Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dents and Vets

I am still recovering from a roughly 10 hour cumulative time spent on a dentist chair. This was actually spread over three sessions in two consecutive days. It sounds that bad huh? Well, it was not intended to be that way really. I finally managed to find a professional who actually cares for me.

I have this molar at the upper right corner of my mouth where food kept getting stuck. Pain. Excruciating pain every time a piece of meat or vegetable gets lodged in it and every single chewing motion I made pushed it further until it bled. It would not be exaggerating to say that I've been to five different clinics, some covered by insurance, some I paid in cash, but nonetheless, the "work" only lasted for about a week to a maximum of three months. At one point in time, either the filling would simply fall off while I am eating or more often, I tug upon it while flossing and there goes my money down the drain.

It came to me, just how impossible is it to fix the damn tooth? Or why don't I simply get rid of the damn thing so I don't have to keep spending on it? Why can't any of these dentists be honest enough to tell me what would be the best thing to do instead of bleeding me all this money? 

Jargon. I'm not entirely oblivious to medical terminology given that I have a Nursing degree. I just hope that long before, I should've kept my own little notebook to keep as a record of what was done, who did it, the contact info, so I don't have to keep recalling the procedure and I really don't have much of a clue what was done by the last guy anyway? DMD one meet DMD two. Your work sucks, fight! Damn I miss Tekken.

So I finally meet this old lady, not entirely a stranger to me, she's Munchkin's mom :) What I thought would be yet another palliative filling, ended up with a full cavity overhaul. It wasn't new to me that the past dentist's even if they hide behind masks I could see the squirm in their eyes when they see something unpleasant. Well, I happen to be someone with cash to spend and time is not a problem. Do what needs to be done. A couple of thousands after, I am spending time on the damn chair once more despite my own efforts to maintain whatever good is left of my smile. What was the difference this time? She didn't charge me a cent. I stayed on their house, fed me, kept me comfortable, and she blessed our relationship. What more can I ask for?

There were no fancy products, no expensive drugs, no freebies either. She just told me to  brush after drinking tea because it does stain the teeth and stop eating hard foods. Take hot and cold foods with caution and gargle with salt water solution.

I have faith that maybe this time, her work and my efforts put together, I might not need to spend that much time on a chair in the future.

We'll see.

Veterinarians seem to be no different, or perhaps I am yet again at the wrong place. I've never really thought of the need to see one since I had this concept that Donut, a mongrel, was actually more resilient towards diseases that her pure bred kin. After two puppies, I made it a point to try to abide by the vaccination schedule. Oh I was in for yet another set of hurdles.

Porky, on his third month passed out noodle like worms and became lethargic. So we went to the Vet, they gave him anti-helminthics and in two days he was as energetic as ever. After a week, he showed signs of lethargy again and I was very much worried if I had to deal with Parvo once more. 

The vet inserted a cotton tip at the anus and found blood. She was considering two diagnoses: Parvo or worms.

Me: ok, so how do we differentiate between the two?
Vet: we have to perform a Parvo screening test, it would cost you 500 pesos.
Me: ok, let's do it then. Porky needs to be treated

The Parvo test looked similar to an HIV screening kit. They took a swab from the anus, dipped it on a reagent, placed a couple of drops on the kit and waited for the lines to appear.

Me: so how do we read the results?
Vet: one line means negative, two or three means positive.

(15 mins after)

Vet: only one red line appeared so this means negative, however, I am seeing a very faint line so there may still be a possibility that he does have Parvo or may get it in the future.
Me: (confused and irritated)

Me: okaaaay... I am not seeing a second red line at all. There is proper lighting in this room and I don't need a magnifying lens to tell there is only a single red line on the indicator.

Vet: what I am saying is that there is only a possibility...

Me: what possibility?! I thought this was a screening test? Do we need to perform a confirmatory test? Did we test too early? Are these results not conclusive at all?

Vet: conclusive naman po, so ang chances are meron pa rin siyang worms.

Me: (murmuring to myself) fuck. I feel like I am being ripped off here. No need to test for worms since there has been a positive history in the first place.

At the end of the day, the dog was prescribed antibiotics and was well in two days.

We followed the schedule for the rest of the vaccines, until one day:

Vet: sir, i think it is time we also check for heartworms

Me: (looked at the energetic and noisy puppy) mukha namang wala.

Vet: he's also going to need shots for fungal and kennel cough.

Me: how much would those cost?

Vet: 500 and 300 pesos.

Me: which one is more prevalent and would kill him faster?

Vet: the kennel cough. In fact, notice he is coughing now

Me: (looked at the energetic and noisy puppy again) He's tugging on the leash. He wasn't coughing an hour ago since we got here.

Vet: (nga nga)

Soon we got another puppy named Dara, a cross between Shitzu and Mini Pin, we brought her in with Porky who was scheduled for the final booster of 5 in 1.

Me: Dara is two months old, we wish to start her vaccines asap too.

Vet: How long have you had her?

Me: less than a week, why?

Vet: we need to observe her for a week first, then start by checking her for worms, deworming then her shot of 5 in 1 a week after that

Me: okaaay... so if why do we need to check her for worms if she'd be given a deworming dose anyway? Wouldn't it cost me more?

Vet: (nga nga)

Seriously. This all feels like highway robbery.