There are moments when the work I do seems worthwhile; moments when God shows up and makes me aware of his goodness and of how much he has blessed me. There are those moments when I realize that he has let me be his hands for him. That is when I am thankful for the hard work and often messy stuff I do every day; thankful that he called me to do this dental stuff.
I had such a moment a day or so ago. A little over two years ago, I was called to the hospital to take impressions for a feeding plate for a little girl with a cleft lip and palate.
This is one of the sort of additional dental things I have taken on in this city so these newborns and their moms don’t have to be sent down to Saskatoon in those first days of life. It is not a difficult procedure, just taking an impression in a tiny little mouth and then going back to spend a few moments with the mom as we insert the feeding plate and the mom learns how to take it in and out and use it.
Anyway, this little one was one of my patients two years ago. Yesterday she came in with her mother for her first dental check-up. Lip and palate have been repaired – at least the first step is done. She is obviously a much loved child. Her teeth are cared for impeccably. She was so polite, it was cute and a great reward for me to see her and hear her say, “Thank you Doctor.”
Funny, the same day, I got another call from the nursery. A new little boy needs to be seen. I wonder if I will see him again in two years. I think I will still be doing this then. This will be one of the things I will miss most when I retire from practice. Maybe I will hang on to this as long as I can.