If you read my post a little while ago about my indecision to dip into my emergency fund to pay for some dental surgery, then you know how torn I was between putting it off until I saved up for it or just going ahead and paying for it with my emergency fund money.
I wasn’t sure if this was really an emergency since it wasn’t like I broke my leg and had to be rushed to the hospital. I’ve had receding gums for years, but this is just the first time my dentist told me those teeth need to be fixed soon before it gets any worse.
I do have health benefits through my work, but they only cover about $1,500 of the $3,500 surgery price tag. It was a difficult decision at first because $2,000 is a big chunk of change, especially for someone as frugal as me, but when I really thought about it, it’s my health, it’s my teeth, and at the end of the day I needed to do the responsible thing and book the surgery.
Plus, this post by Freedom Thirty-Five really struck a chord with me and definitely reassured me that doing this was the right decision. I may not be wealthy, but I don’t want to be another statistic in the unhealthy category. Chipmunk cheeks, here I come!
Luckily when I called to book my surgery, there was a cancellation, so I only had to wait about two weeks to get the work done. Another plus is that the dentist’s office is literally two blocks from my house, so I didn’t have to worry about taking the bus with enormous, puffy cheeks with an ice pack plastered to my face. The surgery took about 2 hours, my dentist was absolutely fabulous, and the only painful part was getting my gums frozen.
Since I am a bit squeamish when anything medical or bloody is involved, I forced myself to close my eyes the entire time and just tried to keep my mind occupied. I counted to 100, then counted to 100 in French, then played that game where you pick a country’s name, then the last letter of that word has to be the first letter of the next country you pick, then I tried to think of all the chores I had to get done this weekend.
Besides somewhat feeling the dentist cut parts of my gums out to stitch onto some of my teeth (it was a receding gum surgery), the only thing that was uncomfortable was having to go to the bathroom the whole time and holding it for two hours until I could escape the dentist’s chair.
All in all, the surgery was well worth dipping into my emergency fund. Now I don’t have to worry about having four very sensitive teeth when I brush and they’ll be all healed up and pretty by the time I need to be ready for wedding pictures. It’s funny, the first thought that popped into my head when the surgery began was “Wow, I’m one mature, responsible adult.
Little kid Jessica would have screamed bloody murder before saying yes to dental surgery. Now here I am, booking my own surgery and taking it like a champ! Go me!”.
So, the next time you have an emergency fund dilemma, if it means spending $2,000 to maintain good health, cough up the money. You won’t regret it. Now back to watching episodes of Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta as I eat nothing but lukewarm soup and ice cream for 10 days.
Have you ever had to pay out of pocket for anything medical before? What was you experience like?