It's not about the house.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Here's What They Meant By Risks

continued from the post below

"Oh," says Dr. German. "Did they not have you sign a release form the last time you were in here?"

Um, I signed a lot of things, but I don't think--

"Telling you about all the horrible things that could go wrong which would necessitate us rushing you to surgery and perhaps even you dying?"

Okay, so he didn't really say that. But no, I hadn't signed anything like that. So I had to wait again while he went and got the form and came back and read it to me. It said if this happens then we need to extricate. It said if some other thing happens then we need to do an implant. It said if this thing they think is true turns out not to be the case, then I will need surgery. It said it's possible that this little tool we use could break off inside your tooth and if that happens then there's no way to get it out so you just have to live with it forever (I didn't ask what the implications were for leaving the little pieces in there. I hope at least they'd give me a doctor's note for airport security. Because I'm going somewhere as soon as I'm done paying for this torture, that's for sure.).

There were other things, but I wasn't 100% listening. When he said "If [something], then it could cause you problems later." I said "Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a second. The whole reason I'm doing this is that I understood if I didn't do it I might have problems later. If I'm going to have problems later anyway, then maybe we could just skip this?" I didn't really grab my bag and stand up, but mentally I did.

No, no, no, he said. He was just telling me the small print. The fast-talker stuff at the end of the commercial. None of that was likely to befall me (because I have such good luck with this sort of thing. Dr. German doesn't know me very well, do he? Do he remember the fire alarm, and the deleted record, and the x-ray machine that didn't work?).

Fine, whatever. Give me the form.

I was supposed to initial each of nine different points and then sign on the bottom. I know it's so unlike me, but, just in case, I read it before I signed. I decided as I read it to ask for another copy so I could come home and quote it here verbatim, but I forgot (actually, this one time it's not true that I forgot, but if I tell you what really happened I'd spoil the surprise). The one part of it that still sticks in my mind went something like this (the words are paraphrased, but all emphasis is theirs):

"After we're done with you, you're not really done. We're only going to put on a temporary crown. You MUST, as soon as possible after you leave here, go to your other dentist and get a real actual crown. If you don't, there will INEVITABLY [that is really the word they used] be problems, which WILL include: blah-de-blah blah blah and BREAKAGE OF THE TOOTH [okay, that emphasis is mine]."

Well, hell. If Dr. Whoever had made me sign one of these eleven years ago, I sure as shinola would not be sitting here right now.

Yes, okay, this time I'll get the crown.

to be continued

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