In honor of all of our hard work on the “ship”, the “captain” rewarded the staff by purchasing Chipotle for lunch. The idea of actually saying “thank you” or offering time off is not generally the first thought at my current office but hey, who does not love Chipotle?
Keep in mind, this incident took place prior to the numerous unsavory incidents that have recently plagued the company, so we were ecstatic. The gift of Chipotle these days may be interpreted as an attempted assault. The beautiful brown bags arrived and we all eagerly consumed the burrito blessings in our 22 glorious minutes of lunch.
At my job when you are released for a break you have a very important decision to make. To pee or not to pee that is the question. A bathroom break or a phone call will decrease your 30 minute lunch break significantly. Options such as adult diapers and telegrams are not ideal options so we all tend to inhale our food during our mini breaks and settle for indigestion.
Heading back from break we have full stomachs, a full schedule and a waiting room full of eager watching eyes. 15 minutes into my first appointment my patient is startled by the sound of my slain burrito being digested. The rumble in the jungle is real and I feel like I have to apologize.
I mean dentistry is frightening enough without my burrito baby growling in my patient’s ear. “Lo sientos señor. Comí Chipotle.”, I say. We both laugh at my burrito’s transgressions and we continue scaling 20 year old calculus from his 8 millimeter pockets.
I continue the treatment and soon notice that my patient is moaning. Whenever this happens my immediate thought is that the patient is experiencing pain. I ask if he is in pain and he adamantly says no. He moans again moments later and I have to ask again if he is in pain, after making sure my boob is not resting on his cheek. He again assures me that he is fine. “No duele”, he says again assuring me it does not hurt.
These moaning sounds dance the fine line between pleasure and pain and I am unequivocally uncomfortable. I rush to efficiently get this quadrant scaled so I can get my patient out of here before someone hears this and thinks there are 50 Shades of Grey like activities going on in my operatory.
The appointment is completed with profuse thanks from my patient and an awkward hug/handshake that were only unsettling because of the moans. I complete my clinical note while doing my pee pee dance and scurry off to the bathroom. I am quickly turned around by the realization that there is a long wait for the bathroom and my two double booked appointments are here and waiting.
My next patient is an awesome 11 year old that loves to talk. She is sweet, intelligent and has the curiosity of a six year old. It is heartwarming and horrifying because I am realizing that the burrito baby is approaching the final days in the last trimester.
This child must stop talking. I can no longer respond light heartedly because I am balancing my bladder and bowels and a violent tight rope tango is occurring.
Everyone is waiting to use the bathroom.
This is officially a crisis.
I have another patient waiting and I can not wait in this line of burrito baby sufferers.
I carefully ascend the stairs to use the bathroom in a less populated area of our Walmart style public health center. Exclamations and praise are whispered as I finally get relief.
One of the most difficult things I have experienced as a woman is having to tinkle really bad while simultaneously needing to pass gas. It is a somatic Russian roulette that I am so glad is over. I have to laugh to myself about how awkward and uncomfortable the last hour and a half has been. As a fairly new hygienist, I am confident that the potential for awkward situations in the future are endless.
I have heard pregnant practitioners talk about how their patients could feel their baby’s kicks.
As a woman you learn early on men will confidently pursue your attention. As a hygienist you get the unique awkward experience of having a patient with severe periodontal disease asking you out with dried blood on their cheek.
I will probably never know why some patients moan. My pediatric patient may never know how hard I fought to avoid giving her a whiff of poo poo breeze. But certainly as a dental hygienist there is so much more awkward to look forward to.