NEIGHBORS

I have mentioned in previous posts how wonderful my neighbors are. The young man who moved in next door is causing everyone in the neighborhood to consider an updo on their house and yard because he has done so much to his property. His girlfriend is one of the nicest young ladies I have ever met and they are both becoming friends. There has been mutual respect which crosses our fence line on a daily basis. So when I saw the huge pile of dirt on their driveway I knew it wasn’t going to stay there long. (Our HHA is right on the money with sending notices out regarding issues such as that.)

It had been on their driveway for a couple of days when my upper left molar exploded with infection. I was frantic. The infection was migrating up my cheek and causing my my left gum line to become tender and inflamed. It was in the evening on a Friday when my tooth decided to boldly walk the path of extinction, or extraction, as they say in Dentistry. “Good luck in finding an endodontist that was open on Saturday.” I thought to myself. I totally freaked out and dissolved into tears thinking, of course, that this would kill me within a few hours. (I can get a bit histrionic at times)

I went to bed in tears on Friday night and woke up Saturday morning determined to resolve this issue. (Still had episodes of tears exploding down my cheeks, imagining all sorts of horrible outcomes.) I drove to the endodontist that my insurance covered and wouldn’t you know it they were closed. I left a message on two different voicemails for them thinking I would get a call back early on Monday morning. It is 11:30 am on a Monday morning right now and they haven’t returned my phone call. Let me assure you I made every effort in my message to convey how serious the situation was.(I mean death was literally knocking at my door, right?)

Since they were not open I searched my memory for other dental offices which may have been open on a Saturday.(Most endodontics are not) I remembered a dentist that worked at EQ Dental who seemed to live at his office. He was always open and he was an excellent Dentist.Plus his office was actually right down the street from where I live. I didn’t know whether or not he could handle the difficulty of my situation though. Some dentists are only general dentist and do not do root canals or extractions. I figured I would give it a try.

I walked in and immediately got an appointment. The X rays were done and Dr Young came into the room to deliver the verdict. The tooth would have to be pulled. My mind went into a frenzy. I was going to have to find an oral surgeon now. Well I had already been to an oral surgeon but the office was way across town. I called them and they said they did not do oral surgery. Okay by this time I am feeling like I am smack dab in the middle of a Twilight zone episode because my insurance company had told me to go to them for oral surgery. I thought it a fruitless venture to get into a disagreement with them over what they could or couldn’t do.(I mean really… if the insurance company said they do oral surgery they should do oral surgery right?) I was about ready to dissolve into tears again for like the hundredth time in two days when I heard the dental assistant say in a soft voice,”Dr. Young can do extractions.”

“I am like….you are kidding me right?”

“No, I am not kidding, he can do an extraction.”

I was like YES! Let’s get this rotten tooth out! So Dr. Young numbed my jaw and got the tooth out. He was so sweet, he kept telling me what he was doing and asking if I was in any pain. I just wanted to give him a bear hug because he had clearly saved me from dying an early death.

So around 1:00 pm I went home from the dental office and noticed that there were four people trying to scoop the dirt into wheelbarrows from my neighbor’s driveway. It was threatening to rain. I would have liked to join them but I had just had a molar pulled. I had to pick up my pain pills and a mouth wash and then I was planning on going to bed.

I went to the pharmacy to pick up my pain pills and took one of the Tylenol with Codeine pills. Codeine is a stimulant to my system; the exact opposite of what it does to most people. So when I walked in the door, I put my sweats on, grabbed a shovel and started shoveling dirt off of my neighbor’s driveway. Because when a person is inches away from death (probably a slight exaggeration there)and is saved by an awesome Dr. Thomas Young, it is only natural that one would not require a nap.

GRUMBLERS

I recently accepted an offer from a company that I had been working part time for. They offered me a full time salary and boy did I need it. I have been struggling financially for quite some time now. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work for this company and to finally make the money I should have always been making.

Many times when I start a new company I take a while to observe the interaction between the employees. I have already noticed that some of the employees of this company are grumblers. You know… those employees that are always talking bad about the company they work for or that sit in meetings with a frown on their face. They can whine and complain about the smallest details. Some of them are still good at what they do though so a good boss will keep them employed. An excellent boss will keep duct tape on hand to shut their mouths when they start bitching.

I used to gravitate to people like this. I can’t really say why. Sometimes I wouldn’t gravitate to them, they would gravitate to me. As I reflect on my working history I have realized that listening to the grumblers never seemed to help me in my career. I rarely could do anything to solve their problem and it seemed that listening to them would just add more stress to my life.

I have decided that I will try to avoid the grumblers, so as not to become one. This decision has reminded me of a verse I memorized a few years ago. Psalms 1:1 – “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers.”

Then today as I was driving home from work I heard on NPR a neuroscientist who proclaimed that avoiding conflict increased efficacy. So not only will I not be a grumbler but I may even be more efficient at my job. Sounds like a win win to me!

CLINICAL FEAR

I asked my daughter the other night how her clinicals were going. She is going to college to become a Respiratory Therapist. She was uncomfortable with one of her clinical instructors. He had the nerve to make her do things. Things which she had never done before and she felt uneasy doing for the first time with a real live patient. She had mentioned to me that she felt uncomfortable with him in the past. He was pushing her out of her comfort zone.

We discussed how this should be handled. Should she go to administration and complain about him? Or should she prepare better for class, anticipating that he would throw her overboard without a life jacket?

She is an adult so I can not use my helicopter mom instincts and fight this fight for her. I merely said I would pray for her and boy did I pray. Her next clinical day was on Thursday. I was in my bedroom finishing my documentation for my job when she came home. I continued to work until she called out from the kitchen “Do you want to know how my day went?”

Of course I did. Sheesh I love hearing about her days. She is an awesome story teller. When I went to the kitchen she was all smiles. She said that when she first got there in the morning the instructor said, “You,” pointing straight at my daughter, “Come here.” He took her into view an abdominal aortic valve replacement. On the list of surgeries to be able to view as a student that is somewhere near the top of the list but it is a bloody surgery. Last time my daughter saw a lot of blood she almost fainted. She said she was so scared, she was shaking but she didn’t faint.

Then she went to see the patient in ICU after he went through recovery. After that she saw the tail end of a code which did not end well. Then the instructor took her into a patient’s room and told her to extubate the patient. She had only done this once in lab and was quite uneasy. She extubated the patient and she did it well.

We discussed the clinical instructor again. I told her he was forcing her to confront her fears. A friend of mine has told me that you can not conquer what you do not confront. This brilliant instructor is forcing my daughter to become confident in her clinical skills by pushing her out of her comfort zone. He probably knew she was scared of blood and that is exactly why he invited her to watch a very bloody surgery. The only way she will become competent in her clinical skills is to practice them on real patients under the watchful eye of her instructor. I think she may end up respecting this instructor more than most by the end of this clinical.