Sunday, February 25, 2018

The seemingly impossible...

ARGH!  If only someone could help me keep up with my online rememberer!

I absolutely understand why it is that all of my favorite folk-with-dysautonomia blogs just stopped.  Life gets so very hard and writing about it ... well, who wants to read my misery? fills your mind when you try.  That or brain fog blocks the way.

So, I wanted to back-date and cover the crux of more-bad-news-as-it-happened.  But that is simply not going to happen.  I mean, I cannot get to writing about February 7th and March is nearly here!  SIGH.

Bottom line:  I went to my dentist appointment expecting a little twitting about my ardent love of baking soda toothpaste as the worst to happen.  Unfortunately, that is not what happened.  What happened was that I was told I had three cavities.  I was so shocked that I couldn't find two words to put together and my inability to weep the tears spilling from my soul over just what Sjögren's is doing to my body.  And so soon!

Of course, the other thing coursing through my body was fear.  Not fear of the impending dental work.  Fear of what it will cost.  I was right to be afraid.

Even with a $50 discount card that will then provide discounts on everything for a year, the work will cost $693, for a total of $743.  It might as well be $7,430 or $74,300 as far as I am concerned.  SIGH.

I have spent days and days and days trying to figure out how to pay for this work.  Because there is no question about doing so.  One of the cavities is so bad that I am in danger of having to go straight to a crown ... not that I really understand what that even means.  I'm the good-teeth member of my family.  That one ... infected?? ... the tooth next to it.  The third is encroaching on a fourth tooth.  SIGH.

I haven't just been trying to figure out how to pay for three fillings.  Sjögren's patients usually see a dentist four times a year.  I knew this, but I truly thought that I had more time before it would be affecting my teeth.  After all, I use baking soda toothpaste.  Oh, yes, my teeth were "impressively" clean.  It is just that all of my cavities are between my teeth.  You cannot brush there.

I asked the dentist if I did this to myself because I am just not a flosser.  Flossing, she told me, might have helped, but what I was experiencing was classic Sjögren's.  Oh, I can step up my dental game, but I also have to be prepared for the inevitable: the likely need for dentures.  SIGH.

I am now brushing my teeth four times a day, flossing two times a day, and using a specific Sjögren's-friendly mouth wash twice a day.  I am also already scheduled to start seeing the dentist every six months.  She said she thought I might could get by with two visits a year instead of four since I have been clearly assiduous about my teeth care.

So, I am in need of paying for two visits and a set of x-rays every year as well.
And $743 for fillings.

I am still not sure how I will get everything paid for, especially this year, but I am ... humbled by incredibly generous help from my very dear friend Becky and some from my sister.  I have my dental debt whittled down to $449.  I also worked out what I needed annually and set up yet another monthly automatic savings account and back-filled it for January.  Today is the day all of my savings accounts pull funds.

I was sort of proud of myself for finally working through my shock and fear and upsettedness to figure out what I needed to save.  Then I searched and searched and searched for how to absorb that $35 a month.  Sadly, though, my sister pointed out that I would need to be saving more for my next filling.  Dang it!  She's right, though. I am very thankful for her observation.  More math later, I figured out that I need to be saving at least $66 a month.  That's well and good, but there is no possible way, at all, to jump to that amount until December.  And, really, January is more likely given that December is the month of Christmas.

I will say that I was quite despairing until the news of the help.  The balance left is still overwhelming, seemingly impossible, but God has certainly provided help thus far in a very unexpected way.  And, like I said, humbling.  I am still grieving over my parents rejection of my request for help.

For now, I am trying very hard (and not yet succeeding) to not worry about the impending dental work on Wednesday.  I am not afraid of the dentist.  I am not afraid of the work.  I am afraid of the shot.  Shots actually.  Three of them.  My nerves do not take kindly to be disturbed in any fashion.  I no longer can have a shot in my right arm.  Or, to put it another way, I abjectly refuse to have one.  Four times now, after a shot, I have had terrible pain and numbness along my entire arm for weeks and weeks after a shot.  And the nerves along my pacemaker incision took long past a year to recover.  I am deeply worried that the nerves in my mouth might respond poorly to the shots.

But, of course, there is nothing I can do about it.
If it happens, I can only endure.
And endure.

The work commences at 10:00 AM on Wednesday morning.  Should you believe in prayer, I would deeply appreciate the covering.


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