All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author.My ancestry and more personal notes are now at a revised version of "When I Was 75."

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Those teeth

Dental gratitude.

Here's my before shot...
and before the shot of novocaine (or whatever wonder drugs are used to numb half my head).

There's one amalgam filling left, the silver one on the bottom.  It was about 50% mercury.  Glad to get it out of there.  I must have had it about 25 years.

Stick of local anesthetic, prior to the big needle of the strong stuff.

The view that I had while all the work happened in my mouth.  Of course this was the sitting up view. When I lay back, and had to hold my poor jaw open and push with my neck against the pressures of the dentist pushing this and that...I only saw the ceiling and the bright light.

And after...

Of course I couldn't feel much about the time the last pic was taken, at least on my right side.

I share this mundane episode in my senior life, because it is a big affair for me.

I, and all other Medicare seniors, have no dental insurance.  We could purchase private plans, but the cost is about as much as this procedure cost.  We are up the creek without a paddle, so to speak.

I may not have sterling teeth, because when I was a teen my parents didn't invest in braces for me.  In the 50's it was still an optional thing to do for kids, and my parents said getting a good education was worth more than a pretty smile (and nobody knew about dental health which went along with braces).  I now don't worry about that attitude, because I went on to become a stewardess who made her living with her smile, crooked teeth and all.

But I do worry that many elders haven't got a way to save up for 4 months to have a procedure done, like I have.  And I worry about how my catching up on dental care finally has really cost me.  I doubt that I'll be able to save that fifteen hundred dollars or so and put it back into savings.  This year I have had three costly visits, and changed dentists after the first one gave me an estimate of a minimum of three thousand dollars.

In case you still haven't retired, or are considering living with Medicare insurance, there is no dental care, there is no eye glass coverage, and there is nothing for you if you need a hearing aid.

So I'm grateful that my teeth can again chomp.  I hope I can continue to see, though I will be given an exam through Medicare, I have to pay for the glasses themselves.  And I hope I can continue to hear what people say, and what music and birds sound like.

I'm truly grateful for what I have today.

Quote for today:

The little things? The little moments? They aren't little. 
Jon Kabat-Zinn

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