Thursday, June 26, 2008

Adulthood Rears Ugly Head. News at Nine.

So, I thought I'd grow up, since I'm moving into my own place soon and negotiating the terms of my job and caring about the environment and minimizing my carbon footprint and so on. Also this has so far been the year of "buckling down" where I've been paying special attention to keeping my house clean, paying bills on time, taking care of my health, and all the rest. I did these things before, but this year I've been more organized about them.

One thing I've been putting off for the past couple of years has been going to a dentist, and this has primarily been for financial reasons. I don't have dental insurance. I barely have health insurance. (Basically I send Unicare $100 a month so they can cover me if I get run over by the El, on a Tuesday, between the hours of 3 and 4 pm. It's not valid in any other circumstances).

A friend of a friend recommended their dentist, who runs a "dental spa" in Roscoe Village. What is a dental spa? It's a dental office where they have massage chairs and are way liberal with the local anaesthetic. Which it turns out is a good thing for me.

Apparently my gums aren't as healthy as they should be, and I have my first ever cavity. The dentist, upon seeing my devastation at this news, said, "You really shouldn't beat yourself up. It's really minor and there are tons of people walking around with worse than you have who don't even know it." Or some such thing. He wants to go in and do some deep cleaning, fix the cavity with a laser, and do a little preventative work. On Monday. For an amount of money that is four digits and begins with a 1.

One thing I know about preventative maintenance in medicine is that the philosophy behind it is to fix problems before they become big, scary, and expensive. I'm definitely into preventative maintenance for something like my teeth. Or my brain. Or my joints. Or, hell, everything.

The problem here is that I feel responsible. And I am. If I'd stuck to cleanings every 6-12 months like I'd had every year of my life until 2 years ago this would never have happened. If I'd taken the time when I was younger and developed valuable, marketable skills instead of "following my passions" -- which is great and soulful and fulfilling in all kinds of ways -- I could have gone to college for something lucrative and landed a job where I would have good health insurance, and presumably dental as well, this would never have happened. If I hadn't always been fiercely independent and insisted on starting a solo life 800 miles from my nearest relatives, I might have let fewer things like medical checkups and dentistry appointments fall through the cracks because I could still go to my doctor and dentist from when I was growing up like so many of my friends do. But is that just laziness? I mean, if I still lived in my hometown and relied on the connections made for me by my family even before I was born (never having to choose a doctor, or a dentist, or movers, or a handyman) would that mean I was in some way slacking off from going out into the world and forging these essential connections myself?

At this point I'm just taking a position and being overly philosophical about the whole thing. It's too hot to do that in my apartment right now. Maybe I'll save all my pennies and turn on the A/C.


Blogger Princess Lolly said...

you are a good person. everybody knows it. and hey, if you ever want to go to MY dentist, i can give you a 25 bucks off coupon! however, it's in elmhurst so you may hafta eat the discount in getting there. wanna have sushi next week with all of our surplus cash? (come over on monday. i'm 2 blocks away.)also, the security word you must type to be able to post a comment on your site is currently 10 digits long. i'm getting a hand cramp.

5:01 PM  
Blogger thesaurasaurus said...

10 digits is lame. But yes. I may come over Monday -- I'll be heavily sedated and in your neighborhood. The chances of my finding my way there are better than just about anywhere else. Are you going to be around during the day? (I love how we're doing this by Blog Comments instead of our usual texty shorthand- Wundy! Sweets! Mwah!)

I now have to type 8 letters to post a comment on my own blog. FACK this.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Annie said...

I dare anyone else from your high school to try and do half of the things that you have accomplished in your life. They would fail miserably, and have to run back to their hometown Doc for some fixin'. Sure they wouldn't have to pay money because of their fancy insurance- but they're totally in the poorhouse when it comes to having a fulfilling, happy life and crazy stories.
Oh! and I win! only 5 letters to type.

9:11 AM  
Blogger thesaurasaurus said...

Y'all two kick ass.

8:50 PM  

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