The Most Annoying Growth In The Room Isn’t The Tumor

, , , , , | Working | September 28, 2017

(I’m visiting my doctor for a checkup following a surgery to remove an early-stage cancerous tumor. When the checkup is finished, the physician asks me if I have any other questions or concerns.)

Me: “Well, actually, I’m worried about [hormonal disorder]. I’ve a fam—”

Doctor: *cutting me off* “You don’t have that.”

Me: “What? My mother has this disorder, my sister has just recently been diagnosed, and we’re fairly certain my grandmother had it, too. Plus, I noticed—”

Doctor: “You don’t have that. If you did, we’d be seeing [other, unrelated symptom], and we’re not. So, you don’t have it. Anything else you want to ask me about?”

(Irritated, I told the doctor that I didn’t have any more questions, and left. I ended up contacting a different doctor for a second opinion. The new doctor asked me about my symptoms and medical history, and then immediately sent me for diagnostic tests. It turns out that I DO have the disorder, and a fairly severe case, too! She couldn’t believe it when I told her that my usual doctor wouldn’t even look into my concerns, when all of my symptoms and history pointed to this disorder. It just goes to show you the value of getting a second opinion, and that it’s okay to “fire” your physician if they aren’t doing a good job!)

Keeping Things Clean In This Relationship

, , , | Romantic | September 28, 2017

(My partner has severe OCD. Thanks to a particularly disgusting scene in a certain movie about a hotel for dogs, they get sick if human hair wraps around their hands, feet, or face. It’s worse if they find hair in their food. Normally, I have to clean the shower drain before they can use it. On this day, I’m feeling really sick. I lie down and pass out for a while. When I come to, I hear the shower running.)

Me: *thinking* “That’s weird. I guess it was clean enough?”

(I walk over to the bathroom and start laughing. My partner has their head over the edge of the tub, and is trying to scrub as best they can.)

Partner: “Oh! Hi! I didn’t want to wake you, but I had to shower.”

Me: “Aww, thanks for letting me sleep.”

Partner: “Of course! You need your rest when you’re sick.”

Me: “I love you.”

Arresting Developments

, , , , , | Related | September 27, 2017

(While still living at home as a young adult, I decide to take up jogging. On my third morning, jogging along a quiet country road, I am hit from behind by a car going at least 40 miles per hour. I have injuries, but thankfully nothing debilitating or catastrophic. It is a hit-and-run; the driver drives off and out of sight just as I am pulling myself out of the ditch. As I limp home in the same direction, I manage to flag down a car going the other way. They have seen the car that hit me, and they actually know the driver, a local high school student. I get home, get cleaned up, and call the police. An officer arrives and takes the report, as well as the name of the alleged driver. Once the officer has all he needs, he heads for the door, and my grandmother, who is visiting, stops him.)

Grandma: “Officer, if you do find that young man, I ask that you really explain to him that you cannot just leave people lying on the side of the road like that! Thank goodness, my grandson will be okay, but he could have seriously been hurt.”

Officer: “Ma’am, if I find this young man, I’m going to arrest him.”

Grandma: *shocked* “Oh!”

If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Gluten

, , , , | Right | September 26, 2017

(I am working as a waitress, and a group of two adults and three children sit at a table in my section.)

Me: *speaking to one of the children* “Do you know what you want to drink, sweetheart?”

Child #1: “Lemonade.”

(I repeat the same question to the next child and her response is also “lemonade,” and I write both orders down. I then repeat the question to the next child, and he looks at his mother.)

Child #3: “Mommy, can I have a lemonade?”

Mother: *to the child* “No, you can have water or milk. Which do you want?” *to me* “He has several food allergies; he can have milk or water, but no nuts or gluten… Unless your lemonade is gluten free!”

Me: “I can assure you, ma’am, that there’s no gluten in our lemonade.”

There’s No Vaccine Against Stupid

, , , , , | Learning | September 26, 2017

(It’s a lab period for one of my biology classes, and my lab group is paired with the lab group next to us. I’m getting the apparatus set up and chatting with one of the women from the other lab group when the topic of health care and vaccinations comes up. Two things worth noting: the first is that the woman, who I’ll call Student 1, is from a culture that encourages large families, and already has six kids. The other is that I’m on the autism spectrum. Mostly, this just means that I have trouble maintaining eye contact with people I don’t know well, I can be awkward in social situations I’m not familiar with, and I have a few hobbies and habits that other people might find odd.)

Student #1: “Yeah, none of my kids are vaccinated. It’s not worth the risk that it might make them autistic. That would be just horrible!”

(I freeze, take a deep breath, and get my thoughts in order.)

Me: “There’s three problems with what you just said. The first is that if your kids aren’t vaccinated, there’s a good chance that they’ll catch something awful and preventable, like measles, and they will die. The second problem is that there is ABSOLUTELY no link between autism and vaccines; it’s fake science and bad statistics. The third problem is that being autistic is not the end of the world. I’m autistic, and I have a loving boyfriend, a close group of friends, and a 4.0 GPA; I just can’t look people in the eyes for long. Autism won’t kill your kids, but measles might.”

Student #1: “You’re autistic?! But… you’re talking, and you’re at college, and you have a job!”

Me: “Yeah. Being autistic isn’t the end of the world. Being dead is, though.”

(By this time, one of my friends, [Student #2], has noticed what we’re talking about, and jumps in to help me persuade her that vaccinating her kids is important. We get so caught up talking that we don’t notice the professor coming over.)

Professor: “Less chat, more lab, you guys.”

Student #2: “But ([Student #1] hasn’t gotten her kids vaccinated because it might make them autistic.”

(The professor pauses, and I remember him mentioning that one of his cousins is autistic and working as a very successful chef.)

Professor: “Okay. Tell you what. All three of you guys helped set up the experiment, right? Get the data from your lab-mates, and make sure you get the write-up turned in on time, and I won’t notice you talking this lab period.”

(For the next hour, [Student #2] and I grab his laptop and talk [Student #1] through the concept of herd immunization, how epidemics spread, how the autism/vaccine rumor got started, how the statistics don’t back that up, what autism actually IS and what it isn’t, and story after story about how dangerous it is, both for the children and the people around them, when kids aren’t inoculated against diseases that shouldn’t exist anymore. We make sure that she has time to ask us any questions as well, and finish in time to get our results and start on the lab write-up. I see her after the semester has ended, about six months later.)

Student #1: “Hey! [My Name]! My husband and I talked it over, and we made appointments to get all of our kids vaccinated!”

(It turns out she still was not totally convinced that there’s no link between autism and vaccines, but she thought it was worth the risk to make sure her kids don’t die of scarlet fever or some other archaic disease. I high-fived her anyway. I’ll take the victories I can get, and at least her kids are vaccinated now. Still a step in the right direction!)

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