The Current Situation
Update: I am not currently in Niger. I've been med-evaced to Dakar, Senegal. Fear not, dear readers, it is nothing dire. However about a month ago I noticed an abscess in my gums. Long story short, it was decided I should be sent to Dakar for a second opinion and maybe a root canal. Yesterday the dentist here took some x rays and poked around and determined that one of my teeth (the front one that sticks out) got infected, and that infection traveled into my gums and abscessed. That particular tooth is dead and it's neighbors were in danger of having their roots infected as well. So immediate action was taken.
****Warning, the following description is not for the squeamish****
A small hole was drilled into one of the fillings of that tooth. Next thing I know pressurized puss is squirting at high speed into my mouth through the tooth! It might be one of the most disgusting things ever to happen in my mouth without warning. The dentist also made a small incision in my gum to really clean it out. Even numbed up it was a little painful. I swear he was scraping the bone...and maybe he was. He also stuck a little file up and scraped out all the rotten core of the tooth.
So now I'm sitting here with a hollow tooth acting like a drain for this abscess. So every now and then I get a bit of a salty taste as a little more fluid exudes into my mouth. Gross. Atleast I'm not in any pain. Though when I went to the dentist today to have more stuff squeezed out, he would occaisionally blow air on the tooth to dry it. Man is it a weird feeling to air squirted through a tooth into a pocket in your gums. So weird.
So the long and short of the situation is that I'm gonna be here in Dakar for atleast two weeks. They have to do a bone graft (artificial composite goo) to fill in the bits of my jaw that the infection dissolved. Then they'll go and fill in the tooth and crown it. But before they can do that I have 8 days of antibiotics to clear up the infection and everything.
The bonus is they've put me up in a decent hotel which features, among other amenities, free fast internet. So I'm catching up on all my downloading, webcomics, and yes...even a little bit of World of Warcraft (I was clean for 2 yrs and 4 days). I feel kind of bad that I'm not getting out and seeing the city more, but a)It's really expensive and they don't give me much per diem and b) it's really nice to have my own room where I can just chill and do my own thing and use the internet. Really this is what I would have wanted out of any vacation I would have taken at this point in my service. Also, there's a volunteer from the Gambia in for stuff, so I have someone to hang out with.
They have, however, threatened to move us to the new med bureau instead. So I might loose internet soon. So I'm going to milk it for all it's worth while I've got it. I think I've got most of my generic web surfing out of the way now and can move on to actual productive things instead of just catching up on websites.
So that's where I'm at. I'll try and get some more posts up while I'm here. Also, btw, I uploaded an album full of giraffe photos to my picasa site, so check em out.