Well, I woke up on Tuesday morning with the worst toothache ever. I couldn’t eat or drink anything. And the pain was so bad, I had to close my eyes when I accidentally closed my jaw and touched the teeth together. I almost cried! I only had one class, so I decided to tough it out and go to work. I planned to call the dentist after work and see if I could come in for an emergency appointment. While at work, I explained my situation to a co-worker and she felt so bad, she made me a dentist’s appointment for Wednesday afternoon and gave me some powerful painkillers so I could function and sleep that night. Thankfully, they worked quickly and I was able to teach my lesson and give the kiddos my full attention.
So today (Wednesday) I made my way to the dentist’s office. Fortunately, Wednesday is my day off, so I didn’t have to worry about canceling classes. And to tell you the truth, I was really nervous. I mean, I’m always nervous at the dentist’s office. There’s always something unnerving about a stranger poking around your gums with a sharp metal instrument. Plus, this doctor didn’t speak any English, so I needed to make sure I explained everything precisely. Thankfully, He was patient and understood my symptoms. He even complimented my French. How’s that for encouraging? As it turned out, I had a mild infection that was causing the pain so he prescribed a medication to clear it up. I was really relieved that it wasn’t a root canal or cavity! Since visiting him and taking some medicine, my pain is 100% gone and I feel like a real girl again! Phew!
But the best part is this: I only paid €21 for the doctor’s visit (x-rays included) and €20 for the prescription medication. And this was all without insurance! If I was a French national, I would have paid about 30% of that. Considering that I’m a mere assistant and I don’t really make a lot of money, I was so thankful that healthcare in this country is so affordable. It’s nice to know that if I need to see the doctor or dentist, it won’t cost me an arm and a leg. I really wish something like this could be available in the US. It’d definitely be a nice change. Now that I know health care is pretty affordable in France, I think I’ll try taking up bungee jumping…!