Time Heals All Errors

, , , , | Healthy | February 10, 2019

(My father comes off his motorcycle when going round a bend and dislocates his shoulder. This the third time he has dislocated it. This, combined with the fact that he is 65 years old, means the doctors want to keep a close eye on how it is healing. My dad goes to the hospital for a check-up a month or two after the accident.)

Doctor: *looking at scans on the computer* “This doesn’t seem to have healed at all. I think you may need surgery to get this sorted.”

Father: “Are you sure? It feels a lot better.”

Doctor: “Based on what I see, yes. Stay here; I just need to speak someone about getting you scheduled in for the operation.”

(The doctor leaves the office. My father looks at the scans still on the screen and notices something important: the date of the scan is from just after the accident! No wonder it doesn’t appear to be healing. The doctor comes back into the office.)

Doctor: “So, we can get you in—“

Father: “Can I just stop you there? Could you check the date on that scan?”

Doctor: “What?” *checks date and twigs* “Ah. So sorry about that.” *brings up the most recent scan* “That’s much better; the healing seems to on track. We’ll make a follow-up appointment so we can check it again soon.”

Medicaid: Come Back When There’s More Than One Stomach Hole

, , , | Healthy | February 3, 2019

(I have been extremely sick with stomach issues for quite a long time, but have had zero luck finding a doctor who will take on a Medicaid patient. One day, the pain after trying to eat something becomes so severe that I ask my grandma to take me to the ER. We go to the main hospital downtown and wait. My mom eventually gets off work and comes to take grandma’s place waiting with me. Finally, after over eight hours, I’m called back. We sit with the doctor and talk about my symptoms: non-stop nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, exhaustion, unable to keep anything solid down, and so on, getting progressively worse over the course of more than a year. I’ve survived on an increasingly all-liquid diet all that time, so it’s clear something’s wrong.)

Doctor: “Well, you’re young, so I’m not too worried about it. I know you’re in school right now. Remember, your state of mind can really affect your body. Have you been depressed at all?”

(Yep, no tests or anything other than checking my blood sugar and doing a pregnancy and drug screening. I am discharged with basically the advice to try to relax and find a GP to discuss things with. Exactly one week later, I’m at home, and this time start vomiting blood pretty much nonstop rather than the usual intermittent basis. I call the nursing helpline for my Medicaid provider.)

Nurse: “You’re bleeding internally. You need to get to an ER immediately. Do you have someone who can drive you, or should I line up a ride for you?”

Me: “Well, I was literally just in the ER last week.”

Nurse: “Miss, you really need to go back. Is there someone who can take you?”

Me: “Yeah, I know my mom will take me if I tell her. Thank you.”

(Sure enough, my mom came to get me, and we headed for the one hospital in town not part of the network that ran the other one, as it was the local Catholic hospital. I was checked in and taken back within a few minutes, the doctor really listened, and they did tests, giving me meds to help with the nausea in the meantime. Turns out, my H. pylori numbers were practically astronomical, and the ultrasound revealed visible swelling where an ulcer was on the brink of eating through my stomach, in addition to the anemia and high white cell count. I effectively got there pretty much just in time. So, yeah, that’s my story of how most of the medical system wanted to effectively leave me to die just because I couldn’t make enough between my four jobs while going to school, and the one hospital that saved my life. Thanks to a scheduler in the local medical system, I have since found a GP and a GI specialist who are working on the underlying autoimmune issue we’ve since found, as well as getting the stomach issues under control that I was left with due to long-term lack of treatment.)

Laughter Is The Best Medicine… After Chemo

, , , , , , | Healthy | January 29, 2019

(I have cancer and am at the hospital for a session of chemotherapy. Before I can have the treatment, I have to have blood taken and see the oncologist to make sure that I am healthy enough to take the chemo. A nurse weighs me whilst I am waiting for my consultation, and I am finally called in. The doctor asks how I’m doing, tells me my blood work was fine, and checks my weight with the nurse. She gives him the info, and he drops this gem.)

Oncologist: “Is that weight whilst fully clothed?”

Nurse: *looking incredibly amused* “We don’t strip the patients naked, [Doctor].”

(I went into that session of chemo feeling very upbeat.)

OMG-yn!, Part 2

, , , , | Healthy | January 23, 2019

(I wake up feeling sick. There are explosions of pain in my right side. I try to walk it off but after a few hours my boyfriend decides it’s time to stop playing hero, and he takes me to an emergency room. A receptionist is sorting patients according to their suspected diagnosis — broken bones and physical injuries are sent to the surgical ER, ob-gyn problems to the ob-gyn ER, toothache to the dentist ER, etc. We think it’s appendicitis, so I end up in general ER because we actually don’t know what’s wrong. I am four months pregnant and it’s already starting to show.)

Doctor: “We need to do a test to see if you are pregnant.”

Me: “I am pregnant.”

Doctor: “Riiight. So, we will do the test to see if you are pregnant…”

Me: “I am pregnant.”

Doctor: “Sure. So this test–“

Me: “Which part of ‘I am pregnant’ don’t you understand?”

Doctor: “This test will determine if you are pregnant.”

Me: “Okay, last time: I am pregnant. I’m 17 weeks along. In your right hand is my pregnancy card which confirms my pregnancy, includes all the tests, results, and every check-up I’ve had. I am four months pregnant!”

Doctor: *pause* “Well, why didn’t you say so?”

Me: “Arggggh!”

(She sent me to ob-gyn ER since “irritated pregnant women aren’t her problem.” At the ob-gyn ER, I was told my baby was fine, and since they also agreed it might be appendicitis, they sent me to the surgical ER where they determined it wasn’t appendicitis, but that the cause of the pain was my baby. I had a slightly irritated and swollen appendix, and the position of my son allowed him to kick it, which caused the explosions of pain. Two days of an icepack on my right side and liquid diet, and I was fine.)


, , , , , | Working | January 15, 2019

There are two walk-in clinics near where I live. One of them has unbearably long wait times; people have had to sit in the waiting room for literal hours before someone is able to see them. The other one is much more convenient, so that’s the one I go to.

One day, I get a really painful bladder infection. I’ve had them before, so I’m very familiar with what they feel like. I wait a few days to see if it will go away on its own with some rest, but it doesn’t. So, I make my way over to the more convenient clinic to get some antibiotics to feel better. Once I get there, I notice that the waiting area is completely blacked out. There’s a sign on the window that says “CLOSED. Sorry for the inconvenience.” I’d be fine if it was just that, but somebody has added to the sign in pencil, “I’m with a hot blonde in the Bahamas.”

Obviously, I’m pretty ticked off, so I go talk to the pharmacists that are still around to ask what’s going on. One of them, looking rather frazzled, tells me that the doctor just left without warning two weeks ago. I have to make my way to the other clinic — about a half-hour walk after a previous half-hour walk just to get to the first clinic — and wait in the waiting room for a literal hour, all while my lower half is on fire, just to get some relief. And to top it off, it’s about 28 C out — for you Americans, that’s 82.4 F.

I feel so sorry for the poor staff that got left behind to deal with that mess.

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