Karmic Economics

In the chair with Dr. Jesus

img_20161206_161728I am a dental tourist. This is the main reason for my 3-week residency in Mérida, in the Mexican Yucatan. I am here, like lots of gringos, to get my teeth fixed for a smidgen of what i’d pay at home as an outside-the-box Canadian. I have standard MSP of course, but dental’s not included – I guess because, as my friend Chris says, a holdover from the day when teeth were a luxury.

But i got a wee windfall lately in some long-overdue cash from my dad’s bequest, earmarked toward my genetically crappy and long-neglected chomps. So I flew to Merida, where Dr. J will do the whole shebang – 6 ceramic plus 2 metal crowns, a bridge, and several fillings, veneers, and accessories – for less than $4,000 cdn, vs. my dentist’s quote of $18-$20K. Add in a cheap flight (under $500) and three weeks at Casa ChiChi ($18/night) and it’s still a great deal, with a bonus tropical adventure.

I did two hours in the chair today w Dr Jesus and his dental tag team: wife Claudia, Gina, and the lovely Mar, whose Mayan eyes I have fallen in love with over her green paper mask. That was session number 4, with two or three more still to come. I recline in the chair to a wash of Mozart, Phil Collins videos, and easy Spanish banter. No pain, no heavy drugs.  Team Jesus are total pros.

So yeah, it’s hot here; sticky muggy hot, broken by delicious torrential rains (as I sit typing under the umbrella in the courtyard, rain slucing the cobbles through the seville orange and papaya and hibiscus trees). I am bitten all over by bastardly invisible mosquitoes, and at night, between the heat and the itching and the barking dogs, sleep comes and goes. But I’m happily ensconced at Casa Chi Chi Still, my funky little air bnb cum hostel with a it’s cool shady courtyard, tiny swimming pool and barky dog. It’s clean and cheap and relatively quiet by mex standards, ie, how many mariachi bands is too many? Between visits to Dr J I cruise Merida on my purple bici, with now and then a bus excursion to a beach or a ruins.

It is all so very far from perfect. It is absolutely perfect.

2 Comments on “In the chair with Dr. Jesus

  1. $20,000 vs. $4,000! I’d go to Mexico, too! What do mean by “pain free, no heavy drugs?” The nuts here in flat Florida had a fit when I refused novocaine for the crown cleaning and fitting. “Don’t need it; I meditate,” said I. The dentist actually yelled at me and left the room for 5 minutes. No novocaine, no problem.

    Congratulations for getting all that dental work done!

  2. “No heavy drugs” … well, I got some novocaine on the first and second visits, when there was a lot of digging around in the gums. Probably I could have done with less or none, but I was OK with it and it didn’t seem excessive. They handed me some Ibuprofen to take home at the end and asked if I wanted “something stronger”. Really? Like what, Oxycontin or Fentanyl? Morphine? Funny, but not … we live in an increasingly pain-averse society, where every little common ache and pain, mental or physical, must be immediately fixed. It’s a problem. We live in addicted times. A little pain isn’t really such a big deal, is it?

    Thanks Linda. You’re right, Zen practitioners are pretty good at facing pain. And for the record my teeth are great, I floss them happily every day, and congratulate myself for putting my faith in Dr. Jesus – one of the best decisions of my life.

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