Monday, November 16, 2009

It Seemed Like a Good Idea


A blogging, missionary friend of mine, Brendas Blog from Paraguay does a series on her blog with this title and I decided to join her with some of my past stories which will fall under the title well enough.




 This is my friend ,Theda Dawson, in front of a Mission Aviation Fellowship plane
on the air strip in the village where she lived and worked at the time.


I recently was reminded  by another missionary, Theda Dawson, of the time I had a root canal in her jungle home. That's right, a root canal in a mud and stick house with a palm roof in a Yanomamo village. You see, a dentist was visiting from Puerto Rico and he offered to do it for free. I needed it, he offered, so...

I sat myself down in the middle of a room full of half naked indians, chewing tobacco and spitting it on the floor as they chattered on. They spoke Guiaca, so I had no idea what they might be saying.

 It went quite well, considering. I did not have too much pain and after the root canal we loaded up in a speed boat and headed down river to a Ye'kwana village where we would spend the night. I did fine until night when the Novocain wore off. I spent the night in my hammock tossing and turning which kept everyone else up. In a jungle home built of poles which are all tied together, when one persons swings his hammock, the poles shake and everyone swings with them, others are not always appreciative!


The next day we loaded up in a Cessna, piloted by a missionary friend, to fly to the relative civilization of Puerto Ayacucho. As we began to climb to gain elevation...I knew I was in BIG trouble. The higher we  climbed, the more pain I was in. Tears began to squeeze out of my eyes and I began to bang on the door repeatedly in pain.

That was when I learned that one should not travel in an unpressurized plane immediately after major dental work. My tooth began to grow! and GROW! AND GROW! It was so big it was about to explode and take my head with it!

Eventually, I was able to make the pilot hear me and he tried to fly as low as possible. Unfortunately, the mountain ranges refused to lower themselves and we had to climb repeatedly to cross them. I began to consider the possibilities available for constructing a parachute and taking up sky diving.

About that time, I heard another pilot talking on the radio. He had a young indian girl on his plane headed to the same town. She was having complications with her labor and needed an emergency flight to the hospital. I could hear her screaming in the back ground. Poor thing! After hearing her, I refused to scream, but I did cry and kept right on banging that door. It probably still has a dent in it...

As we neared  town,  we descended to land and  the pain also became less intense. Even so, I went straight to the pharmacy for some pain medication and I never flew again for at least 3 days after I had any dental work, even just a cleaning!

I hate dental work under normal circumstances, and I can not recall why I would have decided to go through a root canal in one sitting, no x-ray machines, in a jungle hut. Maybe one of the witch doctors cursed me to have a lapse of judgment.? Or maybe I was just a poor missionary who really needed free dental work?

Whatever the reason, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

10 comments:

J.H said...

I do symphatized with your brave experience Jungle mom, but I must admit that I think your entry was kind of funny it made me chukles in office.
Moral of the story : you should take a sky diving lesson next time!

Thursday's Child said...

I'm sure it was a good idea then...hindsight is always 20/20.

But as a friend of my mom's always said, "Free is better than wholesale."

MightyMom said...

ummmmmm, ______________

insert smart-alek comment here. I can't think of any.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Oh my goodness. That's an adventure I'm sure you'd rather not have lived through. What terrible pain! I'm just glad that door was securely locked!

Betty said...

Good to know this about flying! Never heard of that before.
I guess you live and learn....

The Hermit said...

You've gone through a lot, but you always seem to keep a good sense of humor about it. I doubt I would be able to do that.

Brenda said...

Why do we do those things?! I probably would have made the same choice you did. Its funny now, but I am sure it was not at the time.

Just in case you ever need this info, you cant travel by air after a PET scan with contrast. I have no idea why I know that.

Miss Footloose said...

I was hurting right along with you! Ouch! Can't think of an experience nearly as awful or entertaining under the heading of It Seemed Like a Good Idea. Your story is a winner!

Thanks for the lesson, too: No flying in unpressurized aircraft after dental work.

MK said...

Oh dear,you poor thing. Ah well, a painful lesson learned, i had no idea about the flying and dental work thing. I'll keep that in mind.

Kathy said...

(Just now had time to read this-) MAN! What an experience! I had no idea about flying after dental work (and my dad is a dentist!)! Well, now you know!