“Open for me, Racheal.” said Dr.Lois gently as if speaking to a child during my fourth visit at Code Clinic, general dental practice in Kampala.
This year my teeth made a unanimous decision to pain and warrant a dentist visit. It all started on a normal night, no cats howling or thunder rambling with threats of rain as has been its custom. Searing pain on my right upper jawcase deprived me of sleep from 2am until 6am forcing me to google Code Clinic and the hours they open on weekdays.
I showered by 7am and left the house with a determined scowl since smiling caused me pain. I arrived book at Code Clinic by 8am.
The receptionist smiled at me and warmly said, “you have beautiful earrings.” Now I know I have my earring game on point. To me earrings should speak. I smiled weakly and managed a thank you.
I was ushered into a white four walled room with a blue coloured square window that let in noise from the roadside for examination. I sat on a orthodontic Dental Chairs recliner chair waiting for the doc. Dr.Lois walked in introduced herself and asked me to explain to her in detail what was going on in my mouth. I did not spare anything. examined me.
She instructed her assistant to take an x-ray of my teeth (I did not know that they do this for teeth!!) I was given a diagnosis: cavity issues. One tooth needed a root canal surgery, another an extraction and number three, filling! All I could see were BILLS. Who thought it was a good idea to give birth to me and let me grow into an adult…….
This visit birthed my teeth affair with Dr.Lois of Code Clinic.
Today as I sit on the dentist bed, mouth wide open, Dr.Lois using all manner of machines to extract a “crazy/stubborn” tooth. We had been at it since 5pm and it was now 7pm. I listened to JP Copper’s Sing with Me and was reminded of a particular song an ex-lover liked and introduced me to. Say something by A Great Big World. It was our thing. Each time we wanted to joke about stuff, we chorused together and fell over with laughter. Memories have a way of jumping at you unexpectedly.
As Dr.Lois asked the assistant for different tools to extract the tooth. I was reminded of all the stubborn things in our lives that need all our might: time, resources, help from friends or experts, tears, etc and wondered how far we are willing to go to get them sorted.
At about 7:30pm, Dr.Steven was called in. In Dr.Lois’ words, we need new hands for this. The doc extracted the remaining tooth parts in about 20 minutes. This got me wondering how often do we acknowledge that we need help? How often do we ask for help? I have somewhat struggled with this but have over the years learned to reach out and say, I need help or I am available to be helped. I cannot do this on my own. Vulnerability has to be engaged at all levels for purposes of building strong and deep connections.
Dr.Lois who on previous visits had fixed the teeth issues under an hour needed fresh hands during the extraction procedure. She sought help. Remember to ask for help. You do not have to do everything alone.
I watched Dr.Lois act as an assistant to the new doctor and one word came to mind-humility. Are we humble enough to learn from others even when we are experts in the field?
When the ordeal was over, both doctors apologised to me for the lengthy procedure; instructed me on the after care and prescribed strong pain killers. I was to follow them to the dot so as not to risk infection.
As you read this, take care of your teeth. But also if you are in Uganda and have teeth issues, visit Code Clinic for all your needs. They will give you the best treatment.