The Best

Every once in awhile it feels good to get a compliment here and there.  It boosts the ego and we all know egos are good for self-esteem, which in turn makes you want to do even better the next time around.  So compliments are like the gifts that keep on giving.  This week I received two (on the same day even) from two of my past assistants.  One came in earlier to get some dental work done.  She thought I was the “best”.  She worked with other dentists before but came back to me.  It made me feel real good.  She fed my ego.

I was already happy when I came home.  Then I received a text from another assistant from yesteryears in the East Coast.  She asked if I could teach her how to give injections painlessly since I was “the best” at it.  She, too, worked with other doctors and still came back to me.  You know by now my head is huge.  Big.  Ginormous.   I had taken out wisdom teeth on this young lady, did some fillings, cleanings, etc.  But before she let me do any work on her, I remember how she interviewed our patients post operatively for pain.  It was hilarious.

I’ve known these two women for at least a decade now.  We’ve became friends and sisters.  We share our life stories and miseries, along with much joy.  They were  at my wedding dancing the night away.  They were there when all 3 of my kids were born.  They even watched the kids for me as I work or play.  They came into my home and broke bread with me and my family.  We even learned scuba diving and belly dancing together even though we were like Lucy and Ethel.  I couldn’t help one into her wetsuit.  We were rolling on the grass in Monterey with tears running down our faces from the hilarity of “stuffing a sausage”.  (If you try to put on a wetsuit when it’s wet…it’s impossible without skins so you could only imagine how funny we looked trying to get into the wet wetsuits).  We were entertaining ourselves, our instructors who just sat back and laughed at the comedy in front of them, and everyone around us.  I would never forget that day because by the time we finally got down to the beach, I was so exhausted, I told her, “Get these things off of me!  NOW!!  I don’t care…”  My poor instructor heard the commotion and came over to pull me into the water to cool me down from heat exhaustion.  It worked.  I passed my tests.

Then there was a time when I was trying to be a good wife by baking for my new husband (I didn’t cook or bake until I got married).  I brought in a sample.  One of them said, “I could break a dog’s head if I throw this bread at him.”  That bread was my banana nut bread.  I couldn’t do it right many times over.  So knowing that my husband likes banana nut bread, they baked it for him many times.  Boiling with jealousy that my husband was enjoying another woman’s baking skills, I practiced and practiced but still couldn’t get it right.  I stopped competing in the bread making department.  I started baking cupcakes.  No one could beat my red velvet cupcakes.  Take that, Ms. Banana Bread Baker!

However, I did get overzealous with the red velvet cake deal.  For my daughter’s first birthday, I practiced baking an Elmo cake for her, using the red food coloring.  Then Ms. Banana Bread Baker said, “First, Elmo is red, not pink. (I ran out of the red food coloring for the icing).  Second, what the hell?  You want her (my daughter) to cut into Elmo and see blood?”  It completely escaped me that when the cake is cut, she will see red.  It was so funny, we couldn’t stop laughing all day.

I have so many funny stories regarding the color red.  “One day in band camp…” we were at a Thai restaurant for lunch and we had calamari.  We normally eat family style, or at least we normally dip into each other’s food.  I commented on how delicious the special red sauce was for the calamari.  It was so yummy.  You know who asked sarcastically, “You mean the ketchup?”  I was pregnant, everything was good to me.  To this day, she still makes fun of my “special red sauce”.

Funny how a small compliment not only fed my ego but brought me down to memory lane to warm my heart.  These ladies are my extended family.  We’ve been through so much together.  Ergo, their compliments are completely satisfying because they also criticize.  And because I value them immensely.  I just want to be able to grow old with them, see our kids grow up together and know we were all there from the beginning.  Big head.  Warm fuzzy heart.  Here’s to being “the best”!

Bragging Rights

This tooth was recently extracted from one of our sweetest patients.  She has a small mouth with small teeth.  So that within itself was a feat.  But to extract a wisdom tooth that was bigger than her molar was completely unexpected because wisdom teeth are normally smaller than a regular molar tooth.  Anyhow, what was supposed to be an easy case became complicated within minutes.  Not only did the impacted tooth up in her jaw had a third root, but a third root that decided to take a turn and bend backwards by about 90 degrees.   It hooked itself into the bone like a monkey tail on a tree branch.   So people…this is bragging rights.  Holy moly.  I had the patient move her jaw in all different directions to help guide this thing out.  Then to see that one of the root tips was hanging on by a thread…geesh!  There is a God and He was very generous that day.  Most importantly, the patient recovered without any complications or soreness.  I thought for sure she was going to have some kind of sinus infection since it was sitting in her sinus cavity but not a peep of pain.  This patient truly is a trooper.braggingrights