Thirteen-year old, giggly, and naïve, my middle school self was once gifted a plush squirrel that sang this phrase every time its belly was squeezed: “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” The stuffed animal kept me entertained throughout the holiday season that winter. But little did I know, I would be wishing the same exact words a couple of years later.
The name of the game is vague and hard to recall, but what’s distinctive in my memory is the aftermath of the mess I ran into. Although I was told to rely on my partner to guide and assist me through the dark hallways, my competitive personality disregarded the fact that I was blindfolded and picked up the pace. Unfortunately, I was not placed first in this game. Instead, I stopped the whole competition when I slammed into the wall and smacked my front teeth out of their place. I remember taking the blindfold off to see my friends in an uproar. Down at my feet were my two sparkly front teeth staring at me.
I knew traumatic dental injuries were actually quite common. But having had my braces just taken off not long ago, I was not anticipating on losing the two main stage players. The first couple of days after the accident, I was reluctant to go out in public. Not only was I embarrassed to be front tooth-less, I was also beginning to be irritated by the fact that my parents’ financial support to have my teeth straightened seemed to have wasted away too easily. What is more devastating and rather awkward was the legal handling of the accident with the church, where my father served as the senior pastor. I was indubitably at partial fault for being overexcited with the game. Nonetheless, no liability forms were signed, and the staff team could have been more cautious with the activity planning and administration.
In this case, insurance served as a bridge to help me keep a friendly connection with the church. Money is not easy to deal with, and oftentimes, hard feelings build up on pecuniary issues like this. Fortunately, both my parents and the church had insurance, so my dental issue was solved in a mutual and amiable manner. Insurance gave me two new front teeth, and since then, my smile was restored back. Without these backups, I predict that a wait of at least a couple of years would suffice to financially save up for my dental care. I am indebted to my insurance for my smile as well as the positive relationships I was able to maintain at church.
I expected this encounter with insurance to be a one-time occurrence. Rather, I have come to realization how big of a role insurance actually plays in our everyday lives. Not long after my teeth were renewed, my youth group and I went on a three-week mission trip to Guatemala. Many of the team members experienced difficulty acclimating into such a different environment, and some even fell sick in bed. None of us were medical doctors, so we relied on the short-term international medical insurance reserved for missionaries like us. And thanks to this specialized insurance, we arrived back to the States safe and in good health condition.
I have seen the impact these insurances had in these past years of my life and suspect to witness even more in the future. Being part of my school’s health insurance program on campus, for instance, has been thus far keeping me safe and cared for while I am away from home: Vaccines and frequent medical checkups are all covered and easily accessible on campus. On another note, college has been the best experience in my life thus far. For one, meeting and conversing with new people have become easier, for I have found my dental incident to be an excellent icebreaker topic. More so, I am continuously thrilled and stimulated in the academic setting. My focused area of study is psychology, and I am especially interested in using my academic endeavors to help those with psychological disorders. Although furthering my education is what will help me become a clinical psychologist, it is investing in insurance programs specifically geared for psychologists that will help me ensure and protect my future clinical practice. I believe having liability insurance is crucial when it comes to successful and safe work in such field. Having had first-hand positive experience with multiple insurances, I am confident in applying for and investing in insurances that will support my future career.
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