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Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

We’re Just Glad She Isn’t Driving

, , , , , , , | Healthy | November 23, 2022

I work in customer service for a health insurance company that mainly administers benefits for Medicare and Medicaid populations. In my state, members who receive benefits through state Medicaid have access to medical transportation to and from medical appointments. Unless you have a certified disability or other specialized need, that medical transportation normally goes through regular cab companies.

A notable percentage of our Medicaid membership suffers from psychiatric illnesses and other behavioral health challenges, and because of this, getting cursed out and/or threatened is not uncommon. It’s the nature of the beast, and we’re all trained to understand that and not get frazzled or mirror their energies.

My specific job is to take escalated phone calls. This one happened recently.

Me: “Hello there, thank you for holding. How can I help you?”

Insert unhinged screaming, with no discernable words.

Me: “I can hear that you are clearly upset and that something is wrong, but I can’t understand what the exact issue is. Could you repeat yourself?”

There’s more unhinged screaming about seemingly nothing in particular, followed by:

Caller: “You dumb c***, I am former FBI, so GET AWAY FROM ME OR I’LL HAVE YOU ARRESTED!”

Me: “Ma’am, I work from home and can assure you that I am nowhere near you. Could you please fill me in on what the issue is?”

Caller: “I made a hurricane that destroyed the whole world! Do you really want me to do that again?!”

Me: “I certainly don’t, ma’am. I can help you, but I need to know what’s going on.”

Caller: “You’re parked outside my house!”

Me: “Again, ma’am, I am talking to you from home, and I am definitely not parked outside your house.”

Caller: “There’s a [Cab Company] car outside my house!”

Me: “Did you request a medical ride for today?”

There’s a pause before the caller responds in a surprised, chipper voice.

Caller: “Yes! I have to go to the pharmacy today!” *Click*

Yes, ma’am, you go get those meds.

There’s No Need To Needle Your Patients!

, , , , , | Healthy | November 21, 2022

I am having a colonoscopy done to check for Crohn’s Disease, so I’m pretty nervous. I have requested to be put under anesthesia, because who wants to remember that kind of procedure? I am at the hospital, ready to go. The anesthesiologist comes in and asks if I have any questions.

Me: “Nope.”

Anesthesiologist: “Have you been put under before?”

Me: “Yes. I had my gallbladder out a few years ago.”

Anesthesiologist: “You probably had [Drug].”

Me: “Honestly, I have no idea.”

Anesthesiologist: “That’s what you’ll be getting today.”

Me: “Good to know.”

Anesthesiologist: “[Drug] has killed several celebrities.”

Me: “Why would you tell me that?!”

Anesthesiologist: “I thought you’d want to know.”

Me: “Why would I want to know that when you’re about to use it on me?!”

My gastroenterologist picks that moment to walk in.

Doctor: “Good morning, [My Name]! Time to check your blood pressure!”

Me: “Is this a joke? After what he just told me?”

My doctor gives the anesthesiologist a look.

Doctor: “What did you tell her?”

Anesthesiologist: “Um…”

My doctor sighs and checks my blood pressure. It is, of course, high!

Doctor: “All right. I’m going to give you ten minutes alone to relax, and then I’ll check it again. Everyone out.”

After ten minutes, my blood pressure is fine, so they wheel me into the procedure room. The anesthesiologist is there, along with my doctor and a nurse who I recognize from previous doctor visits.

The anesthesiologist immediately tries to shove an oxygen tube up my nose.

Me: “What the h*** are you doing?!”

Nurse: “You’re not supposed to put that in until after she’s asleep!”

Anesthesiologist: “She’s nervous, so she needs it now.”

Nurse: “[My Name], did he freak you out?”

Me: “Yes!”

Anesthesiologist: “I did not!”

Nurse: “I’m really sorry about that. If it helps, this is a super low-stress procedure, so you don’t need to worry, even if people say stupid stuff to you. I’ll be here and so will [Doctor]. We’ve got you covered.”

Me: “Thank you. That helps.”

Nurse: “Now, I’ll count back from ten. At one, he’ll put you to sleep. Ten… Nine… Eight…”

I feel a pinch in my arm.

Nurse: “I told you not to do that until I got to one!”

As I drift off, I hear the following…

Anesthesiologist: “She was too high-strung, anyway.”

Nurse: “Because you scared her!”

When I woke up, I was in a recovery room with the nurse offering me some juice. The nasty anesthesiologist was nowhere to be found.

You Can’t Pick Your Patients (‘s Noses)

, , , , | Healthy | November 19, 2022

I work on an ambulance. I had a patient call for a nosebleed, which stopped before we showed up.

Me: “Can you tell us what happened?”

Patient: “I picked my nose too much and it started bleeding. I want to go to the emergency room!”

They insisted on going, so we took them. They demanded that we drive with lights and sirens — emergency mode — to the hospital. When I told them we don’t do that for non-life-threatening situations, they threatened to call my supervisor and sue us for not treating them correctly.

Take Care Of Yourself. Period.

, , , , | Healthy | CREDIT: meeggzandbacon | November 17, 2022

It starts out as a normal Saturday night in my small-town restaurant. I come in for my shift at 4:00 pm, and I’m feeling good — ready for the busy night ahead and to make some money.

I go to use the restroom at around 5:00 pm before things start to really pick up and notice that I’m bleeding and slightly cramping. I’ve started my period early — oh, well. I do my thing and go about my business.

My cramps keep getting worse, but it is what it is. We’re busy, and there’s only one other server on with me, so I pop four ibuprofen and keep going. We’re mid-dinner rush at this point.

The cramps are getting worse to the point where I am doubling over behind the bar trying to make drinks. I’m starting to worry, so I try to call the owner who is out of town. No answer.

I go to the restroom and start throwing up. I feel like I’m going to pass out. I have eight tables in the dining area and six people at the bar. There’s absolutely no way I can leave, so I try to find coverage.

Finally, I get someone who’s cross-trained in the kitchen to help out in the dining room until I can get my s*** together. Everything’s getting fuzzy, my hearing is going out, and now I can’t stand. I call my mom.

Me: “I need you to drive me to the emergency room. Something isn’t right.”

After a break, I was not feeling fuzzy anymore, so I tried to continue to help where it was needed before I left.

My mom arrived and I left. I made it to the ER, where I passed out in the waiting area. I came to throwing up yet again what looked like coffee grounds. I was rushed back to a room immediately where multiple tests and ultrasounds were done.

It turned out that my Fallopian tube had ruptured due to pelvic inflammatory disease, which I’d had no idea I had. I had emergency surgery less than an hour later to have my right Fallopian tube removed completely and two blood transfusions because I was bleeding heavily internally.

Trust your body and don’t put your work before your health. I almost died because I didn’t want to leave my coworkers short-staffed.

Pregnancy Is A Hard Journey, But It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This!

, , , , , , , , , , | Healthy | November 14, 2022

CONTENT WARNING: Suicide Mention. May also be triggering to those who’ve lost pregnancies.

This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

 

I am living in another state to study while my husband is living in our home state to continue working. He comes to my college to visit me, and we are grateful and happy to find out a few weeks later that we are expecting a baby.

At first, we plan that I will finish my course as I only have two months to go before moving back to our home state, but when I’m around six weeks pregnant, I end up with such severe morning sickness that I am vomiting up everything in my stomach every thirty minutes to an hour, even water.

After around ten days of this, I call the national health service line, and they recommend that I go to the hospital for fluids. The closest hospital is in the rural town I’m studying in and only consists of an emergency department and basic care. My college principal’s wife accompanies me to the hospital as I am in no condition to drive and am very nervous about getting needles.

From the start, we have problems. The nurses think I’m just a young mum who didn’t realise women get sick when pregnant. They avoid me and roll their eyes when in the room. They don’t call in the doctor (who is on call in a small hospital on the weekend) until one of the nurses realises I haven’t kept down the 500ml of water I’ve tried to drink over the last three days.

When the doctor arrives, he ignores me and only addresses the principal’s wife, believing she is my mother, even though I’m twenty-four. He begins asking me about my medical history.

Doctor: “Do you have any preexisting medical conditions?”

Me: “Yes, I have depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD. I’m on [medication] for it, but I’ve been throwing it up after I take it.”

Doctor: “You know that everyone has depression at some point in their lives, right? You don’t have to declare it.”

Me: “My first suicide attempt was when I was twelve years old.”

Doctor: “Oh, I guess that is a more severe case.”

Eventually, he decides I should have IV fluids and they put me on a three-hour drip. During this time, a new nurse comes in who is very kind. She realises something could actually be more severe than “a bit of morning sickness” and urges me to come back if I continue to be as sick as I am.

A week later, I am still very sick and find myself in the same situation requiring fluids, so I return. This time, I am helped by yet another nurse, who is worse than all the others combined. She does not call the doctor at all and speaks down to me, barely listening to my answers and concerns.

Nurse #2: “Make sure you only eat very plain food; anything spicy or fatty can make you feel more nauseous.”

Me: “I’ve only been eating plain water crackers and milk arrowroot biscuits. Even when I don’t eat, I find my body trying to vomit even though I have nothing in my stomach.”

Nurse #2: “Well, if you eat anything heavy, you will feel worse. And only drink water. You can try ginger tea, too; that helps some women.”

Me: “I’ve tried ginger. It made me even worse. I can’t stomach anything, not even water.”

Nurse #2: “Well, if you stop eating fatty food, you won’t vomit, so we won’t be calling the doctor or giving you any IV fluids. We will give you an injection to reduce the vomiting from what you’ve already eaten, and you can go home.”

I’m so tired and exhausted from vomiting that I don’t argue. I’m just thankful for some medication to stop my vomiting. She says she will inject it into my buttocks, but she misses and injects it into my side in a very painful spot. I end up feeling terrible pain for a week and can’t even touch the area without gasping in pain.

A few days later, my husband and I decide it’s best I move back home as I cannot study in my condition. I book the next flight home.

The day after arriving in my home state, my husband takes me to the chemist to buy more vomit bags. While we’re in line, a staff member notices me pale and shaking in the line and pulls me to the side to ring me up away from the other customers.

Cashier: “You must have a terrible bug; you are so pale.”

Me: “No, just pregnant. Morning sickness sucks.”

The cashier stops and studies me for a moment before pulling me over to a desk with a blood pressure monitor and taking my pulse. She then walks away and makes a phone call and returns with a very serious tone in her voice.

Cashier: “I’m not usually a cashier here. I’m a midwife, and I’m here for a specific program for new mothers to come in and have checkups and ask questions, but it’s quiet so I thought I would help the staff. Now, you are severely dehydrated. You need to go to the hospital now for fluids. I have called [Nearest Large Hospital] and they are expecting you.”

At first, I objected, because of the way I had been treated at the last hospital. I had begun to assume that I was just unable to cope with the standard sickness that comes with pregnancy, but my husband urged me to take her advice, and we go to the hospital.

Nearly as soon as we arrived, we were taken through to a room where IV fluids were waiting and a nurse brought in [Medication #2]. They advised me that the medication [Nurse #2] had injected into my hip is actually considered dangerous for pregnant women and that studies have shown that it causes deformities in animal foetuses.

A doctor diagnosed me with a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which causes severe vomiting for the full duration of pregnancy. [Medication #2] worked excellently, and I ended up having to take it three times a day right up until my healthy — and hydrated — baby boy was born.