This Waiting Is Getting A Bit Long In The Tooth

| Working | August 3, 2017

(When I am 22, I go to the dentist about wisdom teeth. It is clear I have to have them removed. As it is a one-day thing: it pretty much means to be there at 7:30 am, operation at 9:00 am, out of the operation room at 10:00 am, gone at 6:00 pm. That morning, I drive to the clinic and once arrived, call my mother to prepare our meeting (so she would ride the bus in the afternoon to the clinic and then, drive me back to home with my car). I check myself in, go to my room, change into a hospital gown, and wait. It is now almost 9:00.)

Nurse: “Here’s a pill for you. It’s for relaxing, so you’ll be perfectly well to go to the operation room. Take it in about 15 minutes, and then we’ll come right after that and get you.”

(I thank her, wait, take the pill, and wait a little more… feeling nice and sleepy… I wake up, a little groggy, but my mouth is not sore at all… and my mother is there, sitting right next to my bed.)

Me: “Hey, Mom.”

Mom: “Are you okay?”

Me: “Yes, I’m fine. I’m glad you’re here, though you’re early. You’ll have to wait a long time for the operation to be done.”

Mom: “Isn’t it done?”

Me: “Of course not. A nurse gave me a pill, said I needed to relax, and then I passed out.”

(Then, remembering my mom had important things to do that morning, and that she couldn’t have changed her plans, I realize something and get a little angry.)

Me: “What time is it, Mom?”

Mom: “It’s 3:50 pm.”

Me: *now quite cross* “I’m here since eight and a half hours? And nobody came?”

Mom: “I’m waiting here for an hour, and I didn’t see any nurse.”

(Basically, since it was that late, that means that if I go to surgery at that moment, I have to spend the night at the clinic – and pay for it, which isn’t planned or possible at all. I am boiling, but I accept waiting a half-hour more. Then, since nothing happens…)

Me: “Give me my clothes, Mom. I’m out of here.”

Mom: “Are you sure? Maybe we should tell them about it.”

Me: “You know I’m a very sound sleeper, but nobody came to try to wake me up to tell me they were going to be late. Let’s just go.”

(Right on cue, while I’m putting my pants on, the nurse enters my room.)

Nurse: “But… what are you doing?”

Me: “I’m going out.”

Nurse: “But… you can’t. The operation—”

Me: “—was supposed to be done by now. I can’t afford a room for the night. If there was just a planning screw-up, I could understand. For any reason given, I should have waited longer, even if eight hours late is a little bit too much. But since no one even came to my room to inform me about it, I don’t see why I should be more patient and pay for it. Now, what happened?”

Nurse: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Was the surgeon late? Was he sick? Did he have car trouble? Was it the anaesthetist?”

Nurse: “I can’t tell you.”

Me: “Then, I’m truly sorry, but that just confirms my decision.”

Nurse: “I’ll have to tell the doctor.”

Me: “Please do. I’m leaving.”

(So I went back to my car, drove my mom to her place, and went home. The surgeon never bothered to explain me what happened that day but was apparently so angry at me that he refused to give back my x-ray photos to my mother as a kind of a lame punishment! A few months later, I did other x-ray pictures and went one morning to another clinic with my sister Both of us went through the same operation only one hour apart, woke up in the same room, stayed there a few hours, and were back to home before sunset. Talk about efficiency!)

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