Early this year, I was diagnosed by my dentist as having TMJ, a disorder of the jaw that can cause tremendous pain. For me, it was so painful that I couldn’t get through an entire meal because the pain from chewing became too excruciating. My dentist (who I think is an absolute brilliant man) ordered me to have a MRI (magnetic resonance image) so he could see the extent of the damage to my jaw bones and surrounding soft tissue.
To get the MRI, I had to go to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor,
Michigan. It’s a very uncomfortable and difficult procedure since you
have to lay in a tube the size of a coffin for several minutes at a
time while trying to be absolutely still. Plus, it makes a lot of
noise. The whole thing took about 45 minutes and let me tell you I was
SO glad to get out of that thing!
Later that week, they called and told me they needed to take more
images from other angles, and that I had to come back and do it again.
“OH GOD!” I thought. “Not another 45 minutes in that claustrophobic
little space!” But I gritted my teeth and went back. This time, I just
managed to keep my sanity by actually counting the seconds in my head.
“One one-thousand, two one-thousand…” Fortunately, it didn’t seem to
take as long as the first time.
When I came out of the machine again, I was worried that having to have
the procedure done again would cost me (or my insurance) a second and
potentially huge bill. But when I asked about it, they promptly told me
neither my insurance nor I would be billed for a second MRI and acted
as if it was their fault for not having taken the right images in the
first place. And for all that mental and physical discomfort of having
to go through it twice, they apologized and even offered me two $10 gift certificates
for their gift shop! I couldn’t believe it! This is something I might
expect from a restaurant or a retail store, but certainly not from a
HOSPITAL! I walked out of there with a big smile on my face and a warm,
fuzzy feeling inside, knowing St. Joe’s really cared about making my
experience with them pleasant. And I have to say, if I ever have to go
to the hospital, I hope I end up there because I know they care so much
about my well-being. Thanks, St. Joe!!