I was having neck pain and a lot of headaches for a couple weeks before I gave in and went to an American hospital in Mango, Togo just an hour away to get an X-ray. The root canal treatment I had last year was not successful. The abscess never went away as hoped and instead was infected. My dentist from Milwaukee said I needed to get the tooth extracted. I almost had it done that day, but the surgeon and dental hygienist in Mango who were taught by a dentist to pull teeth didn't feel confident in pulling one with a root canal. So I had to figure out where to go and when. In the meantime, we had to hope that the penicillin would get rid of the infection.
The infection didn't seem to subside at all the first 3 days, so we decided not to wait until the end of June as we had hoped. With it being a tricky tooth, going local was not an option. We finally decided that going back to Milwaukee would be the best option. We booked a flight for June 1st. Lydia and I were going to America! There was a lot of traveling, especially with a 1 year old, but we made it, even with very little sleep. Lydia only slept 20 minutes on an 11 hour flight! How can a baby do that?! Well, let's just say that as I needed a tooth extracted, she was busy pushing her own teeth through gums. Our 2nd flight was cancelled to Milwaukee, so we switched to a later flight to Madison.
For those of you who think X-rays are as interesting as I do...
The root canal is easy to spot. The curved root had part of a needle left in it for more than 10 years (discovered last year). The black spot under that root in the X-ray was the abscess.
My bag didn't arrive from Newark, where I last saw it. They have proof it arrived at the baggage claim office the next day, but has been missing since and is still under investigation for being stolen. There wasn't even anything of value to anyone else in it. The biggest loss was my mouth splint for my TMJ disorder, which I won't be able to replace until next furlough, unfortunately. How ironic that I flew to the States to get rid of head and neck pain and I lose my mouth splint which helps to keep head and neck pain at bay. Please pray that my TMJ disorder doesn't get too bad over the next year.
Anyway, I made it to my appointment the next morning and the oral surgeon did a fine job, he said it was a more difficult one, so to expect extra pain and swelling, but after a couple days it was feeling much better. My mouth is healing very well. I'm still getting used to chewing on one side, but the pain is gone and it seems to be closed up for the most part.
When you have an 8 hour layover and there's no kids' play area...
You make one!
Lydia loved making sure she would fit in the overhead luggage compartments.
This is the way to fly!
In other news though... a few days after returning to Dapaong, 1/2 of our family became sick. I thought we all were sick with the same thing at first, but then our symptoms started to differ. David had a 24 hour thing which seems to happen almost every month. I think the next time it happens we are going to have his blood tested and see if it's a type of recurring malaria. Liza and I didn't bounce back so fast. Our stomachs were still hurting and we were running to the bathroom often. Liza was also throwing up and I had a head cold as well. The 3 Wildauer girls missed both the closing service on Saturday and all the Baptisms and Confirmations on Sunday at CLET (maybe Micah will fill you in soon on that!).
Micah took our stool samples in on Monday and the lab tech at the pediatric clinic, also President of Alpha and Omega, the Dapaong parish, said I had a bacterial infection and that I should take Cipro. I don't think he had to look under a microscope to see that Liza had... dysentery! I noticed when I was getting her stool sample that it looked like bloody mucous, which come to find out, is the main symptom of dysentery. Dysentery is actually a type of sickness, but not an actual disease in and of itself. We've learned a lot about sicknesses since moving here. Micah took Liza in that afternoon to have the doctor check her out and get her prescriptions. She's on Cipro too. We're taking it together! We both feel so much better now!
Malaria, typhoid fever, and dysentery all sound like horrible diseases and sicknesses when you are an American (I can't help but think about playing the Oregon Trail as a student), and don't get me wrong, they are awful, but they are so common here that the pharmacies are stocked with medicines to get rid of them fast. The only thing left is my lousy cold, which no matter where you go, there's no quick cure for colds. And they spread so easily. Please be praying no one else gets sick!