It’s An Emergency! But It Can Wait.

, , , | Healthy | September 7, 2020

I have a concerning problem and decide to ask my insurance’s nurse advice hotline if I should go to the ER. This is what happens at the end of our conversation.

Nurse: “I definitely think you should call 911 and have an ambulance take you to the hospital. But before you do that, would you mind answering a few survey questions about my performance today?”

Me: *Incredulous pause* “No.”

I hung up, pretty shocked. I could not believe that she did that. An online survey later, sure. But in a situation urgent enough to call 911?

As for my medical issues, a new medication was causing serious complications. Reversing the medication, plus a few other things, solved it. I should be fine.

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Attention-Seeking Isn’t Always A Bad Thing

, , , , | Healthy | September 5, 2020

This happens when I am sixteen, almost seventeen. My mom is out of town on a business trip and I insist that I am fine to stay home while she is gone. I haven’t been feeling well for a few days, so I go in to see a doctor. My regular doctor isn’t in that day so they send me to see a different doctor.

The doctor comes in and starts to look over my medical history. While he’s doing so, we have the following conversation. 

Doctor: “What seems to be the problem?”

Me: “My stomach really hurts and I haven’t been able to keep anything down for a few days. The pain keeps getting worse, and then I throw up and the pain gets better for a while, but then it gets bad again.”

Doctor: “Can you describe the pain and where it’s located?” 

Me: “It’s sharp and right here.”

I point to the lower right part of my abdomen.

Doctor: “Uh-huh.” *Looks up from the computer* “Well, just get plenty of fluids and rest and you should be fine in a few days. Nothing to worry about.”

Me: “I really don’t feel good. It feels like something is wrong.”

Doctor: “Well, I can see from your medical records that you’ve been seeing a therapist for the past year and are on antidepressants. I’m putting in your file that you are having attention-seeking behavior. There is nothing wrong with you other than a stomach virus. I will follow up with your therapist.”

With that, he left the room. 

I called my mom and told her that the doctor said it was just a stomach virus and that it should go away soon. My mom got home late the next day and checked on me. I still wasn’t feeling well and we made another appointment for me for the next day. I woke her up at two am because something felt wrong. The pain was gone but I couldn’t get warm. She took me to the ER; my appendix had ruptured. I ended up spending a week in the ICU with an infection and it took another month to fully recover.

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Taking A Page Out Of Jean Milburn’s Book

, , , , , , | Healthy | September 4, 2020

My mother is a retired midwife. I was raised with a clear understanding of motherhood and everything it entails. As a ten-year-old boy, I would read her professional magazines. I could have an intelligent conversation about menopause or explain an epidural. Then, in my early teens, this happens.

Mum: “Hey, [My Name]. How are you? You won’t believe what happened last night. We had a model breast.”

Me: “A model— Wait, what?”

Mum: “We had some professional development training to do in breastfeeding, and they had a model breast for it.”

Me: “Er, model breast?”

Mum: “A model of a boob; it’s supposed to imitate a functioning boob. It came complete with a nipple that dispenses a liquid.”

Me: “Right… but almost all midwives are women. Aren’t there enough boobs in a maternity hospital for this to be obvious?”

Mum: “We all thought that, so we repurposed the training boob.”

Me: “I— Wait, what? A model boob was supplied to your colleagues for training and… Where is it now?”

Mum: “In the bathroom.”

Me: “Model breast in our bath… huh?”

Mum: “Since we didn’t need it, we reused it as a soap dispenser.”

Me: “I… What?”

Mum: “We obviously didn’t need it, so we might as well put it to good use. So, we glued it to the wall of the staff bathroom and added liquid soap. Press the nipple and soap comes out.”

I nearly peed myself with laughter.

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Help Me Help You

, , , , , | Healthy | September 3, 2020

I am in the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. While I am there waiting for surgery, I overhear a conversation with a man being extremely loud and a nurse trying to tend to him.

Nurse: “Sir, I need to ask you to calm down so we can treat your injuries.”

Man: “No! I bet you gonna try and sew me up so you can pass it off to my insurance! I ain’t falling for that s***!”

Nurse: “Sir, I’m gonna ask you to please calm down so we can stop the bleeding and at least bandage you up!”


Nurse: “Listen! I don’t have to deal with your attitude, but it’s my duty as a nurse to tend to injuries. Now either you can calm down and let me at least bandage you up and give you pain relievers and send you on your way, I can have security escort you out while we clean the mess you made, or I can send you to [Nearest Hospital, in another city] if you want to be rowdy as you are. What’s it gonna be?!”

I don’t hear anything for ten minutes, or I pass out from the painkillers, but I overhear the nurse and another nurse speaking after a while.

Nurse #1: “I can’t believe he was that stubborn over a ‘paper’ cut on his arm.”

I’m guessing that is a code term for minor cuts and whatnot.

Nurse #2: “Paper cut? That did not look like a paper cut!”

Nurse #1: “Trust me; when you’ve had to file paperwork as much as I have in my time, you realize the difference between a ‘stab wound’ and a nasty paper cut.”

I have been thankful ever since for how kind the nurses were while I was in the hospital, after seeing what they put up with daily.

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Apparently, Not Everyone Hates Needles?

, , , , | Healthy | September 1, 2020

My coworker is working registration in the emergency department. A visitor for a patient comes in, and after my coworker checks with the nurse, she tells the gentleman to have a seat in the waiting room and she will get her as soon as he can go back.

Shortly after, a nurse comes out calling the names of a few patients ready to be seen. 

She is busy helping a new patient check in when she believes she sees the gentleman sneak in with the group of patients.

She is busy and doesn’t have time to stop him and she figures staff will end up sending him back out.

After a few minutes, she has everyone checked in and a patient comes out of the waiting room enquiring how long until he can go back.

Once he tells her the name, she instantly recognizes it as one the nurse had just called. She looks up the name, and sure enough, it’s showing him roomed in the ED.

She quickly calls the nurse who is about to put an IV in the visitor’s arm.

Unlike sneaking to visit a patient like my coworker expected this guy would do, instead, he followed the nurse to the room pretending to be someone else.

I don’t know how he faked his way that far since all nurses ask for name and birthday confirmation before they do anything.

Security removed him quickly after they realized what was going on.

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