Dino Bites

Dino Bites

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Of Dentists and Doctors

Our latest excursions have taken us to some pretty intense locations!  We have been to the ER and the dentist.

Last Saturday, Ben took all the kids to the church to play sports with the missionaries.  I stayed home to catch up on grading papers for school.  I got this text from Ben: "BJ is hurt.  Going to hospital."  (In his defense, I later learned that Kayanna sent the text because I hadn't answered my Belgian phone.)  I found the phone and texted him to call me.  He called and said that BJ needed stitches.  They were playing a game in the cultural hall, and Abe and BJ collided. Abe slipped under BJ and BJ pitched forward hitting his head on the hard floor.  He had quite the gash.  I was worried about BJ and worried about them going to the hospital without me to speak French!

I quickly called my friend and relief society president.  She lives near the church, and she is also a nurse.  She went right over and took most of the kids to her house.  She also called me back after seeing BJ and said it wasn't serious, but yes, it did need stitches.

Before Stitches
Her daughter, who speaks some English, went with Ben and Molly to the hospital.  After her husband got home, he brought all the kids here and drove me to the hospital.  I got there just as they were finishing up.  BJ got 5 stitches in his forehead, but it has hardly slowed him down at all.

After stitches

As for the dentist, that is my own story.  About two and a half weeks ago, I had a large filling fall out.  I wasn't in much pain, and I didn't know who to call.  In Utah, I would certainly call the dentist the day of or the next day, but after figuring out insurance and so forth, I finally called a dentist last Monday (February 2).  The receptionist asked which day worked for me, and I told her Friday because that was the next day I could be sure of having the car.  We set up the appointment, and before we hung up, she confirmed the appointment for Friday, February 13th.  I was shocked.  A lost filling, and they were going to wait nearly 2 weeks?  Unbelievable.  Last Sunday, the pain had arrived, and Ben and the missionaries gave me a blessing.  The pain quickly reduced to manageable levels following that, but there was still nothing to do but wait for Friday.

Yesterday I finally went to the dentist.  I ended up needing a root canal (I think--I don't have a full French dental vocabulary), which he quickly did.  It was so quick, in fact, that it's hard to believe that's what it was!  He did say something about cleaning out the roots, though, that much I know for sure.  Anyway, he put a temporary filling on it, and instructed his assistant/receptionist to make me an appointment for as soon as possible to rebuild the tooth until I can get back the States for a crown.  My appointment is Thursday.

Today I look like a chipmunk on the right side.  Ben had to work today, but when I texted him about my swelling, he told me to take a picture so we could laugh about it later.  Being a dutiful wife, I complied.

I don't ever remember swelling this much with any dental work before.  (Mom, thanks for the large bottle of ibuprofen you brought me.  I would be spending a fortune at the pharmacie without it!)

Any beef I have formerly had with American healthcare has been completely diminished by these recent experiences.  Who knew I would ever be so grateful for a dentist who can fit me in within 24 hours?  Here a dental emergency is really only losing a tooth.

As for BJ's experience, we were sent home with very little instruction about what to watch for.  Sometimes I've been a little overwhelmed with how much information we're given at American hospitals, but here, it felt like as soon as they stitched him up, they couldn't wait for us to leave.

I love lots of things about Belgium, but healthcare isn't one of them.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Very Fishy Experience

By Kayanna

On Saturday, we went to the Liege Aquarium Museum. The aquarium was in the basement while the museum was on the top floor. We had to climb a lot of stairs to get from one to the other. Or you could take the elevator. I'm guessing the  elevator was a lot easier. I took the stairs.

The aquarium had all sorts of things. We saw Nemo, Marlin, Dory, Bubbles (the yellow fish in the Tank Gang), and Debb/Flo. It even said "Dory est ici!" (Dory is here) over her tank. The eels were captivating. They even had piranhas which actually aren't the man-eaters that we portray them as. There were some really weird eels which were really small and half-way in the sand. We all laughed over them. We all enjoyed watching a fish that was gigantic, we could just barely see it, but we could tell that it must eat a ton of food. There was a remora that Sarah was telling us all about from what was mentioned in "Wild Kratts". The octopus wedged in between a rock and a decoration was visible from the eye that you could see poking out. Sea stars were everywhere. One of the most amazing things was a catfish that was at least two feet long. It wasn't moving. A Dogfish shark was moving quite a lot and you could see its gills moving.

The aquarium also had an exhibit about the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Samples of coral were on display while screens informed you about the growth of a reef, life cycles and the exhibit itself. They also had a flourishing reef with many types of fish, there was one fish that was bright yellow except for its lips, they were bright purple. Molly said that it was wearing lipstick and I agreed. In a seperate tank, they had sharks. Small sharks, but sharks all the same. The exhibit also detailed threats to the reef and how we can help prevent things like global warming.

Way upstairs, the rooms were full of skeletons, skins, bottles, replicas, and stuffed animals. Real animals, not play animals. One room was devoted to birds and insects. Another to mammals. One section had fish and reptiles, amphibians too. Models of jellyfish were captivating. The models were made out of thin glass and very fragile. In the mammal room, they compared tigers to house cats. Prey, predators, and primates were all represented. There was also a whale skeleton. It was massive. With the fish stood a model of a coelacanth, a fish that was thought to be extinct until one was found alive near Australia. An anaconda skeleton and skin were long and unexpected. Octopuses and jellyfish in jars were disgusting to behold, and the stuffed heads on the wall were rather interesting. The only living things on the top floor were the patrons and a koi pond in the mammal room.

The Aquarium Museum is actually a part of the University of Liege, so my mom suspects that there are classrooms on the floors between the aquarium and the museum.

It was a very educational experience.