I’m at the dentist being asked questions the way they do when they know you can’t answer. The ridiculousness of it all amplified by my inability to speak Spanish.
What could possibly go wrong?
Beyond the dentist skimping on anaesthetic and ignoring my gagged flinching, turns out a fair bit.
It all started when I hurt my foot…
I was between towns on unstable ground when I developed an intense pain over a bone in my foot.
I could barely put my foot down, but without any trauma and my expert(less) opinion that it didn’t feel like a stress fracture, I decided it wasn’t.
Nonetheless I set up camp close to a road and planned to hitch back the next day.
Then a car pulls up and out jump my fatten-her-up obsessed stand-in family from the previous town. Bursting with excitement they came to surprise me.
They spot my limp and immediately drag me back to town while stuffing me full of pastries and lecturing me about how I walked too far and I need new shoes.
I roll my eyes. They roll theirs back.
I changed my route for easier walking and a few days later my foot feels ready to go again.
The night before I leave I floss my teeth like any other dentist fearing patient and TWO of my fillings pop out!
All I can say is I found satisfaction in Mum’s outrage because she chaperoned me to the dentist before I left in an attempt to avoid this very situation. #mypoormother
She had other news; apparently I’m too old for the toothfairy and fillings aren’t included in the T&C’s. My insurance agreed.
But with no pain and no dentist near by, I head out in the morning anyway.
Here’s my problem (one of), I get a lot of satisfaction from taking short cuts.
I hop a fence to cut a corner worth about 5km to me, hit unstable grounds and sometime later the pain in my foot is back (idiot).
I cut a path back towards a road and decide to continue for one more day because road walking should be easier.
I change the lacing of my shoe, remove my orthotics, reinsert my orthotics, rest frequently and suck up the pain hoping it will fade while I look for a camping spot worth resting at for a day.
I couldn’t find one, the pain didn’t ease and in the morning I received a storm warning.
Remembering I had a stash of Panadeine Forte, I break into it and push on walking to find better shelter.
Out of nowhere a truck pulls over and offers me a lift. Tempted, I barely manage a ‘no’ and ask if I can have some water instead.
He fills my bottles and before leaving looks at me very seriously and then begins pulling firmly at the bag of one of his eyes. That’s a weird body language thing here which means (ojo/eye) be careful.
I roll my eyes, pop another Panadeine Forte (#donttellmydoctor), and wonder if my intuition about a broken foot could be wrong.
And then I have a win.
I find an abandoned estancia (farmhouse) to hide from the storm. Normally I would take to Twitter and gloat, but gloating about campsites hasn’t worked out for me in the past:
The first time I had a less than flattering water poisoning incident…
Days after the winter storm campsite, I met the property owner who told me I was sharing my safe haven with this guy (or his cousin)…
And since I once camped at an abandoned estancia that turned out not to be abandoned… I decided against gloating and tended to my foot.
It dawns on me that the pain I’m feeling is similar to a hotspot I had a few months back caused by the lace rubbing on a pressure point of a worn out shoe.
Annoyed it’s taken a week to have this revelation, I take to my shoe with a knife.
Sure enough the metal eyelet inside the shoe has bent 90° inwards. The pressure it places against my foot is almost unnoticeable yet the pain it causes is excruciating. Apart from chocking the space around the metal with gels, I can’t fix it.
I need new shoes.
I wander around the farm while thinking about who once lived there and check the old windmill for water. The tank’s empty (makes sense), so I drop a rock down the well and a surprisingly long time later I hear a thud… no water.
This leaves me with a difficult water rationing decision. Hot chocolate or dinner?
I go with dinner, accidentally pour in a mound of salt and as though my teeth are repulsed by the taste, the last shards of fillings come out. I know what you’re thinking; #areyousingle.
Should have gone with the hot chocolate.
The storm passes and so does my hobbling alone in the middle of nowhere. I meet a family in town who throws me on a truck heading back towards my resupply point.
When I get there I head straight for the anaesthetic frugal dentist and a friend translates for me that he has referred me to a specialist because he suspects I need a root canal. Can’t wait.
The nurse calls me in.
As though I need to offset the sing-along-to-the-music cheeriness of the specialist (glad one of us is happy) I nearly faint in the chair.
Would have been wonderful.
Then some magic happens:
- My dentist speaks English
- He uses so much anaesthetic I can’t feel my lips
- I don’t need a root canal and
- I’m allowed to eat after my appointment (there’s a cake in the oven – really can’t imagine why my fillings failed).
My dentist from back home reports in that my decay rate has increased; You’re going to need a few fillings replaced, not sure why we didn’t do them before you left.
As for marriage and houses?
The Toothfairy took everything in the settlement.
6 ways you can get involved…
You can contribute to my new teeth via the below chocolate + toilet paper link or…
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | CHOCOLATE + TOILET PAPER
(I’ve had trouble with emails… Which I think I’ve fixed but…. If you received a duplicate email tell me…. Better yet, if you have skills to fix it TELL ME!)
2. LIKE and SHARE.
3. Know peeps who would happily offer me a shower… that’s probably best for everyone!
4. If you have ideas or feedback – I love the good, the bad and the ugly… it may take a few days for me to get back to you… But I will.
5. You can donate hot chocolate, dinner… or a new shirt here.
– but best of all,
6. Keep on reading!
Thanks for all your support – the primary reason why I’m one step closer to keeping all my teeth!!!!
See you out there,
Thank goodness for an English speaking dentist Lucy. It reminds you of the issues of one’s health care in a foreign country but no matter how much you have in the way of health checks prior to departure there are always going to be those annoying problems that crop up from time to time.
You are an amazing and tenacious person and Maggie and I take our hats off to you. Stay safe and well and our thoughts are with you every step of the way.
Even though my insurance doesn’t cover it I’m glad I have it!! Fingers crossed they continue to cover me next year!!!