VMSN: Much Needed Dental Care
For 28 years of his adult life, Jeffery had great jobs with great insurance. But, he never needed it. He was always healthy. Then he was diagnosed with diabetes at age 44. At the time, he was employed by Carson City for their Animal Control division. He was having dizzy spells and sweats. His job became more and more difficult to execute. He found it necessary to resign. Jeffery then moved to Las Vegas to help care for his ailing mother.
Around the same time, Jeffery’s teeth began to break off at the gum-line. But, he no longer had dental coverage. This is a heart-wrenching situation for anyone as a person’s smile is often their calling card. He was embarrassed and didn’t want to be around the public in a new position. Furthermore, due to Mr. Engle’s poor health, he found it necessary to pursue employment that would not be too taxing on him physically.
He found a security guard position at night for a local water recreation facility. It pays $9 an hour. The least expensive insurance offered was $180 bi-weekly, or $360 monthly. In addition, there is a $6000 deductible. It was simply unaffordable. Jeffery already stretches his budget to the limit with basic necessities. He is lucky to have $12 remaining after paying his bills, buying food, and gas for his vehicle.
Mr. Engle has taken our Diabetes Education class and makes every effort to take the appropriate supplements and eat properly. Admittedly, he often has to buy food that is cheap and ends up eating pasta even though his condition requires more nutritious foods. Because of the loss of his teeth, Jeffery can only eat soft foods. When peaches are in season, he has to leave them out for several days so that they are soft enough for him to gum and ingest. He has an orange and banana daily.
Jeffery takes his health seriously and makes every effort to follow the guidelines provided by his practitioner’s in order to maintain a healthy existence. But, our health care system doesn’t make it easy. “I don’t know what I would have done without VMSN. I’m too rich for Medicaid and too poor to afford insurance. Your doctors and staff really seem to care here. It’s been a Godsend.” Mr. Engle does his best to comply with the requirements of his condition: medication, diet, and exams. But at $9 an hour, we understand that buying the right foods and taking all of his medications are expenses he simply cannot manage alone, as willing as he may be to do so.
Jeffery is also grateful for the cortisone shots he received here last year. His knees have caused him a great deal of pain over the last decade.
“After I got those, I felt like I could go play a game of basketball! Now, I can get on the floor and play with my granddaughter. That’s important to me, to be here to see her grow up.”