Going to the dentist is a challenging experience. But this is actually an advent story about waiting.
Dental work is the stuff of horror movies, cliches and other assorted no nos in the land of me. I’ve been dealing with a bad tooth and countless, really countless visits to the dentist over recent months and truly, none of this experience is enjoyable. HOWEVER, the staff and the mission of the place I go to is really….EXCELLENT. As in, even when I’m gagging and heaving and drooling, they always make me feel “ok” with gentle invitations to “breathe.” The assistant will always offer a gentle touch to the shoulder to allow me to feel cared for and before I leave there is plenty of verbal and written instruction offered to help me understand how to respond to any given followup du jour (“and you’ll floss like this“). Today I got a call at 9:30 am to apologize, and inform me that the doctor was already running behind for the day and my 10 am appointment should be changed so I won’t have to wait. Marie asked, could I “come in at 2pm instead?”
This being a wide open day set aside for writing projects (aka procrastination), I figured I could manage it with ease, so I said “yes.” When I arrived at 2, they greeted me by name (as they do everyone because they take a photo on your first visit and keep it with your record in the computer). I settled in to the comfy seat next to the tranquility inducing aquarium. And was prepared to wait. (remember, this is an advent reflection). I was offered tea, coffee, or juice. Had an ample stack of brand new stack of magazines like People (in English y en Espanol) and Rachel Ray! Now, I expected to wait the requisite 30 seconds, but no. At 2:05, I was informed that the Doctor was running late, and they were very sorry that I would have to wait. I made a frowny face and was quickly offered my choice of movie tickets or a Starbucks gift card for my trouble. At 2:20 the doctor had me in the chair, by 2:30 I was on the way out…
Now guess who’s crunching on popcorn at the early showing of “that movie I’ve been waiting to see?”
I have waited a long time for any health care provider to thank me for waiting. Almost inspires me to floss EVERY day!