Normally if I get a headache or have some pain, I take what Peter calls the placebo dose of Advil: one pill. I was taking the maximum dose, four pills every 6 hours and cheating and taking them every 5 and half hours, plus Tylenol in between and the pain was still so bad, I'd have to get out of bed and pace around the room, making the dog think I've lost something.
I like to have my dentistry done in the U.S. by my cousin, who is my favorite dentist not because he is my cousin or because he is a dear, sweet man but because he was number one in his class.
Then if I need a crown, I like to have my sister's lab make it, not only because she is my sister, but because hers is the crown I can't find in my mouth because it looks and feels so natural and beautiful.
So I'm up all night, the president may or may not be re-elected, and I'm doing school, drawing and painting in the evenings, and doing four events at work in two days. Peter isn't here to arrange a dentalvac and clearly, I don't have time to go.
Dr. Christina in the med unit has loaded me up, European-medicine style: medicine, a medicine to make the medicine not give me a stomach ache, a back-up medicine, a heavy duty-medicine, an antibiotic and an ointment. A full trick-or-treat bag of cures that don't help me sleep at night.
I decide to see the Romanian dentist.
She's nice and I like her name, Roxana Karin, and I'm kind of namist. The office is plain, but nice enough and it's clean. The instruments and equipment look just like at home, Dr. Karin wears gloves when she examines me. She does a panorama xray of my head and determines the potential problem tooth and then sends me out for another xray. I've never not just had bitewings taken at the dentist, but okay. I take a taxi across town.
I visit an xray clinic that operates McDonalds-style. A white-scrubs-wearing person takes your order. You take a seat on a green plastic chair. In about five minutes they mispronounce your name.
They lead-apron you up, take the xray and shoo you back to the green chairs. In two minutes they mispronounce your name again. You go to the counter pay 10 lei--3 dollars--and they hand you your xray in a to-go bag.
I took a taxi back to the dentist where she decided I needed a root canal. When I told a friend I was going to a Romanian dentist for a root canal, he said, "Are you a Scotch drinker?"
The worst part of the root canal was having to have to drive myself to an unfamiliar place at night--the appointment was at 8 pm. Dr. Karin did the procedure by herself, only using an assistant for about two minutes. She didn't suit up like I'm hazardous material in the way dentists normally do now, but she wore gloves and the assistant disinfected everything. Afterwards, she filled the tooth, no crown needed she said.
Obama continues to be our president and Peter got home from Albania. An hour after I arrived at the dentist, I walked out with a numb face, went home and slept all night.
The cost of the procedure: 200 lei, $75. Well, plus the $3 for the xray.