Monday, July 20, 2009

tales from the dentist

as most of you know, a few weeks ago i had a terrible infection in one of my molars. i went to see a dentist who is part of a big dental practice in austin. the only doctor available to see me on the day i could squeeze in an appointment is in their georgetown office. ugh, that's a drive! the office park (if you can call it that) that he is located in felt like a parking lot full of double wide trailers. maybe it is? i don't know.
i've been slowly chipping away at the unabridged journals of sylvia plath and had it with me the day of my appointment. the nurse commented on the size of the book, then asked what it was. so i said, "it's the sylvia plath journals." to which she replied, "who is sylvia plath?" woah, really? then the dentist came in wearing denim scrubs. i am not even kidding. denim scrubs! the bottoms looked like jeans but they didn't button or zip or anything. and the top looked like a denim v-neck shirt. i mean, i guess that's what it is. neither item was particularly loose fitting either. the whole ensemble was really topped off with his brown leather clogs. clothing aside, he was a very nice guy.
after the consultation was over and he told me my tooth had to be extracted, i went to talk to the insurance coordinator of the office to figure out what my insurance would cover and what it wouldn't. she saw the book and said, "that's a big book. is it for school?" i wanted to say, "no, some people read big books for fun!" but i just said, "no, it's not." she asked me what it was, so i told her. and can you guess what she said? "who is sylvia plath?" i thought it was some kind of joke since i had just had an almost identical conversation 15 minutes earlier.
fast forward 8 days when i call the office to inform them that i am almost out of pain pills. i hadn't been taking them with any regularity because my pain was mostly gone but i was nervous that i would run out and really need a couple more. no one returned my phone call. luckily, after i took the last pill a few days later, i didn't really experience any pain that ibuprofen couldn't kill.
and now, fast forward to today when i call the office to ask them to call in my prescriptions today. here is how that conversation went:
me: i have an appointment for an extraction tomorrow and i was hoping you guys could call in any prescriptions that i might need after the procedure because i'm not going to want to deal with going to the pharmacy tomorrow.
lady: have you been seen here before?
me: yes.
lady: and they didn't give you any prescriptions then?
me: yes, they gave me antibiotics and pain pills.
lady: okay, those are your prescriptions for after the procedure.
me: no they aren't. i was instructed to start taking the antibiotics immediately because i had an infection and the pain pills are gone. that was 3 weeks ago.
lady: ummm....well? hmmm. hold on.
i hold for 5 minutes
lady: okay, i've left a message for the girls about this. the doctor isn't in today but someone should call you back.
me: last time you guys told me that you "left a message for the girls" no one ever called me back. this has to be taken care of today. i refuse to deal with this tomorrow.
lady: i said i was going to give the message to the girls.
me: i understand that but i've heard that from your office before.
good god, these people are morons. one of "the girls" called me back 20 minutes later to tell me that the prescriptions had been called in. was that so complicated? also, i don't really understand why i had to take that initiative in the first place. shouldn't they call me and ask me where i want my prescriptions called into? do they really think that i want to go sit at the pharmacy tomorrow for 45 minutes after having a huge tooth ripped out of my face?

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