Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

Some People Are Just Born For It

, , , , , | Healthy | February 19, 2021

When my nan was still alive, she had a doctor that she had been going to for many years. He was a nice bloke, friendly, and competent at his job.

His name? Doctor Seewright.

His occupation? Optometrist.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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Fat People Deserve Better

, , , , , , , | Healthy | February 18, 2021

I’m having chest pains after eating, and it finally becomes bad enough that I go to the doctor. I’m a rather tall 240 pounds. I’m sitting in the exam area waiting for someone to come in when the doctor walks in, looking at a chart.

Doctor: “Mr. [My Name], your problem is that you’re grossly… Wait. You’re 6’9″. I was going to say that you’re obese but you’re not, are you? I guess I’d better examine you.”

After actually examining me and talking to me, I get meds for GERD. But he sure was quick to dismiss me in the beginning.

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There’s Strengthening Your Immune System And Then There’s This

, , , , , , , | Healthy | February 17, 2021

I’m a volunteer marshall. I do anything required at a vaccination site to make things go smoothly, except preparing and giving the actual injections, though I have applied to be trained to do that, too!

The tested vaccine protocol for both vaccines currently on offer in the UK is two doses, three weeks apart. The government has decided to focus on getting as many people their first vaccination as soon as possible, so patients are being told to wait twelve weeks for their second vaccination. I was vaccinated three weeks ago, which means I am ready for a second shot, but I probably won’t be called before Easter; it’s the end of January now. However, I am working on the front line, so I will take it if they offer it to me. Before administering the vaccine, they ask a series of screening questions — allergies, are you well today, etc. — and one of them is, “Have you had a vaccination of any kind in the last seven days?”

I’ve arrived late for my shift at a site I haven’t visited before. I go to the check-in desk where patients go when they arrive to pick a fresh mask up before finding something to do.

I take a mask from a box on the table and indicate my hi-viz.

Me: “Thanks. I’m a volunteer; I have just arrived.”

Admin: “Great, just take a seat there.”

I sit in front of a nurse, thinking she is going to deploy me.

Nurse: “What’s your date of birth and NHS number?”

Me: “What’s happening here?!”

Nurse: “Don’t worry; I’m not going to give you an injection.”

Phew! She asks a few more questions and I see where this is going. 

Me: “You are not going to give me an injection, but after this, someone else will?”

Nurse: “That’s right.”

Me: “I had the [Company #1] vaccine on the eighth.”

Nurse: “That’s fine; it’s more than seven days ago.”

Me: “What vaccine are you using today?”

Nurse: “[Company #2].”

Me: “But I had the [Company #1]!”

It took a few more moments to work it out. It had been a long day, and she had asked these questions a lot. There was much laughter as the people nearby had wondered why I kept saying [Company #1]! If I had been at the end of my shift and as much on autopilot as she was, I might have been an n=1 study of the effects of mixing two vaccines.

I guess it’s a reminder to own your own healthcare.

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A Bad Idea For So Many Reasons

, , , , | Healthy | February 16, 2021

I’m training a colleague to work in a lab for rapidly spreading diseases. The standard operating procedures are slightly different than for some of the other germs we usually work with, including wearing extra Personal Protective Equipment on top of the usual kit. As we are about to exit…

Colleague: “I want to watch you disrobe.”

Me: “I think the word for PPE is ‘doff.’ ‘Disrobe’ sounds like we’re about to have sex.”

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This Heart Attack Is A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

, , , , | Healthy | February 15, 2021

I get strep twice per year, every year. It never fails. It comes at different times, but twice a year it comes. I have unusual symptoms that aren’t typically linked to strep as it gets worse every time I get it.

I wake up one morning and sure enough, my head is throbbing and hot, I have the chills, my throat hurts slightly, and my stomach is cramping. My heart is also thumping pretty hard. My fiancé decides I need to go to the doctor, and I agree since it is that time again! Strep.

Not once have I had an issue with going to the doctor, telling them I have strep, and having them test and give me my prescription in under an hour. This time is different.

My fiancé has to drive me, and we can’t get a sitter so he and the kids are waiting for me in the car. I walk in and wait for about ten minutes before getting into a room. After about another ten minutes, a nurse comes in and, without saying a word, checks my blood pressure and heart rate.

Nurse: “Your heart is beating really fast.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I have a naturally fast heart rate, and I’m sick, which makes it beat faster. It’s normal for me.”

Nurse: “You’re going to have a heart attack. We need to run an EKG.”

Me: *Starting to panic* “Um, no, this is a normal heart rate for me. I just have strep throat; I’d like to be tested for that, please.”

Nurse:No. You’re going to have a heart attack and die. You need an EKG now.”

She leaves the room. Now I am alone and completely freaking out. This has never happened to me before and I am in full panic mode. She comes back into the room with another nurse and a big machine trailing behind her.

Nurse: “Take off your shirt and bra.”

Me: “What? No, absolutely not!”

Nurse: “Take them off. You are having a heart attack and we need to do this test.”

She is hovering over me and glaring at me, and I’m crying at this point, scared out of my mind. The other nurse that came in rolls her eyes at me, and I am confused and still have no idea what’s going on. So, I follow her instructions, unclear on what else to do. She pushes me down and starts hooking up the wires attached to the machine, not explaining what they do or what the machine is. What happens to a person’s heart rate when they are panicking? It increases! After I spend a couple of minutes hooked up to the machine, the nurse clucks her tongue at me.

Nurse: “Yes, you are going to have a heart attack within the next twenty-four hours. All I can do for you is tell you to go home and wait for it. Chew some aspirin if you feel something coming on.”

I’m completely in tears and barely able to speak.

Me: “I— I still need the strep test. I just came in for strep. Please just give me the test. Strep is really bad for me. I need the antibiotics, please—”

Nurse:Ugh, fine. Wait here.”

She leaves me in the room by myself having a panic attack for THIRTY minutes and comes back with the strep swab. It’s never hurt before, but she shoves it down my throat hard, which makes me cry harder.

Nurse: “Okay, your test is done, but it will probably be negative. Go home and put 911 into your phone; you’ll need it later!”

I left shaking and sobbing. When I got to the car, my fiancé was FURIOUS and offered to go in and cause a scene, but I was horribly upset and just wanted to go home. I did leave a nasty review for them and they contacted me two years later asking about what happened. TEN days later, I got a call with the results from the test. Guess what? Positive! And for some reason, they had sent my prescription to the wrong pharmacy an HOUR away. I never did go back, and I never had that heart attack!

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