The pain woke me. Something was wrong. I looked in the mirror and the right side of my face had blown up like a balloon and the right eye was just a slit. On the roof of my mouth was a throbbing round mass. I had a palatal abscess. For a couple of weeks the tooth second from the front had been a bit niggly; I would put my fingernail between it and my front tooth and the niggle would go away. I told myself there was nothing to worry about as I had just been to the dentist and had this tooth filled with one of those new white composite fillings. Well that indeed was the problem, the base under the composite had either been forgotten or not applied correctly and the chemicals from the composite had travelled through the little tubes of dentene and attacked the nerve. The niggles had been the nerve dying and then one night, it all just blew up with infection. An emergency trip to the Dental Clinic was necessary and this is how I met Person #2. She was the nursing sister who administered the penicillin injections in my rump to bring the infection under control.
This palatal abscess proved to be a doozy. It would not drain, despite being lanced and pushed and shoved in every direction to get the infection out and for several days I attended the clinic each day and even after the abscess was under control there were lots of visits to sort out the future of this tooth. The staff got to know me quite well.
Fast forward, my mother had passed away and I had resigned from my sales assistant role to go home to the farm and help out. Friends had advised against this move, they thought I would go back to the farm and get stuck there. I didn’t think this would happen, but honestly, I was physically and emotionally exhausted and knew this was the right decision. So it is a Friday and I am in one of the large department stores in the town, spending my tax return, as you do when young and fashion is far more important that savings, on a flash red bag when Person #2 approached me to offer condolences for my mum and we had a quick chat. We were just about to part when I said, “By the way, you don’t happen to have any jobs going at the Dental Clinic, do you?”
“Why, do you want one?”
“Yes, I think I could be an OK Dental nurse.”
“Well, there is nothing at the moment, but in the new year we are expecting several new graduates and we will need extra staff then.”
And that was it. A 20 second conversation basically on the back of a throw away line. P#2 must have gone back to the clinic, relayed our conversation and the powers that be must have agreed to put my name forward as prospective staff. I received a letter stating that I would be employed the following year and that was it, until several months later when I was phoned to be advised my starting date and to come to the clinic to collect a bolt of fabric and arrange uniforms to be made.
P #2 and I have long, long since lost contact but she deserves mention here a someone who played a significant role in my way leads onto way life. This began one of my most wonderful times and I simply loved going to work and loved everything about this job. This also is where I met, and subsequently married H1, the father of my four amazing offspring.