When the receptionist opened the door, the air came in like a snowstorm.
It was the kind of cold that seeped into the bones.
The kind of chills you can’t get rid of.
But it wasn’t outside, it was inside an office. So there wasn’t really any cold.
However, it used to be a dentist’s office, and there’s still a sort of weird feeling that resides there as soon as you walk through the front doors.
It’s the fear that they’ll look at his teeth and only have scary, negative things to say.
It’s the sound of drills and the smell of alcohol and the faint scent of a set of fresh latex gloves straight out of the box.
Then there’s also the fear of being told that maybe you’re brushing your teeth badly and maybe you’ve done it all your life.
But when she opened the door, I had already been through it all.
I had taken the troublesome x-rays and sat down on the plastic seat.
I even told them how long it had been since I had been to the dentist, even though it made my cheeks hot.
They had already pointed out a cavity to me and described the foreign procedure to fix it.
We were actually sitting there trying to find a date to schedule an appointment to fix the cavity.
After finding a good date and time, the receptionist opened the door and announced some surprising news.
“She hasn’t been insured for two years,” she said, looking at me.
Little did I know that I had lived my life to the fullest, drinking pop and eating ice cream uninsured.
Although I can regain insurance by submitting forms, it made me realize how scary it can be.
I was unknowingly uninsured for a few months before picking it up, but some people don’t have the option.
During those two months that I knew I wasn’t covered, I was terrified that my tooth would somehow fall out.
Of course, that probably wouldn’t have happened, but I couldn’t help but think about how much money it would cost if that happened.
But it was an eye-opening situation.
While I may be on my parents’ insurance now, I won’t be so lucky when I’m out of school.
At this point, the job search will focus on who can give the best assurance.
Insurance is so crucial, would what the job entail matter as long as it provides some coverage?
I wouldn’t want to break a leg or a tooth and avoid seeing a doctor because of the cost.
And yet, this is probably the reality for some.
With the lively air that the receptionist brought, I also quickly understood the importance of being insured.
And this awareness was colder than anything.
There are a lot of things that go into life that you wouldn’t expect – having a ‘normal’, ‘healthy’ life.
–Wyoming County native Hannah Morgan attends WVU in pursuit of a career in journalism. His email is email@example.com.