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Need dentists, drugs and money - the shit has hit the fan. - The Obscurarium

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January 22nd, 2010

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02:50 pm - Need dentists, drugs and money - the shit has hit the fan.
Calling all potheads, acid freaks, coke hounds, and assorted other drug enthusiasts!!

Question: What in the hell do you enjoy about being lit up?

The long-fought saga of my rear molar flared up again this week. I had a root canal re-treated yesterday, and as part of that process, I got a prescription for Endocet -- basically oxycontin plus acetaminophen. I am absolutely fried out of my gourd right now, and I have zero idea why people enjoy this. I'm spacey. Everything feels all tingly, when I can feel at all. I'm certainly not stressing about some of the things that I'd normally stress about -- I rather lack the mental acuity to stress about them.

But I just absolutely hate this feeling. It's both physically uncomfortable, and mentally distracting.

Those of you who know me, know that I have something of a troubled past with drugs. Not troubled in that I was addicted to them -- rather the opposite! I'm actually allergic to pot... Even second-hand pot smoke will give me a screaming migraine that lasts for ~6 hours. I'm anesthetic resistant, to the point where dentists need 3 ampules of novocaine to even do a filling, and the one time I was hospitalized in serious pain, it took intravenous demerol to even chill the edge. The only time I was ever given a prescription amphetamine, I got incredibly horny for about 5 minutes, followed by a burning stomach ache, and then I fell asleep. The one mushroom I (involuntarily and unknowingly) ate in Australia made the world turn bright blue for a couple hours, before I vomited into a hot tub. I do not recall the episode with fondness.

So what the hell is the big deal about drugs? Or, more to the point, why can't I derive anything but discomfort and annoyance from them?!? I feel left out of some kind of party, at the same time that my prior experiences (and an overwhelming fear of needles) pretty much ensure that I will never experiment with anything in the future.

Now that we've established that I'm as clean as the driven snow, we get to the subject that led me here: Dental procedures. I think health care in the US is pretty good -- I'm certainly not one beating the drum of health care reform, though I think that we'd be far better off with changes in insurance regulations, tort reform, patent reform, and a fleet of other barriers to truly exceptional health care in America. But dental care, on the other hand, is about as freaking awful as they come.

If you have surgery on your finger, it's a health care issue and you call your doctor. If you need surgery on your tooth, it's a completely separate ballgame. Dental insurance is either measurably more expensive than the procedures themselves, or inexpensive and so riddled with exclusions that you end up paying out-of-pocket for anything other than routine checkups anyhow. If you join a health plan, and have a heart attack the next day, you're covered. If you join a dental plan, you can't have a root canal for 12-18 months?

I shelled out $1200 yesterday to re-operate on a tooth that I already shelled out $1900 for ~6 years ago. The best prognosis that the specialist I was sent to could give me? "Well, I hope this will fix it." Success rate for root canal re-treatments is apparently about 75%. If it fails, I'll be paying him another $1000 to pull out the tooth that we just invested $1200 in.

I could jam a disease-infested oyster shell directly into my jugular, and there's at least 3 institutions within 5 miles of where I'm sitting who could fix me up right as rain by the end of the month. Have a chip in a tooth, and even a specialist can't speculate on whether or not his procedure is going to be successful for "3-6 months, and we'll take a look at it again."

WTF people? Maybe this is why people take drugs. Their dentists drove them to it!! Somebody call Nancy Pelosi and insist that the American People need Dental Reform.
Current Mood: confusedconfused

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[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
When my husband Mark had his hernia operation in June they gave him some drugs for the pain... he took one, and decided shortly that he'd prefer the pain to the spacy out of control feeling he got!

Nothing to add to the faults in our medical insurance system except that if you want some toothpaste, I can hook ya up ;)

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