I am a determined person and as such, sometimes I don’t see the signs of when it is just time to throw in the towel. This morning the signs couldn’t have been more clear, but it still took about forty of them to make me get to the point where I said ‘okay fuck this, it isn’t meant to be’.
I had a permanent retainer on my bottom teeth for about a year. It was attached individually to each of them and about 6 months ago it broke between two of my teeth. I called the orthodontist. I had an appointment scheduled in a couple weeks so I asked if I needed to come in right away or just wait until my appointment. The scheduler said unfortunately my upcoming appointment was just a 10 minute check so there wouldn’t be time to fix it, but he asked me if my teeth were moving. At the time, they weren’t. So he said the next available appointment was about 6 weeks out. Cool. Remember that whole relaxin thing they talk about during pregnancy. Well it still holds true while you are nursing and turns out your teeth can move fast. So in that six weeks, my teeth shifted a bit.
Now I should say that I was doing my ortho work through the University of Colorado, because my insurance doesn’t cover adult orthodontics and I like a good deal. It was pretty convenient at first. They gave you a parking code so you didn’t have to pay to park, but then that went away. The building used to be pretty easy to get to, but then they’ve been building like crazy, so now it is a zoo. And now in addition to building new buildings, they have apparently decided that every single road surrounding the campus needs to be worked on. What a fucking nightmare.
So when I went in to get my permanent retainer looked at, they freaked out that the scheduler didn’t have me come in for an emergency appointment right away!!!!! They told me it was their fault and they would of course fix my teeth. Now to be clear, they didn’t move that much. I was totally fine just having them fix my retainer and going on my way, but if they were going to realign them for free, then why would I fight it?
So an appointment was made, for this morning obvi. I flip-flopped for the last several weeks whether I really wanted to do this. It is kind of a time commitment to get to the school and we were talking about another 6 months to get them straight, etc. I was kind of dreading it, but was still like ‘well it is going to be free’.
That was until this morning. I left the house with plenty of time to get there. Of course the highways were horrendous!!! So I tried to take some backroads. As typical of Colorado drivers, the speed limit is just a recommendation, you don’t have to go that fast. UGH! there is nothing like getting stuck behind someone going 30 in a 35 to flip my shit.
Then I got near the campus and encountered the ‘we’ve torn up every single road in this area’ situation. Fuck me!. Then there were like 8 billion people trying to get onto campus. The cars couldn’t get anywhere because some tour bus dropped off 60 people at every cross walk. Grrr! I finally get to the parking lot. At this point I am 15 minutes late.
If there is one thing I hate, it is being late to anything. I would rather arrive somewhere completely nekid than be late…okay maybe that isn’t true. If I am not somewhere 5 minutes early I feel late. Walking in just on-time is not an option. It is a sickness. I get it. I accept this about myself.
I suck it up, ‘just show up Natalie, i bet it won’t really matter that you are late’. I go to the parking pay station and select 3 hours to be conservative. Everytime I think it is going to be a 1 hour appointment it turns into a 2 hour appointment, so I always overestimate. The little screen says ‘insert $3’. Cool! I stick a $1 in the money slot. It spits it back out. ‘hahah not funny little machine’. try again. spit it back out. in. out. try another $1. out. turn it upside down. out. YOU HAVE TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!!. I look at the stupid machine and think that’s it, I am done.
I walk back to my car and drive away. I didn’t really want to do this anyway and the idea of having to deal with this once a month for the next 6 months, just would make me insane. I am losing $ from not being at work (well it is personal time, but still) it takes me an extra 30 minutes just to deal with the parking/walking onto campus, etc. and the slight movement on two of my bottom teeth isn’t even visible when I smile. So WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING?
Basically there were about a hundred things trying to tell me to just give up. Instead I went to starbucks, got a pumpkin scone and a too large iced chai, went to the gas station and got a car wash. Voila! I felt 100% better and was so relieved to realize I would never be dealing with that situation again.
I arrived at work, called the scheduler and left a message that I apologize for missing my appointment, I tried to get there, but I think I am going to end my treatment. Oh did I mention what a pain in the ass making an appointment is? no? well it is. You usually hear back from the scheduler 3 days after you leave a message and the earliest appointments are a couple months away.
These things were definitely something I was willing to deal with 3 years ago. But now, I am over it. I am glad this service exists for low-income families and for poor-just-graduated-college-kids (like I was), but now if I want anything else done with my teeth (which I don’t. I am going to wear my removable retainers every night for the rest of my life and just be good with that), I will go to a regular orthodontist office. Where i can park 30 feet from the front door. Walk right into my appointment, have a 15 minute appointment as planned, and walk back out.
By the way, pumpkin scones = fucking delicious!