I spent about an hour this morning.
Having a molar ripped from my jaw.
A tooth was showing signs of resorption.
Yeah.....I'd never heard of that either.
It happens when the body's own cells eat away and destroy tooth structure.
The only treatment option was to pull it.
So.....the tooth came out.
And a tooth implant will replace it.
I'm pretty sure I rescheduled this morning's appointment.
At least three times since the fall.
I dreaded it.
And complained about it.
I whined and put it off.
Finally there this morning.
I took a deep breath of dread.
And waited on what would happen.
And I remembered.
She sat down in front of me a few years back.
In the triage of a medical clinic.
Our medical team set up in a dirt floor school room.
In a remote area of Kenya - called Segera.
My job was to take down basic information about the patients.
Name. Age. Reason they needed care.
Like all the others.
She waited for hours for the chance to see the American medical team.
And when her turn came.
She slipped quietly into the chair across from me.
Unwrapping a scarf that was draped around her face.
I saw something.
I don't ever expect to forget.
A striking Masai woman.
With a scar that covered the side of her face.
As an interpreter questioned her.
A tooth had become painful and infected.
There was no way to get care for it.
She suffered for many months.
The infection grew and eventually became so severe.
It erupted and burst through the side of her face.
I can't even begin to imagine.
The pain she must have endured.
I remembered her as I sat in the doctor's office this morning.
I remembered her while I got the numbing shots.
I pulled up the memory of her face.
While the doctor wrestled with and pulled my tooth.
I remembered her.
And I was thankful.
For being able to make an appointment.
And receive the medical care I needed.
And I hope.
That when I'm tempted to complain.
About going to the dentist.
Or having to get the care I need.
I hope I think of her.
And instead taking it all for granted.
I hope I receive...... a much needed perspective.
|A wonderful friend & nurse that served on our 410 Bridge medical team, Molly Dannelly, examines patients in Segera.|