I was not happy to be going to the dentist today. For one thing, I had plans that I was forced to cancel. Although the appointment was made six months ago, no one told me about it until a few days ago.
Because of the lack of notice, I had no time to arrange an interpreter. In the past, my mother would go with me and use the sign language manual alphabet to "fingerspell" what was being said. Unfortunately, my mother is still healing from injuries she received in a car accident. My dad took me to the dentist. He does not sign, so we have trouble communicating.
I sat in Dr. Gordon Marsh's dentist chair in a nasty mood. I'm fond of Dr. Marsh and his staff. But I did not like the idea of having my mouth worked on when no one could tell me what was going on. That's why it's so important for people who are deaf to have access to interpreters in medical settings.
The dental hygienist put on my little bib and picked up my hand. She fingerspelled "This is Sarah" directly into my hand. I jumped in surprise! I had no idea that Dr. Marsh had staff who can communicate with people who are deaf and deaf-blind. Sarah kept me informed about what she was doing. We also chatted as she worked. It was an unusual and wonderful experience for me.
After Dr. Marsh checked my teeth, Sarah gave me a thumbs up. I left the office with a bright smile on my face. Only part of it was a result of the polish.