A full plate

When I asked Edwina a few months ago what she wishes for her life, a full plate of teeth was at the top of the list. Recently, she’s experienced a lot of pain from a few decaying teeth on the bottom row, so she and I headed to the UAB Dental School last week for an exam and “some pullin’.”

Turns out that several exams and several visits are needed to remove a mouthful–or in Edwina’s case, a partial mouthful–of teeth. And the promise of a new plate for the top and bottom, a replacement for the four-tooth insert Edwina currently wears, is going to cost a whole lot more than $40.

Edwina left me a phone message today after returning to the clinic with her husband Tyrone, and she was hopping mad. “They’s givin’ me the run-around, Miss Rayan,” she insisted. “I already borrowed some money from my daddy and I ain’t got no more.”

” Tomorrow,” I told her, “I’ll give the clinic a call and see what I can find out.”

For now, she waits in pain, wondering if she’ll ever have a full plate of teeth again to enjoy the foods she loves but hasn’t bitten into for years.

For now, I wait, wondering where the mix-up occurred and whether it can be fixed. Edwina is tired of being patient, of feeling like she never quite gets the whole story or all of “what’s comin’ to her.”


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