Amazing Patients: Why I will never retire.

At the mid point of the year, we are reminded of how lucky we are to have so many amazing patients who contribute to us and the world. We are humbled by their accomplishments, and inspired by their courage facing life’s challenges.  They give us all pause for thought about the gifts we are given, how we use them  and the potential within all of us.  Whether its the older patients sharing their wisdom and experience,  or the younger patients sharing their dreams and optimism, we are made better simply being around them.

We were  reminded specifically by Abbey: a young woman and dance teacher whose hard work with young dancers is at least partially responsible for Carlsbad High School’s dance teams success, winning national honors almost every year. Abbey came in the dental office feeling a little guilty for not having been our office for  awhile.  Of course, we get this everyday and have come to accept that perhaps dental visits are not at the top of everyone’s priority list, maybe number two, but not number one. We are used to the guilt and accept patients confessions without judgement knowing that life often makes demands or presents opportunities that are more pressing or important than dental visits.

Abbey related she had a good excuse and confessed  she had been traveling the world competing on the reality tv show Amazing Race. Can you imagine choosing travelling the world over a visit to Bell Family Dentistry? I was aghast.  As most of you know I am not much of a TV fan, but the Amazing Race is one of my wife’s favorite shows.  My wife knew all about Abbey on the show but didn’t realize she was one of our patients.  If I had known Abbey was on I would have watched the show.   Abbey said the show was realistic and a blast. She was just disappointed her team did not win. She is returning to Africa this year to teach dance to impoverished children in orphanages. She made me think of all our patients , how unaware we are of their accomplishments and contributions  to our lives and others.   I am thankful for the opportunity to share in their lives and be inspired by them..

So here is our gratitude list of  patients that we know about,  it includes  everyday people to the famous.

The cancer survivor  whose bravery reminds us to appreciate life everyday.

The rock stars and  famous athletes whose humility exceeds their talents.

The patients who have changed the world with computer codes.

The ex-pastor who engages and challenges us with lively religious debate.

The patients who have built companies that save lives  and make our lives better with their products and research from medical braces to continuously variable transmissions.

The DEA agents and police who risk their lives to keep us safe.

The fire fighters who respond to emergencies and save lives.

My friends who have known us since high school and still come to see us.

The teachers and administrators who really care about  students and assuring a bright future for the next generation.

The WWII heroes who sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms; especially, Sam the torpedo man on a US submarine.  When surrounded by a Japanese convoy and out of torpedoes, they surfaced in the middle of the flotilla and proceeded to shoot it out with the surrounding ships.  The captain received the Medal of Honor.

The creative genius behind the shoes everyone wears. We watched as his small shoe company with shoes made out of  indoor outdoor carpet evolved into one of the leading cutting edge fashion shoe producers.

The impromptu comic who makes us laugh even though he is ravaged by Parkinson’s.

The young artists whether with music or art whose talents leave us in awe.

The patient crippled by Multiple Sclerosis who comes to her appointments in a wheelchair but continues to paint unbelievable landscapes.  You can see her paintings on our office wall.

The 50 year old new surfer who has the grommet stoke and  the enthusiasm of a  of a 13 year old.  He sees everyday as another chance to surf.

The ex-boxer/teacher, amateur photographer whose beach photos adorn our office walls.

The coaches from all sports who teach their players lessons in life that reach far beyond the playing field.

The paralyzed young athlete who discovers he is a creative genius in art and  language showing us that hidden potential exists in all of us.

The musicians famous and unsung who  make us want to dance or cry.

The 76 year old professor emeritus in art from UCSD who takes the time to help me learn spanish.

The teacher, administrator, and friend who takes the time to find the translation of “sorry” in 100 different languages.

So many patients/friends who simply care about us  having shared the road of life together.We can  not thank you all by name because  that would be a violation of hippa laws,  We are thankful for dentistry has given us the opportunity to know you and share in your  lives that contribute so much to our lives.     It is one of the reasons I can never retire.

I am simply going to stop because I could go on forever or at least 4000 patients worth.  The reality is each patient contributes in someway to our  lives.  We  do not have the time or space to thank you all at this time.