This last month has taught me the value of good health ... not because I haven’t been in good health ... I have. But August brings the end of summer, a strong desire for the routine found in “going back to school,” and myriad other details that tend to keep parents awake at night. And I find I am a bit tired of dealing with the details.
In thinking about the topic for this article, I typed “women and dentistry” into my search engine and this quote popped up (no lie!): “Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears, and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.”
I know some of you are laughing ... maybe many of you ... in reading this quote, and no, it’s not about men particularly (well, maybe a little!) but more about women and multitasking. It is almost impossible for women to address one problem at a time given our “hard wiring,” and equally impossible for us to slow down enough to recognize that all will get done ... that the “short people” in our lives will start school on time and the “big people” will adapt once again to college life and the anxious feelings that come with apartment living in the city (my two daughters!).
So what does all this have to do with good health? Good health is helping me work the long days that my schedule demands lately. Good health is in the news in considering the obesity factor in children. And good health is the difference between a quality life in our senior years and one fraught with worry and expense.
Are you in good health? Can you honestly say that the attention you devote to your family, friends, and work leaves you with enough time to at least minimally think about your physical and mental health? One of my male friends told me recently that his wife has no time for him after caring for the house and children (feel free to imagine the conversation I had with him about offering support and help!), but he did have a point. We are women first ... women who fell in love with our significant others and with our dental careers ... women who take on yet more responsibility with our children and our faith. Women who maybe along the way forgot that so much depends on our continued ability to function in the roles we have chosen for ourselves.
In the midst of my summer, I discovered the power of a hug. I often exit the building with Jessica (my assistant) and Susan (our office coordinator), and it is a rule that we must hug ... it’s almost a game really. Who will give the first hug? It is my Idle Thought that we should all offer a hug, especially when it most likely means we will get one in return. To good health ... and to the routine that fall brings ... ■
Sharon Szeszycki, DDS
Dr. Szeszycki is a graduate of the dental hygiene program at Southern Illinois University, a BS graduate of the dental hygiene program at Loyola University, and a graduate of the Loyola University School of Dentistry. She has been actively involved for more than 10 years with the Mediation and Peer Review Committees of the Chicago Dental Society. A full-time co-partner in a general dentistry practice in Lombard, Ill., she may be contacted at [email protected].