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I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends...And my daughter - who is my friend. :)

A few people have asked for pictures of the inside of our house so here they are: (then I have a little story to tell you).

The shot above was taken from the living room looking toward the front of the house. The stairway seperates the living room from the dining room. As you can see, the garage doesn't have a door inside. None of the houses that I've seen with garages do! So I hung a curtain.

Here's a pix of our tiny kitchen looking in from the lanai out back.

And from the living room...

Below is the t.v. wall in the living room with our downstairs bathroom  down the hall there. The guest bedroom - which is ready for you ANY time is down that hall too.

And the other side of the L.R...

As you can see, Sophia's play area is under the stairs.

And here's the dining room...

And the other side of the D.R. from the front door looking in...

We had the shelves that the pictures are hanging from made by our muchacha's hubby. That way we didn't have to drill a gazillion holes in the wall. No sheetrock here - just solid concrete.

And last, for now, is part of the lanai. (We're still working on it).

I am SO relieved today!

After about 2 years with no insurance in the States, we now have it, for health, here in Colombia. So Jerry and I have been going through a series of doctor and dentist visits - mostly just to get established and blood work done and that kind of stuff.

This is the building where our general doctors / dentists are located.

I'd broken a back, bottom tooth a couple months before the move but it didn't bother me so I let it be. Then, just before our insurance here kicked in, I started having trouble with another tooth in the opposite direction. 

When I went in for my dental consult, Hillary and I were standing outside the door waiting to give our paperwork to the powers that be and just observing what it was like in the room.

I'll try to make this short and sweet.

There is a big open room with an aisle down the middle. On either side of the aisle are counters with built-in sinks and dental equipment and room to lay charts and paperwork. Then there's another aisle that separates this middle 'island' from the dentist chairs. There are four chairs on each side with a divider between each chair. 

From where we were standing, we had a clear view of Dentist #1 and the patient in his chair. He was working in her mouth and would roll his chair over to write on her chart - then roll back and work in her mouth again - etc., etc., etc.

All I could think about was...How GROSS!!! 

He had gloves on to protect his hands but because he was handling the pencil, he had the previous person(s) saliva on his gloves. And back they went into her mouth. 


Double UGH.

After finding out that HE was my dentist, I told Hillary (my translator and darling daughter) to please,  please let him know - in no uncertain terms - that  I didn't want that same scenario going on in my mouth.

Talk about motivation to learn Spanish.

Hillary, being the diplomat she is, broke the news to him gently that he would have to change his gloves every time he touched the pencil.

He looked a little surprised at first - then a little put out. 

But he did it.

Now...why they don't have one of the assistants that were standing around do the writing in the chart, I don't know. But after 5 pair of gloves, he hollered across the room for Jose to come do the scribing for him.


After his diagnosis - which included 2 crowns and a filling I'm ashamed to say - we made appointments to begin the work.

My broken tooth, which I hardly noticed prior to this visit, started hurting shortly after the visit.

Three days later, which happened to be our first day in the States for our Florida / Kansas trip, I developed an infection in my mouth which lasted pretty much the whole two weeks.

My brother Jeff, the Chef, was concerned that I might have an allergy to something I'd eaten and was going into anaphylactic shock because my tongue and glands were so swollen. He gave me benedryl and worried about me which made me feel better instantly. 

He first noticed something was wrong because I wasn't running my mouth at my usual 90 miles an hour.

A couple days later, my dear friends saw how miserable I was when I got to Trish's house in Palm Harbor and took me to a nurse practitioner who told me she didn't specialize in 'the mouth' and advised me to see a dentist.

It was around 5pm but we took a chance on Trish's dentist being open - which he wasn't so we figured we'd call for an appointment when we got back to the house. 

Well - on the way back - Davida spoke up from the back seat that there was a sign with a big tooth on it so Trish screeched on the brakes and did a U-ee and we pulled into a driveway with a dental office nestled among some other businesses. 

Which was closed.

On the way back down the driveway, we saw some men getting into their cars - I'm sure they were getting off work - and Trish slams on the brakes and rolls down the window and asks if either one of them is a dentist.

I'm now in the shock that my brother thought I was in on Friday night. 

(Not really - but I was flabbergasted that she was yelling out the window to these two total - but very friendly - strangers).

The gentlemen tell Trish that they are not dentists and ask her what the problem is.

I'm sitting there shaking my head with my jaw dropped down on my chest not knowing whether to laugh or to cry. I mean, why would they care what the trouble is.

Then Trish starts telling him my symptoms and I just cracked up - along with Davida in the back seat.

But it was all for good - although slightly embarrassing. 

You gotta love that Trish. And those two kind-hearted guys.

One of the men said that his dentist was just across the street and he pointed it out just over there past that big tree across from the truck parked there.

So off we went.

By now it was 6pm and the three of us crowded into the front door - which was amazingly unlocked and Davida and Trish told the receptionist that they had an emergency...which happened to be me. 

They asked if there was Any Way - please - that I could see the Dentist NOW.

The sweetest receptionist in the world took off to the back and within a minute came back to tell us that, "Yes...even though they were closed, Dr. Campbell would see me".

I was still laughing about the strange encounter in the parking lot with the two guys back across the street. It was hillarious. 


Anyway, the dentist checked me out including an X-ray, put me on antibiotics and gave me some strong advise about dealing with the dentists in Colombia. Turns out he'd lived in Costa Rica - or was it Panama? - for years.

If any of you reading this live in the Tampa Bay area - Dr. Campbell of Palm Harbor Dental on US19 - is the BEST. So is his staff. And the price of my emergency visit - including an XRay was only $65.


back to the dirty dentist here in Colombia.

A few days after returning, I had my tooth, which was really starting to bug me by now, filled by you know who.

As soon as the Novocain wore off, (which he didn't administer until I nearly flew out of the chair when he started drilling) ( I tend to keep my eyes closed while in the chair) I was in extreme pain. 

Hillary was stonewalled when she tried to make me an appointment with a different dentist in the system (to see what was wrong) so after almost 2 weeks of horribleness, I appealed to my doctor and he told the receptionist to change my dentist.

There was NO WAY I was going back to the dirty dentist.

And yesterday, I sat in the chair of the sweetest, sympathetic lady dentist ever. 

Three chairs down from the other guy 

- who kept lurking around giving advice. 

Until I sent him a message with my eyes. 

After all, I had that thing in my mouth making all those gurgling noises and couldn't tell him verbally to f buzz off.

After she gave me a very painful shot of Novocain, I actually sat up and sobbed for a couple minutes.  I didn't realize how traumatic all of this was until that moment. 

I've told several of my friends that since I've gone on anti-depressents, it really takes a LOT to make me cry.

Anywho...She removed the dirty dentist's filling and said, "Muy Mal". 

Only she said it....muuuuuyyyyy maaaallllll. 

Which means 'very bad'.

Turns out my tooth was abcessed and I have a root canal scheduled for tomorrow morning. 

THANK GOD she fixed it temporarily so there is no pain
and my confidence in the Colombian dental system has been restored.

I might get drunk before my 8 am appointment tomorrow morning but I'll be there.

1 comment:

  1. I hate the dentist in the US and can't imagine needing to see one there - so God bless you for dealing with Dr. Dirty for so long - and thank God you got moved to someone else.

    Love you


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