Friday was just another of our days in the operating room. But that day it all began to get to me.
Sometimes being a dentist and caring is an absurdity. Bizarre that if I don’t cause some pain there is no way to help things get better. Cynicism is hard to avoid. Last week, I think I either cared too much and started to despair or I was extremely cynical I’m not sure which.
By the end of the day on Friday I was feeling absolutely drained, pessimistic and was kind of losing hope that I could make any difference in kids lives. The morning in the OR really got to me. Usually, I feel fairly good about getting a lot of work done on a child that really needs it. But Friday, I just felt tired and a lot like my efforts to accomplish something were futile. The whole week was filled with little hurting kids and they just seem to keep on coming!
First case: sixteen teeth…..too many to need out at three years old. She really was a little sweetie. Cleft lip and palate, tiny little thing.
Second case: nine permanent teeth …still way too many and three of them front teeth. And he was not cute or nice. Probably never will be. He awoke from the anesthetic screaming, kicking and fighting to keep his head off the pillow. Refused to lie down and spit blood over everyone. Of course, there was no one there that he knew and he didn’t know a lot of English. That would be pretty scary by itself but to wake up with a mouth sore and not really comprehending all that had to be done don’t really blame him.
And the other kids I’d done under sedation earlier in the week , plus several new consultations for kids just too much like these two OR cases … Seems there will never be an end to it.
I am sick of taking out teeth on little kids and bigger kids that should never have gotten into such a state of disease. Sick of taking out all the teeth on a child that should be smiling and happy and beautiful. Sick of trying to help when the child’s own parents hardly seem to care. I am tired of seeing children who have been hurt by the neglect of their parents. Tired of seeing parents give a child a bottle of cola in order to keep the child quiet. I’m tired of seeing a child who at eleven can’t manage to sit in the chair and have treatment done because he is the victim of poor parenting(or none) or his brain has been damaged by a mother who could not abstain from alcohol while pregnant.
Life just seems so unfair to some kids!
I guess if God has put me in a position to do even a small thing to help these little guys I’d better give it my best effort.