Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Being a responsible grown up ain't cheap

I've been ignoring some health related stuff (just check ups, nothing serious) for some time...especially with moving to and getting settled in a new country. I find medical stuff intimidating despite my research being somewhat medical. I pretty much have a strong phobia of needles and dentists in general, so a trip to the doctors or dentist is an ordeal. Even booking an appointment is hard.

I think the US and Ireland have a different approach to medicine. Some things here are standard practice during annual exams that wouldn't be even be considered until a patient had symptoms suggesting a problem. For example a gyn type visit at home usually only consists of a Pap smear, no pelvic exam. However, I like the more proactive approach to healthcare here. So this week I sucked it up went balls to the wall and booked a dental and eye exam with others to follow. 

I know how important preventative healthcare is so I have no excuse ---my name is Kathy and it's been 4 years since I've seen a dentist. No my teeth are not falling out! I went to the dentist this afternoon. I was pretty much having heart palpitations and hot flushes waiting to go in but about 10 minutes into my appointment I started to calm down. I think the giant TV helped, something familiar in an alien environment.

My teeth are now shiny and clean but to pay for my neglect I was presented with a "treatment plan". One that amounts to around $5000 out of pocket. I've discovered that a) my dental coverage is shit and b) Irish dentists like to place very large fillings when they should really use a crown. Most of my bill comes down to three crowns to replace large, damaged fillings as well as a bunch of very small fillings and other miscellaneous stuff. Some things I'm opting out of...like an extraction of my wisdom tooth, as it doesn't bother me or get infected so it's staying and others I'm gonna put off for 4-6 months so I can get the most urgent and expensive things out of the way. All of that brings the bill down to around $3500 for now. My savings are going to take a major hit.....pass me a strong drink please. The eye exam is not stressful but again overdue. 

I'm not writing this post to complain, yes I'm disappointed I'll lose money from my bank account but this is an investment in my future health. I haven't dared to add up how much I've spent on running this year but I'm sure it wouldn't be significantly lower than the dentists bill when you add up shoes, massages, race entries, clothing, gadgets..the list goes on. The difference is I happily spend this money and also write it off as an investment in my current and future health. Just because you don't enjoy something doesn't mean it isn't worth it. Out of sight, out of mind doesn't always work out! So let's just say I'll be better in future about taking care of my health, at the end of the day it's my responsibility.

Anything you've been putting off? 

1 comment:

  1. I know exactly what you mean about going to the dentist and medical bills. I had a really bad experience with a dentist down in Houston and had to have a few things redone when I moved back to Oregon because they were causing major problems. It is amazing how expensive the dentist can be. Hopefully you can work out a good budget or plan. I know I had to.