My mother would add the word please to this request for financial assistance–assistance to save me from false teeth. Both Mother and Father died in Jewish old age homes with their artificial teeth in a glass, unable to express just where their dentures did not fit or what was required to avoid pain. Nor did either of my very talented parents know how to ask for help at critical moments in their lives when help would have resulted in using their talents to assist others or as economists might put it to increase the country’s productivity and wealth.
Please click on the donation button to contribute toward saving my teeth.
How will I use the money?
1. To pay Dr. J (whose full name I will disclose after obtaining her permission) for the work she is scheduled to do on my lower left premolar. Currently, I am in considerable pain. I see her on Monday January 13, 2014 at 1 P.M.
2. To bring my insurance premiums with Delta Dental up to date and pay advance premiums for the next six months while I develop enough income that I am no longer living on my limited monthly Social Security check.
3. To obtain a crown on my upper left tooth where root canal was performed earlier this year before I went to New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for kidney cancer surgery which saved my life.
4. To follow Dr. J’s plan, developed after extensive x-rays, in accordance with priorities she has already established.
5. To perform necessary dental work over the next two months promptly to avoid having teeth pulled out. Over the past three years, I have had three teeth pulled out–teeth which could have been saved had I acted in a timely way.
6. To act on the recognition that now that I have recovered from major surgery and my life is no longer in danger from cancer, living with my teeth and without dental pain is high on my priority list.
Observation: When I became a paraplegic 20 years ago, I slowly and reluctantly learned that pride literally comes before a fall–that judicious requests for assistance meant that I secured the independence required to support my children and indeed my parents. One of my goals as a parent of two adult daughters is to serve as a role model so Joanna and Amelia understand that asking for help, although often difficult for stubborn individuals as the three of us are, can be praiseworthy.
Words to live by: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?” These are the words of the great Rabbi Hillel and are contained in the liturgical book I frequently read as a child as part of my spiritual education.
How these words apply to the imperatives of my life’s work. First, I must work to preserve my teeth. Then, I must work to help preserve the teeth of others. Attached are two links provided by the American Dental Association (ADA) describing the crisis in dental care for children as well as adults.
Here is the link to the ADA’s “barriers” papers. These discuss the obstacles people face in accessing dental care and how they can be overcome: http://www.ada.org/breakingdownbarriers.aspx
Here is a link to information on the ADA’s Action for Dental Health campaign: http://www.ada.org/8585.aspx
This is the American Dental Association’s email address to get involved in our national crisis where the poor and middle class are deprived of necessary dental care: [email protected] or visit the ADA site at www.ada.org
Meanwhile, as my dental pain subsides and my teeth are restored to health, www.joelsolkoff.com will become the place to go to at a time when large numbers of our population, untreated, are swarming to hospital emergency rooms because they do not have dentists. The dental community is invited to use this site to discuss the challenges and solutions as welll as my observations. I have established the category Dental care is a right to make it easy to find information on this critical subject. Until next time, brush, floss, and smile.