I Don’t Drink, But After This, I Wanna

, , , , , | Healthy | May 29, 2019

(I am 19, and I go in for my annual checkup at the doctor. I am given a standard medical questionnaire to fill in. One of the questions is, “On average, how many units of alcohol do you drink a week?” I have never been a big drinker, not even as a teen. Not for any particular reason; it just isn’t my thing. At most, I have a few drinks on New Years and a few on my birthday. I write on the form that I have a couple of units a week, which would average out to the few drinks on my birthday and New Years with plenty of wiggle room to spare, just in case. I hand the form in, and it is sent to the doctor. Eventually, he calls me in. We do my height and weight and blood pressure. All good. Then he comes to my alcohol intake and narrows his eyes at me.)

Doctor: “You can be truthful, you know. I’m a medical professional.”

Me: “I know. I am being honest. I’m not a big drinker.”

(He stares at me for a while.)

Doctor: “I was young once. And I have teenage kids. I’m not going to judge you. Be honest.”

Me: “I am being honest. I’m not a drinker.”

Doctor: *condescendingly* “What do you do when you go clubbing? Drink water?”

(Taken aback, I shake my head. I don’t go clubbing; nightclubs are my idea of Hell. I have a full-time job, often working fifty or more hours, and I have no interest in going to loud clubs or bars on my days off.)

Me: “I don’t go out much. I’d rather go out for coffee than go clubbing.”

(The doctor raises his eyebrows.)

Doctor: “Okay, well, I’m going to put you down for ten units a week.”

(He picks up his pen and actually crosses out what I wrote.)

Me: “No! What I wrote was true. I don’t drink. Even a few units a week is generous. I don’t want you to change what I wrote.”

Doctor: “Look, just be honest. If you’re not, we can’t treat you.”

Me: “I am being honest. I don’t give you permission to change it.”

Doctor: “Well, I’m the doctor, and I have reason to believe you are being dishonest. You need to stop lying on medical forms. That’s a big deal. If you keep lying on them, you could die because we don’t have the right information.”

(I keep trying to argue with him but he writes over what I wrote and puts down ten units a week. Dumbfounded and unsure of what to do, I carry on with the rest of the exam, just wanting it to be over. As soon as I am out, I go straight to reception and tell them I want to make a complaint. At first, the receptionist is alarmed and asks what the problem is. When I tell her, she pauses and then rolls her eyes.)

Receptionist: “Look, sweetie, we won’t tell your parents. Everything you tell us is confidential.”

Me: “I live by myself. That’s not my issue. The doctor falsified my medical records without my permission.”

Receptionist: “Your medical records need to be accurate, sweetie. Otherwise, we can’t treat you.”

(The receptionist refuses to log my complaint. When I continue to insist, she looks down her nose at me.)

Receptionist: “For somebody who doesn’t drink, you sure are protesting a lot.”

(I wanted to scream at her that I was angry because they were DELIBERATELY FALSIFYING my medical records, but instead, I left and transferred to another practice.)

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Welcome To Private Healthcare!

, , , , , | Healthy | December 21, 2018

(I’ve recently had to change my health insurance, and I’m still getting used to its quirks. I realize that one of my medications can’t be refilled on this insurance without a Prior Authorization — “PA.” Basically, the insurance wants my doctor to formally request that I be allowed to take it, because it’s a name brand that’s relatively expensive. My doctor sends the PA request in a few days before I have an appointment with him, and I don’t hear much else about it until I go into the office, where my doctor seems irritated.)

Doctor: “So, I wrote a letter to your insurance company for the PA. Actually, I wrote them two letters. They won’t fill your prescription.”

Me: “What? I thought the point of the PA was so they’d fill ones they normally wouldn’t?”

Doctor: “Generally, but sometimes they deny the requests because they want you to try a generic first. When I sent the first letter, they replied with a denial and said that you were required to at least try [Generic #1] or [Generic #2]. The problem is, they contain [certain progestin], which interacts with testosterone.”

Me: “Which is what I’m taking [Medication] for in the first place?”

Doctor: “Yes! So, in my second letter, I told them that if they couldn’t approve [Medication], I needed anything from a long list I gave them, but specifically any variation that did not include [certain progestin]. And they absolutely will not budge. They sent me a list of more options, and every single one of them contains it.”

Me: “Um. Okay. What does that mean?”

Doctor: *looking like he wants to kill someone* “It means your insurance company won’t let you take any medication except for the kind that will only make your problems worse.”

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Need Some Protective Services From That Nurse

, , , , , | Healthy | August 30, 2018

(I’ve just had my first child. I went into labor at night and he was born just after midnight. My boyfriend manages to get the next morning off, but as he’s the assistant manager of a dock, he has to go in the next afternoon. I’m not worried, as there’s not much concern for me or my son. The next day, my OBGYN comes in.)

Doctor: “Hey, [My Name], how are you feeling?”

Me: “Still sore. Is everything all right?”

Doctor: “Oh, yeah. I just want to let you know that a nurse wanted me to call Child Protection Services for you.”

(I freak out a bit, but he laughs.)

Doctor: “Don’t worry; I won’t. Apparently, because of your boyfriend having to go to work, she didn’t think you guys were capable of taking care of your son. It’s pretty stupid.”

(I relaxed after that. My son came home a day later and, with some help from friends, we had no problems with taking care of him.)

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The CDC Will Shut This Place Down For The Worst Juvenile Hypochondria It’s Ever Seen

, , , , , , | Healthy | June 29, 2018

(Overheard between a pediatrician and a seven-year-old patient:)

Pediatrician: “Look, [Child], you learned more about [disease] on your own; that’s a good thing! It’s very smart to learn all about your health. And, you found out online that we always tell the CDC when someone has [disease]. I think it’s very good when people learn about how we keep track of disease. But from now on, calling the CDC is my job, not yours.”

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Weak In The Knees

, , , , , | Healthy | June 14, 2018

(I have gone to my general practitioner to get a referral to a specialist for endometriosis. My regular GP is a middle-aged, Singaporean man, but I don’t mind having male doctors for female issues.)

Me: “I’m seeing [Specialist] for endometriosis, and I need a referral.”

GP: “You realise that you’ll have to have surgery to know for sure?”

Me: “Yes, I have a family history.”

GP: “Okay, I just have to make sure that you have a reason to go. Do you have painful periods?”

Me: “Yes, definitely.”

GP: “So, it hurts in your abdomen region? Is it cramping, or other pain?”

Me: “Actually, my knees hurt.”

GP: “Come again?”

Me: “I get pain from my knees up during my period. But it’s worst in my knees.”

GP: “Really?” *chuckles* “All right, just give me a minute to write that referral.”

(I honestly hadn’t realised how weird it was, before that. I did end up having endometriosis — it turned out the knee pain was nerve damage from that.)

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