This week was one of the toughest, busiest weeks I’ve experienced in quite a while. I mean, there was patient after patient. But survival of the fittest means pushing through the difficult days. And of course, quitting is not an option. It means hustling hard even on days when you’re exhausted beyond wits’ end. I truly need a vacation but as the world closes down, one city after another, a vacation seems nearly impossible during the year 2020. Nevertheless, hard work is the key that advances wishes towards their transformation into dreams. And DReams, my friends, are built by doers, movers, and shakers.
As the motivational dentist, it’s my duty to enlighten all patients about the importance of their teeth. They matter in so many ways. Teeth effect your self perception, confidence and so much more. The most interesting things happened to me in the office this week. Yes, everyday is different with the constant battle of fighting tooth decay.
My motto is ”Just Say No To Cavities.” At least three teenagers sat in my chair with poor oral hygiene and an odd lack of love for their teeth. I mean, it’s mind boggling the amount of excuses they gave me as to why they hate their own teeth. “Just take them out and give me dentures,” one kid said. Really!! Negative! If the phrase, ”I don’t care about my teeth…” were the topic for a class essay, each of them would earn an A. But who wants to promote tooth loss and toothaches (ONLY lazy tooth brushers). On the other hand, at this dental visit, I would give each of them an F-. They earned it. I predict they’ll be in dentures by forty complaining about how difficult it is to eat but I’m no psychic.
Why do people sacrifice eating food comfortably, their precious smile, and a toothache free life simply because they practice bad oral hygiene. They refuse to brush and floss daily. Twice a day. I mean, motivating these demotivated teenagers was a dare but we will see what happens at their six month check up.
Another interesting case was the elderly man I met for the first time. He was shocked to witness my melanated skin walk into the operatory, greeting him as the doctor. It was written all over his face, he didn’t have to say another word. But he did. Immediately he seemed confused and uncomfortable with having an African American female dentist. This is how the conversation went:
Me: (enters operatory) Hi how are you today?
Elderly Caucasian Patient: Where is my dentist?
Me: They didn’t tell you… he retired a few months ago
Patient: Oh no. Do you even know what you’re doing?
Me: That’s rude. And I wouldn’t be the only doctor in this building if I wasn’t qualified. But because you’ve been so rude, please feel free to find another office to treat your infection. I will not be disrespected in that manner. Now, do you want to leave or do you want to do the treatment.
Patient: Ok, I guess we can do the filling.
***After appointment ends
Patient: (passing by my office) Thank you Doc! What was your name again?
Me: You’re welcome. I’m Dr. Shon (thinking in my head- “Don’t you ever forget!” 🤔💯✊🏾
F.Y.I. I’m the sweetest dentist you’ll ever meet until you disrespect me and remind me of how many nights I stayed up for this damn DDS! Am I qualified? I’m #MeharryMade and we #Overqualified – Don’t play with it!! 🤔🙏🏾🤷🏾♀️
Literally, my classmates and I studied many, many nights striving for a dream. Many times, studying until our brains ached from information overload. And we did it for four long years at Meharry Medical College. I remember those gruesome days just wishing and praying to finish strong. And we did. The troops of 2016 did. It’s offensive for someone to dismiss our sacrifice, hard work, and God gift given based solely on the color on ones skin. He tried it. But he learned that day.
So as you can see, my week was strange and worth the effort of being positive. Hopefully I changed a few perspectives on teeth and racism in the professional setting. Even if I wanted to get in my car and drive when the pressure increased, I stood in the paint. There is beauty in facing your challenges. I refuse to allow my struggles to dictate my day or my future. Once you overcome your heaviest tasks, the feeling of triumph will renew your spirit.
Kings and Queens, don’t ever think about quitting. Some, many will doubt you. Naysayers will criticize you. But stay focused on your dream. Everyday will be a test of your dedication towards the greatest challenge of your life… Fighting for your dreams. Elevate your perspective on life by absorbing as much knowledge as you can. Aim to grow everyday. Following your goals should be an invariable mission in your life.
So again. Don’t you even think about it. Quitting that is.
Do you want to know more about cavities? Visit the Motivational Dentistry website