Saturday, January 03, 2009

In which the blue bird of happiness takes a dump on me

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Did you see yesterday's post? The one in which glow over my fabulous horoscope for 2009 and all the great things that my future just might hold? Well, despite tossing a virtual bit of salt over my shoulder, the Evil Eye stared me down and humbled me.

First, a quick recap on 2008. DH has been unemployed since the fall, we had a gazillion dollars in medical bills last year, we a now spending buckets of money each month on COBRA and we have no dental insurance. Just so you know it's not all sunshine and roses at Chez Moldofsky.

We have a $5K deductible on our health insurance and I've been hoping we can keep our doctor visits down this winter because every visit- cha-ching!- means more money out-of-pocket until we meet the deductible. But I've already got two appointments on the books. Ugh.

But the proof the the blue bird of happiness took, well almost took, a huge dump on me, was that Smartypants came from from a Friday night sleepover with a tooth hanging by a thread. It was one of the six(!) teeth the orthodontist we decided not to use recommended he have extracted. ($150/tooth in case you're wondering). We had two extracted because of a pressing issue and encouraged him to wiggle out the rest.

Before leaving for his friend's house, he was wiggling away at the loosest of the bunch. We'd offered him $20 to pull it himself, which would still leave us $130 richer than using the dentist. He wiggled and wiggled and told us he heard a crack.

I learned that his tooth had been hurting and bleeding during the sleepover, so when we got home, I took a look and realized the tooth had cracked in such a way that the root was still embedded in his gum, but the rest of the tooth had come loose.

This post is getting long, so I'll summarize. Quick call to the dentist, who ordered us to the office. Right. Away. My mind was racing with thought of potential infections, oral surgery and oy, the bills! First and foremost my kid's health, of course, but oy, the bills!

It turns out I'm a complete idiot. It was not his root sticking through the gum, but the adult tooth already poking through. They pulled out the baby tooth, something I could have done myself had I not freaked out. To my defense, one of the previous extractions involved a molar that came home with one root missing, so it gave me the idea that a root could get cracked off. Turns out, the cracking sound my boy heard must have been a supporting ligament.

Fortunately the kind dental assistant waived the emergency charges and the bill *only* came to $110. (I think of it as $90 since we'd already placed a $20 bounty on the tooth. And no, the tooth fairy does not pay a reward for teeth that already cost mom and dad an arm and a leg.)

So, I'm still looking forward to some great times ahead, but I've got to slog through a bit of muck to get there.

Musts for 2009: Breathe deep. Eat healthy. Exercise. Get enough sleep.

It's such a short list, but if I can do these four things, I bet I will see the blue bird of happiness again, only he'll be wearing diapers.


Kristina said...

Today never happened! ARGH! Monday will be better :)

kristina said...

Ouch ... for both Smartypants and the bills. We don't have dental insurance either. I know I need to take Zoe soon but I keep putting it off.

Let's look at it as getting the crap out of the way for 2009, so that the rest of the year will be a good one.

adrienne said...

Oy is right.

You weren't out of your mind to worry about the root being left behind.

The roots of baby teeth sometimes fuse to the bone and require surgical extraction. That's painful and expensive, you and Smartypants both dodged a bullet.

I wish you a very happy and placid 2009.

Amy said...

I can TOTALLY feel your pain about the insurance.

Hope your 2009 is healthy and happy!

laughingatchaos said...

Yikes. Lucky tooth.
2009 will be much better! May the Bluebird of Happiness come and stay awhile, and the Cardinal of Craptasticness go away already. ;)

Meagan Francis said...

Oh JEEZ. I would have freaked too; I am disturbed by all tooth issues :) my Isaac had to have serious dental work last year and I couldn't even bring him in myself--had to have Jon do it. But I figured that's a fair tradeoff since I have taken the kids to all their doctor's appointments since, like, ever.