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Dental Day
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I have my dental appointments on Tuesdays (tooth days) at 2:30 (tooth hurty). Easy to remember, even if it's a pun with whiskers, it's so old.

When I made the appointment, I completely forgot that tomorrow is the summer solstice and I should be running around rocks in the altogether at dawn. Or something. Chanting runish ruminations I suspect, as well.

Dawn will find me yawning and stretching (I take lessons from the cat) and groping the kitchen for my first cup of coffee. I could do (and have done) without many amenities of "modern" life, but it would be a great hardship to give up my first cup of coffee.

My cook in India knew this. He had to worry, as he did with other "Europeans" he had worked for, that the wash water was hot enough or that the kitchen towels had been bleached to a blinding whiteness. What I wanted was an insect- and rodent-free kitchen and my first cup of java. The second day he worked for me, he startled me by standing at the door to my hut with a hot steaming cup, just as I was emerging from the dimness inside to greet the dawn. He did that faithfully every day until I left the country.

For his powers of observation and his refusal to skim more than the usual amount from the household budget--and for his wonderful tomatoes, grown on the sunny corner of the kitchen and watered with dish water--I remember him. He was then much younger than I am now, though he looked ancient (who is that old lady in the mirror?).

Once he got sick with the flu. At least, he had all the flu-like symptoms. He was running a raging fever and I was afraid he was going to die. He was, too. I knew I wasn't supposed to dispense medicine, but I just couldn't stand there and let him die like a dog in the street. I cracked open the Volunteer medical kit and gave him a Teremycin.

Now I know why old timers called the new-fangled pharmaceuticals "wonder drugs." In two hours his fever was gone and the next day he was up and about, a bit shaky but clearly on the mend. He was so grateful it was embarrassing. He clearly thought I had saved his life, and perhaps I had, though I had broken the rule about giving "locals" medical aid. But the nearest doctors were 120 miles away and the herbal medicines (now I know it was golden seal and echinacea brewed as a tea) weren't helping much. I had to help him and I was greatly relieved when he got better.

We take so much modern medicine for granted, but our parents and grandparents lived in fear of flu and infections. My little sister died of bacterial meningitis just months before the cure was found. So, in my lifetime, it has happened.

And now the world is growing new and more virulent strains of the bad guys. I read that dogs in Africa (not kept as house pets but as village scavengers) may be Ebola vectors. I wonder how my villagers are doing? The children must be all grown up now with children of their own.

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