Those Prices Are Not Healthy

, , , , | Healthy | October 21, 2019

I’m an American living and working in Japan. One day, I get severely ill, so I call an ambulance and am taken to the hospital. It turns out to be an easily treated condition, but they keep me in for observation overnight.

During checkout the next day, they keep warning me and apologizing that payment will be expensive, even with my insurance. “I’m so sorry but it will be pricey,” is something I hear from several people. 

At that point, I’m a little worried about the cost, but checkout is almost done and they present me with the bill — about ¥30,000, a little under $300 US.

I surprise them when I start laughing, then horrify them when I say that an ambulance ride, hospital stay, and followup medication in the US would easily add up to at least ten times that price!

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Circumcise What I Just Said From Your Minds

, , | Healthy | October 20, 2019

(I have just given birth to my son and am with the nurse who is head of the maternity section. It just happens that we went to school together.)

Nurse: “So, we just have to get some things out of the way. First, do you want him circumcised?”

Me: “No, definitely not.”

Nurse: “Thank goodness. Do you know how horrible it is? They do it without anaesthesia and basically just cut the foreskin off with scissors. The poor babies go through so much pain, it makes me sick every time a parent wants it done, and I’m not allowed to try to talk anyone out of it or… um… say what I just said.”

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Not What They Mean By Getting Plenty Of Bed Rest

, , , , | Healthy | October 19, 2019

(A group of residents with varying stages of dementia is sitting around a table having coffee near my desk in the front lobby. One of them asks a question of the others…)

Resident #1: “What happened to my hand?” 

(She has a bruise over her wrist and the back of her hand.)

Resident #2: “You fell out of your bed, remember? You landed on it.”

Resident #1: “Oh! I must have been having a good time in bed!”

(Both women cracked up laughing while the two men with them looked shocked. I managed to hold it together so they didn’t know I was listening in.)

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Don’t Grit Your Teeth To This

, , | Healthy | October 18, 2019

(I am helping an old lady getting ready for bed one evening at the nursing home. A part of that includes assisting her with brushing her teeth. Some old people have dentures, and I can’t remember whether this lady has or not.)

Me: “Do you have your own teeth?”

Resident: “Yes, I do.”

Me: “Okay, then, here’s your toothbrush.”

(The lady then pops out her dentures.)

Me: “I thought you had your own teeth?”

Resident: “I do. I bought and paid for them myself.”

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Smoking? There’s An App For That

, , , , | Healthy | October 17, 2019

(I am in the hospital after falling down a flight of stairs. My ankle is fractured.)

Me: “Excuse me. Can you please hand me my phone?”

Nurse: “No.”

Me: “What? Why not?”

Nurse: *huffy* “Well, it says on your chart that you’re a smoker. I’m not going to give you your phone so you can buy more cigarettes.”

Me: “I wasn’t planning on buying anything; I wanted to update my family and friends.”

Nurse: “I don’t believe you. I know your kind. You think you’re special because you destroy your body with drugs. I’m not letting you buy drugs!”

Me: “All right, let’s see what a patient advocate thinks about what you just said.”

Nurse: *goes pale and hands me my phone*

(Later, when I told my dad about it, he told the doctor, who rolled his eyes and said we weren’t the first to complain.)

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