Last week wasn’t great. There were numerous upsetting things that happened, but by Saturday night, when the third came along, I was at my wit’s end.
A few months ago, I visited my dentist to have a procedure done. It was just a simple filling that turned into a nightmare. After the procedure, I went home and had the worst tooth pain I’ve ever had in my entire life. For three weeks I alternated Tylenol and Motrin to discard the pain, and tried many other natural remedies to alleviate it. I’ve had a few fillings in my life and never had pain afterward, but when I called into the office to let them know, they kept telling me that it was normal and my tooth just needed to adjust. Adjust? I’d never heard that before, but this is what I was told and so I let the pain go on for three weeks while I took medicine that was making me sick. Motrin raises my blood pressure and I’m not even supposed to take it, but Tylenol just wasn’t taking the pain away. I just don’t have time for pain. It affects my entire family when I’m not well.
So, just after three and half weeks, I called and they told me to go ahead and come in. I got there, he looked at me in a mystified way and said he would do an x-ray. Of course, the x-ray showed nothing. He didn’t understand what was happening but told me that the filling looked fine and didn’t seem to be the issue. I disagreed because I knew the pain I was enduring was coming from nothing else but this tooth that he had worked on. I never have tooth pain. Why would I have it now?
He finally tells me that he can go in and take out the root of the tooth to see if the nerve is the issue. I agreed because silly me didn’t realize this requires a crown afterward. He takes out the nerve and wow, was he surprised. He held it out in front of me so that I could see just how inflamed this thing was. He finally understood what I was talking about and mentioned that it must have been the filling. He told me that I have to come back to have the crown put on, but that they have to approve it with my insurance first. So, now I realize that I have to pay for his screw up. This procedure is expensive and near $1000. Insurance covers some, but we are responsible for the rest. At that point, I let it go and scheduled myself in. I went in last Wednesday and had the first part of the procedure done.
As I sat there in the chair and underwent the procedure, he was pulling on my jaw so hard it was causing pain. They had to wedge my mouth open and I literally wanted to punch him. At this point, I knew that I didn’t want to come back to this dentist ever again. He’s too rough and has a very poor bedside manner. My kids love the hygienists, but the doctor is just rough and not very kind.
I left the dentist to run errands and headed back home. Just to get home is near about an hour drive and by now the numbing medicine was wearing off and I realized my tongue was hurting. I looked in the mirror to see that the side of my mouth was red and sore and the whole side of my tongue was bleeding and scraped up. Here I was in pain again and I began to ask myself why I ever went back to this dentist in the first place. I have to go back in a few weeks to have the final crown put on and I’m already dreading it.
Heading home from the dentist on Wednesday, I was behind this semi truck, at least 150-200 feet or so behind it going about 60mph. Of course, there were plenty of cars behind me wanting to pass because the speed limit is 60mph and people always want to go faster on the highway. This truck all of sudden starts spewing out these huge asphalt-like rocks out of the bottom of the truck and they are literally bouncing everywhere all over the road and even into the oncoming lane. We’re going pretty fast, so it doesn’t take long for all of these stones to hit the front of my car and also bounce right up the front of my Caravan. One of the huge stones crashed into my windshield and shattered it about a foot in size. I was shocked and slowing my car down just seemed to make it worse. As I fell back even further, basically every time this semi hit a bump, he was dropping these large rocks out everywhere. I watched them fly into the oncoming lane and they were even banging up underneath my car.
Now, you couldn’t tell what he was carrying in the semi-trailer and when we finally got into the next town, I realized there wasn’t a single sign on the back of the semi or even the sides to caution drivers of falling rock. I took pictures of the back of the truck and license plate, and when we turned at the light to proceed to the next road, I took pictures of the side of the truck and got the number of the company. Surprisingly, it’s an excavating company in my hometown.
I was instantly angry. I knew it was going to be expensive to replace my windshield. This isn’t a little chip on the window, it’s a huge shattered area bigger than a foot, and as I drove it was getting worse. My insurance company already informed me that if it’s over the size of a dollar bill, they won’t cover it, even though we have glass protection, but that wasn’t the worst of it.
I called the trucking company. I wanted to give these people a piece of my mind. Doesn’t it seem like they should have caution signs on their trucks? I see these signs all the time on rock trucks. Huge bright yellow signs that can be seen well from a distance. So, after no answer, I left a message. I already knew they weren’t going to be responsible for my window because I had no way to prove it, but I wanted to do something to stop these people from damaging someone else’s vehicle. I just kept thinking, what if I was an elderly person or a motorcycle driving down the road? It could’ve caused a horrific accident!
I began doing research on this situation and learned that once a rock falls on the road from a truck, it’s considered road particle, and it’s not the truck’s responsibility any longer. That includes asphalt like pieces that bounce all over the street and cause accidents such as these. I also learned that without a video, I couldn’t prove anything and I’d be wasting my time and money in small claims court. You have to be able to prove that there was flying rock from the top of the heap. There wasn’t a heap of rock at all, just a faulty gate that wasn’t containing the rock pieces properly.
Today is Monday and I still haven’t heard back from them. I’m probably never going to hear from them either, even though the message I left was just a simple name, number, and a request to speak to the owner. Truly, I want to find out if it’s a law to have caution signs on your semi when you’re carrying dangerous material. After all, if you just have a piece of wood hanging out of your truck you have to put a flag on it because it’s considered dangerous and if you don’t, you’ll get pulled over. I’d be happy if they’d just put signs on their trucks so that this can’t happen to anyone else. Everyone I’ve talked to about it tells me that I’m wasting my time and that the company won’t care. They’re probably right. This company doesn’t have a brick and mortar business and it’s just run out of a home. It’s possibly a one-man operation.
On Saturday, we had a neutering company near our hometown that neuters and spays cats for a $50 fee. We’ve used this company before and those that follow my posts know that we just had 13 kittens born last April. We were able to home the majority but ended up keeping 4 of them. Not long after they were born, we learned that a distant neighbor had an unwanted kitten and we adopted her too. She was the same age as our other kittens and we took her in. My four-year-old named her Toby.
I live in the second to the poorest county in my state and there are literally cats everywhere out here in the country because people can’t afford to get them fixed and they keep reproducing. It’s not uncommon for people to just drop cats off on your property either. I went ahead and scheduled to have our 5 kittens fixed, which included Toby (our adopted kitten), but because one was sick with some sort of respiratory infection (Ash), I took in 4. When I got there, I stood in line for over an hour for registration with all of my kids and the entire time I had a bad feeling, but I put it in the back of my head.
It was finally our turn to register and the doctor asked if we had any other cats that needed to be fixed. We ended up going back home to get two of our other cats, which included Ash, the sick one. She didn’t think it was an issue, but the truth is, I had a premonition that morning and almost canceled the whole thing. I put it in the back of my head again and brought the other two cats in. By the time everyone was registered and in the building, the cost for us was about $300. We left and went home, which is only about 10 minutes away. I went about my day, but kept my phone close which I rarely do on the weekends.
Around 2pm, I just happened to look up at the clock and my phone rang, It was the doctor stating that one of our cats “crashed” and that they were in the process of resuscitating it. That was all she said. My heart fell into my stomach and I put the phone down. I began wondering what cat it was. It wouldn’t make a difference because we love them all, but I just wanted to know. I waited by the phone for about 20 more minutes. She called me back and said,
“We lost one of your cats. After we gave her the medication, her heart just stopped and we couldn’t get her back. This is really rare and I’ll talk to you when you come in.”
I asked her which cat it was before she hung up the phone. She started going through the papers and then finally told me it was Toby. I couldn’t believe it.
All sorts of things started going through my mind. First, I wondered if they gave her too much medication because that’s exactly what happens when you get too much anesthetic. I then thought that maybe she just had a bad reaction to it. Then, I remembered back in 2004 when we had taken three of our 4H cats in to get fixed and at pickup, they had a cat sprawled out on some towels that had just “crashed” as the doctor calls it. They were working on getting it back when we were all standing around picking up our cats to take home. I think they got the cat back, but I don’t remember. I began to wonder, just how rare is this?
We waited for 6pm to roll around and went in to pick up the kittens. When we got there, it was gloomy, cool and starting to rain. A cold front was coming through and the tornado sirens were going off. The doctor gathered everyone around outside to give us the checkout instructions, roughly a hundred people or so. She asked where the lady was that had the kittens up for adoption and mentioned that they lost one of those cats today. Our cats weren’t up for adoption and there were other groups of kittens who were. At that moment, my kids looked at me and we became hopeful that it wasn’t Toby that had died. I know that sounds horrible, I wouldn’t want any cats to die, but I did want Toby to be alive. We all did. After her long talk about everything we were supposed to do for our cats that night, we all went into the buildings to get our cats. When we got to our three crates, Toby wasn’t in there. Finally, after waiting around to talk to someone, we spoke to the doctor and all she said was that she received the same dose as all the other kittens, but for some reason, it stopped her heart. She said that what happened is very rare and they did what they could do to save her. Out of 80-100 cats that were there that day, it was our Toby that died. I felt like the doctor was less than sympathetic and they didn’t even offer me back the money that I paid for her to be neutered. I basically paid $50 for a procedure that never happened and now our favorite kitten was gone. I asked her if we could have Toby’s body and she pointed over to the wall where she lay, on the window ledge, rolled up in a towel. My 9-year-old offered to carry Toby to our car and I could see the tears in his eyes as we walked away from this horrific situation. Even though she was gone, I could feel that we all just wanted to get her back home.
We left to head home with our sleeping kittens and Toby’s body. I was fighting back the tears. It was just about dark by then and very windy with rain. I called my oldest son to let him know to be prepared for our arrival and to grab a shovel. We were going to have to bury Toby in the dark and we had to get all the other cats inside and on heating pads so they could begin the healing process. After getting everyone settled in, we took Toby out and my son began digging a hole out in our woods. The entire time, as I stood there holding the flashlight, all I could think about was how I just wanted to go back to bed and wake up to start this day all over again. I wished that I would’ve followed my premonition that morning. Toby was the first cat I grabbed as she always sits right by the front door and was the most loveable cat we had. She was our favorite out of all the cats and the kids could hold her all day long and never tire of her. She was super friendly with all of our other cats and they would run, play, and chase butterflies all day long together.
I went in to call my husband to let him know how it went at pickup and he didn’t understand why they didn’t offer us back our money either. Of course, he was upset too as Toby was his favorite and he had just spent time with her out in the barn that morning before work. Getting our money back really wasn’t the issue and it wasn’t going to bring Toby back, but the procedure wasn’t performed and I still wonder if it’s right that they didn’t offer. Toby was just another cat to them, but she wasn’t to us.
Saturday night I was lying in my room in the dark and my oldest son was walking by. I hadn’t even talked to him about the windshield on the Caravan yet. I talked to him about all three things that were upsetting me and how I just couldn’t get over the week in general. He stood there looking at me and said,
“Mom, sometimes these things happen and you just have to keep pushing on. You can’t let it get to you.”
He’s so right. He was teaching me the same lesson I’ve been teaching him since he was just a little child. “Hold your head up high, beef up, and stay strong. Don’t let the world drag you down.” How many times I’ve said that to my kids and at this point, I can’t even take my own advice. All I could do was cry and think about Toby being gone and the possibility that I put her into the wrong hands. Not only that, I felt entitled to something in each of these situations.
So, I guess this is what it boils down to–me feeling entitled. That’s probably not the best word to use, but it’s how I feel. Entitled to get my tooth fixed for free because it was the dentist’s error. Entitled to have my windshield paid for by the half-ass trucking company that can’t bother to put signs on their trucks to keep others safe from their falling debris. Entitled to get my money back for my cat that I’m never going to see again.
Am I wrong for feeling this way?
Probably. There are people in this world with real problems and I should be looking at this in a more positive way I suppose, but I’ve never been able to look at someone else’s negatives to make a positive for myself, ever. I realize life isn’t always fair, but I’m angry and I’m sad. Maybe it’s just a phase I’m going through, but I just don’t feel like I can handle things like I used to. I don’t know if it’s getting older or what. I just don’t feel as resilient as I used to be when life throws curveballs such as these…