Saturday, September 06, 2008

There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch!

When you get invited by the Head (Gorgeous) Chef of a fantastic 5 star hotel to sample their new menu and have a Thai buffet lunch on the house, you don't say no! You assume that the only catch is that you will have to give some feedback after you knock a lot of food back and I guess that is okay!

However, the nightmare started when we were onto Thai lamb chops on a raw mango spicy salad with the most incredible attack on my taste buds for a long long time! Mr Gorgeous Head Chef was sitting with us as we ate to gauge our reactions. I took the opportunity to gobble a fair amount of food while he was talking to My Darling and shovelled a huge forkful of (what I thought was) mango salad into my mouth in an attempt to finish my food while they were gabbing! Imagine the shock around the table as I bit down HARD and then squealed loudly in PAIN! I heard and felt a crack and realised that I had bitten into something definitely not soft and tender mango! All eyes are firmly on me as I delicately fish around to try and find the offensive hard bit of something in my mouth! It turns out to be a piece of lamb chop bone and goodness it was like a stone! Popping to the ladies room to investigate the extent of the damage revealed that I had cracked the tooth and it was now wobbling alarmingly!

I chose to eat nothing more, Mr Head Chef was now mortified and hugely apologetic and My Darling just had a smug smirk on his face as he ate what looked like an incredible pudding!!!

We went home, but the pain was so intense I had to go to the dentist for emergency treatment. Imagine how much confidence you have in a dentist (supposedly the best in Chennai - certainly the most expensive!) who removes the cracked part of the tooth sans anaesthesia, tells you it is a rooted tooth, and when you scream in pain tells you that perhaps an x-ray might be in order. The x-ray reveals it is a live tooth - no root canal, but she can't save it NOW - already pulled part of it off. So my options are - root canal and crown or ... root canal and crown.

This means 4 appointments minimum, count how many injections and mind numbing that is and 25000 (yep 25 thousand - not a couple of extra zeroes in there by mistake!) rupees.

So I am almost permanently with a swollen rubber lip, my ear and one nostril are also numb so every meeting I have had with the Head of School or the Principals to try and close out my year as PTA President have involved holding a Kleenex up against one side of my mouth in case I am drooling down my feeling-less chin and don't realise it! Not funny!

okay one last thing and I will try to stop going on about this - during the last appointment when I insisted that I could still feel stuff in the tooth that was supposed to be dead, she stuck what felt like a 10 foot iron pole down into the tooth after drilling the temporary filling off (again with no local) and when I practically jumped out of my seat, thought about the magic of x-ray vision again. On closer inspection of the black and white picture, she realised that she had left a part of the nerve intact. "It is only 2-3mm" she said. "Not much at all".

I beg to differ. 2-3mm on a lamp-post is not much at all. on an 8mm tooth it is flippin' equivalent to a mile and a half!!!

Now we come to the good bit - she finishes finally completing the root canal and then fills the tooth having inserted some sort of metal posts to help hold the crown in place later. In the process, she snips my lip with her secateurs and explains that she was too busy giving all her concentration to the tooth to see where she rested the scissors and that is why she clipped me. I feel MUCH better now!!

Okay - wait for it ... none of that was the best bit! Once the filling and posts etc are all done, I noticed a peculiar smell in the room - out of the corner of my eye I spotted a small tin oil lamp with a big wick sticking out of the top. Curious now I openly stare at the nurse frantically searching for something - yep, you guessed it ... matches. Still sinking into a semi shocked coma, I barely managed to ask what they were doing (also I had a suction tube, her mirror, 259 soggy cotton balls and another metal instrument in my mouth as well as 14 or 15 fingers belonging to various dental personnel!). She blithely tells me they are sterilising and heating a tool that will help set the filling material and remove air pockets. I told her in my no uncertain slurred tone that she was not putting anything in my mouth that has been resting in a fire - red hot pokers sprang to mind and the branding of cattle on the old westerns was the immediate image!!

When I asked her what they do in every other country in the World as I have never ever ever ever seen a red hot poker being used in ANY dental surgery before, she laughed and said that she would have to do some research on that. "Open wide!"

Well, I'm back there again next week for a two and a half hour appointment and then a final (hopefully) appointment for the crown fitting.

Moral of the story, my friend, is that I now know there is truly no such thing as a free lunch!