A Dental Emergency of Elastic Proportions

(Post 37 of 193. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)

This weekend, two ligatures on one of the top brackets of my braces failed — those are the often colourful elastics that hold the wire in place. This caused the wire to move horizontally. The dentist is closed on the weekends, so I used a pair of tweezers to gently move the wire back and then secured it with wax. I called the office first thing yesterday (Monday) morning and the soonest they could take me was today at 10:30AM. This morning, as I was preparing to go out, a third ligature failed, this time on the bottom. Great timing!

I didn’t really want to be one of those people out and about during the apocalypse, but we’re only “just” entering phase two in Mérida (local contamination) and I knew we were counting down the days to being able to go about our lives “normally.” I had a legitimate reason to go out, so I made a list of all my errands and figured out how to do them all in the same general area so I would limit my use of Ubers and keep my movements contained.

Mérida was almost like a ghost town. I know a lot of people have said that they’ve never seen anything like this in their life. I have — the 1998 Ice Storm, during which there were curfews and the army patrolled the streets. Thankfully, we don’t yet here have the kinds of shortages that we had then that led to temples in Israel sending us candles!

My dentist’s office was clearly taking extra precautions, but was operating as normal. I was surprised that my dentist himself attended to me (rather than the assistant who does most of the work). He opted to change all my ligatures as I seemed to have had a bad batch. There was no charge for this visit!!! He believes he will be open on April 14th, my next appointment, but I think he’s being super optimistic. We shall see… I’ve been taking my own impressions of my teeth since I started this process and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude at how quickly I’m seeing positive progress. I had a front tooth that was not only really sticking out, but much longer than its neighbours. Now, it is laterally even with them and has gone back up enough to be almost equal with the other front tooth. It is still much longer than the tooth to the side of it, but that doesn’t bother me much. I thought I was going to come out of this “needing” veneers, but the braces are providing results I wasn’t expecting at all as I didn’t know they can move teeth upwards and downwards as well as sideways and front to back.

After my appointment, I walked to Altabrisa mall as both of my banks are there side by side. To get into the mall, I had to have my temperature taken and then sanitize my hands and my shoes (by wiping them on a mat soaked in some sort of solution). The mall was empty, with most businesses closed. I’ve heard reports of some folks having a hard time getting money out of ATMs, but I’ve never experienced that and had no trouble at either HSBC or Scotiabank.

Then, because I was sticking to one area, I went to the Soriana grocery store, even though I don’t like shopping there and its prices are much higher than Superama. The store was surprisingly well-stocked (something it rarely is even at the best of times). Check-out was slow because everyone had to bag their own groceries, but all the employees were doing their best to make things feel normal.

My final stop today was an Oxxo. I deposited two days’ pay onto my cleaner’s debit card to cover this week (she had actually wanted to come today, but her pueblo is now in lockdown) and the next. My hope is to be able to support her until she can come back to clean for me, but I have to make Bast’s family my first priority, so we’ll see. It’ll really depend on how my own income is over these next few weeks. Right now, I only have one client at work and no idea if my current receivables will be paid in a timely manner.

Now, I am firmly in stay at home mode. Even without work, I always have plenty to do — I have to do my own cleaning again, of course, but I also have Spanish studies; various art projects; very full Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and YouTube queues; exercise equipment; and, of course, a stocked pantry. I’m so restauranted out from Oaxaca that I’m eagerly cooking. The other night, I made this really good soba (buckwheat) noodle and veggie stir-fry in a spicy chili sauce topped with soy and ginger-marinated pork loin.