Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I just called to see how you are doing.

I am going to write about fluoride and what happened to me last month but I have this topic that is in my head that I just have to tell you.

Before I forget, let me update you on my life.

I am 75% the way through Jane Erye. It is not horrible but it is pretty painful. Again, I cringe thinking of a high school boy trying to get through this book. It would be torture.

There are no guns, footballs, punches, explosions, cuss words, naked people....what good is it?

I did see a couple of movies over the break,

Things We Lost in the Fire, with Halle Berry. I got the feeling they were just adding stuff just to make me cry. It was okay. It was good, not great.

I watched Kit Kittredge: An American Girl with the kids and it was pretty good.

I started Get Smart last night and it is very funny, so far.

Basketball is going much better this year. I am coaching 4th grade boys in basketball. Our first game is this weekend so I will let you know if more organization and more fun equates to more W's. Not that it matters.

It is very hard for the kids to play street ball at school everyday and then ask them to run plays at practice. They just want to get it and run with it.

Okay the story.

I have told you in the past that I like to call my patients at night after a procedure.

For the most part this is the biggest bang for your buck of all the things we do. The response is earth shattering.

But if you call enough people at night, as you might expect, there are a lot of stories that come with these calls.

It is like a meter reader. If you are around people's homes enough you are bound to see naked people (and naked people in real life is a lot different than naked people in the movies).

So I call people.

I like to sit down and call people somewhere between 8 and 9pm.

One time I called a woman that was my age. She had two kids and I think at the time was divorced. She was a little caught off guard. She said everything was great.

But the next time she came to the office she asked to speak to my privately. I took her aside and she kind of whispers to me, "Hey you know you called me the other night. I was thinking maybe I didn't pick up your signals. Did you want to go out with me?"


I had this woman (maybe she was 45 and at the time I was maybe 33) who was a patient that was very nice.

I called her to see how she was doing. Everything was great but about two years later one of her friends came to us and she told us that her husband wouldn't let her come back to our office. He was very upset that I called his wife. He became so suspicious of us because of the phone call.

This one elderly woman came to the office with an emergency tooth ache. I fixed her up and called her the next day. This is how it went...

I started, "Hi, this is John Gammichia. We met yesterday and I wanted to see how you are doing today."

Now in retrospect I probably should of told her who I was, like "This is DOCTOR John Gammichia and I am the dentist who helped you out with your tooth yesterday." But I didn't.

At this point I don't realize she has no idea who I am.

So she says, "I am in the middle of something right now and I am really busy."

I said, "Okay I will let you get back to whatever you were doing but I was really concerned about how you were doing today."

She is now angry with me and yells into the phone"I said I AM BUSY!!" and hangs up the phone.

Then there is the 15 year old girl that you do a bunch of fillings on. And you call the house thinking you want to talk to the parents because it is real inappropriate for a man to be calling a 15 year old girl. But she answers the phone and you ask her how she is doing. She says fine and then you end the call.

You hang up and say to yourself, "man that was awkward" and you feel a little dirty.

So now, even if the teen ager (boy or girl) answers and I talk to them, I always ask for the parents. I talk to them and tell them why I was calling.

One time, and I remember this because it was so weird.

You know when you meet someone at your office and the both of you have a lot in common. You are close in age. You both are from the same home town. You both went to the same university or you both like the same NFL team. Or you belong to the same gym.


You hit it off. This dude was that dude. He came in for a New Patient Exam.

Then he came back to do some fillings. It was no big deal. But I called him to see how he was doing.

It wasn't cool anymore. I am sure he thought I was a homosexual (not that there is anything wrong with that) because again it was this awkward, "yeah, I am doing fine tonight....but why are you calling".

"I swear I am calling to see how you are doing from your fillings today."

He never came back.

So, like I have always said, "Never let a good deed go unpunished."

Never a dull moment.

Have a great rest of the week,

I will see you Friday,



Debby Sutton said...

When I first went to your office and you called to see how I was after the massive issues I had worked on that morning, I did think it was a little weird. I didn't really know you and was distraught over the whole who to trust as a dentist thing. But, then I realized that the only other time someone had called was when I had surgery for my wisdom teeth. It really meant a lot for my dentist to just take a minute to see how I was after my procedures.


Zom said...

I think it is really nice that you call your patients to see how they are doing. I would not think it was weird, but really sweet. I would return.

Funny stories though.

gatordmd said...

Thanks for the kind words Zon.
If you are in the Orlando area and are looking for a dentist that cares enough about you to call...I am your man.
If not well you need to find someone that does.
I hope you keep reading the blog,


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