Friday, April 27, 2012

A - Z Challenge Letter X = X-Ray

Many, many, oh heck way to many years ago to keep this up...I worked in a Dental Office as a Dental Assistant to help put my husband through college. Actually I was attending college part-time while working full-time but that is not the point of this story. The point is part of my job wasI had to give dental x-rays to patients. LSU Dental School was never the same after I left their radiology department, I'm afraid. I was fair to middling in this chore. What I hated doing way back when was what was called a Full Mouth set of x-rays. It wasn't the machine that goes all around your heard for the panoramic, no this was putting the film in a patient's mouth all over so we had pictures of all their teeth. A complete set was 36 films. Ugh!


Well, one sad day I had a patient with an extreme gag reflex. This man was rather portly and the going was rough. I'd stop and let him breath deeply, drink some water and we'd keep on keeping on, trying to work our way to the finish line. Now in this office we had a system of lights. Green when the room was open for a patient. Yellow when the patient was in the room and waiting to be treated, red for when he was being treated and white for when we wanted the Dr. to come and review treatment given or release the patient. We did not have anything but our voices for emergency. 


Almost at the end of the x-rays all of a sudden the patient started gagging vigorously. Before I new it he was starting to swallow the film! I tried to raise the seat with the electric button but it was moving to slow, wham...I flew him forward with my hand and called for the Dr at the top of my voice. Did I use the light system? Nah, I YELLED, SCREAMED...felt like crying, and called for the Dr. I thought for sure I was killing the patient. The Dr was there in a flash and found the film in the patient's lap. Thankfully when I flew him forward the film flew out of his mouth as well.


The Dr finished the rest of that set...
I wasn't fired.
I hated taking full mouth series x-rays from that day forward.


My husband graduated from college in two years (he'd gone back for a second degree so he had many of the required hours not in his program).


I never worked in a dental office again.
Claudia....this one was for you! Even people working in dental offices can hate part of what they do.

12 comments:

Holly said...

LOL oh dear! I would have panicked if I'd been you too! :O I bet I will think of this story next time I have to go the dentist now :O

Crystal Pistol said...

Yikes! I would have freaked out too! I don't think I could work that closely with the mouths of strangers. And YOUR experience would have put me over the edge. You are BRAVE. :)

Ellie said...

Oh my goodness how scary, but I have to admit it did make me chuckle a wee bit - sorry!!!
That is one job I could NEVER do, so I take my hat off to you.

Shelly said...

Good grief! I think I'd have been yelling, too! I worked as a veterinary technician when I was in school and I well remember some of the x-rays we had to do on horses who were not happy about it. None of them ever tried to swallow the film, though~

Shady Del Knight said...

I had to laugh at myself when I got to the good part of your story. My eyebrows raised and my eyes popped. That was a scare but it could have been worse. Imagine if you had to deal with vomiting or were forced to perform mouth to mouth resuscitation on the portly patient. Glad you made it through w/o getting fired, dear Sush.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Whew! That was a close call. I figured the guy was gonna projectile spew his breakfast all over you. Hey, at least he didn't swallow the film, and on the plus side, I don't suppose you ever had to deal with THAT patient again.

Claudia Moser said...

Thank youmy dear :) now I feel better :)))

Paula Martin said...

I was cringing as I read this because I would have been the one who was gagging!

Herding Cats - Burning Soup said...

Oh my word. That would have terrified me! Poor patient and poor you having to go through that. I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to the dentist. So glad I've never had to do one of those full mouth series x-rays. That does NOT sound like a good time!

Anna@Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Darlene said...

Very scarey X-perience for the both of you! I hate having to crunch down on those films. I never thought that the person putting them in my mounth might hate it as well. LOL!

orchid said...

Dearest Sush,
OMG, what a scary experience and I can guess how much you must be panicked.

Well, one of my cavities's filling accidentally came off yesterday; whew... goning to dentist p;)

Thank you very much for your sweet comment for me. It has been hectic several days for me and it warmed my heart a lot.

Lots of Love and Many Hugs to you, xoxo Miyako*

Janna said...

Hilarious, but probably not so at the time. I have a pretty strong gag reflex myself, I can only imagine that poor man.