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17 May 2004 @ 08:36 pm
weighing. warning. personal. boring.  
Of the bad:

My dental work estimate was more than the cost of my car. It is more than my student loan. Apparently I have the dental profile of a street person. The five-digit number I looked at this morning stunned me like a bundle of TNT dropped in a fish pond and I haven't recovered yet.

Stock prices are down. I was ready to sell last Thursday when it was a nice peak and then said, no, I'll wait to see what the CPA says. She gave good advice on choosing stocks to sell which was different than what I'd intended to do. Now, however, the price is down two fucking dollars. The impact on my financial planning is high. But do I wait and hope it moves up again or do I buy now? What if I buy now and it goes up? What if I don't buy now and it keeps going down, down, down? I am making myself sick over this.

I am sore and bloody and hormonal. I am physically depressed. It's clinging to every inch of my skin. It's in my gut. It's a heaviness.

I got another letter from the IRS today. It's probably about that 2001 return they say I didn't turn in. Which I must have, but I can't find any paperwork about it.

My Spike action figure came and it sucks. It's a freakish AU Spike with a face of great wrongness. He and Principal Snyder should be very happy together in that weird universe where Spike actually looks like this.

Of the good:

June 7 I begin my leave of absence.

The CPA said she could do that 2001 filing for me.

I'm not actually a street person.

I have a car. And that better keep being a good thing because if it doesn't, I'm going to drive it right back to the dealer, through the plate-glass window, and use it to smash his face in. I don't have any reason to think there's something wrong with it. I just like to state my intentions, should something go wrong. Because apparently I am Woody Allen crossed with a brooding Billy Crystal crossed with a jowly, dour bulldog crossed with a freak.

All sorts of other things that I should list to remind myself life is good, except it doesn't feel that way.
tesla321tesla321 on May 17th, 2004 08:44 pm (UTC)
Rather than be one of those ghouls who tell you all the hellish details of my life, I will limit myself to saying, There,
there, in a soothing voice, and add that at least you don't live on a Hellmouth.

To the best of your knowledge.
Anna S.: trees_whiteskyeliade on May 17th, 2004 09:37 pm (UTC)
I think I am one of those people who always come back with the grim details of their own life. You could tell me. I'd commiserate. ::hugs::

Seattle Hellmouth? As good a place as any, I'm thinking. Next big quake could open that sucker up right under our feet.
tesla321tesla321 on May 17th, 2004 09:45 pm (UTC)
Um. Naah. I'm actually in a good mood, or was until I read some rec'd Spander that refers to them as "the blonde" and "the brunette"---which I hate anyway, aside from using the feminine forms----and says "alright" instead of "all right."

Being a former English major is a burden.

The good mood is due to not having to take any of my cases to a jury this week, tra la la la, and,
extra bonus points, not having any sex offenders on the docket this week!
Angelvalarltd on May 17th, 2004 08:52 pm (UTC)

I've been in an exceedingly foul mood since I got home, and Mudd has too, and we've been sniping for hours. he finally went to bed and I'm waiting until I'm sure he's asleep before I go.

I hate the days when i just want to kill someone.

Then again: still not homeless, which is a good thing for us both.
Anna S.: vincent_ventrescaeliade on May 17th, 2004 09:38 pm (UTC)
Not homeless. Not handless. The earth has not been exploded by a freak meteor. The sun has not gone out.

I think I need a longer list.
Angelvalarltd on May 20th, 2004 07:50 pm (UTC)
Chocolate is still legal.

Trepkostrepkos on May 18th, 2004 05:59 am (UTC)
I hesitate to give advice to someone I don't know (who am I kidding - I LOVE to do that!) but as someone with a 30 year anniversary coming up, (yawn, yawn) I think that "Never let the sun go down on your wrath" is a good axiom to stick to where partners are concerned...not always easy but you sleep better for it.
Angelvalarltd on May 20th, 2004 07:53 pm (UTC)
Re: axiom
We've been together for 18 years.
We do have bad days every now and then, but the good ones far outnumber them.

We were fine the next morning.
rubywisp: angel arms crossed by gotr1426rubywisp on May 17th, 2004 09:12 pm (UTC)
Anna S.: angeleliade on May 17th, 2004 09:30 pm (UTC)
Lady of the thousand (well, fifty) Angel icons. :>) I like that one. I hug you back. thank you.
ineke on May 17th, 2004 09:19 pm (UTC)
You could always move to Japan and eke a career from magazine modelling, living alone and alienated in a hotel room, a la Lost in Translation. But at least, you know, you'd be alone and alienated and rich. I hear that white girls with crooked teeth are in high demand. Crooked teeth are deemed cute beyond belief, and, well, white girls are always in fashion...
Anna S.: gileseliade on May 17th, 2004 09:36 pm (UTC)
They're not crooked--if they were, I'd feel...well, the problem would be more visible, so I wouldn't feel happier, but given that most of the problems are not especially visible, I feel anxious and distrustful. In the first episode of Six Feet Under, the pilot, Nate has this great monologue I always identified with, except for the sex part:
I live in a shitty apartment, which was supposed to be temporary. I work at a job, which was also supposed to be temporary until I figured out what I really wanted to do with my life, which apparently is nothing. I have lots of sex, but I haven't had a relationship last more than a couple of months. I don't even have the self-discipline to floss daily. I've had four root canals. Four. I am 35. I've had four root canals. I'm gonna be one of those losers who ends up on his deathbed, saying "Where'd my life go?"
Now that's not so funny. Root canals: not funny.

Model. Japan. Would I have to eat sushi?
ineke on May 17th, 2004 09:47 pm (UTC)
You wouldn't be able to afford sushi! Well, maybe if you were super-rich from the modelling. But most people I know in Japan eat bowl-noodles from 7-11s. Even, you know, Japanese people. All those figures? About Japanese people being the longest-lived in the world because of their healthy soy-fish diets? Doesn't apply at all to the modern generation.

Here, have a muffin. It's soft, so you won't have to chew. Take your mind off your troubles.
shadowscastshadowscast on May 17th, 2004 10:36 pm (UTC)

So you're on the West Coast. Hm. I'm four hours ahead of you. (Idle observation.)
KJV: It Stinks!kjv31 on May 17th, 2004 11:27 pm (UTC)
1 - I'm sorry the Spike doll sucks. I feel really bad about that...

2 - JUST YOU WAIT until my dental tale starts coming out in the next couple of months. I wish I had your problems.

I really do share your pain on this topic.
Lostgirl: lostgirllostgirlslair on May 18th, 2004 12:14 am (UTC)
::Big Hugs::
torchflambeau on May 18th, 2004 12:39 am (UTC)
My dentist has left me voicemail messages at work and at home. I will not make bad Hellmouth jokes.
Trepkostrepkos on May 18th, 2004 06:05 am (UTC)
I don't trust dentists - see if you can get a lower quote. Five figures should get you a whole new body. Are you sure they haven't missed out a decimal point?
Anna S.eliade on May 18th, 2004 07:31 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was wondering about that. I don't know quite how to go about it, though. I have an estimate sheet with the tally but...am confused about how to proceed. Not sure if another dentist would be willing to quote or compare without looking at x-rays, etc.
Tuesday Has No Phones: angelbotthebratqueen on May 18th, 2004 07:45 am (UTC)
They'll need to see Xrays, but you can ask to have copies of the ones the first dentist took for you. If it's really a five figure estimate get a second opinion. Five figures would be something like root canals and crowns on all of your teeth. Sadly there are far too many dentists who prescribe that to patients who don't need it, reason being root canals and crowns are expensive and make more money for the doc than fillings do.

Xrays are necessary b/c the damage to your teeth is going to be visible on there, not to the naked eye. What's a tiny hole in your took that can be picked up on by an explorer (ie the thing they pick your teeth with during an exam) could be a tiny hole in your tooth or it could be a tiny hole that leads to an enormous amount of decay inside the tooth. (Not that you asked, but the inside of your tooth is more vulnerable than the enamal, so once the tiny hole in the enamal is there the decay can get in and eat your tooth out from the inside. Think of it like termites.)

I don't know prices for your area but in mine (New York Tri-state) a root canal, post & core, and crown can average $3000, give or take. That's for a single tooth and doesn't factor in insurance adjustments (we charge $1025 for a crown, Metlife says we can only charge $773, for example). So while five figure estimates are doable, you need some significant damage to quite a few teeth to be racking that up.

Can I ask what they told you and what they showed you? Like did they actually point out the decay on the Xrays so you could see it?
Anna S.eliade on May 18th, 2004 08:58 am (UTC)
If it's really a five figure estimate get a second opinion. Five figures would be something like root canals and crowns on all of your teeth. Sadly there are far too many dentists who prescribe that to patients who don't need it, reason being root canals and crowns are expensive and make more money for the doc than fillings do.

In every detail so far he's a very conscientious, eco-friendly, and patient-friendly dentist, and I got him on recommendation. I've no real reason to distrust him; it's just the high price freaking me out. I've got some significant tooth issues, though; problems with old mercury fillings have caused a few teeth to fracture--so there's no question of invention on his part for that stuff. On the other hand, he tried to point out a few suspicious dark spots on the x-rays for other things and I pretty much had to take his word for the interpretation on that. On the third hand, he also took camera photos of my teeth and had them printed, so I could see some issues there. On the fourth hand, he also seemed really eager to get me into braces. I am confused.
Tuesday Has No Phones: angelbotthebratqueen on May 18th, 2004 09:51 am (UTC)
Fractured teeth are going to need crowns, so he's not steering you wrong there. Crowns can be pricey, so that'll jack up your overall cost. As for the dark spots on the XR, pretty much all dark spots on XR are bad. Teeth are solid so they show up as white. There are some kinds of fillings which will show up dark (and those dark spots are fine), but if the dark spots he was pointing out to you were not the locations of those kinds of fillings then he was showing you decay.

Not sure about the braces thing, since we don't cover that in our office.

Basically when people have thousands of dollars of work that needs done what tends to be going on is either the dentist they went to was a total crook (we get more than a few patients from one office in town who get told they need 10 crowns minimum and at best all they really needed was a filling or two) or it turns out that the patient really does have an unfortunate tooth situation. For example sometimes we get patients who had really bad doctors who ignored all the problems that were showing up on XR and now the poor patient really is stuck with a ton of money and effort that needs to be made.

So it could go either way. If you've got teeth fracturing on you and easily visible dark spots on your XR it sounds like unfortunately you may need to get that work done, but if you're uncertain about it you could always ask a second opinion. I mean you didn't dump all that money into your car without researching it first, why not hold the same standards for your healthcare? =)
anodyna: pink fan flowersanodyna on May 18th, 2004 10:01 am (UTC)
I second the advice to get another opinion, possibly two others given the amount of work that's being proposed. The dentist is probably great and conscientious, but there's no down side to having someone else take a look, and different dentists can have different approaches to the same problem. Your new dentist may have a perfectionist personality that makes him want to fix the Whole Problem, Right Now, in the Best Possible Way, where what you might need is someone who's conservative and willing to tackle the worst problems first and see how it goes. Five figures is an insane amount for an estimate--it implies that he knows today exactly what has to happen at every stage of the process. And he may, but in what other part of your life would you spend five figures without looking into all your options?

::sends healing vibes to your poor, misunderstood teeth::

Trepkostrepkos on May 18th, 2004 11:18 am (UTC)
I don't know how it works in the States, but I would have thought you should have the right to take any X-rays you have had done to another dentist if you've paid for them. Though you might be unwilling to let the first dentist know you are looking for an alternative, especially given the pain these people can cause (I'm not making this any better, am I?)
I hate having (unattractive) strangers putting stuff in my mouth.
What on earth makes these people want to take a job sticking their hands in other people's mouths anyway? I'm always tempted to bite them....
Hel Virago: Maskhelvirago on May 18th, 2004 09:33 am (UTC)
This probably won't help at all, but I can't help but ask anyway -- is there a dental school near you? Is there any possibility of getting work done there? I know it'd be socially awkward with your dentist, but dental students will sometimes even pay patients if they have exactly the problem the student needs to pass a practical exam in. I know, it feels iffy trusting students with your teeth, but I haven't had real problems so far (well, okay, annoyances, but no real problems), and I've had students working on me for a year and a half (took ten years between visits). In fact, my current dentist (the fourth to work on me) should be finishing up my crown tomorrow (knock on wood).
laurashapiro on May 18th, 2004 10:33 am (UTC)
I love you, if that helps.

Ugh on the dental bills. P. just got hit with a whopper of those, too, mere weeks before we begin oozing money out our ears furnishing our new apartment. There's never a good time.

I share the hormonal ickiness. I'm wound tighter than Buffy in sweeps week.

Martin Schafermgs on May 19th, 2004 04:07 pm (UTC)
A cheaper way
Check out the following link...


This is written by a guy who suddenly required about 30,000 in dental work. He saved about 75% and had very good results having the work done in Mexico. I believe Thailand is also a popular destination for health care travel. It sounds like you're looking at a big enough bill to be worth the travel expenses to either place.