Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dentistry from the Heart Conclusion

Noah said two Noah-isms this week that I have to tell you about.
First, before church on Sunday he says, "Dad, I can't wait to go to heaven."
I said, "Really, Noah, why?"
He looks at me like I am kinda stupid and says, "So I can be a Superhero"
And second, yesterday we were watching the movie SpyMate and one scene took place in Japan.
They were going to a hotel and got checked into their room. So they left their car with a valet, got their bags taken from a porter, got checked in the hotel by the guy behind the counter. And after he saw the third or fourth guy that helped this family he says, "Man that guy is everywhere." I am laughing so hard writing this because you see he thought all the Japanese guys were the same actor (because to him they all looked the same...if I have to explain it to you, it loses its effect).
Man that is good stuff.
And you can't laugh because he is dead serious. But the adults just look at each other and it is everything they can do not to just lose it.

Okay Dentistry from the Heart

6 am and it is dark out and our parking lot is full with people.
The line of people begins to move outside of the parking lot.
This was the last time I actually went outside.
It was a glorious day. So many things to tell you that it is hard to start. But one thing that I got out of the day was people's ability to serve exceeded my expectations.
I am telling you people were tired. People were on empty, and they still were smiling. They saw the need and found another gear. I was moved by my staff that was here at 5 am and still dancing and laughing at 4 pm. I was moved by some dentists that showed up and said, "I am here. I will stay as long as you need me and you can use me how ever you want."
We worked with two middle-aged woman who saw the sign and came in the office and said that they wanted to help. They had no dental experience. They were not even patients. They just wanted to help.
I was inspired by the companies that wanted in.
Patterson gave all the supplies. CAPTEK sent us a check to cover the cost of the incidental. And it was a nice check.
Chilis sent over a bunch of food for lunch.
There is a guy from my church that owns a nursery (plants). He heard about what we do, and he wanted to get involved. I asked him if he would be interested in putting something together for the volunteers. He was so into what we were doing that he put together 40 baskets of 8 flowers.
(I put in a photo a volunteer holding one of these baskets).
And the list goes on. We had an oral surgeon come that every year he starts the day off with, "John, thank you so much for having me."
Some of the jobs this day are not what you call glamorous. We have a sterilization room that is about 8x10. Usually it is big enough for what we do on a day-to-day basis. But for DFTH it is tight. We have a Statim and an autoclave with some ultrasonic cleaners. On DFTH we borrow an industrial-sized Statim and a regular-sized one. So now the room is packed with sterilizers, and then we put three people in the room just cranking equipment out all day. It gets really hot and the fumes are enough to get you a bit high.
But the women that were in there brought a boom box, put up a sign that said, CLUB STERILE and they dance all day long.
We had 5 pre-dental students here that want to be dentists. They are from the local Pre-ASDA chapter at UCF. They were our runner boys. They threw out trash. They vacuumed the floors.
What can I say, it was awesome.
About noon time we had a patient that is a DJ come, and he brought his van and speakers and cranked it up for about 5 hours. He brings a microphone and entertains.
The 7-11 manager from across the street brought over Hot Dog and Drink coupons just to keep the spirit of giving alive.
As far as the people, well the stories can be overwhelming sometimes. A woman from an hour away slept in her car just to get a filling done and to have her 8-year-old daughter checked out.
We saw lots of multiple extraction cases. The oral surgeon stayed until 2pm, and he had taken out 75 teeth.
We saw 125 people on Friday. Even though the number was down slightly from last year, I know we did more dentistry than last year. We worked about an hour and a half more than last year. I want to say that we did about $60,000 to $70,000 in dentistry in one day. WOW.
The patients were very thankful for all of our work. They kind of formed a community out in the rain and the cold. They came in and left with smiles on their faces (on the way out it was a crooked smile but a smile none the less).
I think everyone got something out of it.
You always hear people say when they come back from a mission trip that they went to change the people of X but it turns out the people of X changed me.
Well I think in this case we were both changed.
I think on all fronts our eyes were opened. The patient's eyes were opened to the caring nature of our profession and the dentists and the volunteers eyes were opened to the need that is out there and the joy of giving a little piece of themselves.

God was definitely smiling on Apopka last Friday.

Talk to you next week,
Have a great weekend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great stuff. It is a good thing to help others out.


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