Monday, August 08, 2005

Two Thirty

I'm a freak of nature for many reasons, but still having--at age 36--three wisdom teeth helps cement my qualifications. Sometimes the two in my upper jaw hurt--particularly the one on my left; it's not anywhere near aligned with the rest of my teeth, and is impossible to reach with a toothbrush. Typically dentists tell me "They'll have to come out eventually," and leave it at that.

Thursday last week a huge chunk of my upper left wisdom tooth broke off. Then, it started to hurt, and mysteriously the other two remaining wisdom teeth (one of which hasn't even grown all the way in yet) began to yowl angrily along jangly nerve endings in my jaw and ears and neck. As a result, we didn't go to NYC this weekend as planned largely because I was reduced to a fussy grouchy infantile state.

We've had incredible dental difficulties the last five years. Every time we find a dentist and schedule an appointment it's for months down the road because they're all booked. Then, a week or two before our appointment we'll get a call telling us that "We no longer take your insurance." So we start again, rescheduling, getting cancelled, etc. We haven't had cleanings in three years, and the last cleaning was a desperation visit to some fly-by-night Romanian immigrant. She stood on my chest, flossed me with a shoelace, sprayed out my mouth with a garden hose and then charged me $50.

Tomorrow I've got an 8am emergency appointment at a local dentist's. The secretary assured Cha that they accept our insurance plan, and I hope to schedule cleanings after my appointment, though I'm sure they won't have any available slots until April '07, by which time they'll cease accepting CIGNA. I'm also reasonably sure that I'll be undergoing three extractions in the next few weeks. Mmmmm, legal painkillers.