By Jennifer Runyon
March 18, 2014
OK. So I’m going to be extremely, soul-bearing honest here even though I’m embarrassed to do so. I hate mouths and teeth. They are nasty and I admire people who are able to get up close and personal with them on a daily basis. That being said, I haven’t been to a regularly-scheduled dentist appointment in five years and I wasn’t going much before then.
You may remember that awhile ago I had an abscessed tooth. I had to have a root canal. This terrified me but in reality wasn’t bad at all. Just thought I’d throw that out there to ease the fear of anyone who finds themselves needing one. Don’t listen to all the horror stories. Plus, the dentist asked me to help spread the word that they really aren’t bad so I’m just following directions.
Anyway, back to bearing my soul. That abscessed tooth made me decide that I’m going to start focusing on my dental needs and getting things back in order. So for the last two weeks, that’s what I’ve done. I’ve had three dentist appointments. One of those appointments was for a cleaning. Two of them involved getting the crown put on the tooth that had the root canal (for flexible spending account reasons, I waited until the new year to do that instead of right after the root canal was done.) The last crown appointment included a full set of X-rays.
Following the X-rays, I filled out paperwork and the dentist met me in the conference room to go over it. He asked me why I hadn’t been to a dentist in such a long time. First, I politely told him that I hate going to the dentist. Actually, I said, “I hate the dentist.” Looking back this may not have been the best wording. Luckily, he was cool. Then I told him that I’ve been type 1 diabetic for 27 years and filled him in on my eye history (You know the whole eight eye surgeries, legally blind in the left eye thing). Then I said, “That’s a lot of doctors and a lot of money, so I eliminated one.” His reaction was great and I really feel it was genuine. He said, “You know as dentists, we tend to only look at teeth, but we have to remember there’s a person, too and there are other things happening, too.”
Well, I never thought I’d have an emotional moment in a dentist’s conference room but I guess there’s a first time for everything!
OK, now here comes the part I hate to disclose. Before I do so let me say that I was brushing twice a day (Apparently the wrong way, but I was doing it) and my teeth don’t look gross or anything, but I have 10 cavities! They gave me the cost break down to have them filled. I told the dentist that I’d have to check my accounts because I’m getting a new insulin pump this year, and I’d get back with them.
I did leave with prescription toothpaste, and I am brushing and flossing the right way now and will soon be on my way to having those cavities filled. Even though this is kind of a tough road to go down, it feels really good to be getting back on track and making my teeth healthy. The moral of the story is this, just because you focus so much time and money on managing your diabetes does not mean that you can neglect other areas. I hope you learn this lesson from me and not the hard way.
On a side note, I want to encourage everyone to eat at Bob Evans today. If you present a special flyer, they’ll donate 15 percent of your bill to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This is good all day and will work with carry out or dine in. If you’re interested, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to send you the flyer. Thanks!