Well we made it! We arrived at Birmingham airport on June 24th at around 4:30p.m. in rainy chilly weather. As the plane was landing, my two children were both fast asleep, and after we landed, it took a lot to rouse H. I could just about carry our cabin baggage and a sleeping L, but I couldn’t have managed the two of them. H was more than pissed off at being woken up, but it had to be done. When we got to arrivals, there was nobody waiting for us. This is strange, because my Mum’s usually there way ahead of time. Being tired and fed up with two tired and fed up children, I started to panic a bit. Then I realised that I only had my Mum’s home phone number, and nobody elses, so after calling that and nobody being home, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. Had I known that she was on her way but just a bit late, I would have sat down and waited, but instead, I started imagining all kinds of scenarios…my Mum had got the date wrong, she had gone to Heathrow instead of Birmingham, etc., etc., So after some aimless and panicky wandering around the terminal, I saw my sister K waving at us and immediately burst into tears. Turns out my Mum had a puncture on the way, so had sent K to come and get us. Phew…all good. L fell asleep in the car on the way, and that’s how he got put into bed. H was sleepy, but still standing, so we had a sit down, a bit to eat and a chat, then we fell into bed at about 8 or 9p.m.
L woke me up at one a.m. like this:
“Mummy! Come and look at the bathroom!” I followed him bleary eyed to the bathroom, where he excitedly said, “it’s our old bath, isn’t it!” Not sure where he got that from…Next, he had to show me the toilet, “This is a BLACK toilet seat!”
“Ok L, let’s go back to bed,” I managed. I read him a story, and miracle of miracles, he DID manage to fall back to sleep until around five or so.
I thought it sweet that he had woken up and gone exploring by himself instead of being instantly nervous of everything around him.
It’s now six days later and I think we are just getting out of the jetlag stage. I woke up through the night, but eventually got up probably to find it was 8:30a.m.! A lie-in compared to the 5 o’clock mornings that we had been used to over the past few days.
The weather’s been nice, despite people telling us it’s terrible. Nobody can really understand that I’m happy to have to wear a cardigan/hoody outside sometimes, and that when it’s overcast, I don’t care. No need for air conditioning, no sweaty sauna type temperatures, squirrels running around the back garden, birds all over the place, and no sign of scary big black ravens. Heaven.
To add to that, a little slice of hell. This being, the dentist.
That should be enough really, but the fact that I’m British, but not entitled to medical treatment is a bit confusing. It makes sense of course, but because Britain has the national health service, it does get a little complicated. I had supposedly got all dental treatment out of the way in Japan so that I could come here and not have to worry about it. Six days later, and I am missing a tooth.
I had been having some sensitive tooth pain in my upper back tooth and my regular dentist had been putting some topical stuff on it and telling me it would get better soon. Since I’ve been back, it had been killing me. I couldn’t drink anything cold and rinsing my mouth was pretty near impossible. So after finding out the rules for treatment for patients visiting from overseas, and dentists contacting the board, it was decided that I could have emergency treatment, which consisted of a check-up (including an X-ray) and any temporary pain relief, at the NHS cost of 17 pounds. If there was something he could do that was permanent, then I could pay privately for the treatment.
I suspected that my tooth was simply sensitive and that he would tell me there was nothing he could do, but I was also worried that if I didn’t get it looked at, that it would just get worse and worse, and I would be constantly worried about it for the duration of our stay.
It turned out that there was deep decay in the tooth, which had been filled a long time ago. He said it was the beginning and was going to be getting worse and already needed a root canal. He also pointed out that the tooth in front, where I had already had a root canal back in Japan, still had two canals in tact, and that only one had been done. Now I understand why I’d had toothache in that other tooth at an earlier date even though my Japanese dentist had said, “you can’t have pain in that tooth because I’ve taken out all the nerves”. Now I am severely pissed off and want to kill my dentist in Japan. Just when I thought I’d found a decent one. It’s enough to make you want to leave the country.
So my options were to extract the tooth, or he could fix it temporarily to prepare it for a root canal for when I get back to Japan. Hmm…pretty easy decision after finding out I’d already got one botched root canal. So here I am today with the tooth gone, and although it’s a bit sore, it’s not bothering me as much as the pain previously. Not sure if this is to do with the knowledge that this WILL get better or not.
So hopefully that hell is over. My dentist in Japan will be getting some fresh when I get back though…
We’ve done lots of things since we arrived, been strawberry picking, riding about on scooters, taken a bus ride into town, chased the milkman, etc., etc., but I’ll have to update on these another day because the children are getting bored while I type this. It’s definitely a challenge for me to keep them occupied!