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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Open Wide


The Dentist.
I found out the hard way what are the many drawbacks of a life with an eating disorder.

I cracked a tooth about a year ago, it's on the upper right, second to last molar. It is just a crack, the rest of the molar is still intact.
 Life with a cracked molar became bearable. I knew all the safe foods and never to chew on that side unless absolutely necessary. At some point the sharp pains started more frequently. Then they wouldn't stop.
 I didn't have health insurance at the time so I didn't take care of the problem. Most days I could get by just fine, then there were others where it was very evident that this will bite us in the ass one day.
Until recently I've been having horrible tooth aches, like I said, I could manage and avoid if I wasn't eating which is all I do or rather don't do these days, then the tooth ache isn't even a problem.
One weekend was absolutely dreadful, so much so I called out of work on Sunday. The Russian pharmacist was working that day, she advised that I also call Dragon and let her know. They both were none too happy but there was no way I was going to do 6 hours at the pharmacy with a throbbing tooth and wicked headache.
I tried to find coverage but my coworker was out of town. Sundays are usually slow so there really isn't a need for a technician there.
The bigger issue wasn't work, it was the horrible tooth ache. 
Being that it was Sunday, there weren't many Dentist offices open. I had a really hard time trying to find one. I've lost two teeth already, I didn't want to lose another. I could have gone to the local hospital's ER but they'd just pull the tooth out and send send me on my way. 
Thanks to Obama I'm forced to have Health Insurance wether I can afford the thing or not. I have Dental and even Vision in addition to that good ol regular insurance with a high deductible that will take you years to pay off.
My wages get garnished biweekly anyways, I might as well use it.

I was scheduled for work Monday at noon, Dragon told me to come in at 1pm because  I told  her I would be seeing a dentist first thing in the morning.
All seemed like it was going to be a quick resolve, all that was missing was choosing a dentist nearby.
In the morning I found a Dentist near me, I didn't have an appointment so I had to wait a bit, after 20 minutes or so I was finally called by the receptionist only to be told that they didn't take my insurance.
I'm wasting daylight, how can I find a dentist, fix my tooth and return in time to work an 8 hour shift?
The answer is you can't.
I managed to find a dentist in my Network of doctors, it was near my house. 
As I started to drive to more fancier zip codes it occurred to me that this was a Dentist, no I mean like a real expensive proper sort of Dentist, not only that but I'm terrified. I haven't been good to my teeth and years of Bulimia's wrath will show. 
Once again I have no appointment so I have to sit.
"Are you in much pain?" the young receptionist asks with dare I say sincerity in her eyes? 
Hmm, yes she is at that honeymoon phase of your life when you still like your job and strive to be helpful and do your best. Poor thing. 
I nod my head and she begins to enter my information in the computer.
I'm in luck, someone has cancelled their appointment.
I'm introduced to McMolar DDS.
His first question to me is "When's the last time you saw a dentist?"
I can vaguely recall when I had my wisdom tooth removed but it wasn't more than a few years? 
McMolar is none too pleased with my teefus. Him mad. 
I get a lecture, something about something, I don't know, he's going on and on about my teeth, good lord. I'm here for a tooth not the rest of the lot.
Meanwhile I'm taking a look around the tiny torture chamber, I see McMolar has a tray with shiny pointy miniature hooks and sickles. There are suction tubes to steal your fluids and a spotlight overhead for Interrogation I can only assume.
 My God there's even propaganda on the walls! A little family unit with bright white smiles. The little boy clinging to his Father's back disturbs me, his father's hand grabs his with much might, almost looks like the kid's being dragged to the Dentist and getting Invisalign wether he likes it or not.
I'm with you kid, get me outta here.
Finally McMolar breaks the news to me after my Xrays. Looks like I need a Root Canal.
Root Canals are painful, it hurts your mouth and your bank account. 
I wanted to save the tooth so this had to happen. I had a bad tooth infection to boot which most likely was the catalyst to all of this.

McMolar injected my gums with his rather long syringe. I was numb. He tried his best to save my tooth but it was too late. He had to pull my tooth out. He gave me an estimate on what it would cost to pull tooth, replace with a bridge and crown.
Two thousand dollars. I would have to deplete about 75% of my savings for this. I was crushed. I really thought this would be the year where I could let my savings grow, where I could make future plans or had a bailout in case of an emergency, instead right back out it goes, pfft and we're only in April for crying out loud.
McMolar struggled and struggled before finally yanking the large tooth out. Blood and Pus poured out of the opening. His assistant shakes her head in disbelief that someone could be walking around in this state for so long.
 
Next came more novacane because I was starting to feel things.
His assistant worked on the bridge and making me temporary crowns to stay in until my extraction site heals.
McMolar stitched me up. My gum tissue was very infected and so he had to stitch higher above the site and sew into the healthy tissue.
I was left in her care while he attended to another patient. The woman kept cracking the temporary crowns and bridge. When she finally managed to cement it in place I thought that would be the end of this. 
McMolar came over to inspect her handy work and disapproved. Apparently on one of her botched attempts to seal it on my teeth she managed to pull all of the stitches out.
This meant more novacane and more stitches.
It was awful, I regretted and still do my decision to see a Dentist.
Meanwhile in another part of town Dragon was waiting for me to show up to work. She kept texting and calling me. I'm upside down in a chair of horrors, lady do you think I'll be out of here anytime soon?
By the time they were done it was so late. My mouth throbbed endlessly, I could hardly form cohesive sentences without drooling. Nonetheless I drove to work and got there at almost 8pm (we close at 9). 
I came rushing to work thinking there was a line to the door of patients, phones ringing "You have one pharmacy call, two pharmacy calls." Instead she had a floater and things were under control?
What was the sudden urge to have me there?
Can you believe this Dragon? I was useless of course, everything hurt and talking was not working either. I stayed till closing and left at 9pm on the dot not bothering to say anything to her or walk with her to the dark parking lot.
I was in so much pain, the Vicodin prescribed did nothing but keep me up.
The next day my face was swollen, I looked like a hamster hoarding food in its cheeks.

 
When I got to work at 8am, Dragon had a chat with me about my attendance. I missed Sunday and so she wrote me up, it will be in my employee file always. I was and still am mad. I had a Dr.s note for Monday so she couldn't say a thing to me about that, its not as if I'm lying, the sheer sight of me was enough confirmation.
The rest of the week was very awkward working with her and the russian too. 
The russian because she's a little snitch. She should be the one talking to me about Sunday.
So now there's a weird rift between us which reminds me of our earlier days in the pharmacy.
I saw McMolar again for a checkup on Thursday. He scheduled a periodontal cleaning for the following week. He took further Xrays of my teeth and then sat down to break my heart.
He told me that my bottom teeth were going to fall out soon, there was hardly any bone. My teeth resembled eroded rock formations found in the Grand Canyon.
I needed more root canals, bridges and crowns or dentures even.
I've destroyed my smile, not that it was nice or anything to begin with, but I need them  for chewing and stuff.
I couldn't hold back my shock at just how damaged they were, I started to cry.
Another rather sweet assistant came over to see what was the matter.
To fix all of this damage would require another 2 grand.
I cried and told him that i just didn't have the money right now, I just wanted to finish our current treatment plan.
He implored on the time frame and importance of saving what healthy teeth I did have.
The more he spoke the harder I felt like crying. I was so embarrassed crying in front of strangers.
In one of my xrays there is some sort of mass in my lower gums. He speculates that it could be an abscess or it could be a mass, either one McMolar refers me to an Oral Surgeon to take a biopsy of the area.
I ended up talking to his assistant more towards the end, she seemed to understand that I couldn't afford this but suggested to take it one at a time.
So I had another appointment Friday to which I cancelled so I may sleep in.
All was fine until I decided to forgo my all liquid diet and try to eat a bagel.
My temporary crown fell off so I had to go back to the dentist.
They saw me and I had my periodontal cleaning on the upper and lower quadrant of my right side.
That was painful too, this hygienist was like Dr. Giggles, she managed to get blood outta me folks. Her little sickle did a number on me.
 

So now, another cleaning next week and hopefully more healing. As for work, well she's a Dragon and I'm a knight. We will always be at ends with each other.




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