Operating Under Confusion

, , , , , | Healthy | November 20, 2019

(I work for a pediatric dental practice. We are currently at our surgical center where kids get put to sleep so we can do all of the work necessary. There’s loads of paperwork, normal doctor check-ups, and numerous confirmations that patients’ parents need to go through before we see them. We have a two-year-old girl that needs work on every single tooth; she’s been on our waitlist for surgery for two months. We are about to bring her back to the OR.)

Nurse: “Okay, sweetheart, time to say bye to Mommy.”

Mom: *looking so confused* “Wait, why is she saying bye?”

Nurse: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you aren’t allowed into the OR for sterilization purposes.”

Mom: “But how is she supposed to fall asleep without me reading her a story?”

Nurse: “The anesthesiologist–”

Mom: “The what?!”

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A Shot Of Ignorance

, , , , | Healthy | November 11, 2019

(One evening, I get the call every person with an elderly relative fears: my 90+ grandma has fallen down and can’t get up. Luckily, she ended up next to the phone; she actually tripped as she was walking over to it because it was ringing. Since everyone else in our small family is either on vacation, not on speaking terms with Grandma, or living in a nursing home on the other side of town and not in possession of a driving license — or their full mental faculties — I am the only one who can help her out. I race over, hoping it’s just a case of having to help her up because she is in an awkward position, but as soon as I walk in the door and see the unnatural angle of her leg, I know we have a fracture on our hands and have to go to the hospital. We end up in an examination room at the ER, waiting for either the x-ray nurse or the neurologist, whoever shows up first. The neurologist has been called because Grandma hit her head on the stone windowsill when she fell, which caused a small wound and a bit of blood. That wound is the cause of the following conversation with a very chipper ER doctor.)

Doctor: “Well, Mrs. [Grandma], I know you’re waiting for the x-ray nurse and the neurologist, but I’m neither; I’m just here to give you a little tetanus shot.”

(My grandma is neither stupid nor suffering from dementia, but she has never had more than an elementary-school education, and apparently, she never learned what a tetanus shot is, leading to this little gem:)

Grandma: “A tetanus shot? What is that for?”

Doctor: “Well, ma’am, that’s for what we call ‘street dirt’–“

Grandma: *interrupting indignantly* “Street dirt? I fell inside my own home!”

(She sounds like she thinks what the doctor said is the most ridiculous thing she’s ever heard, and he and I simply couldn’t contain our laughter. The doctor gives a brief explanation of what a tetanus shot is for, but too brief, apparently, because as soon as he is out the door…)

Grandma: “[My Name], what was all that about? I don’t get it. My house is clean!”

(I gave her a much more expansive explanation of germs, and why even her nice clean house wasn’t free of them. She was pretty horrified, but finding out her femur was broken soon took precedence. She could laugh about it later, though, when I mimicked her indignant tone. She almost sounded insulted at being associated with any kind of dirt.)

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Mothers Are Fighters

, , , , , | Healthy | November 10, 2019

Two years ago, I was admitted into the hospital for seven weeks via the ER. In good weather, the hospital is roughly an hour away. My boys were three and eight at the time and I had been a stay-at-home mom for most of their lives. My parents stepped up and helped keep the kids on a regular pattern of school, therapy, and play dates along with FaceTiming me. My husband would drive two round-trips a day to stay with me, see our kids, take care of our pets, and work. 

This pattern repeated itself over again for the next six months, and at one point, I was told to start preparing my boys for life without me. The staff at the hospital was amazing. They tried their best to give me a room that faced outwards so I could see the sunset. They made sure I could be unhooked from chemo and transfusions when my boys got to visit. Then, they completely surprised us on Christmas when they gave us a Christmas party in my hospital room. 

There were presents, food, and joy even though it was extremely hard to be there. They helped me fight even when I was beyond exhausted. 

They became my family and even now we all stay in touch. They were complete angels that helped our family get through an extremely scary time. 

I’m now in remission and hopefully will get the “cured” status once I reach five years in remission.

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Allow Me To As-cyst You

, , , | Healthy | November 8, 2019

(I’m a licensed nurse. I work at a hospital, and I also make some money on the side by assisting a dermatologist at a private clinic when she needs an extra pair of hands for surgery. This patient has a cyst under the skin beneath her hair.)

Patient: “You have done this before?”

Me: “Sure! It’s actually pretty simple. We make an incision on your skin right here, drain the cyst, clean around, and sew you back up. I’m going to numb the area, so you won’t even feel a thing.”

Patient: “All right, then.”

Me: “Uh… look, honey, I’m going to have to shave your hair — a tiny spot right here — so that the doctor can see. I know, I know you won’t like that — no girl ever does — but I have to. Don’t hate me!”

Patient: *shrugs*

Me: *cuts the hair, and shaves the area*

Patient: *completely deadpan* “Oh, no, look at what you’ve done. Now I hate you.”

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This Relationship Has Teething Problems

, , , | Healthy | November 4, 2019

(I’m a dental student. During our fourth year, all of us have to do a week-long rotation at the ICU to provide “dental healthcare” to comatose patients — basically brushing their teeth with an iodine scrub and calling it a day. One of the patients is conscious but intubated, and he speaks using a whiteboard. After I finish brushing his teeth, a nurse comes into the room and makes small talk.)

Nurse: “So, I heard that [Woman] visited you yesterday, huh?”

(The patient nods.)

Nurse: “That’s nice! Also, your daughters called this morning; they want to come a bit later.”

Patient: *on the whiteboard* “Did they say what time?”

Nurse: “During the afternoon. They were afraid you’d get bored and alone, though, so I told them not to worry since [Woman] came by.”

(I see the patient’s eyes widen and he starts furiously scribbling on his whiteboard.)


(I had to leave the room and didn’t stop laughing for a good five minutes.)

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