Dreadful Dentist and the Grouping of Blood - Cadiz, Spain, 1973 USE FOR EBOOK

One thing I've always hated to do is to visit a dentist. Bad luck would linger around my mouth like a mass murderer about to pounce.  So many odd things and mistakes had happened any time I was in the clutches of a dentist. Therefore, it was with butterflies in my stomach and sweaty palms that I ended up at a dentist in Cadiz. It's not that I had actual toothache, it was more a dreadful feeling that something was not quite right with a tooth on the upper jaw.

"Open your mouth."  The dentist looked like a band leader conducting his orchestra, or a lion tamer goading his long-suffering animal to perform.

Now, opening my mouth wasn't the problem. It's what happened next that caused me great consternation.

He picked up long, thin, pointed instruments and proceeded to poke and probe.

"Aha. Senorita, you need to have the tooth pulled."

"I do?"  I'm surprised, for I'm not in too much pain at all.

"I can pull it now, if you like." He grinned down at me.

Before I could nod or shake my head he injeced the tooth, presumably with anaesthetic. In fact, he injected all around the tooth maybe three or four times.

Guess what?  He was injecting the wrong tooth! He was sticking the needle into a tooth on the lower jaw, not the upper jaw.

He placed the needle down, picked up the pliers and pulled and pulled. The pain was beyond any pain that anybody had ever experienced in the whole of the whole world's life. Believe me. There was no time for the anaesthetic to work.

I heard a crack.

"The tooth has broken, senorita. Don't worry I'll get it out."

He then yanked on a drill and drilled deeply to duly remove the remainder of the tooth.

I'm dead. I have to be dead. I can no longer feel the pain. When there is so much pain, you reach a point where everything goes numb.

Or, maybe it was the anaesthetic finally kicking in.

"Here, take this."   He offered me some cotton wool and added, "Goodbye,senorita."

He was dismissing me.

I couldn't even think of any Spanish. Not a single word came to mind as I nursed my bleeding mouth. I wanted to yell at him for pulling the wrong tooth. I waned to kick him in his fat ugly face.

He grinned widely at me as he ushered me to the door and played with his moustache.

"If you have any more teeth problems, just come back, any time. Ah, one moment.  Do you want to take your tooth with you?  A little keepsake?"

I would love to take my tooth with me!  I would love to still have it, you idiot of idiots!

I had to tutor two nurses at the local hospital, the Residencia Zamacola. They were  beginners who were really keen to learn English and I didn't want to disappoint them.

I arrived in pain, sharp, searing pain.

"What's wrong? You look pale."

Both nurses looked at me with concern.

"Sit down and relax.  Tell us what happened."

I related to them the best I could about the inept, unprofessional, stupid, moronic, dreadful dentist.  I don't think I made much sense as I struggled to speak in Spanish, all the while, spitting blood onto the cotton wool.  The best evidence was in my mouth which they both gazed into with huge eyes.

"You need to be careful when it comes to dentists. Some of them are doctors who have only done six months of dentistry."

"The pain will go away.  Do you know your blood group?"

I stared at them both, not believing for a second that the pain would go away. I had never ever thought about my blood group, and I didn't really care what it was.

"We can test your blood group, if you'd like."

I don't know why they offered this. But they did, and I got my blood group tested.

It's AB positive.

"It's quite a rare blood group. That makes you special."

Both nurses smiled down at me.

I didn't know how to smile. The pain was too deep. I still, to this day, don't understand why doctors could do just six months of dentistry and become a dentist. It's simply was not right.

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