when someone has the courage to speak. 

This week I am reminded:  This world is not my home, I'm just passing through/My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue/The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door/And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Better things to come...  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

La popular vote

Well, it's election day and everyone is talking about who they voted for, when they voted, and where they voted.  I decided to follow the crowd and join in the conversation, so as I was working on a patient's tooth this morning, I asked his mom (who happens to be Mexican*), who was sitting in the room with us, who she thought was going to win the election.

*Her nationality is important to the story, I'm not racist.

She said, "I think Obama."

Not wanting to overstep my professional bounds by displaying my political preferences, I responded with a very non-committal, "You think so, huh?"

It was then that she locked eyes with me and said very sincerely, "Oh, yes.  He has to win.  All the Mexicans are voting for him...and there are a lot of Mexicans."

Thursday, November 1, 2012


The craft bug hit me a few weeks ago so I decided to make Carter an October onesie (because he didn't have ANY October onesies yet--he needed one!). I began my little project as I begin all good projects--looking on google for ideas to steal from other people.
Voila! I found an idea and made it. You can, too. Here's how:
#1--Have a baby.  This is decidedly the hardest part of the project.
#2--Purchase appropriately sized onesie from Hobby Lobby.
#3--Print out stolen internet photo (including copyrighting watermark) and cut into pieces for a template.
#4--Use template to cut out pieces from fabric swatches.
#5--Use fabric glue to attach fabric to onesie
#6--Open onesie, insert baby.  Pose!
And there you have it. One October onesie in 6 steps.
I had a little harder time making Carter's Halloween costume, mostly because I waited until October 31st (yes, that's right, the day of the holiday) AFTER work to begin. Hazards of being a working mom, I guess. There is a chance that his costume was held together solely by hot glue. There is also a chance that I had to hot glue some of the pieces together while he was wearing the costume (please don't take my child away, CPS). **When contestants on Project Runway do that, they always get eliminated. Good thing there is also a chance that he's the cutest little football I've ever Heisman-ed.
We invited over the Cawyers and the Macks and stayed home to give out candy to the kids who came trick or treating. Favorite trick or treater award goes to the three year old who barged into the house as soon as we opened the door and shouted, "TRICK OR TREAT!" Close second to the 5th grader who said trick or treat in a scary vampire voice. Distant third to the trio of junior high girls who dressed as rock, paper, and scissors. Rock had chosen to use a black trashbag filled with foam to make her costume. She lamented at my door, "People keep calling me trash lady."
Happy Halloween!