Friday, May 15, 2009

Medical Crud

The other day, the periodontist's office called with insurance info for my procedures. The two gum grafts will cost $1,400 each, and the gingivectomies will cost $1,600. I have $800 in dental insurance remaining for this year, and $1,000 total (if the state doesn't cut it, as seems likely) for next year.

I'm lucky to have any dental insurance, but that's still a lot of money out of pocket. I was hoping that my summer-teaching salary could go towards a nice trip to Hawai'i or Alaska, but it's going to be paying for periodontal work instead.

But at least we have the money. So many people don't.

Meanwhile, I went to see my primary-care doc, who sent me for knee x-rays and bloodwork. He doesn't think I have asthma, and the allergies have been doing better on Zertec.

I've been exercising again these last two days, but I'm still achy everywhere. It usually takes about a week of daily exercise for me to start feeling like myself again, so I just need to keep at it.

Meanwhile, though, my weight's skyrocketed to an all-time high. I've always been a tiny person, and I don't think I look particularly heavy -- although there's definitely more padding than there used to be -- but my BMI's 24.4, which is still in "normal" range but alarmingly close to "overweight."

Some of this is undoubtedly perimenopausal metabolism change, and some of it's the fact that I gain weight on antidepressants. (When I went off Prozac some years ago, I lost twenty pounds.) I can't do anything about the perimenopause, and it doesn't seem like a great time to go off meds, so I'm just going to have to exercise like an Energizer Bunny and try to eat less.



  1. Anonymous11:04 AM

    Last year I had gingival flap surgery on multiple teeth in all four quadrants. Insurance paid about $1000 and I paid $5500 out of pocket. Definitely adding insult to injury.

    I didn't have much pain afterwards, and the procedure itself was a breeze. The putty was very helpful; I had feared having a raw bloody mouth, but all I had were these little wads of putty here and there.

    What I wasn't prepared for was the exhaustion I felt. I had the surgery on a Thursday, went back to work on the following Monday, and felt incredibly wiped out. It wasn't until my stitches were taken out a few days later that I started feeling normal again in terms of energy. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of slack in your schedule after your surgery.

    One possibly interesting point: my periodontal troubles surfaced two months after my mother died, which was after a five-year illness. It's hard not to think that the stress manifested itself physically when everything else was over. Perhaps your situation is similar.

    Good luck with everything!

  2. Ouch, Susan! That dental expense sounds horrible! I remember seeing my granddad's teeth sitting in a glass of water in the fridge for years. Compared to that I guess keeping your teeth is worth the expense.

    Last year I put on 40 pounds on antidepressants. It was the SSRI's that did it to me. And they make me apathetic, every last one of them. So I don't do them anymore. I'll take Wellbutrin, it's generic, or do without. I know you can't do without, but maybe if you are taking a combo you can adjust them to where the weight gain is less?



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