When I was a junior in high school, my dad took our dog, Annie, to the vet to get checked for heartworms.
The vet was running a little bit late.
He rushed into the office where my dad and Annie were waiting.
He told my dad he’d give the dog a shot, and in about 30 seconds, she’d be asleep.
My dad trusted the doctor, like most of us would, and didn’t question anything he said.
But a few seconds after the vet gave Annie the shot, my dad asked, “Why does she need a shot to get checked for heartworms?”
The doctor jerked his head toward my dad.
“What are you in here for?” he asked.
“To get checked for heartworms,” my dad replied.
The doctor rushed out of the room.
He had confused our dog for someone else’s.
he put her to sleep.
Like, for good.
They tried to save her, but it was too late.
My poor dad was a mess.
Although everyone who heard the story encouraged us to,
we didn’t sue.
The doctor wasn’t a scumbag.
He fucked up pretty badly, but he was a good guy.
And he was basically destroyed after that.
I don’t think he’ll ever get rid of the guilt he felt from that incident.
And I think that is punishment enough.
Besides, a bunch of money wouldn’t bring our dog back.
Instead, we moved to a different vet, and we made sure we told all our friends to change practices too.
What we learned from that experience is to clarify the reason why our dog, or cat, or child is at a doctor’s office before anyone lays a finger on them.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about my experience at the Orthopedist’s office with Number 4.
That is where I learned that when a doctor tells you that you’ll need a cast for 4 weeks,
what he really means is that you’ll need a cast for AT LEAST 4 weeks.
He means that he will take the cast off in 4 weeks.
And then there’s a really good chance he’ll put another one right back on.
I learned to prepare my child for the possibility that 4 weeks can turn into 6 weeks. Or 8 weeks.
On the plus side,
I learned that my husband has a pretty cool tool in his shop.
It cuts through a cast, but not through skin.
And between that tool and a pair of kitchen shears,
we don’t need a doctor to take a cast off after 5 weeks and 5 days 😉
I learned another important lesson.
I’ve had a tooth that’s been bothering me for a while.
We don’t have dental insurance,
and I’ve been pretty frank about our financial status,
so I was putting off making an appointment as long as I could.
About 2 1/2 weeks ago,my tooth got the the point where I couldn’t really take it anymore.
I broke down and went to the dentist.
He wasn’t sure what the problem was; he didn’t see a cavity, and so he tried something, and he told me that we’d cross our fingers.
Hopefully it would solve the problem. If not, we’d have to do something a little more in depth.
I waited a few days, and the problem didn’t improve.
By this past Monday, I was in agony.
I called the dentist, and he referred me to an oral surgeon.
I saw the oral surgeon on Tuesday.
The nurses took some x-rays.
The oral surgeon looked at my tooth.
He tapped on it with one of his tools.
I winced in pain.
He said, “Does it hurt when I do that?”
“Yes,” I said.
And he said, “Well, I won’t do that again.”
He looked at the x-ray, and all he said was , “Wow.”
He told me I had a really bad infection between the roots of my tooth, that it wasn’t salvageable, and that it needed to come out.
He told me I had to be on antibiotics for a couple days first.
He gave me a prescription for some Percocet, and I made an appointment for Thursday, yesterday, to have the tooth excised.
I could not wait to get that mothereffer out of my mouth.
Tooth pain is completely debilitating.
At least for me it is.
I had to be sedated, but the whole procedure took less than a half hour.
My dad had to drive me home.
He walked me out to the car, and as soon as I sat down, I checked out my mouth.
That’s when I learned that before a dentist is going to rip one of your teeth out,
it’s a good idea to confirm that he’s taking out the one that is actually bothering you.
The dentist took out the wrong fucking tooth.
I guess it could have been worse.
At least it was in the back.
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