Grrrrrr....

I cried... with my wife. And then afterwards, now, I am angry. I was seething driving home. Honestly, I'm not even sure it was safe. I really wanted to just break something. I wasn't sure I should have been driving. I was fuming. I didn't do anything, I'm home now... but maybe I need to get that checked out.

We just left a doctor. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He just looked at a battery of tests we brought from Mexico and says he can solve my wife's problem. But what is her problem? Let's discuss briefly. My wife has gone through 2 different TMJ treatments lasting years. Both were expensive. Both dentists wanted half the money up front and we ended up paying the entire amount. Neither really did anything. The last one we went to put in crappy work that my wife has already replaced AND charged A LOT. We thought he was the answer at the time. It turns out he was a charlatan. The surgeon we just left sympathized. At this point he's seen countless patients who have also been duped by dentists in to getting their problem not solved but their wallet lightened. Turns out, had one of these dentists had Juliana get a real battery of tests and recommended Juliana to see an OM surgeon like him, she could of done a surgery that is over 99% successful for torn cartilage in her jaw. He made an analogy that a dentist resolving my wife's problem in that manner is like Kobe Bryant solving his knee problem by putting on various casts for years rather than getting knee surgery. Fortunately for us, the money wasn't the worst part BY FAR. It was my wife continually living in pain for years now while having her problem go ENTIRELY UNSOLVED... and even worse, UNNECESSARILY. I hope and pray that we're at the right place, and this surgery is the beginning of the end of this ordeal.

There's supposed to be a line in the medical world. It's called the "Hippocratic Oath". But unfortunately, we have replaced morality with the bottom line in the good old US of A. And while for most businesses that is reasonable, it absolutely shouldn't be the priority when it comes to your health. Sometimes what one doctor can do or specializes is just NOT the best option for what you need. When someone goes to a doctor, they are at such a massive informational disadvantage usually that they pretty much just trust what the doctor says. Unfortunately, you can't do that. It's not that simple. Greed and health don't always align.

Worst of all, I'm starting to realize how absolutely FUCKED we are getting in America. Let me just give you one example. My wife and I just flew down to Mexico City. There's a gorgeous hospital there, Hospital Espanol in Polanco. Many buildings, grassy areas. Peaceful. My wife got a battery of tests... complete MRI, catscan, and one other test... multiple CDs worth of data. It cost us about $800 USD. Just one of those tests in the US would cost thousands. We had no appointments prior, but got this all done within a couple days. The doctors were super friendly and incredibly knowledgeable.

Juliana saw an eye doctor also, and loved him. So I made an appointment to see him THE NEXT DAY. I have Pigment Dispersion Syndrome which I knew about for some years now and haven't done anything. Turns out, as this doctor explained to me, I have a 1/3 chance to turn in to Glaucoma which likely leads to blindness (and suddenly). He explained my situation in detail, not only discussed my surgical option - which I will be doing with him (although he didn't even try to set up my appointment. He did insist I research it) - I discussed my vision issues, and he recommended a new type of surgery for me (I have a thin cornea and can't do lasik). I previously was told I could only do PKR which is old and has weeks of recovery time. He recommended I get SMILE surgery with a Femtoseconds laser with another doctor. My appointment cost $60 USD and he was easily the best opthamologist I've ever seen (not that I have a lot of experience).

Going back to my wife. When we just brought these tests in to the Oral Maxillofacial surgeon here for her 3:45 appointment, he looked through the tests and commented multiple times at how thorough and good the tests were. Complete brain imaging, with multiple things isolated. We saw the skull by itself, the arteries isolated, veins isolated, others I don't remember, and there was much more that he didn't even look at. I couldn't help but notice that it seemed to me that these tests were superior to the average ones in America he would receive AND they were cheaper AND it took less time to get them (including flight and travel time/costs). Fucking incredible.

Sorry America, but the medical profession is fucking us straight up the *** and we just keep taking it. I am lucky that I currently have the means to make the financial part not so painful. And I can only imagine how frustrating this must be if you don't. The truth is when it comes to your health there often isn't a price point. If you have a difficult problem, especially one that requires a more holistic approach to solve, you just have to get lucky that somehow your insurance sets you up with the right doctor. Otherwise you're up the creek without a paddle.

That's why I was crying and why I was really angry. Not that we lost money although that sucks. My wife has unnecessarily suffered for years through pain. She has developed sleeping problems after this because of the daily pain. Now she has regular insomnia and can't sleep without sleeping medicine and regularly cycles between Xanax, Zolpidem (Ambien), or Temazepam or others. She is often up past sunrise... And why? So a dentist could ensure a paycheck. And a fat one. That's what was making me so angry driving home that I swear if I was at my laptop I would have broken my first computer in my entire time playing poker. Countless bad beats or disconnects and never came close. But I was ready, driving home, with tears in my eyes and squeezing my wife's hand to bash something. Then as we were pulling in to the garage I realized the best thing would be to write about it.

I just had to get this off my chest.

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Las Vegas, Nevada

brianrast@brianrast.com

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