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Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

As Usual, The Internet Ruins Everything

, , , , , | Healthy | June 16, 2022

I have a chronic illness that causes me to have respiratory issues. To treat this, I take a certain medication and it generally works well. My doctor will typically just renew my prescription whenever it’s up but wants me to come in every other year for another exam even though I’ve been on the medication for over a decade at this point. It’s never been an issue until I went in for my latest exam and ended up seeing a new doctor since my usual one had a sudden emergency and wasn’t able to see me.

New Doctor: “Okay, [My Name], what brings you in today?”

Me: “I’m just in to get my prescription for [medication] renewed.”

New Doctor: “[Medication]? I’m not going to prescribe that to you. It will not treat [health crisis] no matter what the Internet tells you.”

Me: “It’s not for [health crisis]; it’s for [chronic issue].”

New Doctor: “I just get so sick of these people with Internet MD who think whatever random med of the week is going to solve the problem.”

Me: “Look, I don’t have [health crisis]. I tested before I came in.”

New Doctor: “I’m not stupid. I know your test is negative, but your grandma, or cousin, or nephew, or whoever you are getting it for is positive.”

Me: “Look, when was [health crisis] first observed?”

New Doctor: “2020 in the US.”

Me: “When did I start getting prescribed this?”

He flipped through my chart.

New Doctor: “2006.”

Me: “So, are you thinking that I somehow predicted a pandemic fourteen years early, theorized this medication would help, scammed a prescription for it by faking a chronic issue, stockpiled it for over a decade, and ran out of that stockpile?”

New Doctor: *Long pause* “I’m still not giving you your prescription today.”

And with that, he left the room. I ended up having to come back another day for my normal doctor to give me the new prescription. I brought up what had happened with the new doctor and was told that he had gotten in hot water for getting tricked into giving out prescriptions for one of the Internet’s fake [illness] treatments. But now, he was in hot water for overcorrecting the other way and never prescribing anything that anyone had theorized might treat [illness]. I don’t know if “hot water” ever translated to consequences, but I will see the next time I need to renew my prescription.

Casual Racism Will Make You Sick

, , , , | Healthy Right | June 14, 2022

Early in the health crisis, in 2020, I had a patient checking in. I was asking the newly minted [illness] questions. Have you been around anyone positive? Any flu-like symptoms? And so on.

Patient: “I haven’t been to any Chinese restaurants lately, if that’s what you’re asking.” *Laughs*

Me: “Nope, not asking where you had dinner, just if you’re sick.”

His wife tried to brush it off, but he kept telling me to lighten up, and I just kept staring with a glazed look and kept asking the questions until I got a satisfactory answer.

Some People Just Want To Watch The World Heal

, , , | Healthy | June 12, 2022

I donate blood every few months; I know there’s a need for it, and my blood type is the universal donor.

Once, during a donation, a woman comes in and asks questions about everything. I figure it must be her first time. There’s nothing wrong with that; she just seems a little nervous. The phlebotomist hooks up her IV, and her bed is next to mine.

Woman: “So, who are you donating for?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Woman: “My husband is having an operation, so I’m giving blood in case he needs it.”

Me: “Oh, I see. No, I’m not donating for anyone in particular.”

Woman: “You’re not?”

Me: “Nope. Just… whoever needs it, I guess.”

The woman looks around the room, shocked. The other donors are now listening to the conversation.

Woman: “So, all of you are just donating, what, out of the goodness of your hearts?”

She started laughing and then quickly stopped. She didn’t intend for the comment to sound mean; it just genuinely had never occurred to her that blood banks are full of blood from people who donate just to help others.

No Soup For You! Part 6

, , | Healthy | June 10, 2022

I work as a door screener in my small town’s hospital. The hospital is small, too, and doesn’t even have vending machines, let alone a public cafeteria. From the entrance, you either take a right to enter the Emergency Department or take a left to reach the outpatient laboratory for blood tests.

One day, a man comes in needing to fill out some paperwork. He is dressed in business casual clothing and has a stylish messenger bag. I direct him to the doctor’s offices and see him as he exits a few minutes later.

After he turns the corner out of sight, he turns around and jogs back to the front door. He fishes around in his bag for something and then produces…

A plastic container full of soup.

Man: “Is there a microwave I can use to heat this up?”

After a moment’s stunned silence, I stammer out that we don’t have any easily accessible and he nods, puts his soup away, and heads off again.

I still wonder what sort of person would think that a hospital would heat up some random person’s soup for them, in a global health crisis, no less!

No Soup For You! Part 5
No Soup For You!, Part 4
No Soup For You!, Part 3
No Soup For You!, Part 2
No Soup For You!

Just A Sample Of Bad Service

, , | Healthy | June 8, 2022

My job requires yearly blood work, as I work with chemicals on a daily basis. I am phobic of needles and have hard-to-find veins, so the onsite health services usually refer me straight to a lab with a trained phlebotomist to make things easier on everyone.

This year, they apparently switched which company they contract through, so I am told to go to a new place, which turns out to be an Urgent Care clinic. I warn the nurse about the issues getting blood from me before and about my phobia, but despite me trying to point her to the best spot, she insists she knows better and ended up digging in my arm for a good two minutes before I beg her to stop and have a minor panic attack.

Once I calm down, not wanting to have to come back, I give them one more chance, but ONLY in the spot that I indicated. After about fifteen seconds of digging while I cover my face and try not to shake:

Nurse: *Surprised* “Oh!”

Me: *Shaky laugh* “Told ya.”

I keep it together long enough to finish the blood draw and get out to go have another panic attack in my car. Whatever, it’s over, and I don’t have to do it for another year.

And then, a week later, I get a call.

Nurse: “[My Name]?”

Me: “Yes?”

Nurse: “We’re going to need you to come back in. We lost your sample.”

Me: “You what?!

Nurse: “It got lost in transit.”

Me: “It took half an hour and two panic attacks to get that sample!”

Nurse: “I apologize, ma’am, but…”

Once the call finishes, I immediately call health services, and their reaction is a similar, “They WHAT?!” followed by an apology that I have to do it again and a promise to send me straight to a lab. Unfortunately, I have to return to the Urgent Care to get a referral from them, though health services send me with additional paperwork and a number to call if there are any issues. Sure enough:

Nurse #2: “Oh, we don’t do referrals.”

Me: “Please call the number listed here. They should be able to clarify things.”

I am not sure what was said on the phone, but from a combination of [Nurse #2]’s expression and how I was meekly given a referral several minutes later, I can make some educated guesses. Thankfully, the lab I went to had a trained and experienced phlebotomist on staff, and the second blood draw went much smoother.