Insulin And Out

, | Healthy | November 27, 2017

(I have been admitted to hospital for fainting spells. I am also diabetic and use injections. I am currently on my period, and for whatever reason I tend to bruise more often from the injections during this time.)

Nurse: *coming in while I’m getting changed* “Okay, this shouldn’t take very long. At most you should be— What are those?”

Me: “What are what?”

Nurse: *now angry and pointing at my thighs* “THOSE!”

Me: “Bruises, from insulin injections.”

(It looks like she doesn’t believe me as she turns and leaves. I have an MRI and CT scan, and now they need to do some blood tests. I am given some forms, which have already been filled out, but I’m asked to check to see if there is anything that has been missed. After the blood has been taken, a new medical officer comes in with my forms.)

Medical Officer: “Are you all right, dear? We just need to make sure everything is right before we do the tests.”

Me: “I already checked them and they’re fine.”

Medical Officer: “Yes, but we need more than just the medication you have been prescribed. We also need other drugs you may have taken recently.”

Me: “Again, already on the form.”

Medical Officer: “Any not-necessarily-legal drugs.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Medical Officer: “I may as well be open. Now, there’s no need to be ashamed, but we really need to know what drugs you are addicted to, and for how long. They could be what is causing your condition.”

Me: “I’m not on anything like that. What is this– Oh. Have any of the nurses spoken to you about my legs?”

Medical Officer: “There was an observation made that you use your legs for the injection site, yes.”

Me: “And did they also tell you that I’m diabetic as well, and that’s where I administer my insulin?” *shows her my legs*

Medical Officer: *doubtful* “That’s a lot of bruising for mere insulin injections.”

Me: “If I had been admitted a week ago, they wouldn’t be there. I’m on my period, and my injections always cause bruising while I’m on my period.”

(She still looks doubtful, but leaves me in peace. I’m really shook up by it and despite these two being the only people who think I’m a drug addict, I opt to leave and be seen elsewhere. I never find out the cause of my fainting, but it disappears within a month. Six months later, I’m back at said hospital for retinal screening. Lo and behold, the woman who sees me is the second one mentioned above. She recognises me.)

Medical Officer: “Oh, small world. How have you—”

Me: *lifting my skirt* “Do you see any bruises now? Do I look like a junkie now?”

Medical Officer: *blushing* “Oh, umm. No. I’m sorry about jumping to—”

Me: “Just save it. If you’ve been given this responsibility, after how you treated me, you can stuff it!”

(I then left and arranged to have all future screening done at a hospital nearly an hour away. It really makes you wonder why these two women, out of all the people who saw me that day, believed I was a drug addict because of bruising on one of the most common areas diabetics inject.)

Calibrations Always Go Up And Down

, , | Healthy | November 27, 2017

(It’s the night shift in the hospital lab. I’m the scientist doing the nightly calibrating of our analyzers’ drug screen when the ER requests a drug screen, which I can’t run until I finish my calibrations; once I start, I can’t stop. We tell them it will be done as soon as possible, and we’ll rush the sample, which they’re okay with. Meanwhile, some plumbers are working on one of our sinks. The lead scientist comes to my bench to check on my progress and get a better ETA to tell the doctors.)

Lead Scientist: “How’s it coming over here?”

Me: “I’m almost ready. I just need to do cocaine and marijuana.”

Lead Scientist: *without missing a beat* “[My Name], you know better than to mix uppers and downers.”

(The plumbers all went silent and turned to look at us. I hope they didn’t think we were actually doing drugs.)

Something Doesn’t Clicky

, | Healthy | November 26, 2017

(I am fifteen and fortunate enough to be able to attend the birth of my baby sister with my dad. This takes place only an hour after she is born.)

Doctor: “Now, Mrs. [Mum], is it all right if a student doctor does the examination on your baby?”

Mum: “Yes, of course; they have to practice!”

Doctor: “[Student]! You can come in now!

Student: *examines my baby sister and then looks worried* “I’m going to refer [Sister] here. She is exhibiting signs of clicky hips.”

Mum: “Should we be worried? [My Name] didn’t have any of that. Is it going to affect her as she gets older?!”

Student: “It’s likely she’ll just have a little fabric harness. It’s easily corrected.”

(Two weeks later we are sitting in a clinic room in the hospital waiting for the doctor. My mum sits next to a lady with a toddler and a baby not much older than my sister.)

Lady: “Hello, why are you here?”

Mum: “We’ve been referred. Apparently, [Sister] has clicky hips.”

Lady: *looks surprised* “Same here! Did you have [Student] examine her?”

Mum: “Yes, that was him!”

Lady: “I’ve talked to three other ladies who’ve been referred, and each of their babies have absolutely nothing wrong. I’m betting it’s the same for our two!”

(It turned out the student had referred about twenty mothers over the two days he’d been in the department, and none of their babies had clicky hips!)

Has To Be Some Kind Of Record

, , | Healthy | November 25, 2017

Customer: “I need my birth record in order to request a new Social Security card, because I don’t have a copy of my birth certificate.”

(This is a fairly common request, so I nod as I look over his Release of Information to make sure all the fields have been completed. Before I get to the end, he adds:)

Customer: “I wasn’t actually born at this hospital. Does that matter?”

(Yes, it matters. He left empty-handed.)

County The Ways

, , | Healthy | November 24, 2017

(I work for a non-profit medical clinic. Because the county we operate in provides a pretty broad range of services, we have a lot of patients who labor under the belief that we are associated with the county. We are not and never have been. I overhear my colleague who is working the front desk engaging with a patient.)

Patient: “So you’re part of the county, right?”

Colleague: “No, we are in no way associated with the county.”

Patient: “Oh, so you contract with them?”

Colleague: “No. We are not contracted by, subcontract with, or in any way work for or answer to the county.”

Patient: “So, you’re subcontracted with the county.”

Colleague: “No, we are not. We are in no way, shape, or form any part of the county services.”

Patient: *sounding confused* “Oh.”

(A moment later.)

Patient: “So can you send [paperwork] through this fax machine?” *gestures at printer*

Colleague: “That isn’t a fax machine.”

Patient: “Can you fax it from here?”

Colleague: “No, we do not have a fax machine here.”

Patient: *confused* “Oh.”

(After the patient has been called in to see the provider.)

Me: *to Colleague, teasing* “So hey, [Colleague], aren’t we part of the county?”

Colleague: *throws hands in the air* “Apparently!”

Me: “Someone should tell [Boss]. He won’t have to worry about that [specific] grant anymore!”

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