Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Is Dr. Gjerde still here?"

It is becoming a regular topic with patients as to why I have not retired yet.   After all, I am turning 65 years old this year and lots of my peers have already gone to the greener pastures of leisure and retirement.   The question reminds me of a discussion that I had with a patient years ago.  We were discussing a recent trip my wife and I had made to Los Angeles to visit her parents and brother and so I could attend the California Dental Association meeting in Anaheim (by the way, have you ever wondered why the Anaheim Convention Center is directly across the street from Disneyland).  Since Disney’s California Adventure had just opened along with the Disney Grand California Hotel we decided to stay there.  It worked because I am such a Disneyaholic and then we could commute to my in-laws' house in Downey.  Our conversation was about what I was doing while Karen visited with her parents and that question has stuck with me for years.  She said, “I certainly hope that since you were at Disneyland you left out time to have fun.” my response was, “you don’t understand the Dental Society meeting is fun.”  Interestingly enough, it still is just as exciting and as much fun as it was when I was in dental school at UCLA in the early 70's and my wife and I were newlyweds.  Now the kids are gone, and it is just Karen and I along with our 5 dogs; Pudge, Bell, Crush, Tucker and Bolt, and two horses (a topic for a later blog).  While I love my family I also love my work as it has been a huge part of my life for over 40 years.  Thus I just can’t leave my huge family of 4,000 current patients and 15 staff members.  I will obviously be here for quite a while.

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