Happy Friday, my friends of the Flame. I hope you have a terrific weekend planned!
I’ve had a difficult week. Wednesday last (1/14), I had a dental cleaning scheduled. That morning, a broken tooth on my lower jaw started to throb, a sure sign that it was infected. I phoned the office and they said to come for the cleaning anyway, and then the dentist would see me. I arrived, and they brought me into the back and started taking x-rays. Then they moved me to another room for my cleaning. Then they took more x-rays. The dentist didn’t even look in my mouth. He looked at the x-rays, refused to put my bridge and crown that was the anchor for my upper denture because there was an infection brewing in that part of my mouth. However, he refused to prescribe any antibiotics for me because “you have a history of allergic reactions to antibiotics and your regular doctor knows you better than we do, so you should have him give you something.” Well – actually, I have been seen in this practice for more than 30 years and have only seen my physician for two years, and my physician is a woman, how chauvinistic of you to assume it would be a man. None-the-less, the next morning (since I didn’t get out of the office until 6 PM), I called my physician’s office, explained the problem, and she called me in a z-pak. I saw my physician on Tuesday, and she said the dentist would have to do something. She did, however, prescribe a stronger antibiotic for me (biaxin). I called the dentist’s office after I got home from that visit, and I was told to come in at 2 PM because both the dentist and the oral surgeon would be there and I could talk to them both at the same time. I got there, they made me sit in the waiting room for 25 minutes. Then I went in and the dentist asked me what was going on. I told him. He said (implying that it was my fault and that my physician was an idiot) “Neither of those are dental-specific antibiotics.” Then he was going to cut me lose without seeing the oral surgeon. I said “Your staff member, Barbara, told me that I MUST come this afternoon in order to see the both of you together.” “Well, he’s with a patient right now.” “I’ll wait.” So – I waited for another half hour. When they called me back, the oral surgeon (who is awesome) and the brain-dead dentist were both there together. The surgeon said I should take the antibiotic that my physician had prescribed, and come back as soon as possible to have the extractions, and that they would be taking *all* my upper teeth, and three of my lower teeth and the dentist would be making dentures for me. (I had an upper before, which was fine.) I went out into the waiting room YET AGAIN, while the administrative manager worked up the numbers. She brought the numbers out to me. She then told me that it all needed preauthorization, which might take up to 6 weeks. She also said that she would call my insurance company the next day and see if they would waive that preauthorization just for the extractions. She called me the next day to tell me that no, they would not. She said that if I wanted to move forward before the preauthorization happened, I would need to pay them $100 the day of the extractions. She did want me to know that, if they failed to authorize the procedures, I would be liable for the entire cost. I told my husband and he said “Just get it done.” So I got back on the line and it turns out the earliest appointment I can get is FEBRUARY 3rd. She did say that she would call me if she got a cancellation. I know she will because I have worked with her for a long time and she’s a terrific person.
I am so frustrated. I am a diabetic. I am a diabetic who is prone to infections. When I develop an infection, I have a hard time getting rid of it. Now I have a raging infection in my face, I’m running a fever between 100 and 104 degrees, and I don’t have an appointment to get the extractions for almost two weeks. I could wind up in hospital with a systemic infection. I hope I won’t but it is a really bad situation.
Have you ever been annoyed with medical insurance providers? Physicians? Dentists? Please share (misery loves company, after all). Just don’t be too funny because it hurts so very much to laugh!
Remember: The submission deadline for Utopia: Tradition & Ritual is Sunday, January 25th 11:45pm EST.
Now #go write!