The Patient Is Gluten-Free; The Doctor Is Brain-Free

, , , , , | Healthy | February 22, 2019

(I’ve been suffering from chronic pain and fatigue for years, and my GP refers me to a rheumatologist following some concerning test results. I’m in my mid-twenties and walking with a limp.)

Doctor: “You were referred to me because of your test results, but this test often shows false positives. You probably have nothing to worry about. I’ll order you a new series of blood tests. Now, you indicated that you’re in pain. Where does it hurt the most?”

Me: “It varies; some days it hurts–”

Doctor: *interrupting* “Where does it hurt the most right now?”

Me: “Um… here.” *point at my leg* “But the pain moves around. Sometimes it hurts my jaw, my neck, my shoulders… As I wrote on the forms, it’s sort of all over. It makes it difficult to exercise, to cook, or even to write.”

Doctor: *looking at my leg* “It’s probably just a pinched nerve.” *glancing down* “You indicated that you have psoriasis. Is that it?”

(She leans forward without warning and pokes at a patch of dry skin on my leg.)

Doctor: “Does that hurt? It looks bad.”

Me: “Um… No. It itches sometimes, but it’s pretty mild.”

Doctor: “It doesn’t look like psoriasis. When were you diagnosed?”

Me: “When I was a kid, maybe ten or so?”

Doctor: “And what did your dermatologist say at the time?”

Me: “Um… I was ten, so… I don’t really…?”

Doctor: “You should see your dermatologist. And a neurologist for your back pain. I see here that you’re trying a gluten-free diet? That should help with the pain, and your weight, too.”

Me: “I’m not… What?” *confused* “I’m not ‘trying’ a gluten-free diet. I’m gluten-intolerant. I’ve been gluten-free for over a year.”

Doctor: “Right, it should help. Your pain should decrease, and you should start losing weight.”

Me: *frustrated* “As I said, I stopped eating gluten a year ago. It did help. A lot of my fatigue and stomach issues went away. But if it was going to help with the pain, I think it would have done it by now.”

Doctor: “Well, I think you’ll start to see the benefits soon. Anyway, go to our lab. I’m sure we’ll find that you have nothing to worry about.”

(I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease related to psoriasis. I decided to transfer to a different doctor. I requested a copy of my records to send over, and what I read there only strengthened my decision, since her only notes from that appointment said that I was experiencing minor pain and that I should go on a low-carb diet.)

Isn’t All Work Homework When You’re Tutored At Home?

, , , | Learning | February 21, 2019

(I tutor English as a Second Language students at their homes. I assign homework to students each week. My students are usually quite young, so very often my homework is left undone for various reasons. I’m usually quite understanding if they have a good reason. This particular student has been neglecting most of her work because she was busy playing. I’m talking to her before I leave her house.)

Me: “[Student], can you try to finish some of your homework? It’s quite the waste of your parents’ money right now to just attend an hour of lessons per week without doing the assigned work.”

Student: “But I’m going on holiday next week! I’m going to [Overseas Country]!”

Me: “That sounds fun. But the homework that I’m talking about is the one the one from around three weeks ago.”

Student: *clearly not listening* “Maybe I’ll buy you a gift from [Overseas Country]!”

Me: “How about this? Instead of buying me a present, you bring me the gift of your completed homework!”

Student: “Ha ha, no.” *bounces away*

They’re Not Bready For This

, , , , , , | Working | February 15, 2019

(I am with my husband. We are in a small town grabbing some quick supper on the way to the drive-in theater. We see a local coffee chain that sells food and figure that should work perfectly. We head into the drive-thru and notice that we have shown up about 45 minutes before close.)

Worker: “Hi! Welcome to [Coffee Place]. Just to let you know, as we are close to our closing time, we are not serving hot food anymore. We are still offering our sandwich menu.”

Husband: “No problem. Thanks for letting me know.”

Worker: “What can I get you?”

Husband: “Can I get a chicken salad sandwich and-–“

Worker: “Sorry, we’re out of chicken salad for the night.”

Husband: “Oh, okay. Um, a turkey bacon club, then?”

Worker: “Sorry, we’re out of bacon, as well.”

(We were starting to get a bit frustrated, but we realize that we did come close to closing, so assume we will just make the best of what they have left.)

Husband: “Okay, can I get two ham and cheddars, then?”

Worker: “Actually, we’re out of bread.”

Me: “What?! She can’t be serious.”

Husband: “So, how would I get a sandwich, then?”

Worker: “Um. I mean, we can give you the meat?”

(I start laughing hard, and my husband has this “Seriously?” look on his face.)

Husband: “So, you have no bread at all? No biscuits, English muffins, nothing?”

Worker: “Ah, no, not really. Did you still want the ham and cheddar?”

Husband: “No, thanks. I think we’ll try somewhere else.”

(We ended up grabbing food at a sub shop. It was pretty funny that the worker offered us sandwiches if they were completely out of bread! Probably would have been better off to close early if it was truly that bad!)

OCD = Obviously Completely Deceiving

, , , | Working | February 12, 2019

(To keep our counters clear for serving customers, staff usually put stock into baskets on the floor behind our counter. Whenever staff leave the counter area, they are supposed to take some of the items with them, but when we get busy it’s not an easy thing to do, and the baskets often overflow; we need to get it cleared by the end of the day.)

Coworker: “Oh, look at this mess. I have OCD and this is annoying me.” *starts picking up the stock*

(As part of my supervising role, I am trying to get closing chores done and am happy that she’s taken her own initiative and I haven’t had to ask her to do it. It’s still half an hour before we close, plenty of time to get most of the baskets empty.)

Me: “Great, I’ll leave you to clearing that stuff out. I’ll get on with this and I’ll deal with any customers at the far counter. I don’t want to have to stay back tonight.”

Coworker: “Don’t worry; I’ll have all the stuff cleared off the floor.”

(I get stuck into my work and keep on with the customers. From the corner of my eye I see coworker sitting on the now cleared floor, next to the empty baskets.)

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Coworker: “After doing all this, I’m tired. Doesn’t it look better here? Now my OCD can relax.”

Me: “Yes, it does, but you can’t just sit there; you’re right under a camera.”

Coworker: “Oh, okay.” *looks at her watch* “Oh, it’s closing time. Bye.” *starts to walk off*

Me: “Could you close the door? I need to finish with this customer and do a quick walk around to make sure there’s no one else in the store.”

Coworker: *all but rolls her eyes and goes to shut the door* “My dad will be waiting.”

Me: “I still need you to check the store on your way to get your bag.”

(She had to walk through the store, anyway. By the time I got finished with the sale and showed the customer out, my coworker had collected her bag, told me the store was clear, and left. I was happy that all I had to do was finalise the till I was working on and do the banking. I finalised the till and walked down towards the counter she had been working at and noticed that all she had done was dump everything from the baskets onto the countertop. There was no way I could leave it like that and had to stay back after all of my tasks were completed.)

Please Recycle The Law

, , , , , , | Working | February 8, 2019

It was the mid-1990s and our law office was transitioning from research in books to computer research. With law books now available on CDs, we could free up our office library for useful office space. We went through a room full of books and decided which few books the attorneys wanted to keep and identified the remainder to be recycled. After ascertaining that there were no schools or anyone else who wanted them, we stacked them in a corner and asked the cleaning crew to remove them with the other paper recycling. We understood that it was a big job, which we didn’t expect them to accomplish in one night, but we thought if they would take even just a few books out with them each night, we would eventually have the office space free.

After the first night or two, a few books disappeared, but the rest of the large pile remained there day after day, in spite of the “recycle” tag that reminded the cleaning crew to remove them. After a couple of weeks had gone by and the large pile of books was still there, I added a second note alongside the “recycle” sign. It read, “Please remove these books or we’ll make you read them.” Every book was gone the next morning.

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