Going to the Dentist in China!


While we were in China, we had no plans of going to the dentist. We just had to hold out for a year. As long as we just brushed our teeth, we figured we could last and then get all our work done once we were home, but that wasn’t the case.

One morning Drew and I realized that Ellie has some sort of infection or abscess on her gums and knew we needed to take her in. We were told there was a dental office that we could walk to really close to our campus, so we had some help setting up the appointment and then made our way over.

When we got there Ellie was super nervous, she’s never loved the dentist, but in China it was even more different. For example, to get her X-rays, Ellie had to go in to a little dark room all by herself and wear this hat and jacket. We understood the concept, but we werent used to doing it that way, which made it all the more scary for her.

We tried explaining to the dentist what we wanted done, but it was really difficult since she spoke no English and we spoke no Chinese. Luckily a teenage boy was at the office and came over to translate. (In our City the only English speakers we’re typically teenagers who had learned in school. )

After explaining everything she went to work, but Ellie just cried and screamed! We told the dentist we would just hold her down, that it had to get done, but she couldn’t spare the thought of working on Ellie whale she was crying. For hours the dentist as well as other patients waiting their turn tried to ease Ellie. we were eventually able to drain the abscess And Drew asked for some sort of antibiotic to keep the infection away, but for some reason the dentist refused and sent us on our way.

we went on with life as usual until about two weeks later, Drew noticed the abscess had returned. Irritated and not wanting to put Ellie through that experience again, he decided to take matters in to his own hands.

While on a train for a weekend getaway (which is when he spotted the abscess) he grabbed some tissue from our bags, and while Ellie slept on his lap, he ripped it off!! It startled her awake, but he shushed her back to sleep, stopped the bleeding, and when we got off at our stop, we taxi’d to a nearby pharmacy and with a little help from google, figured out what antibiotic to give her.

Moments like that were hard. Being somewhere you can’t communicate or express your concerns is difficult. But we got through those moments. We had people who had compassion on us. The teenage boy who willingly jumped in to help translate. The handful of people waiting for their appointment who encouraged Ellie, rather than complained about being hours behind their scheduled appointments. There was always a bright side, and we came out the other end with a lifetime of memories we will never forget!

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