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Their Attitude Stinks

Pharmacy | Right | November 14, 2014


(An order comes to my pharmacy for a well-known antibiotic. This antibiotic is known to smell exactly like rotten eggs, so most of us just hold our breath while we count it and try not to think about it too much. We dispense it to a woman who is picking it up for her teenage son. Everything is normal and she leaves with the prescription, but about 10 minutes later she comes stomping back into the pharmacy, pretty much shoves the person that I am currently helping out of the way, and throws the bottle of medication on the counter.)

Customer: “I want to speak to your manager right now! You guys gave me rotten medication!”

Me: “Really? Let me look at the expiration date on your bottle. Normally we don’t keep anything that has one less than a year away.”

(I look at the bottle and see that the pharmacist wrote a date of over a year away, and I go over to our stock bottle and check and the numbers correspond with each other.)

Me: “Hmm. Well, ma’am, it doesn’t look like this medication is expired but I will have the phar—”

Customer: “You are just lying! I mean, come on and open that bottle! It smells totally rotten! I can’t believe that you would ever give someone bad medication! My son is very very ill!”

Me: “Oh, that’s just because the active chemical that is in this medication has a bad smell. Trust me, I wish there was something that we could do about it back here, too. Most of us hold our breath while we count it.”

Customer: “Stop ****** lying to me. You just don’t want to admit you did something wrong! I will have your job for this, b****!

(At this point the pharmacist who has been listening the whole time walks over.)

Pharmacist: “Ma’am, while I don’t like the fact that you are calling my staff names like that I will let you know two things. One is, certain chemicals have a bad smell. It’s just a fact of life. So, while I know that smell is unpleasant, it’s just one of those side effects that come with being able to take medications that will help your sick son. I assure you it’s supposed to smell that bad. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t work right. Two, since you don’t seem to want to listen to my employees and call them awful names, this will be the last time that you or any members of your family can shop or fill any type of medication here. Maybe in the future you can learn how to treat people the way you want to be treated.”

(The woman proceeded to turn bright red with embarrassment and tried to apologize, but my boss wouldn’t hear it. That was almost two years ago and he still will not allow her or her family to fill their prescriptions at his pharmacy.)

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Old 02-23-2020   #1201
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Getting Hysterical-ectomy

Maryland, Medical Office, USA | Healthy | December 4, 2017


(I am a lesbian, and I occasionally experience extremely severe symptoms when on my period, for up to 5 days, such as a complete inability to eat without vomiting, severe pain, and on a couple occasions, seizures. After talking it over with my wife, I decide to go in to speak to my gynecologist and ask her about how to go about getting a hysterectomy. The trouble starts right from when I attempt to book an appointment. After getting through hold and basic introductions.)

Me: “I would like to schedule a consultation with [Doctor] about having a hysterectomy.”

Receptionist: “Okay! Just so you know, if you have a hysterectomy, you won’t be able to have children afterwards!”

Me: “I know. That’s fine.”

(The receptionist then schedules the consultation without any more fuss. On the day of the appointment, I arrive with my wife so that we can both talk to the gynecologist.)

Doctor: “I don’t think that this is a bad idea given your symptoms, but you need to understand that if you go through with this you will never, ever be able to have babies. There is no way to undo it if you decide you want kids.”

Me: “I know. That’s fine.”

Doctor: “We could schedule it a year or two out so you could have one last baby before your surgery.”

Me: “I have never had children.”

Doctor: “So you want to wait—”

Me: “Shut up and listen to me. I am gay. The only penises that ever go inside me are made of plastic. I will not be having children either way. I don’t care. We can adopt. [Wife] could have artificial insemination. It doesn’t matter.”

Doctor: “If you say so…”

(My gynecologist continued to flare at me and mention children several times, and even tried to show me pictures of her own kids, while she was recommending surgeons to me and helping me schedule with one of them. With the surgeon, he also listed all the possible side effects, but a simple “I understand” was all it took to convince him, luckily.)
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Old 02-23-2020   #1202
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Discharging Hard Truths

Hospital, Non-Dialogue, Ohio, USA | Healthy | December 3, 2017


I was in an ER cubicle patiently waiting for a doctor to be free to treat my migraine, which is considered low-priority in triage. It was a very busy night, but amazingly quiet so my headache wasn’t exacerbated by sounds. And then, HE arrived in an ambulance.

We were able to hear that he had gotten drunk, climbed onto the bar’s roof, and fallen through a skylight.

Though he was at least 40 yards from me, his continual yells were overwhelming, causing me pain, confusion, and dizziness. Because of that, I couldn’t understand most of what he yelled, but did manage to hear him demanding more alcoholic drinks and trying to get out of bed, and that they had to restrain him.

By the time a doctor went to examine him, I was crying from pain and at the end of my ability to cope. The doctor began talking to the drunk: “And what’s going on with you tonight?”

I snapped and yelled, “HE’S DRUNK AND STUPID!”

The entire ward went silent and then we heard giggles. The doctor bustled into my cubicle, followed in minutes by a nurse with a syringe.

Within fifteen minutes of my outburst, I had been medicated and discharged.
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Old 02-23-2020   #1203
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Let’s Not Split Hairs About Who It Is For

Medical Office, Non-Dialogue, Ohio, USA | Healthy | December 2, 2017


Because of family history, I need a specific medical test every five years. My husband always accompanies me to the pre-test appointments. The doctor is mostly bald and does not like jokes about it.

Please note that my husband has been balding for quite a few years. A few years before this appointment, I had made my husband a baseball hat, which said, “Wish you were hair.” I hadn’t realized he was wearing it.

The doctor took one look at the hat, got a sour face, and said, “Is that meant for me?”

At first we were too startled to say anything. Then my husband removed his hat to show his own balding head. He and I burst out laughing. After his own startled pause, the doctor joined in.
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Old 02-23-2020   #1204
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Thyroid Void

Medical Office, USA | Healthy | December 1, 2017


(I have hypothyroidism, which has been successfully controlled with medication for several years. Over a couple months, however, I notice that some of my symptoms are returning. I call my doctor, and she says she will do a blood test. I go to her office for the results.)

Doctor: “Okay, so your thyroid level is at 4.9.”

(The maximum is five.)

Me: “Well, no wonder I’ve been feeling sick! That’s very high.”

Doctor: “Oh, no. You’re fine. Five is the top of the normal range. You’re still under that.”

Me: “But a lot of my old symptoms are coming back. I can’t sleep at night, I’m tired during the day, I’m freezing cold all the time—”

Doctor: “You’re under stress. It’s normal.”

Me: “I HAVE GAINED 20 POUNDS IN TWO MONTHS!”

Doctor: “Well, you just need to go on a diet.”

Me: “I exercise five days a week, and I eat my fruits and veggies! I don’t feel like myself. I know my body, and I need a medication change!”

Doctor: “Well, I’m not giving you one, because you’re normal.”

(She tells me to exercise more and gives me a vitamin supplement. I fume, but take it. A couple months later, I move to a different state. I go in for an appointment with my new doctor.)

New Doctor: “I’ve been reviewing your test results from your previous doctor, and I noticed your thyroid is at 4.9. That’s very high. Are you feeling okay at that number?”

Me: “Not at all! I tried to tell her, but she wouldn’t listen. She kept saying it was normal.”

New Doctor: “I’m not surprised. Older guidelines allow it to get that high, but I’ve found that my patients feel better when their thyroid is at three or under. I’m going to order some more blood work.”

(The new blood test shows that my number skyrocketed to a six. My new doctor changes my medication immediately. It takes a year and three medicine changes to get it right. It turned out that my thyroid number had been creeping up for a couple years, and my old doctor had just ignored it. I’m happy to report that I’m much better now!)
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Old 02-23-2020   #1205
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A Relaxed Attitude To Drugs

England, Hospital, UK | Healthy | December 1, 2017


(I am a medical student. This is my first ever interaction in a hospital setting. The patient has been admitted for a serious lung issue, and is due to return home. It proceeds well, until it is time to round off the conversation

Me: “So, I’ve been told you’re being discharged today; is that correct?”

Patient: “Yes, that’s right. I’m going to go and see my friend when I get out. She’s really stressed.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Do you have anything nice planned?”

Patient: “We’re going to bake some weed brownies. That should help us relax!” *laughs*

Me: “Well, at least you’re not smoking it!” *nervous laughter*

(Interesting start to medicine. I’m glad she took my comment well. I just wasn’t expecting it!)
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Old 02-23-2020   #1206
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Going Toe-To-Toe With The GP

Medical Office, Oklahoma, Tulsa, USA | Healthy | November 30, 2017


(I have a horrible ingrown toenail. My GP determines that surgery is necessary. He is right, as after half of it is cut away, I still have a normal toenail remaining. The surgery is done under general anesthesia, a move I thought was overkill, but it is a success. Some years later I am seeing a podiatrist about the same problem with the other foot and the doctor concludes the same treatment. I tell him about the first surgery.)

Doctor: “They gave you general anesthesia? That’s ridiculous. Was it a GP?”

Me: “I thought it was extreme. Yes, he was my GP.”

Doctor: “Figures. GP’s don’t know how to anesthetize a toe. Okay, let’s get this taken care of today.”

(He sets me up for surgery, sticks a needle in the base of my toe and injects me. After a bit he uses something pointy to test my toe.)

Doctor: “There, you shouldn’t be feeling anything.”

Me: “I can feel that quite easily. Try again.” *I look away so he knows I’m no cheating by watching* “Yeah, I can still feel it.”

Doctor: “Hmm. Let’s get you some more anesthesia.”

(After a bit, it’s still not numb. I’m suddenly feeling a great lack of confidence after hearing his short diatribe about GPs.)

Doctor: “Well, on a few rare individuals, the main nerve for that part of the toe runs up the wrong side of the toe. Let me see if that’s it.”

(Lucky for him (and me) that turned out to be exactly the case. I still get a wry grin thinking about him complaining that another doctor couldn’t just numb my toe.)
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Old 02-23-2020   #1207
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Expecting A Faint Chance

Hospital, Israel, Tel Aviv | Healthy | November 30, 2017


(I recently fractured my wrist and hand in a bad fall. I am seeing my doctor and a follow-up appointment. Due to being unable to drive myself, my boyfriend drives me and stays while they draw blood. It’s important to note I’m only 1.60 m and he is a large man, over 2 m tall.)

Doctor: “Well, the results look good, no infections, and the x-rays show your hand and wrist are healing well. Oh, and congratulations.”

Me: “For being clumsy? Or having good bones?”

Doctor: “No… congratulations.”

Boyfriend: “For what?”

Doctor: “You’re expecting, or did you not know?”

Me: “Expecting what?”

Doctor: “A baby. You’re pregnant. We ran the results twice. You’re going to have a baby.”

(While I tried to process being pregnant, my boyfriend stood up, then promptly fainted, landing face first on the floor and leaving a nasty bruise on his forehead. Now we have a great story to tell our future child about how their big, strong father fainted when he heard the news!)
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Old 02-23-2020   #1208
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Truly Acting The Part

College & University, England, UK | Healthy | November 30, 2017


(I am a paramedic student. As part of my training, we run simulated scenarios with one, two, or four students and actor(s) to be the patient (and bystanders). We have a scenario where I and another student have to respond to a man who has attempted suicide and slit both his wrists. While we’re treating him I drop a bandage and a few members of my class giggle. The actor, being the little legend he is, responds by saying

Actor: “All those people are laughing at me.”

(I had to struggle not to laugh while my partner, a seasoned EMT who is getting her UK cert, reassured him that he was just seeing things.)
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Old 02-23-2020   #1209
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Anti-Antibiotics

Massachusetts, Medical Office, USA | Healthy | November 29, 2017


(I have a mild immune deficiency. This makes me highly susceptible to severe sinus infections. This also means that only antibiotics administered within the first week of symptoms will quickly cure my sinus infections. Anything else does nothing and it will take several months for my immune system to fight off the infection. This is well-documented.)

Doctor: “It seems your daughter’s infections are chronic. I’m going to prescribe your daughter [Medication that relies on and boosts the immune cells already present] and ask that you check back to tell me if it helped.”

Mom: “No. You have prescribed my daughter this medication and those like it before and it does nothing. She needs antibiotics.”

Doctor: “Can you try this medication for a few days? We ought not to jump right to antibiotics.”

Mom: “This is another thing you have told us to do that we have tried. No, it does not help at all.”

Doctor: “You cannot just press me for antibiotics! They’re not good for long-term health.”

Mom: “Listen to me. I know that you think I am one of those parents who just demands that doctors give my kid antibiotics for every little sniffle. I am not. I am insisting on antibiotics because they are the only thing that will stop my daughter from having to go through months of misery, pain, and exhaustion from sinus infections! This is not an exaggeration; it really does take that long. And your immune booster medication does not help much because hers is too compromised for the effect to make a difference! I would love to go through the documentation proving all of this, if you require it. But I am absolutely not leaving here having wasted my daughter’s and my time to go spend my money on a medication that will not help her avoid a long term and awful illness.”

Doctor: “Oh. Um… I have to step out for a bit. Um… you really shouldn’t over-rely on antibiotics. Be careful.”

Mom: *shoots [Doctor] a death glare*

(Fortunately, this was enough to get [Doctor] to prescribe me antibiotics. Sure enough, I was ready to go back to school by the next day and was totally free of infection after three days. My mom soon requested to never see that doctor again, which was honored. Since being guaranteed to get the medication I need as soon as possible, I have not needed to take antibiotics often and also get sick much less than before.)
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Old 02-23-2020   #1210
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Anti-Antibiotics

Massachusetts, Medical Office, USA | Healthy | November 29, 2017


(I have a mild immune deficiency. This makes me highly susceptible to severe sinus infections. This also means that only antibiotics administered within the first week of symptoms will quickly cure my sinus infections. Anything else does nothing and it will take several months for my immune system to fight off the infection. This is well-documented.)

Doctor: “It seems your daughter’s infections are chronic. I’m going to prescribe your daughter [Medication that relies on and boosts the immune cells already present] and ask that you check back to tell me if it helped.”

Mom: “No. You have prescribed my daughter this medication and those like it before and it does nothing. She needs antibiotics.”

Doctor: “Can you try this medication for a few days? We ought not to jump right to antibiotics.”

Mom: “This is another thing you have told us to do that we have tried. No, it does not help at all.”

Doctor: “You cannot just press me for antibiotics! They’re not good for long-term health.”

Mom: “Listen to me. I know that you think I am one of those parents who just demands that doctors give my kid antibiotics for every little sniffle. I am not. I am insisting on antibiotics because they are the only thing that will stop my daughter from having to go through months of misery, pain, and exhaustion from sinus infections! This is not an exaggeration; it really does take that long. And your immune booster medication does not help much because hers is too compromised for the effect to make a difference! I would love to go through the documentation proving all of this, if you require it. But I am absolutely not leaving here having wasted my daughter’s and my time to go spend my money on a medication that will not help her avoid a long term and awful illness.”

Doctor: “Oh. Um… I have to step out for a bit. Um… you really shouldn’t over-rely on antibiotics. Be careful.”

Mom: *shoots [Doctor] a death glare*

(Fortunately, this was enough to get [Doctor] to prescribe me antibiotics. Sure enough, I was ready to go back to school by the next day and was totally free of infection after three days. My mom soon requested to never see that doctor again, which was honored. Since being guaranteed to get the medication I need as soon as possible, I have not needed to take antibiotics often and also get sick much less than before.)
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Old 02-23-2020   #1211
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Symptoms May Include Death And Sarcasm

Clinic, Russia, Sarcasm, St. Petersburg | Healthy | November 29, 2017


(Back in college I spent a summer living in Russia. Midway through my stay I came down with strep throat. This is the first time I’ve had it since I was a kid, when I got it yearly. My program director takes me to a clinic that specializes in treating foreigners. After diagnosing me, the doctor comes back into my room with a pile of medication, none of which I recognize. Since I take other medications, I ask him if there are drug interactions I should be aware of. He proceeds to take the paper inserts out of every box he has and read them. After a few minutes he looks up and says

Doctor: “I don’t know; if the reaction is bad, stop taking them?”

Me: “Great. So, if I die, I’ll stop taking them.”

(Thankfully I never had a reaction but I still have no idea what it was that he gave me. Bonus? My host mother was convinced I got sick from drinking cold beverages in the hot weather.)
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Old 02-23-2020   #1212
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Got More Than A Chip On Your Shoulder

Dentist, Maryland, USA | Healthy | November 29, 2017


(I go to my routine semi-annual dental check-up, and tell my dentist that I think I have chipped a molar, as there is a rough patch on my tooth that keeps catching my tongue, causing it to blister and bleed on a regular basis.)

Dentist: “Oh, yes, there is a small chip.”

Me: “Can we get it fixed?”

Dentist: “Insurance won’t cover the procedure as it’s ‘cosmetic.’”

Me: “It’s literally causing my tongue to bleed. This chip is painful, and it’s actually causing injury to me. I think it’s more than cosmetic.”

Dentist: “Oh, you’ll be fine. Just don’t play with it.”

(This went on for months. I kept asking him to fix the chip, and he kept refusing. I also got opinions from other dentists that said the chip needed to be filled, but my dentist still refused. Ultimately I switched to a new dentist due to a change in insurance; the new dentist took one look at the chip and had me scheduled for an appointment to get it filled a few days later.)

New Dentist: “Yeah, let’s get this taken care of; you shouldn’t have to suffer with this chip causing you pain and open sores. Plus, it’s deep enough that your dentin is exposed. If we leave this open any longer, your whole tooth would be in danger of forming an abscess, which would need a root canal to fix.”

Me: *in shocked disbelief* “My tooth could have rotted away from the inside out because my old dentist couldn’t be bothered to give me a filling the size of a pin-head?!”

New Dentist: “Yep.”
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Cancer Is A Crime

California, Pharmacy, USA | Healthy | November 28, 2017


(I’ve been diagnosed with cancer and am on numerous medications, including morphine and oxycodone for the pain I am in. I’m pretty skinny and pale and not looking healthy after six months of chemotherapy. I go to my normal pharmacy with my paper prescription to get filled and a new pharmacy tech, or at least one I’ve never seen in the six months I’ve frequented this place, greets me. I hand him my paperwork, and he starts to type in into his computer, and then looks at me and says

Pharmacy Tech: “I see you’ve been getting these pills for a few months now, and you’re refilling them on the same date every month. You can’t fill this if you’re just going to sell them on the street for your drug money.”

(My jaw drops, and he hands my prescription back to me.)

Pharmacy Tech: “I’m calling the police now, sir, so don’t run off.”

(He then goes to the phone and starts dialing. The pharmacist sees me through their little window and waves at me, I see her a lot when I’m there and she’s helped consult me on the timing of taking my meds so I don’t make myself sick. I wave her over.)

Pharmacist: “Hi!”

Me: “You may want to talk to your new guy. He’s calling the cops on me.”

(She turns around and sees him on the phone.)

Pharmacist: “What are you doing?”

Pharmacy Tech: *covers the receiver* “This junkie is trying to get pills to sell. I’m calling the cops.”

(She rips the phone out of his hand and yells at him.)

Pharmacist: “He has cancer, you idiot!”

(He went pale. She sent him away and hung up the phone. I got my refills, and I never saw that guy again.)
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Digger-ing Yourself Into A Hole

Pharmacy, USA | Healthy | November 28, 2017


(I am at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription that was called in.)

Tech: “Can I help you?”

Me: “I need to pick up for [Last Name].”

Tech: *types into computer* “First name?”

Me: “Digger.”

Tech: “Digger?”

Me: “Yes.”

(The tech give me a funny look and goes into the back. He returns with the medicine in hand.)

Tech: “So, you can’t drive while taking this. Also, you cannot drink alcohol while taking this. I will need you to sign saying you understand those restrictions.”

Me: *laughing* “No problem.”

Tech: “I need a date of birth.”

Me: “October 2015. I don’t know the day.”

Tech: “You don’t know your child’s birthdate?”

Me: “It’s not my child.”

Tech: “I’m not going to be able to fill this.”

Me: “I need the pharmacist. Now.”

(The pharmacist comes out and asks what the problem is.)

Tech: “She’s picking up this medicine but she doesn’t know the birthdate and then she says it isn’t her child.”

Pharmacist: *takes bag and reads label* “Look at this name.”

(The tech looks and still doesn’t seem to understand.)

Pharmacist: “The patient is named Digger K9 [Last Name]. That means it’s for her dog. Lots of people don’t know their dog’s birthday.”

Tech: “How was I supposed to know?”

Pharmacist: “I’ll finish this. Go wait in the office for me.”

(When I went to get his refill, the same tech handled the transaction. He commented that it was a really big dose for a toddler. Pretty sure whatever the pharmacist said — it didn’t help.)
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You Suck(tion)!

Clinic, North Carolina, USA | Healthy | November 28, 2017


(I have a rare disease for which I have to have blood work done every few months. I always get it done at the local health department because I don’t have insurance and labs are too expensive elsewhere. They used to have a phlebotomist on staff who was quite good at her job, but she retired around a year before this incident. After she retired, for a while, my tests were done by whichever nurse happened to be available. On this day, one of the nurses who has drawn my blood a few times before is training a different nurse on lab procedures, so the trainee nurse is actually the one doing the draw. I’m often a problematic draw because my veins are small, and sometimes my blood doesn’t come out. This happens after several other mishaps, including the trainee nurse not noticing all of the tests I need to have done, having to remind both of them that one of my samples has to be frozen, and the trainee nurse failing to draw from my left arm and having to try my right arm instead. As the trainee nurse is drawing my blood, she’s pulling up on the needle in a way that makes it hurt like h***, but I’m kind of used to it, so I’m just responding to the talkative trainer nurse and not looking at my arm. Finally the trainee nurse finishes filling the last vial and removes the needle. Something feels a little odd, so I look down to see blood POURING from my arm. I’ve been getting labs done regularly for about 13 years at this point, and I’ve never seen anything like that, so I’m a bit alarmed.)

Me: “What the h***?!

Trainee Nurse: “…”

Trainer Nurse: “Oh! *to trainee nurse* “Looks like you broke the suction…” *to me* “Uh, she broke the suction… But that’s okay! It’s perfectly fine, just looks bad. Don’t worry!”

Me: “Uh…”

Trainee Nurse: “It happens sometimes.”

Me: “That has NEVER happened to me before. But okay, sure.”

(That’s not something that just “happens sometimes”; that’s something you DO.)
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Extra Nerve-ous

Costa Rica, Dentist | Healthy | November 27, 2017


(I’m deadly afraid of dentists, but one day I finally get the courage to go see one for a routine check up. They tell me I need to get my wisdom teeth removed and we set up an appointment.)

Me: “Please be patient.”

Dentist: “This will not hurt at all in a few minutes, after the anaesthetic kicks off.”

(He gives me three injections. A few minutes later he pokes me with an instrument.)

Me: “Aaaah!”

Dentist: “Okay, more anaesthetic.”

(He gives me another injection, waits a few more minutes, then pokes me with an instrument.)

Me: “OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!”

Dentist: “Don’t lie; it doesn’t hurt.”

Me: “Please, I swear it does.”

Dentist: “I can’t give you any more anaesthetic. Go home and come back next week. Take a valium.”

(One week and one valium later

Dentist: “I gave you all the anaesthetic I can. Stop crying for nothing.”

(In extreme pain, I manage to get to the opening of the area around the tooth, then he begins pulling.)

Me: “No more! Please stop!”

Dentist: “Just a bit more. Let me pull some more. It doesn’t hurt.”

Me: *refusing to open my mouth any more* “No.”

(The dentist even called my mom, and she screamed at me to stop being a wuss. Still, I refused to get anything else and he was forced to close the gap and let me go. He was kind enough to recommend another dentist with access to morphine. Thankfully the new dentist thought that my problem was probably that I had an extra nerve around that area. He gave me a normal anaesthetic where he thought it was and took out the tooth without so much as a peep from me. The lesson is: trust yourself.)
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Old 02-23-2020   #1217
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Insulin And Out

Hospital, UK | Healthy | November 27, 2017


(I have been admitted to hospital for fainting spells. I am also diabetic and use injections. I am currently on my period, and for whatever reason I tend to bruise more often from the injections during this time.)

Nurse: *coming in while I’m getting changed* “Okay, this shouldn’t take very long. At most you should be— What are those?”

Me: “What are what?”

Nurse: *now angry and pointing at my thighs* “THOSE!”

Me: “Bruises, from insulin injections.”

(It looks like she doesn’t believe me as she turns and leaves. I have an MRI and CT scan, and now they need to do some blood tests. I am given some forms, which have already been filled out, but I’m asked to check to see if there is anything that has been missed. After the blood has been taken, a new medical officer comes in with my forms.)

Medical Officer: “Are you all right, dear? We just need to make sure everything is right before we do the tests.”

Me: “I already checked them and they’re fine.”

Medical Officer: “Yes, but we need more than just the medication you have been prescribed. We also need other drugs you may have taken recently.”

Me: “Again, already on the form.”

Medical Officer: “Any not-necessarily-legal drugs.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Medical Officer: “I may as well be open. Now, there’s no need to be ashamed, but we really need to know what drugs you are addicted to, and for how long. They could be what is causing your condition.”

Me: “I’m not on anything like that. What is this– Oh. Have any of the nurses spoken to you about my legs?”

Medical Officer: “There was an observation made that you use your legs for the injection site, yes.”

Me: “And did they also tell you that I’m diabetic as well, and that’s where I administer my insulin?” *shows her my legs*

Medical Officer: *doubtful* “That’s a lot of bruising for mere insulin injections.”

Me: “If I had been admitted a week ago, they wouldn’t be there. I’m on my period, and my injections always cause bruising while I’m on my period.”

(She still looks doubtful, but leaves me in peace. I’m really shook up by it and despite these two being the only people who think I’m a drug addict, I opt to leave and be seen elsewhere. I never find out the cause of my fainting, but it disappears within a month. Six months later, I’m back at said hospital for retinal screening. Lo and behold, the woman who sees me is the second one mentioned above. She recognises me.)

Medical Officer: “Oh, small world. How have you—”

Me: *lifting my skirt* “Do you see any bruises now? Do I look like a junkie now?”

Medical Officer: *blushing* “Oh, umm. No. I’m sorry about jumping to—”

Me: “Just save it. If you’ve been given this responsibility, after how you treated me, you can stuff it!”

(I then left and arranged to have all future screening done at a hospital nearly an hour away. It really makes you wonder why these two women, out of all the people who saw me that day, believed I was a drug addict because of bruising on one of the most common areas diabetics inject.)
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Calibrations Always Go Up And Down

Hospital, USA, Utah | Healthy | November 27, 2017


(It’s the night shift in the hospital lab. I’m the scientist doing the nightly calibrating of our analyzers’ drug screen when the ER requests a drug screen, which I can’t run until I finish my calibrations; once I start, I can’t stop. We tell them it will be done as soon as possible, and we’ll rush the sample, which they’re okay with. Meanwhile, some plumbers are working on one of our sinks. The lead scientist comes to my bench to check on my progress and get a better ETA to tell the doctors.)

Lead Scientist: “How’s it coming over here?”

Me: “I’m almost ready. I just need to do cocaine and marijuana.”

Lead Scientist: *without missing a beat* “[My Name], you know better than to mix uppers and downers.”

(The plumbers all went silent and turned to look at us. I hope they didn’t think we were actually doing drugs.)
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Old 02-23-2020   #1219
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Something Doesn’t Clicky

Hospital, UK | Healthy | November 26, 2017


(I am fifteen and fortunate enough to be able to attend the birth of my baby sister with my dad. This takes place only an hour after she is born.)

Doctor: “Now, Mrs. [Mum], is it all right if a student doctor does the examination on your baby?”

Mum: “Yes, of course; they have to practice!”

Doctor: “[Student]! You can come in now!

Student: *examines my baby sister and then looks worried* “I’m going to refer [Sister] here. She is exhibiting signs of clicky hips.”

Mum: “Should we be worried? [My Name] didn’t have any of that. Is it going to affect her as she gets older?!”

Student: “It’s likely she’ll just have a little fabric harness. It’s easily corrected.”

(Two weeks later we are sitting in a clinic room in the hospital waiting for the doctor. My mum sits next to a lady with a toddler and a baby not much older than my sister.)

Lady: “Hello, why are you here?”

Mum: “We’ve been referred. Apparently, [Sister] has clicky hips.”

Lady: *looks surprised* “Same here! Did you have [Student] examine her?”

Mum: “Yes, that was him!”

Lady: “I’ve talked to three other ladies who’ve been referred, and each of their babies have absolutely nothing wrong. I’m betting it’s the same for our two!”

(It turned out the student had referred about twenty mothers over the two days he’d been in the department, and none of their babies had clicky hips
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Has To Be Some Kind Of Record

Hospital, USA, Wisconsin | Healthy | November 25, 2017


Customer: “I need my birth record in order to request a new Social Security card, because I don’t have a copy of my birth certificate.”

(This is a fairly common request, so I nod as I look over his Release of Information to make sure all the fields have been completed. Before I get to the end, he adds

Customer: “I wasn’t actually born at this hospital. Does that matter?”

(Yes, it matters. He left empty-handed.)
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