That’s The Trouble With Affordable Healthcare

, , , , , , , , | Healthy | August 28, 2020

I work in a hospital. A mother brings her daughter into the emergency room.

Nurse: “Hi there. Could you describe the nature of your medical needs?”

Mother: “My daughter stepped in dog poop and I’m afraid she might have an infection.”

Nurse: “Okay, does your daughter have any open wounds, blisters, warts, etc., near where she came into contact with the dog poop?”

Mother: “No.”

Nurse: “Did you wash her foot afterward with warm water and soap?”

Mother: “That’s disgusting! Why would I do that?”

Nurse: “To protect your daughter from infection?”

Mother: “No, I just threw it out.”

Nurse: “Wha…” *Lightbulb moment* “Was your daughter wearing shoes when she stepped in the poop?”

Mother: “Yes! Of course.”

Nurse: “So, you’re telling me that your daughter stepped into dog poop wearing shoes and socks, and she has no open wounds on her feet, and you are worried she has an infection?”

Mother: “Yes, of course, I’m worried.”

Nurse: “No offence, but this is an emergency room. It is very unlikely she got an infection, and since this is obviously a very low-priority case, you may be waiting here for up to six hours to see a doctor. I recommend you go home and make an appointment with your regular doctor in a couple of days’ time. If your daughter does take any severe turns, you can always bring her in or call an ambulance and she will be seen immediately.”

Mother: “Oh, no, you don’t! I want you to get my daughter to see a doctor as soon as you can!”

Nurse: “Very well. Please be aware that you could be waiting a very long time as we assign cases on a priority basis. Also please be aware that, whilst we make every effort to remove the risk of infection, this is a hospital and there is a chance that infected blood or bodily fluids may be present. Also be aware that, since this is a walk-in center, we do get a lot of homeless men and drug addicts coming in to get out of the rain.”

It is clear that the nurse is doing everything in her power to dissuade this mother from trying to see a doctor.

Mother: “Whatever. Those infections probably aren’t as bad as the ones you can get from dog poop.”

Nurse: “Actually, blood and bodily fluids might be contaminated with any number of infections, including HIV.”

Mother: “Oh, don’t be silly.”

The woman and her daughter moved on to the waiting room and were sat there for approximately four and a half hours. The woman was told by the doctor to do exactly what the nurse had advised and left looking overly smug.

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Not Quite What They Meant By “Immaculate Conception”

, , , , | Healthy | August 26, 2020

I’ve been in the ER enough to know that there is no avoiding the “you’re a woman; you must be pregnant” song and dance, despite the multiple variables that stand in the way of me personally conceiving. I’ve started having fun with my answers.

Nurse: “Is there any chance you might be pregnant?”

Me: “Nope.”

Nurse: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Positive. Unless… babe, did your lack of penis knock me up again?”

Wife: “I’ve gotta stop doing that.”

On another occasion:

Nurse: “Is there any chance you might be pregnant?”

Me: “I’m on a few different birth controls, so I really hope not.”

Nurse: “What method of birth control do you use?”

Me: “An IUD and lesbianism. I really hope that second one still works.”

On one memorable occasion, the nurse replied, “Girl, me, too!”

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Listen Well To This Painful Lesson!

, , , , , | Healthy | August 25, 2020

Have you ever wondered why your doctor tells you not to shove things in your ears?

I know all of the conventional wisdom: no Q-tips, cotton balls, hairpins, etc. However, that doesn’t mean my ears don’t get occasionally itchy, and sometimes, you just have to scratch.

One night, I was lying in my bed, and I felt the irresistible urge to scratch an itch inside my ear. So, I did what any reasonable adult would do. I slid my pinkie in my ear, twisted it, and pulled it out, quick as you like.

It should be noted that I have notoriously tiny ears — ridiculously so — and that I’m used to feeling a little suction when I scratch my ear with my pinkie.

But this time was different.

This time, when my pinkie caught suction, it caught hard — so hard it created a vacuum inside my ear canal.

When my pinkie made it out of my ear, there was a loud POP and such pain that I immediately started to cry. It felt like someone had jabbed a screwdriver into my ear.

Within two hours, the pain had partially subsided, but my ear was hot and leaking clear pus. Sounds were muffled, and I couldn’t hear my own voice in my skull on that side of my head. So, I once more did what any reasonable adult would do and tried to sleep it off.

Fight the inevitable as I might, when I woke up the next morning, I knew I had to go to urgent care. The hearing loss had grown profound, my head was tilting to the left, and everything was muffled and uncomfortable.

The doctor looked in my ear for less than two seconds and gave me the bad news I’d been dreading, along with $500 in antibiotics. Healthcare in America is a b**** if you’re on a state-funded plan, and I was on vacation 2,000 miles outside the area my insurance would cover. Yay, America!

And that’s how I ruptured my eardrum by scratching an itch with my pinkie.

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App-ly Your Brain To This Situation

, , , , | Healthy | August 24, 2020

I’m a receptionist checking in a patient.

Me: “Okay. Have you been tested for [widespread illness] in the last two weeks?”

Patient: “I have the app.”

I patiently waited for an answer. The patient just stared at me.

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Make Sure You Stretch First

, , , , | Healthy | August 23, 2020

I am old enough that I’ve gone through menopause. A few months ago, I had some bleeding, so my doctor wanted to do a biopsy. This was very uncomfortable, not because of the biopsy itself, but due to me having to be dilated. Having never had children, I’d never experienced the pain. 

Today, I have a followup biopsy to make sure everything is still okay since the first one turned out okay.

I tell my husband that when I come home I’ll take one of my strong painkillers to help with the pain. The following exchange takes place.

Husband: “Why are you going to do that? They’re only taking a snip of tissue.”

Me: “It’s not the snip that hurts. It’s the dilation!”

The kicker is that he and his ex have two kids. It shouldn’t be a foreign concept to him!

But on the plus side, my mother-in-law who took me got me a pack of snack-size dark chocolate bars! That’s one of my favorite takeaways from “Harry Potter”: that chocolate makes everything better. And best of all, it’s scientifically proven.

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