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I've Got Medicare! - Livin' the Good Life

Jan. 15th, 2014

07:46 am - I've Got Medicare!

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Turning 65 was such a big one for me, because this will be the first year ever that I have had health insurance. I have no plans to suddenly start going to a medical doctor. I'm doing just fine with self-care. But, I'm relieved that now, due to Medicare, our assets are protected. I know very well that one big emergency at the hospital can wipe out a family's savings. I don't expect any emergencies, and I'm doing my best to keep myself healthy. I know I AM my own doctor, and I take that very seriously. Still, it's nice to have insurance to cover the unexpected.

My first official act after going on Medicare was to go to the eye doctor and get a thorough exam. I hadn't gone for 4 years. My eyes were "clear", no "cataracts", no "macular degeneration". The only change in my glasses prescription was an increase in my prisms.... meaning I've been seeing double again (which prompted the visit). My old prescription wasn't doing the job. I pick up my new prescription this week.

Then, yesterday I went to the dentist. I wrote about my nightmare experience with another dentist last January, right? (I just checked, and I did NOT write about this experience.... just as well.) He said I needed 6 crowns to replace old "inferior" crowns. (But said I did NOT need a cleaning after going years with no professional cleaning... go figure!) I went for two crowns, then stopped. It seemed ridiculous to me. I felt that the doc was doing unnecessary work on me, and that he was making a lot of money doing it. He was rough. He was insensitive. And he didn't speak English very well, so I had a hard time communicating with him. My mouth felt beat up after the second crown, and I knew I was done with that dentist forever. So, last week I went and got my X-rays (they charged me $15 for a 5 cent copy from a copy machine), and I marched over to another dentist that was highly recommended by a friend.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE! He gave me a free consultation and exam. He sat and talked with me like he had all the time in the world and thoughtfully answered every question. He carefully measured all my gums and announced that I had the healthiest gums he'd seen in the last 6 months. He asked about my cleaning practices. I told him about "oil pulling" (swishing coconut oil in my mouth for 20 minutes a day) and how I've faithfully done that for at least a year. He seemed interested. I told him I'd email some information on it. He also said that I did not need to replace ANY crowns. In fact, he recommended no dental work at all. He eased my concern about a lump on the roof of my mouth behind my front teeth, saying it was irritated by my bottom teeth hitting it (due to a lifelong overbite) and recommended a mouthguard at night. This was all such good news! Basically, I currently have a healthy mouth. I am pretty diligent about teeth care, and I'm glad to know that my efforts are paying off. I suspect that my "no grain diet" might have something to do with it too, but I can't prove that. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing because it seems to be working.

A big thank you to the U.S. government for Medicare. I plan to use it wisely. And sparingly.