Today, staff from CHC are participating in The 6th Annual Danbury Project Homeless Connect. You may have read about it in the Danbury Patch or the NewsTimes. But, what you may not have heard are some of the stories about what makes this such an important event. One of our dental hygienists shared a few stories about last year’s event.
An overweight woman told me she has diabetes. I asked if she was checking her blood numbers daily and she said, “no”. I asked if she had something to eat today she said, “yes, I ate here today.” She stated that she loved this event and that she had no insurance. I spoke with her about the importance of the dental cleaning for people with diabetes. I remember her telling me that she did not know that diabetes that could affect the mouth or how her dental care related to her diabetes.
There was a gentleman who I had to turn down for the cleaning. He told me, when we went over his medical history, that he had open heart surgery. He had not been back for a follow up since being dismissed from the hospital. He had no insurance. He had not had a cleaning in many years and was hoping to get one that day. He said that he was unaware of the importance in maintaining a healthy mouth with his cardiac condition. He was surprised and wanted to know more. He told me that his sister was going to pay for a medical visit for him and he would try to get a follow up as was recommended by his physician.
I had a young homeless married couple in their mid twenties. They had arrived early to make sure they were able to be seen that day. You could see that they were having tough times. They looked so much older; they were so stressed and had been for a while. The young man had signed up his wife for the dental cleaning because she had not had one in years and she had tooth pain. He pulled me aside and said, “I want my wife to go first, she doesn’t want the cleaning, she is afraid. Is it ok if I stay and hold her hand while she is getting the cleaning?”
I told him, “sure of course.” In the end it took longer than expected for the cleaning. They both were very grateful and I got a hug at the end. I was about to ball my eyes out. I love these events, but I cannot tell you how sad I was inside hearing the stories of patients who were in my chair that day.