This is the second time I’ve ever cried tears of gratitude for a dentist. And I’m pretty sure it’s the first time a dentist has ever hugged me. And I know it’s the first time I ever saw a dentist make a home visit.
About six months ago I brought Mom and Dad in for their dental check-ups. It was exhausting! It was a battle getting Mom in and out of the car. It was a job to get her to sit in the waiting room and a challenge to get her to walk down the hall. And then, though everyone was very kind and patient, Mom hollered and yelled and swore. It was traumatic for all of us.
Before I left, Mom’s dentist came out to the waiting room and told me that she would make a home visit for her next check-up. I couldn’t believe it at the time. It sounded like a dream. I thanked her and teared up with relief at the time. But I wondered if the dream would ever come true.
Six months went by. I called to make Dad’s appointment and asked the receptionist.if it was still a possibility to get a home visit for Mom. Dr. B. called me back later and made the appointment with me herself.
And today she came.
Mom laid back in her own recliner. I covered her with a blanket. Dr. B. brought a bag of supplies and cheerfully started brushing and cleaning and flossing Mom’s teeth as I held Mom’s hands down and tried to comfort her.
Mama still hollered. She yelled at Dr. B. “I hate you!”
And Dr. B. answered, “That’s too bad. I like you.”
Mama yelled, “Go home!”
And Dr. B. calmly said, “I will pretty soon.”
Dr. B. kindly and patiently cleaned Mama’s teeth the best she could. When she finished she said, “I think this was much better than at the office. I could clean her teeth better. I’ll do this every time.”
This is where I started choking up. Dr. B. said, “My grandma and grandpa both had dementia and they just didn’t get dental care. But why shouldn’t people with dementia get their teeth checked? They should.”
And then she saw my shiny, misty eyes and said, “Oh-hh!” and came and gave me a hug.
And I am feeling so blessed that Mom has Dr. B. for a dentist. And I’m wondering if it’s appropriate to bring cookies or cake to a dental office. And I’m so grateful for a dentist that makes me cry and gives me hugs.