Thursday, July 22, 2010

Opening The Floodgate

Doctors appointments are like rabbits. I make one appointment, then two, three,...eight. My plan was to pay off my mortgage in October and then open the doctor floodgate, happy with the knowledge that the mortgage was gone. That would have been much more emotionally satisfying. But I couldn't wait and I might as well get all the appointments out of the way now. Then I can get back to paying off the mortgage.

I have lived in Tucson for almost 4 years now and I don't have a primary care physician. I have my "woman's" doctor, my dermatologist and I go to the Minute Clinic for anything else. But every time I go to one of the specialist doctors they ask me, who is your primary care physician? I say I don't have one and I get the shake of the head and "you really should have one".

I suppose I am getting older and should have someone looking out for my total health. People have recommended doctors to me but they are either not in my insurance network or on the opposite side of town. I was also looking for a female doctor but couldn't find one on my side of town, in network, so I finally narrowed it down to two men. I went with the one with 37 years experience as opposed to 10. Next available appointment is in September but at least I made the first step and picked one, and the second step of actually making an appointment.

Then there is the dentist. I was talking to my boss today and he said,"What happened to your tooth?". I was hoping no one would noticed that my front teeth are chipped, one more noticeably than the other. So I called the dentist. About 6 months ago I went to Mexico for my crown. That worked out well but I don't want to do it this time. I know they say the violence in Nogales is just between the drug cartels and the police but I'd rather not go down there right now and get in between them. So that means I will go back to the expensive dentist close to my house. I was going to put this off but since I have been making appointment for everything else, I decided to at least go in for a cleaning and an estimate on fixing my teeth. Depending on how much it will cost, I may put it off until later or just go ahead and do it now. If I do it now I'll have at least 2 more appointments. I'm missing a lot of work. My boss says I can make it up but he doesn't realise I have 5-7 more appointments pending. He just went out of town again so maybe he won't notice.

And last but not least, and the one that opened this floodgate, the dermatologist. I noticed a spot on my nose that looked suspicious. I knew I couldn't put it off, I mean, who wants to pay off the mortgage but lose half your nose because you waited too long? It was, of course, another skin cancer spot. I am going back to the same surgeon who removed my other skin cancer last year because he is very good and supposedly the best in Tucson. The only problem is that he is out of network but I am hoping they will give me the cash discount like they did last time. I really don't want to try to save money by going to a new doctor when the spot is on such a prominent part of my face. I am confident that this doctor can do a great job so I am willing to pay extra for it.

After all of these bills get taken care of I will have a much better idea of when the mortgage will actually disappear. It takes the insurance company a month to process the information so I won't have a grand total until late September or maybe even October. At least it will be good to get all of this out of the way now so I don't have to think about it any more...until something else happens.

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