Where The Sun Don’t Shine, Bungholio

, , , | | Healthy | May 12, 2018

Customer: “These things don’t work! They are hard to swallow and I nearly choked to death.”

Me: “Ma’am, they are suppositories. You don’t swallow them; you insert them rectally.”

Customer: “What does that mean?”

Me: “You unwrap them and insert them in your rectum.”

Customer: “What’s my rectum?”

Me: “Ma’am, please forgive me, but your rectum is your butthole.”

Customer: “Well, up yours, too!” *stalks off*

(This is not the first time someone misunderstood when we explained how to use a suppository. It’s the only time we can tell a patient, “Up yours,” and get away with it!)

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Wasn’t Going Through Labor Enough?

, , | Healthy | May 11, 2018

(I work in a busy maternity ward, and I’m constantly amazed at how many people will show up to visit someone who’s just given birth. Your ex-boyfriend’s best friend’s ex-girlfriend’s third cousin from grade school will show without batting an eyelid. The following exchange is unfortunately very common:)

Visitor: “Hi, I’m here to see Lisa Jones.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t have anybody named Jones. Is there another name she might be using?”

(Even people who are married often book in under their maiden name, as a way of not getting too many visitors, and elderly people often assume the woman’s name is the same as her partner’s, even if they’re not married, because they can’t imagine letting the hospital know you’re having a baby out of wedlock!)

Visitor: “She must be here; she was only born this morning.”

Me: “Wait, is that the baby’s name? I need the mother’s name. She’s the patient. As the baby’s name isn’t registered yet, all babies are listed as ‘Baby of [Mother].’”

Visitor: “The father is Dick Jones.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I need the mother’s name; otherwise, I can’t help you.”

Visitor: “I think her name might be Ann.”

Me: “I honestly can’t help you if you don’t know her name.”

Visitor: “Couldn’t you just check the fathers’ and the babies’ names?”

Me: “We. Have. No. Record. Of their names. Only the mothers are admitted as patients.”

(At this point, even if there’s only one patient on the ward named Ann, and I KNOW that’s who you’re looking for, there’s no way you’re getting in to see her if YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HER NAME!)

Me: “Well, could you call her? Or the father? I’m sure he can tell you what name she’s using.”

Visitor: *doubtfully* “Well, I don’t really know him.”

(So, you don’t know the mother, as you, “think her name might be Ann,” and you don’t really know the father, usually a vague acquaintance such as, your partner plays football with him, and you maybe know the mother by sight, but you think it’s appropriate to come see her in the, hospital hours after she’s given birth?!)

Not Seeing Eye To Eye On This

, , , , , | Healthy | May 10, 2018

(It is important to note that every state in the USA has their own laws about eyeglass prescriptions. It is most common in Iowa for optometrists to write prescriptions that only last for one year, though they could write one that would be valid for up to two years. One day, I get this phone call.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Optometrist]’s Office. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Yes, hello! I ordered a box of contacts from you guys about a month ago, for my son, and he says these ones aren’t working. He’s got blurry vision. I know the doctor changed his script a couple times and I just want to make sure the most recent one was ordered.”

Me: “Sure. I’ll pull his file and take a look. Please hold.”

(I go to have a look at the file and my heart sinks. It’s April, and this kid had his eye appointment last June. Kids tend to have a lot of changes in their vision thanks, in part, to hormones. Not only that, but he came back three times with the same complaint of his contacts not working. All of that was within thirty days of his appointment, so his script was finalized in July. And Mom waited to order… until March. I steel myself and pick up the phone.)

Me: “Thank you for holding, ma’am. It looks like the most recent prescription was what we ordered for your son. It is accurate.”

Customer: “Well, he can’t see out of them! Can you take this box back?”

Me: “Is the box unopened? We can do a refund for the box if it is, but we can’t take back an opened box for hygiene reasons.”

Customer: “Of course it’s opened! He’s been wearing them! But they are wrong now.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. The order was placed correctly. We put the same strength that your son told us worked, and so there’s nothing we can do. At this point, he’s almost due for another eye exam, as it is.”

Customer: “So, you’re saying I’m just out, what, $75?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but yes. He saw the doctor last July, and it’s been almost a year. It’s possible his eyes have changed.”

Customer: “That’s just ridiculous! This is the worst service I’ve ever gotten. I’m never bringing him back to your office!”

(And she hung up on me. I’m sorry, but who waits eight months to order contacts and THEN complains? Next time, don’t wait so long!)

Time To Make A Stand

, , , , | Healthy | May 9, 2018

(My parents and I are sitting in the ER waiting room, waiting for my mom’s test results to come back. It’s very early in the morning, and the waiting room is quite small, so the few of us in there are all within eyesight of each other, except one woman sitting on the other side of a pillar from us. We’ve been there for a few minutes when a nurse comes in, carrying an armload of cleaning supplies. She walks over to the woman behind the pillar.)

Nurse: “Where was that man sitting?”

Woman: “Oh, three chairs over from me.”

(You can see everyone in the room count three chairs over from this woman… where another woman happens to be sitting. As soon as she realizes this, she tenses up and the guy next to her recoils away. The nurse awkwardly approaches.)

Nurse: “I need to clean this chair. The man who was sitting there had an… um… accident in his pants.”

(She immediately gathered all of her stuff and moved chairs, whispering somewhat-panicked statements to her male companion about whatever it was she was sitting in without realizing. We were called back before her, but the rest of the time we were there, she was sitting on the edge of her new chair, trying to touch as little as possible. You know you’re having a bad day when you’re in the ER at 1:00 am and find out you’re sitting in a stranger’s “accident.”)

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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