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Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

Allergic To Your Attitude

, , , | Healthy | October 23, 2017

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

(I have an itchy, raised lump on my leg, surrounded by a rash that is not getting better, so I go to see my doctor. I am 22.)

Doctor: “It looks to me like an allergy. I’ll give you these [Allergy Tablets] and if it is not better in a few days, come back.”

Me: “Don’t those tablets contain cetirizine dihydrochloride? I’m allergic to it.”

Doctor: “Don’t be ridiculous! Cetirizine dihydrochloride STOPS allergies. It’s impossible to be allergic to it!”

Me: “I was diagnosed by the allergy clinic at [Hospital]. It should be on my file? I know it sounds counter-intuitive but I was tested for every ingredient in the tablets and that is the only one that came back positive. I can’t take it.”

Doctor: “You CANNOT be allergic to it. That isn’t physically possible.”

Me: “I took a hay fever tablet with cetirizine dihydrochloride in it and had a rash on my face and my neck. I was referred to the allergy clinic and they said that’s what caused it.”

Doctor: “I know you’re just trying to be special, but fine, I’ll look.”

(The doctor looks at my file and finds the letter saying I’m allergic to cetirizine dihydrochloride. He then prints and signs the prescription and gives it to me.)

Doctor: *leans right in to my face* “Just take the tablets and stop making such a fuss! You little girls, you stupid BABIES, and your little made up illnesses. Teenagers! Can’t do anything, the idiots. Get a grip and take the tablets. It is impossible to be allergic to the medication that stops allergies. Grow up and stop wasting my time!”

(I took the prescription as proof and reported what happened to the receptionist, who was very angry at the doctor. The doctor was reported to the GMC (General Medical Council). Another doctor treated my itchy leg without giving me cetirizine dihydrochloride. I was eventually diagnosed with a bee-sting allergy.)

The Puppy Is Cat-ching On

, , , , | Healthy Related | September 18, 2017

One of my friends works for the local vet’s office. It’s a small town with no animal shelter, so if strays are found, the vet will usually take them for a few days until they can find the owner, or place them in a home. My friend knew we’d lost our dog a few months before, and called me up one day to say that they’d just been brought a litter of stray puppies that they needed to find homes for, and if my family wanted one, she’d bring one over that night.

My family talked it over, and even though we weren’t really ready to move on from our other dog’s death, we knew the vet’s office would have trouble finding homes for a full litter of puppies and didn’t have the room to take care of them, and decided it was better for us to take one. So, that night, my friend brought over a tiny golden retriever puppy.

She’d warned us that the puppies they’d found were too young to be away from the mother, which is part of why they were so worried about being able to find good homes for them, but we hadn’t realized just how young they were until she showed up. We fed and cleaned the puppy and made a bed for her where she’d be warm, but the poor thing was clearly stressed out, and started crying as soon as we walked away. We were worried that we’d have to stay up with her all night, when our rather elderly male cats, who’d been very curious about the new arrival, decided to step in.

After sniffing her and touching noses, both of our cats decided that this tiny little thing was probably some kind of strange kitten, and it was their job to take care of her. They curled up on either side of her and started grooming her, and the puppy immediately stopped crying, and snuggled in. My dad had set an alarm to remind him to get up and feed her, but shortly before the alarm went off, one of the cats came and woke him up. For the week or so after that, the cats continued to let us know when the puppy needed to be fed or taken outside, until she was old enough to eat solid food and let us know herself.

As the puppy grew up, the cats continued to take care of her. They taught her how to go up and down stairs, how to find the best spots to nap in the sun, that she should stay away from the road, to come when the humans called her, how to groom herself, and where the treats were kept. The puppy never did get the hang of climbing trees, but she’s surprisingly adept at stalking mice and chipmunks!

The cats were a bonded pair, and they died within a few months of each other when the puppy was three. A few years later, she found our kitten, and happily carried on what her foster parents had started, cuddling and comforting the new arrival and teaching her all the important things. So, our dog thinks she’s a cat. Our cat thinks she’s a dog. Our animals may be a little confused, but they all get along beautifully, and no one seems to mind when the new kitten plays fetch!


This story is part of our Golden Retriever roundup!

Read the next Golden Retriever roundup story!

Read the Golden Retriever roundup!

Getting Hysterectical

, , , , | Healthy | June 25, 2017

(I got a hysterectomy because I hate my period and never want to have children. When I wake up from the anaesthetic, there’s a nurse standing over my bed.)

Nurse: “Don’t you ever want kids?”

(That was literally the first thing she said. I thought of so many responses later, but at the time I was too stunned and groggy to say anything. Also: period-free life is awesome. 10/10 highly recommend.)

The Importance Of Life-Saving Sandwiches

, , | Healthy Working | April 27, 2017

I work at a large mine in an isolated area. As a member of our Technical Rescue Team, I have been called many times to assist the local sheriff’s Search and Rescue.

One day in late May, when wildfires less than 20 miles away are suffusing the air with smoke, we receive a page to proceed to a canyon near the state line. This canyon has a highway carved into a steep rock wall, with the debris pushed down into the chasm. In the past, our team had been called to the area to remove the remains of drivers who crashed through the guardrails, so we are ready for the worst.

When we arrive, the SO officers tell us a father and his three sons have “hiked” to the bottom of the canyon and are stranded. They actually scrambled down approximately 600 feet of broken rock, and then found that climbing back up was impossible. It is after 5:00 pm when we arrive.

By the time we manage to get rescuers to the bottom and formulate an extraction plan, darkness has set in. I am the first down, making contact and bringing water and flashlights. Other team members follow close behind, and we move the group (father with sons 6, 7, and 9 years old) to the raise point. One of the team members brought a backpack with sandwiches, granola bars, and water. The boys agree to wait for the sandwiches until we reach the top and gobble up the granola bars (I’ll admit, the one I had was the best ever).

The trip back up the fractured rock pile takes nearly two hours, most of the time at least partially suspended on the main-line rope. There are several small incidents (lost cell phones and tennis shoes, rolling rocks, etc.) on the way up, but topping out and disconnecting was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. The family is rushed to a waiting ambulance for evaluation, and my team leader and incident commander examine the other rescuers and me carefully before allowing us to stow our gear and get ready to leave.

I remembered that I had the sunglasses of one of the children in my pack, so I went to the back of the ambulance and opened the door to return them. That’s when the youngest asked, in one of the smallest, most plaintive voices I’ve ever heard, “But what about our sandwiches?”

When we drove away into the dawn, the father and three boys were standing in front of the ambulance eating sandwiches.

The Store Employs Manual Labor

, | Healthy | April 26, 2017

(I’m standing in line with a few items to purchase from a well-known clothing store. The store has its music quite loud, so I can’t really hear anything said between the employees at the front of the line. One dashes past me, almost knocking over a rack of clothes, and grabs the manager by the arm. She says something, the manager turns pale, and tells the other girl on the register something, who looks confused and starts checking people out at lightning speed. All the other employees in the store run full pelt to the changing rooms. I manage to catch some of what the manager says into her phone as she runs past, but all I hear is “I need an ambulance!” I step out of line and drop my clothes to follow her. As I reach the changing rooms an employee stops me from entering.)

Employee: “I’m sorry, miss, but the changing rooms are closed right now. I’ll be able to help you soon.”

Me: “What’s going on? I’m—”

(Mid-sentence I am cut off by a shriek I know VERY well. I unzip my jacket, showing my hospital ID still clipped to my shirt pocket. The employee shoves me through the curtain.)

Manager: “[Employee]! I told you not to let anyone back here!”

Me: “Trust me; you NEED me! I’m a midwife!”

(And that was the day I delivered a healthy baby girl in the changing room at a clothing store!)