Desperately Looking For A Positive

, , , , | | Healthy | May 16, 2019

(I have gone to the GP with recurring dizziness. The doctor is new and we have never met prior to today. I am male.)

Doctor: *feeling the underneath of my jaw* “How long have you experienced dizziness?”

Me: “About three weeks. I think it might be an inner ear infection, but I don’t have any other symptoms.”

Doctor: “I see, and does it…”

(His eyes narrow onto my chest tattoo.)

Doctor: “You have tattoos?”

Me: “Just this one.”

Doctor: “Hmm, it’s possible this could be HIV and/or AIDS.”

Me: “WHAT?!”

Doctor: “It’s a pretty serious condition which can spread from infected needles.”

Me: “I know what it is. It just surprises me that you think dizziness and a tattoo would make you jump to HIV. This is a twenty-odd-year-old tattoo by the way.”

Doctor: “Hmm… Your medical history shows you have had STI tests before, and with your lifestyle—“

Me: “My ‘lifestyle’ has nothing to do with this, if I get your meaning.” *assumes he has seen my husband listed as my next of kin in my records* “And I have only had one STI test in my life, which was done as part of a sexual health class when I was at college. Now, HIV usually begins to show signs within ten years of contracting it. My tattoo is over twenty years old, and my STI test was what, ten years ago? I do not have HIV.”

(The doctor begrudgingly agreed with my defense and checked my ears. He found nothing and arranged a set of tests for me. I went to my appointment with my husband as I was a little shaken by the experience, and the first thing they asked us was if we had ever been sexually active with each other and how long I had suspected having HIV. The doctor decided to put me down for the test regardless of what I said. Once we explained the situation, the nurses apologised, but in the end, I agreed to take the test to learn more about it. My husband took it, too, to be a good sport. While stressful, it was a jovial experience. A week later, we both went to our GP to find out our results — mostly mine. We had the same doctor as I’d had the first time. It turns out I had a potassium deficiency which was causing my blood pressure to fluctuate while I was standing. Our HIV tests came back negative, but this didn’t stop the doctor belittling us and our “lifestyle” for a good ten minutes while going over the results. We complained about him and he was gone by my next visit. I later heard he was also judgemental with the minority population, and had submitted more requests for HIV testing than the rest of the practice combined.)

Unfiltered Story #150963

, | | Unfiltered | May 15, 2019

(I work in a radiology clinic, and as such our paperwork for our patients is very minimal. However, to avoid any confusion we always talk our patients through it, telling them what information to put where, etc. As simple as we make it, every day, without fail, this happens:)

Me: So just verify your information for me and then sign and date the bottom of the page where it tells you to.

Patient: (briefly checks info) Okay, do I sign where it says ‘signature?’

Me: …

Coughing Up A Better Diagnosis

, , , , , | | Healthy | May 14, 2019

(I have a history of coughing up blood for no particular reason. Despite a lack of a diagnosis explaining why it happens, it has happened three times. Two out of the three times, it was copious amounts. The first time, it happened when I was 16 and within a few hours, I had coughed up several cups before I was able to get to a hospital. A vein in my right lung had burst! The docs never figured out why it happened, but it happened again when I was 18. Fortunately, it was only a few mouthfuls – it ended up just being a busted capillary. Then, it happens again when I am 22. I have dealt with multiple nurses and doctors in the ER down the street telling me I am probably just exaggerating, which is incredibly infuriating. To prove that I am telling the truth, I begin to collect the blood by spitting it into a container and keeping the container in the fridge. It’s disgusting. Between Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning, I have coughed up and collected almost two cups of blood. I have a bronchoscopy at a different hospital go bad – a negative reaction to the light anesthesia they give me – so they send me back to the ER to be admitted. It is then that I deal with the most stuck up doctor in my life. I have no makeup on — obviously, who has time to worry about that when one’s life is possibly on the line? — and in the past that’s led people to mistake me for a high schooler more than once. It seems to fool this doctor, too, unfortunately. He approaches me with a haughty, unbelieving demeanor, and treats me like some sort of hysterical, loony teen. I start arguing with him about my honesty in the situation, and it begins to escalate to a frustrated yelling match. While I regret resorting to yelling at a doctor, I don’t regret how this ends. Not one bit. I finally reach a breaking point, yank my purse from my mother’s arms, shove the container of blood at the doctor, and scream.)


(The doctor’s face goes completely white as he gapes at me, stares at the container, looks back at me, and takes it to run out of the room. Another doctor comes in right then, and the first doc grabs his arm to drag him out with him. They close the door behind them, but there is a huge window in the door, so I can see both of them holding up the container, arguing, and acting generally panicked. Join the club, dudes. When Doctor Jerkface comes back in, he has a huge change in attitude; he’s now sweet, attentive, and eager to help.)

Doctor: “All right, honey, don’t you worry. We’re going to admit you to the ICU right away. We’re going to take care of you and figure out why this is happening.”

(I let myself become the smug jerk in the room and give him a victorious smirk.)

Me: “You’re d*** right, you’re going to.”

“Women Troubles” Is NOT Women Causing Trouble

, , , , , | | Healthy | May 11, 2019

(From my first period at age 12, I have been having horrible pain with each menstruation. Several months later, the pain is so bad that I can’t stand. My mother is alarmed and takes me to the ED. They suspect appendicitis and operate, only to find a healthy appendix. I am referred to a gynaecologist.)

Gynaecologist #1: “So, I hear you’ve had a bit of a sore tummy, huh?”

Me: “Yes, it really hurts, and I—“

Gynaecologist #1: “Now, [My Name]. You’re grown up now. This is part of being a woman; you just have to put up with it, all right? Take some paracetamol when the pain starts and get on with it, all right?”

(I’m embarrassed to have caused such a fuss and take what he says to heart. For the next 12 years, I put up with horrendous, increasing pain, assuming all women go through it. Every cycle, without fail, I spend a minimum of 12 hours in such pain I am vomiting. It gets so that I am in pain all the time, even when I’m not menstruating. Finally, at 25, I have an epic period of 17 days of vomit-worthy pain. My parents convince me to go to the ED in my new city where I live.

The ED doctors give me a high dose of morphine and check for acute problems, then refer me to a gynaecologist. I am already convinced that this one will think I am wasting his time, too, and begin rehearsing apologies. Finally, I meet the new gynaecologist.)

Gynaecologist #2: “So, I hear you’ve been sore?”

Me: “Yes…” *describes situation*

Gynaecologist #2: “Can I feel your stomach? Hmm. Okay, I’m not going to, but if I pressed hard, would it hurt?”

Me: “Yes.”

Gynaecologist #2: *taking his hand away* “Does it hurt now?

Me: “Yes.”

(The gynaecologist went a little grim and told me that I needed an operation immediately. He fit me in the following week and ended up excising a LOT of tissue. It turned out that I had a condition that caused infertility if it was untreated, and the main symptom was immense pain. Luckily, the disease hadn’t yet damaged my tubes so I can still conceive naturally. With medication to manage ovulation and possibly more operations should the tissue regrow, I should be completely healthy. Most importantly, I’m not in constant pain. How lucky that I found a doctor who knew that “women troubles” was no longer a proper medical diagnosis!)

Hopefully No One Is Dying For That Call

, , , , , , | Working | May 10, 2019

(I have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday. On Friday, I get a call from the doctor’s surgery but I miss the call because I am taking a nap, and I don’t wake up until after the surgery has closed. They’re closed all of Saturday and Sunday, so I call back on Monday.)

Receptionist: *goes through her regular greeting*

Me: “Hi. I got a call from your surgery on Friday, but I missed it so I’m just returning the call now.”

Receptionist: “Okay, so, what do you want me to do?”

Me: *stunned pause* “Well, I’d like to know what the call was about. Can you check my records?”

Receptionist: *tuts* “Sure, what’s your name?”

Me: “It’s [My Name].”

Receptionist: “There are no notes on your account about you being called.”

Me: “Uh, okay? So, how do I find out what the call was about?”

Receptionist: “You’ll just have to wait until whoever called you calls again. Goodbye.” *hangs up*

(It’s now Thursday again, six days since my appointment, and I haven’t had a call back. Hopefully, it was nothing important!)

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