Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Ides of March

This is a turbulent time of year in these parts. Just a week ago, the lakes and ponds nearby were still frozen over. Today, walking through the greenbelt in 60 degree weather, they were thawed. Last Sunday, it snowed all day. Today I’m in short sleeves –green short sleeves – but the forecast for Friday is snow. It will be like this for another month. All around, the green shoots are coming up and the landscape has a greenish cast over the dull pale brown of winter.

I have still not heard the decision on the contract that would mean a job. I am not a patient person when it comes to waiting for news. I also have an interview scheduled for Friday for a job that would be interesting but not as ideal. Tomorrow, I have a consultation with a specialist that I am dreading.

I worked for over 15 years in dentistry, and saw it all. Before that, I had a great deal of orthodontia done on my teeth, some of it experimental. I had appliances cemented into my mouth while I was still in elementary school, and by junior high I had endured both neck gear and head gear – separately – which didn’t do a whole lot for my self esteem. (Think Joan Cusak in My Bodyguard.) As an unintended result, I have sensitive teeth that chip and crack easily. I was lucky enough to have a fabulous dentist as a kid who greatly impressed upon me the importance of good home care, and I’m sure that the time spent in his office had a lot to do with my entering school at 17 to become a dental assistant. I’ve always taken good care of what I have, and am blessed with good health, but old fillings have to be replaced eventually, and after I turned 40 one of my ancient fillings had to be transitioned into a crown. I was pretty sure that was the most comprehensive treatment I would ever need.

When I was in Northern California the past few years, living three hours north of where I had grown up, I found out that the dentist I had Interned with when I was just starting out had also moved to the same area. She took great care of me and my daughter, and it was wonderful to be in such capable hands. Last year, one of my molars not only had an old filling in need of replacement, but also had developed a crack. She replaced the filling and we hoped for the best.

Last week, my dentist here in Colorado took a look at the tooth and we discovered that the crack had caused a problem in the bone next to the tooth. Damn! Of all the dental specialists, a periodontist is the one that I thought I would never need. And of course, this has developed just when I am out of work and have no insurance. That is really the kind of luck I have. I am not even that surprised, just really unhappy at facing a painful and expensive procedure right now. And when the periodontist is finished with me, I’ll have to go back to my dentist for a crown on that tooth. Tomorrow is the consultation where I get the details.

I know that in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t that bad. I also know that as far as bad luck goes, I can handle this and it will pass. But I’m still bummed. This puts off other – much more fun things – that I had in mind for my funds. I planned carefully for this unsettled year, and have been careful with my money, but even though I knew there might be unforeseen emergencies, this really sucks. It skews my financial spreadsheet something awful.


  1. No, that's a big deal and it sucks - I hereby give you permission to feel sorry for yourself!! Dental work sucks, and I can honestly say that dental insurance also sucks. I have insurance and this summer a crown is still gonna cost me the same amount as my first car. Granted, that car was a P.O.S, but still....

    Hang in there, girly!

  2. I envision the Simpsons: "These pre-date stainless steel, so you can't get them wet".

    Sorry about the dental woes, I spent a good chunk of HS and college enduring braces and surgeries to end up with an okay mouth.

  3. Argh! Sorry to hear that. I hope that karma will even itself out and the contract will go through.

  4. Keeping my fingers crossed for you that a job will be forthcoming for you soon. So sorry to hear about the dental problems and the unexpected expense. Dental work is never fun and neither is having to pay for it either. Hope tomorrow is a better day for you.