Modest Needs can't help but highlight things most of us take for granted--like having teeth, being able to smile or being able to eat normally. Today's Application of the Day comes from a woman at risk of losing all three. Sick with Crohns, this disabled patient recently found out she will need every tooth in the top of her mouth extracted. While Medicaid will pay part of the surgery, they will not cover the temporary denture needed to replace the extracted teeth before a permanent implant can restore her smile. Without funding she faces six months without teeth, half a year where eating, talking and feeling like herself will be impossible. Her modest need--teeth--is a physical neccessity. Read on to hear her story in her own words:
"I am a 58-year-old single woman trying to live on Social Security disability payments. I have Crohn's disease and am very sick. I have worked and dealt with this disease for 15 years on my own because I had no health insurance. Last year the disease got the best of me and I could no longer keep my job. I filed for disability and started receiving Medicaid, so I am finally able to get medical care.
On top of this serious disease I am now having serious dental problems. I consulted with The University of Florida College of Dentistry because student dentists do the work so they charge lower rates. All of the work is of course overseen by the instructors. They determined that I need to have all of my top teeth removed and replaced with a denture. My bottom teeth need to be restored or I will loose them as well. Although I am very grateful that Medicaid will pay for the extractions and the permanent denture, they will not pay for a temporary denture. That means I will have to live without teeth for six months.
Medicaid will also not cover restoring my bottom teeth so that I can keep them. If I cannot find someone to help me I will have to live without teeth for six months and I will lose my savable bottom ones.
I am constantly anxious and depressed over my Crohn's disease already. Now I have to face getting all of my top teeth pulled out of my head. The thought of having to go for six months without teeth just brings me to tears. I am already so skinny from the Crohn's--I can't afford to lose any more weight because I cannot eat properly. I am also devastated at the thought of loosing my bottom teeth because they can easily be saved if I find the money.
Right now I just don't know what is going to happen in the near future. I cannot afford the luxury of cable TV or the internet. I am housebound, sick and living on a very fixed income.
Funding my dental bill will make it possible for me to have top teeth immediately and save my bottom ones. If I lose my teeth I will never leave my apartment or see anyone. I'm afraid my anxiety, depression and loneliness will worsen. I am so happy to learn that there are such kind and generous people who will give to others in need. If you help me out of this mess, you have my heartfelt gratitude. There are really no words to express the thanks and appreciation I feel. My prayers will be answered. I have faith that I will get well again and be able to get back on my feet. It may take some healing time, but I will always remember to pay it forward. Thank you all."