Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

Going Toe-To-Toe With The GP

, , , | Healthy | November 30, 2017

(I have a horrible ingrown toenail. My GP determines that surgery is necessary. He is right, as after half of it is cut away, I still have a normal toenail remaining. The surgery is done under general anesthesia, a move I thought was overkill, but it is a success. Some years later I am seeing a podiatrist about the same problem with the other foot and the doctor concludes the same treatment. I tell him about the first surgery.)

Doctor: “They gave you general anesthesia? That’s ridiculous. Was it a GP?”

Me: “I thought it was extreme. Yes, he was my GP.”

Doctor: “Figures. GP’s don’t know how to anesthetize a toe. Okay, let’s get this taken care of today.”

(He sets me up for surgery, sticks a needle in the base of my toe and injects me. After a bit he uses something pointy to test my toe.)

Doctor: “There, you shouldn’t be feeling anything.”

Me: “I can feel that quite easily. Try again.” *I look away so he knows I’m no cheating by watching* “Yeah, I can still feel it.”

Doctor: “Hmm. Let’s get you some more anesthesia.”

(After a bit, it’s still not numb. I’m suddenly feeling a great lack of confidence after hearing his short diatribe about GPs.)

Doctor: “Well, on a few rare individuals, the main nerve for that part of the toe runs up the wrong side of the toe. Let me see if that’s it.”

(Lucky for him (and me) that turned out to be exactly the case. I still get a wry grin thinking about him complaining that another doctor couldn’t just numb my toe.)

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Expecting A Faint Chance

, , | Healthy | November 30, 2017

(I recently fractured my wrist and hand in a bad fall. I am seeing my doctor and a follow-up appointment. Due to being unable to drive myself, my boyfriend drives me and stays while they draw blood. It’s important to note I’m only 1.60 m and he is a large man, over 2 m tall.)

Doctor: “Well, the results look good, no infections, and the x-rays show your hand and wrist are healing well. Oh, and congratulations.”

Me: “For being clumsy? Or having good bones?”

Doctor: “No… congratulations.”

Boyfriend: “For what?”

Doctor: “You’re expecting, or did you not know?”

Me: “Expecting what?”

Doctor: “A baby. You’re pregnant. We ran the results twice. You’re going to have a baby.”

(While I tried to process being pregnant, my boyfriend stood up, then promptly fainted, landing face first on the floor and leaving a nasty bruise on his forehead. Now we have a great story to tell our future child about how their big, strong father fainted when he heard the news!)

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Truly Acting The Part

, , | Healthy | November 30, 2017

(I am a paramedic student. As part of my training, we run simulated scenarios with one, two, or four students and actor(s) to be the patient (and bystanders). We have a scenario where I and another student have to respond to a man who has attempted suicide and slit both his wrists. While we’re treating him I drop a bandage and a few members of my class giggle. The actor, being the little legend he is, responds by saying:)

Actor: “All those people are laughing at me.”

(I had to struggle not to laugh while my partner, a seasoned EMT who is getting her UK cert, reassured him that he was just seeing things.)

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, , | Healthy | November 29, 2017

(I have a mild immune deficiency. This makes me highly susceptible to severe sinus infections. This also means that only antibiotics administered within the first week of symptoms will quickly cure my sinus infections. Anything else does nothing and it will take several months for my immune system to fight off the infection. This is well-documented.)

Doctor: “It seems your daughter’s infections are chronic. I’m going to prescribe your daughter [Medication that relies on and boosts the immune cells already present] and ask that you check back to tell me if it helped.”

Mom: “No. You have prescribed my daughter this medication and those like it before and it does nothing. She needs antibiotics.”

Doctor: “Can you try this medication for a few days? We ought not to jump right to antibiotics.”

Mom: “This is another thing you have told us to do that we have tried. No, it does not help at all.”

Doctor: “You cannot just press me for antibiotics! They’re not good for long-term health.”

Mom: “Listen to me. I know that you think I am one of those parents who just demands that doctors give my kid antibiotics for every little sniffle. I am not. I am insisting on antibiotics because they are the only thing that will stop my daughter from having to go through months of misery, pain, and exhaustion from sinus infections! This is not an exaggeration; it really does take that long. And your immune booster medication does not help much because hers is too compromised for the effect to make a difference! I would love to go through the documentation proving all of this, if you require it. But I am absolutely not leaving here having wasted my daughter’s and my time to go spend my money on a medication that will not help her avoid a long term and awful illness.”

Doctor: “Oh. Um… I have to step out for a bit. Um… you really shouldn’t over-rely on antibiotics. Be careful.”

Mom: *shoots [Doctor] a death glare*

(Fortunately, this was enough to get [Doctor] to prescribe me antibiotics. Sure enough, I was ready to go back to school by the next day and was totally free of infection after three days. My mom soon requested to never see that doctor again, which was honored. Since being guaranteed to get the medication I need as soon as possible, I have not needed to take antibiotics often and also get sick much less than before.)

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Symptoms May Include Death And Sarcasm

, , , | Healthy | November 29, 2017

(Back in college I spent a summer living in Russia. Midway through my stay I came down with strep throat. This is the first time I’ve had it since I was a kid, when I got it yearly. My program director takes me to a clinic that specializes in treating foreigners. After diagnosing me, the doctor comes back into my room with a pile of medication, none of which I recognize. Since I take other medications, I ask him if there are drug interactions I should be aware of. He proceeds to take the paper inserts out of every box he has and read them. After a few minutes he looks up and says:)

Doctor: “I don’t know; if the reaction is bad, stop taking them?”

Me: “Great. So, if I die, I’ll stop taking them.”

(Thankfully I never had a reaction but I still have no idea what it was that he gave me. Bonus? My host mother was convinced I got sick from drinking cold beverages in the hot weather.)

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