The Tale Of A Kind Young Doctor Who Was As Lost As I Was

I HAD AN APPOINTMENT FOR MY annual checkup with an eye doctor who’s part of a group practice. I’ve gone to him for at least 15 years. His office is in a building called The Clinic that is part of a large university hospital complex.

A week before the appointment I received a letter* from his office telling me that the free parking garage nearest The Clinic was closed. The letter explained in words where I should go for free parking.

I didn’t bother to double-check the directions online because I’m familiar with the area. The directions made perfect sense to me and they were spot on.

I got to the parking garage, no problem.

• • •

WITH LETTER IN HAND I DID as it said and exited the parking garage through the green doors, putting me at the intersection of two busy streets. At this point I was told to look for a particular building, presumably made possible by the generous donation of some rich people.

Let’s call this building THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.

Standing on the corner I looked up and down the streets and I saw nothing that said THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.

I mean, nothing.

• • •

I WAS ABOUT TO GRAB MY cell phone out of my purse when a kind young doctor crossed the street toward me and walked up to me. He asked me if I needed help finding something.

[That’s how lost I looked, a random doctor offered to help me.]

Waving the letter around I said, I’m looking for THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.  

He said, the what?

I repeated myself.

We looked at each other. 

He politely asked, may I see the letter.

[I imagine he thought I was an older *confused* person.]

I said, yes and handed it to him.

He read the letter printed on official university hospital letterhead, looked up and down the streets, then said, huh.

We looked at each other. 

I shrugged.

He said, I’ve worked here 8 years and I’ve never heard of THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.  

I said, I’ve gone to this eye doctor for longer than that and I’ve never heard of THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.  

We looked at each other. 

[I’d stumped a doctor, which is kind of a memorable moment.]

• • •

BEFORE I HAD TIME TO SAY another word the kind young doctor pulled out his cell phone and started researching where the heck this building might be. This took longer than you might expect.

I waited patiently.

Eventually he looked up, smiling, and said, THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER is the original name for The Clinic.

We looked at each other.

Then we burst out laughing, turning our heads in unison toward the building directly in front of us on the other side of the street. The building we knew as The Clinic.

We looked at each other. 

• • •

I THANKED THE KIND YOUNG DOCTOR for figuring this out.

He said, your doctor is older, isn’t he?

I said, yes.

We looked at each other.

He said, I know him personally. The next time I see him I’ll suggest that for the sake of his patients, and other doctors,  he might want to NOT refer to The Clinic as THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER because no one knows it by that name anymore.   

I said, good idea. I’ll say something ** too. 

We looked at each other. 

And with a smile we went on our ways, better informed about the world around us.

~ THE END ~

* The doctor’s office had tried to email me but they had an out-of-date email address, so they sent a snail mail letter.

** I never said anything to my eye doctor because when I got to his office my mind wandered, distracted by two relaxed Federal prison inmates, in handcuffs + shackled ankles, surrounded by two stern guards. The foursome was sitting in the waiting area for appointments with some doctor in the group practice.

227 thoughts on “The Tale Of A Kind Young Doctor Who Was As Lost As I Was

  1. Us oldtimers give the oddest directions. When I was a kid, out in the country there was a popular drive-in food stand called “The Copper Penny.” It burned down completely in the 70s but to this day, people say turn left (or right) at the old Copper Penny. It is so ingrained in folks that even the young kids know where that intersection is. I haven’t been on that road in years. I wonder what’s in it’s place, probably just fields.

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  2. “I’d stumped a doctor, which is kind of a memorable moment.” A memorable moment in your story for sure!
    I’m heartened by the kind young doctor’s attention to detail and out of the box thinking. 🙂
    Not my experience recently at all.
    😦

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    • Laura, this kind young doctor made me smile because he was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery of THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER. He was tenacious and polite. I’m sorry your recent experience with a doctor wasn’t so good.

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  3. This happens in the country all the time. People say “Turn at the first left after the old Gibson place,” not paying mind that you don’t know where the Gibson place might be, and that you don’t know the Gibsons sold it to the Turners in 1952, and that the Turners moved to Tennessee and rented the place to an assortment of ne’er do wells over the years. Still, the best one ever was the day I was looking for Nash Prairie. I was on the right road, and had passed it without recognizing it several times. Finally, a couple in a front yard said, “Turn around, go back down the road, and look for the goat on top of the shed. The road into the prairie’s just after that.” And it was.

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    • Linda, this is hilarious: “look for the goat on top of the shed.” And wouldn’t you know those directions got you to the place you needed to be. You make a good point about people often use long forgotten names of places when telling you how to get to someplace now. Case in point is this doctor’s letter. So perfect about how to find the free parking garage, so baffling about which building to go to.

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    • AutumnAshbough, I know he initially thought I was a bit dotty/loco, but I had proof in hand. The look on his face after he read the letter was priceless. He hadn’t a clue either, but he figured it out. Yay!

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  4. I hope you weren’t late for your appointment.

    I generally prefer directions that describe the buildings. But I get stuff like “the building that had all that scaffolding last year.”

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    • Dan, I was on time. I’d allowed myself 20 minutes extra time to be lost on my way to the appointment. I thought my problem would be driving to the parking garage, not finding a building. At least the doctor referred to the building by a name [an old one but…]– and not like your example which is always exasperating.

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  5. Grinning…let me tell you something…we recently moved back to our hometown here in Florida (a 1,000 miles away from our comfort zone) and honestly, how our hometown has changed so much and I am lost, just lost…if it wasn’t for the kindness of strangers (and Suri), I would just break down and cry. Nonetheless, I keep plugging along. It is what it is. smiles

    Have a beautiful day Ally.

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  6. First, I love that you used a Lovey and Thurston reference. *starts singing “a three hour tour”*
    I would also be distracted by the inmates and guards. I guess ocular health is important to all of us! It reminds me of when I was in labour with…one of my kids, can’t remember which, and there was an inmate giving birth on the floor. It was pretty heartwrenching to think about.
    Sorry, that got a bit dark! Anyway, glad that kind doctor helped you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nicole, when I think of over-the-top affluence Lovey and Thurston come to mind. At an impressionable age Gilligan’s Island was my after school favorite TV show.

      I didn’t expect to see the inmates, and they weren’t hurting anything, HOWEVER it was distracting. I wanted to know why they were there, but didn’t think I should start a conversation with them. You’re right, it is sad to think of an inmate giving birth while you were. It happens, but still…

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    • This reminds me that when Lad was born I was surprised to hear Coach sing to him when he would walk him or rock him to settle him. He sang A SHIP SETS SAIL . . . When I laughed and asked for an explanation, he said it was the only kid song that he knew.

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  7. You cannot make this stuff up! I remember my ex-father-in-law giving me directions to a summer camp in Maine. I knew I was in trouble when he said “Drive until you see a nice patch of pines then make a right turn.” It was rural Maine. There is a nice patch of pines on every corner! I hope everything checked out okay with your exam.

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  8. How funny. It’s stories like this that make me wonder and try to remember what it was that we did before Google and smart phones. so handy to have these devices to clear up misunderstandings like this. If I really want to know the answer to that of course, I can just follow my parents around. No smart phones. My mom has never touched a computer. She did just turn 80, but when you consider that computers have been an active part of our lives for YEARS AND YEARS it seems strange. My mom won’t use the GPS built into her Jaguar. Set in your ways much, Mom? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ernie, good point. IF we really wanted to know what it was like to not use GPS or cell phones we could just turn ours off– or follow your parents around. I’m not big on talking on the phone, but I do use mine to get information, navigate through life. Your mother is in a world of her own! I will admit though that once this kind young doctor started researching I was more than happy to let him figure out where the building was.

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  9. In my old town they change names of streets and one part of a major highway became part of the interstate system which changed the number, but the old timers still call them by their old names/number which confuses the younger generation.

    I’d have been thoroughly distracted by that foursome too!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great story! I’m reminded of my nephew, who usually has that kind of reaction. He’s quick to bring up the generational divide. 😄 I also refer to hospital buildings and other buildings by their old names. (And I totally got lost at the hospital, looking for a building.)

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    • L. Marie, the whole conversation was under 5 minutes, but it was delightful in its own absurd way. The kind young doctor seemed sincere in his desire to help me– and his decision to talk with the older doctor about the names of buildings. It was generational, for sure. As for getting lost around hospital buildings, WHO HASN’T?

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  11. I’ve been in that same position except mine was a nice security guard. I was literally on the corner across the street from the entrance I needed. This was a new place for me so I have that going for me, but one must wonder how often staff are directed to update their standard forms. Huge medical centers are the worst places to navigate.

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    • Deb, I’m glad a nice security guard helped you find your way. I wasn’t anywhere unsafe nor was I running late so I was more entertained about being lost than worried. I agree with you, huge medical hospital campuses are confusing from the git-go.

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  12. I’ve never been good with maps and directions, even before I was old 😀 If I gave any from memory, I’d always leave out a key part of the journey. The other day I set off for a hotel based on my memory of where it was, while my friend – who was coming to it with me – went in the other direction because she’d input the details into her GPS. I turned around once I realised 😉

    Yikes, to finding yourself sharing a waiting room with handcuffed AND shackled prisoners. No wonder your gentle rebuke went out of your mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deb, thank goodness your friend knew how to get to where you were going, but it is funny how you had to turn yourself around to follow her. Know your strengths and weaknesses, is what I say. A corollary, have smart friends. 🤓

      I was not prepared for the inmates in the waiting room. They were in their 50s, one with a bandage over his eye, like he’d had surgery already? Back for a post operative visit? I DUNNO. Just weird

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am an addict to my GPS – best thing I ever bought when I became single again at 50. These days Himself knows the country’s roads like the back of his hand, so we rarely have to break it out. I was in an area I’ve lived in for many years, although I hadn’t been to that hotel in probably nearer 20. What can I say, I got cocky 😀 Never again. GPS all the way when I’m driving alone.

        I guess prisoners have medical needs like any other member of the population, but I always assume (bad habit of mine) that they’ll have their own separate facilities. I’d have done a double take for sure, and then fidgeted (internally if not visibly).

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are right about GPS. It’s one of those modern developments that is better than advertised. Useful, when I bother to use it.

          I knew that prisoners sometimes see specialists but I thought the doctors went to them, not that they went to the doctor. These men were calm as can be, but clearly not your average patient.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Dawn, this was a funny experience, the kind young doctor and I just kept looking at each other, totally baffled. I’d have pulled out my phone and found my way without him, but it was nice for a stranger to stop and help me. I felt very Blanche DuBois: “I have always relied on the kindness of strangers.” 😁

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marian, thanks for the compliment. I realize that getting lost in a hospital complex is to be expected, but to have your rescuer be as lost as you are… well, that was absurdly delightful.

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  13. How funny!!! I get it, because I refer to places I grew up by their original names. However, you’d think the person writing/typing this letter (who would presumably NOT be the doctor) would know better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bijoux, I wondered about this too. Maybe the doctor just typed a fast letter then told his staff to mail it and the did so. Or his staff still refer to The Clinic by its original name? I DUNNO. If nothing else, the letter got me to free parking for which I am grateful.

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  14. I’m happy that you found The Clinic. Eventually. I’m even happier to imagine a kind young doctor stopping to help you. Once when my husband and I were doing an independent bike tour in The Netherlands, the directions included things like “turn left where the umbrella factory used to be”. Huh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurie, I’ve had people give me directions like the one you had in The Netherlands. It’s funny, but infuriating.

      The thing about the letter from my eye doctor is that the complicated directions for getting to the parking garage were perfect. Detailed. But then what should have been the easy part, going to a named building, wasn’t.

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  15. This gave me a laugh for the day. Glad the young doctor took pity on your lost look and helped sort the ‘lost’ building out.

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    • Jean, you just know that the young doctor initially thought I was another lost oldster, BUT I WASN’T. He was polite about asking to read the letter. However, after he did and realized I wasn’t off my noodle, he was as confused as I was.

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  16. You are like me…I always allow extra time to get somewhere in case of getting lost. Of course, I am usually always early for appointments then. But that is just how I am!
    Glad the doctor was so helpful!

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  17. My comment is stuck waiting for moderation. Must have used too many exclamation points as I was laughing so much. I would have turned around once I saw the inmates thinking that I went to the wrong office.

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    • TD, I don’t know why your comments go into moderation. Sorry about that. Some people’s comments get sent to moderation while other comments don’t. WP is wacko sometimes. The inmates caught me by surprise, I’ll say that. 😵‍💫

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    • Barbara, you’re right. This was one of those slightly off-the-wall adventures that I never could have dreamed up. It all happened so organically, like it was meant to be… me lost, kind young doctor, generational divide, inmates in the waiting room. Why not?

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  18. Hehehe! I knew I was officially old when I gave directions to a friend to turn left at the corner where the such-and-such building used to be. I knew my friend was old when she knew exactly where I meant. 🤣

    Deb

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  19. I’m cynical enough to think that since money was donated the family wants the clinic referred to by their name, as the generous benefactors. However, they could put “The Clinic” in parentheses. 🙂 We too refer to local places that don’t exist anymore like the old Safeway which is now a bunch of different stores and restaurants. My mom refers to houses around her by the names of people who haven’t lived there for decades. Some of them aren’t even alive!

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    • Margaret, I bet you’re right about the building’s name in the letter. Maybe them’s the rules about referring to the building when sending letters on official stationery, but like you said adding “The Clinic” in parenthesis would have been nice.

      I understand your mother referring to houses in the neighborhood by the names of the former owners. I’ve lived here long enough to do that, too. Fortunately since the advent of GPS I’m rarely asked for directions.

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    • Jan, you said it. The kind young doctor saved me from fussing around on my phone trying to decode the letter whilst standing on a street corner. As for the inmates, I knew I was safe but it was so odd. Me getting lost in a hospital complex, sure– but inmates waiting with me for a doctor? That was weird.

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  20. Well, that was not the ending I expected. It should have been. When I moved to Wyoming, one of the places I shopped was Casper, around 2 hours from home. I got directions to a couple different places I wanted to go, one of which was “it’s where K-Mart used to be.” Of course, I had no idea where K-Mart used to be. My Mom gave those kind of directions but I knew where the green house was.

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    • Zazzy, the whole adventure of going to the eye doctor, which is usually a snore, turned into something else. Not bad, just weirder than normal.

      Funny how you, a newcomer, didn’t know where the K-Mart used to be! I suspect we all are guilty of giving directions like those at one time or another. Or will be when we get older! At least with your mother you had a clue about what she was telling you.

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  21. I love this story. Made me laugh! And also it made me think those of us who understand the Gilligan’s Island reference might indicate that we are a certain age… 🙂

    And like many people in the comments – I’m so curious about the chained prisoners. Funny! Too bad they didn’t have some kind of label on them that we could Google just like the young doctor did to find out what’s going on!

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    • Wynne, you’re right about the Gilligan’s Island reference. No shame in being of a certain age and knowing who Lovey and Thurston Howell III are. That’s what I say.

      I’d have liked to have found out more about the chained prisoners but it wasn’t exactly the most sociable situation– and after I sat down near them I was almost immediately called in to see the doctor. They were gone when I walked back into the waiting room.

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  22. Oh, Mary Ann, all the way! The farm girl look gets me every time.

    What’s that? You weren’t asking readers to weigh in on the whole Ginger vs. Mary Ann thing? My bad. Off to search for a “Gilligan’s Island” rerun somewhere!

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  23. You are a great story teller Alley Bean! What a blessing to have that young Dr take the time to help you out. There are still kind people in our midst. Love it! DM

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    • DM, this was one of those experiences that wrote itself. Eventually I’d have found my doctor’s office, but letting the kind young doctor find it for me was easier. Plus sort of fun.

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  24. So cute and funny. I’m glad that doctor came along to help you! Yikes to the inmates in the waiting area. I’ve never seen actual inmates. Fascinating. Funny about the fake name for the clinic. I knew it was familiar. 🙂

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  25. This is hilarious – though I can totally understand how you would both by mystified! As someone who formerly worked for the development department of a well-known local institution, I feel myself wanting DESPERATELY to alert The Clinic’s philanthropy team to this issue! Because when you have a donor who gives enough money to NAME A BUILDING, you need to make sure people know THAT”S THE NAME OF THE BUILDING. Yikes! Clearly no one has been doing this for a very long time! Except your poor eye doctor!

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    • Suzanne, I know what you mean. If there’d been a plaque on the building, or words, telling the world that this was THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER, then I’d have felt stupid for not knowing that. But in all the years I’ve gone to this doctor in this building it’s been called The Clinic. Always. No sign, so I’m guessing the benefactors are long gone.

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  26. Damn, what with all those stares at one another, plus federal prisoners shackled in your doctor’s waiting room, I realize I just can’t compete with that. You’ve just set back my next post by at least two weeks! Seriously though, a very funny post. And apparently true to boot! Our GP retired late last year, and I’m headed there this week for my first physical. I repeat: I already know I will not be able to top this one! 🙂 – Marty

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  27. Well, I must say your visit to the eye doctor was a whole lot more interesting than any of mine have ever been. Your post is hilarious. I can just see you standing there, so clearly in need of assistance that a young (and undoubtedly handsome, which you neglected to mention but I’m sure is true) doctor comes to your aid. Then handcuffs and armed guards. This my friend is the stuff of soap operas. Which, BTW, you highlighted nicely with the Gilligan’s Island reference. Job well done Ms. Bean! 🙂

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    • Deborah, well yes, the kind young doctor was quite good-looking, now that you mention it. And determined to solve the mystery of the building in question. As for me being lost, that’s nothing new BUT the prisoners with guards– now that was new & different. I always liked Gilligan’s Island as a kid and the Howells are exactly the sort of people who’d have a building named after them.

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  28. What a great story! Reminds me of those small towns where there’s an official name and a nickname. Acquaintance: I’m going to the Barn. Newby Me (in my head): Does she live on a farm?? Am I supposed to know that but forgot??? What do I say now? Have a good visit? Say hi to the cows?? Don’t step in the poop? Other Acquaintance Who Has Joined In: Say, are you going to the Barn? I heard they have a sale on boots and hats. Me (still in my head and remembering a local orientation session): Oh yes, The Barn. Short for Barney’s Fashion House. Yikes. You almost got yourself into a lot of trouble.

    And talking about fashion; I’m really glad the Howell(ing) eyebrows went out of style. 😉

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    • Lynette, I love this. You’ve explained exactly what happens when you first move somewhere new and try to remember the nicknames. Been there, done that– complete with internal dialogue with myself.

      I agree about Lovey’s eyebrows. While her hats are charming in their own ways, her eyebrows are scary.

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  29. Fun story and very relatable. When we moved to Vancouver Island seven years ago, we joined Newcomers. For excursions, they frequently requested us to meet in front of the “old WhiteSpot building”.
    Two problems: 1) The building still stood but with absolutely no signage or indication that it had ever been a White Spot. 2) We were all new to the area and had no idea what had been here before. 😦

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    • Donna, ha! That’s hilarious. Oh my, someone involved with Newcomers needed to remember who they were talking to. Gotta love it for the sheer innocence of the mistake, a simple oversight but… 🤣

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  30. Tee hee what a great story–I mean “real life happening”! So glad for your helpful doctor help. It actually reminds me of our stint at one hospital when we were down in Georgia. Barry’s brother said it took him DAYS to figure out where the visitor parking lot was (it had changed due to construction). When we drove there I thought you would need a Secret Password to figure out where to go. Luckily, we were passengers.

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    • Kathy, I believe that the kind young doctor initially thought I was batty, but once he read that letter he was on a mission to find THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER. It was funny. And appreciated.

      Yep, hospital parking lots can be a nightmare of mixed-up signs and weird parking angles. I’m glad you were a passenger and didn’t have to negotiate getting to the visitors lot on your own.

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  31. That sounds like quite the saga. I kid you not, every time I’ve had an appointment at a doctor’s office in the hospital, it seems that there is some sort of confusion or delay. I also should note directions are not my strong suit considering my spatial awareness difficulties. Needless to say I need to leave earlier for appointments lol!

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    • Kara, I believe you when you say that a doctor’s appointment at a hospital can, and usually does, go sideways. I’m used to waiting but I don’t generally get so lost that a random doctor tries to help me. Still, he was great to stop. I’d allowed myself 20 minutes extra time about getting to this appointment, and I’m glad I did.

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  32. I hope you had a cold one that night because you earned it. We were at a hospital a couple of weeks ago. We were looking for a numbered office so I stopped and asked because there are multiple elevators. The guard told me Elevator B. We rode up, exited, and we were on a patient’s floor. Back down we go, try another avenue with no success. I called the office, and the person repeated the same numbered room. I replied that we’d tried that, and he responded did you take Elevator A, uh, no, we were told B. So, back we go on Elevator A, and there was the office. I still wonder why it has to be so difficult to find a medical office. We encountered the same thing in South Carolina.

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    • Judy, well that’s a stupid story. Not you, just the way in which you were misguided. Was the guard playing games with you– or did he honestly not know? I’m glad you got to where you were going but you have to wonder, don’t you? Why make things difficult for the patients and their families? I got to my doctor’s appointment in plenty of time, but it was not the experience I expected.

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  33. What a wild experience that was. Old building names and a nice young doctor to help solve the mystery. And then to add to that the two federal prisoners in handcuffs and shackles in the waiting room… well really… how much crazier can it get? Actually reading today’s headlines answers that question. Oy.

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    • Robin, this was by far the oddest doctor’s appointment I’ve had. Nothing bad exactly– just wacko. I never thought I’d be seeing Federal prisoners in the waiting room, but sure… why not? [Yes, today’s headlines are crazier.]

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  34. Haha! This story was so funny! It reminds me that the best comedy comes in our everyday occurrences. It’s priceless that the doctors referred to the offices by two different names.

    It’s commendable that the younger doctor tried to help you out. These things make a world of difference to people that we often don’t hear about. I’m huge on people acting human, kind, and patient in a medical facility.

    By the way, I knew who Thurston and Lovey were as soon as you referenced them. We guys wasted our time debating the virtues of Mary Ann vs. Ginger. To me, it was Mary Ann by a landslide.

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    • Pete, I agree that the best comedy is from daily life. I found myself in this unexpected situation when the letter suddenly made no sense. I’m grateful to the kind young doctor who was as confused as I was, but ever so determined to figure this out.

      I also agree that we don’t hear enough about the good deeds that happen every day in small ways that make life go more smoothly.

      When it comes to rich benefactors I always think of the Howells. I spent enough of my impressionable youth watching Gilligan’s Island to have them etched in my brain. Another commenter mentioned Mary Ann. Apparently she was [and is?] all that and a bag of chips.

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  35. I’m just so heartened the doctor stopped!

    Just last week someone pulled over as we were walking the kids to school to ask for directions (we live in a small university town) and it made me feel so happy to have the answer to their questions. There is something so satisfying about strangers helping out…though I realize in this case it was a bit more complicated than simple directions.

    Also, doesn’t “The Clinic” sound like a title for a John Grisham novel?

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    • Elisabeth, it was fortuitous that the kind young doctor stopped. I’d have found where I was supposed to go eventually but his help got me there faster.

      I agree that there is something satisfying about helping strangers. And I’d guess that being a doctor the desire to help other people is hardwired into your DNA.

      Yes, The Clinic does sound like the title of a Grisham novel. Kind of a sinister one, of course.

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  36. That is too funny Ally! Every single time I drive to South Carolina I get lost and GPS is no help at all. Once a friend of mine and I drove to Myrtle Beach on the way back we got lost, of course. We stopped and asked for directions and were told to turn left at the Burger King. We drove up and down that street for God knows how long unable to find the Burger King. Stopped and asked again…turns out the Burger King is now a KFC. It’s a miracle we ever made it home.
    Yikes! Inmates in handcuffs AND shackles? I would have been distracted by that too.

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    • Gigi, well why didn’t you know that the Burger King was now a KFC?!! That’s hilarious and totally believable. Glad you got back home in one piece. The prisoners really surprised me. I did not expect them and only wish I knew more about why they were in the waiting room with me. 🤷‍♀️

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    • Endless Weekend, yes there’s something to that. I found my whole experience with the kind young doctor and the Federal prisoners rather unique… regardless of what we call that building.

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    • Janis, well I hadn’t thought about the prisoners being the lede, but I take your point. I wanted to shine light on the kind young doctor whose determination made me smile and got me to my appointment on time. As for the Federal prisoners, I dunno know what was up with that but the foursome did give me pause.

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  37. As much as I enjoyed the main story, I was distracted by the prisoner bit at the end. 🙂 My dad grew up in the country where all directions were so many miles east/west/north/south as it’s difficult to tell which cornfield is which. Living in the Cleveland originally where the “lake effect” held not only for snow but for streets that might be parallel downtown, yet cross elsewhere because of going below the lake, we were oriented to left and right so my parents’ directions were often met by my husband saying, “Do we turn right or left?’ My gift of a GPS was the best gift ever to my directionally challenged husband. 🙂

    janet

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    • Janet, I grew up around corn and soybean fields so like your husband all directions were north/south/east/west. I get that. Plus if you live in a city where the streets aren’t a grid formation then it is very confusing. I get that too. I’m sure your GPS was the best gift ever for your husband. I like having it available to me, too. As for the prisoners, they took me by surprise. Obviously.

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  38. That was a cute story Ally, and I love the Lovey and Thurston reference. My eye doctor practices in a building referred to as The Taj Mahal….seriously it is a very expansive new building with the shiniest marble floors I have ever seen. He used to be in a small cramped building with limited parking, but business must be good….

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  39. Hi ally
    Enjoyed the way you let us feel
    The experience and mighty nice of the doctor to helpful (nice play on words with “I waited patiently”)

    And I watched the full video of the Howells! Giligan’s island was such a great show.

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    • Yvette, when I found the video of the Howells I watched all of it, too. I’d forgotten that Gilligan’s Island could be subversive about our culture– and Lovey and Thurston were so over the top.

      Also, laughing that you picked up on my word play. I can be a goof like that!

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  40. Hi again
    Your comment about the rich folks had me thinking about the twitter building being used for homeless folks because workers are remote
    Did you hear about that?
    I guess Elon Musk suggested it and Jeff Bezos chimes in and said great idea…..
    But that had me wondering if both of those dudes just donated a billion each (would that be all that much for them??) well it could do wonders for helping the homeless situation.
    Sigh….
    But I guess it is not easy to part with money for many folks – and perhaps the more they make the harder it is….
    And then – one day – their time is up and the money has to go somewhere – like medical
    Buildings or entire med complexes
    Or libraries (ie Carnegie) etc

    Hmmmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yvette, you’re right of course that if Musk or Bezos parted with one billion dollars the homelessness situation in this country could be if not entirely remedied, at least less dire. But all those billionaires live by a different set of rules than the rest of us, so it’ll not happen. They want to be famous, not helpful.

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  41. How funny no one knew the REAL name of the building. Also how helpless we become when our GPS fails us! How did we ever manage without it? Depended on the kindness of strangers more often, I suppose.

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    • Anna, I had no idea that The Clinic wasn’t the real name of that building. And then to have this younger doctor not know that too was oddly charming. Like you said, I relied on the kindness of a stranger and got to where I was supposed to be.

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  42. Well, what a surprising adventure. It seems we need a lot more aka (also known as) notations inserted into directions these days. Lucky you found a helpful doctor willing to work on solving the puzzle. I would have been distracted by the presence of the inmates and guards in the waiting room, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barbara, you’re right that this was an adventure. I thought finding the parking garage would be the difficult part, but little did I know. The kind young doctor was the best. As for the inmates and guards in the waiting room, that was something new for me. Kind of weird

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  43. Great story 🙂 My dad, who is 82 years old, purposefully goes to a store and stands there looking lost until some nice person offers to help him, and then he asks them for what he needs and basically has a personal shopper for free. I’m just saying that you’re onto something.

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    • Arlene, while you can immediately understand how I could be lost on a large university hospital complex, there’s no way you could anticipate I’d end up in a doctor’s waiting room with shackled Federal prisoners. It was an odd adventure!

      Liked by 1 person

  44. I grew up on Gilligan’s Island, so I love the name you made up for the medical center! And isn’t it funny how easy it is to get confused these days? So many changes that technology doesn’t always pick up. Thank goodness for the kind young doctor…the human touch is always the best!

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    • Ann, I loved Gilligan’s Island when I was a child. It made me laugh after a hard day at school. As for the kind young doctor, after he decided I wasn’t confused he got curious about what was going on with that letter. And he solved the mystery.

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  45. The simplest of encounters often make the best stories. Thank goodness for the kindness of others. Nice to know you (probably) made the navigation a little easier for future patients.

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    • Dave, I agree. This simple unplanned encounter was all about kindness– and quietly funny. When we realized that we were standing directly across from the building, we got to laughing. I hope the kind young doctor said something to the older doctor because I forgot entirely after seeing the prisoners.

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  46. hahaha I would’ve been so annoyed by this! This story sounds so familiar, like I, myself, could have lived out such a scenario in earlier years lol but I can’t seem to recollect in this moment! Thanks for making me laugh today! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Jen, I got to where I was supposed to be but not as easily as I’d hoped. Oh well, whatever. I like your idea of referring to The Clinic as the building formerly known as THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER. That might catch on!

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  47. This reminds me of my GPS, which uses dumb names for highways. Instead of saying Route 57, it will use John F Kennedy Memorial Parkway. It’s the oddest thing. If any stretch of highway has been named something, that’s what my GPS calls it. It can make for some frantic times in unfamiliar places.

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  48. I, too, passed many an after-school hour watching Gilligan’s Island (which was born the same year I was). Watching the video sent me down a small rabbit hole when I observed that the Howells did not look nearly as old/ancient as I remembered them to be when I watched them several decades ago. Jim Backus wasn’t even 50 when the series started! Definitely younger than I am today. More interesting, she was 13 years older than he was! I find that kind of amazing, especially considering the time and how women in TV/movies were regarded and treated as they aged. A little surprised they didn’t give him a trophy wife. Of course, they could only have one Ginger on the island, I suppose.

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    • Rita, Gilligan’s Island made me laugh out loud when I was a kid. It might still do that, I know the video of the Howells made me smile. Funny how when I needed an offbeat name for the medical building, their names immediately popped into my mind. Imagine.

      I didn’t know that Lovey was older than Thurston. Maybe she was super wealthy and he married her for her money. There could be a backstory!

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  49. What a great story! The name confusion actually sounds like one my GPS would make. Prisoners in shackles would definitely have disconcerted me the first time I saw them. However, I became accustomed to them when a volunteer chaplain visiting homeless folks at the local teaching hospital. They too need medical care, and their presence reminds us that regardless of the rather unfortunate (or worse) circumstances that got them incarcerated, they are still human. Gosh, didn’t mean to preach a sermon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maggie, going to the eye doctor is usually a snooze, but this time it was exciting. First with the kind young doctor, obviously. But then seeing the prisoners and guards, that was surreal. Not threatening, just weirdly out of place. You make a wonderful point about how in spite of unfortunate circumstances we all need medical care.

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  50. Is that true about the prison inmates and guards? I think it is – not even I could make that up. Yet, as cool as a cucumber you were about this. Good on the doc for helping you out. Have a lovely Easter weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan, yes this is a true story gleaned from my daily life. Me being lost seems normal enough, but finding inmates with guards in the doctor’s waiting room was… unusual. Happy Easter to you too.

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  51. What a great story! That young guy was very patient. I had the same problem finding the building for an MRI. My phone kept telling me I was at the right place and it was an empty building! I had parked and was walking up and down the street asking people. No one knew where it was. I finally found it but was pretty frustrated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beth, I believe you when you say you were directed to an empty building. Why not? GPS is only as good as the way it is kept up-to-date. In my experience any time you go to any medical building, it’s fraught with peril!

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  52. That was a significant moment – to find a doc who is stumped for words, lol!
    It is at times pressure to always know what to say – I should know. Luckily I am now retired, so I don’t mind shrugging my shoulder, or remarking ”
    I dunno.”

    Liked by 1 person

  53. This is HYSTERICAL!! Firstly it’s good this happened to you and not me because I probably would have gotten lost and gone home (my husband says I could get lost in a box and it’s 100% accurate). Secondly, that inmate would make me feel incredibly uncomfortable as well. Thank goodness you figured it out and have a clever and funny story to share with all of us 🥰 love your work as always

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  54. We have a street here that is known by three different names – depending on the generation of person you’re talking to (or when they moved here). My husband’s parents call it one thing, my husband calls it another, and I call it yet another (I’m what is lovingly referred to as a “transplant”). We all know the place we are talking about because it’s kind of a main area in town, BUT I could definitely see it being a Clinic/Medical Center situation otherwise.

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    • Katie, I imagine that’s what happened in this situation. I know that the kind young doctor was as surprised as I was to find out the original name for The Clinic. It was a funny conversation, conducted without many words but with many looks at each other.

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  55. Ally – I like the way you described the looks exchanged between you and the young doc during this ordeal. 🙂 But you have to wonder about the administrative assistant who sent it to you – was she aged as well? Maybe he did the mailing himself figuring “I had these letters with directions printed up and by golly – they are not going to go to waste!” Yep, the prisoners and their handlers in the waiting room would have distracted me as well. I looked at the video of the Howells. I don’t care if people thought that show was cheesy, I always thought it was funny.

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    • Linda, I wonder who sent the letter, too. Obviously it was someone who knew the original name for The Clinic. Oddly enough the directions were perfect IF I’d known that THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER was the name of the building in which my doctor had his office. As for the prisoners + guards, I was fascinated. Who knew that they went to the doctor and that the doctors didn’t go to them? I liked Gilligan’s Island too. It was from a time when TV shows didn’t take themselves as seriously as many do now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very perplexing indeed Ally. Last Wednesday I called the dentist’s office to confirm my dental hygienist appointment for Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. They always call the day before as a reminder and didn’t. This was a new hygienist I had last October and she set up the appointment herself like they always do. She made it for April 14th at 8:00 a.m. and I said “I didn’t know you had earlier appointments than 9:00 a.m.” That was news to me. So anyway, I called the receptionist on the 13th and she said “well you’re booked for April 18th and June 9th” and I said “I wouldn’t have two appointments that close and what happened to the appointment on the 14th?” She said “maybe another appointment and you got them confused?” That didn’t go over well with me, but I kept my cool and said “forget April – I’ll take June 9th and make it simple for you.” I was pleased with my snarkiness, but left shaking my head over it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s frustrating. I’m sure you knew when your appointment was– and WHY would you book two appointments that close together? It makes no sense. It’s good that you called to doublecheck and I do like your retort. Well snarked. I don’t know why simple things have become more difficult lately, but they have.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I know! I didn’t pick the April 18th as they were calling for this 1-3 inches of snow tomorrow morning, so that gave me a chance to be snarky. I think the new hygienist didn’t do the calendar entry correctly. They used to send a postcard and stopped that practice after the mailing went wonky … I got three postcards telling me I was overdue for an appointment. Yes, the easiest things are complicated these days.

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  56. This story reminds me of the last time, about a year ago, I was flying alone, struggling maybe more than I would prefer to admit with carry-on luggage. Airport personnel in a golf cart asked me if I needed a ride. At the time, I was walking at least 30 minutes if not more, five times a week, for the past year. BTW, I declined the ride. You know, ego.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Crystal, I’d have turned down the ride, too. Nice that someone noticed, but really! I’m sure a little struggle with your luggage was character building, helping you become the fine person you are today.

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  58. Goodness, I’m just happy this story wasn’t about a doctor being as lost as you regarding a physical ailment … unless you consider being lost a physical ailment … then … well, good story 😉

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  59. I am so glad the young doctor was able and willing to help you. I would’ve gotten very upset if I were in your situation. So glad you remained more or less calm.

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    • Astrid, I wasn’t too worried because I was standing mid-afternoon in a safe part of campus, but it was odd. I’m sure I’d have eventually found the right building, but having some young guy figure out the mystery was fine by me. 😁

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  60. That was a fun trip – almost like going to Gilligan’s Island for a 3-hour tour. It’s nice the young doctor helped both of you solve the name mystery. The Clinic is much easier to remember, hopefully, with enough feedback the older doctor will correct his advertising ways. I hope your eye exam went well and that you found new glasses? The prison inmates…I’d be distracted too!

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  61. Ah navigating by old landmarks. Probably done in every language. As per usual the blog post from the activity is hilarious. I think you could be a comedy writer. And then the comments always make me chuckle. As to inmates — I have looked after many during my years in the Operating Room – it’s just best not to ask what they have done because we really don’t want to know. Trust me on this one. Bernie

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    • Bernie, I’m sure you’re right that navigating by old landmarks is ubiquitous. And in this case it was downright funny. I mean, I was where I supposed to be but didn’t know it. I’m also sure you’re right about not asking what the inmates did to end up in prison. These men were polite and that’s all I need to know about them.

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      • Be glad they were polite as I have seen them otherwise. Although to be far I’ve seen a lot of unpolite patients but then as I always said at work “we aren’t seeing people on their best day” when they arrive in the Operating Room and especially in the trauma room were I specialized. Bernie

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  62. I’m laughing and grimacing at the same time. I HATE to be lost and because of my lack of directional synapses in my brain, I am often lost. But, in this case, you were not lost but because of the misinformation (ie, an old name to a forever-known-as-THE CLINIC name) you felt not only lost, but also clueless and a bit embarrassed. Three cheers to the young doctor. I’m sorry you didn’t get to say anything to your eye doctor, but uh, yeah, the shackled prisoners would have snapped the synapses in my brain too.

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    • Pam, the funny thing about this appointment is that I thought the weirdness would be finding the free parking garage, but that went smoothly. I know how you feel about being lost, but thanks to the kind young doctor I eventually realized I wasn’t exactly lost this time. Just misguided. As for the prisoners, that was a new twist in my experiences of going to a doctor. I instantly forgot to mention about the name of the building, wondering why they were sitting in the waiting room. 🤷‍♀️

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  64. Hilarious – even if sad because this is becoming so common. Complicated/elaborate is considered better? The Clinic! Short and easy to remember, people.
    At least they warned you about the parking…gave clear directions how to get there on the journey, but forgot to name the destination. Such is life? HAHA

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    • philmouse, I was so close to getting to where I was supposed to be. The directions for getting to the parking garage were spectacular, telling me to dodge some construction barrels, turn down an alley, make a sharp turn– BUT then I was lost. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.

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