The fabric of my life

The first draft of this Editor's Note offered a whimsical list of five reasons for not joining the American Dental Hygienists' Association.

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The first draft of this Editor's Note offered a whimsical list of five reasons for not joining the American Dental Hygienists' Association. I wrote it and then set it aside. I was not happy with it. By being facetious about the reasons why you shouldn't join, I was hoping to motivate some readers to reconsider belonging to the ADHA. The problem is that there's a personal list for me floating around somewhere of everything I should be doing in my life. The list makes it difficult for me to tell others what to do. On a very logical level, there's about nine million reasons why you should belong to the ADHA. If you do not belong, however, it's your choice. I was reluctant (this time around) to persuade you otherwise.

So I stored the first draft into the network and went home. I have a son who's a good kid, but he is dealing with the mental baggage peculiar to 16-year-olds. So we cut his grandfather's lawn together and then played golf. He made a beautiful 15-foot putt for a birdie on a par-four. It was the highlight of his weekend. Small steps are the only way I can think of for dealing with teenagers.

In the meantime, the mail arrived at work.A book titled, "Cuisine AprMy reaction to the book was more of surprise. I am the world's biggest fan of preventive dentistry. Imagine me in a sports arena and obnoxiously cheering for the team with dental hygienists. When hygienists are on your team, you don't ponder on whether to chew or slurp after dental treatment; the goal is to stay healthy in the first place.

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But that's my choice; if some of your other patients approach dentistry in a more painful way, you might recommend Moran's "hot dog hash."

I then read an e-mail from Dr. Joe Blaes, the editor of Dental Economics. I'm the leadoff hitter (baseball lingo for the first batter in a lineup) among the dental editors. RDH is the first publication to be printed every month, so I'm the first one to write an Editor's Note. Remember, though, I'm dragging my feet about telling you the five reasons for not joining the ADHA. Dr. Joe Blaes e-mailed me a copy of his Editor's Note and asked me to take a look. Most of it is inspirational stuff about how some colleagues have dealt with tribulation - one lost a child on 9/11, another continues to battle cancer.

Dr. Blaes then pauses to thank the people who collaborate on a daily basis to publish Dental Economics. I second his gesture - but for RDH. Several of the people he named - Vicki Cheeseman, Penny Anderson, Linda Holeman, Ted Anibal, Lyle Hoyt, and Craig Dickson - humbly and diligently serve both magazines. I would add Marc Scheiner, Amy Frazin, and Machele Galloway to my list because of their involvement with RDH. Although we take pains to ensure that RDH is published for hygienists and not dentists, it would be absurd to ignore the positive impact that Dr. Blaes has had on the dental hygiene profession. They all are a terrific group of people!

The second e-mail arrived just a few minutes ago, while I was kicking Dr. Blaes' comments and hot dog hash around in my head as an alternative to the original Editor's Note. A lifelong friend of my father's sent me a photograph from Easter Sunday in 1958. I tend to forget I even existed in 1958, and that may be the best I've ever looked wearing a tie.

The photograph made me smile on a Monday morning when I was struggling to think of a better way to advocate ADHA membership. I'd make a lousy recruiter for the ADHA. But I do think the association should be a part of the fabric of your life, as it is mine.

Mark Hartley is the editor of RDH. He can be contacted at markh@pennwell.com.

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