Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

The Squeaky Migraine Gets The Grease

, , , , , , | Healthy | March 25, 2021

Despite the fact that I’m at very high risk of death from a certain health-crisis-related illness, I’m unable to get a vaccine since my state has not prioritized people like me. I complain about this to anyone who brings it up.

Upon the third day of waking up with a migraine, I go to urgent care where there is also a vaccine site. For their records, they ask if I’ve gotten the vaccine yet. I proceed with my usual rant about it even though I feel terrible. After two different injections for the migraine, I finally feel better and go home. 

That afternoon the physician’s assistant I saw earlier calls me. The vaccine clinic has extra doses and she offers to hold one for me if I can be there in half an hour. Of course, I say yes and race back there. 

And that’s the story of my two visits to urgent care in one day, three shots, a very nice and caring PA, and the only time I’ve ever been happy to have a three-day migraine.

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Why Do We Even Have Those Things?

, , , , | Healthy | March 22, 2021

I am the author of this story. I have another story that involves my sweet-tempered and loving son. We are at the doctor’s office. My son has a condition where the usual treatment is penicillin, which he is highly allergic to. The doctor comes in, asks some questions, and then walks out to get some medicine and a needle.

The doctor walks back in, grabs an alcohol wipe, and starts swabbing my son with it, and then she starts to edge the needle close to him. 

Son: “Um, what is that?”

Doctor: “Oh, it’s just penicillin. Nothing to worry about.”

My son pulls his arm away, and I am instantly ticked.

Me: “He can’t have penicillin! He’s allergic!”

Doctor: “Well, sorry! How was I supposed to know?”

Son: “It’s on my chart!”

Doctor: “It’s not my job to look at that!”

Me: “What the f*** is your job, then?!”

Our shouting brought another doctor into the room, and when he heard the story, he told the first doctor to wait in his office. He gave my son a different treatment option, which we took. We switched to him shortly after, and now that previous doctor glares at us every time we go there!

That Part Of The Body NEVER Made Men Wise

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Chaos, Panic, Relief

, , , , , | Healthy | March 20, 2021

I’m a student nurse out for a three-week practicum on a high-acuity hospital ward. Through sheer bad luck, during the first week us students are there, there are a lot of medical emergencies: cardiac arrests, patients found unconscious, comas, and vital sign measurements dangerously out of normal range. On one particular day, the emergency alarm goes off four different times, sending the whole staff running to help and sometimes taking hours to resolve with a whole team present.

Come 2:00 pm, we’re all frazzled and exhausted. Just as we sit down to write the notes for the shift of chaos, from behind the nurses’ station we hear a desperate cry: “Oh, my God, help me! Somebody help! [Nurse], help me!”

Once again, we all go running. A couple of the staff get there before me, and as they arrive on the scene I hear a crowd start laughing, as if someone has fallen for a prank, and the staff who ran to help look relieved and then disperse. I vaguely recall a passing comment I overheard at 7:00 this morning: there was going to be a CPR training happening that day that we had forgotten about because we knew we’d be too busy.

Mystery solved! All was well, everyone was safe! They’re just running a scenario!

Except the CPR training is being run by and for experienced hospital clinicians, and they are all extremely familiar with what a realistic medical emergency sounds like and aren’t afraid to show it.

They somehow manage to last for ten minutes with loud, dramatic, distressed hyperventilating, with the occasional, “Help me!” and, “Oh, no, she’s unconscious! What are you going to do?!” and, “Get help!” 

All the while, the rest of us are huddled down in the nursing station trying to write our notes and failing to tune out the sound of very realistic respiratory distress happening a few meters away.

For some reason, we don’t find that particularly calming after our adrenaline-filled day.

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It’s Alarming That You Don’t See The Urgency Of The Situation

, , , , , | Healthy | March 19, 2021

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

I get a job at the front desk of my college residence hall during my freshman year. Most phone calls are pretty basic; people want to know when the desk closes or when they can collect their packages.

But this one still boggles my mind.

Me: “[School] housing and dining, my name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Resident: “Hi, do we have an on-call nurse?”

Me: ”No, we don’t. Is this an emergency scenario?”

Resident: “No, my roommate lost vision in her left eye for like six minutes.”

I am absolutely speechless. I would think most people would go to an emergency room or at least schedule a doctor’s appointment when something of that severity happened. My first plan of action would definitely not be to call the front desk.

Me: “Does she still not have vision?”

Resident: “No, she can see now.”

Me: “Then maybe schedule a doctor visit or go to the ER if it happens again?”

Resident: “I think that’s a good idea, but she says she doesn’t want to. Thanks, anyway.”

I didn’t know what to say. I left my shift that day very confused about that phone call.

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We Hope This Story Goes Viral!

, , , | Healthy | March 18, 2021

I’m seeing a gynaecologist at a private clinic because the general polyclinics in Singapore don’t have the specific type of birth control I want. The doctor is a woman and seems okay on the first visit.

Doctor: “And what do you do for a living?”

Me: “I’m a virologist; I work for a vaccine development company.”

On the second visit, she tries to hard-sell me the HPV vaccine. In many countries, it’s given to teenagers for free, but it’s very expensive to buy out of pocket privately.

Me: “I don’t think I need it because I’m married and my husband didn’t have any sex partners before.”

Doctor: “No, but once you become sexually active, the HPV can fly through the air and infect you at any time.”

This is complete nonsense; HPV is not airborne.

Me: “Remember last time when I said I’m a virologist working in vaccine research and development?”

This story is part of our Best Of March 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of March 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of March 2021 roundup!

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