1/2) I went to the dentist today. For some reason, they split checkups from cleanings, so I have to go back for the latter. They said I need a new crown. Medicaid won’t cover it (nor did federal employee coverage in 2003). The sticker price is $1100, and they have sliding scale fees for which I made an eligibility appointment, but the discount tops out at 50%.
I asked how long a crown should last, and they stuck with “for life if it’s done well”. I gently pushed for a clearer answer, saying there must be statistics on median, average, etc; and they said 15 years. That’s about what I remember being told before. My crown is only 9; I got it in 2008. It’s also either the 7th or 10th one I got on this tooth from 2003-08; they just never stay on, and when moving or switching dentists for insurance reasons, I always have to start from scratch convincing them that I need a gold crown. No other material (all cheaper, of course) stays on.
Gold crowns have other advantages, but I only care about the practical health aspects–I’m not into precious metals or jewelry at all, as I think they suspect sometimes. My only jewelry is a used watch I got for $20. The only other gold I own is a French coin my uncle gave me for my Bar Mitzvah.
The dentist was good about reasonably going over the risks and situation, acknowledging that it’s not urgent but should be done in the next 2 years. At some point, pulling the tooth and ending the root canal/crown drama enters as an alternative. I’ve always wondered about that, because it would be cheaper, less painful, and done forever after one procedure. It’s the very furthest molar in the back, so no one really sees it but me. It’s also my only root canal. The one other tooth I keep an eye on for a possible root canal is fine–they said it looks odd but is healthy, so that’s only cosmetic which I don’t care about. (The Baptist dentist who explained to me that a gay Barney Frank couldn’t be a real Jew made the filling way too big)
This means more hassle, physical pain, and expense. Could I get one cheaper somewhere else? UW dental school? Should I try a private dentist and pay out of pocket? How long will another crown REALLY last? The pain is bearable once every 15 years but not every 15 months. Or should I scrap all this and have the thing extracted? Even if it’s $550, how do I pay for it? Would it be worth buying my own dental insurance? Or getting it done on vacation in Europe? I feel awful saying this, but my grandpa is dying which could involve some inheritance. Should I see if my tooth can wait him out?
It’s just a thorny set of issues no one ever needs.
2/2) I walked a small, sweet dog today who I’ll call Kite. Last summer, for the first time ever, someone complained to me about a dog walking on their lawn. It wasn’t until last month that I checked the DPD website to look up her property limits so I knew where I could and couldn’t let Kite go.
Today another woman yelled at us from another house, apparently unhappy that Kite was walking on the lawn. It was a little hard to see in the rain, but I’m pretty sure she was in a different house than the one that owns the lawn we were on, as Kite regularly has enjoyed for months, both with me and her owner. This woman’s yard is inaccessible, so we’ve never been there. She was yelling at me about this lawn not being a dog walking area when IT’S NOT EVEN HER YARD.
I know where the lot lines are, because I just looked them up. Basically, all the open space short of the next driveway belongs to a house on the corner–where a dog lives. And apparently a nice couple with pre-teen kids.
I couldn’t tell exactly what this woman was saying, but I offered that I’m happy to avoid her yard if she likes (which we already do; there’s no access). If someone doesn’t want a dog on their property, that’s their right. That’s why I looked up the lot boundaries! Kite loves that space, and I didn’t want to get in trouble. I have no idea why this woman is white knighting for her neighbor.
Also, Americans are way too obsessed with their precious PROPERTY and get ridiculously rigid about it. Living beings are more important than property. If Kite were a big, loud, messy, destructive, aggressive, or even reactive dog; I’d understand. But she’s a small (cat sized), quiet, well-behaved older girl who just likes to sniff everything. She pees once in a while, and if she poops, I pick it up. Where’s the harm?
When I looked these homes up on DPD’s site, I also checked them on Zillow. My client rents a mother in law apartment allowed and approved only due to a 2009-era city ordinance. The houses around her are generally big, with very big lots, and high prices due to their good views of and proximity to Lake Washington. The house on the corner is estimated at ~$900,000. So my take is that this is a well-off, privileged white woman who has lost any perspective of what’s important in life. But with everything else I’m dealing with lately (nasty withdrawal from multiple psych meds, shoe destroyed by a dog I was sitting, first ever bite by a dog I was sitting and resulting $323 ticket, broken arm on the same side as my 2015 and 2014 injuries to the same one), and the cold and rain, I didn’t need this.
My client apologized for her neighbors but later said we’re both going to have to keep Kite off the lawn for now. That will take time for her to adjust to, and she won’t understand why. But it’s so stupid. She just likes to sniff all the stuff there, and suddenly she can’t anymore. Reason and compromise lost here. Wealth, privilege, and selfishness won. What makes you decide it’s so fucking important to keep a sweet little dog off SOMEONE ELSE’S lawn? Do you have no bigger problems in life? No higher priorities? Is this a little protest against the fact that a MIL apartment was ever allowed, where a non-rich person (special ed teacher) could move in? It reminds me of the passive-aggressive note I was left at a temp job in 2013 complaining that I didn’t correctly arrange the veggies in their free, twice-daily veggie tray. There are too many of these people, and they have too much power. Could they survive what I deal with?