Friday, January 1, 2010

Sister Cindy Conquers 12/18/09

Sister Cindy Conquers 12/18/09

Sister Cindy is overcoming so many of her "I won't" issues that she is running out of challenges here in Novosibirsk.

She sent this email to her family recently announcing her triumph over pain, fear, distance, and inconvenience in going to the dentist to get a tooth repaired.

From: Cindy Simmons
December 18, 2009 07:29:05 AM PST
To: R Douglas Simmons, Brian Simmons, Shannon Simmons, Scott Simmons, Trisha Youell

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. I conquered my fear and survived my visit to the Russian dentist. 

Love ya,
Sister Cindy Simmons
Russia Novosibirsk Mission
Office Secretary

This may not seem all that monumental to those of you in the US, but it was a HUGE mountain that she climbed and conquered.

First of all, you must understand that her greatest fear on this mission, after my slipping on the ice and becoming a quadriplegic or having to transport my dead body back to the US, was to get any kind of medical treatment in Russia. I have to admit that I was right there with her because medical treatment here is not what we have come to expect in the US. However, it sounds like you and I may get to experience that level of care soon at home. Sanitation, equipment, technique, training, and patient comfort are all many years in arrears.

Well, there comes a time when necessity overcomes all else and you just have to go for it. In this case, she had the unnerving experience of finding either her zirconium filling or the top half of her left back molar in a refrigerator storage container after she had tasted its contents. At first she thought it was a piece of bone, but discovered the hole in her mouth and knew the horrible truth. She tried to endure the pain and loss of chewing surface, but finally had to just bite the bullet, so to speak, and get it fixed.

First, she had Olga make an appointment for an examination and evaluation by the dentist she recommended, who also had done work for Sister Mickelsen. When we arrived, we found that it was a very modern-looking office setup with elevator music playing and a receptionist who did the initial welcome and registration. Here Olga is making out the initial paperwork in Russian to get her registered.

I went in with her initially to be some support, and of course to get some pictures for the blog. It was modern, clean, and very professional. There were three office-cubicle type of enclosures in this large room and each was similarly equipped. In this picture, the dentist is the one with the red hair on the left.

After they got her in the chair and she began to explain the problem and they began to ask questions, with Olga interpreting both sides of course, I could see that I was not needed and slipped out.

As I came out of the door, I noticed the pictures on the wall and realized that these were of the staff. Her dentist was the one in the lower-left. She looked to be about in her late 30's in person, but much younger in the picture.

All in all, I was impressed with the place, the staff, and the young-lady dentist and felt quite confident that Cindy would be well cared for.

After the initial examination which took about half an hour, Cindy came out with an X-ray and a complete idea of the health of her teeth. Interesting enough, they did not charge for the examination.

Armed with that information and the X-ray, she used SKYPE to contact the former mission president, Hal Mickelsen (a dentist), and his wife who had the root canal done last year. She also SKYPED her regular dentist, Brian Hull, to find out just how serious this could be. Being satisfied that it could wait, she endured the pain until it became constant and was obviously not going away. Fortunately, Sister Mickelsen had found this dentist in Novosibirsk to be very satisfactory, so Sister Cindy had Olga make an appointment and she had the work done.

I went along for moral support for the second visit to have the root-canal, but she really didn't need me. I'm proud of her for her bravery and determination. She has even made several other appointments with this dentist to get other problems fixed.  Before we get home, I'm sure that she will have had several teeth repaired and will be quite comfortable with the whole process.

What a brave soldier. What a country.


Diane Keys said...

I am so relieved to know that everything went well with the dentist visit. It is amazing to me how you have conquered your fears (which would be mine, also!) about needing medical care on your mission. I think that conquering fears is probably a big part of what we are suppose to do here. Hurrah for you!!

Shannon Simmons said...

Mom, you are a champion! I am really proud of you for doing what many of us from the states would be so anxious to do. You are doing fantastic!

Trisha said...

Mom I love you. What a great example you are to me and my kids. Prayers work wonders.

Bob Steed said...

I am so happy that things went well. Heavenly Father is watching out for you both.