Better Late Than Never!

, , , , | | Healthy | May 23, 2018

(In Australia, certain medical costs are covered by Medicare for everyone and some only for specific populations. A person with a chronic disease can access some funding for allied health visits through a program colloquially called a Care Plan. Word of mouth from friends or family often makes people aware of this.)

Elderly Female Patient: “My friend told me I should ask you about family planning. “

Doctor: *taken aback* ” Did you mean family planning? Because that’s things like contraception.”

Patient: “OH! ” *laughter*

Doctor: “Oh, you meant a Care Plan!” *more laughter from both* “Unless you did want to have a baby?”

Tic-ing Along Nicely Until You Came Along

, , , , , | | Healthy | May 22, 2018

(I have pretty mild Tourette’s syndrome, with my only real vocal tics being a wheeze, a cough, or consistent sniffling. Most people understand once it’s explained to them. I’m at the gym, working on the arc trainer, and my Tourette’s is having a bad day, so I’m making all manner of noises. Next to me are two ladies. I have my headphones on, so I’m pretty oblivious to the goings-on around me, when suddenly I’m being tapped on the arm. I take my headphones off and look over to see one of the ladies standing by the machine I’m on.)

Lady: “Excuse me, but you should be wearing a mask if you’re sick.”

Me: “Huh? I’m not sick. I feel fine, but thanks?”

Lady: “You’re coughing and wheezing and sniffling. You must have a cold or the flu. You shouldn’t even be here, but if you’re going to be, you need a mask!”

Me: “Oh! I’m sorry; I actually have Tourette’s. I’m not sick; those are just my tics.”

Lady: “If you’re sick, you should wear a mask.”

Me: “But I’m not sick. I just told you. I have Tourette’s. It’s a neurological thing. I’m not physically ill.”

Lady: “I’m a nurse! I know what Tourette’s is, and you should be wearing a mask!”

(At this point, I’m more annoyed by the fact this lady is interrupting my workout than her insistence she knows more about my health than I do.)

Me: “If you know what Tourette’s is, then you know a mask wouldn’t do any good. I am not sick. I’m sorry if the tics caused some confusion.”

Lady: “You should be wearing a mask if you’re going to be sick here! I’m going to complain to the front desk!”

Me: “But I’m not sick. And really, if you’re worried about germs, is this really the place for you to be?”

Lady: *after a moment of silence* “You should have a mask.”

(She and her friend then moved down to the end of the row of cardio machines and went back to their workout, and I went back to mine. They kept shooting me dirty looks throughout. The worst part is my Tourette’s gets worse when attention is drawn to it, as I get very self-conscious and nervous. So, thanks. Nice job breaking it, lady.)

Eye See Death

, , , , , | | Healthy | May 21, 2018

(A customer and her husband have walked in and I go over to help them find some glasses. During our conversation, I ask the wife if they’ve seen an optometrist, as we have one on staff that accepts walk-ins.)

Customer: “Yes, we’ve already seen an optometrist. Several, actually. It took us a long time to find one that we like.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. I’m glad that you found one that you liked.”

Customer: “Yes, they were all so awful. One was so bad that we had to report him to the Board of Optometrists!”

(I usually avoid getting into the politics and gossip regarding other optometrists, so I try to keep my response vague. The wife seems to be getting more agitated the more she talks about it.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear about that.”

Customer: “Well, I heard he’s dead now, anyway, so that’s good!”

Me: “Wow… That’s actually really horrible.”

Customer: “Oh. I guess I shouldn’t say things like that, should I?”

(The customer shrugged and turned to ask her husband a question, completely unfazed. I’ve worked all kinds of retail over 15 years now, and I’ve never heard something so awful come out of someone’s mouth before. I left them alone to look and never helped the couple again.)

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right

, , , | | Healthy | May 20, 2018

(I work in healthcare and am talking to a man in his fifties who is having angina for the first time.)

Me: “You haven’t had a heart attack, but this pain is probably coming from your heart.”

Man: “But I’m only 50-something, and there are no heart problems in my family. Why would that be?”

Me: “You smoke 30 cigarettes a day and drink two cartons of beer per week. That’s not good for your heart. You should think about cutting down.”

Man: “I’m sick of you people telling me that bulls***! It’s a scientifically proven fact that smoking makes your arteries smaller, and drinking makes them bigger! If I keep drinking and smoking, I’ll be fine!”

Me: “That’s not at all how it works, but I see I’m not going to change your mind. You’ll be going upstairs soon.”

Man: “I want to go out for a smoke!”

Me: “That’s really not a good idea.”

Man: “What would you know?!”

Me: *gives up*

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Carrot Top, Meet Carrot Bottom…

, , , , , | | Healthy | May 18, 2018

(I’m a medical student. My neighbor who is a doctor tells me this story. She has a patient with something stuck.)

Neighbor: “So, you were cleaning the kitchen naked, tripped, and ended up with a carrot up your rectum?”

Patient: *red-faced* “Yes…”

Neighbor: “Honey, I’m a doctor. This is far from the weirdest case I’ve had. I also don’t have the right to comment on people and their experiments.”

Patient: “So, when will I get this out?”

Neighbor: “After the proctologist sees you.”

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