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Guilty As Charged


I can hear my alarm going off. I jump up and instantly almost fall to the floor. I have no clue why my right foot locks on me sometimes. Anyway, I’m anticipating heading into work today because It always seems as if we never have enough staff to cover the schedule. I already foresee me running around like a chicken with my head cut off today but hey, I’ll have to make the best of it. The time usually files once I start cracking jokes with my coworkers.

My first patient this morning is a two-year-old. This can go well or to hell in a hand basket in a matter of five seconds. I walk in the room with my big bright smile and sit on the green chair next to my patient. I acknowledge the parent and begin making small talk to get everyone comfortable. I place my hand out for my patient to give me a high five and to make a promise that he’s going to be a big boy for me while I clean his teeth. He smiles and nods his head yes and if he’d been speaking the English language for at least five years.

The minute I slip on my gloves and place my mask on, my patient loses it. Here we go. Here comes the screaming, kicking, and crying. Ironically, none of it phases me one bit. I ask the parent to place him in a certain position to allow me to clean his teeth easier. Get in there and get out is my philosophy. I genuinely love what I do, and I look at my patients as if they were my very own child. It’s in these moments when a sense of peace come over me. I block out everything. My voice becomes calm as they're screaming to the top of their lungs. They get very little reaction out of me.

Sadly, it sucks that after an eight-hour day of this my patience run very thin by the time I get home. It’s not fair to my child and I start to feel so guilty. I’ve taken care of some one else’s child all day and frustrated when I get home because all I want is peace and quiet. My son deserves my undivided attention and some days I’m only able to give him what I have left because I’m exhausted mentally. Some days I can barely stand for him to jump on me or grab my neck as he plants kisses on my forehead because my neck and back are in so much pain from cleaning teeth.  When I get like this, I absolutely hate these days. It makes it hard for us to bond. He can feel my frustration as well and becomes standoffish or begins to act out.

 I never said I was perfect and each day I learn a little more about myself and my parenting skills. Patience is a virtue. I long to have the patience I have with my patients in my personal life and as a parent. I see my short comings and I vow to make it a priority of mines and to find the perfect balance. I owe it to my son.

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