WAITING WITH THE NEWS – A HEALTH ALERT UPDATE

The only time I read the newspaper is when I’m waiting for the doctor or dentist. Usually, I get headlines online and carefully avoid reading “hard news.”

I don’t want to know. I can’t fix what’s broken in the world. Knowing about it will depress me.

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Yesterday, I had a moderately long wait for the dentist. It was an emergency visit and I didn’t bring my Kindle. My bag is already stuffed, overloaded with camera equipment and everything else.

Garry always buys newspapers and he had brought two. Halfway through the second newspaper, I remembered why I don’t follow news. I caught up with everything I didn’t want to know.

The waiting experience was crowned by seeing the dentist.

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The good news? The antibiotics healed the infection in my gums and if I lay off the flossing, I should be fine. Other good news? My broken tooth was filled. I no longer have a big, jagged hole where my premolar ought to be. In fact, I still have the premolar, or what’s left of it. Even better news? The tooth can be fixed, made good as new, almost.

You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, right? Wait for it …

$1200 for the crown. No insurance. Because health insurance doesn’t cover teeth, vision, or hearing. Eating, seeing, and hearing are cosmetic, not medical issues.

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Now that I know I’m not going to die from infection, I can relax. I can stop being cranky, snarky, and insomniac. Because all I need to worry about is money.

Footnote: The photographs have nothing to do with the post. I took them when we got back from the dentist. With the Pentax Q7, which was not having a good day. It took me an hour to figure out what was bothering it — and set it to rights. I felt obliged to use the pictures.



Categories: Anecdote, Cameras, Health, Humor, Personal, Photography, UPDATE!

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65 replies

  1. I have to go to a Diabetes clinic next week for an assessment. Don’t know what involves.
    Not really looking forward to it.

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  2. Here’s an interesting note on dental stuff. I have six teeth that are “originals” from birth. The rest are all either bridges or crowns. Since I was in my forties. My fiancé (early fifties) had his teeth kicked out by a horse a few years ago. They pulled what was left of them, and he got dentures. Didn’t like them, so goes commando mouth-wise. He can eat/chew anything now. Perhaps a part of it is our vanity that keeps us heading off to the dentist?

    And on an odd but similar note… it’s quite an interesting piece you wrote, when it causes us to spend this much time contemplating news and dental work in the same space. Ah, yes, give me a good reporting story full of facts and less fiction — something I can really sink my teeth into.

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  3. Great pictures but ouch. The cost of a crown. I have elected to have my teeth removed to avoid those sorts of bills – under $100. So eating for me is an interesting occasion each time. I still have to pay about $800 for my tooth implant crown. But I should be getting a tax return to pay for that.
    I have really given up on the news too – maybe catch a few minutes of it in the morning. Way too depressing.

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  4. Gives you a good feeling when you have the dentist visit behind you. I usually pay after the treatment. He has one of those “handy” machines that accepts bank cards and post cards and I get 2% discount (big deal). We don’t have dental insurance either, only if it falls into an accident, like losing a couple of teeth by a fight or if you fall. OK, Mr. Swiss had a fall, but the insurance only covered what they deemed for appropriate. Mr. Swiss wanted something better so had to pay the difference himself.

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    • It’s an international cabal of health insurers who have decided our teeth are not important. I have to do this or lose the tooth and I’ve already lost several — can’t afford another one. I hope I never need another crown. It may be I’m mis-remembering, but it seems to me the price of these things has at least doubled in the past 10 years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn, I was hyper-anxious sitting in the dentist waiting room as they worked on you. I feared the worst. Some guy who recognized me was jabbering stuff I politely ignored. I also read the front pages (and business sections) of both newspapers I’d purchased.
        Bad move!! I was ready to take the gas until you came out saying things were better than you thought.
        Back to sports (Our baseball team is on a 2 game winning streak) and the entertainment section.
        Careful with the floss. Dr. Ed (Laurence Olivier) is always available.

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      • Cosmetic you say?…, And this after all the medical evidence that unhealthy teeth and gums can cause other serious health problems.., like heart disease. Well that’s what happens when we let non-medical entities, like insurance companies, decide what is wrong and what deserves coverage. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now. Insurance companies are not interested in covering preventative procedures, even though it usually costs less than major illness. After all they can’t take a chance on us living too long.

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        • You’re right. Sadly, this is nothing new. As far back as I can remember, eyes, ears, and teeth have never been covered by medical insurance unless it was cancer or an accident or something like that … and even then, they only covered the very minimum they could get away with. They don’t even cover vaccinations anymore. How’s that for shortsighted?

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  5. I’ve often wondered about that… why dental and vision have to be covered by their own insurance. I’m fortunate to have dental insurance from Mecca, but I’ve only used it once in 17 years since I see a dentist only when I am in excruciating pain. Wish I could let you borrow my insurance since I never use it. I’ve been very fortunate with my teeth…. so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I always go to the Dental College. Love the way they treat me, love the fact that I only pay half of the regular cost for excellent service and solutions to my dental problems.

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  7. I feel your pain. VA Medical has no dental coverage. I suppose your teeth and gums aren’t important. Two crowns cost me $2500 and took me a year to pay off. It’s robbery but you never hear about it in the news, only about Isis and the bomb threats.

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    • Those are the prices, yep. Same here. $1195 for a premolar crown. Which apparently is actually cut-rate. It can cost a LOT more because this guy does classy work and the sky is the limit on this stuff. I don’t know if it’s robbery or not. Our dentist does good work and mostly, pretty reasonably priced … but this stuff involves external labs, etc. And I did check prices in the area and mostly they are the same or much more. It isn’t that teeth aren’t important. It’s just that no one wants to pay for them. They won’t even pay for all my medication … so teeth? Hearing aids? Eyeglasses? Not happening.

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  8. Glad to hear that your dental problems are over, except for the bill of course. Ouch! As for news I rarely read the daily paper. It’s a waste of time reading the Murdoch Press and often I don’t even watch the news on TV. I know it will just make me mad or depressed and I don’t need that.

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    • All things considered, it could have been worse. We have a special credit card for medical stuff and they are offering 18 months, no interest, so I’ll take it. We’ll just have to not do anything at all while we are paying it off because that’s our “discretionary” income (how funny to look at it that way 🙂 )

      As for the news, we stopped watching it or reading about it when Garry stopped doing it. He reads the sports and entertainment sections, skips the front part. Except when we run out of stuff to read …

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I like newspapers. There is something about turning the pages that is better than clicking a button.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like newspapers just fine. It’s the contents that I don’t like. Normally, Garry buys one or two a day and reads the sports, movies, television, features. Skips the “hard” news. But there wasn’t anything else to read … so …

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    • Rick, I agree about “real” newspapers. Wish we could say the same thing about reporting but that’s indicative of the current journalistic bar. It’s still better than TV News. And, yes, I am so very embarrassed to see the state of my former profession.

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      • MrsA sez it’s always been this way. Tell me it isn’t so, MrA. I will believe you. Lie to me if necessary. As a child, knew when I grew up I was going to marry either Walter Cronkite or perhaps Walt Disney. Or my dog Poochie.

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        • We were raised — and Garry started working — during a charmed interlude where, for a brief shining period, the news had standards. Journalists worked at being fair and honest. Then we grew up and so did they.

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    • Funny you should mention it… That was the one beckoning call of the paper I purchased. Sitting at the dining room table, reading the comics and the outdoors section. Reminded me of the days when the kids were little, drinking coffee in the wee morning hours and enjoying a few moments of silence before chaos reigned.

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  10. I bought a newspaper, first one in decades, this past week. Was for a friend who had an article about her pond in it and wanted extras. Made the mistake of starting to read it. Remembered why I don’t purchase or read newspapers anymore. Was depressed. Had a gin & tonic and got over it. Between our local rag and Fox news, there’s no “news” fit to print. When did reporting turn into a twisted political spin of soap opera? I figure if I REALLY need to know something, MrA will let us know. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t want to ruin your illusions, but except for a brief period when media was under the “Ed Murrow” spell, it has always been like this. As far back as history talks about it. Pre Revolution. 17th century France. What’s unusual is when it ISN’T just a bunch of political scandal and bullshit.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Queen, I stay informed about the major issues of our day. It’s in my DNA. I cannot fathom why people I respect give so much attention to Fox news on Facebook and other outlets. It’s just what Fox wants. As for the folks who watch and believe Fox, the less said, the better.
      I do read — in addition to sports and entertainment, the obits and op/ed pieces.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nothing like a juicy obit to get you day off on the right foot!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I read (or did read until it changed editors) the local paper. Obits, and personal interest stuff, until they stopped publishing the obits. Its a hand out, so I dont even bother with that now. We dont have TV anymore, and the only news I read about is what I hear about from other venues, and I check up on it to make sure we all got the facts straight.
        My husband is hooked on the Dramedy that is Fox News. I wear ear plugs when he puts it on.

        I keep thinking, “what would Walter Cronkite have said” and the answer is, a lot less, and a lot more carefully. It really shouldnt be called news, it should be call Slanted Opinion

        I agree with Marilyn, the less I know of what I can’t change anyway, the happier I am.

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        • I am surprised at how many people share this viewpoint. Basically, so does Garry which considering his background is ironic indeed. I miss Walter Cronkite. He was THE voice of the news. I was sure if Uncle Walter said it, it was true. No one has that kind of authority or clout anymore. Maybe no one deserves it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Walter, and Peter Jennings, are the only two true newscasters I ever watched. The rest were rip and read guys. But they were all always careful to report, not embellish. I recall when Kennedy was shot, all Cronkite did was note the time, and say, “President Kennedy died at XXX this afternoon. ” and he took off his glasses and there were tears in his eyes. And in ours as well.

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            • Add Tom Brokaw. My husband was good. VERY good, but he was never an anchor, only a field reporter. But boy, could he fill me in on the back story when he got home at night! All the stuff they wouldn’t let him say on the air.

              I remember the day Kennedy was shot. I think everyone in our generation does. It was as if the world stopped turning.

              Liked by 1 person

      • You may want to reconsider respecting folks who like Fox. Or at least be very cautious around them.

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  11. “The waiting experience was ($1200) crowned by seeing the dentist.” Ouch!!

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  12. The pictures are great. I’m glad you figured out what was wrong with the camera. And I’m glad the antibiotics worked. I went without dental insurance for so long I don’t even know where to start with my mouth. The most I’ve had done was to fix my front tooth, which was half gone for about five years. Oh and the one tooth that went “hot” as the dentists say and had to be surgically removed… I’m glad I had insurance for that because even WITH insurance it cost us over $1K.

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    • Good news on the dentist stuff, sometimes the worst part is just getting to it without knowing what the next step might be. It does seem that insurance could be so ordered to distinctly cover surgeries, abscesses, and such, and still omit braces and regular checkups. I suspect that those things older people need the most, teeth, sight, and hearing, are so universal it could cripple the insurance industry and Im sure companies are convinced we would all rush out and BUY those damn glasses and actually have implants and hearing aids whether we needed them or not. yep.

      I gave up on world news long ago. It’s going to happen anyway, whether I know or not, and there really isnt a great deal I can do about it. My husband is hooked on Fox news, and nightly listens to the injected dramatic spin they put on everything. I keep thinking, “How would Cronkite have handled that?” and I know it wouldnt have been with that dramatic Monologue Voice…

      Love the photos, especially the bottom one. Looks a bit like our woods. In the bottom right hand corner of the tree photo is a horizontal line, looks like a bridge through the trees…?

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    • Garry has a little bit of dental insurance, just covering cleaning and xrays. I don’t have any. The policies available cover so little of the cost, it’s just as cheap to let it go. The thing is, there’s an international cabal to NOT cover dental work … or eyeglasses … or hearing aids. They don’t cover them in any country. They must have an international conference and discuss this between leaders. Meanwhile, I have only two choices: fix it or lose it. I’m going to fix it because I’ve already lost a bunch of teeth and can’t afford to lose another one. I wouldn’t be able to chew anymore … and I REALLY can’t afford a bridge. Oy.

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      • I hear ya. I have three teeth gone so far and two half teeth. I know that’s not many in the grand scheme of things, but… Every tooth counts, ya know?

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        • Mine don’t show. They are all back teeth — but those are the chewing teeth. So you can’t see them, but there are big gaps back there and I need this one, so I’m going to have to find the money somehow. $1195. ONE crown. What would a whole bridge cost? YIKES.

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          • I have two molars gone, one molar filled but not capped, one cracked molar that’s not filled (but half missing), one tooth just behind my upper canine gone. and one front tooth filled and capped (it’s the only capped tooth). No bridges. I’m waiting for the hubs to get a permanent job before I go to the dentist to see about getting the cracked tooth either filled or pulled. It’s not hurting so…

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            • I’ve lost about 6 teeth. I think. Hard to keep track. All molars. I had a cracked one, but it abscessed, so it got pulled. The good part is you can’t tell they are missing. The bad part is that ALL of them are grinding teeth, so I can’t eat anything chewy … and all my other teeth have shifted because of the missing ones.

              Even when we had dental insurance, it never covered the entire cost. It also had such low limits, if you had anything serious to do, it didn’t cover it. I really need to get some work done on my gums, but the price is so far out of my ability to pay, it isn’t even worth discussing. As long as they stay healthy. So far, so good.

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              • The dental insurance and prices here are so awful. I’ve had friends wait for months to go “back home” — India, Pakistan, Turkey, Greece, Brazil, wherever… to get their dental work done because it was cheaper for them to fly to another country and back to get their teeth fixed than have it done here. How sad is that? I wish I had that option.

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                • At least one person I know saved up and went to Mexico to get his teeth fixed. It still cost him thousands of dollars, but it was less than half the price of getting it done in the U.S. And he got a nice vacation too.

                  The problem is that some of the work done in other countries is not very good. And, like you, we are in no position to go somewhere else to get work done. By the time we added in travel costs, we wouldn’t save anything anyway.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Im in the same boat, Marilyn, with backteeth a distant memory: the dentist has been talking implants for two years now and at last ignorant me said, “you mean implants, not dentures?” and he said ‘yes, yes, of course”. Id only have to be in the hospital overnight (“only”) and how much IS this supposed to cost? He said, “probably around 2K for each implant but they will change your appearance and they will be like your real teeth” very very fast…thats nearly 20K, not counting the hospital costs…what about dientures? I asked. He said, we could do that…

                    an oral surgeon last year suggested braces. ahahaha. I said, Dr., I am 69 years old. I wont live long enough to amortize the cost of that…he told me I would live forever…I told him Id have to. He laughed, I laughed, and that was the end of that discussion.

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                    • Oddly, MY dentist also told me I was going to live forever. Maybe that’s a thing with dentists. I need this one tooth, but beyond that, I’m with you. I am highly unlikely to live long enough to justify the costs and in any case, I couldn’t possible pay that kind of money, not even over a few years. We live on a fixed income and that’s like half our annual income. NOT happening.

                      Liked by 1 person

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