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Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

This Image Is The Chuckle We Needed Today

, , , , , | Healthy | June 30, 2022

I took a call from a woman wanting to schedule a neuter for her Italian Greyhound. We had a long, rational discussion about anesthesia, pricing, pre- and post-op considerations, etc. I’d entered her and her dog’s information, scheduled the appointment, advised her regarding fasting, and was about to hang up when she just had one more question.

Woman: “Just out of curiosity, do you remove the testicles completely, or is it that new thing I’ve heard about where you just deflate them?”

I managed to answer the question and hang up before I burst out laughing, but I couldn’t get the picture out of my head of our doctor poking the dog’s scrotum with a needle and the dog flying around the room like a balloon.

Code “Oh, My God!”

, , , , | Healthy Related | June 28, 2022

About thirteen years ago, Dad was in the hospital recovering from surgery. He had cancer, and this was just prior to beginning chemotherapy and radiation treatments. I stopped by to visit him after work, just to check in on him and to see if he needed anything brought from home.

Dad: “You just missed all the excitement! They just called Code Blue on me.”

This means that he had stopped breathing and was unresponsive.

Me: “What? Why are you telling me this?! What happened?”

He had gotten up to go to the bathroom, and he’d managed to pull the call cord as he blacked out. He reported coming back to consciousness with a half-dozen people clustered around him. Apparently, his body had a shortage of a particular nutrient or another, so they had him on an IV to make up the shortfall.

As to why he told me this?

Dad: “I just wondered how you’d react.”

He’s fine… but his sense of humour is still terminal.

How Does This Doctor Sleep At Night?

, , , , , | Healthy | June 26, 2022

I’ve had sleep problems for my entire life, taking multiple hours and often tears in order to fall asleep every night.

Finally, when I am sixteen and starting to have trouble staying asleep, as well, a teacher of mine convinces my mother to take me to a doctor about it. I have social anxiety and am already an avid reader of this site, so I am nervous going in. I’ve only been to this doctor a few times before, but he is very nice so I am able to convince myself everything will be perfectly fine.

Then, we get to the office only to find out that my doctor isn’t in, and his colleague will be seeing me instead. Slight panic, but nothing too bad yet. I go into the exam room and explain that I’m there to get a reference to a sleep specialist. Easy enough, right? Well, she needs to go through all the exam steps first, but that’s easy. We start off normally, going through my symptoms and then my family history. When she gets to my father’s side, I explain that my mother is single and had me through a sperm bank, so I haven’t the faintest about his medical history. Suddenly, her body language closes off and I start to panic a bit about having said something wrong.

She starts asking more and more questions about my problems staying asleep, which mostly involves waking up long enough to roll over before falling back asleep. I keep reiterating that my real problem is taking no less than an hour to fall asleep every night, which she keeps brushing off. Anxiety levels rising.

Doctor: “Drink some lavender tea and read before bed.”

She says it like that is somehow helpful (and like I haven’t already tried that).

Eventually, she turns to me, places a hand on my knee, and says in the most condescending tone of voice that I’ve heard before or since:

Doctor: “Are sure the problem isn’t that you’re depressed because you have no father figure?”

I kind of blue-screened for a minute, because… what? I managed to stammer out something that I’m pretty sure was a denial, but by that point, I just wanted to get this appointment over with.

She continued talking over me, not listening to what I had to say, and generally being condescending for the rest of the conversation, which my brain has conveniently blurred from my memory. It’s bad enough that I had to fight down tears (I was a bit of a crier).

Unfortunately, she noticed and tried to “comfort” me by saying she knew how hard it was to confront mental issues. She also declared that I had depression, restless leg syndrome, and also probably sleep apnea, which is why I kept waking up (completely glossing over the not-falling-asleep thing, again). I was advised to get treatment “before I died in my sleep,” which is not a reassuring thing to say to anyone. She did write me a reference to an actual sleep doctor, though.

I managed to hold myself together long enough to make it back to my mother’s car, where I proceeded to cry and possibly have an anxiety attack about all that. Thankfully, my next appointment that day was with my therapist, so that all got worked out pretty quickly.

Oh, and when I went to the sleep doctor? I was pretty much immediately diagnosed with a delayed circadian rhythm, likely at least partially due to some medical malpractice that occurred in my infancy. The waking up was likely caused by my body thinking I was just trying to take a nap, apparently. No restless legs, and certainly no sleep apnea. The doctor advised me to take some melatonin and get a job on the night shift once I was old enough.

I now actually get to sleep relatively quickly, and the day after getting my first full night’s sleep was practically life-changing. Who knew it was possible to be energetic and not constantly tired? I guess it all worked out all right in the end, though that lady still makes me nervous about going to new doctors.

They Sure Nose How To Waste Time And Resources

, , , | Healthy | June 25, 2022

I used to work for 911 on an ambulance. People called for all sorts of nonsense. I had a patient call for a nose bleed.

Patient: “Take me to the ER with lights and sirens! That’s what they do on TV!”

Me: “The only reason we do that is if it’s an emergency. Your nose bleed is not an emergency.”

Either You’re Civil Or You’re OUT

, , , | Healthy Right | June 24, 2022

Me: “Thank you for calling [Clinic]. My name is [My Name]. Can I get your name and date of birth?”

Man: “Oh, for f***’s sake… It’s [Man] and [Date].”

Me: “Can I get you to verify your address, please?”

Man: “Why the h*** do you need that for?”

Me: “I’m going to have to ask you to watch your language, sir. I cannot access your chart without three forms of verification.”

Man: “I have a question. You can’t answer a simple f****** question without my address?” 

Me: “It depends on what your question is.”

Man: “When was the last time you filled my [medication]?”

Me: “In order to tell you that, I have to access your chart, and in order to do that, I need a third form of verification, like your address or—”

Man: *Screaming* “IT’S [ADDRESS]!”

Me: “Okay, looks like we refilled that for you back in January.”

Man: “That’s what I thought. So, you tell me why the f*** I need to come in and see you before you fill it for me this time?”

Me: “I’m going to ask you again to watch your language. Looking at your chart, it seems like you haven’t been in to see us for over a year. [Doctor] wants you to come in and get checked out first.”

Man: “Then why fill it back in January?”

Me: “They asked you to come in for an appointment then, as well. You made the appointment, they filled your medication, and then you didn’t come in for the appointment.”

Man: “I made an appointment earlier today, but my pharmacy says you refused the refill!”

Me: “[Doctor] is refusing to refill the medication until they see you in person.”

Man: “This is bulls***! Why did you fill it back in January, then?”

Me: “Sir, I’ve already explained that to you.”

Man: “F*** you!”

Me: “I’m going to terminate this call. When you feel like being civil, please call back.”

While we were talking, I typed up a quick note to my coworkers and management letting them know that I was terminating a call in case he called back. One of my managers responded, telling me to document the conversation and that if he did call back, to transfer the patient directly to him.

The man did call back and the girl next to me picked it up. I could hear him cursing at her through the phone. She transferred him to the manager, and I found out later that the man continued to speak that way to the manager. His medication was denied (it was not something vital), his upcoming appointment was canceled, and he was released from his doctor’s care and is not allowed to see any other physician in the clinic.