Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer: day 10

Fri June 10

A couple of years ago when my husband began working for the state, we enrolled in their dental insurance plan. Of course, the plan had many 'levels of care' (read: many price levels from super cheap to super expensive) and we chose the one that made the most sense for our family (read: the one we could afford). Unfortunately, on this plan the state feels that as long as they provide you with a dentist within 70 miles of your home, that is okay. When we enrolled, we called every local dentist on the list---none of them were taking new patients and had not accepted new patients in years!

Our dentist is 40 minutes away in a town that we're not familiar with. I realize that, for people who live in a metropolitan area, a 40 minute drive to anything doesn't sound like a big deal. But for us in small towns, it is! I am accustomed to driving 5 minutes to my kids' schools, 15 minutes to church, 10-15 minutes to the grocery store, 3 minutes to the gas station, 5 minutes to the pharmacy. You get the idea. Everything I need is within a 15 to 20 minute radius of my house. It's irritating to have to spend nearly an hour in the van to have a 15 minute dental cleaning & then turn around & drive back home.

So with that in mind, we have always tried to schedule as many of us as possible to come in at the same time for our twice annual cleanings. It just makes sense to make ONE trip rather than 5 separate ones. And with gas the price it is these days, it makes even more sense!

Unfortunately, when we came in the last time, they didn't have a block of 5 appointments available to put us on the schedule for this time. They had 4 today & 1 yesterday, so we took it. It worked out alright. Larry went yesterday during his work hours. He planned to be in that area at that time & went by for his cleaning. When we saw the orthodontist earlier this week, they encouraged us to cancel Savannah's cleaning until after she gets her braces off next month. I dreaded having to do that because it meant I'd have to make ANOTHER trip over there for her cleaning later on, but decided that "just this once" it would be ok.

So today, I got everyone ready & in the car about 45 minutes before our scheduled appointment time & made the drive over. I arrived right on time. Or so I thought. I had written 1:40 on my calendar for our appointments....but it was supposed to have been 1:00. When I checked in at the desk and they told me our appointments had been 40 minutes earlier, I almost cried. They were able to go ahead & take 2 of us so I let Samuel & Sarah get their teeth cleaned, but I had to try to reschedule myself.

I attempted to get my cleaning set up for the same day I'm bringing Savannah back next month, but they don't have any openings on that day. So you know what that means... Yet ANOTHER trip back to the dentist who is 40 minutes from home. Sigh! SO frustrating!!! {They did make a note on the schedule that says if anyone cancels on that day to let me know. So now I'm crossing my fingers & hoping someone does. If not, I am definitely on the schedule for a day the week before Christmas when everyone goes back for the next round of cleanings. I know it would be good for me to go ahead & get mine done now, but to save money (& gas!) I may skip it this time around (if there are no cancellations that come up) & just wait for December. I've got healthy teeth & gums and brush/floss religiously so I'll be fine to wait if I have to.}

I was so upset with myself & apologized to the dentist office staff about 200 times before I left for messing things up. They were very gracious about it, but I felt like an idiot for confirming the appointment when they called a couple days ago & then showing up at the wrong time today. They assured me that it was okay, but I always feel bad when I mess up someone else's routine or schedule because of my errors. I'm just grateful that they don't charge a cancellation fee for not showing up at the right time like some doctors' offices do!!

Thank you Dr. E!! See you soon....or in December!

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