Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How much Advil is too much Advil?

I don't know yet, I'll let you know when I hit the overdose wall. I've been having jaw pain for about the last two weeks because of my impacted wisdom teeth. The two on the bottom are in and have been in for years but they keep moving around. Of the two on the top, one came in about 18 years ago and was pulled because it didn't fit in with my other teeth, meaning I literally couldn't shut my mouth so if I wanted to talk or chew I had to have it pulled. The other upper wisdom tooth is hung up behind my last molar (I saw it on an x-ray) and I was hoping it would just stay there forever and never move. It's moving. I think it's growing sideways and pushing the roots of all my teeth together which is super duper painful!

I know what your thinking, you're thinking 'Why the hell do I continue to read about someone's wisdom teeth problems? Gross and who cares?' and you're also thinking, 'Hey dummy, just go to the dentist and have them taken out.' (don't call me dummy)

That's easy for you to think because you obviously aren't as afraid of that whole procedure as I am. First of all, I'm afraid of surgery in general. Anesthesia scares me because what if it just paralyzes me and I am still conscious and can feel everything? What if it just kills me? Secondly, this is surgery on my HEAD. I live in my head and like it just the way it is and don't want anyone messing with it. Thirdly, it's bone surgery - ew! bone surgery! and fourthly they will be doing all of this through my MOUTH. They will be stretching my jaw and peeling back my lips and cutting through my gums in order to dig through my skull to get out a tooth that is lodged right next to my sinuses and ear canal.

I'd rather have a colonoscopy. I'd rather have an abortion. I'd rather both of those things on the same day because for me, they would be less invasive and less traumatic. In fact, if I could solve my jaw problems by having a colonoscopy and an abortion, I think I might do it.

And finally, I don't have health insurance. We had MinnesotaCare insurance before which is the state public insurance, (which is a hell of a lot more than most states have), but they kicked us off (as they do every year) so I re-applied in July and between their slow processing and their constant need for more information, the application still hasn't been processed. So until that happens, no jaw surgery, no colonoscopies and no abortions. I faxed in what will hopefully be the last piece of information they will need today, and was promised that our case will be expedited so perhaps I can see someone about this tooth before it pops through my palate, or sinus cavity, or eyeball.

I know what you're thinking now, 'OMG, why don't you have health insurance? Are you poor? You are such a terrible parent!' Oh, hang on, don't get judgemental, stick with me here: No, technically not poor, but we have a small business and to get private insurance we would have to pay around $600 a month (that was about 8 years ago, I'm sure it's way more now) just in premiums, with a huge deductible for any health expenses we incurred. We are four healthy people who incur about $400 total in health expenses all year long, so it would be stupid, not to mention financially impossible to pay a health insurer $7500 a year on top of the $400 we pay in health care costs anyway.

'But,' you say, 'what about a catastrophic event, or even a non-catastrophic but expensive event like jaw surgery?' Exactly. Now you see where I'm at! The way private insurers work, getting the coverage you paid for is like squeezing gold coins out of Scrooge McDuck. (actually, I think if you squeeze Scrooge McDuck, gold coins do pop out here and there.) Heck, if they paid all their claims they wouldn't have enough left over for advertising and swag! I'm sure my tooth, for example, would be considered a pre-existing condition, since it's been there since I was born.

MinnesotaCare is a really good program. It has a large group of people, so the premiums are kept moderately low and when they say you're covered, you're covered. The tricky part is getting on it (the application process is a bitch) and staying on it (you have to reapply every year). THIS IS WHY WE NEED A SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE PROGRAM LIKE CANADA, GODDAMMIT! Okay, sorry, sorry about that. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10... I'm calm now. Breathe breathe.... okay.

I have a consultation with an oral surgeon on the 5th so I hope the insurance application is processed before then, but if not, it's all out-of-pocket. Which is still cheaper than private insurance.

Now you're wishing me the best of luck and hoping I don't overdose on Advil, and begging me to please, never EVER write about my teeth problems again. Well, I can't make any promises about that! You want to know how this whole thing plays out don't you? You want to see a picture of what a tooth looks like punched through the roof of someone's mouth, don't you? If it wasn't me, I'd want to see that picture! You're so sweet! Thanks! It's been nice having this little chat with you!


  1. Dana McKibbage WaldbilligMarch 2, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    Two things:
    1. I still giggle to myself when I think about that little old lady that got up and moved to a different table because we were talking about your jaw issues *haha*, and
    2. I have a bag (literally) of "left-over" meds from my neck surgery. Good stuff. The real deal. You know where to reach me...

  2. I would like to shop around in your bag of drugs, Dana. My jaw isn't hurting anymore though and I'm supposed to go to the surgeon tomorrow. I'm thinking about canceling it. If it ain't broke, right???

  3. I would like to shop around in your bag of drugs, Dana. My jaw isn't hurting anymore though and I'm supposed to go to the surgeon tomorrow. I'm thinking about canceling it. If it ain't broke, right???


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