I was on my way home on Wednesday when, as I was pulling up to an intersection,I saw what I thought was someone hitting a garbage bag with a car, and garbage flying everywhere. It reminded me of when the bird flew in front of that Randy Johnson pitch.
Well, it turned out was a man on a motorcycle being hit by an oncoming car. The stuff flying everywhere were pieces of his motorcycle, and then I saw the guy flying across the intersection. I want to say he flew about 75 feet (to quote Clark Griswald, "50 yards").
I was pulling up to a red light. My heart started to race. What the heck do I do?
I started to call 911 but, as I was dialing, I saw this guy start to move. I threw the phone down and ran to him. I didn't know what I was going to do when I got there, but I ran.
He was starting to try to sit up. I put my hand on his shoulder and told him that he was in an accident and it would be best if he just laid down. He was scraped up pretty badly and his leg was starting to bruise. He had a 4 inch gash on his side but he was not bleeding anywhere. I did a quick check of his teeth and they appeared to be okay, so I maxed out all my emergency skills.
He could move all his extremities and he was fairly aware. Next thing I know, there were about 5 people around me. Someone was flashing some sort of badge but he was not a police officer; he could have been a correctional officer for all I know, but it looked official. I called out for someone to call 911. Some woman was walking around this guy praying out loud calling for Jesus' blood to pour out on this man. A couple of people were milling around trying to make heads or tails of the whole thing.
There was no sense in me asking him if he is alright because he wasn't. But he wanted to try to get up. I put my hand on his shoulder and told him getting up would not be a good idea. He pushed against me; I pushed him down.
It was about 4 minutes of me just kneeling beside him with my hand on his shoulder staring at him and making sure he didn't do anything to make his condition worse. Then I heard all the sirens. Within 2 minutes of me hearing the first siren there were about 12 policeman, 2 fire trucks and an ambulance.
But I am shocked at the casualness of the police officers. I mean, a guy lying in the middle of the street cut open that was just flying through the air after being hit by a car is a big deal to me. To the cops it was like... whatever.
I am not saying they weren't concerned, but it was so everyday for them. It is kind of crazy how this stuff happens really everyday for them and it could get kind of -for lack of a better word - boring.
Anyway, it wasn't boring for me. But after I saw that everything was under control, I kind of just went back to my car, pulled around the fire truck and nine cop cars and continued to drive home. Just in a day's work.
Okay - topic de jour.
I have a patient, very nice, 38 year old female, couple of kids, been a patient for 5years or so. After her cleaning and exam tells my staff she wants to talk to me. I never know what to think of this. Most of the time I hate people wanting to talk to me. Because most of the time it is not to thank me for just being such a great guy and they are thankful everyday for what me being their dentist has meant to them and their family.
So I bring her in a room and she wants to ask me a favor. OH BOY, it is one of them. I already know what this is. She wants something big from me. What is going to be? Her son is on a baseball team and she wants me to be the sponsor? Her daughter is in dance and they are having a performance that needs a title sponsor? Is she starting Amway and she wants me to try some products?
Then she tells me the story. She gets coffee every day at our local Dunkin' Donuts.
She has gotten to know one of the employees and she couldn't help but notice this girl's teeth. She is 25, cute, getting married in a couple of months and has held off getting her wedding pictures because her teeth are so bad. My patient has asked me if I could take care of her.
There are a couple things that I can't say "No" to, and they include people that can't eat and people that can't smile. I said I would see this person and I would see what I could do.
WOW!!! She wasn't kidding.
Do you guys ever get this? Do patients ask favors of you? Is it because I do my dentistry from the heart? Is it because I am just nice? Is the word getting out?
I mean I don't even really know this patient very well. I know she probably knows I go to church, but that is all.
Okay, let's say this happens to you. A patient says that she knows someone that makes $9 an hour needs and $2,000 worth of dental work. And there isn't any way they are ever going to be able to afford it. So they put it in front of you.
Do you say NO? Do you say I will split it with you? Do you say I will do it for a discounted price and have the patient pay you? I didn't know what to do and I still don't do anything.
Sometimes, I feel like if I say I will do it for half price the girl is not going to be able to pay for it. But I know what you are going to say. You are going to say that the patient has to pay something to give it value. So do I charge her $200? Will this make her value $2000 of treatment. But again the $200 would not be for me (because it doesn't do it justice, but it is for her)
I don't know but I think I will do this next time but this time I just went ahead and did it. I think it took me 2 appointments and it took a total of 2 and a half hours.
I got to tell you, I love making people be able to smile. I changed this girl's life. I had fun. I could take photos. Did I tell you I changed this girls life.
You can say I am a fool. You can say that I can't help everyone. You can poo poo all this but....
What better marketing can I do?
I called her to see how she was doing, and she said she was doing great. She also told me she gave the owner of the Dunkin' Donuts my card. She said everyone is noticing and she is giving everyone my card (I really hope she is not telling them I did it for nothing).
And, OH!! That patient that asked me for a favor? I sent her before and after photos and I am pretty sure she is a patient for life.
What would you do?
Have a great weekend,
I've got a 22 mile run staring me in the face for tomorrow. So, if you need, me I will be on the couch all day after my run. It is going suck because all I will be able to watch on TV is college football. It is really going to suck.