Archive for the ‘dentists’ Category

J had a dentist appointment today.

For once, it was good news.


The braces have moved her crooked tooth out of the way, and so the orthodontist thought it was time for a surgery consult, to see if we can talk about that next step.

I keep trying to slow them down about surgery.  The orthodontists seem to think that once an adult tooth is inhibited from coming down, it no longer has the power/energy/wherewith-all to come out of the gums anymore.

But ha!!! on them!

Since the braces moved the one tooth out of the way (three weeks ago), her “trapped” tooth has moved at least 2 millimeters!

The oral surgeon said he doesn’t think he’ll be seeing us again.  He thinks the gum may be broken by  Christmas.

J was so happy.  Before he came in and went over the x-rays with us, she was teary in the chair, so unhappy about the prospect of another surgery.

We celebrated.  We had nutella wraps and spent $30 on yarn so she can continue to knit my nephew’s blanket.  (Which is so gorgeous that it’s hard to believe that it is spewing forth from the hands of a 9 year old.)


In order to have an at least partially productive day, I worked from home today.  It felt a little daring – making this decision so early on.  However, it was really the only thing that made sense, in my mind.  It saved me 2 hours of work which would have otherwise been spent in transit.

I think it went well, and as far as I can tell, I was not missed.

I’m not a huge fan of working at home, though, so  there’s no danger of me abusing the freedom to do so when necessary.  I am more focused at work.  I like the social interaction.

Today, though, it was a good thing.

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J had an orthodontic appointment today. First one I didn’t take her to myself. Beloved took her. It was fine. Of course. She has a surgery consult coming up, to see if that tooth will come down on its own or not. I am going to that one. I will see how things are at work at the time, and perhaps will work at home for the day, so I don’t spend 4 hours commuting.Beloved had to work this evening, and he left the house at 5:30. Wanna hear something amazing? I got home at 5:50. So the girls had a 20 minute gap, and when I got home, they were in their room, listening to Wicked, doing homework. They didn’t even look up at me when I walked in the door.

I guess that so far, things are working out.


1/2 of me hopes the Red Sox win tonight, and the other 1/2 hopes they don’t, so I don’t have to deal with game crowds on my commute tomorrow night.

I think that means I’m not a very good fan.

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My Cute Little Brace-Face

J now has braces.  The appointment did in fact take forever.  We didn’t get home until almost 5, and I had forgotten to eat lunch, and had a headache and was about to pass out.

But she looks great – she did great – she’s happy.  She had minimal discomfort during the installation process, and I think that I gave her an accurate picture of what to expect.  I was telling her on the way that it has been so long since I had braces that my information was likely out-dated.

Turns out – not so much.

My memory is so deficient.  It’s weird, the way things kick in.  Like last month’s recollection that I loved Christopher Reeve.

Now today, while sitting in a chair in the hallway outside J’s treatment room (there were too many people going in and out of the room for me to comfortably be in there for 2 hours), I started having flashes of memories of WAX.  Yes, wax.

I have known for the past few months that J may have some discomfort on the inside of her lips and cheeks while getting used to chunks of metal on her teeth, and ahve warned her about it.

But it wasn’t until today, while sitting in that hallway, that I remembered the tubes of wax that I was given at my orthodontic appointments.  I remembered putting the was on the brackets and wires that would rub differently after each appointment.

I wondered if they still did that.  After all, it was so long ago that I had my braces.

Yeah, but they gave her wax.  She’s putting it on now.

Also worthy to note (and record for my failing memory’s sake) – the orthodontist said that we should know if her trapped tooth will come down on its own in 2-3 months.  I thought it would be a year.  But no.

She has an adjustment appointment in 4 weeks, and then at the next appointment, we will likely have a consult with a surgeon.

Woe is my little girl 😦

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One step closer

To J’s braces, that is.  She was great at today’s appointment, where they put the spacers between her molars so that the bands will slip right in next week.

She had been upset that no one had shown her the x-rays of her mouth, and was determined to see them today.  I was also upset (well, slightly powerlessly irritated) that she has asked me at least 14,000 times: a) whether she can choose the color of her braces, and b) how long she will be wearing braces.  So I told her she had to ask that as well.

Her orthodontist was on vacation today, so some hot studly orthodontist took her place.  J was very strong and independent (not usually the case when speaking with strangers) in asking her questions and answering his.  She did a great job.  She saw her x-rays and had an excellent explanation of every detail, found out that she CAN pick the colors, even multiple colors in funky patterns , and found out that she will potentialy have braces on for 4-5 years.  Which she was surprisingly fine with.

We then got smoothies.  And walked and walked and walked across town to get her a Webkinz, which I promised for each dental appointment in this  series, since needing and getting braces is a very uncomfortable experience, and to get E some supplies for a school project due tomorrow.

E and Beloved are now going to watch a movie (Beneath the Planet of the Apes) which J has no interest in, and so we’re going for another walk.  Because we’re healthy like that.

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The orthodontist obviously did see us.  We started off with x-rays, and while J was with the technician, i spoke to the orthodontist about the loose teeth.  She did not feel that they would be in the way of the braces, but that since they were getting looser and not falling out of their own, they should come out anyway.  She left it up to me.

I decided they should come out.  J is very sensitive about loose teeth, and it makes her cringe and be nervous whenever someone (doctor, nurse/grandmother) wants to look at her teeth for other purposes.  I could not imagine it being possible to put the braces on without repeated trauma over the damned wiggly teeth.  when I explained this thinking to J, she agreed.

It was traumatic for her.  They gave her a Novocaine shot, during which J whimpered.  She actually cried at the pliers.  Cried and cried.

But then she was better.  Pretty quickly.

The molds were painless although uncomfortable.

Then we left.

Immediately, “I really love my teacher, he’s so cool, he did this, and this, and this ….” and on and on.  It was like the dentist appointment didn’t even happen.  She was just a chatterbox and even came out with, “I’m so HAPPY!” just over life in general.*

Those stupid  wiggly teeth were in the way of the poor kids’ happiness.

Next week:  spacers.

The next week:  BRACES!!

* I don’t know about E’s first day yet.  She came home with a friend, and isn’t going to be honest with me about her first day – she’s too busy being social and such.  I won’t even ask her until her friend goes home.  Which I hope is soon.

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I do not understand why things can’t be simple.  I do not understand why, despite the plans I make, things must always go wrong.  I just don’t get it.

J’s dentist appointment was at 2:30.  School gets out at 2.  We have been at this office several times, using 3 different modes of transportation:

  1. The lovely MBTA, green line trolley
  2. The lovely MBTA bus
  3. A taxi-cab.

The taxi cab was infinitely more expensive than the other options, and really not all that faster.  But there was a time that I left the house without my wallet (b/c I am a dork) and got all the way to the girls’ school before I realized it.  I would not have made it on time if I had to get J from school, walk back home, get the wallet, and then walk back past the school to the appropriate T line.  The bus that makes a direct line between us and the medical area is notoriously slow, and only is scheduled to come once every 30 minutes … so add slowness to that, and I have been known to wait for up to an hour.

Today, however, I was afraid of the time crunch.   So I called cab company at 12:40 and told them to pick me up at 2:10.  In order to get out of the school dismissal crowd, I told them to pick me up around the corner at the library.  they said fine – you’re all set.

At 2:04, J and I get to the front of the library.  At 2:07, I notice that some girls flagged down a cab 1/2 way down the block and thought, “I hope that wasn’t my cab … but it’s early, so if it were, it wouldn’t take another customer.”  At 2:16, I got nervous.  I called the cab company.  The dispatcher said, “it’ll be right there.”

At 2:22, I called again.  he said, “I’ve sent two cabs!  You must have gotten the address wrong!”  I didn’t.  I was there.  On the street.  He said he’d send another one.

At 2:28, we gave up and started jogging to the T station.  It was a good 5 blocks away.  I was not happy – I had to really fight for this dentist appointment, and if we were so late so as to count as a cancellation, J wouldn’t get her braces on as scheduled.

Fortunately, the T came right away.   We only had to go one stop.  I realized that I really should have done it this way from the start.  But I hate waiting for trains when stressing that I’m going to be late for an appointment.

So much better waiting for a cab.

We got off the T, and had another good 4-5 blocks (long ones) to walk.  I said, “come on, J, let’s run” and started off at a trot.

For about 12 steps.

Then:  pop, crunch.

My ankle.

I turned it in a pothole on the sidewalk.  It hurt so bad, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to walk, let alone run the last 3 blocks.  It was 2:42.  I stood on the other foot while waiting for the cross signal, and found that I could in fact walk.  It hurt, but I could move.

We arrived at 2:50.  J was seen.  Separate post to follow.

When we left, we were joking that we would not take a more than one step per MINUTE after jogging to the appointment, and we were walking reeeaaaallllly slowwwwwlllly.  I was glad of that, because my ankle was still throbbing.

But we walked to the T, we walked from the T to the school to get E.  We walked from the school to the pharmacy to get J some tylenol because her mouth was sore.  We walked home from the pharmacy.  I knew my ankle was a little sore, but I didn’t feel like I couldn’t walk.

Upon getting home, I came straight to my bed with my computer (E has a friend over, and they’re watching t.v.).  My ankle is THROBBING.  It hurts so bad.  I got up after emailing my sister to get the mail, and I could barely walk.

Great.  Just great.

I am not out of shape anymore.  I don’t understand why I can’t fucking walk without all the drama.  I exercise every day.  I hike.  I walk everywhere I go.  WHY OH WHY does this happen to me?  Note an excerpt from a post I wrote earlier in the summer:

In November of 2002, I stumbled down the steps of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I had on Dansko clogs, and my foot twisted onto its side in a way that [i think] pulled every single muscle and tendon in my foot. It hurt so much, I could barely walk for a week. I went to the doctor and had x-rays taken, thinking it was broken, but there were no breaks.

It’s bothered me ever since.

I have changed my shoe-buying habits since then. I often go for brands that are known for their sturdiness rather than for their fashion-quota … although I try to bridge the two. I still wear Danskos, but not that same heel, b/c I do occasionally turn my foot in them, and when I do, it sparks every bit of pain that I had on that day of the fall. I hear from many of my friends that they also turn their feet in those shoes, so then I don’t think I’m that clumsy.

See?  This is a theme, and I’m really sick and tired of it.

The foot today – same foot I hurt in ’02.  the shoes I had on today?  Loafers.  100% flat loafers with grippies on the bottoms.  They’re Borns.  totally conservative and safe shoes.

Yet, here I am wondering if it’s too tacky to ask E to bring me tylenol and a glass of water when she has a friend over.  Because I don’t want to get up and walk to the other room.

Because it hurts.

I will never again call a cab in this town.

I would also like to point out that this is not a side effect of not having a car.  If I had a car, and if I were to take J to the dentist right after school – we would have been later than we were.  Not because my car wouldn’t have picked me up, but because I would have been driving into one of the most congested parts of Boston, the medical area, with the least amount of parking.  A cab could have worked (you know, if it showed up) because it doesn’t have to park.  A car would not work, and driving from their school to this doctor’s office in a car that I would be required to put somewhere while inside would not have been feasible.

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Tomorrow’s the first day of school, as I mentioned earlier.

Poor J is a mess.  She’s been on the verge of tears all day.  She was barely able to hold it together during a play date today.  She had fits over 1,000 small things this evening.

And it has nothing to do with school!

Tomorrow is her first orthodontist appointment.  It should be the first in a string of 3 which culminate on 9/20 in braces.

She is most nervous over the fact that she has two very loose baby teeth.  She freaks out with loose teeth.  Poor kid.  But she thinks they’re going to insist on pulling these teeth, and she’s scared.

I am scared, too.

I am afraid that these teeth actually do need to be pulled before the braces are put on, but that tomorrow’s appointment doesn’t allow for such a procedure, and therefore the process will be delayed.  As it is, she is getting her braces put on mere days before my full time uber-demanding job starts.  I want to be there with her!  If this is delayed, it will be complicated.

Not impossible, but complicated.

Please send us positive and quick-tooth-pulling thoughts.

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Good News Monday

This is not a lousy Monday.  I am sort of not surprised, since it is a positive thing in our lives (considering our personalities) to start our day off with a place we MUST be.  Or else we are capable of just knocking around the house until noon (even if I am up and at the gym and then home again before the kids get up, it feels lazy).

The girls enjoyed Day 1 of their camp thing.  I enjoyed Day 1 of 3 hours of Zuska-time.

But the really good stuff came later.

J’s braces were approved!  This is such good news.  I had called (again) and raised hell, finally with the right person.  She apologized profusely, checked the insurance status on line, and eventually took ownership for the mistake – she was actually the one who screwed up.  Apparently, she is high up enough that I was able to convince her that this could not be made right unless she skipped us ahead with the appointments.  She apparently decided that she wanted to make it right, and we have appointments in the next 3 weeks, the final one being the day that J will have silver shiny things on her teeth, and is 4 days before my first day of work.

Can we please say – yee ha???


In other news:  The X wrote me to say he’s sent all the required money for this month, but that I have to hold off on depositing it, b/c he took out a loan for the money, and has to be sure the funds arrive before I deposit it so that it does not bounce.

I honestly felt horrible.  There’s nothing I can do – the amount that he has to pay is the genuine half of the monies I’ve already paid, which is his obligation.  I really have nowhere else for the funds to come from.  So my horrible feeling did not result in any “oh, poor baby, don’t worry about it, I’ll rip the check up.”  But it did make me wonder if I can work things out so he doesn’t have to do the same thing next month.  I expressed my empathy, without saying anything about next month, and he wrote back to say, “eh, I made it sound worse than it is, I did a talk a few months ago that should have paid me by now and if they had, I would have had the funds, and this it’s not that big of a deal.”   So I don’t feel bad for him anymore.  If I was already rolling in the dough, I would, knowing me, feel horrible, and would in fact rip up the check.  But I’m not, and he’s equally responsible for these things.  Their his kids, too.

I have had things work out enough times in my life, that I have finally learned that my mantra can be “everything will work out, it always does.”  And you know what?  It always does.  Really.  Today with the finances working out, and the dentist finally falling into place (with the necessary timing), it is just confirmed.

Isn’t this just further proof?  Eh, not quite.  There are a couple other names I’d like to see the same headline for, although it isn’t bloody likely.  I guess I just have to hang my hopes on 2008.

Beloved also took a big step today – essays were written, application fees paid, mailbox visited.  Hopefully the positive tone of this day is attached to his endeavor as well.  Our fingers are crossed!

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Approximately 6 weeks ago, our insurance company denied J’s orthodontic work. She needs braces to move a tooth out of the way, because it blocking another tooth, which is, apparently, rotting in her gums right this very minute. Because it should have come down EIGHTEEN MONTHS ago, but did not, due to the other, blocking tooth. Because the braces are medically necessary, the orthodontist felt that insurance would cover it as a medical treatment, rather than an (uncovered) orthodontic one.

As I complained about 6 weeks ago, the claim was denied. The reason being that the administrator at the dentist’s office somehow submitted the claim under E’s name. Which was dumb. Because E’s never been there.

I left angry voice mail messages, and after the weekend received a call saying that they’d resubmitted the paperwork under the proper child’s name. There was little else to be done at that point, b/c J was 1/2 out the door to X’s house in the Middle of the Country. I assumed this meant that things would get approved (or not, but at least on the substance of the claim, and not because of administrative ineptitude) while she was gone, and we could get it taken care of upon her arrival back home.

Today, I went and picked up our mail from the post office that had been held during our trip to Europe.

Guess what was in it?

A denial. From the insurance company.

Guess why?

Administrative ineptitude. Not under E’s name this time – just some other fuck up with the paperwork.

I didn’t get as angry as last time.

I also just don’t know what to do. This cannot be something that I have to just accept. We first went to the dentist in February to get this issue taken care of. The x-rays showed a clear problem. This is not a cosmetic issue. This is a question of her tooth being trapped in the gum, and potentially breaking down. An adult tooth. Her fucking FRONT tooth. The orthodontist and the dentist both were struck by the unusual nature of the problem, and both talked about how we would take care of it “right away” – but b/c of administrative and insurance screw ups, it’s 6 months later, and we don’t even have an appointment set up.

I have made phone calls attempting to go up the chain both with the administrative department, and with the orthodontist himself. I am going to see if contacting the orthodontist directly (which I would have done in June, if J wasn’t on her way out of town for 5 weeks) will work get a fire lit under the admin people faster. OR – if I can work out an alternative payment plan.

I’ll pay for the braces myself. I don’t care. I need it taken care of. But without talking directly to the orthodontist, the office won’t let me do that. They say it needs to run its course. The course they keep fucking with.

My other option is to just go to another dentist, and that’s very appealing. Since this one has so royally screwed up twice.

But there are insurance issues. I have new insurance as of 9/24, and I’m afraid to switch this close to the insurance change over. If I go to another dentist, planning to just pay out of pocket, will my new insurance cover it once the change over happens? Or will it be a ‘pre-existing condition’ that won’t be grandfathered in?

I also am worried, b/c it’s likely that she’ll need surgery. I can’t pay for surgery out of pocket. Braces I can, and most people do. But not surgery. If I go to a new dentist, and it turns out that surgery is now immediately necessary, I can’t do it – and if it’s seen as a pre-existing condition once new insurance starts up – then maybe it won’t ever be covered?

This is why, despite my anger and their ineptitude, I am trying to force the issue with the current dentist, where the x-rays and the chart and the file and the info already exists. I want to make this happen sooner, rather than later. If she needs braces, and possibly surgery, I’d rather it happen before I start work in 6 weeks. If I have to start anew with a new provider, then it won’t happen.

Woe is me. Woe is J. Woe is us.

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