Cheeky dentist appointment

There is a possibility that something goes wrong during your holiday. It’s not just a bed of roses.


For example, you wake up with a feeling that something is very wrong in your left cheek, and when you look in the mirror your worst nightmare came true. Quite thick!

The victim did not want me to take a photo – you can imagine

Her cheek was from the chin to her eye pink and swollen. It looked painful, and the worst thing was: it was Saturday August 13th.

No, that has nothing to do with superstition. It has everything to do with it Monday the 15th.

For Catholics among you, it is a clear case. And people who know something of Portugal, know that the 15th is a sacred day.

The mother of Jesus went to heaven on that day

This year it was on a monday. Great of course, because the 15th is a holiday for almost everybody. Sure, there’s the odd doctor, fireman or nurse working, but further everybody is sleeping long on a free monday.

There were a lot of calls, enquiries about the weekend, because a lot of portuguese go away for the weekend. A usual thing to do anyway – we have a lot of portuguese guests in the weekends – but with such a lucky strike almost a must to go away.

We had to disappoint quite some people

Pity that we had to disappoint our own patient as well. After a few hours of calling, there still was not one dentist on service. Once, I got to talk to someone, the son of a dentist, who was so kind to give me the number of his father. He already mentioned that his father was away for the weekend (!) but maybe he knew a clever thing to do.

Father dentist immediately commented that I’d better give up right away – not a chance that I would find somebody who could bring this drama to a happy end.
“Terça-feira – tuesday morning, that’s your first chance” he said firmly, and because I already had been listening to “beep …. beep ….. beep ….”, computermenus and appalling music, without any contact or success, I believed him and gave up.

Bad news

Spending 2 full days (and nights) with a toothache is not funny.

Desperation. What to do? Maybe the hospital. But no. The only thing they wanted to do was inject a big dose of antibiotics. We are there more cautious than the Portuguese, who are used to that stuff. Doctors even give precautionary antibiotics sometimes, to prevent getting an infection. Here the pharmacies have it in bulk in store.

Our patient refused. Accepted that she had to wait untill tuesday morning. “Than we can go to our dentist”, I explained, “That is a very nice woman. If we are there at nine, she will help you right away, I’m sure.”

Tuesday morning

We just sat in the waiting room, when an old woman on crutches entered, accompanied by a group of people. Also an emergency? I feared the worst, was preparing for a long wait, because toothache + crutches = obviously worse.

The old woman seemed to be known. The dentist discussed with the group, “You should make an appointment, senhora!”, and claimed that she never let anyone go before all her appointments. As an illustration she showed her agenda. It was clear that the old woman had previously used this trick. She was not at all an emergency.

After she made her case clear, she gave “my” victim a hand gesture – come along! and both disappeared into the other room.

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It was quick

The only thing that the dentist could do was prescribe antibiotics. She could not remove a crown in this warzone. First help the resistance fight the enemy.

That same day, after the first dose, the cheek significantly declined. Antibiotics is a blessing – if necessary!