A Pathological Vapo-Rub User

, , | Healthy | December 11, 2017

(I’m out grocery shopping, and I’m having trouble finding something, so I go to find a store employee. It’s worth noting that I’m a very petite blond woman in my early thirties.)

Me: “Excuse me, do you happen to know where the VapoRub is?”

Stocker: “Oh, yeah, it’s over here.”

(He hands me a tub of the stuff formulated for babies, and I thank him and immediately swap it out for a jar of the menthol mint formula.)

Stocker: “Ma’am, you don’t want to use that stuff with your kids. It’ll be too strong for them.”

Me: “Well, that’s good, because I don’t have kids.”

Stocker: “What’s it for, then?”

Me: “Cadavers. I’m a pathologist, and peppermint oil just doesn’t last through the workday. Water deaths, especially; you would not believe the smell…”

(The guy went sheet-white, and hurried away as fast as he could without running. I felt kind of bad, but it was definitely the funniest part of my day! My mentor always said that pathologists have the weirdest sense of humor…)

Scream Bloody Murder At The Sight Of Blood

, , | Healthy | December 11, 2017

(My son is 18 months old. I am planning on entering him in daycare and returning to work. I check around, and choose a daycare in part because of the above and beyond training the staff all have, including comprehensive (instead of emergency only) first aid training, annually. About three weeks after I enroll him, I get a call at work from a frantic daycare worker, who speaks perfect English, despite what happens next.)

Worker: “Your son was climbing on a chair and fell. He hit his head quite badly. There is a lot of blood coming out of his ear, and he hasn’t moved in 15 minutes!”

Me: “Is he talking or doing anything!”

Worker: “No, he hasn’t done anything at all since he fell. Maybe you should come pick him up.”

Me: “Call an ambulance. That’s very serious. Call right away. I’ll be there soon!”

(I throw my keys at my boss, barely tell him that my son is hurt and I have to go, run out of work, and drive like an idiot, all while picturing the most horrible things, and arrive just as the ambulance gets there.  The ambulance attendants and I rush inside to find my son calmly lying in a staff member’s lap, getting read to, trying to reach up and grab the book closer to himself. When he sees me he gets up and runs over to me, gabbing away the whole time. The staff member I talked to originally turns to me and the ambulance attendants.)

Worker: “That’s the first time he’s gotten up since he fell. He’s been lying in her lap reading books for the last half hour. We checked him over and he’s nicked his earlobe, which HAS bled quite a lot. That’s why I thought his mom should pick him up, but she insisted I call the ambulance, so I thought I better comply. Lawsuits, you know.” *stupid giggle*

(The ambulance attendants were extremely disgruntled to be called out for something that clearly wasn’t an emergency of any sort, and the worker keeps trying to blame me (‘New parents! Always overreacting to normal childhood bumps and bruises. Insisted I call an ambulance, etc.’) I may have lost it a little bit, yelling at her that her wildly inaccurate description of his injuries is why I insisted on her calling the ambulance, and that she had caused not only a huge waste of time for emergency services, but also extreme anxiety for me in her effort to make the story seem more interesting, or whatever her problem was.)

Pumpkin Season Finally Turned Deadly

, , , | Healthy | December 10, 2017

(I am working at a pumpkin patch and we have to move the rotting pumpkins to a huge garbage bin. I and two coworkers have the pumpkins in a ranger, a huge garbage bin, and are throwing them into the dumpster. [Coworker #1] throws the pumpkin and it hits [Coworker #2] on the head, like, smack dab in the middle of the head.)

Coworker #1: “OH, MY GOD, ARE YOU OKAY?!”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, I blacked out for a bit but I’m fine.”

Me: “Oh, god, hold on; let me get someone!”

Coworker #2: “I’m fine; I’ve had a concussion before I know the drill. Let’s finish this!”

Me: “What? No, I need to get someone! You said you blacked out!”

Coworker #2: “It’s fine; I’ll have my sister wake me up every few hours.”

Coworker #1: “She says she’s fine. I didn’t mean to hit her anyway.”

(Against my better judgment, we finished the pumpkins and all signed out and went home. [Coworker #1] called in the next day and I saw she posted on her FB wall she was in the hospital with, guess what? A concussion!)

Prescribing Some Business Advice

, | Healthy | December 9, 2017

(I’ve just gotten back from the pharmacy, having filled a new prescription for some anti-anxiety medication. The prescription was for a much larger supply than I’m used to. Also, my boyfriend works in mental health, and as such is fairly familiar with psych pharmaceuticals.)

Me: “So, do you think they gave me enough?” *showing him the huge prescription bottle*

Boyfriend: “Whoa. They’re tiny, too. Is that, like, a year’s supply?!”

Me: “Not really. See, look: they’re in little bars. It just looks like lots of tiny pills.”

Boyfriend: “So it’s Xanax?”

Me: “Um, the doctor said it’s BuSpar.”

Boyfriend: “BuSpar is a Xanax analogue. Not one-to-one, but still, you could sell those for $15 a pop!”

(He gives a thoughtful pause, then turns on the voice chat with his friends on his computer, which he’d muted to talk to me.)

Boyfriend: “Hey! Anyone wanna buy some Xanax?”

(He was joking, of course.)

Their Medical Opinion Is Not Abs-olute

, , | Healthy | December 8, 2017

When I was in grad school I was hit by a car while walking home one night. At the time it appeared all I suffered was road rash and bruises and I was sent home from the ER pretty quickly, but over the next several months internal symptoms started manifesting, culminating in me being unable to eat or drink anything without suffering severe abdominal pain.

I’m home with my parents for the summer when it gets so bad they call me an ambulance and accompany me to the ER. Before anyone can tell the first person who sees me not to do so, they’ve put morphine in my IV, which I do NOT get along with, so when the doctor arrives to check me out I’m being terribly sick while my poor mother holds the bucket. The doctor takes one look at me (female, age 22) and starts lecturing me about the evils of binge drinking and really, if I’m going to drink enough beer to make me sick I deserve the consequences. By the time I could lift my head enough to see what was going on, two nurses and an orderly were holding back my dad from wreaking grave bodily injury on this idiot. (As it happens, never before or since have I ever had enough to drink that it made me sick.)

Turned out the impact trauma had caused intestinal adhesions which needed to be surgically cut loose so peristalsis would function normally again. No thanks to that idiot doc, or the four after him — the first doctor who actually listened to me and who performed the surgery that fixed everything was, not coincidentally, the only female doctor I saw through the whole ordeal. I have not seen a male doctor since!

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