Let me just preface this story by telling you that I see at least six doctors regularly, and they are all located in completely different areas of Omaha. In fact, a couple of them are not even in Omaha. So, there's my primary care doctor in Gretna, my optometrist in Bellevue, my neurologist in downtown Omaha...well, I can't remember the rest of them, but you get the idea.
Last week, Alyssa, squirmy sleeper that she is, fell out of her bed. Her front tooth was knocked out of place and pushed back in her mouth. It was still anchored in her mouth, just in the wrong place. I called the next day to make a dental appointment for her, and, because of the complexity of her injury, was referred to a pediodontist in Elkhorn. Have you even heard of a pediodontist before? Well, I haven't. I guess it makes sense, though, when you think about it...a pediatric orthodontist.
Of course, I was running late for the appointment, because I'm always running late, so I didn't have time to mapquest directions. I called my mother-in-law, Judy, from my cell phone, and she helpfully looked up the location in her phonebook. The problem was, her yellow pages map ended a few blocks from my destination. Between the two of us, we figured out which route I should take. And it worked, I was able to find the pediodontist with relatively little trouble.
Once I got there, I realized where I was in relation to my own town. I also remembered that there is a shortcut that runs from Elkhorn to Gretna, where I then catch the interstate the rest of the way home. So, on the way home from Alyssa's pediodontist appointment, I took my shortcut and shaved fifteen minutes off my driving time. (Alyssa is fine, by the way. The doctor popped her tooth back into place and splinted it.)
Flash forward to ten days later (today) and Alyssa and I headed back to the pediodontist's office to have her tooth x-rayed and checked for signs of damage/infection. Well, of course I had forgotten about calling Judy for directions on the way to the first appointment. I had also forgotten about the shortcut I know to get there. Even worse, I totally blanked on the location...I mean totally.
As I drove toward Omaha I remembered that the pediodontist's office was right next to a Hy-Vee grocery store. "Of course," I thought to myself, "I know exactly where that is." So I drove into Omaha, to a row of doctor's offices off of 78th and Dodge, right next to Hy-Vee. I pulled up to the familiar office and turned off my car, then looked up and read the sign in the window. "Dr. Shannon Lynch, Neuro-Opthamologist." What?
Instead of driving to Alyssa's pediodontist, I had driven to the location of my last appointment. But, I thought it was next to Hy-Vee? This is next to Hy-Vee, and it's one of my doctors. Unfortunately, it was not Alyssa's doctor.
I called the pediodontist's office in a panic from my cell phone, "I am sooo sorry, I have no idea where I am going. I drove to the wrong doctor."
The receptionist very calmly asked me where I was. "72nd and Dodge," I answered.
"Well," she replied, "we are located at 180th and Q." She then went on to give me directions to the office, and assured me that they would just see Alyssa whenever she got there. So...twenty-five minutes later we arrived at the pediodontist's office in Elkhorn (not Omaha).
As I was driving to the correct doctor's office Alyssa piped up from the backseat, "Yah, Mommy, you went the wrong way, we were supposed to drive by my ballet class."
Are you kidding me? She is four-years-old. Her ballet studio is in Gretna, which we drove through on the way back from her last appointment, ten days ago. How in the world did she remember that? And why didn't she mention that sooner, before I spent an hour and a half driving around Nebraska?
Alyssa had her x-ray taken, and her tooth examined, then we made appointments for everyone's annual check-ups and cleanings. It was probably 12:30pm before we finally left the doctor's office. As we buckled into the car Alyssa informed me that she was hungry and wanted lunch...now! "Sorry," I told her, "there isn't really anywhere to eat around here. You'll have to wait until we get home."
"No, Mom, remember? When we drive home, by my ballet class, there is food."
Right again. If we take the shortcut, which I really do know, but sometimes forget, we will drive right past a Runza, Godfather's Pizza, and McDonald's. How does my four-year-old daughter remember these things and I don't? Can you get Alzheimer's at thirty-one? Maybe I just need more sleep?
P.S. Do you have any idea how annoying the word pediodontist is to type? It's like typing a long word in Latin or Greek. And, do you know how many times I had to type that annoying word? I counted seven, but my memory's bad, so it was probably more.