No Need To Get Catty About It

, , , | Healthy | April 21, 2018

(I go to a human drugstore to get a new insulin vial for my diabetic cat, since his last one is expired. He’s been diagnosed and treated for four months now, and I have been handling his insulin shots every day, twice a day, ever since. I bring the old box with me, so I’m sure I’ll get the right one. In Brazil, you can have insulin over the counter, no prescriptions needed. Also, every drugstore has a fidelity card that offers discounts, and most of the health cares have partnerships that give you discounts; you just have to show your health care card. A third way to get a discount — a big one — is when you register with the manufacturer; it’s a long form you have to fill, with your doctor’s information, treatment details, etc.)

Me: “Hi, I’d like a small vial for this insulin.” *hands the box* “I also would like to check both fidelity and health care discounts.”

Employee: *cheerful* “You know, you could get the manufacturer’s discount for it.”

Me: “Yeah, I know, but it’s for my diabetic cat, so they couldn’t take us.”

Employee: *makes weird face*

Me: *uncomfortable, trying to be cheerful* “Yeah, unfortunately they didn’t accept felines for that. That’s a ‘humans-only’ kind of benefit.”

Employee: *goes to hand me the vial, backs off, looking at me as if I’m a child* “You know this needs to be kept on the fridge, right?”

Me: “Yeah, I know. I also need a ten-pack of syringes.”

Employee: *still making the weird face* “Syringes for what?”

Me: “Uh, insulin. I need the smaller ones, because he only takes two units at a time.”

Employee: *proceeds to teach me how to use the syringes, very patronizingly, ignoring the fact that I may know how to do it since I just gave her an empty box of insulin* “What gauge size you need?”

Me: “I never had to choose between gauge sizes, but since he’s a cat, I believe the smaller ones.”

Employee: “What size is he?”

Me: “Uh, cat size? About four kilos.”

Employee: *weird face*

Me: “Sooo, I guess I’ll take the small ones.”

Employee: *reluctantly gives me my stuff, still looking at me as if I was committing a crime*

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Pressured To Squeeze Out Any Answer

, , , , , | Healthy | April 20, 2018

(I’m in anatomy and physiology class, self-grading a test we just did on the cardiovascular system. Since everyone’s grading their tests as a class, the teacher is going over the questions and answers aloud. As is the case on every test, some of the answers are flexible, as long as she can understand what you were trying to refer to.)

Teacher: “Numbers 52 and 53: what instruments are used to measure blood pressure? ‘Stethoscope,’ and I’ll take, ‘blood pressure cuff.’ If you said, ‘sphygmomanometer,’ I’ll take that, too.”

Student #1: “I put, ‘blood pressure band.’”

Teacher: “Yeah, that’s close enough; I’ll take that, too.”

Student #2: *somewhat sheepishly* “I put, ‘squeezy pressure thing’…”

(Everyone bursts out laughing, even [Student #2] and [Teacher].)

Teacher: *between giggles* “‘Squeezy pressure thing’! I’ll take that!”

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Looks Like They Already Had Their Drugs

, , , | Healthy | April 19, 2018

(I have just started my first job at a local pharmacy and convenience store, and it is my third day of training. I am standing behind the counter with an older coworker of mine. We hear the door open, and look over.)

Customer: *quickly walks through the doors and to the other end of the floor, where the pharmacy is*

Me: *looking at my coworker* “Was she…”

Coworker: *taking a sip of an energy drink* “…not wearing any pants? Welcome to the job, kid.”

Me: “…”

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At Least He Told The Tooth

, , , | Healthy | April 18, 2018

(I study dentistry in France, where you work at a dental clinic starting on your fourth year. Every half day, you’re in a different service. For example, on Tuesday mornings, I take care of cavities and the like, and on Friday afternoons I remove teeth. To remove a tooth, you obviously have to anesthetize the patient locally, and, for medical reasons, you cannot do that if the patient has taken drugs recently — especially cocaine — or you could cause them to have a heart attack. Although it is a rare occurrence and most likely wouldn’t happen anyway, we still can’t knowingly inject a drugged patient with adrenalin, which is part of our anesthesiant. A patient I know from a different service comes to have a tooth removed. Since I’ve already seen him and his file, I know he is a drug addict. On this particular day, he is acting very “twitchy.”)

Me: *after five minutes of chatting about the treatment I already performed on him while we set up the operation table* “So, have you taken any drugs lately?”

Patient: “You have to be more precise; I’ve been on drugs my entire life!”

Me: “Hm, how about that last week?”

Patient: “Sure.”

Me: “What have you taken?”

Patient: “A bit of everything, really.”

Me: “What about cocaine?”

Patient: “Oh, yeah.”

Me: “In the last three days?”

Patient: *more or less jokingly* “Are you the police? Why are you questioning me?”

Me: “Well, sir, I can’t anesthetize you if you’ve taken cocaine recently; that could cause you to have a heart attack. I personally don’t care; it’s for your sake. So, when’s the last time you’ve taken cocaine?”

Patient: “Hm… Half an hour ago.”

(I resisted the urge to face-palm and informed the patient that I could not legally or ethically remove his tooth. He told me that he had come plenty of times, been anesthetized and never had any issue, but I still refused and sent him away. I told him to come back clean after the weekend and wrote about the incident in his file, warning the next student to check whether he is clean or not. He will probably come back high as a kite and just lie about having taken anything, but at least it will not be my responsibility, then.)

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Ultrasound Taking Ultra Long

, , , , , | Healthy | April 17, 2018

(I am 37 weeks pregnant and am having an ultrasound on my baby to monitor his kidneys, which are enlarged, but otherwise healthy. A very nice student tech is doing the ultrasound under the watchful eye of the attending OB/GYN and the supervising tech, who are viewing the video in the next room. The student is being very careful and thorough, trying to get good pictures of every structure, and is taking a LONG time. Finally, the supervising ultrasound tech comes in, cackling, and addresses the student.)

Supervisor: “Dr. [OB] says if you keep her in here much longer, she’s going to have to deliver her right on this table.”

(She wasn’t too far off; I went into labor shortly afterward!)

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