Amreekia Min Bab Al Sharayah

That was the name of my old blog. Translated, it means an American woman from the old, poor and rundown district of Bab Al Sharayah in Cairo. I was given this nickname because although I was born in the USA, my mentality is more ghetto Egyptian. I'm a curious mixture of east meets west, and dont care if you call me balady!

I'm going to slowly bring some of the old posts from Amreekia over here (see archives), basically to give new readers some background. I hope you'll enjoy the old and the new and join me on this fascinating expat journey!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A visit to my neighbor...the DENTIST!!!!!

I know! Going to the dentist is one of the most hated things, wherever you live. I have been "doctoring" as we used to say, in America with the dentist most of my life. I have a small mouth--I know that sounds funny--when the dentist first told my Mom I had a small mouth she laughed like hell. "You dont know her", she told him. He laughed and explained he meant the physical space in my mouth, not my ability to talk and/or scream! Anyway, it caused me problems all my life...too many teeth and not enough space and to top it all off my teeth are very weak. Which means I've spent a fortune--and experienced great pain--to try and save as many as I could.

So a few years ago, one of my back teeth broke off near the gumline, leaving the root. It didnt bother me so I left it. But for the past few weeks it flared up and caused me a lot of pain, not to mention sending my blood pressure soaring. Constant pain will do that. I live right next door to a fancy dental clinic. I kept promising my husband I would go and have this tooth taken care of, but I didnt have the guts. Although I am sick of pain, I also didnt want to face the pain of the needle and the subsequent pain of the hole left behind. But finally tonight I couldnt take it anymore. And so I screwed up my courage, called my housekeeper to go with me (as the hubster didnt want me to be "alone" with the dentist--hahaha--I know!) and marched dejectedly across the yard like I was going to the gas chamber.

I was scared to death and I think the dentist thought I was pretty funny! After all was said and done, he had a right. Cuz let me tell you, this was the most wonderful experience I ever had with any dentist in my life! After an exam and an x-ray, he said I needed some work done but the first thing was to pull the offending root. So he numbed my gum with a swab first, and truth to tell, even though I was ready to collapse in fear, the needle barely hurt. He pulled out the root in 2 pieces, shoved some cotton up there, and I was done! He gave me the usual speech about nothing hot for 24 hours, take antibiotics and pain meds and I was ready to go! Folks, the whole ordeal didnt take 15 minutes!

Now I have had American friends tell me this before...that dentistry in Egypt is virtually painless and the doctors are great. And now I have to agree 100%! But you want to know the best--the absolute best part of this story??? Every time he picked up a tool, before he began the exam, the xray and the extraction, he said first..."Bismillah ar rahman ar raheem", which means "in the Name of God the Merciful, the Beneficent". You cant imagine how that made me feel! To have him start in the name of God, my heart rested and my soul was at peace. It brought tears to my eyes. Right now, you can believe I am soooo loving this country. I am so greatful to hear the name of God on everyone's lips. I am truly, truly blessed.

And the next best thing??? Guess how much that all cost me??? 150 LE (Egyptian Pounds) which converts to exactly $27!!! When is the last time you had a dental exam, x-ray and extraction for $27??? I think Lincoln was President then! I lovvvvve this country!