Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Diagnose carefully, I beg of you.

"I can feel your pain"
But can you really?
I highly doubt it.

You only see the surface texture.. the enamel of my personality.
Once innocently translucent,, inevitably growing more opaque day by day.

Have you any idea of the underlying dentin?
The abundant amounts of reparative dentin formed to prevent the cascade of harmful stimulants from reaching the pulp.

And what of the poor isolated pulp?
A traumatic experience could render it reversibly damaged, or -God forbid- irreversibly paralyzed.

You can veneer me all you want, but the dentin is still inside hard-headed and stubborn as ever.
You may bleach attempting to get rid of those discolored spots, and you'll find that as much as you overload hydrogen peroxide externally, internal bleaching rarely succeeds with me.
You can bandage the wounds with a thick layer of Calcium hydroxide, but the pulp still silently cries in agony.

The core of my being doesn't enclose a solitary layer... there are many.

Have you ever thought to dig deeper?
To treat the cause not only the symptoms?
Oh how I wish you would!

Monday, 21 March 2011

It's a small world after all

It's too early, and too cold..
Layla turns off the alarm clock and angrily kicks the broken heater..
Hurriedly she performs the fastest ablution possible under the freezing water, trying not to forget any steps.
Praying fajr in Syria in the middle of January was torture..
"Allah Akbar"
oops I forgot to wash my elbows.. damn it.
On her way to the sink she remembers that the mysterious Saudi guest her parents had been talking about for over a week is coming today.
"I wonder what they're up to?" she thinks drenching her elbows vigorously.
A few kilometers away in Tabouk..
Coming home from college, sitting to a plate of traditional jareesh, Asma amuses at the gossip her aunt melodramatically discusses with her friend on the phone..
"He got married!"
tsk tsk...
She stiffles a giggle, not wanting to believe that "mediocre minds talk about events" while "shallow minds talk about people"
Her mind was only perplexed by her ophthalmology exam next Wednesday,
"I better download the e-book from that Indian forum"
Waking up from her afternoon nap, Fatma headed to the living room to watch news with her father, being an Iraqi and watching news was as depressing as it gets.. how about we listen to Fayrooz ya baba?
They both gaze at the screen with glassy eyes..
"Ya 6air.. ya 6iyr 3ala a6raf aldenya.."
Why didn't she leave to the states with her cousin when she had the chance!
In Idaho..sitting in the bus on the way to her second job at a local deli, Mariam puts the bookmark in her book "The Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar " and glances back at the lady in front of her..
Yes I am wearing a scarf.
Yes I am a Muslim woman from an Arab country.
But I am not a terrorist.
I did not kill your husband in Iraq.
After what she hoped was a semi-comprehendible eye-communication, she goes back to the poem;
"I know what the caged bird feels, alas!"
Studying for her ophthalmology final exam in the sweltering heat of Mumbai, India..
Why do the neighbors' kids have to be this loud and obnoxious, why?
And seriously, could the internet be any slower?
Laila promised that she'd upload the e-book in the forum by tonight..
"I'm going to disconnect the WiFi modem and bring it to my room, ok?" she yells
"NO" says her 15 year old sister, "I'm downloading Aishwarya Rai's new movie"
Only her brother -Rasheed- would empathize with her in these situations, but he left to be a driver in Mecca, his college degree gone to waste.
A few blocks from the holy mosque in Mecca, Reem hears maghrib prayer ring in the air..
Opening the window she wheels her grandfather's chair near it so they can both drink in the atmosphere..
"Do you want a piece of labanya ya jaddo? Rasheed bought them from "Soog Al-Hijaz"
A black and white pigeon eyes them from a rooftop hungrily.
Walking through the markets in Casablanca, Morocco on a busy afternoon.
Where French and Arabic languages mingle divinely..
"Ya 3ammo.. give me a kilo of squash, ooh and a few of those eggplants too!"
Couscous for dinner tonight!
While her vegetables are being weighed, Noor hears the news on the radio.

People dying all over the world.
From Japan to Sudan.

Muslims all over the world suffering.
From Iraq to Yemen.

Lifting her head up to the sky she sends a silent prayer:
"Ya Allah only you can fix all broken. Only you can right all wrong. Ya Allah grant health to every sick man, grant patience to every widowed woman and grant forgiveness for every soul lost"


Monday, 14 March 2011

Et tu Brute?

Amazing how we can say so much without the slight movement of our lips..

How simple acts can convey extraordinary messages..

I once read that "no communication is in itself a form of communication", that the "cold shoulder" of our childhood years can actually produce great change in character of others..

Bizarre how our subconscious can make us do un-explainable things, how the voice in our minds can be louder than the commotion of a lecture hall, how you can be surrounded by friends yet still be lonely..

Uncanny how when push comes to shove you discover what's really important, who's really important, who's not..
How when in crisis you unravel kindred spirits you had previously assumed to be commonplace, a look of understanding passes between you; et tu Brute?
Et tu?

It's time to be grateful; for family, for friendship, for health.
It's time to cherish what you have, it could vanish in a second.

Because whether you fall asleep with a smile on your face or tears streaming on your pillow, the sun will rise tomorrow.

So lay your head with a smile.


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Bitter sweet and strange, finding you can change, learning you were wrong

I'd rather endure regretting not saying something.. than the painful remorse of the spoken words doomed to float in memories forever.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Hawley Labial Bow

Firm grip on the 139 pliers, careful not to pinch yourself.
He was determined to win the race.. to impress and to defeat..he wanted more than anything to prove them all wrong.. he'll show them.
Ironic how neglect can actually give birth to ambition.
Curve the wire slightly so it adapts to the labial surfaces of the maxillary incisors, not too tight though.
The look in her eyes was taunting, her lips never spoke ill of her condition but I could see them quaver as the doctor announced that it was time for her chemo. session.
An unwelcome guest in a beautiful home.
Turn the wire gingivally as you approach the canine, but don't extend it too far from the gingival margin then turn it occlusally making a small U-turn.
She was fuming with anger, everytime this topic comes up in a conversation she tries her utmost to get it through their thick skulls: It doesn't matter which region you come from in Saudi Arabia, your self-worth is the same, your value doesn't change regardless your genetic composition.
Sighing with disgust at how obscene people can be, she leaves the room.
Bend the wire over the embrasure between the canine and the premolar, be judicious so it doesn't interfere with the occlusal plane.
An hour of moderate rain can catastrophically damage one of the country's largest cities, lives were lost and memories were scarred.
A five year old had always lived to believe rain was a precursor of blossoming flowers, now rain has become the murderer of her best-friend's father.
It's time for the tricky C-Clasp, take heed to start at the mesial line angle of the molar.
The bellowing music fills the room, Filipino maids carry ridiculously heavy trays with strained smiles, brightly sequined dresses flashing on the dance floor.
The scent of jasmine flowers in this Southern Saudi wedding is intoxicating.
After the wire has been adapted on the buccal surface of the molar, gently turn it over the embrasure, again it should be away from the patient's occlusion.
Sitting in a conference room her mobile shines with a message from her son, he just sent her a picture of his new I.D., she smiles for behind that pseudo-mature gaze of an 18 year old,she sees the little boy wearing a thobe and shimagh frollicking with his sisters on the night of Halloween in Minneapolis,MN.
"Trick or Treat!"
Adust the clasp on the hard palate then add the acrylic.
Searching frantically for his grandfather's medication in the drawer, sensing a box-like object he pulls out a tape for Fayrooz from the 80's, taking a glance at his grandpa's religious beard he silently returns the tape to the back of the drawer.
"I couldn't find anything"
"It's in the fourth drawer, you'll find it, the fourth drawer not the fifth"
He brings the medications after making sure the fifth drawer shows no evidence of being tampered with.
Now the retainer is ready to be delivered to its rightful owner...
At least when there are more uncertainties than absolutes in this world, you can be 100% sure of one thing: As long as your patient wears her retainer her teeth won't go back to their protruded position.
One less thing to worry about.