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Professionals Are Scary

, , , , | Healthy | March 27, 2022

Growing up, I had asthma problems and would spend an evening in the hospital about once every other year. I grew used to the atmosphere around medical professionals. But being bad at reading subtleties between “professional demeanor” and “serious case,” I became a joker. If I could make the doctor or nurse laugh? I knew they weren’t going to come back with a dire prognosis.

One year, I went in because of a suspected seizure. It was very scary. I had to run a gamut of tests and I was put in a room in neurology. The next day, the neurologist walked in.

Neurologist: “I’ve looked at all your scans, and I can’t find anything.”

Me: “Odd. I’m sure I had a box of rocks in there. Any idea where it went?”

The neurologist froze for a moment, turned, and walked out of the room. This left me terrified. No chuckle? This was seriously bad, then, right?

A nurse rushed in and came to my bedside, asking, “What happened?” I relay the events.

Nurse: “Oh, good. I just saw him leaning against a wall in the hallway covering his face and shuddering. I thought he was crying.”

Me: “Is he trying not to laugh?”

Nurse: “Yeah. He doesn’t like appearing ‘less than professional’ in front of patients.”

Should’ve Had Your Apples Today

, , , , | Healthy | March 21, 2022

I was leaving a doctor’s visit when I had to walk by another doctor standing in the hallway. He had a chart in his hand and was facing one door, so I moved to go behind him. Just as I was between the doctor and the room he was not facing, he turned toward me. We nearly collided but I managed to stop just in time.

Me: “Oh, I—”

Doctor: *Scowling* “Never, never do that again.”

Me: “Do what?”

Doctor: “Stand in my way! You should more considerate of those around you going forward.”

Me: *Pauses* “Said the man in the middle of the hallway.”

The doctor glared at me as I moved past. I looked back and saw him entering the room he was facing originally. I was going to apologize originally, but after he scolded me, I was no longer sorry.

Congratulations On The (Frustrating, Long-Awaited) All-Clear!

, , , , , , , | Healthy | February 4, 2022

Some years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went through all the treatment, surgeries, chemo, you name it. A couple of years later, at the three-month follow-up, my oncologist, upon consultation, didn’t like that he could feel some lumps under my arm, so he put in a request for a PET scan.

A PET scan is an imaging test where you are given a slightly radioactive glucose IV shot, wait an hour, and then go through a machine. Cancer being sugar-avid, if there is any tumor, it will light up on the screen.

My insurance denied the request because I didn’t have a CT scan done that would warrant the need for a PET scan; PET scans are more expensive than CT scans.

The oncologist then put in a request for a CT scan.

The insurance denied it because I didn’t have an MRI scan done that would warrant the need for a CT scan, CT scans being more expensive than MRI scans.

Then, my oncologist put in a request for an MRI scan.

The insurance promptly denied that because I didn’t have an XRay done that would warrant the need for an MRI scan.

And this is how I ended up having an XRay, an MRI scan, a CT scan, and a PET scan because insurance wanted to save the money for the PET scan. I got subjected to way more radiation than necessary for them to pay five times the cost they wanted to save.

It was negative. Years later, I am still cancer-free.

I Hereby Diagnose Your Cat With Cat

, , , , | Healthy | January 29, 2022

A number of years ago, my husband and I took our beloved cat to the vet for hot spots that had been causing her a great deal of grief. The vet advertised himself as holistic, which we saw as an advantage at the time.

Once we were in the examination room, he asked:

Vet: “Can one of you place one hand on [Cat]’s back while extending the other arm out straight?”

He then proceeded to hold up vials of unknown contents near our lovely cat’s body. With each one, he pushed on the outstretched arm, using his perceived resistance as an indicator of our poor cat’s sensitivity to its contents.

Sadly, my former husband wasn’t up to the task. He excused himself and went outside to stand by our car. From my vantage point near the window, I could still see him, bent double, laughing until he cried, while I was trapped inside, forced to freeze my face while the vet tested vial after vial.

The result? A $375 bill and a diagnosis of “sensitivity to strange smells,” which, if I’m not mistaken, covers all cats, ever.

How Do These People Become Doctors?!

, , , | Healthy | January 23, 2022

My daughter has autism and PANS, which is a condition that has psychiatric and neurological symptoms. Recently, she has been complaining of pain in her right hand and foot. We go see a pediatric neurologist to see whether this is a real thing, or if she is using it as an excuse when she doesn’t want to do something. (It’s a possibility at her age.)

I know that pediatric neurologists mostly deal with epilepsy and less with muscle problems/neuropathy, which this resembles, but I can’t find out which one is more focused on that, so we go to the “top” guy.

I enter beforehand by myself to explain everything — that we need him to find out if it’s real and that it could be her fibbing. My daughter comes in and the doctor positively booms at her:

Doctor: “Look, I want to show you this song online!”

Very urgently, I ask him to turn off the video on his phone, because her ONLY big fear is unknown music videos. My daughter’s eyes have gone wide and her hands are pressing her headphones into her ears.

Doctor: *To me* “Shut up!”

My daughter finds her words and tells him to turn it off, and in a big show of bravery, she doesn’t run out of the examination room.

He gives her paperwork a very thorough look and tells us rambling stories about his work. My daughter is shuffling around and ends up sitting in his lap while he is talking to us; she is friendly like that. At one point, the doctor grabs her by surprise in a tight hold.

Doctor: “We will give you a big injection now!”

I am happy to say that my daughter has great experience with doctors and me and knows that I am the one calling the shots and that no surprises ever happen, so she looked at me and I quickly let her know that there wouldn’t be any shots today. I was not opposing the doctor. There was no shot; this was his amazing idea of a joke!

The whole time, he never once examined her physically. In the end, he gave us the recommendation for a multivitamin — at which I rolled my eyes — and a comment on the fact that I am “pretty feisty” and that he “respects that”.

Sadly, the doctor didn’t know that my husband is the lawyer for this group of hospitals, but he will find out pretty soon. We did find a specialist for neuromuscular problems and she is having a big, proper exam at another hospital in a few weeks.