After 15 years…

Today marks the first day of a new life.

I have struggled with my oral health for over 20 years. Tooth decay, broken teeth after being tortured and raped for three weeks, bad eating habits and NO dental intervention as a child.

In June, I was accepted into a program which finds dental professionals who are willing to work with disabled people by making dentures and doing dental work for free. In November I had dentures made.

The day before Christmas I was told that they had found an oral surgeon who was willing and able to do the work. On my birthday I called them and set up my appointment. Last week was the initial consult and today…. This is the day!

I’m excitedly terrified. Excited because I’ve waited so long for this day and it’s finally here. The day that I no longer have constant pain. The day that my sinus pain from my teeth stops. This is the first day of my life!!

I know, I’m being overly dramatic but, if you had to live with constant pain, throbbing, infections and the inability to eat, you’d understand. It’s been hell.

This is the perfect example of the problem with healthcare in this country, especially for disabled and elderly poor. We are given Medicaid by the state but not all Medicaid covers dental for adults. Most don’t in fact. Glasses are another issue. Some states cover them, some don’t.

Poor people in America are told “Go to the dentist” but when the dental care you NEED is going to cost you the same as your food budget for a month (or in my case 5!!) then you make sacrifices. Usually to the tune of poor health.

When you can’t chew, you can’t eat properly. We are told, especially when we are fat “eat healthier. Eat fresh veggies and fruit” Um, HELLO, I have no usable teeth! YOU try eating kale without teeth. Or an apple, pear, carrot…. Yeah right. I’ve had to juice my food for three years. I can eat solid food, IF it’s soft, like sandwiches and eggs. I’ve had to be creative with my eating AND my childrens diets. It hasn’t been easy.

Today, that all ends.

I know I’ll be sore for a while and the dentures will take some time to get used to but you know what? I’m ecstatic that it’s going to be done!

Namaste my friends šŸ™‚

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