My first patient- my father!
Today is the day we honor our fathers. My father was the head of the concrete machinery division of The Kent Machine Company. While this job entailed many things, Dad spent most of his time on the road selling concrete block machines. When I was young Mom and I would sometimes go along. One year San Juan, Puerto Rico…another year I remember going to New York City. Most of the time we traveled on state highways…this was before the Interstates. Dad drove, Mom sat on the passenger side, and I usually stood in the middle. Whoa, you say… No car seat? Well, they had three other children at home…I guess I was expendible. My father was not what you would call a patient man. However, on these trips I would like to believe he was a patient man…because he literally was my patient. I would acquire at breakfast or lunch a cellophane wrapped toothpick (I believe it led to my desire to have sterile instruments later in life). Then at some appropriate time I would stand up next to Dad, grab my pick and begin to pick at Dad’s right ear lobe. Mind you Dad is driving his Impala at sixty mph on a two lane highway. I would pick and dig at Dad’s lobe…he never moved…until, Eureka, it bled. This was the height of success…bleeding. Mom would give me a tissue and I would daub blood away. Success!!! While I never was big at seeing my own blood, Dad’s bloody ear gave me satisfaction. Meanwhile, Dad ALLOWED me to do this regularly. It became our car trip ritual. I marvel at his ability to withstand whatever pain I inflicted with the patience he didn’t display at other times. Men don’t often show their love of one another because it isn’t manly. But, Dad showed his love in other ways and this was one of them. I would like to think that this ritual nutured my desire to become a practitioner of surgical skills. Now some 50 years later, Dad’ s gone and I am I believe a skilful practitioner of surgery. Recently, I became qualified to place dental implants. I can now give new teeth to the toothless. It requires surgical skills that were first practiced on my father. For that other things I am eternally grateful to my father. Happy Fathers Day Dad!
For those of you interested in new teeth to replace those now missing please call my office at 703-532-1712.
David W. Urban is The Falls Church Dentist. Visit his website at www.FallsChurchDentist.com