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Author Topic: STRESS  (Read 7316 times)

Offline akiramd12

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STRESS
« on: April 13, 2015, 08:52:16 AM »
I've been working on my clearance for about 2 months now (I had a delayed start in waiting for my insurance to begin) and even with the process of scheduling appointments, rescheduling appointments, insurance issues, etc....it has been going pretty smooth. I've been able to roll with every Peace Corps medical/dental punch that has been thrown. But now, I'm at a point where its starting to get to me. Just to sum up my issue, I'm currently working on the dental clearance which involves getting your mouth back to healthy. Unfortunately this involves getting many cavities filled (I have avoided dentists and now it's coming back to bite me. Pun intended). I'm already about to max out my dental insurance after only having it for 13 days and I still have 4 more appointments scheduled which means that I have to go out of pocket (and possibly into debt) to pay for it. And now, my dentist is asking for clearance from my doctor for my wisdom teeth extraction, which will make me need ANOTHER doctor's appointment. Not to mention that I'm still waiting on PC to clear me for my past medical condition.

I know that it is all necessary and it's not as though I didn't expect this. But this whole process is really beginning to get to me. Especially because there is no guarantee that after all of this is said and done, that I will be in fact cleared.

I don't know if I am looking for advice or am just looking to vent. But the stress of it all is starting to make me question my decisions...
Chantel
Science Education Invitee
Tanzania - July 2015

Offline shanna

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Re: STRESS
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 09:41:43 AM »
I had an aggravating time with medical clearance. I didn't have to do anything extra but I was living abroad and uninsured so it was pretty brutally expensive. I also had to pay for multiple appointments to get it done correctly. I talked to my dentist and told him that I really couldn't afford to get my wisdom teeth removed. He said that while he recommended that I do it, it wasn't medically necessary. He was very understanding of my situation and wrote on my medical form that my wisdom teeth were asymptomatic and didn't need extraction. I also messaged my MAP nurse and told her that I had heard that PC sometimes overrules dentists on their decisions and that I couldn't afford a wisdom tooth extraction. She said that if the dentist didn't insist on it PC medical wouldn't either.

So it might be a matter of getting your dental provider on your side. But if the dentist is recommending necessary work there is little to be done I think. You could try looking into places that provide free dental work if your insurance is maxing out. And let your MAP nurse know you are running into difficulties.

I was nearly brought to tears trying to get my medical clearance. It seemed like everything was going wrong and that the process would drain every cent I had before totally failing. But it did end and the second it was over the meltdown seemed ridiculous. Just push through it and it will be over soon and before you know it you will be on your way to your country of service.

Offline koji

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Re: STRESS
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 03:16:07 PM »
I also could not afford to have my wisdom teeth taken out. My dentist, who was very understanding, recommended for me to leave them in. (As opposed to simply not recommending to have them out).

A few things that could help with the dental (but not sure if they are possible if you are already in the process and have found a dentist you like:

1- I went to one of the dentist who provides free dental exams to applicants. (There is a list of them floating around). He was understanding of my situation and did not recommend more work- he also had a sliding fee for payments, which was great because I was uninsured at the time. He did the work that the medical office required and that was it.

2- You might look into a dental school for your fillings and other work. They are slower, but often much cheaper if you can get in to one.

Offline shawn g

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Re: STRESS
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2015, 04:50:22 PM »
I definitely agree with what was said above. Check to see i there are dental schools in your area. They are 1/2 to a 1/3 of a private practice. Might take longer for the appts., but definitely worth the price.

Also, if your medical condition doesn't greatly limit your daily life, then you should be fine. Your pre-service nurse is just trying to understand your unique situation so that they can accommodate you in any way that you may need. If you needed to do more for your medical condition, you wouldn't have been invited until your medical condition was cleared. Don't stress out too much it's pretty rare that once you are invited to be not cleared medically. Every invitee goes through exact same fear. I went through the exact same worry. I was like what if they find something? What if i can't get my dental work done in time? If you are having a tough time with your tasks, don't be afraid to message your pre-service nurse. They are there to help you as much as they can. As long as you are willing to work with them, they will help you out. If you need an extension then that is ok. I heard of an invitee who wasn't medically cleared until 5 days before staging, and everything worked out just fine.

Just keep in regular contact with your Pre-service nurse and update them on any changes or possible extensions you need. Good luck :)

Offline Jeff

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Re: STRESS
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2015, 07:49:07 PM »
There is no doubt that the medical is stressful - I've been through it a few times and each time it seems to be one more appointment for this, then one more appointment for that.

The first time I did PC, I was in the medical process for over 3 years, and actually in the Peace Corps for only 2!  This was under the old process, so the timing thing wasn't an issue.

This time through I was actually not medically cleared in time and had to reapply.  Unfortunately, it is NOT rare for some people to not be medically cleared (although most are), even if the issue is one that doesn't directly impact your activities of daily living.  It all depends on what PC is comfortable covering and what they think can be accommodated in the country you have been invited to.  That can vary SIGNIFICANTLY from locale to locale.  My issue was one that they actually could accommodate, but they didn't feel comfortable covering it until I had more testing.  Therefore they wouldn't clear me, even with Dr. assurances that I should be ok.  There were at least two others from that group who were medically withdrawn that I know of.

That being said, if you do go through all of this and have to reapply, the good news is that they will use many of your submissions from the first time through in your second medical once you get re-invited.  Some things do have a time limit, but many of the acute things that you have already dealt with (such as wisdom teeth if you have to get those removed) will not need to be re-evaluated...this is what is happening with me now.  Point being - it's not a complete waste if you have to go through it now just to be 'recycled'.

Good luck, and I hope it works out!
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline akiramd12

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Re: STRESS
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2015, 08:39:01 PM »
Thank you all so much for your insight. I know that you guys understand what I am going through.

I actually found the dentist through icd before my insurance began so the initial exam and x-ray was covered. I haven't submitted my exam/x-ray because i was told to have the treatments done first then send them the exams post-treatment. 

Basically, my dentist has me getting my gums cleaned (which took the majority of my insurance) and cavities filled. The wisdom teeth are only being recommended because I have cavities back there too. The dentist felt that it would be better in the long run to have them removed (as well as easier for them since reaching back there to fill them is difficult). Do you guys know if getting cavity fillings is something that they would usually have me get treated before leaving? If not, I can stop this all right now lol.
Chantel
Science Education Invitee
Tanzania - July 2015

Offline koji

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Re: STRESS
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2015, 05:33:45 AM »
Cavities are definitely something that you will have to get treated. :( I had a very very small cavity in one of my teeth and my dentist actually recommended against filling it, because there was a good chance that the enamel could remineralize with proper brushing and a fluoride mouthwash. The PC medical team found the cavity on the x-ray I sent in and I had to get it filled before I could be cleared. So, unfortunately, even the tiniest need to get filled.


Offline shawn g

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Re: STRESS
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2015, 10:42:45 AM »
If left untreated cavities can cause major problems to your teeth and can ultimately lead you to need to get a root canal and a crown. Those two things are way more expensive than just a simple filling. It is better to spend a little bit of money to get those fillings done now than to wait while those cavities get worse. Again find a dental school, they are 1/2 to 1/3 the price of a private practice. It's the same quality of work for less money. It's a win-win.

Offline akiramd12

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Re: STRESS
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2015, 10:53:03 AM »
Thanks Shawn. Unfortunately the only dental school in Virginia is in Richmond which is an hour and a half away. Due to my work schedule, unless they can handle is all in one day, I wouldn't be able to make it work.

I found a dentist that offers discounts through my student insurance (which is still valid). I also signed up for Care Credit which covers most of the treatment. With my paycheck and tweaking of my budget, I should be able to pay for it all.

Fingers crossed!
Chantel
Science Education Invitee
Tanzania - July 2015