What is the scariest, craziest jaw dropping thing that has ever happened to you at your provider’s office (dentist, doctor, and therapist)? I truly believe I had one of those moments this week. I was reminded I had an appointment the night before (why do they call you the night before? Why not more notice? Am I the only provider who sends a reminder card at the start of the month and calls two days in advance?).
Though, I digress. I scurried across my metropolitan city to make my downtown appointment, arriving 10 minutes early. There was no paperwork to process, as I did it online (oh how every office should offer this service). The front desk greeted me and complimented me on my lovely trench rain coat (that warmed me up, as it finding a trench coat with a hood is like finding needle in a haystack). After waiting forever (okay, maybe it was like 10 minutes as I only read the cover store in this week’s People), I was called back by a lovely nurse who pointed to a machine that scared the hell out of me. Think MRI machine but vertical. She pushed some buttons, things lit up, she jotted some notes on her iPad, and informed me I was done and she would walk me to the conference room for a consultation with the doctor.
As a therapist I am very aware that “conference room” is code for “war room” and where the big boxes of Costco Kleenex are kept. She laid out my x-rays and explained the basics and smiled and said the doctor will be with you shortly. As she exited I took a few calming breaths and took in the city skyline- how beautiful it is at Christmas. The surgeon arrived with air of genuine friendliness, had great eye contact, and explained the pros and cons of my predicament. I watched him take a glance at my file, and then he announced that he would be right back.
I tried to remain calm, as perhaps he had another client or something was off about my chart. Hey, I myself have been there. He returned with the lovely, friendly nurse- who at this point refused to make eye contact with me and stared at her iPad.
Real life moment- my heart started to beat out of my chest and it took all of me not to scream “give it to me straight, doc!” Before I could scream, my lovely surgeon said in a calm, professional voice “Ms._, I have a personal question I would like to ask (at this point I am truly surprised I didn’t freak the f*%# out, but to be safe I stuck my hands in the pocket of my skirt). Then he says “the nurses loves your skirt, and so do I. Where did you purchase it? I would love to impress my daughter for Christmas by getting her something that she would truly wear.”
I literally at this point looked at him, processed his words on a five second delay, let out a laugh, and informed him Modcloth. He thanked me. I am all about honest and professional feedback, so I said, “Doc, you literally scared the hell out of me.”
He replied. “Oh, that wasn’t my intention to scare you or make you feel uncomfortable- that’s why I came back in with my nurse (right procedure but can we still say clueless)”. I smiled, gathered my belongings, and said “Doc, if I ever need surgery, you guys are the place.”
I walked away with the moral that providers are people too, with family members and perfect gifts to buy.
image provided by ModCloth