Take A Seat And Give Me One, Too

, , , , , , | Working | January 13, 2021

Despite the health crisis, I have driven a close friend in for a wheelchair assessment. He has fibromyalgia along with another nerve condition that makes it nearly impossible for him to walk more than about twenty feet at any one time. The fibro also makes it impossible for him to use a self-propelled wheelchair. This appointment is to get a doctor to sign off on a motorized chair so that his insurance will pay for it.

I dropped him off as close to the front door as possible and go to park the car. The entrance to the parking garage is around the corner. The building itself is facing a pier that is now a park built out into the water.

My friend texts me after I drop him at the front door.

Friend: “They told me I’m too early and they won’t let me borrow a chair. Can you come back and help me walk over to sit somewhere?”

Me: “Be right there.”

I walked out to the end of the pier to enjoy the view, so after power-walking back, I find him barely upright, leaning heavily on his cane, standing in the front door of the building, blocking traffic due to people trying to keep six feet minimum distance from each other. I offer him my arm.

Me: “Grab hold. I saw a bench to the right.”

We are both wearing masks, but we rode down in a car with less than a foot between us. Helping him walk isn’t that much closer contact than we’ve already had today, and I know he’s been extremely isolated, never leaving his house except for doctor visits.

He takes two steps and his left leg gives out. He ends up on the ground and I end up slamming my right knee into the concrete because my leg buckled under his weight.

A security guard comes running over.

Security Guard: “What happened?”

I tell him and ask for a wheelchair and note that the front desk wouldn’t give my friend one. All the while, I’m helping my buddy move over enough that he isn’t sprawled in the door of the building and ignoring my now aching knee. The security guard is a good sport. He shakes his head and brings us a pushchair — not a regular wheelchair, but better than nothing.

Me: *To the guard* “Thank you so much! I don’t know why they wouldn’t give him one, given why he’s here.”

The guard helps me get my buddy into the pushchair.

Security Guard: “Why is he here?”

Me: “He’s getting doctor approval for a wheelchair.”

I don’t normally speak for my friend, but I can tell he is in too much pain to talk, and I want to make sure this guy knows that it is stupid to not let my friend borrow a chair. The security guard just shakes his head again. I can see that he isn’t happy with the front desk guy. I ignore it, as there isn’t much I can do beyond what I’ve already done, and, since we can’t go upstairs because we’re too early for the appointment, I ask my friend if he wants me to push him out to the end of the pier to watch the water.

My friend nods his approval, so I thank the guard again and push my buddy out to enjoy the fresh air. We’re far enough from people we could take our masks off and enjoy the salt air. Upon returning to the building for the appointment, the guard sees us and checks that everything is all right. We’re both okay, so I thank him again. The guard says to get him when we’re leaving so I can grab the car and he can help my buddy out.

It ended well! My buddy got his doctor’s approval for his motorized chair, and the security guard was true to his word when we left and even gave me a coupon for extra off the parking cost. He was also very nice about helping get my friend in the car.

I only hope the person at the front desk learns from this! Just because someone is upright in that moment, it does not mean it’s easy or even possible for them to stay that way!

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Russian To Ridiculous Conclusions

, , , , | Healthy | January 13, 2021

I work at a healthcare clinic as a receptionist. Due to HIPAA policies, whenever I call a client, I have to confirm I am actually speaking to the client. If I am speaking to someone else, I am not allowed to disclose the reason I am calling. I typically say something generic like, “This is the doctor’s office.” This doesn’t always soothe people’s curiosities, though.

Me: “Hello, is [Client] there?”

Caller: “No, she is busy.”

Me: “Okay. This is the doctor’s office. Can you ask her to call us back?”

Caller: “The doctor’s? Which doctor?”

Me: “I am not allowed to say. Can I leave a callback number?”

Caller: “You’re not allowed to say? What is this? Russia?”

I guess following the federal American law of not giving away personal information is considered by some to be an act of Communism?

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Urine For A Really Confusing Time

, , , , , | Healthy | January 6, 2021

I am an older man at the doctor’s office. I have just been shown into the examination room. I am sitting in a chair, glancing at a magazine, waiting for the doctor. Suddenly, this woman rushes in wearing an examination gown and promptly sits on the exam table. She looks at me.

Woman: “Well, get on with it! I’m in a hurry, you know!”

Me: “…”

Woman: “Put down that magazine and do your… whatever it is you do. Where’s your white coat? Aren’t you a doctor? What are you, a nurse? Maybe the janitor? Where’s my doctor? What are you doing in here? Where’re my clothes?”

Me: “Look, this is my—”

Woman: “Who are you? Get out of here! What are you, some kind of pervert?” *Loudly screaming* “HELP! I’m being attacked! Get out of here! HELP ME!”

A nurse rushes in.

Woman: “Help, this pervert is attacking me! Get him out of here!”

I am shocked and confused.

Me: “I was just sitting—”

Woman: “Where’re my clothes?! He stole my clothes! Get him out of here!”

Nurse: “Ma’am, you’re in the wrong—”

The woman starts screaming at the top of her voice.

Woman: “Get him out of here! HELP, POLICE!”

Nurse: *To me* “Please leave for a few minutes until I get this straightened out.”

I grabbed my coat and hat and ran out of the room and just stood in the hall, totally confused by what was going on, wondering if I was really in the wrong room.

The doctor and a couple of other nurses soon arrived and rushed into the room; the woman was still screaming, out of control. I wanted to just leave but was afraid that the woman’s false accusations of me attacking her could bring the police. My old PTSD was starting to kick in and I was frozen in place.

After what seemed like forever, the doctor came out, escorted me to another room, and shut the door. I didn’t know WHAT was going on. I was scared!

After a while, the doctor and two nurses came into my room and asked me what happened. I told them what I had seen and how it had affected me. They left for a while. Later, they came back and reported that the woman had been instructed to go to the restroom to give a urine sample and had returned to the wrong room, that they had gotten her calmed down, and that I was NOT in trouble. It was a simple misunderstanding. It sure wasn’t “simple” to me!

Trembling, I told them that I was just sitting there reading a magazine, that I never left my chair, and that I SURE had not assaulted her in any way. They said that they believed me and that the woman had agreed that I never got out of the chair until I left.

The doctor gave me a quick examination. My blood pressure was through the roof! He had me wait there and calm down and then asked if I would like to reschedule my appointment. I agreed, with the understanding that I would never again be scheduled at the same time as that woman.

I don’t know what happened to the woman, but I never want to see her again. I had to sit in my car for a while before I thought it safe to drive.

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Master Procrastinators

, , , , , | Working | January 5, 2021

I pop into my doctor’s office for an appointment I made a few days ago. I’ve been coming to the same clinic for years; while the receptionist staff are pretty rubbish, the doctors are always good.

I approach the receptionist.

Me: “It’s [My Name] to see [Doctor].”

Receptionist: “Hmm… looks like you missed our appointment.” *Condescendingly* “You should really try to attend on time; we have other people waiting.”

Me: “No, my appointment is at 8:30. It’s only 8:15. I have the appointment letter here.”

Receptionist: “Actually, it tells me your appointment was changed. We did send you a letter about this.”

Me: *Checking my appointment letter* “This letter is dated yesterday and has my old, correct time on. When did you send the new letter, exactly?”

Receptionist: “…”

Me: “Because I’d like to know how this new letter was going to magically get to me.”

Receptionist: “I will see if the doctor has time for you.”

After a long wait, I did eventually get seen. A day later, the letter telling me my appointment time had changed arrived. It was dated the day of the appointment.

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Act Your Age!

, , , | Right | January 4, 2021

A patient calls in to confirm her appointment date and time. After she gives me her name, I ask her to confirm her birthdate to make sure I am looking at the right person’s information.

Patient: “How about you tell me the birthdate you have and I’ll tell you if it’s right or not?”

Me: “I can’t do that; I need you to confirm it for me.”

Patient: “I’ll tell you the month and date and you say the year and I’ll confirm that. It’s [month and day].”

Me: “I can’t—”

Patient: “I’m in a break room with all my coworkers and you want me to say how old I am?!”

Me: “I need you to—”

Patient: “FINE! 1960! I’M F****** SIXTY YEARS OLD! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?! NOW EVERYONE KNOWS! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU MADE ME DO THAT!”

Me: “I’m just following protocol, ma’am. Your appointment is [date and time].”

The patient is yelling to her coworkers as she hangs up.

Patient: “DID YOU ALL HEAR THAT—” *Click*

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