The Hayes Zoo

Our Purpose

- to know God and use our entire lives in service to Him.

- to stand in the gap through prayer, giving and service to viable ministries in Latin America.

- to be transparent helpers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, using our resources and skills that through the Holy Spirit, we might encourage and equip those who have less.

- to share a living perspective from Latin America to our churches, friends and family in the states and beyond.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Death by Dental Visit.

First of all you must know that one of the ways Alan and I cope with or try and make it through some of the REALLY challenging aspects of our living as we do is to find the humorous side. "BLOG FODDER" is a phrase that we use with one another to kind of snap each other out of the "Oh. My. Heck. What do I do with this?" mode.

After this last couple of months though I'm feeling a bit done having interesting blog fodder for you all. Nothing personal - I'm just feeling a bit like the crash dummy and that I'd rather sit out for a while. Alas, we are still here so I'm strapped into the 'vehicle' called new experience.

Newest experience to share - DENTAL VISITS and WORK in Honduras.

This story is not for the faint of heart. Or the ones who get the willies reading about medical stuff. Heck I wish I could click the little "x" button and opt out but no - here I am. Your own personal crash dummy.

A tad bit of history for you to set the stage.

I don't like the dentist.

Forgive me if you are one. I'm sure I would like you in real life and in my intellect (or what's left of it) I KNOW that you do good things for me but frankly - I don't like you to have to be that close to my mouth.

I don't remember for sure when this phobia first manifested itself. I remember one particular dental visit as a young teenager that left me feeling like I'd had a watermelon in my mouth for hours and I'm guessing that's where it started. We switched dentists later and I had several years of decent dentists and a fabulous orthodontist, but still. I will forever call my parents blessed for paying for the priviledge of getting my wisdom teeth out surgically. As in all I remember about that appointment was showing up early in the morning, saying hello, counting backwards with the goofy mask over my face then waking up being escorted to the car by several assistants. Mouth full of gauze and the sensation of floating, I still was trying to say thank you as they helped me into the car because it had been so great for me. I do remember whacking my forehead on the window as I tried to lean out and wave. I'm sure drool completed the picture. Needless to say - THAT was the best dentist appointment ever.

This story is a tad different. I will warn you that there is more punctuation than is legal in this post. It just isn't possible to convey the feelings I'm having without it.

Three phrases for you.

Third world country.
Filling that falls out.


This was how last month started for me. I managed to lose a filling in one of my molars. Not sure how but it HURT - it felt like half my tooth was gone. In fact it made my whole jaw and face hurt. Meaning I couldn't ignore it like I would've preferred to do. My first thoughts were I have to EXPLAIN this in SPANISH????????!!!!!!!!!! (and maintain my composure but that's another subject) Followed by my husband's comment - BLOG FODDER. I tried not to glare.

So - bless other missionaries' hearts - they shared the phone number of their dentist and said buena suerte! I called with much fear and trembling but I made the appointment anyway as I would rather get it fixed than have my husband pull my tooth. Yee....haw.....

I arrived at the appointed time with the major nausea that follows me to all dentist visits. But shoot - I was somewhat looking forward to getting this fixed. As I was 'checking in' I was met by blank stares. The dentist I had made an appointment with was in San Pedro Sula. Grrr...BUT since they had me on one book in the office the other dentist lady said she'd check it out after her next patient.


I don't know if dentists have been lying to me for years or this one is just painfully truthful in her manner. It was bad. Lots of damage. Yes, the filling had fallen out but apparently there was major stuff happening underneath that one. The Spanish was flying so fast and the pathetic, panicking gringa in the seat was trying to focus on verb conjucation and vocabulary more than the actual PAINFUL pushing, yanking, poking, and general chewing out I was getting.

Can you say cry???????? Oh my heck. It was practically like being told your old and going to need dentures. Or better yet - pull them all. (!!!!!!!!) In Spanish. I now have some temporary something to see if it works for about 3 weeks then if so, she'll cover it over and fill it for good; but if not (!!!!), I may need something like a Root Canal or a Crown with a SPECIALIST!


As I'm leaving and making an appointment for the rest of the fixin's I mention that I want a cleaning too to make sure things are taken care of and she says.................."Oh really, you don't need a cleaning that badly." (WWWHHHHHHAAAAAAATTTTT???) THIS does not help my general nerves in actually having dental work done HERE.

My face still hurts. And I'm mad. And I'm feeling old and decrepit. And I'm hollering at my kids to floss and brush within an inch of their lives. Apparently I have more cavities that need attention (her words were "minas de carias" (a mine of cavities...) hyperventilating me) but for now we're fixing the most desperate things. I BRUSH!! I FLOSS!! Ugh. It was only $35 USD but oh my heck, it hurts and I'm still trying to figure out how my mouth went from being fine just three years ago to being a cavity mine field.

Of course NONE of this happened when there was a dental team here that maybe could have looked at it (with US credentials no less) and explained in ENGLISH what's going on in my mouth. I hope my husband gets a job some day with good coverage because at this rate I'm going to need false teeth by 38.

Now - of course all of this military coup and governmental take over stuff is kind of overshadowing my little dental issues. We wound up having to be out of the country when I'd rescheduled the appointment and then couldn't EVER get someone back on the phone. I was wondering if they'd closed the office for a while. Last week I was in the town and went in and made a new appointment. Guess when??????????


I am a tad worried about what I'm walking into as the '3 week' fix she gave me has now been there for about 5-6. I feel like I'm walking into a mine field.

At least tomorrow will yield more blog fodder.............unless I crash really hard in which case God will give me that new body he's promised with perfect teeth.

'till then...


Live Simply Love Strongly said...

I was glad to hear it wasn't quite as bad as the title hinted at...I was imagining the story of a poor soul who got poor care, some awful infection, etc. LOL, in Honduras who knows! Sorry you are having such a hard time with this. Prayers for peace and calm for you!

TexasHeather said...

I've been steadily ignoring a massive problem in a back molar of my own lately, for many of the same reasons, just change "Spanish" to "Portuguese." My thoughts & prayers go with you as you return and hopefully get things taken care of with far less pain.

Hannah said...

I had a similar experience at a dentist here in Tegus. I had to get a filling fixed. I panicked when I asked her the name of the anesthetic (in case I was allergic) and she didn't know the name. It ended up being lidocaine, which was fine, but HELLO it said it on the side of the syringe and she didn't know it?! I cried the whole time, and she kept saying "I don't know why you're crying, it doesn't hurt" and I wanted to be like, "I'm crying because I'm scared for my life!" Haha. She spent the whole time lecturing me about flossing and brushing, and even demanded that I come back so she could TEACH me how to floss.

I hope your appointment tomorrow is better than the last! :)

Suzanne said...

Hi there! I follow your blog (live in the US currently, but married to a Honduran) and just thought I'd send you the name of my dentist (in San Pedro) just in case you'd like a calm, reassuring dentist, who speaks English and trained in the US.

His name is Dr. Gomez and his office # in Barrio Guamilito is 557-3628.

I've actually had most of my work done by one of the female dentists there and had good results. Like you, I'm phobic of the dentist, but they're super. It was cheaper to get ALL the work I needed done in Honduras (including plane ticket, hotel, food, local transportation and several weeks with my then fiance) than it was to have 1 root canal here in the US.

Best of luck!!