So I have woken up this morning and feel somewhat better, at least ready to do on-line Christmas shopping (late) and write a promised guest blog piece (not quite as late) and think about cooking (will do boar as usual). But I'm still taking it easy.
The dental appointment on Friday was for the final stage of fixing the lower molar that I blogged about back in May. The story since then was extraction by a specialist surgeon, emergency cleaning-up on Easter Sunday (we delayed Easter eggs to Monday as a result), titanium screw implant, two unsuccessful goes at fitting a crown and finally plugging the gap successfully on Friday (also asking the dentist to check for bruising from being hit in the mouth, but she gave me the all clear on that score). So that particular problem is now sorted.
Unfortunately that's not yet all for my teeth. When I was in Moldova last month, just before I took this picture, I managed to break another tooth, this time the left upper molar beside the ones that gave me so much trouble last year; biting on a piece of bread - which seemed to me chewy as bread of that part of the world often is, but not excessively so - I felt something move that shouldn't move, and realised I had a problem.
Having a dental emergency in a country where you don't speak the language(s) is not the most reassuring situation to be in, but I got my hotel to sort me out - and full marks to them, if you're ever in Chişinău I do recommend the VisPas Hotel for many other reasons quite apart from their ability to deal with their guests' dental emergencies. I literally had to go straight to the dentist from my meeting with the acting Foreign Minister, and was driven there direct from the ministry by a senior official (who fortunately also is a long-standing friend).
The dentist was as good as I could have wished for; they all spoke Russian rather than Romanian (as many do in Chişinău) but got the admin guy to translate for me (my Russian is pretty vestigial and oddly enough was not honed for this situation). They detached the broken bit of tooth, cleaned it up a bit and did an X-Ray, and then charged me 80 Moldovan lei for the whole lot. That would be US$6.50, UK£4.20, or €5; I would certainly have paid five or ten times that amount in Belgium, and I shudder to think what it would cost in the US. Not surprisingly, my pocket map of Chişinău has no fewer than five advertisements for dental clinics servicing foreigners who prefer to fork out for flying to Moldova and getting their teeth done there rather than spend the same money or more for the same service at home. (Will provide details to anyone who is interested - Chişinău is perfectly safe, to the extent that everyone in the central park downtown is surfing the free WiFi on their laptops, and has a very good local medical tradition, though not the easiest place in the world to get to from Western Europe let alone the US; I would also guess that the clinics advertising on the tourist map speak better English than the guys who fixed me up.)
Anyway, I still have only half a tooth up above, my Belgian dentist (who, to add complexity, is actually French) feeling it better to wait until the lower molar was sorted before starting upstairs. But at least it's not uncomfortable, as the other dental problems over the last couple of years have been. So I am hoping against hope that the end of this tedious saga is in sight.
At least my mysteriously infected finger has returned to normal size and (almost) normal colour, after a week of antibiotics.