I had more dental work this morning – involving a small surgery and two permanent crowns (oh and some Diazepam because I wasn’t going into a bone-cutting exercise without something Valium-like). Because of the extra drugs, B. had to bring me home and while he was waiting for me he managed to get himself a teeth-cleaning and check-up. Apparently my dental office is super-eager to book people as soon as they walk in the door.
I’m feeling a bit medicalized these days as I am also pursuing regular chiropractic appointments for a shoulder injury (that happened last year, but is apparently all connected to when I broke my ankle in 2005 because that’s just how these things work). Between the massage, chiro and dentist, I’ve had six appointments in 2011 already!
Suffice to say, all this extra medical attention is making me feel old before my time. On the other hand, being able to attend to things now (yay insurance!) means that actually getting older will be less complicated by things that could have been taken care of when I was young.
And herein lies my confusion at the lack of socialized medicine in the US, and the lack of socialized dentistry in both Canada and the US, not to mention the terrible cuts to BC medical care over the last decade that have removed services like chiro and massage and proper vision care from our free benefit. Because, really, we all know that being able to walk into an office and get treatment without paying means that we will actually take care of health issues as they come up – and that means that we are less costly as old people because we don’t have problems compounded over decades to deal with.
And not only that, it means that as workers we are more productive because we aren’t side-tracked by pain, limited mobility, mental health stumbles and other sufferings that are easily treated when they first manifest (but not so easily treated when left to fester for years). So it really costs less to give people more. Which I suppose is what makes me a socialist isn’t it?
All I can say about any of it is that I have the best medical and dental insurance one can have in Canada above my basic state-sponsored medical – and the kind of treatments I can get should be what everyone receives by sheer dint of being a citizen (or landed at least).