I feel like whining about my morning, about adulthood, and about financial/insurance matters.
Yep, this is going to be one of those posts.
I had a dental cleaning scheduled for this morning, figured I’d just get my cleaning and talk about a tooth that had been bothering me. I knew the tooth needed work, six months ago it needed a crown, but I just recently got insurance again and it had to wait.
I went in and we did the cleaning and I mentioned the tooth and she said it looked fine from inside my mouth, but that if I wanted she’d do an x-ray. I said I’d appreciate it, so that way I can at least plan for it and know what to expect. I figured I probably shouldn’t wait any longer because my entire jaw had been feeling more and more tender lately.
She did the x-ray, took a few minutes, then came back with the dentist and he said a root canal needed to be done asap. I walked out to the reception area, and the lady behind the desk said to go, now, and get the root canal done immediately, per the dentist’s request, and had an appointment set for thirty minutes from then, across town, with a specialist.
Okay, fine, I thought. I have some time, I’ll go there, get this root canal out of the way and still make it to work by noon.
“Will I be able to make it to Lansing by noon?” I asked the receptionist
“Will I be able to work, with the amount of pain and such?””
“Definitely.” She said again. “It’s just like a filling, just takes longer. Once you’re put back together you’ll be good as new.”
Then she handed me my referral and said “Be there a few minutes early, go now, fill out the paperwork, and here’s your copay…$600”
My heart dropped.. my CO-PAY was $600? I know root canal’s are expensive, but I thought insurance was supposed to cover the majority? 50-80%
So I walk into the endodontist’s office and ask the receptionist there if I have to pay my entire co-pay at once, or if they have a payment plan option, she informed me of the care credit card for dental finances, which I was familiar with from previously working at a dental office, and grabbed an application. 12 months interest free, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
So I go in and watch a movie about a root canal procedure while they numb me up and get me ready to go. They advise me that once it’s over I’ll be fine and feel normal, better than normal, no more pain in my jaw. I tell them I’m ready and we start.
It’s noisy, and bright, and uncomfortable; my heart was racing, but I was managing. I felt like I was practically in and out of consciousness through the entire thing, even though I wasn’t drugged at all except the Novocaine.
Suddenly I noticed the doctor had started talking to me. I opened my eyes and jerked a little, but was found I was still under the lighted contraption, and my mouth was still being held open by gadgets. I tried to focus on what he was saying, but he sounded really far away. I couldn’t understand him, I was in a daze. Finally my ears awoke and I heard him say “I have to leave the hole that I drilled open, I can’t finish the procedure today. You’re going to have to come back.”
“Come back? When?”
“Okay?” I was really confused.
“Listen, you’re going to be in a lot pain for the next couple of days. I know I said you’d be fine, but that’s only if we were to have been able to close the hole and finish everything up. Unfortunately, the infection is worse than expected, and we put some medication down in it, and can’t put the filling in until the infection has cleared up. So, yes, you’ll be in some pain the next few days. I want you to just stay in bed and take these codine pills until you come back.”
I nicely explained to him that I have to work. I HAVE to work. I’m not the type to take it and lay in bed through three work days. He told me to take a bunch of ibuprofen or acetaminophen during the day to keep my brain in working order, but then take the codine at night.
I go back to reception to get my prescriptions and my appointment to come back and she pulls up my insurance information and starting laughing “$750? Why even bother with it?”
“What?” I ask, confused.
“Oh, I’ve just never seen insurance with such a low cap. Today is the first time you’ve used it and it’s already maxed out for the year.”
“Well, I just got it, it was free, and that’s still $750 I don’t have to spend out of my pocket.”
So, I got the care credit, and will probably have that maxed out as well by the time these four appointments are over. The original 2 from today, the finishing of the root canal and then the crown to place on top a week later. Yay for the start of September!
So now I’m 2 hours and 24 minutes into my 9 hour work day. I’m feeling okay. I’m taking my pills every four hours as planned, and my still-numb face is having seizures as it slowly goes back to normal. It’s been four hours since I left the endodontist and I still can’t smile, chew, eat, or drink, and while talking I still sound a little drunk. My bosses are surrounding me telling me to go home and rest, but there is something deep inside me that just wont allow it, unless I literally can’t deal with work anymore. [That something inside of me is probably the guilt-like emotion of being the worst employee ever most my life and using every excuse possible to get out of previous jobs, regularly]. Sometimes I’m shocked I’ve made it this long, other times I feel like I’ll last here all day. We’ll see how it goes I guess.