Tuesday, April 20

Pap smears are the new American Dream.

This morning I had tears welling in my eyes.  I was reclined in the dentist's chair, while the topical anaesthetic took over the left side of my mouth (a few cavities were found at last week's appointment - I was back to fix them right up).  Foolish for letting a dentist belittle me for not being responsible for my teeth every 6 months.

"So what's going on here?"

Umm, you're a snarky dentist who doesn't realize that just because someone works full-time doesn't mean they instantly get any medical benefits...EVER...AT ALL.  So I jumped a coast.  But I get tired of telling everyone and their dog that, because I don't want to be a sap story, but dammit I should have shit my story all over your lunch.  Because then maybe it would have gotten through to you.

"It's been a couple years since my last appointment, so I'm taking care of everything now that I have insurance."

"MMMMmmmmmmm."  (Dumb brunette.  Sorry other brunettes, nothing personal.)

But she didn't get it.  She doesn't realize what it's like to be one of the bazillion people without insurance.  The last time I saw my dentist back in Oregon, my parents paid out of pocket for an appointment because it had been a similar timeframe since my last check-up before that one.  Teeth take the back burner when YOU DON'T HAVE INSURANCE.  Do you want to pay $100+ just for someone to poke around your teeth?  That doesn't even count the possible for follow-up appointments for cavities, x-rays, what-have-you, etc. 

No, I'm not your Welfare case.  I went to college, graduated, and have persued full-time employment.  It just takes working for a huge company to get decent coverage.  There's nothing that says an employer has to give workers coverage.  So while you think people complain about not finding work...is it really worth it to find full-time work when you don't get shit for medical care?  Which is the hot topic these days.

So while this soapbox stand is tame compared to other's, I just don't think I deserved to feel like I did this morning.  I'm doing what I can to catch up.  I shouldn't be hating life before I even get into work.  Save that for afterwards, when I go for a run, and then my stomach has issues.  Just leave me with some good drugs and I'll keep coming back for more.  Now I understand why people go dentist/doctor shopping.  Because this dentist...that's a big, fat NEXT!

And speaking of doctors...my annual exam last December had the complete opposite reaction.  I've never had a medical professional so glad that I was able to transition from unemployed to employed/insurance, so I could stay atop my health.  Because what's more important...cavities or cervical cancer?  Yes, her happiness could have been based on the notion that she'll gain more patients if she has a better word-of-mouth credit.  But maybe she's been in my situation also.  If so, congrats to her.  We've made it.


  1. Oh Lord do I hear you on this one.

    Last December I finally qualified for our $500 dollar dental reimbursement program. Not actual coverage, but I was willing to take it.

    I got a whole crap load worth of shit done all at once knowing as i do that sometimes it is gone before you've gotten used to it and what do you know, Jan 15th it was taken away company wide.

    (dramatic sigh)

  2. I can't even begin to relate the HUNDREDS of stories I've heard from people while volunteering at the local, non-profit, if you-don't-have-insurance-welcome clinic. While standing up here on my soap box, I think all professionals working in an area highly personal, political, and emotional need to have some human dignity lets-not-make-people-feel-like-shit training.

  3. Ugh. I know how you feel. At least yours was just a few years. I went 19 years without a cleaning, the only other times I went to the dentist were times we had no choice. My mom felt even crappier when she'd get chewed out for not "doing her motherly duty and bringing me in twice a year" is what one dentist said, I believe.