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Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

Theft? What?

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 15, 2022

I am working late at a veterinary hospital and a note was left for the doctor. The phone rings, and I answer.

Me: “[Veterinary Hospital], my name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Owner: *Politely* “Hi there. I left a note for the doctor this afternoon and I haven’t heard back yet. My pet’s name is [Pet] and my last name is [Owner’s Last Name]. I was wondering if we could fill antibiotics for my pet?”

Me: “Okay, let me look that up for you!” *Typing* “Oh, I see the doctor won’t be in until tomorrow. Sorry about that. My coworker should have let you know! She’ll get back to you tomorrow, but I’ll let you know that standardly the doctor does require a recheck exam prior to filling antibiotics, especially since it’s been a couple months since we’ve seen the pet!”

Owner: *Silence*

Me: *Pauses* “Ma’am, did I lose you?”

Owner: *Suddenly angry* “No, I heard you, but that’s theft.”

Me: *Shocked* “What?”

Owner: “That’s theft to demand a recheck!”

Me: “Ma’am, I was letting you know so you have a realistic expectation of tomorrow’s call with the doctor and to see if you wanted to make the appointment.”

Owner: “That’s theft!”

Me: *Sternly, getting back my senses* “No, it is not.”

Owner: “Yes, it is!”

Me: “Ma’am, if you continue yelling at me, I will have to hang up.”

Owner: *Yelling* “I’m not yelling!”

Me: “Yes. You are.”

Owner: “I’ll talk to the doctor tomorrow!” *Hangs up*

Employees Do Their Jobs Best When You Don’t Let Them Die

, , , | Healthy Working | May 13, 2022

I work with a manager who has alienated everyone we work with because of a medical emergency I had. We got so slammed one morning that we were still trying to catch up at noon when my relief manager came in. My friend was working on breakfast dishes. I was trying to clean the egg grill when I got dizzy all of a sudden and passed out.

From what I was told, [Friend] saw me and ran right over, got on the ground, and held me up so he could check my pulse and make sure that I was breathing and that I wasn’t bleeding from the head. Someone alerted my manager, who had my cashier call 911 while he walked around aimlessly.

[Friend] started giving the cashier my medical history.

Manager: “[Cashier], get off the phone and get back to work!”

My friend took the phone from her so she could do that, and he took over giving dispatch information while still holding on to me. Thirty seconds later:

Manager: “[Friend], leave her and get back to work.”

Friend: “No way! I’m not leaving her until the paramedics get here”

Finally, I woke up and tried to sit up by myself, but [Friend] had one hand on my back in case I fell.

The paramedics came in and checked me over. They told [Friend] it was a good thing he had stayed with me; my heart rate was so high that I could have gone into cardiac arrest.

Manager: “Good thing I told you to stay with her, [Friend]!”

Everyone denied this. Later, [Friend] told our General Manager everything that happened.

Sadly, the idiot still has a job.

Not App-y About This Reception

, , , | Healthy | May 13, 2022

I have a chronic pain condition called fibromyalgia and have been taking the same high-strength painkillers for three years now. I recently moved across the city and had to register with a new general practitioner’s surgery. They have an option where patients can request medication through the national health care app, which I do on a Wednesday a week before my prescription runs out. This painkiller has serious withdrawal effects that start eight hours after the last dose and get progressively worse in a short amount of time.

On Monday evening of the following week — five days after I requested my prescription — I check the app to see that my prescription has been rejected and a note saying to call the GP. I call on my lunch break the next day, Tuesday, thinking forty-five minutes will be plenty of time to get through to reception and sort it out. More fool me; my lunch break ends and I’m still on hold.

Thankfully, my workplace (a nursery/daycare) is lax on us using our phones while on shift so long as we’re not taking photos of children or ignoring our duties, so I opt to do the washing up after lunch with an earbud in listening to the hold music.

An hour and fifteen minutes into the call, I’ve finished washing up and there’s no cleaning to do inside, so I head to the garden with my earbud still in. It’s tricky to hold a conversation with the children and my coworkers through the repetitive music still in my ear, but I manage. If it were anything else, I’d give up and call back the next day, but I only have a day’s worth of painkillers left and really don’t want to go into withdrawal. After an hour and forty-five minutes of being told I’m “number one in the queue,” I finally get through to the receptionist.

Me: “Hi. I ordered a prescription of [painkiller] through [App] last week but it’s been rejected it and says to call the GP?”

We go through the verification process to bring up my account.

Receptionist: “It looks like we released a prescription for you on Thursday of last week. Is that what you’re calling about?”

Me: “Yes, but the app says it’s been rejected, and I only have a day’s worth of my old script left.”

Receptionist: “Oh, no. It was released on Thursday; it’s waiting for you at [Preferred Pharmacy]!”

Me: “So, I’ve been on hold for nearly two hours for nothing?”

Receptionist: “Two hours?! I’m so sorry you had to wait that long. We’ve been having problems with our system, and it only notified us you were waiting a minute before I took your call!”

Me: “All right, I understand, but I don’t get why the app said it had been rejected when the two other medications I requested at the same time were approved.”

Receptionist: “I’m so sorry. That’s a really long time to wait and I do apologise. Unfortunately, we don’t have any control over the app so I couldn’t tell you why it was marked as rejected. But your prescription is ready to be collected at the pharmacy.”

Me: “All right, thank you for confirming that.”

The receptionist gave me a code to give to the pharmacy in case they didn’t have my script on their system and we hung up. I understand it wasn’t their fault that the app was wrong or that their system has a bug, but I still spent over twelve hours worrying that I wouldn’t have my painkillers before my current packet ran out and spent over an hour only half-focused on my job for nothing.

I tried to report the issue on the app, but our government-run national healthcare service apparently doesn’t have that feature, so there’s nothing I can do. I’m grateful to have tax-funded healthcare which means I pay a little under £10 a month for medications that would cost hundreds, if not thousands, in other countries, but it’s frustrating to have this or similar issues pop up every few months on what should be a simple interaction. Yet another side effect of the budget cuts destroying what was once a well-oiled machine, I guess.

Cooking Up Confusion

, , , , , | Healthy | May 11, 2022

I’m switching my primary care physician due to insurance issues, so I decided for my most recent appointment to have a more thorough physical checkup. My usual doctor was unavailable at the time, but one of his assistants could look me over in his stead. I decided a fresh point of view was not a bad idea, so I went ahead and scheduled the checkup.

It all started off relatively uneventfully, with the doctor’s assistant confirming my medical history, medications, symptoms of depression, etc.

Assistant: “And what about your diet? What’s that like?”

Me: “Since I moved out and am now living with a few roommates, we’re all taking turns doing home cooking.”

Thanks to a wonderful combination of social anxiety and ADHD, I have difficulty making eye contact with someone while talking unless I’m very familiar with them or making a significant effort. I was fairly relaxed, so I was just gazing over at the opposite wall while I mentioned that my roommates and I do cooking for ourselves every night. When I looked back over at the assistant, her expression was serious and concerned. I recognized I had to have said something to have caused that change, given she was quite cheerful and chatty only a minute before.

Assistant: “You do this every night?”

Me: “Between my roommates and I, we take turns. And if I get up early enough, I do it for myself in the morning.”

Her expression of concern just grew more intense.

Assistant: “Are you aware of the health risks of what you’re doing?”

I spent a few moments trying to figure out what she could mean.

Me: “I don’t know if there are any risks associated with cooking meals, other than maybe excessive use of salt or oils.”

At that, she burst out laughing! I was even more confused.

Me: “What did you think I said?”

Turns out, she thought I’d said I was doing cocaine every night and sometimes in the morning. It wasn’t until I’d said the word “meals” that she’d figured out I was talking about something completely different! Both the assistant and I couldn’t stop laughing for several minutes straight after that, and the rest of the checkup was perfectly fine.

We Liked Him Better Under Anesthesia

, , , , | Healthy Right | May 9, 2022

I work in surgical recovery. We sit with the patients while they wake up from anesthesia and make sure they keep breathing. It’s normally not too spicy, especially compared with some other things I could be doing right now. Health crisis, anyone?

Then, there’s this guy. He’s middle-aged, rude, and entitled, and he’s simultaneously sure that he’s HILARIOUS and that he’s the center of the universe. 

As he’s being wheeled away to his room upstairs, he tells my fellow nurse, who is young, fairly attractive, and female:

Patient: “You’ve been a good dog.”

All conversation and movement stop for a long moment. We all stare, dumbfounded. 

Coworker: “I’m sorry, what?”

Patient: “I said you were a good dog. It’s a compliment.”

Without further ado, he departs our lives. I glance at my coworker.

Me: “Did that really just happen?”