Worse Than Having Teeth Pulled

, , | Healthy | August 9, 2019

(When I was a teenager I had braces. During a holiday, I slipped on a playground and hit a wooden log with my upper front teeth. Because of that, my teeth decided almost ten years later that they didn’t like that; inflammations in the upper jaw were the outcome. Because I am now only in my late twenties, my dentist has tried everything he could so I won’t have to get implant teeth. At the beginning of this year, I had yet another inflammation and his daughter, who took over his office, didn’t feel like she could help me and send me to a specialist a town over. It is kind of important to mention that I live a two-hour train ride away from both dentist offices and go there by train. I do have a dentist in the city where I live but haven’t yet decided how much I can trust him so I mostly have gone there for check-ups and minor issues. This is the first appointment to decide on the treatment and everything related. They make a set of x-rays and I talk to the doctor afterward.)

Dentist: “So, I can see from your history that this is the eighth time you’ll have root canal treatment. Don’t you think you should just get them pulled?”

Me: “Oh, well, I’m really hoping that this is the last time. Because it’s two front teeth, I’d really like to try one more time.”

Dentist: “All right, then, I’ll try to do it. Please speak to the nurse about a date and time, the medication you’re used to, and if you need a certificate for your job that you’re ill and need to stay home. We will try an open healing. You won’t get stitches but a small piece of gauze which will cover the wound. You need to have that changed every three days, which your usual dentist can do.” *leaves*

(I set an appointment and specify which painkillers I usually get prescribed and that I need a certification to prove I am unable to work. Two weeks later is appointment day. I wait an hour and a half in the treatment room before I am finally seen. I don’t say anything because I know it can be busy and I am nervous. The dentist enters the room.)

Dentist: “Good morning!”

(Without another word, he takes the syringe with the local anaesthesia and proceeds to literally ram it into my jaw several times, hitting two nerves along the way. I start crying really hard because it hurts so much, not only because he hit the nerves but also because the area is really sensitive because of all the former scar tissue.)

Dentist: *annoyed* “Ms. [My Name], don’t you think it would have been better if you had a full anaesthesia if you’re already crying so hard?”

(He leaves the room sighing while I try to catch my breath despite the pain I’m in. The nurse shoots me an apologetic look and hands me a handkerchief. The rest of the treatment goes fairly well until it’s time for the gauze thingy to be put over the wound. I have called the dentist in the city where I live and they said they’d do the wound care.)

Dentist: “So, we’re almost done. No need to cry. What do you think? As for the gauze, you’ll need to come in three days to have us change it.”

Me: “But you said I’d be able to let my dentist at home do this.”

Dentist: *in the most condescending tone* “Well, [My Name], you surely realize that we will have to take a look at the wound.”

Me: “No. I told you I live a two-hour train ride away. I am not going to sit in a train for four hours just to have a fifteen-minute appointment.”

Dentist: “Well, if that’s the case, and you’re unwilling to do everything it takes to ensure proper healing, I’ve no other way to help you.” *proceeds to stitch the wound together* “With that, you can come back in two weeks and I promise you that it’ll take more than fifteen minutes.”

(He leaves before I can say anything else.)

Nurse: “Well, here you go. Here’s your prescription for painkillers.”

Me: “But that’s not what I asked for. I can get those cheaper without a prescription. I asked for something stronger because at this point, after so many treatments, I really know the pain and what helps and what doesn’t!”

(The nurse leaves to speak to the dentist. When she comes back in:)

Nurse: “The doctor said you won’t need anything stronger; the treatment does not justify that. Take it or leave it.”

Me: “Then it’s cheaper for me to buy them over the counter. Thanks, but no thanks.”

(I am about to leave when she stops me.)

Nurse: “What do you think you’re doing? You have to wait another thirty minutes to make sure you won’t faint or something.”

Me: “I am really sorry, but I don’t feel comfortable staying here for half an hour. The whole appointment went different from what we decided on and I don’t feel like seeing anyone of you ever again. I don’t want to be rude, but this whole ordeal was an awful experience.”

(She looked annoyed and made me sign a form stating I left against their advice. Because of that “treatment,” I was in pain for four weeks which I’d never had before. It also didn’t stop the inflammations. I am currently sitting at the dentist in my hometown to have both teeth pulled.)

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Here Comes The Needle Aeroplane!

, , , | Healthy | August 8, 2019

(I’m travelling to a faraway place and need to get a few recommended vaccinations. I registered with a local GP after moving, but didn’t go before, since I’m a pretty healthy person and never really needed a reason. Note: our health service recommends getting regular pap smears at age 25. I’m a bit older than that, and just never got around to doing so. On the day of this appointment, I’m wearing jeans, a hoodie, and sneakers. The doctor gets ready to give me my injections.)

Doctor: “All right, little lady, here comes the needle! Prick!”

(I don’t look my age but I definitely don’t look as young as whoever she’s talking to.)

Doctor: “And now for a little bandaid… There we go!”

(I look at my arm, half expecting a glitter or cartoon character bandaid. The doctor asks me if there is anything else I need.)

Me: “Well, I think I should have been getting regular pap smears for a while, but never got around to it. Can I just have that done here?”

Doctor: “Oooh, there’s no need for that yet, you’re only…” *looks at my file* “Oh. Okay. Yes, you can just make an appointment with us and we’ll take care of it.”

(She’s still my GP and never talked to me like that again, but I’m wondering how old she thought I was!)

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Birthday Shots!

, , , , | Healthy | August 7, 2019

(When my son is three I let him know that I have no choice but to schedule his next doctor’s appointment on his fourth birthday. Although he’s not a fan of doctors, I swear to him that he’ll not be required to get any shots. Even if the doctor says he has to, I tell him that I’m his mother and, in this case, they have to listen to me if I say no. He thinks this sounds like a fair deal and agrees to be on his best behavior. A couple of months go by before we have his appointment. I make sure to reiterate that he won’t be getting shots regardless of what anyone says. He understands and, like any other kid, is excited to turn four so he’s focused on telling every single person he encounters, including the doctor, that it’s his birthday. The appointment goes smoothly until the end.)

Doctor: *cheerfully* “Okay! Everything checks out! He just needs a few shots, and then he can be on his way. Let me go get the nurse.”

(Before she can stand up, I quickly put my hand up.)

Me: “Wait, wait, wait. When I scheduled his appointment a couple of months ago they said he didn’t need any. What happened? Why the change?”

Doctor: *frowning* “I’m not sure. You’ll have to discuss that with the nurse. Let me go get her.”

Me: *shaking my head* “No, don’t bother. I told him he wouldn’t have to get shots today. We’ll just come back a different day.”

Doctor: *insistently* “He has to get his shots.”

Me: “Uh, yeah, I got that. But, uh, you can’t really stab someone on their birthday.” *laughs* “That’s a little cold-blooded, don’t you think?”

(I laugh again, mostly to diffuse the situation, but this lady is not having it.)

Doctor: *even more insistent* “He has to get his shots!”

Me: *frustrated* “Yeah, I know that but–“

Doctor: *cutting me off and shrieking* “He cannot enter kindergarten if he does not get his shots!”

(Please keep in mind that based on when my son’s birthday is and when the school year starts, I have over a year to get him in for these oh-so-important shots. I don’t say this, though. Instead, I take a deep breath and pinch my nose because this lady is clearly crazy. Then, before I even get a chance to say another word, my son, who has been sitting quietly next to her this entire time, leans over and looks right at her.)

Son: “Uh, excuse me?!”

(Startled, the doctor turns and looks at him.)

Son: “My mommy says I do not have to get shots today!” *a bit too loudly and rather forcefully* “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!”

(The doctor stares in open-mouthed shock, looking back and forth between my son and me for a few moments. I take that opportunity to pick up my son.)

Me: *politely* “As I said, he’s not getting his shots today. We’ll come back later.”

Doctor: *looking like she’s sucked on a lemon* “Well, I’ll just put that in his file, then.”

(I took my son and left. Although he did get a small lesson in how to assert himself with a little less force, I could not help but commend him for sticking up for himself. And for those that are concerned, yes, he did get his shots.)

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Surgery For Dummies

, , , , , | Healthy | August 6, 2019

(I have a strange sense of humor and enjoy talking about ordinary events in outlandish ways. I am texting a good friend of mine who shares my sense of humor and regularly exchanges joking threats with me. She also happens to be the daughter of a nurse. I am in no way a healthcare professional.)

Me: “Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you something. I performed gastric surgery today!”

Friend: “Oh…”

Me: “I’ve been meaning to get around to it for a while, but there was never a time when I could do it. Well, I did it today and the patient was just fine. Didn’t even want anesthetic.”

Friend: “I… I’m curious but scared.”

Me: “Here she is!” *sends a picture of a stuffed dog*

(The stuffed dog in question is very precious to me and sustained a long rip along a seam running down its stomach. I have sewn it up before the inner netting can break, too, and spill plastic pellets everywhere.)

Friend: “Holy crap, I was terrified, [My Name]!”

Me: *laughing way too hard*

Friend: “We’re gonna get that freaking cosplay blade we were talking about earlier and I’m going to find a way to stab you with it.”

(I was not stabbed.)

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Bowel Moved To Action

, , , , | Healthy | August 4, 2019

(I am a junior volunteer at my local hospital with a decent amount of medical knowledge for my age stationed in the emergency room. As I am a freshly graduated high school student — and most volunteers are around my age — we aren’t really allowed to do much but answer call bells, put together blood draw tube sets, enter data, and, in my case, monitor the heart rate screen and alert nurses to abnormal changes. But this isn’t a story about an abnormal heart rate; this is a story of a complete doofus. I am coming back to Central from being over on North — two of the four sections of my ER — when I overhear this gem of a conversation.)

Doctor: *to a patient’s nurse* “We had [Patient] come in complaining of abdominal pain about an hour ago. [Hospital he was transferred from] suspects a small bowel obstruction, but he can’t think of anything to have caused it and said he was experiencing other symptoms.”

Nurse: “Was it?”

Doctor: “Well, considering his last meal was an entire jar of pickles and an extra-large bag of [Popcorn Brand], take a guess.”

(Spoiler alert, it was. Still my favorite story to date. I have no idea why that man thought it was a good idea to eat that in one sitting, and even less of an idea why he couldn’t figure out why he was feeling so bad.)

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