Caretaking Chronicles: The Dental Debacle Continues

Have you ever felt like your head was going to explode? I mean this in the most literal sense of the word. EGGSPLODE. Like, "my wedding gown doesn't fit and I am getting married in 14 minutes!!" or "my mom's front three teeth feel out (bridge) and it will cost $4-8000 to fix it!!"? Because the latter is what I call TUESDAY.

I am pretty sure my land-line is possessed. It keeps saying, "handset registration" in a a fairly angry tone and I unplugged that B.

Anyway, that whole tooth debacle occurred yesterday and  I still feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest. I received  a lispy call from Ho-Ho letting me know that her five front teeth fell out and were subsequently stolen. Obviously. I called home-care to check her lockbox for her teeth. While I waited, I sat sweating and calculating the cost of each tooth...$700 per plus whatever work needs to be done. Plus the $640 last week and $1200 last month for the root canal. But, THEY FOUND THE TEETH! SWEET HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL. The only way I can describe the feelings of happiness that washed over me is by comparing it to the first time I watched Overboard.

I jumped in the car because I cant trust Ho-Ho to carry those pearly whites the one block to the dentist, and zoomed out to Oak Park. While in the car I received a call from my contractor with our bid to repair our porch: $4000. Of course.

I arrived to her facility and  see not one but TWO elevators out of service and could tell this will be a good day. When I opened the door, she acted surprised to see me and was indignant about the fact that I spotted a Laffy Taffy wrapper on the table. Crowns + Taffy = SERIOUSLY? Hands on hips indignant.  I grabbed the teeth and off we went. Oh, and she tried to eat a piece of gum in the car. With no teeth.


Only three chompers fell out! We are making money here.

We roll into the dentist's office and I immediately told the receptionist that he "might see me bring crazy to a whole new level." Then I sat down and drank my Diet Coke while Ho-Ho went to the bathroom approximately 40 times in 12 minutes.

Ardie was finally called back to the dentist's chair and I was soon waved in.  I sat down and was  informed that Ho-Ho's bridge broke and part of it is still in her mouth.  Why? Because she doesn't wear her night guard and grinds her teeth. Thus, she needs two root canals and they can't cement her crowns back in. And that this will cost my first born. Cue tears. A whole shit load of them. And some sobs. Maybe gagging, I don't remember.  I/the family was/am/are maxed out emotionally and financially.

Our options? First, $2400 for root canals.  Then, three implants at $2k/per...knowing that her other crowns will continue to need work. Or, a bridge for five teeth at about $4K; again, we will continue to have trouble with her other teeth because that is how she rolls. Or, a temporary flipper (adhered in so it isn't lost/"stolen") for $640. How temporary? We don't know. And lastly, dentures for $X(X) K that could/will be lost/stolen.

Ho-Ho obviously perked up at the sound of implants and informed us "that those would be ideal"; I dug down WAY deep and found the patience to not slap the remaining teeth out of her mouth. I then clearly picked the $640 option and stepped outside to FREAK THE F OUT. I called my best friend who talked me down and told me that at some point, there will be an end. I just hate thinking like that, but sometimes I need to know this fact. And in the meantime, what do we do?

I found the Chicago Dental Foundation's clinic this morning and have left them a desperate voice mail. I am sad to say that I doubt she will qualify for anything as her income is "too high", which is laughable as 1) it's not and 2) 100% it goes to her rent and we still have to supplement. Anywhoo, at this point I will take a sliding scale if it is offered up.

I dropped Ho-Ho off at her apartment and she continued on with her day like nothing much had happened; lots of bright "hello's" to folks and a trip to the in-house restaurant. And I stopped on my way for a giant chocolate-chip cookie. It all keeps moving along, I suppose...I just pray we can figure this newest conundrum out without having to shell out a considerable amount of cash or me going AWOL.

Good news is that EK wasn't witness to any of these shenanigans, Mr. Swirley gets back tomorrow and it's awesome outside today.

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    Annie Swingen

    Chicago-based hyperbole enthusiast. Mom to a kid and sometimes my mom. Overboard (1987) obsessed weirdo. I like the funnies in life.

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