Friday, June 18, 2010


I had hoped for a couple of floaters for my first extractions.  Flora rinse again while I slid behind the partition that separated the workshop from sterile territory.   I wiped the perspiration from my brow and confessed to God that I should never have dreamed of extracting teeth.
 After getting hold of myself, I returned to face Dona Flora, who was waiting patiently.  I tried to force a smile while I had her rinse yet again.  Her mouth had never been so clean! I was killing time until I gathered the courage to take hold of the loaded syringe.
I held the syringe behind me, remembering how lethal it looks to a helpless person trapped in a chair.  My intention was to hit close to the nerve as it passes from the maxilla to the mandible.  Oops! I hit the bone, so backed off a tad and slowly pressed the syringe plunger.  Flora flinched a little and blinked excessively.  Any sign of life was better than having her slump over motionless.  After Flora admitted to feeling numb on one side, I stepped over to my diagram.  I appeared to be studying, but I was making fervent supplication to God for the ability to remove her tooth, and leave on her own power afterward.  I wished, even more fervently that I had never heard of Dr. Johnson.
I tucked the points of the cow-horn forceps between the two legs of the tooth's root and started applying pressure with a straight arm, as far away from Flora as I could get. Her head, as though it was on a hinge, tipped from shoulder to shoulder; very little pressure reached the tooth.  "Lord, by our Grace, get out of this situation and I'll never touch one of these secondhand tools again.  I admit that you didn't call us to this jungle country to pull teeth.  I've stepped out of your will,"  I confessed to the Omniscient.
I finally got the courage to put a headlock on my patient and was able to remove her tooth.  I was wiped out.  I dismissed the other two ladies after Dona Flora left.  Nearly every Thursday afternoon. and while visiting remote villages by riverboat years later, tooth extraction continued, totaling a few less then 10,000 extractions.  But that first extraction still remains the freshest in my mind.

Taken from the "Port Of Two Brothers" by Dr. Paul L. Schlener.  HAPPY FATHER"S DAY, are the best!!!!

                                                  My eldest sis and me in the USA, for furlough!!!.

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