Zài jiàn, Taiwan! :(
Towards the end of my trip to Taiwan I began to have excruciating pains in my jaw, the kind of pain that is totally blinding and incapacitating. The pain began on our walk home from Yangmingshan Park, and simply never stopped. It came in waves and was impossible to ignore. We had planned our first and only trip to the south of Taiwan for the following day, but when decision-making time came, we canceled at the last second because the pain was just too much. I couldn’t eat, sleep, or think straight with what felt like a pulsing angry nerve in my mouth!
I got to a point where I knew something in my body was terribly wrong, I guessed an infection in my gum, and knew it would be just a matter of time before my face swelled up like a balloon. It was hard to be so forward-thinking and succumb to the idea that the pain would just subside, but something had to be done. We changed out flight to leave the next day, about three days earlier than our original departure. boo.
Later on after booking our flight back, the pain became too much to bear, and I ran out of Advil, so we decided to find a Taiwanese dentist that could hopefully prescribe me something just to hold me over, or at least diagnose the problem. I was so scared that I would have to pay hundreds of dollars because I don’t have any kind of insurance there, but the pain was too much for me to care. This is the first time I have ever had a medical emergency overseas!
We found a dentist, and my boyfriend spoke to her to tell her what was up, and that we didn’t want anything invasive, just a look to see what was happening in there! The dentist diagnosed it right away as a tooth infection, and I would probably need a root canal when I got home, and prescribed me some meds.
While I do not want to shove my political ideas down anyone’s throat, I feel the need to draw some comparisons between health care systems, just based on my experience. I was terrified to see the bill from the dentist in Taiwan, health care (at least from what I am used to here) costs a fortune without insurance. My trip to the dentist in Taiwan cost 350NT (National Taiwan Dollars)….which is approximately $10 USD. TEN DOLLARS. Can you believe that? Now listen to this, I was prescribed an antibiotic, the best for the type of infection I had, and a pain killer…total cost? Altogether? Without insurance? $3. I had a trip to the dentist and medicine for thirteen US dollars. Unbelievable. I cannot imagine having to live without health care in America, not to mention the terror of what it must feel like to be in our country and fall ill. All i’m saying is….maybe our system needs to be re-examined….just saying…
Unfortunately, these were my turbulent last few days in Taiwan that were ultimately cut short. I didn’t want to blog because it would have been a tirade of complaints and pain. Since being back in the States, I have had a root canal, and things are all better though!
I had the most wonderful time in Taipei, Taiwan. I enjoyed myself even more than I thought I would! It is a wonderful island with many things to do, see, explore, and eat! I cannot wait to go back!
Since stories about tooth pain don’t include any fun pictures, I have included some other fun pictures of my trip in Taiwan that you didn’t get to see!
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