Last Monday morning I woke up with searing pain in one of my lower left molars. It was a radiating kind of pain: it travelled up and all around my entire mouth. I haven't felt that much pain in a very long time. So off to the dentist I went. I got to the dental office just as they were opening and the receptionist managed to get me into see the dentist a half hour later. The dentist only speaks Spanish, but apparently "root canal" is a universal term. She explained that all indications point to me needing one (or an extraction), however, she doesn't specialize in root canals. She referred me to another dentist who is located in Cartago... an hour and a half away.
I mentioned to the dentist that I had plans to go visit a friend in Samara (in Guanacaste... 7 hours away) on Wednesday and that maybe I would simply wait until the following week to go down to Cartago. The dentist was adamant that I mustn't delay. The tooth could be infected, which could be dangerous. I hummed and hawed. I really didn't like the idea of having to go all that way on Tuesday... then drive again to see our friend, Marie-Pierre, on Wednesday. The dentist clarified that the specialist would come to Santa Maria to do the procedure... I would not have to go to Cartago. Sweet!! The dentist called the specialist's office to see if she was available to come the following day. She was. So, the dentist filled out a prescription for four painkillers, I went to the pharmacy to pick those up (thank goodness... they sure helped!!). I returned the next day, met the specialist who spoke English, which was an added bonus. She took some digital x-rays, within seconds the images came up on the laptop screen and she explained my situation. The tooth was not dead and she felt she could save it by doing a root canal. Two hours later...it was all done. She closed it all up with a temporary filling and I now have to go back to the dentist on Wednesday to get it replaced with a permanent filling.
After the numbing agent wore off, my jaw felt like I had been sucker punched in some fierce boxing match. I'm still a little tender, but I think the final verdict is that it was a success. By Thursday, though, one of my top left molars started to ache. This time if feels like perhaps a small cavity (I haven't had a cavity in over 30 years so it's hard to be sure). I will get the dentist to have a look on Wednesday. I'll get her to do a full check-up and get anything else I need done, done asap. So, here's what I paid:
Monday's half-hour consultation with dentist: $10 U.S.
Tuesday's two-hour root canal procedure with specialist from Cartago who drove all the way to Santa Maria: $270 U.S.
Four painkillers: $3.75 (total)
I just spoke with my mother today to tell her about this little dental adventure and she mentioned that in Canada a root canal costs approximately $1,200 CDN.
I ended up feeling well enough to go on my 7-hour drive to meet our friend, Marie-Pierre. She and her husband, Philippe, were originally B&B guests. They came here during our first season of being open. Then they came back a second time the following year. They are from France and decided two years ago to buy some property in Costa Rica and spend their winters here. They found a great property in Samara, overlooking the ocean. They have been sharing their story with us via email and it's been exciting to follow their journey. Marie-Pierre contacted me a few weeks ago letting me know that she would be here for a couple of weeks on her own and asked if I'd like to visit. Of course! I get to speak French when we're together, which is always nice.
Samara is on the Pacific northwest, in Guanacaste. It's very hot and humid there. As I was driving through the largest town in the area, Nicoya, the temperature on the car dashboard read 36C/97F... but thankfully, by the time I reached Samara Beach, it cooled to 29C/84F. Marie-Pierre was at our meeting spot, waiting for me. We had a lovely time catching up. They've built a really nice home for themselves. This is the view from the pool... unfortunately, it was really cloudy by the time I took this picture, so you can't see the ocean view. Trust me... it's gorgeous!
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
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