Keeping In (Birth) Control Of Your Pronouns

| WA, USA | Working | May 12, 2017

(I am seeing a doctor for the second time, and as such, she knows about my relationship status. I am there to get back on birth control, which I was not on for a few years because I had genital pain.)

Doctor: “Why do you want to get on birth control?”

Me: “Well, it looks like I will be able to be intimate again soon, and with my girlfriend getting on estrogen I don’t know how much longer we have to try so I’d like to be ready.”

Doctor: “What is your girlfriend on estrogen for?”

Me: “She’s transitioning.”

Doctor: “She’s trans? Wouldn’t that mean she’s on testosterone?”

Me: “No, she’s on estrogen.”

Doctor: “Is she a man transitioning to a woman or a woman transitioning to a man?”

Me: “She’s transitioning to a woman. Hence the estrogen, pronouns, and my concern about not wanting her to get me pregnant.”

Doctor: “Oh, I understand now. Sorry, all these new words confuse me.”

(Me, too, but I’m still not sure how it wasn’t obvious in context.)

This Diagnosis Died

| WA, USA | Working | May 11, 2017

(I am seeing my doctor after she found a growth, so that she can tell me about the surgery I need. I am 21.)

Doctor: “Can you feel it inside you?”

(She touches my abdomen to see if she can.)

Me: “If I can, I don’t know how I would recognize it. I have been getting some stomach pain. It might be the growth, but it might be grief because one of my friends from high school randomly died last week.”

Doctor: “Oh. Was it a drug overdose?”

Me: *taken aback* “The autopsy said natural causes. I don’t understand how a teenager drops dead of natural causes, though.”

Doctor: “So what do you think it was?”

Me: “I don’t know. I was just thinking you should know that I’m in pain but it might not be the growth. Is there anything else you wanted to tell me about the operation?”

(She was very quick to end the appointment after that.)

An Unsanitary Attitude

| Scotland, UK | Right | May 11, 2017

(I am a doctor at a GP. I’m rather unconventional for a doctor, with tattoos and piercings. Almost everyone is fine with it after meeting me, but it does sometimes spook some newer patients.)

Me: *walking into the lobby* “[Patient]?”

(Everyone quickly glances, but no one responds.)

Me: “I’m ready to see [Patient]?”

(Again, no one. I go back into my office and wait for a short while to see if they arrive. After 20 minutes I move on. I step out of my office and hear a woman shouting.)

Patient: “I’ve been waiting! This is my first appointment.”

Receptionist: “He didn’t call you?”

Patient: “No!”

Me: “What’s the name? I could maybe squeeze you in. I’ve had a no show.”

(The patient turns and recoils at my appearance, muttering “disgusting” under her breath.)

Receptionist: “It’s [Patient].”

Me: “Ah, you were my no show.”

Patient: *agog* “He can’t be a doctor!”

Receptionist: “He actually opened [GP].”

Patient: “But just look at him! F****** horrid! You look like a junkie! I want to see someone else!”

Elderly Patient: “Good! I guess it’s my turn, then!”

(The elderly patient makes her way past me when the other patient speaks up.)

Patient: “You aren’t serious! He’ll probably stick heroin in you or something! It’s f****** disgusting! Those stretched ears!”

Elderly Patient: “Shut up! I have lived long enough to know that the time and effort someone puts into their schooling is more important than the colours and holes they put in themselves, and if you can’t see that then I pity you. Dr. [My Name], come on. This hip is killing me.”

(The patient decided to make another appointment on a day I wasn’t working and is still with us. She is forced to see me regularly now, though, as her son has started suffering from asthma, and I’m the most experienced handling the condition. He likes to ask me lots of questions about my appearance and sometimes tries to pull on my ears when I’m not looking. His mum practically faints whenever he tries, and when finished sprints to the hand sanitiser, using so much of it she gets sticky, before sprinting out of the GP altogether.)

The Only Thing Out Of Place Is You

| USA | Right | May 2, 2017

(I work at a private optometrist office with my mother. As such, we like to wear matching scrubs in the office. We happen to be wearing some light purple scrubs with cartoonish cows printed on them this day when we run to a craft store for some things. The employees at this store are all wearing blue aprons.)

Me: *looking over some stickers and deciding which ones I like better, I start putting away the ones I decide against*

Other Customer: *with friend* “Excuse me.”

Me: *still looking at stickers, unaware she is talking to me*

Other Customer: *louder and a bit more impatient* “Excuse me!”

Me: *finally looking up* “What?”

(The speaking customer’s jaw drops and she looks at her friend before looking back at me.)

Other Customer: “Well! I need to know where the floral arrangements are.”

Me: “Probably up front, but I don’t work here.”

Other Customer: “Why else would you be wearing a name tag and putting things away?”

Me: “Because I just got off work at a medical office, hence the scrubs, and I’m not an inconsiderate d*****bag that leaves things out of place.”

(I turned and walked away from them, leaving them speechless, while I went to find my mother with our cart. After a bit of hunting and passing several real employees, I finally caught up with her and found the same two women asking HER to find more items for them!)

Don’t Hold Your Breath On Them Getting It

| CA, USA | Right | May 2, 2017

(I take x-rays and have a good handful of patients that don’t understand much English. We sometimes have breathing instructions we ask of the patients when it involves the chest/abdominal region. Holding your breath will prevent motion on the x-ray. I get someone who needs a shoulder x-ray, and I usually don’t have people hold their breath because there isn’t much motion involved with the shoulders when breathing (unless you’re hyperventilating, which usually isn’t the case). I start the patient with her hand x-rays before doing her shoulders.)

Patient: *in thick foreign accent* “Do I hold breath?”

Me: “No, it’s okay. I’ll tell you if you need to do that.”

Patient: “Don’t hold breath?”

Me: “No, you don’t have to for your hand x-ray.”

Patient: *looks at me with immense scepticism as I walk away to take the image*

(Fast forward to doing the shoulder x-rays.)

Me: “Okay, don’t move now.” *takes image and returns to the room*

Patient: “You didn’t tell me to hold breath.”

Me: “That’s okay; you didn’t have to.”

Patient: “But you didn’t tell me.”

Me: “That’s all right; the picture looks fine.” *puts patient in next position*

Patient: “Do I hold breath?”

Me: “No, it’s okay.”

Patient: “Hold breath?”

Me: *sigh… doesn’t hurt if she does it* “Okay then, hold your breath!”

(She takes massive breath in as I’m hitting the exposure button, elevating her shoulders and arching her back while she’s at it. The image was blurry and the raising of her shoulder caused rotation and basically a useless image to the provider.)

Me: *sigh* “Ma’am, don’t raise your shoulders when you hold your breath. Don’t move, don’t turn, just stop breathing when I tell you, okay?”

(She didn’t get it so I had to physically show her what she did, tell her “don’t do that,” and showed her to just close her mouth and stop breathing without taking a giant breath in first. I finished the procedure and sent her back shortly after that.)

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