Friday, May 15, 2009

Laughing and crying

Hey all,
I hope you are having a great week.

I wanted to make you laugh and cry before you went off to play for the weekend.
Dental school was very traumatic for me. And to be honest with you I don't remember too many things. I have this lock down memory and I remember all these weird things from my childhood. I am a real hit at Christmas dinner because I am the "remember that time..." guy.
So saying I don't remember a lot from dental school is kind of strange. I think there is a name for this in psychiatric text books. Maybe post traumatic stress disorder.

I have been racking my brain the last couple of days to remember some stories.
I remembered a couple.
Did anyone ever read a book called House of God? This was book about a guy going through his residency to be a physcian. The House of God was the hospital. It is a great book. It speaks of how they treat patients and how he is thoroughly exhausted most of the time.
But I had a House of God moment one time.
To this day I hate doing dentures. I think it is because of this one incident I had in Removable Prosth in dental school. Dr. Sposetti was her name. I don't know if it was her fault or if my spirit was about to break.
I had spent the night doing my first and only denture wax-up. To all of the non-dentist, this is where if someone needs a denture and the wax-up is the test run. You begin to make the denture and then you place all the teeth in wax instead of acrylic. So if it is wrong you can change it before spending all that time finishing the denture.
So I told you I spent all night. It takes all night because you don't know what the hell you are doing. You are learning on the fly. You ask your classmates and it is like the blind leading the blind.
So I had this wax-up and my patient and we went into the clinic. If you get a teacher worth their salt they will simply say this is wrong let me help you make it right. Dr. Sposetti was not that teacher. I waited for her for over an hour. She then came to me and my patient and looked at it and said, "This is all wrong. Fix it and then come back." Well because I had to wait so long there was no time to change it and have her okay it on this day. So in order for this to be completed we would have to come on another day. So this three hour clinic spot was a big fat waste of time. I was pissed.
I had to apologize to my patient that things didn't work out today and I sent her home.
Let me preface this next part by saying the University of Florida College of Dentistry had the slowest elevators on the earth (and we will challenge any elevator).
And when you are having a bad day or when you need to get somewhere waiting for these things is not something you want to do.
I was upset and was waiting for the elevators and had had enough with this dental school shit.
I just started banging/pounding on the elevator door. I don't think I was screaming but I was definitely screaming inside.
I got into the elevator and just started breaking down. I remember I was crying and was totally spent.
I was embarrassed in front of my patient and my peers. I was tired. I was mad at Dr. Sposetti and her curtness (is this a word) and her unwillingness to help. I was frustrated. I was disillusioned. Sometimes everyone needs a good cry now and then. The problem is I am a dude. Dudes are not suppose to cry like, well... a girl.
This was a tough time in my career. See why I didn't remember anything from dental school.

Okay on to more fun stuff.
Mr. Cain was one of my patients. He was about 75 years old. He was a WWII veteran. He was gunner. I tell you this because he was hard of hearing. So everything he said was loud. He was such a great guy. Nice, friendly, patient and LOUD.
I remember one time we were getting into an elevator together. See we would pick up our patients in the reception area on the first floor and then bring them to which ever clinic you were working in. This particular clinic was on the third floor.
Before we get into the elevator I ask him how he is doing. Well he says I have been under the weather a bit. So we all move into the elevator. He then begins to tell me what is up with his body.
Now everyone is quiet in the elevator and Mr. Cain is practically yelling to me, "I have had an upset stomach this week. And my stool, ooh baby. It is coming out like a pencil." (with hand motions and all)
I am looking right at him and I can see everyone in the elevator hold back laughter.
I tell you this was a dear man. He brought me a whole paper bag full of pecans because he was thinking of me.
I was doing a gold crown on Mr. Cain.. Well if you have ever held a gold crown they are slick as anything, especially if they get wet.
I was getting ready to put it on the tooth and it slipped and down his throat it went.
He jumped from the chair and proceeded to hack and cough as loud as I have ever heard anyone couch in my life. Problem was that we are in a room about the size of your living room. Just think of the clinic as an office with cubicles in it. But the cubicle walls were only half walls. No privacy and if something was going on you could stand up and see almost everyone in the clinic. So Mr. Cain is hacking away trying to upchuck this crown and I can see all my colleagues popping up from their chairs, like groundhogs.
I am standing behind Mr. Cain ready to give him the Heimlich when I heard the best sound in all of dentistry...PING. He spit this crown out in the sink.
I thought I would hug him right there.
I am laughing just writing about it.
I cleaned off the thing and cemented on his tooth. All in a half days work in dental school.
Everyone got a big kick out of my struggles that day.
And by the way it did happen to me again, a patient swallowing a crown. About 10 years ago in our office. It happens. And no we didn't make the dude look for it the next day or anything. We had the impression already we just had the lab make a new one.

I loved that guy Mr. Cain, he was awesome.
Did any of you have a Mr. Cain?
I would like for you to tell me about your Mr. Cain.

Have a good weekend.

Ps Go Magic.


patti said... are such a great story teller! I literally gasped out loud when you said the crown slipped down his throat. Oh LORDAY!!

Anonymous said...

During Junior year one of our responsibilities was to rotate through the Dx clinic, which was new pte intake, FMX, health Hx, etc.,well, one day this very attractive woman came in and as part of the process we take blood pressures. As I was making notes in her chart I asked her to roll up her sweater so I could take her BP, when I turned around she had her sweater rolled right up to her neck, exposing her self from the waist up. I nonchalantly told her that the BP cuffs they gave us to use were only large enough to fit around her arm, so if she could just roll up her sleeve that would work fine. I pulled this off with a straight face and didn't miss a beat.

Anonymous said...

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Oral Health in Portugal

gatordmd said...

Awesome story.
Oh those were the days.
That kind of stuff never happens to me.
Thanks for writing,


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