The Latest Crisis… Split Tooth, No Dental Insurance!
Originally posted on September 23, 2014 @ 4:43 PM
UPDATE 9/29/2014 12:46 a.m. Following a very long day (don't ask), John returned from his trip to a superb community medical outreach center of a renowned hospital. That center offers an array of services for the body and mind, including a complete dentist's office. The charming dental hygienist, Ally/Allie, took some X-rays, which unsurprisingly revealed a tooth so damaged John could clearly see it, though radiography interpretation is not in his skill set! In due course, the dentist, the personable Dr. Brown, a very nice lady, arrived and after peering and dental probing (ouch!) determined the tooth could be saved, but would require a root canal and a crown. The good doctor, once apprised of the peculiar issues John was having with his tooth, very kindly ground down the sharp edges, saving his tongue from further laceration. Dr. Brown also cleared John for eating normal food (soft diet was getting old and suitable foodstuffs low). What would a John story be, though, without a plot twist? The dental visit and work done were free. Whew! The root canal and crown could also have been free, but John has an “alien” tooth (tiny little nerves) which requires endodontic surgery under a microscope–which the clinic can't do! He now has two referrals, one of which looks to be in the $300+ range and the other unknown. John is hoping the other will be gratis or close. He continues to work on the burgeoning LF post and just finished one on the air and missile attacks vs ISIS in Syria. What a layabout!
As most of you know, our namesake here exists (if you can call it that) on disability, a perversely disincentivized system seemingly designed to ensure that those who find themselves on it have a nearly impossible task of ever extricating themselves from it. But a critical discussion of government subsidy programs is not the point of this piece. No, this piece concerns John's health status.
My friend John (whom I have known now over 30 years) has long suffered from a “wonderful” batch of symptoms associated with what he believes is “earth sensitivity.” Given that medical science has exhausted nearly every test known to man in an effort to discover what conventional pathology it is that leads to his bouts of pain and suffering, even his own doctors have admitted that his self-diagnosis may well be correct. Of course, mainstream medical science is not prepared to acknowledge that some human beings have super-sensitivity to certain phenomena, even though this has been proven in labs (to a limited extent), and animal sensitivity to Earth's electro-magnetic field activity is well documented.
Having witnessed poor John go through long and agonizing episodes on more than one occasion – episodes which nearly always coincide with periods of extreme earth upheaval – I can personally attest to the reality of this syndrome he deals with. And much of the time, he suffers in silence because – frankly – what else is there to do? Fortunately, he has recourse to some pain meds these days (doctors do love to hand out pills, after all, when they don't know what else to do), but there are times when even they are insufficient.
So the above is just background. The situation that John is dealing with right now would be a relatively minor matter for someone with good health insurance. Unfortunately, what John currently has could not, in the most generous light, be considered “good health insurance.” It's pretty much bare minimum health care, which is better than none, but not by much.
Anyway, the other day, one of John's molars split open and partially disintegrated. Not only is this a concern in and of itself, but it's sharp edges lash his tongue every time he tries to talk or chew. John's been going through a particularly long and protracted battle with his earth sensitivity issues recently, and feels the intense internal pressure he's been suffering from may well have (and probably did) contribute to the tooth failure.
Because Texas has yet to accept the FREE FOR FOUR YEARS and 90% FREE THEREAFTER Obamacare (ACA) aid money (thank you, Rick Perry and the Texas GOP), literally millions have been prevented from getting affordable health care, which would include dental care. Disability – through Medicare – pays for things like basic health care, but has no coverage for dental care whatsoever. This is insane on it's face, I think, but it is what it is.
The upshot of all the foregoing being, John was in the emergency room yesterday where they temporarily patched his tooth – a patch which fell off as of last night, when I spoke with him. Today, if all has gone well, one of John's brothers has helped him find and get to a dentist who can help him.
None of this is life threatening, of course (though left untreated, a septic tooth can be), but it's more or less de rigueur in the life of John Kettler. At least at the current time. I, for one, hope that things change enough – and soon – that John can get his life back and more or less lead a normal one.
On the heels of the prior piece I wrote about this site and where it's potentially headed, this latest health-related development is more drama nobody was expecting and nobody wanted or needed. But I felt it was important to let the readership know what's going on, so that you can keep John in your thoughts and prayers.
We've gotten some unexpected and much appreciated “extra” donations in just the last few days. I had earmarked much of that to help pay for upcoming software upgrades, domain renewal, hosting fees and more. This post is certainly not an attempt to squeeze more money from the readership, though I'm sure some of the haters out there will see it as such. But as I'm sure this latest unexpected disaster is going to come out of John's not-very-deep pockets, if you wish to contribute to the cause, it would be much appreciated.