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Friday, January 20, 2012

just a quick note before safari

So today was a great day.  We saw 89 patients, was supposed to be 90, but one escaped and got on the wrong bus home before recieving any treatment.  He did not want to be there, obviously he was smarter then everyone else and got his way.  However the bus he got on was hours away from where he lived, so they had to figure out how to get him back to his town.
Unlike the other days, I didn't have any patients that really broke my heart today.  I mean they all effect me one way or another, but in my chair I had no patients that brought tears to my eyes which was a first this week.  Dr. Richmond and I actually saw a lot of patients who had no cavaties, and many that just needed 1 or 2 extractions.  The other days this week we seen a lot of patients with mouths full of decay.  Today was a nice break from that mental/emotional feeling you deal with.

Yesterday we saw around 44 patients.  It was a short day, but nice.  We worked through lunch and got done around 2 or 2:30.  We saw a few heart breaking patients in my chair yesterday.  However the one patient that i remember from yesterday was in Dr. Sally's chair.  She was between 10-12 years old and was abanded when she was 3 years old.  The patient could barely open her mouth, and when Dr. Sally looked in there, she had no teeth on the upper left and a giant whole in the roof of her mouth, that you could stick your finger in and reach all the way up to her sinus cavity.  I can't imagine how she eats with that giant whole in there, and how food doesn't get stuck in it.  It is just heartbreaking, and then not to know the whole story behind it.  At first we thought maybe it was a cleft palate, but then had learned that she was put under general anesthesia when she was younger and had surgery done.  We don't know what for but can only assume she had some sort of complication in there.

Working on patients here has been a great experience.  Some days are harder then others, and I am thankful for the wonderful day we had today.  Other days when we see a lot of patients with multiple areas of decay it really takes a toll on you.  Sometimes we only have time to fix the things that are bothering them, knowing that other cavaties will soon get bigger and start to bother them later on down the road.  At the same time if we do have time to fix every area of the mouth, it is hard to believe that we are doing so much and numbing thier whole mouth, wondering how they are going to deal with the numbness when they leave, and how they are going to eat when we have extracted half of thier teeth or more.  I have to remind myself that I am doing what is best and i'm sure they will feel relieved when they are out of pain.  Most of the food they eat here is very soft so it should not effect them too much.

Words can not even express the feeling/emotions I have felt throughout this journey.  It is something you have to experience for yourself. 

I am enjoying my time here, and the team members I have been working with our great.  Everyone really gets along with each other and we are all having a great time doing something we love to do.

We have seen a total of 347 patients this first week, more then in previous years which is great.  I can't see what next week has in store for us.

Tomorrow morning I will be headed to safari.  I can not wait.  People dream of going on safari's in Africa, and I am really doing it!  I am so very excited for this opportunity that has been given to me.  It is about a 6 hour drive, but will totally be worth it.

Thank you everyone who has been supporting me throughout my whole trip. 

I won't be back on until after the safari on monday.....so until then!

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