This Clinic Provides A Terrible Cervix

, , , , , | Healthy | August 23, 2019

While I was a student, it was fairly common to have student doctors learning at the campus clinic. I was getting my routine pap and was asked if I minded having a student do it, with the actual doctor supervising. When it comes to medical stuff I have no shame and have had positive experiences with student doctors in the past — they actually take a history, for one thing! I imagine a lot of people aren’t okay with students doing their pap. though, so all the more reason for me to let them practice.

So, I said I didn’t mind at all, the student introduced herself, and I got in position. She did fine with doing the physical exam and had no problem inserting the speculum. But then came time to swab my cervix. She was looking more and more stressed, and I reassured her she was doing fine and to take her time. A few more moments passed and she was still looking. I remember an offhand comment one of my previous doctors said — that my cervix is a bit off to the side — so I passed that hint along.

“I can’t find it! I can’t find the cervix!” she finally cried.

“I promise you it’s there! Keep looking!” I tried to reassure. Meanwhile, the actual doctor was clearly having issues keeping a straight face. I was still laying there spread eagle, still trying to comfort the professional poking around my lady bits.

The actual doctor took over, and my cervix is indeed off to the side. The student sat back down and the doctor gave her directions to my cervix. She finally found it and got the swab. Good thing, too, because I was also having a hard time keeping my laughter in.

After telling my friends the story of my “lost” cervix, one replied, “But… it’s not like it could get very far!”

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Language Is Fluid

, , , , , | Healthy | August 20, 2019

Some years ago I had gastric bypass surgery. During the aftercare, I had appointments with a dietician at the hospital where I had the surgery. As a preparation for these visits, I had to fill out an inquiry. One of the questions regarded alcohol.

Did I drink less alcohol than before the surgery, the same or more?

Well, that looks like a straightforward question, but I couldn’t answer it truthfully. Because I do not drink, and is no alcohol the same or less? It can’t be more, but is it the same or less? The same implies some alcohol consumption, as does less. 

I added an extra line to the inquiry and simply stated that I do not drink alcohol. Ever.

The dietician went nuts. She berated me for 50 minutes for “my excessive alcohol consumption” as I hadn’t picked the only acceptable answer — less. “None” wasn’t a viable answer as it wasn’t included in the inquiry. I asked her to add to my chart that I do not drink. I asked if we could please continue with discussing my diet as I do not drink. She had worked herself into a frenzy and just kept screaming. Wonderful to travel six hours for a useless meeting with someone not listening at all.

Anyway, the next meeting was six months later, with another dietician. And the same inquiry to prepare. Once again, I answered that I never drink.

This dietician was even more aggressive. She rushed out during the meeting to get a colleague so they could scream at me together. While she was out I grabbed a paper and wrote on it in big letters, “I NEVER DRINK ALCOHOL.”

It didn’t help. They still couldn’t grasp that it is possible to not consume alcohol. I asked them to test my blood alcohol level and do whatever testing they wanted as my liver should be in prime condition. Because I did not f****** drink alcohol. And I still don’t. 

Maybe I just should have picked the option of “drinking less” on the inquiry, but… I’m a language teacher. Nuances are important. “Less” is not the same as “none” or “nothing.”

 

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Kids Can Be An Earful

, , , , , | Healthy | August 18, 2019

(A mother and her eight-year-old come into the clinic. She says the kid was using the end of a pencil to scratch his ear the previous day and the eraser came off and he accidentally pushed it in while trying to get it out. She can’t get it with tweezers. I flush the ear to remove the eraser and notice a few things.)

Me: “There are clear signs of a swimmer’s ear infection. Fluid has been trapped behind that eraser for a lot longer than a few hours. The eraser would also not nearly be this… encrusted… after such a short time.”

Mother: “[Son] only told me about it yesterday. He said it had just happened. [Son], when did the eraser get stuck in your ear?”

(We both eye the child. He fidgets for a few moments before…)

Son: “Christmas break.”

(This is in MARCH!)

Mother: “What?! Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

Son: *defiantly* “Well, it only hurt if I touched it and I don’t sleep on that side!”

(Kid logic is my job security.)

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I’m Planning On Spraining My Ankle Next Tuesday

, , , | Healthy | August 14, 2019

(While building my own home, I have a little mishap and cut my left thumb deeply. I quickly disinfect the wound, apply a pressure bandage, and drive over to my family doctor’s practice to get some stitches.)

Me: *sliding over my social security card* “Hi, I cut myself badly.”

Desk Clerk: “Do you have an appointment?”

Me: “Sorry, no, I didn’t plan it in advance!”

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That Attitude Doesn’t Have A Leg To Stand On

, , , | Healthy | August 10, 2019

(I am in intensive care recovering from surgery and infection. A nurse is doing her rounds when I ask her if she could pass me the lunch menu, as it was left on a table out of my reach.)

Nurse: “No.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Nurse: “People always think we’re their personal slaves, demanding this and that. The nurses agreed we wouldn’t be tolerating it anymore. You’ve got two legs; you can walk. Get it yourself.”

(I stare at her, confused, and lift my bedsheets revealing my lower half. The nurse’s face drains as she stares at my one remaining leg; I had the other removed two days ago.)

Me: “Believe me, I wish I could…”

(Instead of handing me the menu, she bolted for the door, leaving me to wriggle around for a bit and eventually letting a woman who had just had triple heart bypass surgery get it for me. I never saw the nurse again, but as I left I saw my name on the ward list being wiped off, with “LEG AMPUTATION” in big capital letters.)

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