If Only They Could Hear Themselves

, , , , , , | | Healthy | July 17, 2019

I have bone conduction hearing issues that I’ve suffered my whole life. It’s hard to explain, but I hear with my bones, which, coupled with my regular ear-hole hearing, means that I am off the charts of any traditional loudness hearing tests. This means that I have a hearing specialist and I have to go every year or so to keep my earplugs current. Inner-ear shape changes with even the slightest weight change. Every time I visit her I’m seen by one of her assistants for the initial consultation and every time she — usually a woman — yells through her questions.

My chart says what I have, but they are so used to yelling to their patients as most of the people they see have the opposite problem to me.

I ask them politely to speak more quietly many, many times each visit, but the volume increases every question they ask.

A few times I try and surreptitiously slip my ever-present earplugs out of my pocket to put them in, but my specialist has asked me not wear them before the physical tests — my hearing is extremely extreme for about 15 minutes after taking them out — but I just can’t be in the room with yellers without them.

To this day, I’ve been searching for a polite way to ask people to talk quieter, but I haven’t found it yet.

Don’t Baby Talk Me

, , , , | | Healthy | July 16, 2019

(I gave birth to twins several months ago and have since gone back to work. I am struggling a lot with anxiety, inability to focus, and lack of sleep, just having a really hard time in general. I’m not sure who to go to for help as I don’t seem to quite meet the criteria for postpartum depression or anxiety, so I make an appointment with my primary care doctor to see if she can help me figure out who to talk to.)

Me: “I’m just having a really hard time at work and at home, feeling like I’m falling behind at everything. I can’t focus on what I’m doing, and I’m anxious all the time. I just didn’t know who to talk to so I thought I might start with you. I’m really struggling right now.”

Doctor: “I’ll run some blood tests but… I mean, you did just have two babies.” *laughs* “So, I’m not really sure what you expected life to be like right now… Maybe consider finding a new job?”

(I never did get any help from her whatsoever. I am happy to say that my twins are a year old now and that difficult period has since passed.)

Doctor Is Getting Ahead Of Himself

, , , , | | Healthy | July 15, 2019

(My seven-year-old son broke his arm. The anesthetist is explaining to us what to expect with the sedative they are going to use before setting the bone.)

Doctor: “Ketamine is a dissociative safe for kids. It puts them in a trance-like state where they can’t feel anything. The pain signals don’t reach the brain. It kind of cuts the head off from the rest of the body.”

My Already Distressed Son: “YOU’RE GOING TO WHAAAAT?!”

Doctor: “Oops.”

A Boy Diagnosing A Boy

, , , , , , | | Healthy | July 1, 2019

(My three-year-old son has just spent a week in hospital following surgery on his elbow. The team of doctors has done their rounds and the consultant has left his young resident — who looks about twenty — to give us our final instructions for discharge.)

Me: “So, is he going to need rehab or physiotherapy? Or is he right to resume all his regular activity?”

Resident: “Yeah, he’s fine to do everything a normal, healthy three-year-old boy does. No worries.”

Me: *very happy, as getting this child to be still and rest in hospital all week has been no easy feat* “Great! So, running, jumping, climbing trees, sandpit, and playground is all okay?”

Resident: “Oh, no! He can’t do any of that!”

Me: “So, what, exactly, is it that you think a normal, healthy three-year-old boy does?”

Kids Will Make Liars Of You Every Time

, , , , , , | | Healthy | June 30, 2019

(My daughter, around three or four years old, is acting increasingly lethargic, so I take her to urgent care. As always, there is a long wait and she steadily gets more and more bored and restless until the doctor finally comes in. The doctor looks at her and then at me.)

Doctor: “Okay, what brings you here tonight?”

Me: “My daughter has become really lethargic.”

(My daughter can’t sit still anymore and gets up.)

Doctor: “Hi, honey. Can you jump around a little for me?”

(My daughter goes wild, pogo-ing around the room.)

Me: “She wasn’t like this at home! I am so sorry I’ve wasted your time.”

Doctor: “Eh, that’s okay. To be honest, I’m a pediatric specialist. I’m just working here to make a little extra money. Most of my patients die. It’s really nice for me to see a healthy kid.”  

(We shook hands and he walked out. This was almost 20 years ago, and I’ve never forgotten how quickly my embarrassment was replaced with sadness.)

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