Good as Gold

When I was pregnant with Daughter I attended at the local free hospital in Mersin for some blood work and a check up.  It was a dark, extremely dirty hospital where lines of people waited in various stages of injury or sickness.  I could not compare this hospital to anything I had ever experienced and I was so traumatized by the visit I left the country.  Yes I literally returned to Australia to have Daughter determined to never return to a Turkish hospital again.

Those who know me know my love of self-diagnosing ailments and self-medicating.  I hurt my back last week in the garden (I am getting old) and went upstairs to look through my various pills to find something to take away the ache.  As I rummaged through the plastic bottles and packages, some purchased here and others brought with us from Australia, I found some of The Turk’s pain medication that he used after an operation a year or so back.  Strong pain relief.  Still in date.  Let’s do it!  I took two pills and promptly passed out.  They were crazy strong.  I learned a valuable lesson that day.  Always be sitting down when self-medicating.  Nooooo! 

I did need to go to the doctor though has I had run out of my blood pressure tablets.  Again terror ran through my veins at the thought of going to a Turkish hospital but it had to be done.  Thankfully The Turk chose a ozel hastanasi (private hospital) which was not quite as frightening as my first foray into Turkish hospitals nor my most recent attendance at the local village hospital (another story in itself).  The doctor spoke English which was a bonus and happily told me my blood pressure was spot on.  Yah me!  The doctor also gave me a speech about “White Coat Syndrome”.  I laughed and told him every doctor I have ever met has given me the same speech.  The Turk mentioned me passing out to the Doctor who suggested that perhaps I shouldn’t self-medicate.  Seems like a good idea. 

Now it was Daughter’s turn.  In Australia I would take Daughter to the dentist every three months.  She would have a cleaning and a check-up.  It’s called preventative dental care people.  Preventative dental care.  Daughter has been complaining about a tooth for a couple of weeks and finally after my constant hounding The Turk arranged an appointment for yesterday afternoon.  Oh.  My.  God!

We walked into the dental hospital and I knew immediately that this was a mistake.  The building was dilapidated, not old actually dilapidated.  No paint, holes in the walls, dirty floors.  This is not what a dental hospital should look like.  There must have been 200 people waiting to be seen.  Daughter clung to me and whispered that she would probably end up with a highly contagious disease and started sprouting off various diseases that can be transmitted by unclean instruments.  I smiled and told her to relax but to be honest she was absolutely right. 

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On the bright side and despite the sheer volume of people there our appointment was on time.  Daughter entered the consultation room.  The Turk tried to come with her but was told to wait outside.  Less than one minute later the door opened and Daughter emerged.  What happened?

“She asked me to open my mouth.  I did.  She looked in and said there was nothing wrong with me.  She told me I was wasting her time.  So I left.”

No instruments.  No nothing just as cursory examination before sending her on her way.  The Turk blew a gasket at the doctor and she told him that you don’t come to a dentist unless you are in pain.  She said it was unnecessary to do a cleaning.  The doctor then suggested that if Daughter’s teeth seemed unclean we should buy a toothbrush.  Such an excellent suggestion!  Capital idea!  The Turk ushered Daughter out the door and threw some expletives at the doctor as we went.

But he made it up to her.  When she came home from school today he told her to get changed and meet him downstairs.

After spending a moment being loved up by Stanley and his sore leg she ran downstairs to find – a new bike!

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When The Turk asked Daughter how she was her reply to him was, “Good as gold Dad.  Good as gold!”

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8 thoughts on “Good as Gold

  1. Yup, preventative dental care doesnt exist here as you rightly say. We scrub are floss and do whatever we can to avoid a dental trip as they cost 200TL min to do anything. Luckily we have some small practices which are spotless, but expensive. As for state hospital dentists, I’d rather have a bike too.

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  2. I’m a dentaphobe, and luckily have an excellent dentist at the moment who knows how much of a wimp I am. I get anesthetic on cotton wool before any jabs, and when I had my extractions last year, I literally didn’t feel a thing. Any medical person who doesn’t hurt me is my friend for life!!!

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  3. Yep that sounds scary as hell! I think I’d let all my teeth ache with pain and then die of infection before visiting a dentist that looks as you described…however, love the new bike!!! Woohoo

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  4. Wait a minute, wait a minute. I have a fantastic dentist here in Turkey. She’s a firm believer in preventative dental care, and I dare say it’s better than the quality of care I’ve received in my home country. I know for a fact decent care is available for you and your family, for about 100 TL per person. Do not go to one of those “hospitals” again.

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    • I found a dental office on the web that looked a bit more suitable. We have an appointment for Monday. 150tl for consult (probably includes a clean) and nooooo we will never go to that hospital again!

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