Wednesday, 20 June 2018

I am right now experiencing a brand new side of Peru:

Photo credit (Gelmini)
Welcome ladies and gentlemen of the world wide web, today it is Wednesday and that means it is time for a new post here on the Beyond the Horizon blog. Today I feel like “talking” about a topic that many of us are scared of, just the mentioning it might keep us up at night. This is a dilemma that includes my self, in a very big way. The older we get the more important it gets to keep these kinda of things up to date, especially if you drink coffee and smoke cigarettes. What I am “talking” about here is dentists and the health of your teeth. To maintain a good oral hygiene gets even more important when you live in a tropical area of the world is my experience. The climate has the tendency to increase the danger of complications. Despite this and more recent experience, I suffer from an extreme phobia for dentists and what comes with it.

Let's get to the history that I want to tell you guys. On Wednesday last week (one week ago today), I and my son were eating popcorn while we were watching a movie. During the son and father moment, I managed to eat a corn that was not properly popped and in the process, I managed to damage a tooth, at that point in time I thought that it was only a chipping off it. You know, chewing a small piece off. So we continued our evening, by the time I was going to bed I had some pain so I decided to take a couple of painkillers. To be honest, I did not think it was that bad. So as dumb as I am kinda decided to wait to fix the damage until I return to Norway in a few months. Not knowing what would happen very the next day and how bad it would end up being.

When I woke up the next I had some pain and a minor swelling, I told my girlfriend this and that it was not a big deal. So she went to work and I sat down to play some on Grand Theft Auto online with a friend of mine. During my gaming session it got more and more difficult to talk and for some reason, I decided to walk down to where my girlfriend work, something I am glad that I did. Because when I got there things got hectic. What at one point had been an irritation that I had decided to “ride off” had developed to a swelling the size of a tennis ball. This had actually happened more or less without me noticing it, besides getting a bit numb feeling in my lips. I got rushed to the dentist office and before I knew the word of it I was sitting in a dentist chair. It took him one look to decide what to do next.

I was pretty much going through one of my worst nightmares. Here I am in a “strange” country with limited Spanish skills and are forced to undergo a check-up by an irritated dentist who rather wanted to be home with his family eating his dinner. In other words, the office was closed for the day, but it took just one quick look for him to open the door. He noticed my predicament. My situation was pretty bad and I felt like a complete idiot, luckily for me I had my girlfriend with me as moral support. So after a few minutes in the chair, the dentist decided that the only way forward was a few rounds of antibiotics to deal with the massive infection that I had and scheduling a new appointment for the following Saturday. A decision that I was happy with, I was not ready to fix a tooth without anything for the pain.

Here comes my dilemma with my appointment. It is World cup and Peru would be playing their opening match against Denmark at the time I would be sitting in that chair. First of all, this was a match I had been looking forward to for several weeks and on top of this I am in South America and the Peruvian national team is playing. Do believe that everyone knows the type of relationship people here has to a sport like a football. Best way to describe it is madness and my thought was, what if Peru scores a goal while he is poking around in my mouth? I could not cancel my appointment, so all I could do was to show up, scared shitless. Anyway back home I took my first dose of antibiotics and painkillers before going to bed. The next morning would reveal that my tennis ball to my disbelief had grown even bigger. At this point, I did not have any feelings in the entire right side of my face.

The antibiotics that I had gotten had no effect what so ever, so I had to go back to the dentist. The result of this was that to my horror he prescribed a different type of treatment. It got changed from pills to needles and syringes. These syringes were meant to be set at the worst possible area on my body, my bottom and I have heard all kind of stories about how painful that is. So back at the pharmacy, all I could think about was running out of there, because one of their employees was going to stab my bottom with this first syringe. Lets put it like this, it did not take long, but damn it was painful. It was so painful that I had huge difficulties standing upright. It got even worse when I was walking out of the pharmacy. My original plan was to walk home, that got scrapped and I ended up taking a taxi.

So now I spent my entire day dreading my next shot because back home I had problems even just sitting in my coach. To be honest, my theory that day was that either the lady that gave me the shot was crappy at her job or she managed to hit a nerve or something. So for the next four shots or so she did not get close to my bottom. We asked one of my girlfriend's nurse aunts to do it instead. These ones went off more or less without any pain at all. The good thing about all these syringes was that by Saturday my tennis ball had more or less disappeared. All that was left was a minor swelling. So during my appointment on Saturday, the dentist took a few x-rays, cleaned my teeth and set a date for the big fixing, or more like pulling. Sadly he did not see any way to save my tooth.

So a new appointment was set for yesterday (Tuesday), something that got canceled by the dentist himself and re-scheduled for Monday next week. At least I can kinda enjoy my self during the weekend and that without any pain or shots in my bottom. Only thing I now am worried about is what kind of dentist he is. Is he that soft and caring type or is he that rough type that just messes up my mouth. Just to have it said, I have been with a dentist that did just that and it took months to heal properly. Let us say I never used him again. To be honest, all I want now is to get the removal of the tooth over and done with, that way I can continue with my daily life and routines without having this hanging over me. As mentioned, I have an extreme phobia when it comes to dentists.

In all of what has happened the past week, I have learned a few important lessons. The most important one is that if you damage one of your teeth you do not put off fixing it. The next thing you do is to call a dentist and fix an appointment. That's something I actually should have done, or at least the very next morning and not waiting hours before doing it. Just to have it said, I do not have bad oral hygiene. I am just cursed with bad teeth quality. A simple thing as eating a normal bar of chocolate can for me end up with a broken tooth. This time it was a movie and popcorn, actually, I have been through this many times before. Usually, I get it fixed right away, but this time I was more worried about upcoming fathers day celebration at my son's school and of course the World cup match between Peru and Denmark.

Well, that is it for today's story from my daily life as an expat in Peru and I hope you enjoyed to read about my tooth predicament. If you did, why not check out my other posts and my latest video uploaded to my Youtube channel (A family fun day in Barranco #2). Hope to see you there as well. Sorry for the length of today's post.