Here Comes The Needle Aeroplane!

, , , | | Healthy | August 8, 2019

(I’m travelling to a faraway place and need to get a few recommended vaccinations. I registered with a local GP after moving, but didn’t go before, since I’m a pretty healthy person and never really needed a reason. Note: our health service recommends getting regular pap smears at age 25. I’m a bit older than that, and just never got around to doing so. On the day of this appointment, I’m wearing jeans, a hoodie, and sneakers. The doctor gets ready to give me my injections.)

Doctor: “All right, little lady, here comes the needle! Prick!”

(I don’t look my age but I definitely don’t look as young as whoever she’s talking to.)

Doctor: “And now for a little bandaid… There we go!”

(I look at my arm, half expecting a glitter or cartoon character bandaid. The doctor asks me if there is anything else I need.)

Me: “Well, I think I should have been getting regular pap smears for a while, but never got around to it. Can I just have that done here?”

Doctor: “Oooh, there’s no need for that yet, you’re only…” *looks at my file* “Oh. Okay. Yes, you can just make an appointment with us and we’ll take care of it.”

(She’s still my GP and never talked to me like that again, but I’m wondering how old she thought I was!)

Birthday Shots!

, , , , | | Healthy | August 7, 2019

(When my son is three I let him know that I have no choice but to schedule his next doctor’s appointment on his fourth birthday. Although he’s not a fan of doctors, I swear to him that he’ll not be required to get any shots. Even if the doctor says he has to, I tell him that I’m his mother and, in this case, they have to listen to me if I say no. He thinks this sounds like a fair deal and agrees to be on his best behavior. A couple of months go by before we have his appointment. I make sure to reiterate that he won’t be getting shots regardless of what anyone says. He understands and, like any other kid, is excited to turn four so he’s focused on telling every single person he encounters, including the doctor, that it’s his birthday. The appointment goes smoothly until the end.)

Doctor: *cheerfully* “Okay! Everything checks out! He just needs a few shots, and then he can be on his way. Let me go get the nurse.”

(Before she can stand up, I quickly put my hand up.)

Me: “Wait, wait, wait. When I scheduled his appointment a couple of months ago they said he didn’t need any. What happened? Why the change?”

Doctor: *frowning* “I’m not sure. You’ll have to discuss that with the nurse. Let me go get her.”

Me: *shaking my head* “No, don’t bother. I told him he wouldn’t have to get shots today. We’ll just come back a different day.”

Doctor: *insistently* “He has to get his shots.”

Me: “Uh, yeah, I got that. But, uh, you can’t really stab someone on their birthday.” *laughs* “That’s a little cold-blooded, don’t you think?”

(I laugh again, mostly to diffuse the situation, but this lady is not having it.)

Doctor: *even more insistent* “He has to get his shots!”

Me: *frustrated* “Yeah, I know that but–“

Doctor: *cutting me off and shrieking* “He cannot enter kindergarten if he does not get his shots!”

(Please keep in mind that based on when my son’s birthday is and when the school year starts, I have over a year to get him in for these oh-so-important shots. I don’t say this, though. Instead, I take a deep breath and pinch my nose because this lady is clearly crazy. Then, before I even get a chance to say another word, my son, who has been sitting quietly next to her this entire time, leans over and looks right at her.)

Son: “Uh, excuse me?!”

(Startled, the doctor turns and looks at him.)

Son: “My mommy says I do not have to get shots today!” *a bit too loudly and rather forcefully* “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!”

(The doctor stares in open-mouthed shock, looking back and forth between my son and me for a few moments. I take that opportunity to pick up my son.)

Me: *politely* “As I said, he’s not getting his shots today. We’ll come back later.”

Doctor: *looking like she’s sucked on a lemon* “Well, I’ll just put that in his file, then.”

(I took my son and left. Although he did get a small lesson in how to assert himself with a little less force, I could not help but commend him for sticking up for himself. And for those that are concerned, yes, he did get his shots.)

Surgery For Dummies

, , , , , | | Healthy | August 6, 2019

(I have a strange sense of humor and enjoy talking about ordinary events in outlandish ways. I am texting a good friend of mine who shares my sense of humor and regularly exchanges joking threats with me. She also happens to be the daughter of a nurse. I am in no way a healthcare professional.)

Me: “Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you something. I performed gastric surgery today!”

Friend: “Oh…”

Me: “I’ve been meaning to get around to it for a while, but there was never a time when I could do it. Well, I did it today and the patient was just fine. Didn’t even want anesthetic.”

Friend: “I… I’m curious but scared.”

Me: “Here she is!” *sends a picture of a stuffed dog*

(The stuffed dog in question is very precious to me and sustained a long rip along a seam running down its stomach. I have sewn it up before the inner netting can break, too, and spill plastic pellets everywhere.)

Friend: “Holy crap, I was terrified, [My Name]!”

Me: *laughing way too hard*

Friend: “We’re gonna get that freaking cosplay blade we were talking about earlier and I’m going to find a way to stab you with it.”

(I was not stabbed.)

Bowel Moved To Action

, , , , | | Healthy | August 4, 2019

(I am a junior volunteer at my local hospital with a decent amount of medical knowledge for my age stationed in the emergency room. As I am a freshly graduated high school student — and most volunteers are around my age — we aren’t really allowed to do much but answer call bells, put together blood draw tube sets, enter data, and, in my case, monitor the heart rate screen and alert nurses to abnormal changes. But this isn’t a story about an abnormal heart rate; this is a story of a complete doofus. I am coming back to Central from being over on North — two of the four sections of my ER — when I overhear this gem of a conversation.)

Doctor: *to a patient’s nurse* “We had [Patient] come in complaining of abdominal pain about an hour ago. [Hospital he was transferred from] suspects a small bowel obstruction, but he can’t think of anything to have caused it and said he was experiencing other symptoms.”

Nurse: “Was it?”

Doctor: “Well, considering his last meal was an entire jar of pickles and an extra-large bag of [Popcorn Brand], take a guess.”

(Spoiler alert, it was. Still my favorite story to date. I have no idea why that man thought it was a good idea to eat that in one sitting, and even less of an idea why he couldn’t figure out why he was feeling so bad.)

Just Go And Sleep It Off

, , , , , , | | Healthy | August 1, 2019

(I’ve had problems sleeping most of my life. I’ve mentioned this to doctors before, but I have always been told it is stress and/or that I’ll grow out of it by the time I am 20. I finally go to a new doctor at age 23 to try to get a sleep study to find out if there’s an underlying issue, and I decide before going in that I am not taking no for an answer, collecting everything I can to back my case up. This is my exchange with the doctor.)

Me: “I’ve hardly had what constitutes a ‘good night’s sleep’ in ten years. It takes me two hours to fall asleep at night, regardless of what time I go to sleep, but during the daytime, I can fall asleep within minutes.”

Doctor: “Well, maybe if you didn’t take naps, you wouldn’t have a problem. Why don’t you try that?”

Me: “I have, actually. I’ve done tests on myself using a sleep tracking app and trying two-month test periods of going all day every day without a nap, and then again taking a thirty-minute nap each day. There’s next to no change in the nighttime data, and my self-rating of how I feel after I wake up is the same, too. I’ve repeated this for the past year with variables like listening to music and using a weighted blanket with the same results.”

(I show him the graphs I’ve made from my data.)

Me: “Not to mention, I hardly spend any time in deep sleep. It’s all light.”

Doctor: “Well, sleep tracking apps can be very unreliable. You shouldn’t trust it just because it’s on your phone. Even though it says you’re in light sleep, you might be getting deep sleep.”

Me: “I know it’s not 100% accurate, but it still shows approximately when I fall asleep, and it’s never less an hour and a half, and that’s on my best nights.”

Doctor: “That’s normal! You’ll grow out of it!”

Me: “But when? I can’t wait until my 30s to ‘grow out of it.’ It’s affecting both my work and home lives. I can barely get any housework done on the weekends or after work because I’m too tired, I sleep through holidays with my family, and I have to call into work at least once a month due to exhaustion. Just last week, I was pulled over because a cop saw me nodding off at a red light.”

Doctor: “Just get some melatonin and you’ll fall asleep in no time. And if that doesn’t work, try valerian!”

Me: “I have. Both of them. There’s no effect on how long it takes me to get to sleep or how I feel when I wake up. If anything, I feel worse in the mornings after I take them. I really think I need a sleep study to figure out if there’s something wrong with me. I’ve literally broken down crying because I was so tired before.”

Doctor: “Are you sure it isn’t just PMS?”

(We go back and forth like this for almost fifteen minutes, him suggesting ideas and me telling him I’ve already done it and recorded my data — all of which I’ve already mentioned to the nurse and on my new patient forms. I’m growing frustrated and, thanks in part to the continuing exhaustion, nearly start crying again under his line of questioning. Finally, I’ve had enough.)

Me: “I am not leaving this office until you set me up with a neurologist for a sleep study. I have a family history of sleep apnea, and I need answers.”

Doctor: “So, you want drugs, that’s it. You’re too young and skinny to have sleep apnea.”

Me: “What? Sleep studies don’t even involve drugs! I am literally getting less than five hours of sleep a night; that should be reason enough for me to get a sleep study right there!”

Doctor: “I don’t work with people hunting for drugs.”

Me: “And I don’t work with f****** crackpots who don’t listen to their patients!”

(I stormed out without paying and reported him to my insurance, and I have an appointment with a new doctor this Friday. Hopefully, this one will actually listen to me.)