Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The difference between Malibu and marlin

I know I haven't written in quite a few days. First off, I've felt horrid! Very, very weak, painful in the legs, pain at the back of the head, blah, blah, blah!

Monday, I happily jaunted my little self (well, my husband drove) 55 miles to the orthotist where I had an appointment to get my new Marlin collar. You may remember that this same orthotist gave me a previous appointment, I drove the 110 miles round trip only to be told the collar had not shown up yet.

So, last Monday, I go into the office like a kid at Christmas-time. My rigid, neck brace has really become a part of me. I don't think so much anymore of people looking at me. And I feel pretty comfortable in it. Ask me again during the hot summer, I'm sure I'll have a different outlook. But right now, I'm looking forward to a new one.

Um..."I'm here for my new collar."

"Oh, yes! I'll be right with you!"

Two patients were there before me, so that was fine. Then a couple came in to talk about their mother's brace which kept falling off of her "conical" leg (No, not comical leg!). Mother is in a rest home and needs orthotist guy to go look at it. That took 15 minutes to figure out. Them, not me.

Orthotist guy goes into back room and comes out all happy with my new collar. I know from looking at it, it's not the right one. I look at the label on the bag: it's a Malibu. Sounds sexy, huh? But it's not a Marlin, which is the one I want. I want the one whose name reminds me of scenes of vacationers and sportsmen down in the Baja of California sport-fishing, drinking beer and shouting up a storm when one gets on the line. Yeah, give me a good ol' Marlin! I've been to Malibu, it's not all it's cracked up to be.

Orthotist guy deduces, "Oh, I must have ordered the wrong kind!" (DUH, ya think?)

Orthotist guy's wife enters stage right (turns out she's the real orthotist and he's just an orthotist guy by marriage): "What's going on here?"

He explains to her what happened. "I'll have to order another one."

Me? I'm standing there waiting for an apology. With none forthcoming, I try the guilt approach:
"I live 55 miles away and I drove all the way last time for nothing and now this? I'm really counting on this collar to give me the occipital support I need so badly!"

Nothing. No apology, not one tittle of an apology. I leave with "We'll call you when it comes in" echoing off the walls of the old Craftsman-style house which serves as their office.

Oh, I almost forgot. I had left my Aspen CTO there for orthotist-mate to put the nice foam padding in the back of the head area, like he did on my Aspen collar. So, I ask for it. He brings it to me and I can tell nothing has been done. It's been two weeks. I said, "Did you fix that up?"

Orthotist-mate says, "No, I wanted to wait until you told me that what I did to your collar was the right thing."

I said, "I called you and TOLD you it was great! I really raved to you over the phone about it!"

Wait...was that an apology I hear in the wind? Nope.

Gas is $3.50 a gallon here. I will have gone 330 miles to get this collar, that is, IF he orders the correct collar this time. You know, the one that evokes visions of deep blue seas, cans of beer (am I making a point here!), handsome fishing guides, fast boats! YOU know, a MARLIN!

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