Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

These People Are Extra Good At Kindness

, , , , , , , | Healthy | June 25, 2021

About a year ago, I decided to become a non-directed kidney donor. I live alone — except a five-month-old husky puppy — with all of my family in other states a good 2,000 miles away from where I’d just moved a year prior. As the surgery date started to approach, I needed to get things in order. I tend to be both very independent and overly optimistic about what I can get done on my own. Due to their own life difficulties, none of my family would be coming out to stay with me pre- or post-surgery. The following is a brief summary of the many wonderful ways I was reminded of just how wonderful people are.

My puppy: my puppy was a rescue I had found by the side of the road at the start of the health crisis. I’d just started going to the dog park with him when the surgery got scheduled. The surgery came up in conversation, and three different strangers volunteered to come to pick him up and bring him for walks and to the dog park. Another new friend with a small baby and a puppy of their own offered, without being asked, to take him for the entire hospital stay. 

Homecare: while I was recovering from surgery, at least a dozen different people stopped by to clean my home, take my dog out, bring me meals, and help me get up to exercise. Several people also heard that I was not eating because of how bad I felt and made it a point to either bring me the only things I could stomach (variations on dry breads) or sit on the phone with me and go through menus until they said something that sounded edible. 

School: I am a graduate student and did not fully appreciate the impact it would have on my semester, nor how much my classmates and professors would care. Every single professor continuously checked up on me and went out of their way to accommodate me as much as possible. One even dropped off special homemade soup at my home. Several classmates were kind and patient enough to review and reteach me whole units because I was too doped up on drugs to properly understand them the first time. They gave me rides to the store, took me out walking, and just sat patiently with me while I was miserable. 

Possibly the sweetest was in the hospital. The night after the surgery was the worst. The anesthesia was finally wearing off and they had to double my pain meds, but the oxygen monitor kept going off every time I started to fall asleep. Apparently, I breathe shallowly when asleep. It was so awful and it was really late at night or early in the morning and I just felt so miserable and alone. I definitely was not rational and was extremely emotional. I proceeded to start going down my friend list on my phone calling people just to see if anyone was up and could keep me company. Every person I called answered. Half of them just read Jane Austen to me until I calmed down or would just talk so I could hear a familiar voice. The last person I called stayed on with me until the doctor came back around and was able to change the meds and get me off the oxygen so I could sleep. 

With the exception of the people on the phone, none of these people had known me for more than a few months, and I’d only met most of them a handful of times. I’m doing great now, as is the donee. I’m doing so well, in fact, that it is easy to forget that the experience even happened — except when I look down at my scars, and then I get the chance to remember how a group of near-strangers took care of me like I was their sister, daughter, granddaughter, and friend. 

People really are remarkable.

1 Thumbs
950

Pink Ribbons Make Some People See Red

, , , , , | Healthy | June 24, 2021

I am a leasing agent at a senior apartment complex. I contributed to a breast cancer research fund and received a pink ribbon pin, which we are allowed to wear. My current applicant has been huffing and tutting as she fills out paperwork, and she makes a point of never looking me in the eye. When we are finished, she tries a parting shot.

Applicant: “You know, I had breast cancer, too, but I don’t advertise it.”

Me: *With a big smile* “I haven’t had it, thankfully, but my cousin died from it, so I do what I can to raise awareness.”

She turned a few shades of red, grabbed her paperwork, and hurried off.

1 Thumbs
446

Find A Job You Love

, , , , , , | Healthy | June 23, 2021

I am working as a phlebotomist at a labcorp. That means I’m the guy that draws your blood whenever you need it done for some sort of test. The latest person I’m drawing blood from is polite with a decent sense of humor and doesn’t freak out at the idea of having blood drawn, so generally, I consider him a decent customer.

Me: “Apply pressure here, please.”

Patient: “Okay. I guess you’re almost done with me, huh?”

Me: “Just about.”

Patient: “Lucky you. Most people agree five minutes of dealing with me is about the most anyone should have to endure.”

Me: “Oh, that’s not fair. I didn’t mind drawing for you at all.”

Patient: “I guess I can understand that. I mean, most people I meet end up wanting to stab me, but you’re one of the few that actually gets to do it! Must be very therapeutic, huh?”

Me: “Yep, stabbing people for fun and profit — what’s not to love about this job?”

Patient: “That’s the spirit! Have a good day now. Enjoy making people bleed.”

Me: “Oh, I will, I promise.”

1 Thumbs
570

Bending Your Knowledge Of Medicine Until It Breaks

, , , | Healthy | June 22, 2021

I went on a winter holiday in Austria. It was my second time snowboarding after finishing my lessons the year before. On the afternoon of our third day there, I was exhausted and I tried to push myself up from a sitting position but fell right away. I felt a small snapping sensation in my right ring finger, but I didn’t think much about it.

Thirty minutes and two ski lifts later, I realized that my finger was swollen. I decided to go back to our hotel. I asked my cousin — a med student — about what I needed to use to reduce the pain. She tried to feel the bone but couldn’t because the finger was very thick already.

Cousin: “Can you bend your finger?”

Me: “Only like a third of the way.”

Cousin: “How painful is it out of ten?”

Me: “I think six.”

Cousin: “I think you just sprained it. Just use the ointment to reduce bruising, wrap it with elastic sport tape to keep it still, and you should be okay in a few days.”

Me: “You don’t think it’s broken?”

Cousin: “You would know it if it was broken. You would feel more pain.”

Me: “I don’t have to go to the emergency clinic here, then?”

Cousin: “Nah. It’s too expensive here. You can wait until we’re back in Amsterdam.”

Me: “Okay.”

A few days after we were back, almost a week after the accident, I had to go to Indonesia. By then, the swelling was gone, but the finger was still crooked and couldn’t bend. I decided to go to a clinic there.

From the x-ray picture, they saw that I had a hairline fracture close to the second joint of my right ring finger. Unfortunately, it had already been too long, so the bone already started healing itself, in the wrong position. Now the finger is forever crooked.

When I told my family about it, [Cousin] received a lot of teasing, and the story is retold every winter holiday. She did not choose orthopedics as her specialty.

1 Thumbs
296

A Mother-In-Law So Sweet She’ll Give You Diabetes

, , , | Healthy | June 21, 2021

I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes when I was five months pregnant. My OBGYN referred me to a dietitian for a consultation. I went with my mother-in-law since the office is hard to reach with public transport. 

During the consultation, my mother-in-law kept telling the dietitian that I always eat a lot of rice, noodles, and Asian food in general that has high sugar levels. She’s not completely wrong, but I am also okay with switching to a low-carb, low-sugar diet. Then, my mother-in-law suggested that I eat at her place more often since she always eats healthy. My dietitian seemed happy, and I just said yes to keep the consultation going.

Fast forward to the next consultation with my dietitian, one month later, the week after Christmas. This time, I went with my husband.

Dietitian: “Hi! How was your Christmas?”

Me: “It was good. We celebrated at his parents’ place. My mother-in-law always prepares the Christmas dinner.”

Dietitian: “Were you able to keep your blood sugar level low and stable?”

Me: “Yes. The highest was 6.2, and it was after a slice of pie.”

Dietitian: “Oh, good! What did you eat other than that?”

Me: “I knew I wanted the pie, so I skipped the mashed potatoes and only ate the roast beef and beans. I skipped the sauce and compote. I also only ate a small slice of pie.”

Dietitian: “Didn’t your mother-in-law say that she always cooks healthy?”

Husband: “Ignore her. She always says that, but then always cooks mashed potatoes with gravy, salad with tons of dressing, and prepackaged juice.”

Dietitian: “Oh.”

I love my husband and how realistic he is about everything.

1 Thumbs
545