I broke a tooth yesterday. Not surprisingly, I was munching on some popcorn when I felt the disgusting crack in the back of my mouth. It didn’t hurt. What really got me boggled up into a tether was the idea of having dental work done HERE. Not that anyone especially likes going to the dentist anywhere, but I especially hate it.
I don’t know. I’m usually pretty laid back, pretty chill…but when I get in that chair, all senses are on high alert. My dentist back home continually has to remind me to settle down and not to hold my breath. He says that the reason the Novocain doesn’t work for me is because I am so tense.
I say, I’m tense because the Novocain doesn’t work, but whatever…
Plus, the timing of this is just bad. We were supposed to leave early this morning to head out to Zwedru for an orientation with our newest international staff member. We’re also scheduled to fly out to Europe on Tuesday for Thanksgiving. I knew I had to get it taken care of asap, but couldn’t think of anyone here I wanted digging around in my mouth.
We heard about some Canadian missionaries who had a dental clinic just outside Monrovia, so we decided to drive there this morning and check it out. As soon as we arrived I felt ashamed of the tizzy I had been in earlier. There was a young man in the waiting area sweating profusely and crying as he held his face rocking back and forth. He was obviously in terrible pain. Another woman sat in the corner with her face in her lap moaning softly into her dress.
After several hours waiting, it was my turn to see the dentist. A young Liberian woman escorted me back to the dreaded chair and I started to sweat as she asked what was wrong. Tim explained what happened while another Liberian, a man this time, came into the room and started poking around in my mouth.
“Where’s the Canadian?” I almost asked. Just then, a jolly, reasonably Canadian looking woman appeared and took over the scene. My muscles began to relax as she examined me and talked us through her recommendations. She could repair the tooth and it would cost $15 USD. I sheepishly asked if she would be using Novocain knowing that many of the Liberians being treated got no kind of pain medication. She said no, but that she used another numbing agent.
The procedure went off flawlessly and I think I can honestly say that it may have been one of the least offensive dental experiences I’ve ever had. When all was finished, Frieda, the Canadian dentist invited us to her beach house. I think that this is the first social invitation I’ve ever had or would have considered accepting from a dentist.
I’m still numbed up on the left side of my face and our travel plans have been delayed until tomorrow, but considering all, I’m in relatively high spirits.
Thank you, Jesus for helping is through another crazy day!