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.”

Making The Blood Boil

, , , , , | | Healthy | July 13, 2019

(I am at the blood bank. There are two clinics running simultaneously: one for regular blood tests and another for pregnancy-related blood, linked with the midwife clinic next door. Regular clinic patients have to abide by the ticket system. The midwife patients do not.)

Phlebotomist: “Ms. [My Name], just come through here, please.”

(I stand up to go through to the chair behind the curtain, only to be pushed out of the way by a middle-aged woman.)

Woman: “I’ve been waiting over an hour for a simple blood test and that girl has only been waiting five minutes. You will take my blood now.”

Phlebotomist: “Ma’am. You need to get out of that chair. I can’t take your blood here. You need to wait until you’re called by someone on the other side.”

Woman: “I’m not moving! I’m number 27! I’m next to be called!”

Phlebotomist: “Fair enough. When’s your due date? Have you fasted for two hours for your prenatal diabetes test?”

Woman: “What are you on about? I’m not here for a diabetes check! I’m not pregnant.”

Me: “Well, I am. So get out of that chair!”

Woman: “Well, I never!”

Me: “Lady, this is the midwives’ clinic. You’re in the wrong place!”

Woman: “I’ve been waiting over an hour!

Phlebotomist: “Well, you’re going to have to wait longer than that. Security is here to take you away. Come back another day, when you’ve calmed down.”

(She was escorted out and I got my blood done. Her number was called as I left the waiting room.)

This Specialist Is Out For Blood

, , , , , | | Healthy | July 4, 2019

A couple of weeks ago, I was working in the cardiology department and the topic of conversation between me, another medical student, and a specialist somehow drifted towards practical exams. The specialist suddenly asked us if we knew how to fail a student. Neither of us knew what she had in mind, so we shook our heads.

Then, she explained.

First, find a patient with LVAD — a mechanical implantable pump that assists the heart with pumping blood in heart failure; due to how the pump works, the patient has no palpatable pulse. And then, you give the student a regular blood-pressure monitor and instruct them to take their pulse and blood pressure.

Those poor students.

There’s No Easy Way To Pad Out This Conversation

, , , , | | Healthy | July 2, 2019

(I’m small and only 16, so I am required to go to the children’s hospital. My parents leave me alone overnight. I’ve been admitted for a possible reemergence of a serious issue, so I’m obviously not allowed to run down to the corner store or anything like that.)

Me: “Excuse me, do you have pads?”

Female Nurse: *freezes*

Me: “You know, for… monthly things?”

Female Nurse: “I… I’m sorry, sweetie, what?”

Me: “I’m bleeding, so I need pads.”

Female Nurse: “I’ll check.”

(She practically runs out of the room. I watch her talk to three others, all with mortified expressions on their faces. Finally, she comes back.)

Female Nurse: “Here you go, sweetie. But this is a children’s hospital, so you need to tell your mother that we don’t have those kinds of things here, okay? Have her bring you some in the morning.”

Me: “But I’ve had this since I was ten…”

Female Nurse: *sputters* “Well, ten isn’t really a child, now is it?” *runs off*

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?”

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