Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This is Maggie, not Dana... aka the Mix-up

If you have ever had surgery, you know that they repeatedly ask which body part they are to be cutting and mark it several times with indelible ink. I assume it is to make sure that there are no screw-ups in the surgery process. They also confirm and re-confirm your name and other items about you.
I have come to believe this is common practice among all health related trades.

See my most recent trip to the eye doctor..

Receptionist: "Maggie, Could you come to the window?"
Me: walks to window "Yes?"
Receptionist: "Ok, just making sure. The doctor will be with you shortly."
Me: sits back down
A few minutes elapse..
Doctor: "Maggie?"
Me: looking up hesistantly
Doctor: "Are you Maggie Reed? Ok, come on back."

So on to the topic at hand...

On Monday, I went to work like any other day only to remember at 7AM as I was unlocking the trailer door that I had a dentist appointment at 10AM in the city. So... I was supposed to be in the city today. And it was for a dentist appointment. When I go to the dentist, I make a good show of it. I blame my mom and her tablets..

that show plaque where you missed it when brushing. Having done a poor imitation of brushing that morning, I found myself searching for a drugstore open at 7 AM near my jobsite. I wound up driving to a supermarket I knew was open, purchasing a toothbrush and toothpaste and brushing my teeth in the ACME bathroom.

I then traveled into the city where there was no traffic (IMPOSSIBLE on any other day when I didnt have nearly 3 hours to kill!!) and found myself next to my old apartment listening to my audiobook and creeping out the families taking their kids to school by sitting in my warm car waiting for the next thirty-two minutes. In an effort to avoid raising uneccessary alarm in people, I wandered to a nearby coffeeshop in an effort to waste the remaining 1 hour and 53 minutes left until my appointment.

It took me 57 minutes to drink one cup of tea. I thoroughly creeped out the guy working beside me as I sat listening to Sookie Stackhouse on my ipod and watching the people as they walked on past. It took another 15 minutes to throw my cup away and leave the shop and another 10 to walk back to my car because I took the long way. I sat in my car again for another 20 odd minutes and then walked to the dentist who was a half a block away.

When I arrived, the xray machine was in pieces and standing in the receptionists area. The receptionist looked like people had been bothering her and when she asked if I was Dana upon being given a chance to talk to someone who wasn't the phone, the dentist or the technicians, I told her no. I was Maggie. She commented that I was really early (22 minutes... ) and to have a seat.

Given my ability to wait at this point, I put on my ipod and flipped thru a people magazine. I became aware about 12 minutes later that a technician was trying to get my attention. I stood up, took out my headphones, and followed her back. She would proceed to say nothing to me while I sat in the chair until after she had put the bib on at which point she asked me if I had any health changes. I responded that I was on new medication and that was the last word we would say to each other for the next couple of minutes.

She was a butcher.

Let me say: I like getting my teeth cleaned. I like the scraping and the smooth feeling you have for the next couple of days without really trying. But I do not like feeling like someone has jammed stuff in between your teeth and that someone has done needlepoint on my gums. Normally, also, when you cringe or tighten fists or go tense, people stop and ask if you are ok. Not the "Meat Chopper".... I had to talk with utensils in mouth to get her to notice that I was wildly uncomfortable to which she responded she would floss them and then it would feel better.

At about this point, I became aware of footsteps and the receptionist said to "Miss pokey sticks":

"Just so you know, you are working on Maggie. (audible pause during which I am guessing the butcher made some sort of gesture or face) Dana didn't show. So you are working on Maggie. It's been that kind of a morning."

I would like to know what kind of a morning makes it ok to confuse one patient with another and not figure it out until the cleaning was almost finished. Obviously one worthy of this blog.


Connie A. said...

When I was in the hospital with the broken left leg, the nurse marked my left shoulder. The OR nurses thought I broke my left shoulder! Thankfully I was coherent to tell the surgeon, he was to operate on my left leg!!!!!!!!

maggie said...

aaaahhhh!!!! that is terrible!

Stephanie said...

Apparently that dentist has new workers cause it used to be a good place. Moms tablets were the best. I only recently stopped using them when I went in and they were happy that I used it cause they could see what they needed to clean in bright red. :) And I'm the one with less cavities!