Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Soul Needs Some Chicken Soup

I write to you so, so depressed. If you don't like sports you can skip this next part.

If you have read my blog before you know I am a huge Gator fan. My Gators came within milliseconds of going to the pinnacle of college basketball - the Final Four.
We were winning the game by 11 points in the second half. I think we were winning by 8 points with only 6 seconds to go. We grabbed a defeat out of the hands of victory.

I am so depressed. I was inconsolable after the game on Saturday. I still have a pit in my stomach today. It is going to take me awhile to get over this one. We were so close.

Man, that sucked. And now I have to watch two teams play that I think we are better than. I might not even watch. Thank God I have that wedding to go to to keep my mind off baskeball for a couple of hours.

Anyway, this week is Spring Break for the kids. And one thing they have done to pass the time (Monday it rained ALL DAY) is watch all the The Cosby Show reruns on Netflix. Occassionally, I will sit with them and watch it. Let me tell you, that show is great. Funny, family-oriented, wholesome. Not a bit of that on TV anymore.

I watched The Fighter this weekend. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed. This movie won all sorts of awards. I thought the acting was very good but the story was just not that good. It was goo,d but certainly not movie of the year.

I wanted just to tell you of some crazy patients that I have come across in the last couple of years. You know, a humorous interlude to this blog. I have a couple of patients in mind that should make you laugh, or at least snicker. As the staff and I sit in the lunch room and talk about our morning, lots of times we laugh about our situations. And I mean belly laugh with tears welling up in our eyes. I guess when you are dealing with people every once in awhile you come across some funny people. I don't mean to make fun of people but...

Patient #1
We have a man in our practice that we have nicknamed Sobbing Sam. He came to us originally because he needed a new dentist. Come to find out that he had recently broke up with his girlfriend who was a hygienist at his old dental office. Now, when I say recent, I mean a couple of weeks ago. Apparently he was still upset. He spent part of the New Patient Experience fighting back tears. He broke down a couple of times during our interview, but a couple of days later when he came for his cleaning appointment, he could not hold it back. He was a mess.

He was crying so much that my hygienist was drying the water out of his ears. This is a 50-year-old man crying like a baby in the chair. She finally said, "You have got to pull yourself together and let her go man. Come on, buck up." Women will do this to you.

Patient #2
I was seeing this woman who was referred by an old patient. The woman, also 50 years old, had an unrestorable tooth that needed to come out. Now, I am 42 years old and my dad is a dentist, so I have always had decent experiences. I know how past experiences can make people apprehensive at a place like this, but some people take this to an extreme.

She needed nitrous, which is not uncommon. But she asked if her mom could come into the room and hold her hand while she was getting this procedure done. While she was getting this done, holding her mom's hand, she asked my assistant if she would hold her other hand.

The extraction went without any issues, but after it was over she completely broke down. She was strapped to the nitrous nosepiece wanting a hug from her 75 year old mother while she was crying, saying something about "I miss my grandmother."

How do people become like this? These two are not alone. How does a 50 year old woman need her mother to get dental work done? I am having a hard time telling you these stories and trying not to sound like a guy who doesn't care about his patients, because I do. I don't have a problem with the dentist but I really don't like going to the doctor. Not because of pain but because they have to stick their fingers in uncomfortable places. But I still go and just deal with it. I don't need my wife to go and I certainly don't need my mom to go.

Pain is so relative. So many people fear shots, and it is an unhealthy fear. A fear that once was a "I hate going" transforms into this crying "I need my mommy fear." I get people in here that haven't been to the dentist in THIRTY YEARS because they had a bad experience when they were 7 years old. First of all, it was probably because you were seven and wouldn't sit still because you had to go to the bathroom. And I am pretty sure things have changed in the last 30 years for the better.

This fear is so irrational. I mean does it hurt sometimes, yes, but the pain from a needle injection might be ONE MINUTE. People let this a tooth fester for 3 years because they fear a one minute needle injection? That is irrational.

Just a couple more.
I was a young dentist and was not very accustomed to ways of the elderly. For instance, I didn't know what a wig looked like or why elderly people wore wigs. But one time, I went to put safety googles on an older woman and pushed her wig off her head.

Or when a hard of hearing elderly patient wants to tell you, in a really loud voice, about how his stool is coming out like a pencil. As a young dentist this stuck with me. Talk about traumatizing for 50 years.

I love working on people and I get a lot of laughs from it. I love knowing people and their lives and I love telling them about mine. One time I had a patient that was going through a nasty divorce and they were both patients. The husband came in and was up at the front desk and could see his soon to be ex-wife in the parking lot waiting for him.

He asked us to call the cops because he truly feared for his life. That was an exciting day, when the cops come to shake down a middle-aged woman who we think is packing, getting ready to off her husband in your parking lot.

Well, that is it for now. I am sure there are tons more funny stuff that I can't think of right now. My mind is still in a funk over the basketball game. I am so depressed I can't even write well. Cheer me up by telling me your stories of funny things happened to you. I am looking forward to it.

Thanks for listening. Have a great week and I will talk to you on Friday. I will try to shake myself out of my funk.



kaz said...

come on john, you've got football still. spring practice is right around the corner. as a wise woman once said: You have got to pull yourself together and let her (it) go man. Come on, buck up." ;)

gatordmd said...

Sobbing Sam was being a wuss. Me I am crying for real reasons.

I have 8 awesome days in my life. the four days my children were born and the four days I found out the Gators were going to the Final Four.

I almost had one more....if we could hit one fricking shot in the last 3 minutes of that fricking game.

You just don't understand


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