The Faint Is Not A Feint

, , , , , | Healthy | April 24, 2019

(My adult daughter has multiple medical issues, including vasovagal syncope — she faints — triggered by several things, including vomiting and even small blood draws. I am with her for support and as her driver in case of problems when she goes to get a routine blood draw that requires multiple vials. Due to insurance issues, she is going to an unfamiliar lab and has called in advance to verify that there is a bed available for her to lie down for the draw, as it’s the only way to prevent an event. She is called by the phlebotomist.)

Phlebotomist: “Please have a seat here in this chair and we’ll get started.”

Daughter: “I need to lie down or I’ll faint. I was told you had a bed available?”

Phlebotomist: “Oh, was that you who called? Please just sit down. I draw blood every day, all day, and I’ve never heard of such a problem.”

(It’s actually fairly common.)

Daughter: “I have vasovagal syncope triggered by having my blood drawn. I’d rather lie down so I don’t end up on the floor.”

Phlebotomist: “There isn’t a bed available. Now, you’re holding up the process as there are several others also waiting to have their blood drawn. We’ll just have to deal with it if it happens, which I know for a fact it won’t. I’m very good at my job.”

Daughter: “I’d rather wait for a bed. How long will it be?”

Phlebotomist: “We don’t have any beds in the lab. We’d have to go to the doctor’s office next door, and I’m not going to do that. These chairs recline a bit; I’ll put it back and you’ll be fine. Now, are you going to get the blood drawn or not?”

Daughter: *not wanting to make a scene and needing to have the procedure completed* “Okay, but I warned you; you can’t say I didn’t.” *and to me* “Mom, please come in and be ready to catch me.”

(The phlebotomist prepares my daughters arm for the draw, commenting about how she’s never seen anyone actually faint from a simple blood draw, and what a wuss my daughter is for having to have her mother present for the procedure. When she inserts the needle and starts to draw the blood, my daughter’s eyes roll back and she starts to slide out of the chair.)

Phlebotomist: “What’s happening?! Wake up, wake up! You can’t do this to me! Please, Mom, hold her up while I finish!”

(So much for not keeping the others waiting. She was out cold on the floor for several minutes, and it was over half an hour before she could stand to even get into a wheelchair to leave the room. They’ve since installed a fully reclining chair in the lab, and the phlebotomist learned a valuable lesson about listening to the clients. Also, my daughter will now not allow anyone to draw her blood unless she is fully lying down and will not take “no” for an answer.)

Common Sense Takes A Vacation

, , , | Right | April 23, 2019

(I’ve just called a patient to advise him that he missed his monthly appointment, to let him know he will still be charged, and possibly to rebook for him, too.)

Patient: “Why am I being charged for this?! I wasn’t even in the country!”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but there’s a 24-hour cancellation policy.”

Patient: “Well, that’s stupid! You should have known I was on holidays and cancelled the appointment for me!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but did you let someone here know? If you did and it wasn’t cancelled for you, I might be able to—“

Patient: “No?! Why would I do that?!”

College Doesn’t Cause Less Anxiety, Trust Us!

, , , , , | Healthy | April 22, 2019

(I was diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder and panic disorder at nineteen, and have been on anti-anxiety medications since. Sometimes, they stop being as effective, or the side effects become worse, and I need to return to a doctor to change my prescription. This was never an issue before, as my dosage is low and I don’t require strong or addictive medication. However, after moving, I go to see a new doctor. The clinic has gotten all my medical records from my previous one, and I have filled out the forms, detailing my conditions. The doctor is a general practitioner, is male and middle-aged, and immediately seems to be only paying half-attention. I am a twenty-five-year-old female.)

Doctor: “Now, why is someone like you on anxiety medication?”

Me: *confused* “Because I have an anxiety and panic disorder. I was diagnosed years ago, as it says in my file.”

Doctor: “Have you ever tried losing weight?”

Me: “Uh, yes. I’ve been on diets since I was five. I do eat healthy, and I walk a mile almost daily–“

Doctor: “And you’re not working.”

Me: *having no idea what this has to do with anything* “No, not yet. I just moved states with my family.”

Doctor: “So, you plan on working? Or are you going to school?”

(I have absolutely no idea where this conversation is going, or why he’s suddenly asking about my life. In the back of my head, I’m hoping he’s trying to figure out what medication to put me on if I’m entering a more stressful situation.)

Me: “No, I’m not planning on going to college, and I’ve started looking for a job–“

Doctor: *cutting me off in a grandfatherly, scolding tone* “Now, why aren’t you planning on going to college? There are lots of good colleges around here.” *starts naming off colleges*

(I am getting increasingly embarrassed and flustered. I attended one year of community college, but my health had taken such a terrible turn from the constant stress and panic attacks I nearly ended up in the hospital. I didn’t continue.)

Me: “I’m… not really interested in going back to college, sir. Can we get back to my–“

Doctor: *dismissively* “Now, now, I’ve got a granddaughter your age; I know what I’m talking about. You don’t need more pills. What you need is to get your degree, lose weight, and find a good man to marry. You’re anxious because your life isn’t heading anywhere! I’ll put you on [medication] for now, but when you come back, I expect you to be enrolled somewhere, you hear?” *winking at me* “Doctor’s orders.”

(I was so bewildered and humiliated I just wanted to get out of the office. I took my prescription and never returned to his office again. I’ve had doctors be unprofessional before, but I’ve never had one lecture me on how going to college would magically cure my mental illness!)

Saved By Your Good Name

, , , , , | Legal | April 22, 2019

(My friends and I are driving back from a trip. It is getting late, and I don’t slow down as much as I should going through a little “blink and you’ll miss it” village. The town cop pulls me over — wearing jeans and a polo shirt with his badge embroidered on — and I compliantly hand over my license and paperwork. Less than a minute later, he walks back to the car and hands my stuff back.)

Cop: “I’m letting you off with a warning. I didn’t feel like trying to write your name on a speeding ticket.”

(My full name as printed runs 26 characters, including two first names, a middle initial, and the last name.)

Loves To Follow Orders – If They Have One

, , , , , | Right | April 19, 2019

(I do data entry for a company that supplies drug stores with their merchandise. The way our system works is that the customer will phone our office, get our answering machine, and leave a recorded message with their order. I will then play the message later and enter the order on my computer. I can count on the following happening at least once a week:)

Person On Recording: “Hi, [Company]. Here’s my order…” *gives order*

Me: “Oh, great. They didn’t give their name or their store, and the computer won’t let me start entering their order unless we know who it’s for.”

Person On Recording: *continues*

Me: “I hope this is a short order…”

Person On Recording: *keeps talking*

Me: “Maybe I can recognize their voice? …Nope.”

Person On Recording: *keeps talking*

Me: “Please, please, have them say who they are at the end of the message! I’ll have to rewind and listen to the whole thing again, but at least I’ll be able to enter it.”

Person On Recording: “…and that’s it. Thanks!” *hangs up*

Me: “Aw, crap.”

(We don’t have call display in these days, so I have no hope of knowing who the order is for. Then, the next day, this usually happens.)

Caller: “WHERE’S MY ORDER?!”

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