Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Gynecological Adventures of a Deana

In the continuing saga of doctors' office staff who can't get my name right, I made my pilgrimage into Little Rock for my yearly grope session today. (At the Cornerstone Clinic, which prides itself on being a Christian place of business. So you can get groped to the glory of God, I guess.) At last year's appointment, (I thought) I had gotten them all straightened out on my name. Today, I approached the sign-in desk, where the woman asked if I brought my forms. "Actually, I was never sent anything," I said. So she gave me new forms and I sat down to fill them out. A few seconds later, I heard, "Jeannie?" I looked up and realized that she meant me. Let me stop here and explain something that everyone named Deana (pronounced Deena) has to deal with. People mess our names up ALL THE TIME. And every time it happens, we have a split-second to decide whether we are going to correct the person or not. At this point, I decided not to say anything. And I'm glad I didn't, because it only would have added to the confusion that followed.

Woman: I think you didn't get your forms in the mail because we have an old address for you.

Me: OK...(giving her our "new" street address)

Woman: And you're still living in Lonoke?

Me: I've never lived in Lonoke.

Woman: your date of birth 11/2/54?


(I wasn't trying to be rude. But 1954? Really???)

So she got all that straightened out. At least I hope she did. I would hate for my Pap smear to show pre-cancerous cells on my cervix and Jeannie in Lonoke getting the phone call instead of me.

Then I sat down and immersed myself in a five-month-old copy of Southern Living. Then, "Deana Hall?"

I walked up to the nurse.

Nurse: Hello! How are you today?

Me: I'm great. But I need to let you know that I'm not really Deana Hall. I'm Deana Nall. I just respond to the name that sounds the most like mine.

Nurse: (looking quite puzzled) Let me check on that. I'll be right back.

A minute later, the nurse returned with a triumphant look on her face. "You're right! It's Deana Nall!"

I was right! About my very own name! What a moment.

Then I was ushered to a bathroom, where I had to roll my eyes when I realized I was peeing into a cup labeled "Dena Hall." (And rolling your eyes while peeing into a cup is not easy. You should try it some time.)

Once in the exam room, I glanced at my chart and anything else with my name on it to make sure it was right. In case the real Dena Hall was scheduled for major surgery that morning. But everything checked out. "Deana C. Nall" -- my official, legal, correctly-spelled name was on everything.

On my way out, the cheerful nurse (who had pronounced my name correctly up until this point) called out "Bye, Dee-Anna!"

I can't wait to see what they call me next year.

Here's what I don't get. My name is really not that hard. It's not like I'm Polish or anything. It's not like I'm Attitaya Indrakamhang, the photographer I knew while working on the college newspaper whose name we had to meticulously type into every single one of her photo credits. That poor girl probably never goes to the doctor. It's probably not worth the hassle.

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  • At Tue Oct 28, 12:28:00 PM, Blogger Jacinda said…

    People seem to have gotten better at my name, but I have been called "Ha-cinda" a time or two!

  • At Tue Oct 28, 01:11:00 PM, Blogger Paul Fagala said…

    People usually get my first name right, but I completely understand when it comes to my last name. Hopefully you'll have a success story to write next year!

  • At Wed Oct 29, 02:43:00 PM, Blogger KentF said…

    "Ms. Hall - I'm sorry to inform you that after looking at your charts and DOB, it appears you are suffering from the on-set of Osteoperosis." (I stole that from Seinfeld)

  • At Wed Oct 29, 06:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love your blog.
    Terry in Texas

  • At Wed Oct 29, 08:12:00 PM, Blogger WinSpin said…

    If Mom and I had had any idea of the name confusion, we would have called you something simpler such as Happy Slapnoggin :)

    But just think how boring it would be if people knew who you were ... it's the mysteries in life that make things so exciting ...

    As for me I can do #1 in a cup with my eyes closed. What's so difficult about that?

    Anyway it's late so I need to repent and get to bed ...

    God Bless ...

  • At Wed Oct 29, 08:45:00 PM, Blogger SG said…

    I married into a hard name.
    I get called Mrs.Grows, Groase, Groves, Rose, Grouse, Grosh, Grotes and Groves. I'm not crazy about my last name and once as a newly wed asked my MIL how the heck we ended up with it..."Oh it used to be harder to say back in Poland. Rob's great grandmother shortened it from Groszky to Grosz." OH REALLY? I said I was all for adding the "ky" back because I liked the sound of Groszky better. I got an Umph and a blank stare. Sigh
    That woman has never gotten over the fact that I have sex with her son!

  • At Thu Oct 30, 06:34:00 AM, Blogger GraceSaves said…

    hahahaha to SG...I can see why you're friends with her Deana, it sounds like something you would say. Oh and when I first saw your name written down on "Deana's Donuts" in Baytown, I called it Dee-Anna's. So sorry for the mix up and confusion there. :-D

  • At Thu Oct 30, 07:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Let's see . . . I get my last name pronouced Soo-ward.

    My last name before I got married was Sergent . . . pronounced Sar-gent, but too often mispronouced Sur-gent.

    My sister's first husband's last name was Czjuko (Choo-ko).

    Her current husband's name is Swertfeger.


  • At Fri Oct 31, 06:04:00 AM, Blogger preacher smith said…

    It's been my experience, quite thankfully, to very rarely fail to have my name recognized or to successfully pee in a cup while rolling my eyes. Apparently your doc's office staff either: (a) suffers from a severe case of nomenperosis or (b) completes office paperwork while rolling their eyes.

    Move over Garrison Keillor, this girl, Deena Hall, she can tell a story and write like nobody else's business. Write the book, girl; write the book!

  • At Sun Nov 02, 04:15:00 PM, Blogger Vicky said…


    I love your version of this annual adventure!

  • At Tue Nov 04, 03:33:00 PM, Blogger Stefanni said…

    Deana, this is the funniest thing I have ever read--and you know that a librarian reads a lot of print! Thanks for sharing your sad story, giving us all a big laugh. Stefanni Snead Lynch


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