I love Vermont. Really, I do.
For the past week the air has been full of lovely white, fluff from some sort of magical, fluff-producing plants that have caused my neighborhood to look like a wonderland. I have barely been able to resist the urge to frolic through the drifts of snow-like pollen.
However, there are downsides.
Perhaps I was spoiled by growing up next to Boston, but I was always able to receive phenomenal health care. There were dozens of hospitals available to me, including specialists for every known condition. That was particularly helpful to me, because I am the QUEEN of having weird health issues that require specialists. Aren't I just so special.
In Boston, I was always able to get an appointment with a specialist in a timely manner. And there was always more than one specialist available to me for each condition, so I could shop around if I didn't care for the doctor. I had plenty of options, and felt like I was really in control of my health care.
Vermont is an entirely different story. This year has been particularly frustrating, since I have had a couple of new issues pop up. First I started having problems sleeping, namely because I developed the nasty habit of sleepwalking. While I never left my apartment, I would wake up exhausted after a night of rearranging my apartment in my sleep.
I went to my PCP first, and she referred me to a sleep specialist. It took three weeks for them to even tell me when I could be seen, and that initial evaluation was two months away. It took another month and a half before they had an opening for an overnight sleep study, and another few weeks for my follow-up appointment. The end result was that from the time I initially approached my primary doctor about my sleep issues, and when I was given treatment for my problem was almost 5 months.
Luckily my new medication is working quite well, so it had a happy ending. But apparently that was fast service compared to my next health hurdle.
I am a phone representative, so I talk all day at work. For the past few months I have noticed my jaw was becoming sore and stiff at the end of the day, and was downright painful by the end of the week. I was able to get an appointment with my primary doc pretty quickly (I have no complaints about her), and she diagnosed me with TMJD at my appointment today. Basically that is a jaw disorder that can cause all sorts of fun symptoms, including the pain and stiffness I was experiencing. She gave me the name of a TMJD specialist.
As soon as I got home I gave his office a call. They were very pleasant and helpful, and scheduled me for their next new patient appointment -- in NOVEMBER. And apparently at that initial appointment I will probably only be seen by the nurse, and depending on their evaluation come back in to meet with the actual doctor.
So I called my dentist to see if they had any insights, and they said that there was another TMJD specialist I could try. I call up her office, only to find they don't accept my insurance. Lovely.
So in the meantime I am left to pass the time by frolicking in the magical fluff that floats around me, and try to ignore the clicking sounds emitted by my jaw.
I love Vermont. Really, I do.