Medical Services or Lack Thereof

February 25, 2010 at 5:16 PM 9 comments

Have you ever been so mad that you end up going somewhere by yourself just so you can scream? Just me? Oh.

Yesterday that happened to me. I have had a cavity…a visible cavity, which needs filling. The last time I called the dentist, they said it had been over a year since my last cleaning, so they would not fill it until I had another cleaning. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t bring myself to schedule a cleaning. I don’t get time off from work to go to appointments, so the last thing I wanted to do was go spend 1.5 hours getting my teeth cleaning so I could take off another 1.5-2 hours to get a filling.

I was annoyed about this, so I wrote a letter to the dental commander (yes, our dental clinic is a military dental clinic — I don’t have any other coverage). He said I just needed to get an exam, which is fairly quick.

So during a moment of insanity yesterday, I decided I could get an exam and hopefully get my cavity filled next week. I called the dental clinic, and they explained that they take walk ins for exams daily from 12:30-3 PM. I asked when it’s least busy, and they said just not early in the week. I asked how long it takes, and they said only 5 minutes. Ok, great, I’ll take off a little from work so I can get this stupid exam done.

I walked into the clinic and checked in. The receptionist told me I would need a cleaning as well before I could get my fillings done. Oh, but they had an appointment the next day at 7:30 AM, would I like it? Ugh, fine. So then, the receptionist said they would call me right back. In fact, he even said that they might call me before I had time to sit down. Twenty minutes later, they called me back…along with another woman. She was ahead of me. The nurse instructed us to have a seat (in another waiting room in a hallway) to wait to have X-rays done. Um, excuse me? X-rays? Full X-rays? I don’t want that much radiation going through me. I had full X-rays last year. I’m ok with getting a couple X-rays after seeing the dentist if he/she needs to see more about what’s going on inside a tooth, but having X-rays just for the sake of having them is ludicrous.

Still, I maintained my composure and waited. And waited.

Twenty minutes later, the lady in front of me got called in. I got livid (inside…on the outside, I was still calm). I wasn’t about to wait another 20 minutes to be called in for 20 minutes of X-rays and then who knows how long of waiting to see the dentist. By this point, it was 2:30 in the afternoon and I hadn’t had lunch yet. I felt a massive headache coming on.

I got up and went to the receptionist’s desk. No one was there, and I felt like I waited another 10 minutes, but in reality, I’m sure it was only a minute or two. One of the receptionists returned, and I informed her that I couldn’t stay for the rest of my appointment and would also have to cancel my cleaning since I was missing my exam. She informed me that I could have my exam in conjunction with my cleaning in the morning. At this point, I really lost it. Seriously? I told her no less than 3 times that I needed to cancel my appointment. After the third time, she looked at me – still confused – and said, “so…you want me to cancel your appointment?” UGH, yes, lady!

I got in my car and had a bit of a screaming match with myself. Tears were flowing as well. I was so hungry and angry that my headache was in full force, so I did the only rational thing – I drove to the Shopette (convenience store on post) and bought a bag of Doritos and a Dr. Pepper. When I got to the checkout line, the cashier asked ot see my military ID. Ok, no biggie. I showed it to her through the plastic window in my wallet. She puts her face inches away from the wallet and then says, “I can’t see the date on your ID. You need to remove it from your wallet.” Yes, I snuck on post just to come to the Shopette and “illegally” purchase a bag of chips and a soda from AAFES. Brilliant.

I had a very frustrating day yesterday. Bah humbug military dental. Bah humbug.

End result? I am now enrolling in a new medical plan. It’s not free like the basic military medical plan, but it’s worth it.

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Ten on Tuesday (vol. 9) Ten on Tuesday (vol. 10)

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Vesper  |  February 26, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    oH you poor thing! You should have called me and just vented over the phone! 😦 That sucks. I have that dental place. I have not had good experiences there either (half and half if anything). So sorry! Hope you get an awesome day to make up for that one. Love you!!!!!!

    Reply
    • 2. osarah  |  February 26, 2010 at 3:08 PM

      Thanks. I appreciate it 🙂

      I have had a massive headache all day today, but I get off work an hour early, so I’m looking forward to laying on the couch and relaxing the rest of the afternoon/evening.

      Reply
    • 3. osarah  |  March 2, 2010 at 2:48 PM

      Thanks. I’m sorry you haven’t had the best experiences there either.

      PS I hope your camera bag is coming along well!

      Reply
  • 4. RootsAndRings  |  February 26, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    How frustrating. It got my blood boiling just reading that. Appointments in general are SUCH a pain to begin with!

    Reply
    • 5. osarah  |  March 2, 2010 at 2:47 PM

      No joke. Does your work give you sick leave? Can you use that for dr’s appts? I know they don’t give much leave, so I can’t imagine trying to use general leave to go to appointments. That would really stink (although that’s what I was battling against…I wish we had sick time for that or something!).

      Reply
  • 6. CN Heidelberg  |  February 27, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Ugh! I’ve never heard of rules like that before. How irritating.

    Reply
    • 7. osarah  |  March 2, 2010 at 2:46 PM

      Yeah, I cannot wait to go to a dentist on the economy.
      PS Got your email…sounds so fun! We are having guests come visit the next day, so I’ll have to double check with John. If it doens’t interfere with cleaning/preparing for our guests, we’re in!

      Reply
  • 8. Satakieli  |  March 3, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    Oh goodness, they’d LOVE me there! I haven’t seen a dentist in about 6 years for one reason or another. Not that I have bad dental hygiene or anything, I still have all my original teeth and no fillings. I just could never be bothered to take time out of my busy days to have them say “Yep, ok you’re good” after waiting 20 minutes or more.

    Now I need my first filling, I totally don’t want to go and I honestly can’t make the time for multiple trips if that’s what they’re going to want me to do. I have a toddler for goodness sake.

    Reply
    • 9. osarah  |  March 4, 2010 at 4:07 PM

      Exactly. If you do end up going there, let me know how your experience is.

      Reply

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