No Three Cheers For This Doctor

, , , , , | Healthy | April 25, 2019

(My first experience with a migraine is not a fun one. I lay in bed for two days and nothing works. I am ten at the time. My mom decides to take me to the ER to get stronger medicines since I am missing school and crying any time I am awake. After waiting for an hour, I am taken back and they begin prepping for medicine.)

Doctor: “All right. I’m going to give you a shot to help your head.”

Me: “W-what? I didn’t…”

(I start crying again due to a fear of needles while my mom comforts me. The doctor preps the shot.)

Doctor: “All right. Going to count to three and then we’ll stick you. One… Two…”

(He then jabs the needle in. I scream and jerk away because I wasn’t prepared, causing blood to get all over my arm.)

Doctor: “What the h*** was that for?! You’re ten! Grow up!”

Mom: “And you stabbed my child! You said, ‘On three’!”

Doctor: “Well, if he wasn’t such a brat—“

(A nurse comes in at that moment and sees me crying with blood all over my arm, my mom cornering the doctor, and the doctor with the needle still in his hand. The doctor shoves my mom away and all but slams the needle into the nurse’s hand.)

Doctor: “You take care of this spoiled brat!”

(The nurse patched me up and waited until three to stick me. It took a few tries, but we finally got the medicine. Once it took effect, I don’t remember anything, but, from what I heard, the doctor was fired because he was too rough with patients. One even almost died because of him.)

The Faint Is Not A Feint

, , , , , | Healthy | April 24, 2019

(My adult daughter has multiple medical issues, including vasovagal syncope — she faints — triggered by several things, including vomiting and even small blood draws. I am with her for support and as her driver in case of problems when she goes to get a routine blood draw that requires multiple vials. Due to insurance issues, she is going to an unfamiliar lab and has called in advance to verify that there is a bed available for her to lie down for the draw, as it’s the only way to prevent an event. She is called by the phlebotomist.)

Phlebotomist: “Please have a seat here in this chair and we’ll get started.”

Daughter: “I need to lie down or I’ll faint. I was told you had a bed available?”

Phlebotomist: “Oh, was that you who called? Please just sit down. I draw blood every day, all day, and I’ve never heard of such a problem.”

(It’s actually fairly common.)

Daughter: “I have vasovagal syncope triggered by having my blood drawn. I’d rather lie down so I don’t end up on the floor.”

Phlebotomist: “There isn’t a bed available. Now, you’re holding up the process as there are several others also waiting to have their blood drawn. We’ll just have to deal with it if it happens, which I know for a fact it won’t. I’m very good at my job.”

Daughter: “I’d rather wait for a bed. How long will it be?”

Phlebotomist: “We don’t have any beds in the lab. We’d have to go to the doctor’s office next door, and I’m not going to do that. These chairs recline a bit; I’ll put it back and you’ll be fine. Now, are you going to get the blood drawn or not?”

Daughter: *not wanting to make a scene and needing to have the procedure completed* “Okay, but I warned you; you can’t say I didn’t.” *and to me* “Mom, please come in and be ready to catch me.”

(The phlebotomist prepares my daughters arm for the draw, commenting about how she’s never seen anyone actually faint from a simple blood draw, and what a wuss my daughter is for having to have her mother present for the procedure. When she inserts the needle and starts to draw the blood, my daughter’s eyes roll back and she starts to slide out of the chair.)

Phlebotomist: “What’s happening?! Wake up, wake up! You can’t do this to me! Please, Mom, hold her up while I finish!”

(So much for not keeping the others waiting. She was out cold on the floor for several minutes, and it was over half an hour before she could stand to even get into a wheelchair to leave the room. They’ve since installed a fully reclining chair in the lab, and the phlebotomist learned a valuable lesson about listening to the clients. Also, my daughter will now not allow anyone to draw her blood unless she is fully lying down and will not take “no” for an answer.)

Cyst-emic Failure To Diagnose

, , , , | Healthy | April 24, 2019

(I wake up in excruciating and familiar pain. As someone who has cystic ovaries, I can tell when a cyst is about to rupture; the pain is as identifiable as it is horrific. Other symptoms accompany it, including increased discharge from the nether regions — a point that is important, I assure you. My husband drives me to the ER where I describe the symptoms to the nurse, who winces empathetically.)

Nurse: “I’ve had that, too; I know exactly how you feel.”

(The doctor comes in and I clearly explain my symptoms in detail. She performs a pelvic exam.)

Doctor: “Have you inserted a suppository because of the discharge?”

Me: *in disbelief* “No, that’s the other symptom I mentioned to you; it’s fluid from the ruptured cyst.”

(She then grabs my right leg, pushes it up and into my abdomen, and asks me if it hurts as I gasp and retch from the pain of it torquing my ovary. Her diagnosis?)

Doctor: “Tendonitis in your leg.”

(She sent me home with instructions to alternate ice and heat. The sympathetic nurse urged me to seek a second opinion, which I did. At the second hospital, I explained all of my symptoms to the triage nurse, and said, “You will see in my records that I was just seen at the other hospital and was released with a diagnosis of tendonitis. I thought I’d come to see someone at your facility since, apparently, tendonitis is leaking out of my vagina.” Once she finished laughing, she and the rest of the medical team quickly diagnosed me with a ruptured ovarian cyst, and provided the pain medication and follow-up care I needed!)

A Short Pregnancy

, , , | Healthy | April 23, 2019

(During my third trimester, I am being seen one visit by a doctor who is not my usual ob/gyn. My usual doctor is about five feet tall — 5’2” in heels. I’m 5’3” if I don’t slouch, and my baby is about six pounds. As the doctor in this visit is going over my information, verifying who my doctor is, and checking the size of my baby, he finally exclaims loudly:)

Doctor: “Jeez, there are a lot of short people involved in this pregnancy.”

(My husband and I kept it together but had a really good laugh later on.)

College Doesn’t Cause Less Anxiety, Trust Us!

, , , , , | Healthy | April 22, 2019

(I was diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder and panic disorder at nineteen, and have been on anti-anxiety medications since. Sometimes, they stop being as effective, or the side effects become worse, and I need to return to a doctor to change my prescription. This was never an issue before, as my dosage is low and I don’t require strong or addictive medication. However, after moving, I go to see a new doctor. The clinic has gotten all my medical records from my previous one, and I have filled out the forms, detailing my conditions. The doctor is a general practitioner, is male and middle-aged, and immediately seems to be only paying half-attention. I am a twenty-five-year-old female.)

Doctor: “Now, why is someone like you on anxiety medication?”

Me: *confused* “Because I have an anxiety and panic disorder. I was diagnosed years ago, as it says in my file.”

Doctor: “Have you ever tried losing weight?”

Me: “Uh, yes. I’ve been on diets since I was five. I do eat healthy, and I walk a mile almost daily–“

Doctor: “And you’re not working.”

Me: *having no idea what this has to do with anything* “No, not yet. I just moved states with my family.”

Doctor: “So, you plan on working? Or are you going to school?”

(I have absolutely no idea where this conversation is going, or why he’s suddenly asking about my life. In the back of my head, I’m hoping he’s trying to figure out what medication to put me on if I’m entering a more stressful situation.)

Me: “No, I’m not planning on going to college, and I’ve started looking for a job–“

Doctor: *cutting me off in a grandfatherly, scolding tone* “Now, why aren’t you planning on going to college? There are lots of good colleges around here.” *starts naming off colleges*

(I am getting increasingly embarrassed and flustered. I attended one year of community college, but my health had taken such a terrible turn from the constant stress and panic attacks I nearly ended up in the hospital. I didn’t continue.)

Me: “I’m… not really interested in going back to college, sir. Can we get back to my–“

Doctor: *dismissively* “Now, now, I’ve got a granddaughter your age; I know what I’m talking about. You don’t need more pills. What you need is to get your degree, lose weight, and find a good man to marry. You’re anxious because your life isn’t heading anywhere! I’ll put you on [medication] for now, but when you come back, I expect you to be enrolled somewhere, you hear?” *winking at me* “Doctor’s orders.”

(I was so bewildered and humiliated I just wanted to get out of the office. I took my prescription and never returned to his office again. I’ve had doctors be unprofessional before, but I’ve never had one lecture me on how going to college would magically cure my mental illness!)

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