Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

Trash Can Make You Nauseous

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 7, 2018

(I have the stomach flu, and have spent the night throwing up, with diarrhea. Dehydrated and in pain, I go to the emergency room. I’m trying to do something to distract myself from the pain, so I turn on the TV in the room. The channel buttons don’t work, so it’s stuck on a staged reality show that features a lot of yelling and fighting. The nurse comes in while it’s on commercial.)

Nurse: “Okay, you are so dehydrated the doctor wants you on IV fluids for a while before we run more tests. Oh, what are you watching? Oh, this show is so trashy; I can’t believe it. Who would watch a trashy show like this. Do you like this?”

Me: “It’s what was on.”

Nurse: “Oh, wow. I can’t believe how trashy this is.”

(She stops and turns to watch the TV, ignoring me. It isn’t until the next commercial break that she finally turns and puts the IV in my arm, then leaves without attaching the saline. I start dry-heaving again, and she comes back in to give me a bucket to throw up in.)

Nurse: “Didn’t I attach the saline? I must have been distracted by that trashy TV show you like. What are they doing now?”

(She watches until the end of the episode, while I deal with waves of nausea, then finally comes back with the saline drip.)

Nurse: “Oh, my God, it’s another episode! Are they running a marathon? Who watches this trash?”

(She fiddles with the saline drip for a while, while watching the TV, and then stands and watches until the next commercial break. As soon as she leaves, I turn off the TV. She comes back in a moment later with another nurse.)

Nurse #2: “Why didn’t you start the anti-nausea medicine?”

Nurse: “I only just got the IV on her.”

(I was finally medicated, and as it kicked in, I drifted off into sleep. I was woken up by the TV being turned back on, and the nurse standing there watching it. She caught me watching and shook her head, muttering about the trashy show.)

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Kentucky-Fried Cure

, , , , , | Healthy | May 6, 2018

I work in a very large trauma ER, and we are very busy. I see a lot of weird things, but this one stands out.

A mother brings her 17-year-old daughter in for a “fever.” The registration clerk asks how high the fever is. Mom says, “100.” This is not really an emergency fever unless you have maybe an immune deficiency or are in cancer treatment.

The clerk asks how long she’s had the fever. Mom says, “Like, a day.” The pediatric ER is very busy that day, so they end up waiting about an hour. Halfway through, I look over into the waiting room. The daughter is on her phone, looking as healthy and happy as can be. Mom is nowhere to be seen, but since the daughter is an older teen, I don’t think much of it. Maybe she went to move the car or something.

Ten minutes later, the mom comes back… with fried chicken. They both proceed to eat chicken in the waiting room full of sick people until the daughter is called back. She is almost immediately discharged.

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The Root Of Your Problems

, , , , | Healthy | May 5, 2018

(I am the patient in this story. After many, many years of not receiving dental treatment, I finally get good dental insurance and make an appointment with a dentist. After the x-rays come back, I have in total 14 cavities and severe sensitivity in a majority of my teeth, and I need one root canal. After many visits, I am finally down to the root canal. So far, for a majority of my appointments, the dentist has been rough, short-tempered, and pissy. I am on a time limit to get all this work done, so I just live with it. Sadly, my final appointment does not go well.)

Dentist: *jerks my head* “Oh, s***.”

Me: “Everything okay?”

Dentist: “We are going to have to stop here and send you to someone else.”

Me: “Why?”

Dentist: “I broke a drill bit in one of your roots.”

Me: “I am fine with being sent to someone else, but my insurance ends tomorrow; this root canal needs to be done.”

Dentist: “Don’t worry; it will be done. We are sending you to our specialist. He is really good at root canals.”

Me: *skeptical* “Okay, as long as it gets done.”

(Next day:)

Specialist Dentist: “I don’t know how they managed to break a bit in your root, but the good news is that it broke on the torque, so it sealed the root. We can leave it in and just finish the root canal.”

Me: “Fine, let’s just get this done.”

(Another hour later, as they finish drilling the rest of the roots…)

Specialist Dentist: “We are finished. Schedule your next appointment for the filling and the crown.”

Me: “Um, no, you need to fill this and put the crown on. My insurance ends today; I do not have $1,600 to pay out-of-pocket for this.”

Specialist Dentist: “We can’t finish this today; you’re not scheduled for that.”

(After that, they made me leave. It has been four months, and two of the fillings they did have fallen off, the tooth with the unfinished root canal has cracked, and the broken fillings have exposed nerves. I managed to scrape together enough money to fix one of the fillings, but the other broken filling is out of the budget, and so is the unfinished root canal. It’s pretty bad when a filling falls off while eating pancakes.)

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Name Change Approved

, , , , , | Healthy | May 4, 2018

(A customer is picking up a regular prescription medication but he also wants something else.)

Customer: “Can I also have some ‘Stuffy Nose Squirts’?”

(He wanted a decongestant nasal spray.)

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There Will Not Be Blood

, , | Healthy | May 2, 2018

(Due to having a serious illness as a kid, I’ve had countless numbers of blood tests. When I am old enough to donate blood, I do so willingly, but knowing that my veins are now difficult to find, I always request an experienced technician. This is on all my paperwork, for their benefit as well as mine. This is my fourth or fifth donation, so I know the drill fairly well. It usually takes 15 to 20 minutes.)

Head Technician: “So, I understand that you’ve got difficult veins! That’s not a problem, but I was wondering if you would mind if we get one of our senior technicians to have a practice with you? He’s requested some further experience on veins like yours. I’ll be watching him and with him the whole time.”

Me: “That sounds fine.”

(The head technician brings over a young man, and they prep everything accordingly. Then, at the point where he has to place the needle in, the head technician walks away!)

Young Tech: “Oops! Let me try again.”

(To my mildly-suppressed horror, he tries to find a vein five times!)

Me: “Um, is everything going okay?”

Young Tech: “Sorry, this won’t take too long. I’m just a bit nervous! Are you still okay?”

Me: “Um, yup, just do what you have to!”

(Trying to be helpful, I endure another ten minutes of him attempting to find the vein in my right arm, and missing every time.)

Young Tech: “It looks like this arm is useless, so I’m going to try your left arm!”

Me: “Um, okay?”

(The head technician wanders past and nods approvingly. The young tech gets my left arm set up. At this stage I’m not really into it, but feel like I’m committed, and I’m beginning to feel a little faint.)

Young Tech: “Here we go!”

(Here we do not go. After another twenty minutes of being used as a pin cushion, the young tech calls the head technician over.)

Head Technician: “Oh, well, it looks like we’ve exhausted both arms today! How much blood did we get?”

Young Tech & Me: “None.”

Head Technician: “Oh. Well, we can try again tomorrow!”

(As I am leaving, one of the nurses passes by and asked how things went. I explain, and she is aghast.)

Nurse: “It’s his first day!”

(I marched back to the head technician, who brushed off my concerns, even though all my paperwork said I had tricky veins and needed an experienced technician. The next day, I had deep blue bruises on both my arms from my mid-forearm to almost my armpit, which lead me to being spoken to by my managers about drug use. I didn’t go to give blood the next day!)

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