Thursday, 11 August 2011

Day 08 – A moment

The woman looked up at me with a light flickering and nervous eyes, snatched her knitted hat on the chair and went against me. She limped slightly, and I saw that her coarsed face had been through a lot.

- Yikes, she exclaimed suddenly, with a clear Finnish accent and I could smell a slight alcohol scent around her.

I smiled warmly at her and took her hand, which was rough as sandpaper.
- Hello! My name is Linda and dental assistant and you know what? I say the same when I go to the dentist.
She laughed and looked at me with big eyes, surprised.
- Damn, what a relief that I´m not alone! I drunk a big glass of alcohol this morning cause I wated to calm my nerves.

When we got into the treatment room, she threw her snuff pouch in the bin, took off the red worn down jacket and sat in the patient's chair.
I felt a twinge of nervousness in my stomach, trying to repress feelings of uncertainty for this first visit. While I washed my hands, I took a deep breath and cleared my throat.

- The dentist will be here soon. I just wanted to go through a few simple questions with you if it's OK?
- Well .... she said as she took a sip of it laid out water cups.

I sat down with her journal and began to ask for her data such as name, number and home address. Things that many of us are not so worried about, but the woman who sat in front of me, she found to difficult to answer.

- Well .... She squinted her eyes and stared at her worn and dirty trainers. I ... shit. I have not had a permanent home for many many years she finally said.

-I understand I said.

-But I sometimes I have contact with my doctor in Stockholm. I have had a wound on my foot that will not heal properly so I go to him sometimes.

I nodded and listened to her attentively.

- Are you getting any help from the social services, I asked.

The woman drew a long sigh and shook her head.

- I do not want those people i my life since they took my children. She looked me straight in the eyes to see how I reacted. Damn these bastards! she cried suddenly.

I winced a little, I almost dropped the journal and said without hesitation:

- Kirsti, now you are here with us, we will be able to help you with your problems with your teeth. Our dentist Patricia is a warm and professional human being to help people in your situation with their dental problems.

She looked at me and said she knows several friends who have been helped by Patricia and they become completely different people. They do not need to hide their smile anymore. That's why I'm here, she emphasized. I want to quit the booze and all the shit she said with tears in her voice.

I took her hand and promised her that she will be able to smile again without any embarrassment.

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