Saturday, March 13, 2010

Monday morning as we were traveling south to Cave Junction we ran into snow over the pass and though we might not be able to get there because the highway was closed down. Luckily we found out the road was closed down after Cave Junction due to a rock slide. Because the town is such a sketchy place we had to park the bus 4 miles out of town at a teacher’s house. Normally we leave the tooth taxi parked at the school over night. But if we did there it would get vandalized. We only traveled on Monday. After traveling down there and parking the bus we headed out to the river. The two guys that I work with are huge rock hounders. Me on the other hand I could care less most rocks all look the same to me! But while they were collecting rocks I fed my love for taking pictures. It was a fun night even though it was snowing out and freezing cold. However our night on the river did not do much good for my cold. I managed to lose my voice Monday night which always makes work easier! :-P I didn’t have a voice all week. Also had a very sore throat and constant headache, fever, and hot and cold flashes. After a week of not being able to sleep because I was in too much pain I decided to go to urgent care when I got back home on Friday night. He told me I have a severe throat infection along with laryngitis. I’m on 3 different medications right now to hopefully feel a little better on Monday! I sure hope so I can’t wait to not be in pain and have my voice back! Although I think the guys I work with enjoyed the peace and quiet for a week! Lol! Can anyone imagine me of all people not talking for a week! Just wait till I can talk again! Nobody will be able to shut me up! Lol! Anyhow back to work…Cave Junction only had 24 kids for us to screen. I know the demand down there is greater but not many parents took advantage of the opportunity. Only 8 kids needed any sort of treatment so we saw all of them and most of them twice. All of the kids we treated were really nice. One reality of the road is when we asked one girl where her dad worked she said he’s in jail. Her mom worked at a video store and she had an older brother. Sad to hear that stuff but reality I suppose. It didn’t surprise me considering our location is known as the biggest drug capitol of Oregon. We treated Tuesday and Wednesday and then left Wednesday and headed to Gold beach. We went down to California and back up again. When we left cave junction we had snow for two days and then got to the beach and the sun was shining! I sat on my balcony of my ocean front hotel room that night and enjoyed the scenery. Of course Thursday we woke up to a crazy wind and rain storm! Gotta love the crazy Oregon weather! The school we treated at in gold beach was such a great place. Everyone there was so helpful and thankful to have us there for a day. Not always the case, trust me! We screened 25 kids that day and treated 9. It was a crazy day! One little boy that we treated had just been adopted from Russia. He was adopted when he was 9 and he was 11 now. He had surprisingly great teeth for growing up in an orphanage in Russia and never went to the dentist before. None of us could tell at first that he was from Russia. His English was great and didn’t have much of an accent. Very sweet kid! We saw a bunch of good kids that day. It was really a pleasure being able to work there for a day. Friday morning we got up and headed to Port Orford and did the screening for our kids next Tuesday. We screened about 30 kids. Not many needed treatment and we will only be there Tuesday treating and then we head to Coos Bay for the latter part of the week. We need to screen about 150 kids for us to have enough to do for a week. So when schools have lower numbers than that, which means lots of moving and traveling for us! We did three cities last week and hopefully only two this week!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The past two weeks have gone by quickly and fairly normal. Both towns were small towns in southern Oregon. We went to Riddle last week and Glendale this week. The towns are only about 30 min away from each other. In Riddle we screened about 90 kids and approximately 30% of them needed treatment. Monday started out fairly easy. We only screened about 50 kids and treated two on Monday. It was an easy day of treatment which gave us a chance to catch up on a lot of other work! After work we needed to go to the grocery store so we headed to downtown Riddle which by the way don’t blink or you’ll miss the town! And they definitely did not have a grocery store. They had a little market that wasn’t even as nice as a plaid pantry! There was nothing fresh in that store! Thank goodness for Canyonville, which is where we stayed the past two weeks. We stayed at 7 feathers casino. Oh please shoot me and put me out of my misery! The casino is a place for hundreds of old, crazy, handicap people! When I would walk downstairs to get dinner and I would have to avoid getting ran over by hover rounds!! Actually I did get hit by an old lady on a hover round my last night this week at the casino. I stuck mostly to my room and the gym the past two weeks cause well let’s face it they won’t be stepping foot in a gym any time soon. Heck they won’t be stepping anywhere anytime soon! HAHAHA! I do not have the patience or heart for old people! I think God was testing me this week! All I could see was big dentures everywhere! Ewww! :) The rest of the week in Riddle went really well we had a parent volunteer that helped with rounding up the kids and she was amazing one of our best. We did a lot of pulps and crowns and not as many sunshines (that’s our secret word for extractions) as I would like. Everyone needs a little sunshine to brighten their day! Haha! I know I do! We saw one girl that week that was in the 8th grade. She was the nicest girl. And all 28 of her PERMANENT teeth had severe decay in them! it was a horrible case. She had permanent molars that had completely rotted away. With her we just did filing and tried to save some of her front teeth. She was very apprehensive of the dentist cause of bad experiences in the past so she didn’t want us to do any of the extractions of the roots that she needed done. But it’s amazing just after one appointment with us she wanted us to do more treatment and trusted us and enjoyed her experience I really wish we would have had more time with her so we could do more treatment but I guess that’s one of the downfalls of the job. We can only do so much. The school was actually building a child neglect case against her parents because she has dental insurance but her parents never took her. And lack of basic dental care and treatment is child abuse. The doctor had to write up a letter for the school about her condition and lack of care to the child’s medical needs. You could tell she was a girl that had taken care of herself most of her life. She was very mature for her age and independent. We saw a lot of kids there that seemed to come from neglectful parents. Most of them had dental insurance but just were not being taken. It was a sad situation. But we had a great experience there and all of the kids were so happy and thankful to have us there. At the end of the week the school rounded up all the kids we treated and the kids came out to the van and thanked us. It was very sweet! After a exhausting week in Riddle I was happy to have a three day weekend at home. I spent one day painting at my friend’s house who is 6 months pregnant (cutest pregnant girl ever!). I painted her house while she was gone at work so she wasn’t around any fumes. So that was fun. I actually enjoy painting kind of relaxing. Oh Saturday was amazing too. I got my hair done in the morning and then went L&L with a friend for lunch!! Got to love a little lau lau and kalua pork! MMMM!
This week in Glendale went by really fast. We screened 50 kids and only treated like 20 so we were able to see quite a few kids twice. We were in a small lumber mill town. They did have a little bit better store than riddle but not much more. In Glendale there is actually a community dentist that is paid to come down once a week and do work but nobody in the town has ever seen him. There he is being paid for something he doesn’t do! We had some adorable kids this week. Some of the sweetest kids and we didn’t have any freak out too bad on us! On Wednesday I got to do hygiene work for half the day! I really enjoy doing that! Just mixes things up. I’m certified to do child prophys (cleanings). It gives us an opportunity to treat kids we don’t normally get to. Normally kids that just need cleanings we don’t see but this week I got to treat a few! One girl I treated was so happy after wards she said “Thank you so much for cleaning my teeth. I’ve always wanted to go to the dentist and get my teeth cleaned but I’d never got to before!” So cute!!! Oh and at the end of the week as we were getting ready to leave we found out the local news paper did a front page article on us from the week before when we were in riddle. I’m going to scan it and post it. It’s a great article on the Tooth Taxi! The dental foundation of Oregon is also doing an article on me for the spring news letter so that should come out in April some time. Lots of press coverage in this job. It’s fun though I’m glad that we are giving a positive outlook to oral hygiene and care. It’s been a great past two weeks and I’m looking forward to another three day weekend!
Next week we head further south to Cave Junction.