Being a Grown Up

Sometimes I long for the days when I came home from school to the smell of fresh baked cookies, a home cooked meal and clean laundry. Those days have been over for awhile now, but it hasn't been until recently that I've had to deal with securing my own medical care.

I've found that this is something they definately don't teach you in school. If you've moved to a new city how do you find a new doctor? Do you have to find one right away, or should you wait until you need to go? How do you know if it's a good doctor, and how do you navigate the health insurance that you hopefully have?

I went online to search for an OB-GYN that was in the area, and happened upon mine by mistake. Thankfully, I like her and visiting is more or less painless. Finding a dentist was another story. After procrastinating for over a year I finally got around to asking my co-workers for dentist recommendations. Because I'd never had a cavity (not one!) I wasn't too concerned.

Below are my observations from these visits.
When you go to a doctor for the first time there are way too many forms to fill out, and they all ask the same questions. Most of them are simple enough, but then you get to the, uh.. hard ones. Are you current on your latest shots? When did you have your Hepatitis shots? When were you vaccinated for Small Pox? Who is your doctor? These are questions I did not know, and why would I? When I was in the land of fresh baked cookies and clean laundry I never had to worry about booster shots! My doctor's name? It was some nice lady at the Kronenwetter clinic. Luckily, doctor's seem to be fine with this response, "I don't know, but I will get back to you." I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

The thing with doctor's and being a 20-something is they expect that you already know how everything works. As I said, I'd never had a cavity. So when I was told I had "some detoriation and needed to get two fillings," I needed more information. It took about two minutes before I figured out that she meant I had cavities. Then I was asked, "Would you like white or silver?" White or Silver? I don't know, white? There was no explanation of the benefits versus downfalls. All she said was white were a bit more expensive. I guess I'll wait for my quote...

Also, if you are aware that your patient has never had a cavity before wouldn't you explain what the procedure entails? Apparently not. I realize that for most people having a cavity is not a big deal, but for me there were many questions.

Will my insurance pay for it? How do I find out? How long will the procedure take? Will it hurt? Should I plan it in the morning, over the lunch hour or after work? What exactly happens when you have a filling? Most of the answers I had to drag out of her.

The Take Away
My advice for everyone who is new to this thing called "adulthood" is to ask a lot of questions. Doctors, cable companies and crediters aren't as forthcoming with information as you might think. Sadly, it is your job to ask the questions and get the information you need to make an informed decision.

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