I recently mentioned to Cliff that I needed to call the cardiologist group and set up his yearly appointment for December. Even though our family doctor sees Cliff at least once every three months, the heart guy is supposed to keep tabs on him too.
So the other day we received a letter that started with "Dear Clifford...".
"We are reminding you that it is time for your FOLLOW-UP VISIT."
Oh good. They send reminders. With my track record, that can be very helpful.
There was a phone number to call. At the bottom of the letter were eight doctors' names. Cliff's doctor wasn't among them, and I assumed he'd moved on.
As I was dialing the number, I realized, by the area code, that this was a Kansas number. Hmmm. Maybe they have somebody else in a different office doing the scheduling.
A lady answered, and I told her I needed to set up an appointment. Before she could get to the task, though, I saw the address given for these doctors on the letterhead: Shawnee Mission, Kansas.
"Ma'am," I said, telling her what I'd just noticed, "my husband has never been to a doctor in Kansas."
"Is his birthday 06/16/19__?"
"We have him as a patient in our system. His last visit was in 2001."
"But my husband's heart problem wasn't diagnosed until 2006. And I assure you, Shawnee Mission is so far from us, there's no way we'd forget being there."
The lady agreed it was strange, and couldn't imagine what had caused the confusion. I thanked her for her time, and told her I was going to call Cliff's real cardiologist group, in Independence, Missouri, to set up his appointment.
When the lady in that office answered, I said, "Is it too early to set up a follow-up appointment for my husband in December?"
"No, it isn't," she said pleasantly. She asked his name and birth-date, then said "Did we send you a letter to remind you?"
"Well," I answered, "Somebody did. But it was from a group in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, where he's never been a patient."
I explained to her how they had Cliff in their system... address, birth date and all... even though he'd never been there.
She was as baffled as I.
So Cliff got his reminder letter at the proper time, but from the wrong doctors (doctors he's never heard of).
I'll be scratching my head over this for a long time.
Have I ever mentioned how uncomfortable it makes me when doctors get their wires crossed?