CAT Scans In The Twilight Zone

, , , , , , , | Healthy | May 15, 2021

I arrive early for my CAT scan and sit in the waiting room. [Tech #1] comes out of the back.

Tech #1: “Is [Man] here? [Man]? [Man]?”

Receptionist: “Who’s [Man]?”

Tech #1: “His wife is back there and too dizzy to walk. I’m looking for her husband.” *Louder* “[MAN]! [MAN]?!”

[Tech #1] disappears for a few minutes and then he’s back.

Tech #1: “[Man]? [MAN]?! [Receptionist], would you page him?”

Receptionist: “What’s his last name?”

Tech #1: “Just page [Man].”

Receptionist: “I can’t do that! There are lots of [Man]s!”

Tech #1: “I don’t know his last name. Just page him!”

[Tech #1] disappears again. [Tech #2] comes out of the back pushing a woman in a wheelchair.

Tech #2: “Someone’s supposed to transport this woman to the lobby.”

Receptionist: “Park her over there until they come.”

[Tech #2] parks the woman and goes into the back.

Tech #1: “[Man]? [Man]?”

Transport Nurse: “Where’s the woman in the wheelchair?”

Receptionist: *Waving vaguely* “Over there.”

Transport Nurse: “I see the wheelchair, but it’s empty.”

Receptionist: “That’s odd.”

The transport nurse leaves.

Receptionist: “[My Name], we’ll get to you in just a few more minutes.”

Me: “That’s just fine. You’ve lost two people in the ten minutes I’ve been here, so I’m really overwhelmed with confidence at the moment.”

Someone else behind the reception desk calls out:

Employee: “Don’t ask me! I’m on lunch!”

Tech #1: “[Man]?”

They did eventually find [Man]. They never found the missing lady. And my CAT scan went on without further incident — whew!

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This Kind Of Confusion Is Not Unique

, , , , , | Right | May 10, 2021

Me: “Morning, [Medical Clinic], this is Bromleigh. How can I help?”

Caller: “What was your name again?”

Me: “Bromleigh.”

Caller: “Ashley?”

Me: “Bromleigh.”

Caller: “Kylie?”

Me: “Bromleigh. But it’s okay. How can I help?”

I’m not too fussed about people misunderstanding my name, but this gentleman definitely takes it to the next level. The caller proceeds to make an appointment but somehow goes back to wanting my name.

Caller: “How do you spell your name?”

Me: “B-R-O-M—”

Caller: “T?”

Me: “B for ‘book.’”

Caller: “C?”

Me: “B for ‘black.’”

Caller: “Carly?”

Me: “No, sorry. But it’s okay. It’s spelled a little unique.”

Caller: “Ashley?”

Me: “Bromleigh.”

Caller: “Brom. Lee?”

Me: “Yes.”

Caller: “How do you spell?”

Me: “Any way you like. I’m not concerned.”

Caller: “How do you spell it? How do you spell?”

Me: “B for ‘Bob.’ R for ‘Rodger.’ O for ‘opal’—”

Caller: “Bronte?”

Me: “Yep.”

Caller: “B-R-O-N-T-E?”

Me: “Yes.”

Caller: “That’s not unique!”

I could only laugh when we finally hung up.

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When The Patient Isn’t, Part 2

, , , , | Right | May 6, 2021

I’m billing a patient who has seen two of our doctors. She has a referral for one of them but we’re waiting for the other to fax across the referral for the other.

Me: “I’ll call them to follow up on it.”

Patient: “Could you call them now, while I’m still here?”

I pick up the phone and start dialing.

Patient: “Are you calling them?”

I indicated that I am. As if I would make an unrelated phone call while still serving her! A few minutes pass.

Patient: “Do you need their number?”

Me: “I’m on hold with them.”

It gets to about ten minutes on hold.

Patient: “Are you sure you’ve called the right number?”

Me: “The hold message says I’ve called the right clinic.”

Then, she left just before I finally spoke to the receptionist to get the referral sent across!

Related:
When The Patient Isn’t

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Back Pain Sufferers, There Is Hope!

, , , , | Healthy | May 6, 2021

I’m twenty. For the past few months, I’ve been getting experience in my major field by working long hours in a lab, counting out microscopic worms on Petri dishes. It’s not difficult or too taxing, but I’ve noticed lately that the way I have to sit to reach the scopes has triggered some lower back pain around the center of my hips. I try to ignore it for about three weeks, as my father just laughs when I mention it and I’m worried that my doctor, the pediatrician I’ve seen since birth, will do the same because of my young age and lack of strenuous activity.

It gets to the point that I can barely walk and every few seconds, a shooting pain jumps down from my back to the front of my knee. It’s beyond anything I’ve ever felt, before or since. The spasms keep me at night, and when I wake up one morning to discover that I can’t lean forward or backward more than a few millimeters, I finally go in to see the doctor. As my main doctor isn’t in that day, I’m paired with a new doctor in the practice I’ve never met before. She’s much younger than the others I’ve seen and is incredibly pleasant.

Doctor: “So, I’ve heard you’ve been having back spasms?”

Me: “Yeah. I know, I know, I’m too young to have a back problem. I haven’t had any big jolts to the system or anything, nothing more stressful than sitting in a lab all day, but no matter what I do, I can’t shake this. I didn’t want to bother you guys during the flu season with what’s probably just a stupid pulled muscle but I haven’t slept for two nights now. Laying down or sitting up seems to make it worse, and the over-the-counter painkillers don’t put a dent in it.”

Doctor: “Hey, it’s no problem at all! In fact, I wish you had come in a bit sooner! Back spasms can be really serious, so let’s see if we can figure this out.”

The doctor chats with me about what I’ve done so far to ease the pain and what showed any improvement or made it worse and puts me through some simple range of movement exercises

Doctor: “Okay, I’m going to do a few little tests that should confirm my suspicions about this. I’m going to be putting my thumbs at those little dimples you get at your lower back, okay? Just tell me if it hurts, and which side hurts most.”

I feel something akin to a nail being driven into the area she’s touching.

Me: “Holy moth— Left! Left side! Haha, ouch, Doc.”

Doctor: “Sorry! Sorry, just one more. Pop up there, lay down, and cross your right ankle over your left knee.”

When I lay down, my entire pelvis should be an inch closer to the ground than it is, and I mention it to her.

Doctor: “That’s normal if this last one gives us a positive sign. When I push down on your right knee here, is there—”

Me:Pain?! Yes. Yes, there is.”

Doctor: “Positive sign! With how long you’ve let this go, it may be too tight for me to fix this here without you doing some home stretches first, but I’ll give it a shot if you’d like?”

Me: “Please, yes. Anything. Feed me to a lion if it would make this stop hurting so much.”

The doctor moves my left leg off the table to hang down the side and shifts my body so my hip also hangs off and instructs me to push up against her downward force on my left knee. My pelvic area makes an ungodly loud cracking sound that can probably be heard in the lobby as it feels like my entire pelvis drops down that missing inch. I fully expect extreme pain.

Me: “AAAGH— Oh, hang on.”

I sit up without difficulty.

Me: “Holy crap. It’s a little sore, but holy crap! You’re a miracle worker! What did you do?! I could kiss you right now!”

Doctor: *Laughing* “I put your sacroiliac joint back in alignment. It’s common for women to have problems with it, though it’s usually after childbirth or an impact accident like a car crash.”

Me: “Yeesh, no chance of that here, and I’ve never been in a wreck.”

Doctor: “Well, it’s unusual, but long periods of sitting in some positions can stress the ligaments and allow the joint to move out of alignment bit by bit. Please, if it ever starts to flare up again, don’t wait so long to come in! It should be manageable with targeted stretching exercises, and I’ll grab you our printout of the ones that should help, but don’t let it get this out of control next time!”

The next day, after a very good night’s sleep, I wrote two letters: one to the head of the clinic commending the doctor for her quick diagnosis and solution, and another to the doctor herself thanking her profusely for taking me seriously right off the bat and being so delightfully friendly during the whole appointment, despite it being a last-minute walk-in. I delivered them with snacks and chocolates for the staff and thoroughly enjoyed showing them how I could once again move without pain. I had to leave their practice once I aged out earlier this year, but I’ve never had a better experience with any other doctor.

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A Sudden Jab Of Terror

, , , , , | Healthy | April 29, 2021

When I was around five or six, I was at the doctor’s office for a checkup. I knew I would be receiving an injection, and I was terrified of needles. My mother stepped outside of the room with the doctor while we waited for the nurse to come by with the shot.

There was a slight knock on the door and a nurse popped her head in.

Nurse: “Hi! I just need to grab something real quick.”

And she proceeded to pull out the biggest needle I’d ever seen in my short life! I screamed bloody murder.

My mother and the doctor came running back into the room to find the nurse frantically trying to calm me down, but I refused to even let her touch me. The nurse showed the doctor the needle.

Nurse: “I didn’t mean to scare anyone! I feel horrible.”

After the nurse left, my doctor sat down with me.

Doctor: “That needle is meant for more difficult patients and it does hurt, but you are getting the regular-sized needle that hurts much less.”

I later learned the nurse’s needle was for bone marrow aspiration. I received my injection with no complaint.

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