Sunday, January 30, 2011

Overdoing It

I had a dentist appointment on Friday.  I took the very first appointment of the day so that I could get it over with and still have some "sick day" time to enjoy.  I have taken exactly one half day off for illness so far this school year and I happen to think I deserve the time, especially after spending part of it with The World's Meanest Dentist EVER.

Afterwards, I couldn't help but wonder why my dentist's office is so much more high-tech than my doctor's.  When I go to the dentist, I sit in a chair facing an LCD screen while the hygienist sits behind me at a keyboard.  My medical and insurance history is flashed before me for review, then a clunky pad is thrust into my hand for an electronic signature.  Next a cuff is placed around my wrist.  It hums and tightens briefly, then a pleasant (if slightly tinny) voice emanates from the depths of the Velcro.  I am informed in dulcet tones what the World Health Organization thinks of my current blood pressure and heart rate.

(Note:  The World Health Organization has never met my dentist and, as a result, has no frame of reference for my slightly elevated scores.  I don't blame them for passing judgement.)

When my cleaning is done, the dentist arrives and makes a few comments.  These, I assume, he finds to be the height of hilarity even if they are not.  He brings up a shot of my last x-rays on the little screen so that he can confirm the cavity I have on the lower right side.  When he is done, the hygienist returns to the keyboard so that she can make my next appointment and a card is spat out for my records before I can clear the chair.  Sometimes it's a little bit curled up from the machine.

It isn't like that at my doctor's office at all.  My blood pressure is taken by a harried, but still very pleasant, nurse.  The gauge hangs right on the wall and it's the kind with a dial.  I can always read my own BP just by watching the little needle and counting the beats I feel under the cuff.  My records are kept in a gigantic manila folder.  When notes are made, they are handwritten by either the nurse or the doctor in perfect Palmer Method script.  I'm asked to make an appointment for my next visit with the receptionist on my way out.  She fills out a little card for me, so I don't forget. There's a whole stack of them right on her desk.  It isn't curly.

I'm not saying that one or the other is the better way.  I suppose I think that there should maybe be more high tech stuff at the doctor's office, but what do I know?  If nothing else, the gadgetry certainly does distract me from the horror that is my dentist.  But a part of me thinks he is over compensating.  And over compensating is a very sad thing.  Yes, my mean dentist is a very, very sad man when you think about it.

I used the rest of my long weekend to finish up the Stoopid Rectangles.  I told the Very Nice Lady who works at The Convenience Store Where They Call You Honey And Dear And You Sort Of Don't Mind That So Much that I would make a pair for her sister.  I felt kind of funny about this since they are just Stoopid Crocheted Rectangles with a hole in the side that lets you wear them as handwarmers, but she seemed to think her sister would love them.  I guess if you don't crochet, you are able to ignore that they are just Stoopid Rectangles.

When I was done, I couldn't help but think that they looked so very plain.  I didn't dare embellish them, though.  It wasn't what The Very Nice Lady asked for.  Yet, how was I to hand over a pair of Stoopid Rectangles?  Just drag them out of my purse and toss them on the counter Monday morning when I went in for coffee?

"Here you go, some Stoopid Rectangles.  Sorry about that one that fell behind the lottery machine.  Hope you like 'em!"

That didn't seem right.  At the very least, I should clip them together as a pair.  And what if she was giving them to her sister as a gift?  A gift, even a very Stoopid Rectangular one, should look nice.  Maybe if I labeled them?  That might help.  They are, after all Stoopid Rectangles.  They probably need something that identifies them and helps her sister to understand what they are.  Otherwise, the next Nice Lady family reunion could be uncomfortable. Everyone would be talking about the time those Stoopid Rectangles showed up and no one knew what to do with them.

Yes.  That is what I would do!  Contain them and label them!  Like a real gift!!!

Stoopid Rectangles contained.  

With that decision made and acted upon, the weekend fairly flew by.  Why, I was almost able to forget that I have to go back to see The World's Meanest Dentist next month for a filling.  It won't be so bad, really.  All I have to do is remember how he is one of those over-compensating, sad types.

And I can feel all superior because I'm not like that at all...



trek said...

Wicked mean over-compensating Dr deSade.

Do they call you by a serial number there?!

Kath said...

Where I work the new med students are being issued iPads. I suppose this is a good thing if it helps them work more effectively and do a better job of taking care of their patients. But I am QUITE sure it helps with the young doctor-to-be's patience when the shuttle to the parking lot is running late and he can play solitaire to entertain himself.

Karen said...

Sorry about the cavity. My dentist has some of those gadgets so I guess he's only partly compensating. He does talk a lot about how he's running x number of miles a week. I sometimes wonder if it's a patient chasing him.
The hand warmers are lovely and there is no better knit item than the one you actually ask for.

Beth said...

Your last sentence cracked me up. :) The handwarmers are lovely and the label is a nice touch. I never though about it, but my dentist is much more high tech than my doctor, too.

Amanda said...

I love the way you labeled the handwarmers. I may need to start labeling things in such a way, even when it's obvious what they are. I just think it's cute. Sorry about the dentist. Getting fillings scared me enough to be sure I had the habit of flossing every day, and even then...

Tania A said...

I have recently switched dentists from one which had some of the fancy gadgetry you describe where I felt like a number not a patient, and dreaded my visits, to one where everything is comfortably old and well used, nothing is fancy of tech-y, and I feel like a person. It helped a lot when said new dentist tried to drill out a cavity I had only to discover the decay was bad enough to warrant either a root canal or extraction. This was after 5 shots of Novocaine because I kept feeling the drill. And the hygienist held my hand the whole time.

Anonymous said...

Good work on the handwarmers. A hand-written label is so much more crafty and friendly. My dentist's office is medium high-tech. The hygienist sits at a computer but she is behind me and I can't see it. But the people who work in that office will do practically ANYTHING I ask -- reschedule an appointment at the last instant, direct me to a good place for lunch, submit my information to my insurance company even if I assure them that the insurance will not pay. I love them. Just not the dentist so much.

Donna Lee said...

My doctor's office is moving into the world of high tech. It's a govt mandate and he has no choice. My dentist's office is still low tech and my dentist used to be a pro football cheerleader. Yep, she's petite and blonde and beautiful. Doesn't look like a dentist at all.

Julia G said...

The wristwarmers look cozy and the presentation is lovely!

I like that my dentist has the high-tech laptop but the staff and office still has a personal touch. I've noticed that the younger doctors tend to integrate laptops for notes and records during visits, so maybe there is a happy medium.

Cathy said...

Ohhh... I like Trek's serial # comment. Wish I had thought of it. I wish I had thought of it and posted first.

Love the crocheted rectangles... and how nice someone else loves them. Way to go, Misssy.

twinsetellen said...

I am dealing with a temporary crown, the pain of which is telling me it is morphing into a root canal. But at least I have the nicest dentist in the world. She loves my knitting. Sorry your dentist isn't so nice. But maybe you could get them to download a knitting book onto the LCD?