There are things we do, supposedly with some regularity, that are good for us. Doctor visits should be among them, but for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons, they are not. Fear is one thing, and a lack of insurance is another, and time moving by at warp speed is another. Sometimes you just don’t realize how long it has actually been since you had a check up. I am pretty good about getting to the doctor, annual physicals, mammograms, female things, stuff like that. Having good insurance helps that. I was on Obamacare for a number of years, but now I have a good plan through my employer, so going has been easy and a part of my routine for a long time now. The dentist? Eh… not so much.
We just changed insurance carriers at work. We are now self-insured as a company, and what we pay for rates is dictated a little by being pro-active about our health. Regular screenings for age related things, physicals, and now dental check-ups. So I am as cheap as the next person when it comes to insurance, so I went, for the first time in many, many years, to the dentist.
They asked me why it had been so long when I went in, not in a judging way, but for some knowledge and insight into what’s happening in my mouth. Truly, lack of insurance was the biggest factor. Money can be very motivating, and dental work is not cheap. I have always heard there are ways around the expense if you are willing to have students work on you, or free clinics. But if you end up with a problem, it can get expensive, fast. So that was the main factor.
Less than awesome experiences as a kid also kept me away for a long time too. I won’t say fear, but hesitance. They were always yelling at us for not brushing, flossing, etc. Our dentist was a golf buddy of our dad, and he just did not give me a good vibe at all. Conversations as we got older confirmed that he was also a bit of a groper. I didn’t really recognize it as such at the time, but he was. He is long gone, he passed away a long time ago. But it just added to the overall dislike of the dentist chair.
Time. It flies, as every cliche tells you. I turned around one day, and all of a sudden it was decades since I had been to the dentist. I have had minimal issues, according to my own diagnosis, and so I put it off, and off, and off a little longer. I finally bit the bullet, as it were, and made that appointment, to be in compliance with our insurance recommendations at work.
I went 2 weeks ago for the first appointment, x-rays and an exam. The dentist and his assistant were very nice, non-judging, and not horrified by what was going on in my cake-hole. He even said “you’re not a cavity kid” which absolutely contradicted my childhood dentist visits. I have a small one that I am going in for tomorrow. Huh, who knew? I did have a big build up of tarter, which I had an appointment for last week. So as of tomorrow, I will have been to the dentist 3 times in a month, after years of driving by not making eye contact with a dental office.
They were great, really. Kept any anxiety I may have felt at bay, and just treated me like a person who had skipped a couple of cleanings, not a lifetime avoider. I thanked them for making it easy for me. I have some things ahead, my mouth is far from perfect, but they seem optimistic about getting me back on track. So I am optimistic too. The lady that helped me schedule appointments was a hoot. She had an opening at 2:30 in the afternoon for my visit tomorrow. I said, well, I have to take that spot, it’s the perfect time for a dental visit. She was like, it is? I said yeah, Tooth Hurty, and we laughed and laughed. It was truly a sign. I found the right place.
Have you been putting off any health related visit? So many people do, and it often is the “I just don’t want to know” type of thing. Doctors and dentists are not as scary as they once were. They don’t really outright yell at you anymore. At least that has been my experience as of late, and believe me, I give them a few reasons to holler. But being pro-active about your health can have lots of benefits, and living a life of not knowing what you might need some help with can be scarier than making a plan to treat things.
Call the office, and make the appointment. Get a baseline for your health. It may not be so bad, and if you do have some things to work on, you can get a plan going. If you need a little help, encouragement or anything, reach out to me, and I can help you. If I can adult my way through this, pretty much anyone can. I just want you all to live as healthy a life as possible. You don’t have to give up everything to have a little more health and well-being on your side. Good health, and good wishes on a Sunday morning!!