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Cast A Spell Of Screaming

, , , , , , | Healthy | September 15, 2021

When my brother is in elementary school, he falls off the monkey bars and sprains his wrist pretty badly. My brother has a ridiculous pain tolerance and is screaming his head off, so there is worry that it is a break.

At the time, we only have one car, which is with my dad, who isn’t currently available. My mom calls a family friend to get my brother so they can get to the doctor and off they go. She doesn’t call my dad because she is in a rush and is planning on doing it when they get to the doctor, so my dad follows his regular routine and starts to head home. He happens to run into another family friend who knows what’s happened.

Family Friend: “Hey, have you talked to [Mom] yet?”

Dad: “Uh, I don’t think so. Why?”

Family Friend: “Oh, well, [Brother] fell and may have broken his wrist. I think she took him to [Urgent Care Office].”

Of course, my dad heads straight there and asks to be let in, but the front desk nurse won’t let him back. I’m not sure exactly why because most of the staff there know our family, so the only thing I can think of is that she is new and doesn’t know him. My mom hears the commotion and comes out and confirms he’s okay, and then they go back in to find that my brother’s wrist is not broken but sprained. The doctor splints the wrist and tells my brother to stay off the monkey bars for a few days and sends them home.

The next day, my brother comes home from school and my mom asks him about his wrist.

Brother: “It really hurts, Mom.”

He shows her his wrist and now there’s some very distinctive bruising.

Mom: “Come on. Let’s go back to the doctor.”

This time, my dad is home so they all go off to the clinic. They walk in and the nurse at the counter frowns as they come in.

Nurse: “Weren’t you just here?”

Mom: *Sigh* “Yes, but this time, it’s actually broken.”

While there isn’t any hesitation in getting things taken care of, there are other bills we are dealing with and an extra medical visit is not something we need right now.

Nurse: “Oh. Well, let me just put this in as a follow-up, okay?”

Mom: “Oh, you’re my new best friend!”

They go back and the doctor confirms that it is indeed broken this time.

Doctor: “I thought I told you to stay off the monkey bars?”

Brother: “I did! I was hanging on the single bars with my good arm and it was wet so I fell.”

Every adult in the room face-palms. I’ll give my brother one thing: he certainly is very good at not-quite malicious compliance.

Doctor: “Let’s get a cast on this, and then you need to stay away from all types of bars or hanging equipment for a while, okay?”

They splinted things and my brother got his cast. To this day, my mom thinks that the reason my brother was screaming so bad initially was that he really wanted a cast, and while he wouldn’t necessarily have gone out and purposely said, “Hey, let’s see what happens when I fall again!”, he still wanted that cast.

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This Doctor Knows All About “Cold”

, , , , | Healthy | September 9, 2021

I’m twenty-three and I’m working in the UK for a year. English is not my first language, but I know enough to work in an English-speaking company so it’s not too bad.

One day, while I’m at work, I start feeling bad — fever, sore throat, coughing, etc. Since I am only here for a year, I did not think about registering with a general doctor, so I was not sure where to go to get seen by a doctor. My manager told me about “walk-in centers” where you can go without appointments. 

I check out of work, take a taxi, and manage to get to one of these centers. I wait for some time and then get to see a doctor.

I’m kind of shy and new situations can stress me a lot. I’ve never been to a doctor on my own at this point since my parents always had to drive me to the doctor’s office, and I had the same doctor from the time I was born.

I enter the doctor’s room. He barely looks at me and does not invite me to take a seat or anything.

Doctor: “What’s your problem?”

Me: “I feel like I have a fever and I feel pain in my throat.”

Doctor: “Okay, well, that’s a cold. What do you want me to do?”

I’m kind of shocked. In similar cases, my doctor always did the basic tests, like looking at my throat, measuring my temperature, making me breathe, etc. I try to insist.

Me: “Well, I just wanted to be sure it was just a cold.”

Doctor: “What could it be other than a cold?”

I’m thinking, “You’re the doctor; you’re the one supposed to know.” I try proposing an illness without knowing the English name — “angine” in French, which in English is called “Tonsillitis”.

Me: “Well, I really don’t know… It could be an angina? I’m sorry, I’m not sure of the English name.”

Doctor: “Nope, angina is a cardiac illness.”

Me: “Well, like I said, I’m not sure of what it’s called in English.”

He does not try to understand or do any tests. He just asks for my age and then says, in a very condescending way:

Doctor: “Well, you’re twenty-three years old and you never dealt with a cold before? Just get some paracetamol for three weeks. Goodbye.”

I went out of the center, and I almost cried out of stress and anger. I went home and called my parents, who helped me think and told me to go to a pharmacy to get a syrup for my throat. The syrup helped a lot — the weekend, too — and I recovered quickly.

I know this was a free consultation, I know doctors don’t have a lot of time allowed per patient, and I know the NHS has budget issues. But I was sick, living on my own in a foreign country, and just wanted to get something for the pain and to be reassured that it was just a cold.

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A Chip Off The Delicious Block

, , , , , , | Working | September 8, 2021

There’s a nurse practitioner in the clinic where I work whose nickname is similar to a popular chip. He is also quite handsome. He is finishing up with a new client in the waiting area, where my coworker and I sit at the front desk.

Nurse Practitioner: “It was very nice to talk to you today. My name is [Nickname]. Ask for me if you need anything in the future.”

Client: “Your name is [Wrong Name]?”

Coworker: “No, his name is [Nickname], like the snack!”

Client: “Oh! Okay!”

The client and [Nurse Practitioner] leave, and my coworker turns to me.

Coworker: “Oh, my God, I just called [Nurse Practitioner] a snack!”

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The Only Thing Worse Than The Itching Is The Doctor

, , , , , , | Healthy | September 6, 2021

Ever since her knee surgery, I haven’t seen my regular dermatologist. Instead, I see one of her two assistants. [Assistant #1] is ex-military, very brusk, and doesn’t like to do anything extra. [Assistant #2] is extremely sweet, a better doctor than my actual dermatologist, and was the first to figure out I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

I go in once a year for a mole check as skin cancer is what ultimately killed my paternal grandma. This time, I’m stuck with [Assistant #1]. Because of my PCOS, I’m under the care of an endocrinologist, so I get my blood tested every three months. The PCOS has contributed to weight gain over the years, so yes, I am fat.

Me: “While I’m here… my feet have been super itchy. It’s just like I have ants crawling all over them.”

The assistant doesn’t even bother to look at my feet.

Assistant #1: “That’s because you’re diabetic.”

Me: “No, I’m not. My bloodwork shows that my blood sugars are well within normal range. I’m not even pre-diabetic.”

Assistant #1: “If your feet are itching like that it’s because you’re diabetic and have neuropathy.”

Me: “I just saw my endocrinologist recently and I am not diabetic. All my bloodwork shows that everything is normal except for being severely anemic.”

Assistant #1: “I’ll prescribe a steroid, but you’re diabetic and have neuropathy.”

She prescribes a topical steroid that does absolutely zilch for the itchiness. I end up finding more relief from a medicated powder from the dollar store. My blood work over the next year confirms I’m STILL not diabetic. On top of that, my feet are very ticklish, so I obviously have no neuropathy. On my next mole check a year later, I get [Assistant #2].

She notices the smell of medicated foot powder.

Assistant #2: “Are you having problems with your feet?”

She begins to examine my feet.

Me: “Yes, they itch a lot. [Assistant #1] insisted I have diabetes and neuropathy, but she prescribed something anyway. It didn’t work.”

Assistant #2: “You don’t have diabetes or neuropathy. You have a foot fungus.”

She prescribed a foam and a special powder. Within a week, my itchy feet stopped itching. And according to my endocrinologist, I’m STILL not diabetic.

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Bedside Manner Who?

, , , , , | Healthy | August 30, 2021

For many years, a local doctor was my primary care physician. She was also my pediatrician. I moved out of town a few years ago, but my insulin resistance has gotten worse, so I made the drive back to her because I thought I could trust her with my health. This is how it went.

Doctor: “So, you think you have insulin resistance?”

Me: “Uh, I do have it. It’s because of my PCOS. It was diagnosed a few years back—”

Doctor: “But you’re not on [medication]?

Me: “I thought I wasn’t able to be on any medication for it—”

Doctor: “You’ve been aware of this since seventh grade and you’ve never been on medication?! That’s such a shame; you’ve obviously retained so much weight. You wouldn’t be so overweight if someone had caught this sooner. By the looks of it, your pediatrician should have caught this in elementary school!”

Me: “Um… I was diagnosed here. I was told to just diet, exercise, and manage my PCOS to take care of it.”

Doctor: “Oh, God, it was probably [Other Doctor]. Don’t worry, she’s retired now, so—”

Me: “It was you, actually.”

Doctor: “I never diagnosed you with this. I told you I thought you had it. I didn’t say you actually did.”

I was confused out of my mind.

Me: “Um… Okay, but I do, in fact, have it. I’ve had it for years.” 

An awkward silence fell.

Doctor: “Do you go to the lady doctor? Like a…” *whispers* “…gynecologist?”

Me: “Um, yeah, pretty regularly, for my PCOS.”

Doctor: “Well, she should have prescribed you [medication]! I’ll have to get in contact with her and let her know what she’s done.”

Because it’s totally my OBGYN’s job to treat my insulin resistance. She spent the next few minutes talking about my weight in the most insulting way possible.

Doctor: “It’s so sad you got to be so big!”

Keep in mind, I wear a large. I’m overweight but I’m not exactly the star of “My 600 Pound Life.” She made comments saying she could tell I had insulin resistance by the way I carried all my weight in my “front tire”. Yes, she loved calling my stomach a “front tire”. She pointed out every lump on my body in an “Aw, you poor baby!” kind of way. After all that, she gave me this gem.

Doctor: “Now I need you to go on this diet, but I don’t like calling it a diet! Putting patients on diets can make them feel bad about their bodies!”

Gee, lady, I sure would hate for you to make me self-conscious. Also, she recommended this diet immediately after I told her I was already on the very same diet. I don’t think she believed me.

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