Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Health Care

Via Pandagon, I discovered that Mexico has been implementing socialized medicine to impressive results (and hopes to be fully socialized by 2010). This is good for Mexico, and an embarrassment to the United States. Mexico has a less developed infastructor, fewer resources, more poverty, and still has better health care then we do.

This is especially biting (pun intended) to me. You see, I have a toothache. A very bad toothache, that I've had since last Friday. If I don't take ibroprophen every 4-6 hours, I have a pain that starts out as a low throbbing centered around my tooth. It then goes to an aching around the side of my jaw. If left to it's own devices, I starting getting pulsing pain around my tooth, an aching jaw, and shooting pain by my temple.

I know this, because every night for the last 4 nights I've been woken up by this. I then have to take more pain killers, and wait for about an hour for the pain to receed why they take effect. I suck on ice during this time to numb the nerve endings, and that does a little to stop the pain.

I have no dental insurance. I was covered under my parents dental insurance up until my 22 birthday (which was less than a month ago). I didn't know this until it was almost my birthday that I was losing it.

I've made an appointment, and they can't fit me until next Monday. They've already warned me that it's going to be about 145 dollars just to find out what's wrong.

I can't afford this. I'm swimming in debt and there doesn't look like there's anyway to to get out. My parent's won't help me: they think that I should have gotten a dental appointment in the week that they discovered that I was losing it (which was impossible), and they can't afford it much more either.

I don't know what to do. I can't keep taking pain killers forever, and if it's a root canal or something I'm completely fucked. It makes me want to weep, out of pain and frustration. My credit card is maxed (textbooks) and I already owe my friends 650 dollars (Not that much when you factor in that flying is about 230 dollars per hour).

I'm mad at everyone and everything. I'm made at my parents for not even having the decency to fill out the goddamned FAFSA so I can get some financial aid. I'm mad at them for not trusting me enough to co-sign for student loans so I have a lovely 14.75 intrest rate. I'm mad at the weather for making me so far behind flying, and at my body for not being healthier. I'm mad at UND for serving us food that's all starchy and sugary shit. I'm mad at a country that doesn't give a damn that most of its citizens have no health insurance.

I work, but I don't get paid much and I can't work that many hours because I have to have an open schedule for flying. I wish there was a job I could that had flexible hours, but there isn't. I don't get health insurance on my university job.

Worse, I'm exhausted and in pain, and if I don't get weathered, I'm flying anyway today. I'm so far behind that I don't have a choice.

I wish there was something I could do. But I guess I'm just going to have to borrow more money or something, because I'm all out of ideas.

6 Comments:

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Abby said...

Hi, teller of truths. You indeed tell the truth, because I was in almost your same position (minus the flying) several years ago, and I'm still swimming in debt today.

I went to school where the food was of a worse quality than inmates in local prisons receive, lived on painkillers and booze, and my schoolwork suffered.

But I've fought out of it, and I believe you can too. The things you describe as making you mad also touch most of us; we are young, struggling, and forgotten in a world where each person only cares for themselves and how much they have.

I used to have a lot of anger about that. I know that you do. That anger was eating me up inside, so I decided to focus that energy on making a difference, making a change to the things that piss me off. I take a look at each day as it comes. What is making me mad, frustrated, sad today? What can I do about it? If the answer is nothing, then I can't worry about it. If I am mad because all
my credit cards are maxed out (which they are), then I decide that today I will work at my crappy minimum wage job and work on building my business, as both of those things will bring in money (however little) to get rid of those bills. It's only a little thing, but it was what I could do with the day I'd been given.

I'm not going to tell you what to do, because I don't know you or really have any way to help. What I can offer you is hope, that there are others like you, others that have made it through, and that all we can do is the best we can. That is all we can do, and it is enough.

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger Goddess Cassandra said...

That helps a little. It's just I feel frustrated and impotent, and I know I'm not the only one.

My friend Andres is from Norway. He gets paid (on top of his tuition) 40,000 dollars (American) a year if he maintains a 3.0 GPA. I'll be swimming in debt for the next 20.

The US doesn't seem to care about most of it's citizens at all.

 
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At 7:44 AM, Blogger Noumena said...

Yikes! I can definitely sympathize with you. I was insured through my father until my 25th birthday, but we knew far enough in advance for me to get one last pair of glasses and one last dental checkup. The dentist told me I needed a `minor' periodontal procedure. I make the arrangements, and get it done the last business day before my insurance expires.

Months later, I find out that the insurance company decided the periodontist was only allowed to charge $300, and they would only be paying the $200 above my $100(!?) co-pay. I was responsible for the balance of the $700 bill.

This is also around the time I discover that the procedure has failed, and I need to get it done again. But things have progressed (because the periodontist never told me that the root cause was the way I was brushing, and how to stop it), and now I need to get it done twice -- once in exactly the same place, the other on the opposite side of my mouth.

Fast forward a year. I don't have dental insurance, but I certainly don't want my teeth falling out, and working over the summer means I have just enough saved up to pay for it now. I find a new (seemingly far more competent) periodontist, and schedule the appointment. Between the scheduling and the actual appointment, my car's ignition decides to die -- there goes my $700. Fortunately, I've just received an offer for a new credit card, with 0% interest for 18 months on transferred balances, so at least I don't have to pay interest over the year it will take me to pay it and my other car expenses down.

Thinking a little more practically now, you may be elgibible for Medicaid. It won't be much, but it could help make the bills a little more tractable. You might also call some other dentists -- in my experience (granted, it's somewhat limited), that sort of thing usually runs $50-75.

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger Tahran said...

Hi! I stumbled upon your blog entry and appreciated your straight forward honesty about what you're dealing with right now. I can understand why you're frustrated, mad at everyone and everything. I would be, too. I would be, that is, if I didn't know that there was a reason why I was brought into this world, that there was purpose to my suffering, and that I had an eternal hope beyond this world that made any momentary troubles seem like hiccups compared with the joys of what was to come. You may wonder what this has to do with toothaches and indebtedness, and the answer is: everything.

There is a reason that governments fail: they're not God. There is a reason that people fail: they're imperfect. There is a reason that our bodies fail: they are mortal and momentary. These sufferings are to show you that you had better not place your trust in yourself or any person, any government, or anything in this created and decaying world. Rather, you need to put your trust in God alone.

I notice you describe yourself as an athiest toward the god of Judaism, the god of Islam, and the god of Christianity. I'm not sure what god you are describing in that list, what god you have denied, but there is a perfect, loving God, the only God, who created you and loves you. In fact he sent his son Jesus to die for you. You may have denied him so far, but he has not denied you. As long as he gives you breath, he is giving you the mercy of being able to turn away from your sin, that is anything you've ever done wrong (and we all know we've done wrong) and put your trust and hope in Jesus Christ, who suffered the consequences of your sin so you that you would not have to suffer eternally worse than you are right, separated from God for eternity.

Jesus said that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” But there is a day coming when your denial will have a consequence, because Jesus also said, "Whoever denies Me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven."

What does that have to do with toothaches and indebtedness? Everything. You have a choice. Are you going to let the pains and junk of life point you to the only reliable One who loves you, made you, knows you better than yourself and is calling you to follow him and experience eternal joy with him, or are you going to ignore the evidence around you that everything in this world (ourselves included), except for Jesus Christ, God Himself, will fail?

Just so you know, I’m not getting brownie points for telling you this. I’m not getting paid to take the time to write on your blog—but I don’t believe it was an accident that one Truth Teller stumbled upon another Truth Teller’s blog, to tell you the most important and imperative truth you will ever know.

May you find your joy, satisfaction, and relief in Jesus, even in the midst of debt and toothaches.

 
At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Cory said...

I've definitely been in the same position you are in. Strapped for cash and in desperate need of dental care/medical care. I did some research, and found that you can save a great deal of money if you don't have dental insurance with a dental discount plan. You save a percentage, I believe between about 10%-60% off most dental procedures. That is pretty significant if you think about it. It's something I would look into if I were you. Dental-Plan-Providers.com is the best Dental Plans site I have come across in my research. Hope that helps. Best of luck!

 

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