Context Is Thicker Than Blood

, , , | Healthy | April 13, 2018

(I’m standing at the reception desk of my doctor’s office when suddenly I hear a woman yell:)

Woman: “I don’t have blood anymore!”

(I do a mental double-take since the receptionist seems completely unfazed.)

Woman: “Mrs. [Receptionist]! I don’t have blood anymore!”

(The receptionist looks up, smiling benevolently. Just as I start to wonder what the heck is going on, a female doctor’s assistant walks up to the reception desk, trailed by a courier carrying a sealed box.)

Doctor’s Assistant: “Mrs. [Receptionist], the courier is here; all the blood samples will be sent out now.”

(Finally, it clicked. So, there wasn’t a vampire phlebotomist on the loose!)

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Helping Is In Their Blood

, , , , , , | Healthy | April 11, 2018

(I donate blood regularly. One time, when they insert the needle, I immediately feel lightheaded for a second or two. Since I have not yet lost more than a few drops of blood, definitely not enough to cause a significant loss of blood pressure, I assume it was just a psychosomatic reaction to having such a large needle inserted, shrug it off, and decide to continue with the draw. A few minutes later, it comes back again, and with a vengeance.)

Me: *raising hand shakily* “Um… Excuse me?”

(I immediately have three technicians surrounding me.)

Technician: “Are you okay?”

Me: “I’m feeling a bit lightheaded.”

(They spring into action, immediately removing the needle. One of them reclines my seat so my feet are elevated above my head, one goes to grab damp cloths, which they drape over every inch of exposed skin I have, and one goes to grab me a juice box to increase my blood sugar. After a while, the seat is returned to its regular position, and they continue feeding me juice. I am eventually allowed to go to the recovery area, with two people escorting in case I pass out on the way. Once I sit down, I call my friend who I was supposed to meet to tell her I’ll be delayed. Partway through the conversation, I hear running steps behind me, then feel a hand on my shoulder. I look up to see a woman with a very concerned expression, who looks at me for a moment and then laughs.)

Volunteer: “Oh, you’re on your cell phone! I thought you were talking to yourself!”

Me: “Oh, no. I’m just letting my friend know I’m going to be late.”

Volunteer: “Oh, good.”

Friend: “What was that?”

Me: “Oh, the volunteer thought I was talking to myself. Can you imagine that? ‘Oh, great! First he nearly passes out, and now he’s hallucinating!'”

(They eventually let me go, and I was only 30 minutes late to meet my friend. Fortunately, while everything was going on, one of the techs mentioned I had filled most of a bag, and when I asked if it could still be used, he assured me it could.)

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Dying For Some Good Service

, , , | Healthy | April 9, 2018

(A group of friends and I have been out drinking. Someone in the last pub becomes belligerent after the barman cuts him off. Things happen, and we end up in A&E after one friend — very drunk by this point — gets glassed in the face. As his boyfriend, I have the pleasure of sitting beside him while a nurse is stitching him up.)

Boyfriend: “Am I going to die?”

Nurse: “Yes.”

Boyfriend: “WHAT? OH, GOD!”

Me: “Is it that serious? Shouldn’t he be in surgery or something?”

Nurse: “What? Sorry, I have to concentrate. You wanted a drink, right? I could get you a glass of water.”

Me: “No, he asked if he was dying.”

Nurse: *looking mortified* “Oh, no. You can go after we’re done.”

Me & Boyfriend: “…”

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The Holy S-pee-rit

, , , , | Healthy | April 8, 2018

(I am going through the screening questions before a surgery for which I will have to be anesthetized.)

Nurse: “Do you smoke?”

Me: “No.”

Nurse: “Do you drink alcohol?”

Me: “Occasionally.”

Nurse: “How often?”

Me: “Once or twice per month.”

Nurse: *skips the usual, “Is there any chance you could be pregnant?”* “Now, I don’t care if you are the Virgin Mary; we’re going to need a urine sample for a pregnancy test.”

Me: “Well, if I was the Virgin Mary, that would be super important, so fair enough.”

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Abort This Doctor’s Appointment

, , , , | Healthy | April 7, 2018

(I have made an appointment with my general practitioner, as I have developed a skin condition on my foot that I want checked out. Please note that I am definitely overweight, but not in any way obese, and the doctor himself is visibly much more overweight than I am. When I am called through, he listens to my concern, then pulls out this gem:)

Doctor: “How much do you weigh?”

Me: *confused, but assuming this is part of the normal health assessment* “Um, about [weight].”

Doctor: “Okay, and what birth control are you using?”

Me: *now assuming the problem could be a side effect of some birth control types* “Oh, none. I’m not in a relationship, but if I were, we’d probably use condoms.”

Doctor: “Oh, good. You know, you really are quite overweight. It’s good you’re not sexually active. At your weight, if you fell pregnant, I’d have to force you to have an abortion.”

(This statement shocked me so badly that I froze and just sat, staring at him, as he lectured me about my weight. He advised me to try taking very small bites of my food, telling me that this method worked great for him. I left, still in a state of shock, and then realised that he did not address the problem with my feet. Another doctor later confirmed it was eczema.)

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