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Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

Juiced Up On Idiocy

, , | Healthy | November 6, 2017

(I’m a nurse working on a medical-surgical floor. One night, I am assigned to a certain patient who is known to be extremely difficult, and honestly, a bit of an idiot. He is very uncooperative, and won’t even let us put an IV in him. He has a mess of medical problems, particularly uncontrolled diabetes. We check all diabetics’ blood sugar levels throughout the day in order to control their levels with insulin shots.)

Me: “Good morning. I have to check your blood sugar.”

Patient: “Whatever.”

(I check the level and it’s shockingly low. A normal blood sugar level is 60 – 120. His is 40.)

Me: “Sir, your sugar is very low. Let me get you some juice to boost it up.”

Patient: “I can’t drink juice. I’m diabetic.”

Me: “Yes, but in this case, juice will help boost your sugar quickly. We don’t want it to drop any lower. Lemme get you orange juice, okay?”

Patient: “Fine.”

Me: *comes back later with a cup of OJ* “Here.”

Patient: “I don’t want that.”

Me: “Sir, I just told you that you need to take some juice for your sugar.”

Patient: “I don’t like OJ.”

Me: *a little annoyed that he didn’t tell me so in the first place* “All right. What will you take?”

Patient: *after a few minutes thinking* “I want apple juice.”

Me: “Fine.” *leaves and comes back with apple juice* “Here. Drink this.”

Patient: “I don’t want that.”

Me: *at this point, I’m in complete disbelief* “Sir, you just told me you would drink if I got you apple juice instead of OJ!”

Patient: “I’m diabetic. I can’t drink juice.”

Me: “But your sugar is low and we really need to boost it up. It’s dangerous to have low blood sugar.”

Patient: *getting angry* “You can’t force me to do what I don’t wanna do! Don’t try to trick me into taking that juice! I don’t even like apple juice!”

(At this point, I’m about ready to throw the juice in his face. I leave the room just as the doctor passes by with some surgical students, asking what’s up. I explain the situation to the doctor.)

Doctor: “Let us talk to him.” *takes the juice from me and walks in with the students*

(I leave to take care of another patient. Five minutes later, I return to see the students coming out of the room one by one, all of them shaking their heads and chuckling. Finally the doctor comes out and I ask him if he took the juice.)

Doctor: *shakes his head* “That man is an absolute idiot. Just make sure he gets breakfast. If he passes out, let us know.”

A Cereal Snacker

, , | Healthy | November 6, 2017

(I’m a hospital nurse. In my experience, some patients tend to see the hospital as some sort of medical hotel, where they’re allowed to ask for whatever they like whenever they like just because they’re sick.)

Patient: *at two in the morning, at the other end of the unit* “HEY! HEY! SOMEBODY HELP ME OUT!”

Me: *coming in, resisting the urge to smack him for waking up the d*** unit instead of just using his call bell* “Yes, sir, how can I help you?”

Patient: “I want cereal.”

Me: *utter disbelief* “Sir, it’s two in the morning. We don’t have any cereal.”

Patient: “Then go to the kitchen and get me some cereal.”

Me: “The kitchen is closed and won’t open until morning. You’ll have to wait until breakfast.”

Patient: “But I’m hungry now!”

(Keep in mind that this patient has a history of uncontrolled diabetes and has even lost a foot. He usually keeps a stash of food in his room against our advice, and his blood sugar is always extremely high due to snacking and refusing medications. We always try to limit his snacks to better control his sugar.)

Me: “Sir, you already had your dinner and your snack for tonight. You need to wait until morning. We don’t have any more snacks for you.”

Patient: “This is the worst hospital ever. First you try to poison me with your whacked drugs and then you wanna starve me all night long? Why can’t you give me any cereal?”

Me: *already past my limit and trying to keep an even tone* “Because this is a hospital, not a hotel. I’m not your maid; I’m your nurse. I’m not here to enable your bad habits and give you whatever you want just because you want it. I’m here to help you maintain your health. But you’ve been uncooperative, rude, and downright disrespectful. You don’t like how things are here? You have the right to refuse. And you have the right to leave. But you can guarantee that you will be back. And you keep heading down this path, you can also bet that you’re gonna have more problems, too.”

Patient: “…”

Me: “…”

Patient: “…I’ll go to sleep and wait for breakfast, then.”

Pink Eye To Your Red Face

, , , | Healthy | November 6, 2017

(I’m in my second year of university, working part time and in full courses for science with labs. I don’t exactly have free time at convenient hours, so I decide to go to the doctor on campus to confirm my suspicion. They ask me to fill out a form covering the basics, including pregnancy, STDs, allergies, and a list of symptoms. I make it quite clear what my issue is.)

Doctor: “Hello, [My Name]. How are you feeling?”

Me: “Not bad.”

Doctor: “Do you need a pregnancy test?”

Me: “Uh… no.”

Doctor: “Well, we can screen for STDs. It will take about a week to get results back.”

Me: “That’s… that’s not what I came in for.”

Doctor: “Oh.” *looks at chart* “Why are you here, then?”

Me: *points to my swollen closed eye and slightly swollen face* “I think I have pink eye?”

(I don’t really know how he missed it, but he wrote me the prescription for antibiotics and I went on my way.)

The Situation Is Agonizingly Fluid

, , , | Healthy | November 5, 2017

I had some issues with ovarian cysts when I was in high school, so I had to go in for a pelvic ultrasound. In the instructions we received prior the appointment I was told I needed to drink 32 oz of water before coming in so that my bladder would be full, which helps them to get better images. Now, I was 15 and very skinny. I had just gone through a growth spurt and at 5’5″ I weighed in around 100 pounds. I drank the water and immediately had to pee; I looked down, my pelvic area was bulging already. This was 10 minutes after I drank the water, right as we were leaving, and it was a 30 minute drive to the office.

Needless to say, that drive, through a bumpy, uneven construction site, was miserable. I was in such physical pain by the time we got to the doctor that I was in tears sitting in the waiting room. When I finally got called back to the ultrasound room and I lay down on the table, the ultrasound tech gave my visibly full bladder, by this point halfway to a pregnant belly, a bit of a side eye, but continued with her explanation of the procedure. I heard none of this, as all of my energy and focus were tied up in not urinating all over that table.

She begins the ultrasound, poking at the watery skin ball that is my pelvis, until after a few moments she stops. She can’t see anything. There’s too much liquid.

I ask her what to do and she tells me that I need to go to the bathroom (which was luckily adjacent to the exam room) and “pee a little, then stop” so that there would be a good amount of liquid for her. By this point, I have been in intense physical pain because of this full bladder for roughly an hour, so these instructions felt more than a little impossible. But, being a determined kid, I went in there and against all odds, I did it. So the rest of the ultrasound goes off without a hitch, and afterward I am finally able to fully relax my bladder for the first time that day.

As I was getting ready to leave, the technician asked me how much water I had been instructed to drink, and was appalled when I told her 32 oz. She went off about how they should’ve looked at my chart to see my height and weight because they would’ve been able to tell just from that that the amount should’ve been lower, and it was lucky that I was able to control my bladder so well; otherwise, the whole appointment would’ve been a waste.

A few days later my mom gets a call from the doctor’s office and guess what? Turns out the whole appointment was, in fact, a waste, since the notes were wrong in my file and the ultrasound tech performed an abdominal ultrasound instead of a pelvic one. I was less than pleased.

At least I knew not to drink so much water for the next one.

A Significant Shift In Moods

, | Healthy | November 4, 2017

(I work night shift in a hospital lab. On night shift, there are three working at a time with my same job title, which is the highest level of certification in the department, other than our medical director. In all, there are six night shifters with that certification for the entire fairly large specialty hospital, and if we can’t work, we figure it out with one of the three who are off. One night, due to family emergencies, sickness, and a coworker who “wasn’t in the mood to come to work today” (they were fired weeks later), I and one other end up working a night shift. I am filling in unexpectedly, and have just gotten off a flight that morning and haven’t slept in thirty hours by the time morning comes. The other coworker has a fever of 103; we make the executive decision that I’ll do anything requiring patient contact and if his fever goes above 104, we’ll call the ER downstairs. It also turns out to be what we call a “must be a full moon” night. By morning, we’re both almost crying from sheer exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and misery. Come morning, there is an employee appreciation breakfast.)

Day Shifter: “How was the night?”

Me: “I haven’t slept in thirty hours, [Coworker] has a fever of 103, four analyzers broke, the ICU is literally out of beds, they’re tripling up patients into the double rooms in MedSurg, and the ER is using the hallway as overflow for the waiting room.”

Day Shifter: “Well, we were wondering if you two could stay maybe an hour late so all the day shift could go to the breakfast?”

(We told them no way. They weren’t happy. At that point, we didn’t care.)