You Know, Gary, With The Name!

, , , , | Right | August 17, 2018

Me: “Thank you for calling the helpdesk. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Could you please transfer me to Gary?”

(The company I work for employs over 50,000 people. Not to mention, I am not the operator; I do tech support.)

Me: “Do you have Gary’s last name?”

Customer: “No. He’s just the guy who always helps me.”

Me: “Well, I have multiple Garys, and I can’t really transfer you without knowing his last name.”

Customer: “Fine. Then just transfer me to Dawn!”

Me: *facepalm*

From Neglected Cold To Cherished Warmth

, , , , , | Hopeless | August 13, 2018

I grew up in a single-parent household without a lot of money. My mom couldn’t afford health insurance and ended up developing severe pneumonia from a neglected cold. She was in ICU for two weeks just before Christmas, and we were flat broke. She was stressed because she couldn’t afford food or presents for my siblings and me.

Some of the nurses, doctors, and staff at the hospital pooled together to get food, and someone told a local radio station about us. Perfect strangers gave us money, presents, food, coats, and decorations, so that instead of my mom having to rush straight back to work as a waitress, she was able to recover, and we actually had a good Christmas.

“The Adventures Of Harold, Benjy, And Carmen” Sounds Awesome

, , , , , , , | Healthy | August 13, 2018

(I’m in a short-term rehab center, recovering from surgery. A speech therapist comes in with a form in her hands.)

Therapist: “Good morning! I’ll just take a couple of minutes here to see how your speech and language skills are, all right?”

Me: “I suppose.”

(I teach special needs, and immediately recognize the form; it’s the mental acuity screener. BAH!)

Therapist: “Can you tell me where you are?”

(This goes on for awhile, and I’m getting irritated.)

Therapist: “Now, would you name these three animals?”

(She shows me sketch of a lion, an elephant, and a hippo.)

Me: “How about Harold, Benjy, and Carmen?”

Therapist: *silent*

Me: “Well, the task as phrased was to name the animals. If it were stated correctly, you would have asked me to identify the animals, and I would have told you they were a lion, elephant, and hippo.”

Therapist: *silent, but grinning*

Me: “And the number they told me to remember when I had this identical screening in the hospital was 74.”

With A Mother Like That, Pain Tolerance Is Through The Roof

, , , , , , , , | Healthy | August 10, 2018

I am seven months pregnant, and my friend picks me up for a girl’s night. We watch movies, eat junk food, etc., until she falls asleep about one am. At two, I’m still up, unable to get comfortable. I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions for the last couple of days, but tonight they’re just relentless.

I consider waking my friend up to take me home; however, she has epilepsy, often triggered by exhaustion and lack of sleep. She’s a bit of a worry-wort, and I don’t want to have her be tired, panic, and end up having a seizure, especially while we’re on the road.

About six am, I get a hold of my mother, and she agrees to come get me. By this point, the contractions hurt, and I can’t really sit or stand. But I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill, so I just grit my teeth and breathe until they’re over. Once there, my mom tells me that she doesn’t really know how to help me, but that she’s going to take me to the hospital, just in case there’s a problem.

When we get to the hospital, I have to stop every couple of steps to breathe and crouch over. My mother comments, “You don’t have a very high pain tolerance, do you? You’ve never really been able to handle pain.”

I ignore her comment because she’s been saying this since I was a kid. Once we finally make it to labor and delivery, the nurse — who has a really cool tattoo sleeve — tests for leaking amniotic fluid, and checks my cervix. She makes a less than promising face, then tells me that she’s going to grab another nurse for another opinion.

She comes back with an older lady that doesn’t even look at me. They go to the counter and I hear the nurse with the sleeve showing her the amniotic test. “It’s faint, but I definitely see a line.” The older nurse glances at it and quickly dismisses her, “No, no. It’s definitely negative.” The sleeved nurse says, “No, I think it’s positive for fluid. Can you at least check her cervix? I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but I think it’s close.” The older nurse rolls her eyes, “It isn’t close to her due date, but fine.”

The older nurse then turns to me and goes to check my cervix. Her eyes widen, and she turns back to the nurse with the sleeve. Unfortunately, I have another contraction and only manage to catch a couple key words of their conversation. Then, the older nurse leaves. The sleeved nurse gently talks me through the contraction, and then tells me what’s going on:

At 29 weeks, I am in labor, already eight centimeters dilated, though my water hasn’t broken. The baby could come at any time now, but they are going to try to give me some medications to slow it down. She says that she is going to call the doctor to get approval on some pain medication for me.

Six hours later, I give birth to a healthy baby girl, who is rushed off to the NICU. I silently labored for almost 12 hours, and almost had my baby at my friend’s house. After everything calms down, I am bewildered at my mother’s “low pain tolerance” comment, and I wonder what would’ve happened if I had only seen the older nurse and not had the sleeved nurse to stand up for me. The sleeved nurse was the most amazing healthcare professional I’d ever had, because for the first time, she took what I said seriously. My daughter is doing well, and will hopefully be able to come home soon. My mother still believes that I’m over-dramatic and wimpy when it comes to pain, but at least I can say I went through most of my labor without medication or complaint.


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Not At Your Cervix

, , , , , | Healthy | August 8, 2018

(My 26-year-old sister has had problems with endometriosis for five years. She is on medications that she hates, and has thousands of dollars worth of medical bills as a result. She doesn’t want children, and has decided to have her uterus removed, with the support of her therapist, OBGYN, and our family. Because she has never had children, they will have to do the surgery like a C-section, which will have a six-week recovery time, and she cannot take that much time off of work. Her OBGYN recommends her to another doctor who uses robotic-assisted equipment, so she will have a shorter recovery period. She goes to meet with the other OBGYN. The nurse is taking her history, and you can see the judgement on her face. A few minutes later, the OBGYN comes in.)

OB: “I’m not going to try to talk you out of it… Okay, I am. You are very young to have this procedure, and many women who are younger than 30 end up regretting the surgery once it is complete. And you aren’t married; your future husband might want children.”

(He keeps repeating that he isn’t trying to talk her out of it before contradicting himself as he goes on to suggest several other medications — most of which she’s already tried — that caused her to gain weight, suffer severe anxiety and depression, and give her suicidal thoughts. She is extremely sensitive to side effects. Finally, the doctor suggests another medication she hasn’t tried, but has side effects she has suffered before.)

Sister: “No, but I have researched it, and I don’t like the side effects.”

OB: *pointing at nurse* “She’s been on it for eight years, and she’s just fine.”

Mom: “She would rather be an aunt. She has never had any desire to have children, and she is tired of being in pain.”

(It seemed like once he knew my sister had my mother’s approval, he realized he was fighting a losing game. He sighed and gave up, and told us how they would do the procedure, and that they would get in touch with her insurance. Later, my sister told me that she believed the doctor would have flat-out refused to do the surgery if my mother hadn’t been there to back her up, and two weeks after the appointment, she called to check up on what her insurance could do, only to be told they hadn’t even contacted them yet.)

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