Apr. 23rd, 2007

cassy_g: (Default)
Wow, it's been a really busy few days!

Well, first things first. As I mentioned in this post, "Facing One of My Most Self Destructive Fears", I had a dental appointment on Friday.

So, the good news is that Dr. Clemans is a very sweet and caring dentist. She was very good about talking to me about everything they were going to be doing, and really going out of her way to make me feel comfortable, and express that no matter how bad my teeth were, the important thing was that I had made a step to go to see her in the first place. And she was good about not making me feel ashamed or guilty or anything negative about my teeth - which in the past has been a huge source of fear. Don't get me wrong, I was still quite scared, and off and on was shaking - but I went to see her, and I didn't take my Xanax (though I did have it with me). She was also good about telling me exactly what she was doing and when and why, not that she had to do a lot with my teeth, but even when documenting them, there was lots of metal and stuff being put in my mouth, which of course would have been nerve wracking if she'd not told me when she was going to be touching me, or putting things in my mouth, etc.

The bad news is, she had to take extra x-rays, which I knew might happen, but the appointment was around $400. Mind you, I don't have any sort of insurance to cover anything, so that was all out of pocket.

The even worse news is, because of genetic issues, combined with not visiting a dentist for over 15 years, it seems like I am most likely going to have to have all of my teeth removed. This is primarily due to genetic issues with my gums, as many of my teeth could be saved - her concern is, that I will still lose them and my gums are so unhealthy, that she feels it may be better to take them all out and let the gums heal properly. Then, they will put screws in my jaw (upper and lower) which will insure that I don't loose bone from not having teeth (this is a good thing), and I will have a temporary set of dentures until my gums fully heal, then I can have a permanent set made which click into those screws, so they will be very secure. And if I should come into money in the future, I can always (because of the screws) have implant teeth put in if I want. I won't know exactly how much this is all going to cost until Monday, April 30, when she will have the full recommendation written up, but the ballpark guess-timate is around $20-25,000. But, it will only take about two months for all of the work to be completed.

I was calm while she told me all of this - but inside my heart was skipping a few beats. When I left the dentist's office, I cried the whole way home.

Besides the whole "where the hells am I suppose to get $20-25,000" freaking out, it was just deeply upsetting to me that she couldn't save my teeth. This is, of course, a vanity reaction. So, the first person I spoke to about it after [livejournal.com profile] astralfire, was a friend that I thought was the most likely to have a negative reaction to the possiblity of me being without my own teeth.

Say what you will about the man being vain and shallow, because if he was lying for my benefit on Friday, he certainly was being convincing. The first thing he asked me when he heard my voice was, "what happened, why are you crying? She didn't hurt you, did she?" Things I suppose you would ask someone that was crying after knowing they were terrified of dentists and had just gotten home. I told him, no, I was ok, she was very good to me, and that I was glad I had gone, then I told him what she said about my teeth. He said, well, I can see where that would be overwhelming, but the important thing is that she can make you stop being in pain, right?

I thought, well yes, I suppose that's true, but then I said, but then everyone will know that I lost all of my teeth. He laughed a little, not in a mean way, in the way you sort of chuckle when someone says something so innocent and naive that you can't help it - and he said, people have their teeth replaced all the time, either from disease, or trauma, or injury, or mistreatment - and they are very good at making artificial teeth look real, so why would anyone "know"? And even if they did, so what - you will be healthy again, and you will be able to smile all you want, and eat ice cream without it hurting. Not to mention you can tell everyone you have a million dollar smile and almost be serious about it.

That last part made me smile. Then we talked about all the positive things that would come from the work being done, like being able to not be in constant pain, and how if my gums heal, then my immune system won't be stressed so much and I probably won't get colds so easily, and yea, there's the whole being able to eat ice cream, or drink things with ice without a straw, and the instant million dollar smile with the perfect white teeth designed specifically for my mouth.

So, once we talked for a while, the only really bad thing I could come up with was the price tag, and honestly, for me to not be in pain, or sick, and to smile again, it's worth it. I just don't know how to actually finance it yet. I have faith though that I will find a way, because I didn't get up the balls to go to see her in the first place to be stopped now.

Now, for the rest of the weekend, I spent it at Atlanta Comics Expo, where my new found self respect and ego was well rewarded and stroked. I haven't ever spent a weekend with so many people commenting to me about how fantastic I looked, or hot, or any number of other really just positive and wonderful things. It was a great stroke to my ego, which was boosted ten fold on Saturday because I bought my first corset, which I then wore out and about for a while! Then I had a photographer friend, Dean (who is also part of the Dragon*Con photography staff), take about a million pictures of me in it!

You can see some examples of his lovely work behind this cut tag! )

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