Just Kill Two Livers With One Drink And Make It An Espresso Martini

, , , , , , | Healthy Right | January 18, 2019

(I’m assisting our cardiologist today, rooming patients and doing EKGs and such. One patient comes in with a complaint of palpitations. I do an EKG on him which comes out normal, but there’s something off about this guy — he’s practically bouncing off the walls with nervous energy. The cardiologist goes in to see him and I move on to other patients. About half an hour later, they both come out and the patient leaves. The doctor comes over to me with a look of disbelief.)

Doctor: “That guy drinks eighty ounces of coffee a day. Eighty. Eight-zero.”

Me: “Holy cow. No wonder he was jitterier than a junebug.”

Doctor:And he says he drinks three liters of vodka a week!”

Me: “Oh, my gosh. His poor liver.”

Doctor: “So, obviously, I told him he needs to stop doing that. And you know what he said? He doesn’t want to stop, and he’d rather just take medication for the palpitations!”

Oh, Crimea River

, , , , | Working | January 18, 2019

(My husband and I are visiting an ear-nose-throat doctor for the first time because we’re having allergy problems after moving to a new area. For convenience’s sake, we’ve scheduled ourselves back-to-back and we go in together. I have kept my own last name. It is now the end of our appointments.)

Doctor: “[Last Name]… What nationality is that?”

Me: “It’s Ukrainian.”

Doctor: “Oh, man, you Ukrainians are having a rough time, huh?”

Me: “Oh, yeah, I suppose. But really I’m American.”

Doctor: “So full of strife for so long!”

Me: “Um, yeah, well, we’ve been in America for a very long time — at least three generations, probably longer. I’m really not sure.”

Doctor: “You poor Ukrainians. Tell you what; I’ll only charge you for one appointment today.”

(It was super awkward but hey, free money.)

If You Want To Stay Sick, Just Cough

, , | Healthy | January 18, 2019

(Over the festive season, I had become quite ill for a period of about three-four weeks. I visited my doctor, received medication, and got better; then my partner became ill and I became ill AGAIN three days later and had to go back to my doctor. I visited two different doctors working in the same center. Unfortunately, my visits with them have left me a bit… surprised. On my first visit, my doctor is very young, seems a bit spacey, and is new to this practice. My medical aid receipts show her visits are charged at less than half the rate of your standard doctor’s visit, so I am a bit wary. My previous doctor was INCREDIBLE, but had just emigrated overseas, and this is her new replacement that I was referred to.)

Doctor: “So, what seems to be the problem today?”

Me: “I have [symptoms], but I’m most worried about my cough. I’m coughing to the point that I’m crumpled on the floor, until I can’t breathe, and I’m basically just vomiting air.” *I indicate to my ribs* “It’s so bad that my ribs feel bruised from coughing so hard.”

Doctor: “Hmm… All right, I’m going to prescribe you some antibiotics, and some of this [gastro medicine] for your stomach problem.”

Me: “Wait, what? What stomach problem?”

Doctor: “You pointed to your stomach and said it hurts, so I’m giving you [gastro medicine]!”

Me: “I said my ribs are bruised… from the coughing? My stomach is perfectly fine, but I’m really worried about this cough. It doesn’t feel normal.”

Doctor: “Oh… okay, then. You don’t need this. Instead, I’ll give you this.”

(He highlights the cheapest and most generic brand of cough syrup on the market, that I’ve already finished two of in the days leading up to my visit. The next doctor’s visit is almost two weeks later, with a different doctor in the same center. I’ve bought myself generic over-the-counter cough medicine up until I could visit the doctor again. I wait over half an hour for my appointment, by which time their offices should be closed, before I’m called in. At this stage, my cough has returned, and I have hurt my wrist, as it hurts when I put pressure on it.)

Doctor #2: “How can I help you today?”

Me: *explains all my symptoms again* “—and I appear to have hurt my wrist. It hurts when I apply pressure; I’m worried it might be sprained.”

Doctor #2: “Well, that’s simple. Just don’t apply pressure to it, then!”

Me: “All right? And for my cough? It’s really getting worse, and none of my medicine seems to work.”

Doctor #2: *puts a bottle of a smaller version of the cheapest generic cough medicine on the counter* “You can take this.”

Me: “Um… I’ve had basically four bottles of this in the last three weeks, and it hasn’t worked. I even have a bottle of this in my bag still. Do you not have anything more specialized, for a deep cough like this? My throat is now raw, I still struggle to breathe because it hurts, and my rib area is still bruised.”

Doctor #2: *huge smile* “Nope! It’s just for symptomatic relief, anyway. This will be fine!”

(I’m still sick, my wrist is still injured, and I’m moving on to my fifth bottle of cough syrup. I’m planning on finding a new doctor soon. For those concerned, the cough syrup is very generic, suitable for toddlers, with no codeine or DXM in it.)

What To Do With The Problem Patients

, , | Healthy Right | January 17, 2019

(I am a receptionist for a medical clinic primarily dealing with elderly patients, meaning that they usually need to have everything explained to them slowly and multiple times to fully understand. We have very few patients under 65, and they normally have no problem understanding anything the first time. Or so I thought. This patient calls in after seeing a doctor the previous day.)

Patient: “Hi, I just saw [Doctor] yesterday, and she ordered some labs for me, which I got done, but no one told me what to do next.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry about that. Normally after you have blood work done, the doctor will call you if there are any abnormal results, or we can book another appointment for you to go over those results.”

Patient: “Okay, but no one told me what to do. I’m in pain now.”

Me: “I understand, but those are the options for following up with lab results. Would you like to book another appointment?”

Patient: “Look, no one told me what to do!”

Me: *thinking doctor noted followup instructions in visit notes that I can relay to patient* “Can I get your full name and date of birth?”

(The patient gives info and I pull up their chart. The patient is definitely not elderly.)

Me: “I apologize, I’m just looking at the doctor’s notes really quick.”

Patient: “This is so confusing; nobody told me what to do next! What do I do?”

Me: “I don’t see any followup notes in here. Would you like me to book you another appointment with the doctor to discuss your labs when the results are in?”

Patient: “Fine.”

(I check the schedule, but due to a shortage of doctors, we can’t get him in for two weeks.)

Patient: “This is so frustrating; I’m in pain now!”

Me: “I apologize. Would you like me to just have the doctor call you when the results are in?”

Patient: “This is so ridiculous. No one told me what to do and I’m in pain. What do I do?!”

Me: “We can book you an appointment or I’ll just have to doctor call you; which would you prefer?”

Patient: “I don’t know what to do; nobody told me anything! What do I do?!”

Me: “Sir, I’ve told you your options on what we can do. We can book you an appointment or I can have the doctor call you. What would you like to do?”

Patient: “The doctor didn’t tell me; WHAT DO I DO?!”

Me: “Sir, I’ve told you what your options are, so I guess I’m not understanding what you’re asking me. I can book you a followup appointment or just have the doctor call you.”

(After going back and forth like this for a few more minutes, the patient grudgingly decides to book an appointment. After struggling to find a time that works for him, we finally get it scheduled.)

Patient: “So, what do I do if I don’t understand something the doctor said?”

Me: *at this point frustrated to the point of shaking* “You should probably ask for clarification on something that isn’t clear.”

Patient: “So, if I don’t get something, I should ask the doctor or nurse?”

Me: “Yes, you should ask questions if you don’t understand something.”


Me: *head-desk*


, , , , , | Working | January 15, 2019

There are two walk-in clinics near where I live. One of them has unbearably long wait times; people have had to sit in the waiting room for literal hours before someone is able to see them. The other one is much more convenient, so that’s the one I go to.

One day, I get a really painful bladder infection. I’ve had them before, so I’m very familiar with what they feel like. I wait a few days to see if it will go away on its own with some rest, but it doesn’t. So, I make my way over to the more convenient clinic to get some antibiotics to feel better. Once I get there, I notice that the waiting area is completely blacked out. There’s a sign on the window that says “CLOSED. Sorry for the inconvenience.” I’d be fine if it was just that, but somebody has added to the sign in pencil, “I’m with a hot blonde in the Bahamas.”

Obviously, I’m pretty ticked off, so I go talk to the pharmacists that are still around to ask what’s going on. One of them, looking rather frazzled, tells me that the doctor just left without warning two weeks ago. I have to make my way to the other clinic — about a half-hour walk after a previous half-hour walk just to get to the first clinic — and wait in the waiting room for a literal hour, all while my lower half is on fire, just to get some relief. And to top it off, it’s about 28 C out — for you Americans, that’s 82.4 F.

I feel so sorry for the poor staff that got left behind to deal with that mess.

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