By Mike W. (patient father & guest writer)
My 5-year-old daughter and 8-yr-old son are by all accounts great kids — but sometimes misfortune makes me look like a less-than-great dad.
For starters, my daughter once broke her leg at one of those indoor trampoline parks. That’s supposed to be the joke we all make before going — “don’t break your leg” — yet, it actually happened to her.
And just this past Halloween, my son one-upped her, biting into a fun-size pack of Skittles and cracking a tooth in the back part of his upper jaw. Dad of the year, right?
These are the incidents that instantly send us into “dad mode” or “mom mode.” We try and stay calm as to not worry our kids, but we approach the situation assuming the worst. I wondered aloud, what do I do? Where do I go? After all, it was a Saturday night.
Instead, as my son held a washcloth to the fresh gap in his teeth, I sent a text to Dr. Zima on a whim. Here’s what happened after my text...
My text: “My son bit down on a piece of candy. He split a tooth, bled a little. How big a deal is this? (And sorry to text you on a weekend at night, feel free to get back to me Monday.”
[A few minutes later…]
Dr. Zima’s text: “Most likely it was a loose tooth and there was so little left that it broke. Feel free to snap a picture and text it to me.”
[I didn’t send a pic immediately, and Dr. Zima followed up.”
Dr. Zima’s text: “When you get a chance, send me over a picture of Nolan’s tooth. I want to make sure it’s not something I need to see him for.”
[I took and sent a few pics over…]
Dr. Zima’s text: “It looks like it’s his primary first molar about to come in. It is such a thin shell that it just broke when he bit down on something. Have him keep wiggling whatever is left of the tooth so it will come out sooner than later. He will probably be a little tender with eating until it comes out. You can always dabble little Orajel there before he eats if it’s causing issues.”
At first, I was just happy Nolan seemed like he’d be A-OK. But then it hit me: this type of patient care is such a rarity these days. It’s the reason I take my kids to see Dr. Zima and it’s the reason I encourage my friends to bring their children as well. He truly cares.
On behalf of my entire family, thank you, Dr. Zima! Now it’s time to toss out that leftover Halloween candy…