She’s Not Being Very Hip

, , , , , | Healthy | December 2, 2019

My great aunt gets a call from a friend asking her if she wants to go grocery shopping at a popular bulk warehouse store and my aunt agrees. When her friend gets to the house, my aunt goes outside and slips on some ice in the driveway; she hits her hip hard and can no longer stand up. She refuses to call an ambulance, and two of her neighbors manage to get her into her friend’s car. 

My aunt’s friend asks if she wants to go to the doctor right away but my aunt responds, “No, you came to go to the store so we might as well do that first.” So, her friend goes grocery shopping while my aunt stays in the car with a broken hip. Afterward, the friend insists my aunt go to a doctor. Instead of going to the emergency room, my aunt insists on going to a faster care doctor’s office. 

They pull into the parking lot and my aunt’s friend explains the situation. A doctor comes out and tells my aunt they have no way to get her out of the car — she is somewhat of a larger lady — and that she really needs to go to the ER. My aunt complains. Finally, the doctor says, “Ma’am, you’ve broken your hip. This is something outside of our control. We can help you if you need something minor, but you are going to need surgery; you need to leave and go get the care you need.” 

She finally agrees to go to the ER and she ends up having quite the lengthy recovery process because she is just as difficult in her physical therapy appointments.

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When You Are Bugged To Go To The Doctor

, , , , , , | Healthy | November 27, 2019

When I’m in high school, I come down with a bad fever and my mother takes me to the doctor. I’m still seeing a pediatrician at this point. The building the office is in is undergoing construction.

Pretty soon I’m in the examination room, my mom sitting to the side. The doctor is a young woman, wearing a gauzy green sweater and some light gold jewelry. I notice a very shiny, pretty brooch shaped like a scarab pinned to her sweater.

She leans in with the tongue depressor, and as I watch in horror, the “brooch” sticks out a barbed leg and starts crawling up her shoulder! I scream and throw myself back. 

“Are you okay?” asks the doctor. She thinks I’m scared of the tongue depressor. 

There’s a huge bug on you!” I yell. 

This sets the doctor off. She shrieks, drops the tongue depressor, and starts frantically trying to brush the bug off her sweater. In the process, she breaks her necklace, sending bits of golden chain flying across the room. Part of it hits me and I think it’s the bug, so I scream again and the cycle begins anew. 

Eventually, the doctor calms down a little, but we’re still trying to find the bug. She turns around and I spot it on her shoulder and yell, “It’s still there!” This time she holds still and my mom gets it off her with a tissue and squishes it in the garbage can. 

Once everyone’s calmed down, Mom comments that she should have saved it, or at least not crushed it, since it was actually very pretty. She thought I was having a hallucination until she saw it herself! We figure it got in from all the construction downstairs. The rest of the appointment goes fine, though the doctor and I are a bit shaken up; my mom is pretty level-headed. 

When we check out, the nurse at the desk asks what happened. We tell her and she laughs and says, “We get a lot of screaming in this office, but usually it’s not from the doctors!”

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Right Bad Back At Ya

, , , , , | Healthy | November 23, 2019

(I am in the waiting room of a hospital waiting for a scan to check out my back injury. For the purposes of this story, let’s just say that my name is John Smith. The nurse calls me in for my scan.)

Nurse: “All right, just jump up onto the table.”

Me: “Umm… sorry, I can’t do that.”

Nurse: “We can’t do the scan if you don’t get on the table.”

Me: “But… I can barely move. How do you expect me to jump onto a table?”

Nurse: “Sure, you can.”

Me: “I don’t think you understand. I am physically unable to get up onto the table due to a back injury.”

Nurse: “You don’t have a back injury.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure I would know why I’m at the hospital.”

Nurse: “Your name is John Smith, right?”

Me: “Yes.”

Nurse: “And your date of birth is [date]?”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

(A patient in the waiting room speaks up.)

Patient: “Sorry to interrupt, but I think you might have us confused.”

Nurse: “Your name is John Smith?”

Patient: “Yep.”

Nurse: “And I suppose your date of birth is also [date].”

Patient: “Yes.”

Nurse: “And you’re here for a scan?”

Patient: “Yes, I am.”

Nurse: “Well, this is an interesting coincidence.”

(She looks down at her computer.)

Nurse: “Ah, I see the problem. There are two different people named John Smith with the same birthday, who just happened to both have appointments for a scan within the same hour. I was looking for John M. Smith.”

Patient: “That’s me!”

(The nurse apologized and I got my scan not long after. It was a confusing few minutes, but at least I got a good story out of it!)

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Operating Under Confusion

, , , , , | Healthy | November 20, 2019

(I work for a pediatric dental practice. We are currently at our surgical center where kids get put to sleep so we can do all of the work necessary. There’s loads of paperwork, normal doctor check-ups, and numerous confirmations that patients’ parents need to go through before we see them. We have a two-year-old girl that needs work on every single tooth; she’s been on our waitlist for surgery for two months. We are about to bring her back to the OR.)

Nurse: “Okay, sweetheart, time to say bye to Mommy.”

Mom: *looking so confused* “Wait, why is she saying bye?”

Nurse: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you aren’t allowed into the OR for sterilization purposes.”

Mom: “But how is she supposed to fall asleep without me reading her a story?”

Nurse: “The anesthesiologist–”

Mom: “The what?!”

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Diagnosed With Not Quite Surgical Precision

, , , , | Healthy | November 17, 2019

(In college, I start getting severe fatigue; I am sleeping ten hours a night, getting an hour or two nap each day, and still feeling exhausted all the time. I go to the student health center where they do some blood tests and diagnose me with hypothyroidism, where my thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormone. I am given a prescription for the generic of a synthetic thyroid hormone, and things improve drastically for several months. But after I have my prescription filled at a different pharmacy, I start having different symptoms: anxiety, feeling jittery all the time, being unreasonably cold, etc. I go back to the health center where they run more blood tests. This is what happens at the followup appointment when those blood test results come back.)

Doctor: “So, your thyroid hormone levels are much too high. You have hyperthyroidism.” *goes into treatment options, which basically boil down to either radiation to kill off part of my thyroid or surgery to remove part of it*

Me: “Okay. Well, before we start talking about surgery, don’t you think we should try reducing my [medication] dosage?”

Doctor: *stares at me for a second, then reads my chart more carefully* “Ah. Yes, yes, we should probably try that first.”

(A DIFFERENT doctor in the health center was able to explain that I’m in a small group of people that are sufficiently sensitive to thyroid hormone that the different levels in different generic brands can act like a completely different dosage, meaning that I need to be on the name brand to ensure my dosage stays constant. We put me on the name brand and I didn’t have any more problems, and I never saw the other doctor again.)

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