Give Me Coffee Or Give Me Death

, , , | Healthy | May 16, 2009

(I work in a hospital.)

Me: “What can I get you to drink, sir?”

Patient: “Coffee.”

Me: “Well, it looks like you’re on a cardiac diet, which means you can’t have caffeine.”

Patient: “You asked me what I wanted, and I want coffee.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t give it to you.”

Patient: “This is ridiculous! I’ve been drinking coffee every morning for the last sixty years. I want my coffee!”

Me: “Sir. You are on a cardiac diet. That means that you can’t have caffeine, extra sodium, or fat. It could make your condition worse.”

Patient: *tries to pull a fast one* “My doctor told me I could have it.”

Me: “Well, your doctor needs to put it into our computer; otherwise, I could lose my job.”

Patient: “MY DOCTOR SAID I COULD HAVE IT!”

Me: “Sir, I know you’re lying. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be on this diet.”

Patient: “GIVE ME THE F***ING COFFEE!”

Me: *loses patience* “DO YOU WANT THE COFFEE OR DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?!”

Patient: *sheepishly* “Can I have apple juice?”

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Survival Of The Fittest In Action

, , , , | Healthy | May 14, 2009

Me: “Hello, this is [Doctor]’s office. Can I help you?”

Patient: “Yeah, is there an injection I can get for my gout?”

Me: “I don’t think so. I think we only give injections for muscle pain, but I can double-check for you.”

Patient: “Yeah, check. I’m going away this weekend and my ankle really hurts. My primary doctor says it’s not gout. I had these labs done, and they all say it’s not gout, but it really hurts.”

Me: “It’s not gout, but you want to know about a gout injection?”

Patient: “Well, they say it’s not gout, but I was at a bar and a guy looked at it and said, ‘That’s gout, all right!'”

Me: *pause* “A guy at the bar?”

Patient: “Yeah. And he gave me one of his pills, and it really helped.”

Me: “You took a pill from some guy in a bar?!”

Patient: “Yeah, it really helped, and it was gout medicine, so I think I have gout. So, is there an injection?”

Me: “Hold, please.”

(At this point, I go ask my manager if a gout injection exists, which it doesn’t, and I explain the situation. She agrees that this is completely stupid, but that if the woman wants gout medication, we can prescribe it.)

Me: “Thanks for holding. Turns out there’s no injection for gout.”

Patient: “Really? My ankle’s killing me.”

Me: “Well, if the medicine you took worked for you, we may be able to write you a prescription for it.”

Patient: “Oh, I already have a prescription.”

Me: “You… already have a prescription that stops your pain? Are you taking it?”

Patient: “No, I thought an injection might be faster.”

Me: *long pause* “Is there anything else you need today?”

Patient: “No, thank you.” *click*

Me: “Oh. My. God.”

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Hippocrates Is Rolling Over In His Grave

, , , , | Healthy | May 13, 2009

Me: “Thank you for calling. How can I help you?”

Doctor: “I need to verify my patient’s coverage. Her number is [number].”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but there is a problem and I can’t access that account. I will have to forward this issue over to our technical department, and they will get back to you as soon as possible.”

Doctor: “I need this information immediately. Can I talk to them now? It’s very important.”

Me: “I’m sorry, they are very backed up over there and everything is handled in the order it is received. You will be added to the queue and they will get back to you later today.”

Doctor: “What if she was dying and I needed her coverage information? What then?!”

Me: “Ma’am, with all due respect, if the patient was dying there in your office, I would hope you would treat her regardless of her insurance coverage.”

Doctor: “Well, yes — I mean… Just make sure they call me today.” *click*

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Where The Sun Don’t Shine, Bungholio

, , , | Healthy | May 12, 2009

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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The (Brain) Damage Has Already Been Done

, , , , | Healthy Right | May 6, 2009

(Note: 1-1-2 is Germany’s version of 9-1-1.)

Me: “1-1-2, what’s your emergency?”

Caller: “Oh, my god! Help me! Help me!”

Me: “Calm down, please. Can you tell me what happened, if someone is hurt, and where you are?”

Caller: “I’m at home, and my brain stopped working!”

Me: “Your brain… stopped working? Sir, if your brain would stop working, you would be dead. Can you tell me exactly what happened? Are you bleeding?”

Caller: “No, no. But my brain stopped working! At least half of it! Oh, my god, will the other half stop working as well?! Will I die?! My wife was right! I can’t believe it!”

(At this point, I’m unsure what to do. The man is really in a state of panic, but sounds otherwise fine.)

Me: “Sir, is your wife at home? Can I speak to her? If not, please tell me exactly what you did when your… brain stopped working.”

Caller: “I watched soccer! And drank beer! My wife always told me ‘When you don’t stop that crap, your brain will stop working’ and now it did! I was sitting on the couch and turned my head to look at the clock and suddenly I can’t move my head anymore because the left side of my brain stopped working! Help!”

Me: “Sir, it sounds like you only cricked your neck!”

(I start describing him what a cricked neck feels like and he agrees that this is indeed his problem and that he’ll see a doctor in the morning. I’m about to end the call, when…)

Caller: “Hey, dude…”

Me: “Yes?”

Caller: “Is she right?”

Me: “Who?”

Caller: “My wife. You seem to know a lot about medicine and stuff, so can my brain really stop working from watching too much soccer and drinking beer?”

Me: “Well, alcohol is known for indeed killing brain cells when you drink too much, but you won’t–”

Caller: “Oh, my god! Thank you! I thought she was only kidding me, but when you say it, then I’ll stop! Thank you so much for saving my life! Thank you!”

Me: “Wait, I didn’t say–”

Caller: *hangs up*


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