This past Friday my daughter underwent oral surgery to have her remaining two wisdom teeth removed. I dreaded this almost as much as she did. Exactly two years ago, the abominable happened – lack of sufficient novocaine administered prior to surgery caused my kid to wake up screaming in pain in the recovery room. Once home, she passed out from the pain, thankfully her Dad was standing behind her at the time and able to catch her. Both he and I shed tears for her that day… there’s nothing that compares to seeing your child in that much pain and not being able to help. It took a good 3-4 hours to get it under control, and we worried about the risk of overmedication to get her there.
This time she opted to return to her original surgeon with whom she’d had a good experience, having four of her front teeth pulled prior to getting braces. The icing on the cake ended up being the cost – Mr. Botched Job charged her almost double of what was charged this past Friday. And just so we’re clear, I define a good oral surgery experience as not waking up in the recovery room screaming in pain – it seems to be a highly coveted perk of choosing a proven and trusted oral surgeon. If it ain’t broke… let’s not try to fix it.
The effects from anesthesia can make you very funny or very sick, or a combination of the two. In the case of Julia vs. Anesthesia – she was 100% hilarious. Once in the car she asked for chapstick, and it’s funny how a simple little thing like chapstick can become so confusing. The outside plastic came off in her hand with the actual top remaining in place. I glanced over to see her dazedly holding it – staring back and forth from the plastic, to the lid, back to the plastic, then back to the lid. God only knows how long this would’ve gone on if I hadn’t intervened.
My goal was to take her straight home, then head back out solo to fill her prescription. That goal was thwarted when she announced she wanted to ‘pick herself out some ice cream’ (I’m an old softie to that word ‘puh-leassssse‘). I obliged her request, by then knowing better than to leave her in the car alone. As we made our way across the parking lot I asked her to hold my hand while we crossed (remember, she’s 24). She actually stood there a second thinking about it, until it hit her like a ton of bricks. “NOOOO!!”
I should’ve known there was more than just ice cream on this kid’s mind. Once inside, she immediately started searching for another wheelchair to ride in – I thank the dear Lord one wasn’t available. She graduated over to the special motorized cart and it took a minute to convince her she was too impaired to drive it. Finally, a partially deflated red balloon on the floor stole her attention. She dragged that balloon around behind her the entire time.
I glanced down at my watch. In a moment of horror, I realized the pharmacy didn’t open for another 15 minutes. What the heck was I going to do with her all this time? It was like having a full-grown toddler to watch after, and we’re all aware of Bon’s patience level with unruly children.
Once she decided on her ice cream, I proceeded to peel it from her hands and place it in the basket. Guiding her in the direction of the pharmacy (which didn’t open for another 10 minutes) I discovered they actually sell canes in this grocery store. Did she find them, you may ask? Absolutely. Up she walks leaning on one like a pro, looking like she’d just found her best friend. I’d love to post the video, but my life would be in danger if I did.
Hats off to good experiences.
I did it, I did it… and it’s finally over. The nervousness, anxiousness everything’s over. Mine offending tooth beith gone. History. Outta here. See ya.
It took the dentist between 20-25 minutes to get that bad-boy outta there… the words stressful and traumatic just don’t quite do the job of describing it. But this dentist is nothing short of awesome, and he made that time span as easy as possible on me. He did a great job, the tooth just obviously wasn’t ready to go anywhere. Eight or so stitches later, I’m good to go. What commercial had that it in initially… Taco Bell?
Good to go.
Mmmmm, I want some Taco Bell. Maybe this weekend.
I don’t know what I expect out of life sometimes. Vague? Yes.
I have always had health insurance, but as of the past 5.5 years I have not had dental. Not only do I miss having it, but the older I get I’m beginning to feel the repercussions of being without it. I’m seriously going to have to look into getting a personal policy since it’s not a benefit my employer offers.
All those years I did have dental, I guess I took the benefits for granted. I always took advantage of the bi-annual cleanings. When I did need something done, I’d often bitch about the $50 deductible per year, or the 20% I’d have to pay of the remainder of the bill. Believe me, I won’t do that anymore.
So yesterday I got to experience how a person might be made to feel that doesn’t have health insurance. I had to be the only person in the dentist office at the time that didn’t have dental insurance. Upon noticing the raised eyebrows and looks of pity, I was ready to split the joint and go hide under a rock somewhere.
The ‘doctor’ proceeded to suggest all these wonderful procedures that would need to be performed in order to save the tooth.
Dentist: You will need a root canal, yada yada yada, yada yada, then a crown. Yada yada.
Bon: (yeah yeah, finish your schpill lady… I don’t have two thousand plus dollars to save the tooth, I just want the damn thing out and be rid of my pain) Well, doctor – the thing is, I am without dental insurance and this tooth has hurt me for upwards of six months now, I need some relief. The pain is tremendous.
Dentist (with not-so-convincing look of pity): You know, there is a free dental clinic in insert-town-here, USA.
Bon: Excuse me?? (shock) Uh, no. I am fully prepared to pay YOU to remove the tooth. I am not in need of the services of a free clinic. (more shock)
Now, I was still in my office clothes as I came to this place straight from work. I did not have straggly hair, and I do not have teeth missing. I am carrying a designer purse and I am wearing Born shoes. I am not telling you this for any reason other than to say that my appearance should not have made me fall into the homeless or meth-addict category.
I didn’t go there for a root canal, yada yada yada, and a crown… I went there to get the offending tooth extracted. It’s that simple, really. But, since I didn’t have the necessary money (or supporting policy) to afford all the work they would like to do in order to line their own pockets, I seemed to weigh a lot less on their scales of importance. I’m sorry – that’s just how I see it. Free clinics are not going to jump through hoops to ‘save a tooth’. I feel pretty certain they don’t do many if any root canals, and crowns? Well I think not.
If you’ve ever had a free clinic suggested to you, then you know how it makes you feel. If you haven’t, let me assure you that it doesn’t do much to lift you up.