Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Barbie, my dental hygenist

There is a definate disconnect between people that have health and dental insurance and people that don't. People that have insurance just slap that card down on the counter and don't bat an eye. People that don't have insurance are far more high maintenance because they ask annoying questions like: How much does that cost?

While at the dentist with my kids today I dealt with two seperate dental hygenist. One, I'll call Martha. She was probably my age or older. She reminded me of me. A little worn down by life, been there, done that, but with a HEART OF GOLD. (Yes, my heart is not only gold, it pumps rivers of molten lava through my veins.) In other words, we connected. When she came out to get my daughter, she told me that they would be doing x-rays and flouride. I told her not to bother because we didn't have insurance. She raised an eyebrow and said "Just so you'll know, we won't be able to detect cavities between her teeth without an x-ray." I said I know, she said "sign here that I told you that" and the conversation was over.

Next up, the young, skinny, very blond hygenist whom I shall refer to as Barbie.
Barbie comes out for my son and tells me that we will be doing x-rays and flouride. Since he has braces, I said yes to the flouride but no to the x-rays.
"But," she looked at me as if I were a cross between a child murderer and a raincoat wearing pervert "he NEEDS his x-rays! That's the only way we can see between his teeth!"
I asked her how much they were and she had to go and check.
After she got back, I asked her how much the flouride treatment was.
She had to go and check.
After she got back, I asked her how much the exam and cleaning were.
She had to go and check.

By this time, it was all I could do to a)not laugh and b)not grab her ponytail and jerk her skinny ass down to the carpet and begin to discuss the choices that we all need to make as grown ups.

But instead of tormenting her further, I explained to her that unless she was willing to do a free set of x-rays, we would not be getting x-rays today.

"Are you sure you don't want to put it on your credit card?" was the receptionists question from across the room.

"No," I assured her. "I currently have a zero balance on my credit card and I'm planning on maxing it out after I go to the free clinic and have them look at the lump in my breast that I am now naming Charlie."

Well, I didn't say exactly say THAT. I just walked up to her, pulled out my checkbook and said "Didn't you get the memo? Uninsured people are required by law to crawl off into the bush and die, so as not to be a burden on society. It's the new Soylent Green. Now how much do I owe you?"

I think I want to design the new Barbie line of toys: Barbie at the Free Clinic

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like your description. Where else could you go to a business and have the workers not know how much something cost?

What if you took your care to the mechanic and he never knew what something cost and insisted that you need certain services for the general health of the care...but was always clueless to how much it cost?