Reflections on 50, as we Cross into 51

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Fifty was a ripe, solid, round number.

Did you know that Harry Potter’s birthday is ALSO the 31st of July …

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There weren’t any big bells and whistles. Hell, there wasn’t even a party !

I can say, that 50 was a good year. My health is good. All the numbers are nominal. Got my summer doctors visits in, over the last two months, and we are good to go until January of next year.

My HIV is all but non-existent. With high numbers, nobody is worried, so we keep on keeping on. My diabetes is controlled well. My A1C is down and all those numbers are good to go as well.

But at fifty, men need to take a look elsewhere in their bodies, as we are hitting the age where, doctors are looking internally, to make sure the plumbing is running well, that our prostate is good, and doctors begin the tedious work of doing those cancer screenings more often.

Fifty was also the age that we need to bump up our nutritional intake, and vitamin supplements for people, 50 plus. Because it’s all downhill from here. And we have to keep up muscle mass, eat well, exercise, and take the supplemental vitamins to keep our bodies in shape.

If you are not paying attention to the engine of the car, the frame is going to begin falling apart. If the engine ain’t running well, that car, won’t go very far … so to speak.

I’ve had certain issues begin to come up that are beyond my control, both physically and economically. As we age, teeth begin to fail, erode, and to disintegrate. This is a serious issue for me.

On the negative side of fifty, my fifty year old teeth are not serving me well. Over the last year I have lost four teeth. A month ago, one of my front teeth cracked in half.

I’ve written about this earlier, as it happened. I went to get checked out by two institutions. One a professional dentistry office, and they wanted upwards of $48,000.00 for a rehab job, taking six months to complete.

I also hit the McGill Dental Teaching hospital, and they wanted upwards of $50,000.00 for the job, including braces and adjustments, taking TWO YEARS to complete the job there.

The reality of this situation is this … We cannot afford $48,000 to $50,000.00 dollars.

Our group insurance does not cover major dental issues. And No Canadian insurance outfit does either. I’ve called everyone in the book to inquire, and they all told me that the Canada insurance plans do not cover major dental.

Which means I am FUCKED !!!

I hear about Clear Choice in the States that do the work in ONE DAY. But they finance the whole shebang. We won’t qualify for a loan that large, $48,000 or $50,000.00

I feel bad going to the bank and asking for money that will take the rest of our lives to pay back, and I’m afraid that I won’t live long enough to see that completely paid off, and I don’t feel right saddling my husband with a debt larger that he can visualize and take care of himself, if I die in the interim.

A week ago, I was in Ottawa. It was grim. Knowing I was dentally challenged, made enjoying myself a bit subdued. Nobody wants to see a crack whore on film.

I feel like a crack whore …

When I got back early last week, Something happened in my mouth, and an abscess presented itself, quite forcefully. The pain was excruciating. I’d never felt such pain in my life. By Thursday last week, the pain was so intense, I was having immediate, brain reactions to said pain. The pain cycle was two hours.

Thursday morning I saw my doctor. He took a look and prescribed me antibiotics. When I got them filled, I also got some serious pain killers to go with the antibiotics.

I ate an entire bottle of pain killers over 15 hours.

Like I said the pain cycle was two hours. I timed it. I take two pain killers and the pain would subside somewhat. But would eventually crank back up to 200%, over a two-hour period and then finally peak, with screaming, insane, blinding pain in my head.

Intense pain induces a kind of insanity that I’ve never experienced before. I would swing from placid and happy to intensely bitterly short and angry over a two-hour period.

I thought I was loosing my mind.

Thursday afternoon, I was Hanging out on Google with a friend, and as the conversation went on, the pain began to ramp up and I began to unravel, in front of him. I did not tell him then and there what was going on, because I was trying to keep it together as my brain whirred into NERVES ON FIRE mode.

In the end, I cut the conversation short, and tried to gather my wits, take a pill and try to lay down and get past the fire …

The pharmacist told me that as soon as the antibiotics got into my system, that the pain would go away. That did not happen until Friday evening, when I took my last dose of pain killers, because I wanted to get through the meeting in one piece, so I loaded up before hand, to make sure I would not flip out in front of my friends.

The antibiotics are working.

Now I have to find the method and the money to try and fix WHAT I can get fixed, without breaking the bank, or having to go to the bank and ask for money, that we cannot afford at the moment.

So in financial terms, we are kind of intensely POOR …

Tomorrow we hit 51 …

I am still alive more than twenty four years later.

I am IN THE WORK. Both my guys are IN THE WORK themselves. I am reading the book with my lady friend. I am spiritually centered. I am solid in sobriety. I have good friends. I have meetings and service to do. I am doing everything right, to stave off a drink.

Sobriety serves me very well these days.

Let’s end on a good note shall we…

 

Monday: Why is it so Complicated ???

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I got an email from New Zealand today, that my Odyn clothing order was now in production. That in a couple of weeks, my order will ship, after my clothes are lovingly sewn by hand.

YAY !!!

Today, I had ONE thing to do.

My doctor got me a consult at the McGill Teaching Hospital, Dentistry department. I got to the appointment early, for paperwork. Shortly there after, my dentist came to get me and to begin my “consult” which did not go very well.

Firstly … I never thought that I would live this long, all things considered. In the order of importance, Living was right up at number one. Staying sober, a close second, being married comes in at three, everything else comes in whatever number it falls in, according to importance.

Oral health has never been at the top of any list.

I thought that having my teeth fixed, was going to be a cut and dry process. Easy Peasy, no problem right ? WRONG !!!

It ain’t that simple. God I wish things could always be simple.

My first trip to see a professional fetched me a $33,000.00 dental bill. They have one job, to build a bridge and put it in place. They did not talk about inconsequential s. They did not mention that I needed more work than they were ready to do, in order to properly build me a mouth that would not fail, in the long run.

Today … My goal was to find out, whether, the Student Dental Clinic would be AS expensive as the professional clinic ? YES, IT IS. To the tune of $22,000.00 on a good day, barring any complications with the entire process.

The process is LONG and ARDUOUS.

I’ve got bad teeth. Ok, Given …

The clinic is talking about orthodontic work, braces for my bottom teeth the straighten them out. And if need be, to extract some teeth and move others, because of a major over bite, and 50-year-old teeth that were never corrected when I was a kid.

They told me that the time investment would be 2 years on a good day.

They want to fix what is there in my mouth. They want to fill all the cavities, do the rearranging, and make sure my mouth is ready for major surgery, extractions, and the building of a bridge on the outside.

This is NOT a cut and dry process. I will need to commit to major mouth surgery, to 2 years of in and out of my mouth, with each of its surgery, and healing processes.

And then, on a good day, gave me the $22,000.00 dollar estimate.

Like I said, twenty-two thousand, barring unforeseen circumstances.

It isn’t going to be that simple.

The professionals were not concerned with the rest of my mouth or the necessary work to get my mouth to a place, where a proper bridge would FIT, Correctly, IN my mouth.

The clinic is a teaching hospital. If I make this commitment, there is no guarantee they will take me, in the end, because I am a complicated case, and I need serious maintenance before any major work can begin.

This is all totally overwhelming. And a bit too much for me to process, at the moment.

I spoke to a long sober friend in Miami, who is getting the same work done there, and they, The teaching hospital in Miami, quoted him the same kind of figures.

FUCK ME !!!

Tuesday: Implants $33,000.00 DOLLARS

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Today’s adventure is brought to you by Centre D’implantologie Montreal – Rosemont.

I was hoping to sleep in today, and make my two thirty appointment to price out the dental work, I so need at the moment. I got a call early on, this morning, saying that an opening came up earlier than my appointment time, and could I make it ?

Hell yeah ! I can make it.

I have to say, I’ve never met a more gracious team of professionals in my life. It’s not like I am a unique patient, they see these kinds of problems every day.

But from the moment I walked in the door, people were gracious and kind.

My anxiety level was cranked at a TEN PLUS. Just knowing I would be sitting in a dentist chair, gives me the willies …

The appointment lasted about 90 minutes. They took an x-ray of my mouth and processed the film, right there. In the office, the design secretary has a very large HD screen over her desk, where they do all the work.

I saw the dental specialist who looked me over and said that the bones in my jaws were good to go, and that they could do all the work in ONE DAY.

The time challenge is the family wedding in May, that may be off the table, now that we know exactly how much this whole shebang is going to cost us.

But they told me that they could do the work, the extractions, and give me a temporary bridge that would look normal, so I would be presentable at the wedding, and that the final fitting would come 4 to 5 months on in the process.

Getting implants done involves several steps, in a certain order.

  1. The Preliminary appointment – information gathering
  2. Filling, Cleaning, upkeep of teeth prior to Phase One
  3. Phase One – Placing the implants
  4. Phase Two – Abutments of implants
  5. Phase Three – Insertion of Prosthesis

Once the process begins, the timeline is seamless. Once I commit to the project, I am locked into a timeline of 4 to 8 months. Start to finish.

  • Option One – Porcelain Implants – 6 implants, fixed bridge $33,000.00
  • Option Two – Acrylic Implants – 6 implants, fixed bridge $19,000.00
  • Option Three – Dentures $18,000.00

Hubby about fell over when I called him after the appointment to tell him how much this little doctors visit was going to cost us. He is sure that our insurance is NOT going to cover one penny of this, however, the dental specialist sent all this working information to my insurance company, saying that we should get a response in three weeks.

From that point, whether we get a Yes or a No, we will figure out what to do next.

Hubby called and spoke to the specialist I saw, to reiterate his fear that insurance was not going to fit the bill. So we will see what happens now.