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You Got Grass Growing On Your Roof? Part 2

, , , , , | Healthy | June 15, 2021

My aunt is home alone while my uncle is at work. She decides to mow the lawn, gets distracted, and gets into an accident. She suffers multiple broken bones and a minor concussion but is able to crawl into the house, reach the telephone, and dial 911 to request an ambulance. She gets wheeled into the emergency room and the doctor enters.

Doctor: “Hello, [Aunt], can you tell me what happened?”

Aunt: “I was mowing the lawn and fell off the roof.”

Doctor: “Umm… I’m sorry, what was that?”

Aunt: “I was mowing the lawn, and I fell off the roof onto the driveway.”

Doctor: “How… Okay. What roof were you on?”

Aunt: “The house.”

Doctor: “Hmm. And what were you doing on the roof?”

Aunt: “Mowing the lawn.”

Doctor: “Okay, [Aunt]. I think we’ll start prepping for surgery now.”

My uncle makes it to the hospital while my aunt is in surgery, and the doctor comes out to update him.

Doctor: “[Aunt] is doing well. She has suffered a broken back, multiple broken ribs, a cracked pelvis, and a few broken bones in her legs. She also has a concussion. Fortunately, none of her internal organs seem to be damaged, and her spinal cord has not been damaged. She may have a permanent limp or similar mobility challenges, but I believe she will otherwise make a full recovery with enough time.”

Uncle: “Thank you.”

Doctor: “I do have to ask one thing, though. I’m not sure exactly what happened that caused these injuries. [Aunt] tried to explain, but I think she was confused because of the concussion. Do you have any idea what might have happened?”

Uncle: “What did she say?”

Doctor: “She said she… Well, she said she fell off the roof while mowing the lawn.”

Uncle: *To himself* “Oh, so that’s why the lawn mower was in the driveway.”

Doctor: “Umm, [Uncle]?”

Uncle: “Well, she’s not wrong. We built our house into the side of a hill. We dug out the front of the hill and built a frame to keep the hill from collapsing. Then we built a house within the frame. The top and the other sides of the hill weren’t touched except for clearing some trees, so there’s still grass growing over the hill. We use a riding lawn mower to mow the lawn, which includes the hill that we dug out. [Aunt] must have been mowing the hill — which is basically our roof — and got distracted or something broke on the lawn mower, and she drove off the edge of the hill. I’ll bring in a picture of our house tomorrow to give you a better idea.”

The next day, my uncle did bring in a picture of the house, and the doctor was finally able to understand what my aunt meant when she said she was mowing the lawn and fell off the roof.

And now for the happy ending: my aunt did make a full recovery, with only a slight limp today. However, she has been banned from mowing the lawn ever since!

You Got Grass Growing On Your Roof?

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Since When Are Nurses Supposed To Care About Your Health?

, , , | Healthy | May 29, 2021

I’m with my baby at the emergency room.

Nurse: “Would you like anything to drink?”

Me: “Yes, please. I would like a hot chocolate.”

A bit later, the nurse returns with a large cup and hands it to me. 

Nurse: “Here! I brought you a fresh strawberry mango smoothie. Much better than that sewer drink.”

Me: “Oh, uh, thank you, but no, thank you. I—”

Nurse: “Nonsense! This is good for you with lots of vitamins. The doctor will be here soon. Tataaa!”

And she left the room. I’m allergic to fruit.

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Quacktose Intolerant

, , , , , | Healthy | May 24, 2021

When I am a teenager, I have pain in my abdomen. After six months of running around different departments, it is established that I could be lactose intolerant.

Doctor: “I suggest you visit a dietitian to make sure everything goes okay as you cut milk out of your diet. Try [Dietitian] right here in the hospital.”

My mother and I agree. Red flags should have been apparent from the beginning.

We call to make the appointment.

Dietitian: “Do you want to be seen at the hospital or at my house? There are more options if I see you in my home.”

After verifying with our health insurance that they will accept this appointment and pay, my mother agrees to the appointment for me.

Dietitian: “Please bring along the pain meds that you have been taking and the soy milk you have replaced the regular milk with.”

On the day of the appointment, we sit down in what appears to be the dietitian’s living room. The dietitian gestures to something on the table.

Dietitian: “This is the Asyra machine which will measure your bioenergy field to establish what you can and can’t tolerate in your diet.”

I am doing my A-levels at this point with the hope of going to study veterinary medicine, and this sounds like nonsense to me, but being British and too polite to stop her, I allow her to carry on. She gets me to hold these electrodes which, apparently, is all I need to do.

My mother helpfully intervenes.

Mother: “But they are not plugged in.”

Confidence going down by the second, I do as asked and the machine starts to generate a wiggly line. As we go on, the dietitian starts going on about how, “The machine thinks this,” or, “The machine knows that,” making it seem that this machine is alive. Eyebrows continue to rise.

Her analysis says that I should be fine with milk but I should really avoid eggs and onions, which I know is complete rubbish as I have been on an exclusion diet for a couple of months and recently reintroduced eggs and onions into my diet with no issues at all.

Dietitian: “Can I test the milk and pills you brought along so I can see if they’re good for you?”

She first decides to test the soy milk, which is in a carton containing plastic which, as many primary school pupils will tell you, does not conduct electricity. She places the carton on top of a metal plate and runs the machine. She is horrified by the result.

Dietitian: “You should stop drinking this immediately; it is terrible for your system!”

Me: *Politely* “I’ve been drinking this milk for about three months and I have been feeling much better since then.”

She frowns for a second, trying to reconcile this.

Dietitian: “Well, the machine is calibrated to American soy milk, so maybe you can drink British soy milk without issues. Try to avoid it if you are in the States.”

“WTF?!” does not cover our thoughts at this point.

She moves onto my pain meds. I have two I am using and I have them in the same box for convenience. Again, the woman takes the box and plonks it on the plate.

Mother: “There are two in the box.”

She regrets saying this immediately. The dietitian sorts between the two and repeats the process. According to the machine, one is good and one won’t work for me. I do seem to be becoming slightly immune to one, so this seems correct, but she got them the wrong way around.

Now comes the sales pitch: apparently, the machine is telling her that my gut pH is too low and this needs to be rectified with probiotics. Normally, the bottle for a month would cost £200, but she is willing to give me a sample bottle for free. We accept without arguing, for simplicity.

Dietitian: “Do you have any questions?”

Me: “I’m really missing chocolate. When can I add that back into my diet?”

Dietitian: “You will have no issues with chocolate and can start eating it immediately.”

This is completely at odds with my exclusion diet. Basically, if I add more than one thing a week, I have to wait two weeks for any symptoms to clear before starting to add things again, possibly from scratch. Not going to happen.

We leave and I think there are two seconds of silence in the car before my mum and I burst out laughing.

Sometime later, we receive the report. Nowhere does it mention milk. In the meantime, I have taken a lactose tolerant test and it turns out I am about as intolerant as it is possible to be. Another highlight of the report is that radon gas — that radioactive gas that causes neighborhood evacuations when leaks are detected — is better for me than… carrots.

We turn to the hospital and complain about this woman and her quackery. However, they won’t do anything as the appointment occurred outside the hospital and they are not responsible, even though their doctor recommended her and she is an employee of the hospital. We also have a two-month battle with the insurance for them to pay her, even though they said they would before we went.

As a final note, we looked up this Asyra machine online. It turns out that in the US (and the UK), it is only licensed to measure skin resistance, and if it is used to measure anything else in the US, you can sue the doctor.

It was all a complete and utter waste of time, but it gave me a good story.

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What The Oak Leaf Wants, The Oak Leaf Gets

, , , | Healthy | CREDIT: thearticulategrunt | May 19, 2021

I am a Captain and have been assigned as chief of security for an Army hospital. I am in my office when a Lieutenant Colonel comes in.

Lieutenant Colonel: “Hey there, Captain. I need you to take care of an issue for me.”

Me: “Of course, sir. If it is within my area and power, I’ll see what I can do.”

Lieutenant Colonel: “Well, the general’s driver’s wife is in the maternity ward having just had her baby and she has a problematic roommate — always closing the curtain and blocking her line of sight to the window and messing with the tv. I need this woman moved to another room.”

Me: “Umm, that’s definitely outside my area of control, sir. I don’t oversee or control anything with patients unless it is an issue of security, safety or—”

Lieutenant Colonel: “Yes, yes, I know, but you know everyone, and the doctors and nurses will listen to you more than me. You are one of them now and they rely on you.”

Me: “Sir, really—”

Lieutenant Colonel: “I know, I know, no promises. This would really make the general happy, though. His driver is like a second son to him, so I would really owe you. It’s room number [number]. Just give it your best for a fellow infantryman, okay?”

I breathe deep and pause for a moment.

Me: “What room number again, sir?”

Lieutenant Colonel: *Smiling* “[Number].”

Me: “Roger, sir. I’ll look into it and do my best. I’ve got a couple of favors I might be able to use.”

Lieutenant Colonel:Outstanding! Thanks.”

And he leaves. So, up I go to maternity to find the head nurse. She is not pleased as, apparently, the Lieutenant Colonel had been here earlier trying to sling his weight around and came to find me when it had no effect. I point out the room, though, and she smiles. We both chuckle a little bit.

Me: “So, can you help me out with making this all be good? Please.”

The head nurse gives me a big friendly smile.

Head Nurse: “Well, the corner room is open. We could move the bothersome lady in there, though she will likely have a new roommate later today. Then again, once the bed is clean and reset, we will likely be putting another lady in with the driver’s wife, too. Matter of fact…”

She pauses, looking over files.

Head Nurse: “It will probably be [Patient] having her fourth kid. She was likely to be going in the corner room, but with the move, she would have to go in with the driver’s wife.”

Me: “Well, if that’s how it has to be. As long as we can accommodate the Lieutenant Colonel’s request.”

Head Nurse: “Okay, but you are helping move the lady out of the room.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, of course.”

The lady who had been causing SUCH disturbances for the driver’s wife was quite calm and gave no issues with the move nor even asked any questions. I called the Lieutenant Colonel once it was done and made sure to tell him I had no concrete knowledge if or when a new roommate might be moved into the room but that the staff was really not happy with the move and extra work. He thanked me and I never heard anything of it again.

The entertaining part of the whole thing? The bothersome lady who got the room with the better view — the woman who kept closing the curtain for some privacy and turning down the loud crap the driver’s wife kept putting on the TV — was my wife, who had just had our first kid.

This story is part of our Best Of May 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of May 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of May 2021 roundup!

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The World’s Strangest Parking Lot Attendant

, , , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: Internal_Use8954 | May 15, 2021

I’m a woman, and I was twenty-four when this happened about two years ago. I was working as a construction and design engineer for hospitals doing plumbing and air conditioning. I worked for a company that was hired by the hospital, not for the hospital itself.

My company had been hired to do an ER renovation on an old hospital, and the plans for the existing building were really old or damaged or just didn’t exist anymore. As low man on the totem pole, I got the fun job of going out to the hospital to document and investigate the existing building — lots of going up on ladders and looking above the ceiling to track down pipes and ducts and such. Because this was an ER and therefore working twenty-four hours a day, we had to time our investigation for non-busy times — namely three to seven am in the middle of the week. I was also working my normal office hours because I needed the overtime pay, so for all of these interactions, I was exhausted and just didn’t care anymore.

I had to park in the hospital parking garage, on the top floor, to be out of the way of patients and visitors. I had finished early because an emergency had come into the ER and I had to get out of the way. I had some extra time, so I decided to close my eyes for a bit before driving to the office.

I was woken up by a tapping on my window. A man was peering in the window. I waved at him, thinking he was just making sure I was all right; I was sleeping in a hospital parking lot, after all. The man gestured for me to roll down my window, so I cracked it to hear him better.

Man: *Gruffly* “Employees are to park in the back lot, or on the street if that’s full. Next time, I’ll have you towed.”

He then turned and marched back to his golf cart, which he had blocked me in with.

Me: “I don’t work here!”

He left. Then I left and went to work thinking it was a one-time deal. Little did I know…

Over the next few visits, I came back to my car to find increasingly angry “parking tickets” about parking in employee parking from now on! They were printed on standard printer paper and were very obviously homemade, with a blurry hospital logo and word art “Parking Enforcement” across the top. The notes threatened booting and towing and had demands for my supervisor’s name so I could be reported. My coworkers and I had quite a laugh over them. I even left a note on my dash saying I wasn’t an employee, and the next “ticket” had a rant about lying and a threat: “You will be written up for lying once I get your supervisor’s name!”

Then, one morning I came out to find the guy waiting for me. He had blocked my car with his golf cart and was grinning at me like a cat who got the cream.

Man: “Employees have to park in the back lot! You are in so much trouble. I demand to speak to your manager! Give me their name and number and the department you work for! I won’t let you leave until you give me your manager’s name!”

He did have my car blocked in. I tried to explain that I wasn’t an employee. I pointed out my outfit — work boots, jeans, safety glasses, and a toolbelt with flashlights, tape measures, lasers, and a clipboard with my drawn plans — and told him that this is where hospital admin had told us to park. But he insisted that my disguise wasn’t going to trick him and demanded to speak to my manager. I was so exhausted and wasn’t really up to arguing, so I just pulled out my business card and my boss’s card and handed them over. I had told my boss about this, and he just told me to ignore it, as he had confirmed with the hospital that that was where I was supposed to park.

This dude pulled out his phone and called my boss and reported me. My boss — an older gentleman, president of the company — told the guy that he had to let me leave or he was calling the police. When the dude hung up, he told me:

Man: “I’m letting you leave this time, but next time you park here, I’ll boot your car and find your real manager’s number and report you! Some trick with your friend won’t work!”

He got in his golf cart and zoomed away. Luckily, my boss found this whole thing hilarious.

It was about a week before I went back and I was almost done with my task. I had finished for the day once again and headed out to my car to find that the man had — sort of — done what he had threatened.

There was a thick chain looped through the handle of my driver’s side rear door and around a cinderblock, all tied together with a large padlock. I knew this guy was a bit nutty, but I also had figured out that he didn’t have any real authority, so to find this half-clever, half-poorly-thought-out ball and chain attached to my car was a bit of a surprise.

I got into engineering because I like solving problems and this wasn’t a particularly complex problem. I simply rolled my back window down, lifted the cinderblock and excess chain into my car, and then drove away. I passed the man on my way out. To say he was shocked was an understatement, and I gave him a jaunty wave as I drove by. It was a cold drive back to my office with the window open, but it was worth the look on his face.

When I got to the office, I had to go in and sign out the bolt cutters, and I was followed out by a parade of my coworkers to see it for themselves.

I had to go back one more time. I was eager to see what the man might do after his last plan failed. I came out to find that he had tried the chain and cinderblock bit again. This time, he had wrapped the chain around the bottom of the wheel a few times and had the cinderblock tied pretty close to the wheel and the chain through the handle again. It was definitely chained in a way that would take a lot more ingenuity to get out of… or a pair of bolt cutters that I hadn’t returned to the office — you know, just in case.

I cut through the chain, unchained the car, and then loaded the whole lot into my trunk. The man must have been harassing some other person, because he only pulled up as I was backing out of the spot. He blocked my car — again! — with his cart and jumped out. He came to my window and I did roll it down just to see what he had to say.

Man: “Hey, hey! Where are the chains?! How did you get loose?! This is stealing! I will have your job for this!”

I never did hear the rest of the rant, as I yelled during a pause for breath:

Me: “Magic, and I’m not an employee!”

And I drove around his cart and away. It was the most dramatic exit of my life and will probably never be topped.

It was my last day there for now, and I’ve since gotten a new car, so I’m not sure if I’ll run into that man again. I’d like to think he is still puzzled over how I managed to unchain my car. My boss did lodge a complaint, but I don’t think anything came of it.

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