Looking like Quazimodo!

Strange title for my blog? Not really, it describes perfectly how I looked after my latest drama ! Last Monday, I awoke early to clear blue skies , beautiful sunshine and a dreaded toothache ! It wasn’t raging, just throbbing and as we were off to Vidin to pay our bills, get our shopping etc, i popped a couple of paracetamols, in the hope that by the time we got to Vidin, the ache would have eased. It did but returned slightly worse by midday, two more pills and it would be fine, or so I thought. By the time we returned home, my toothache was throbbing again, still not raging but niggling constantly. I could feel a slight lump developing just above my lip and realised that it was an abscess. I remembered the last time I had an abscess, swelling, severe pain and no sleep! I wasn’t looking forward to the night ahead. I got Andy to phone the dentist to make an appointment first thing in the morning which wasn’t a problem, unlike in the UK, even in an emergency you still have to wait a week these days!
During the evening the swelling got gradually worse and the tooth continued to throb but not as bad as I was expecting and I was surprised that I managed to sleep through the night but when I woke in the morning I got the shock of my life. I knew my face would swell but not to the extent that it did. What started as a lump the size of a pea developed into a watermelon!! My whole cheek, side of my nose and eye was excessively swollen, I looked like Quazimodo ! I was now in panic mode.
I hate going to the dentist and I really hate needles but at the same time, when I saw the state of my face, I was desperate to get my tooth out. When we arrived in Vidin, we had to park about 10 minutes walk away from the dentist as they were digging up the road and the dentist was down an alley, off a small side street, not really suitable for a LWB high top van. I tried to keep my head down as I felt a bit of a freak and yes people did stare but then I did look like I’d been hit by a bus. When we arrived at the dentist, she took one look at my face and her reaction was the same as when I looked in the mirror first thing in the morning, complete shock. She informed me that as I had a severe infection she needed to send me to a dental surgeon to have my tooth extracted as the usual anaesthetic would not be strong enough and cause me severe pain. After she made a phone call to the surgeon, she gave us directions, explained that he didn’t speak a word of English but for me to not worry as he knew the situation and I was in good hands.
When we arrived the surgeon greeted me with a stern look, directed me in to the dental chair, squirted some numbing spray on my gum area with the offending tooth then proceeded to deal with his other patient who was in the chair next to me. By this time my nerves had kicked in, so every minute felt like a lifetime. The surgeon returned to assess the problem, disappeared for a minute, then returned again with a few tools and the inevitable needle. I braced myself as best I could, the first injection entered the front of my gum under my lip, ( it hurt but not too tragic ), the second needle went into the roof of my mouth and it felt like it was trying to pierce a thick layer of rubber. Well all I can say is it’s a good job the assistant was holding me down and had quick reflexes because my reaction was to grab the surgeons hand and whip it away but his assistant grabbed my hand just in time. The pain was so bad I nearly went through the roof! I think the needle burst my abscess as my mouth filled with blood. When the area of my mouth was numb he pulled out my tooth, it was quick and painless, which surprised me as the tooth had broken at the edge of my gum so there wasn’t a lot left to grab hold off, ( it was a capped tooth that had broken ). They showed me the offending tooth and the root was very long considering it was only a front tooth. I was relieved that my ordeal was over and all I wanted now was the swelling to go down. The surgeon made me sit for quite a while, took my blood pressure, as by this time I think my body had gone into shock as I was shaking like a leaf and when he was satisfied that my tooth had clogged and my blood pressure was ok, he let me go. I was given a prescription for antibiotics and vitamin B complex and a bill for 60 Levs. Despite the needle episode I must admit the surgeon and his staff were excellent, I couldn’t fault them at all and the cost of my treatment was exceptionally cheap. Even the antibiotics, which are one of the strongest on the market, were very reasonable ( 12 Levs ).
On our way home my whole body was shaking and although it was a hot day I was freezing. I was also struggling to stay awake, it felt like I was on sedatives or something and I felt nauseous. It didn’t help that there were potholes along the E79, some of which just couldn’t be avoided. The journey seemed to take forever and by the time we approached our turn off towards our village, I had to get Andy to quickly pull over as I needed to be sick. Not the most pleasant sight for Andy or anyone who was driving by, but needs must and all that.
We had only been home about half an hour, when I decided to go to bed for a while. I couldn’t keep my eyes open or stop shivering any longer. Before I knew it I had conked out. The following day the swelling had got worse and my face and lips were still numb and my eye was itchy and sore. The swelling worried me so I got Andy to phone the dentist to ask if it was normal and apparently it was but he was informed that the swelling will start reducing in about a week. It’s now been 11 days, my face is almost back to normal, I still have a big, hard lump above my lip and part of my cheek and lips are still numb ( weird sensation ), but it’s getting better, I can finally put on my mascara now and at least I don’t look like Quazimodo anymore !!

20140404-095027.jpg

Family Visit

Tuesday 11th June and the arrival of my Mum and brother Mark. It was only a short visit due to my brothers work commitments, they were only here till Saturday but we have been looking forward to seeing them. I was a little nervous to the reaction of my mum as she had never been to Bulgaria before so wasn’t sure she would like it. We had also worked really hard to try and get the house in a liveable state and I was anxious to see their reaction. Don’t think the weather helped my nerves either. Monday it was a beautiful sunny day but on Tuesday it decided to rain all day! The trouble with rain is it makes everything look so dreary plus it wasn’t helping with my kitchen floor, every time the dogs went out, my floor ended up with muddy footprints, I was fighting a loosing battle, trying to keep everything clean and tidy for my family’s arrival.
They finally arrived at 5pm and despite the weather and all the traveling Mark was in high spirits but my poor Mum not so much as she was full of cold and the journey pretty much wiped her out, but at least they arrived safely and I was so happy to see them.
The following day the weather had improved slightly, instead of raining constantly it rained on and off all day but it did let up long enough for us to take a wonder around our village. To be honest, it was the first time Andy and I had actually walked around our village since arriving. It’s a big village, with 5 shops,a bar and even a post office, that we probably wouldn’t have found if it hadn’t been for my brother and his inquisitive nature! Some of these buildings look like either someone’s house or slightly run down and disused. It’s only if you peer through the windows and hear someone inside shouting you to come in, that you realise it’s actually a shop or post office. There is a lovely stream that runs along the back of our village, so we took a wonder down to have a look, only we didn’t take the track that is just at the edge of the village, we took one that went behind some houses but the little track, if you could call it that, disappeared, so my poor Mum was taken through long grass and muddy slopes, during which time we were trying to reassure her that there was a proper track up ahead and no snakes in the grass. We never did find the track!
Although our village is big and there are about 400 residents, around half the houses are empty. Such a crying shame to see so many empty, as there are quite a few really lovely properties, with a bit of work and some imagination, they would make lovely homes. Our village, like most villages in Bulgaria, may be run down and surrounded by derelict buildings, but it does have a certain charm and warmth about it as well as being surrounded by beautiful countryside. It was nice to be able to show my Mum and Mark our surroundings and the reasons why we love it here.
The following day, the sun was beaming, so we went into Vidin. I wanted to show my Mum the market, full of fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables, and all the lovely shops where you can buy just about anything. We bumped into our friends, so we joined them for a coffee. It was great to just sit and chill for a while and watch the world go by.
We had lunch down on the river Danube. There is a quaint restaurant on a boat which does nice food and the staff are friendly but the best thing about it is the amazing views. The Danube is vast and along it, across the water are small islands, which if you wanted, you could go across to them, camp, have a BBQ or just relax and soak up the views. There are cafes and restaurants with small playgrounds,running along the edge of the river, children playing, people strolling and some people fishing, Everyone just seems so relaxed and stress free. After lunch we continued strolling around vidin but It was so hot Mark insisted on getting an ice cream. So it was back to our regular cafe to order a bowl of mixed fruit and ice cream, to the amusement of the waiter, as Mark was like a big kid, all excited because they did ice cream !
In the evenings we sat eating and talking till the early hours. Bit of a struggle for me and Andy as we usually hit the hay around 11, usually because of a hard day working, but we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Mark and Andy returned to Vidin the following day as Mark wanted to visit the dentist, he was suffering from toothache so decided he might as well get it done here, as it is so much cheaper than in the UK. Unlike in the UK you don’t have to wait weeks either, just a quick phone call and he was booked in for just over an hour later. Turns out the work needed to be done on his tooth would take 2-3 days and as he was flying back the following day he had to leave it. Andy and Mark ended up spending most of the day in Vidin, while my Mum and I stayed at home relaxing, chatting etc.
Saturday soon arrived and it was time to say goodbye, it had only been a short visit and it flew by and I was sad to see them go. It was lovely to be able to show them our change of lifestyle and I enjoyed listened to Marks enthusiasm for Bulgaria, as he loved it and really appreciated what we were trying to do. We look forward to their next visit, perhaps next time they will miss the rain……!