Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Small-Town Comfort in the City

Richmond really is a small town.  Really.

So last Friday I go to the dentist (a Greek lady) for the regular 6-month checkup/cleaning, and the hygienist asks if everything is alright and I say, "Yes, fine.  Well, there is a small cyst or something on my lower right gum, but it's not as big as it was..."

So she calls in the doctor and it's an abscess.  So we take an x-ray.  It shows some bone loss right there.  The dentist refers me to an endodontist  (another Greek) for a root canal.  Here's his phone number, call him.  Oh, and take these pills meanwhile.

That's Friday afternoon.

First thing Monday morning, Dr. So-and-so's receptionist calls to make the appointment.  "Have you been here before?" she asks.  "Because your name is familiar."

"No, I haven't, but my husband has."  (And my husband has high praise for this endodontist.)

"Well, but it's your first name that's familiar..." says the receptionist.


I said I'm terriby busy right now...

"I know," says she.  "You're getting ready to go to England."

!?!?!?  I've never even heard of this person, and she knows all about me, even which insurance I have.

"So can it wait until I get back?" I ask.

I can hear the doctor in the background saying, "Nooooo.  She needs treatment now."  He has already had a look at my x-ray. 

Okay.  So I'm going in tomorrow for a root canal.  What's that?  Why do I need it?  Don't know.  Will find out.  But it's kinda nice to see this whole network of folks looking out for you.

It's that way with the drycleaner, too.  She sees me, greets me, takes my soiled stuff or brings me my cleaned stuff, and writes my name without asking.  She also knows not to ask, "Will next Tuesday be okay?" because she already knows it will be.  She knows I'll tell her if there's any rush.  (I see less of her nowadays because I've tried in recent years not to buy anything that needs drycleaning.)

And it's that way with some doctors, too.  Once I overheard the gynecologist and his new nurse talking in the hallway outside the treatment room where I was waiting.  The nurse said, "Apparently this patient has been coming here for a while now..."

"Oh, yes, I've been seeing her FOREVER."

I couldn't resist; I called out, "I'm not THAT OLD!" and in he came with a smile.

Since 1991, that's how long he's been seeing me.  Come to think of it, that is a while...

The hostesses at several restaurants also know us by name and will say things like, "We've missed you lately.  Have you been in Greece?"

There's something very sweet about not being just an anonymous customer.  That's typical in Greece, but not so much in lots of other places.  I like it.  A lot.


elizabeth said...

That's really nice. Sorry to hear about the tooth problem! Glad you are cared for by many!

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Well done for getting the root canal seen to straight away..... you don't want to be in an airplane with cabin pressure changes with an unstable tooth and end up in utter agony stuck on the plane for numerous hours......take some pain meds on board with you if you can !

James the Thickheaded said...

Great story. But sadly noted: "I feel your pain."

As the star of the Summer Tooth Pull, I'm sorry to hear 'bout the problem. I noticed that once one gets the toofer community going... they all kick in. Felt like I was supporting a football team.

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