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" I've Never Seen a Smiling Face that was not Beautiful "

A Winning Smile Makes Winners of us All !!!

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by , 26th September 2008 at 03:44 AM (3989 Views)
Finest Blogs Contest - Sep 2008 - Runner-up Entry!

Life sometimes got so monotonus. I was working round the clock from 9 am to 10 pm on the weekdays. I used to work in an MNC in the morning as a Dental Marketer in Bangalore as well. I can never do the same thing throughout the day. So a corporate touch in the morning and a la' Dentist in the evening ! That was life for me. bonkWho doesnt get bored of everyday chores. I used to just not take up any appointments on some days and used to spend the 4 hours in my clinic talking to our dental assistant ( Pushpa ) , discussing cases and having a brain storm with my juniors ( I had two of them ), treating them with baked foods ( there was this iyengar bakery close to my premises ) , cool badam milk and just taking up consultations.Oh those days used to be nothin but just fun.
However.. it was one such day and as usual pipping on hot badam milk and those bread sandwich Mr. Iyengar makes we were hearing to weird stories my assistant Pushpa had to tell about her daughter being followed by a young boy ! Believe me .. Pushpa was so very young looking and beautiful that she hardly looked her age of 40 or like a mother of 18 year old. I used to bully her that the boys were actually taggin behind her daughter to see Pushpa finally. It turned out true Big Laughand we were laughing our heart out when we heard some sound in the waiting room. Pushpa, hushed and peeped. She asked the patient to sit and got busy cleaning up our table. My juniors went in to clean and took the patient in for check up. As she passed through me I saw that fear in her eyes and one of junior who idolises me picked it up as well ! She assured about not being feared about treatment. But I wasnt convinced.. there was something more to that fear. She was trembling. My juniors started taking down case history and as I walked near to her.. She smiled .. For the first time I missed to see the smile of a patient instead was gaping at the tear drop that stood to fall at the corner of her eye. I struggled to smile. I somehow cannot pretend, If I did it would look awful ! Farha was her name. Assalam Allaikum, Doctor, she wished ! Allaikum Assalam , I said . She was overjoyed when she found me wishing her according to her religion and that too perfectly. The tear dropped down ! Was I glad ? Yes !! I smiled now.. I somehow didnt like the way the tear hung around there hiding something. Learning all south indian languages other than the local language and my mother tongue was another good thing I got from college besides dental.. Wishing the patient in their language / religion is the best way to comfort them. This was one place where all religions, caste and race were called in one name - Patients !
Farha has broken her tooth, Ma'am ! She has no pain and it is an enamel fracture they quickly said.. I asked her how it happened and she said I had a biscuit and it got cut, Ma'am ! She spoke good english inspite of going to school upto 6th class. She had got married at 16 , 4 years back and had two children !! My juniors were zapped. They started to admire her looks now and made it obvious. I explained to her that the enamel fracture can be treated with a Cosmetic filling ( if the front tooth is damaged ) which is called a Composite Restoration. This is a kind of cement which will look exactly your tooth colour and will have enough strength too if used for the back teeth. As everyone knows.. a cement will be powder and liquid. These two are mixed and inserted into the tooth cavity which will set or become hard and stay. But a composite material does not have liquid. They are semi solid materials which are placed onto the teeth , carved according to the shape required and then let to become hard with the help of Light. It is a blue colour light and is shown on the cement for 60 secs. It is very esthetic. Farha didnt seem to listen.. it looked like she was waiting for me to finish ! How much do I need to pay for the consultation , Doctor ?? My Juniors now were annoyed with the earlier so-beautiful , Farha ! They snapped we will take you through that too ! I still was disturbed .. why is this lady looking so apprehensive I wondered. I examined her teeth again. When she was informed the consultation charges she immedietely checked her purse and said ok and what about the treatment charges ?? I said it is free ! She was shocked ! My juniors looked amazed too. I asked her do you want to get the treatment done ? She said Yes, Doctor but why am I not charged ?? Maybe you should use the money to treat the cigarette burn marks on your shoulder , Farha !! I had noticed them when I went to examine her mouth. She had covered it wel with burqha but had got a little comfortable later. She immedietely covered it up and put her head down. I told my juniors to give her an appointment and went up to the sink to wash my hands. As she came near the desk to pay up the consultation charges, I asked her wether she is safe at home ? and needs any help. She was red and put her head down. I touched her hand and said it is ok. She cried, cried and cried. I never asked her a word after that. Atleast she cried her heart out. I asked Pushpa and her Husband to drop her home. before they went to theirs. Farha, left without saying anything. She had her appointment the next day 6.30 pm ! I finish her treatment and she was so comfortable when she walked in but as she had to leave she again shivered !! I made her sit and asked her how did your tooth break ?? Meri Shauhar ne maara, Doctor ! I knew this the day before as I found a cut on the inside of her cheek as well ! Farha is a fatherless child and was married off by her mom to this man at 16 years of age ! She has a younger brother who had an oil depo. That was the only earning they had. Her husband had asked for dowry and had burnt her with cigarette all over her body. The school fees , children' and her clothes were also to be sponsored by her mom according to him ! As her mom could not afford everything she used to let her not buy for her herself but used to get for her kids ! This maniac told her to stay naked at home when the kids were away in her mom's place ! Else she says he just sets the clothes on fire while she is in it !! I was trembling !! I asked her and you still living with him ? Where do I go , Doctor ? My Mom cant take care of me and my kids. My brother has hardly any income. My mom will not allow me to work. My husband threatens me he will marry another lady if I do not fulfil his dowry demands ! By this time, Pushpa came in and said Amma , there is a swelling case. There is a practice in my clinic. Patients with pain are treated first even if there are appointments and patients waiting except for some ongoing surgery or if I am in middle of a treatment. I do not see any meaning in letting people go through pain in my clinic ! But this is a pain too ! Mental trauma is no lesser ! I looked at my juniors who were already involved deeply and sulked in her agony to put the other patient on chair. Asked Farha to wait and I left. heard a lott of commotion when I was inside. Pushpa came running said, Amma that man is hitting her ! I I had already removed the pus from the swelling this patient had ( we call it draining ). The swelling comes down eventually with antibiotics now which would have been ineffective earlier... I rushed out and saw Farha being hit . I raised my voice and asked him to stop ! He didnt budge ! he was thrashing her while Farha screamed in pain ! My other patients rushed out tried to stop him. Kill Him ! i heard a voice. I was shocked to see it was Farha ! So much of agony .. I was speechless. That guy tried to wade out and again advanced to her for having said that. He now tripped and rolled down the stairs. He was hit hard on the head when he fell. He was bleeding and Farha stood still ! Madam , he has come to see wether I was meeting up with a male doctor and having doubted me he has decided to divorce me ! He says I had my second son from my brother when he had sent me away to my mom's house ! He is a beast, she screamed ! I called the auto drivers near my premises and asked them to take him to hospital. Farha didnt want to accompany ! I called her in and made her sit. I started treating my patients' and Farha sat shocked and devastated. I was cluless on what to do about her. I asked her to call her mom and her brother. Or I could get her dropped to her mom's house. She used my phone and called her mother. Her mom left to see her. I offered her water and some biscuits. Promised her any help she wanted. and when she is ready to pull through life and gave her some advice on what she could do ! Gave a call to the Police station ( the inspector was my patient too ! This is the advantage I had .. and used to protect me too being a woman ! ) and informed about her and her husband. He said he will take care of it. Told her to call the police when in trouble. She got up to leave turned around.. Doctor, thank you she would say i thought ! She instead said Ma'am I feel stong now ! I know it is because of you ! It felt so much better than Thank you ! I smiled.. and hugged her. I dont really know what she meant and how I helped her. But I could make her feel she is not worth going thru' this ! She least expected a Dentist to hug her.! A touch of care is all that I could do for Farha who went through Nightmare all this while in life ! She left with Pushpa and her husband who waited till her mom came. She moved from that house. Pushpa tried tracking her well being through her detective brains. I asked her to let go her attempts. Almost 3 months later..One Sunday my mom says there is someone looking for me.. I go out and there I saw Farha smiling like a baby and I could hardly recognise her !! She got through my address from Pushpa. She had managed to learn tailoring and now stiches blouses and frocks. She said she will soon start making salwars and I could try her sometime !! She seemed so very happy . She said her sons are studying well and she has put them in an hostel where the caretakers sponsor the education uptil 10th class ! She was sure she will earn enough to send them to college !! I did not want to ask her about her husband. She smiled at me when I tried to pretend and said I divorced him, Ma'am ! He was in coma for sometime and then was fine.But doctors say he is still unstable. He always was, Ma'am , she said choking ! Allah punished him. I nodded with a relief. Mom gave her a lemon drink and she left gifting me a lovely first ever dress she stitched for my baby !
I was touched.. I still wonder what difference I have made in her life ! But she for sure did in mine !!

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  1. Anandchitra's Avatar
    Drpreethis you are such a great person and so noble to have helped Farha.. and she owed her new life to you.. Though very sad to read the whole story atleast Farha was able to stand on her own feet and support herself and her children.
  2. Sriniketan's Avatar
    a touch of care., rightly said Dr.Preethis...that what helped her come out of this grave situation..Well done, Dr.
    This shows you not only take care of the teeth but also care for your patient's life..Hats off to your attitude which shows how a considerate person you are..

  3. aishu22's Avatar
    Dr.Preethis....Hats off you! I have no words to explain your noble action.In todays world, the doctors dont even have time to go through the patients case sheet and treat them like a object(not all, some.. no offense meant to anyone).You for sure created a difference, by showing that women can be strong, bold and confident. You sent those vibrations to her and she latched on to it.
    Its an awesome deed and you and yours will be blessed for this.
  4. Drpreethis's Avatar
    Thank you, Chitra ! I can never forget any patient I have treated. Although I later couldnt remember many names.. the moment I saw their mouth I used to remember their name !! :) Or sometimes I used to tell about their treatment when they said their name ! I really dont know till date in what way I have been of an help to her. I swear. But sometimes words and support can make any person in distress real strong. The least I could do.. It is indeed very sad that the poor woman had to undergo such horrible episodes.. She was 20 yrs and has a long life to lead.. She has burried all her wishes, desires and lives for her kids. I could not do anything about that.
    :( Neverthless atleast she is peaceful now.. :) Thanx for reading the pages of my life, Chitra ! :)
  5. Drpreethis's Avatar
    Dear Sri ,
    Thank You for saying that ! :) Patients do come for dental problems but smetimes had more than just that. I used to never probe about personal issues except when it was required and related to stress. Sometimes being just a listener heals every problem. I have had funny incidents, emotional incidents and annoying ones too. I have only talked about them to my parents. I never knew that someday I will be able to talk to people I never knew or never met from all parts of the world thru' my writing. I am not a good writer but can just read you out my thoughts very easily. I just did that. :) My mom used to fear my attitude.. she thought I will be in trouble because of that some day ! :) Very obviously she was worried.. My Dad and my Hubby pie are the ones who love my attitude and tells me that is what keeps me so going !! :) Thank you for reading..
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