This week in Monterrey we had an awesome group of doctors and dentists come and spend an entire week with us. Besides a dentist and dental assistant we were armed with a pediatrician, ER doctor, family practice doctor, paramedic, nurses, and some medical students who graduate in May. I spent most of the week acting as a translator for one of the doctors and a medical student, which was a fantastic learning experience. They taught me and then let me practice some myofascial release techniques that I'm anxious to try out on willing friends who want a back rub.
But the thing that is sticking with me from the week is Rosa. She is 7 years old and lives at Del Norte. She spent two whole afternoons with the dentist. At 7 years old her teeth were bad enough that she needed 7 teeth extracted because they were so far gone, 4 fillings, and then sealants on the ones that were left. Rosa is probably the bravest little 7 year old girl I know. I talked with her about what the dentist needed to do, and she didn't protest one bit. She grabbed hold of my hand, said okay, and squeezed her little eyes shut. She didn't cry with the 15 injections to numb her mouth, or the first 6 teeth that came out. I know it hurt, she was squeezing the heck out of my hand and sometimes her little legs would shake. Only on the 7th tooth did she start to cry. By that point, I was crying too much to try and reassure her that it was almost done. Some of our male staff had joined us in the dental clinic, and they were crying too. I'll let them stay anonymous to protect their manly-man image. After the teeth came out and her mouth was packed with gauze I scooped little Rosa up and went to an empty exam room. We sat there in the dark for almost 45 minutes, snuggled up together, until she fell asleep. I'm pretty sure I just kept crying. But Rosa is a tough girl. The next day she marched in to see the dentist and greeted him with a big, gap-filled, smile to get her fillings and sealants. 3 days later, she says that her mouth doesn't hurt one bit and she feels great. Thankfully Rosa is still young and those were all baby teeth. With regular dental care and some good teeth-brushing she should be good to go!
A post-dental visit smile
Some fun with big sister Debanhi