It wasn’t terribly likely that it was a tumor, but I had no idea what else this fibrous lump on my jaw could possibly be, so naturally I thought it was the worst.
I first noticed it back in late February. If anyone can ever remember back to that time, it’s when Covid was just in its wee infancy in the US, and even I was sure we would be over it in a few weeks because I had way too much God damned faith that the American people gave more than two shits about one another, but really I should have known. Anyway, I had some jaw pain and a little nubbin that hurt to poke at, and I assumed it was a swollen abscessed tooth or something (which I have never had before so had no frame of reference).
Because of the big bad, I decided to put off going to the dentist. I figured it wasn’t an emergency, and at the time elective medical procedures were being postponed anyway, so I just waited. Then the “hoax” just kept going on because we’re a failed experiment in propaganda and ignorance, but the pain in my mouth actually did go away for a bit, so I figured it was probably one of those weird things that goes on with your body, but you never really get an answer about because science isn’t there yet or you just live in America and you don’t go to the doctor unless it’s really dire.
Over the last yearish, the pain came and went, but this month it came back really intensely, and the bump on my jaw got bigger. Like, my face is normally pretty asymmetrical, but one side of my jaw was pretty normal and feminine while the other was like male model sharp. I had put public health before my own since February, but I figured since everyone else is, like, running off to Disney World and shit that it would probably be morally acceptable for me to go to the dentist at this point.
So I did, and it turned out not to be a tooth but undiagnosable by the dentist. So he sent me to an oral surgeon. I went to see him yesterday, and after some x-rays it was discovered that the bump on my jaw is just a calcified lymph node or salivatory gland or “something” and “don’t worry about it.” Doesn’t explain the pain, but the fact it’s not cancer that’s slowly crawling into my brain kind of overrode the fact that it still hurts and I don’t have a solution.
But to insurance. I have been of the mind that American health insurance is the devil for many, many years. I used to work really closely with it, and I can tell you this as a fact: health insurance is a capitalist scam designed to make people suffer and die for profit. It is disgusting, immoral, and the fact we let it exist at all is an affront to all that is good in this world, and I mean all of that from the deepest depth of my soul. Seriously, we have the technology and medicine to save people from death and suffering, and we don’t use it just so a handful of assholes can get offensively rich.
Okay, now that that’s said, an example:
I got an x-ray at the oral surgeon that is theoretically covered by my insurance, but it didn’t show what the problem was, so I needed a 3D x-ray which is not covered by apparently anyone’s insurance. They know this so they don’t even submit it, they just charge a flat fee of $265 to do the x-ray. I had no choice really, so I had it done. Thankfully, I can afford that, but what if I couldn’t?
Like…think about that: how the fuck else would this be diagnosable? All insurance supposedly denies this x-ray, but it was necessary to see what the hell was wrong with me. How is that even a thing? Your health insurance just blanket doesn’t cover a necessary diagnostic tool. Instead they want some overwrought doctor to just smoosh around your face and say, “Well, it doesn’t feel like cancer, so you’re probably fine.” That’s one of the biggest problems with health insurance: they get to make all the rules and they’re not physicians, they’re essentially biased accountants doing whatever they can to hold onto every penny. And at the same time, they pay out ridiculous sums for certain things because in the end they’re still in the black and for-profit hospitals get to stay in the black too, and it’s all just a huge fucking scam where the average person loses.
But, ya know, it’s not a tumor. So that’s pretty rad.