Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sum Ting Wong

The day started with an ice coated car and went down hill from there. My first patient of Pet Dental Health Month was a sweet, but shy cat with teeth like Swiss cheese, very sore gums and a bad case of “dog breath”. To date no one knows why cats get these cavities, known as FORLs (feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions) after all most don’t drink soda or eat candy. But Iggy needed a full mouth extraction. Everything except his canines and incisors had to go. He’d be gumming it, but once healed would be a lot more comfortable.

My other patients had much better mouths but much worse attitudes. One repeatedly jumped for the ceiling at just the wrong moment during intravenous catheter placement. Gorgeous boy, “Sum Ting Wong” was also having none of this catheter stuff. After an especially memorable “cat tantrum”, my extraordinarily patient technician muttered “Should have called you “Sum Ting Bad”.

Eventually anesthesia was achieved but the brand new dental unit decided not to work. The old model had been temperamental and while we could scale and polish beautifully, the idea of attempting multiple extractions without a working drill was not pleasant. Did I then: Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits? (Psalm 103:2)

Was I still before the LORD, willing to wait patiently for him? Psalm 37:7 NIV

Did I “do all things in the Lord without grumbling or questioning? Philippians 2:14


I did not. I grumbled, I questioned, I spoke in judgment, not patience. And then I was mad at myself for not letting my light shine, but instead succumbing to darkness. It’s just so much more satisfying to grumble when things aren’t going the way they’re supposed to. But not the attitude of gratitude my daily blessings deserve. Something wrong indeed.


Our hard-working hospital manager got the unit purring and the extractions went without a hitch. Iggy recovered uneventfully, spacey from his pain meds. “Sum Ting’s” jaw growth turned out to be a metal pellet that was easily removed. He must have had it for years because he’d been an indoor cat since his owner had adopted him. (He preferred to stay under his towel, thank you very much, until Mom came to pick him up.)


And I proceeded to thank my colleagues and declare “No more grumbling”. And then to Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Psalm 103:1 because Blessed is (s)he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Psalm 32:1

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