Could Be Better

, | Healthy | October 25, 2017

(I have a chronic illness and find myself going to the office where my GP, the walk-in clinic, and phlebotomy lab are all located. There are two attendants at the front doors that help patients in and out of vehicles and bring wheelchairs. Here in the South, it’s pretty typical for strangers to greet you as you walk past or even ask how you are. “Pretty good,” is the expected answer, no matter what.)

Attendant: “Mornin’. How’re you doing today?”

Me: “Eh. I’m here, aren’t I?”

Attendant: *beat* “Fair enough.”

About To Make A (Dis)Appointment

, , , , | Healthy | October 24, 2017

(My multi-specialty medical office has an audiologist who does hearing tests for patients. I assist the ENT [Ear/Nose/Throat] doctors so I handle calls from his patients, since he doesn’t have his own assistant. One of our phone operators calls me at the nurses’ station with an audiology patient on the other line.)

Operator: “Dr. [Audiologist]’s 4:00 says she’s going to be ten minutes late. Is that okay?”

(We allow a 15-minute window to show up for appointments, and a check of the schedule reveals she’s the last patient of the day.)

Me: “Yes, that’s fine, as long as it’s no more than 15 minutes.”

(The operator relays the message and I go about my day. Later, I realize it’s 4:45 and the patient isn’t showing up as checked in on the schedule. I’m about to call up to the front desk to see if they’ve forgotten to check her in when the receptionist calls me.)

Receptionist: “Hi… did you tell Dr. [Audiologist]’s 4:00 that we’d ‘just work her in’ when she got here? Because she just got here.” *I can practically hear the air quotes*

Me: “I most certainly did not. I said no more than 15 minutes late. She needs to reschedule.”

Receptionist: “Yeah… that’s what I thought. Okay. I’m gonna go talk to [Audiologist]. Bet he’ll say the same thing.”

(He did. When the receptionist politely relayed to the patient that he was unable to stay 45 minutes late to accommodate her, she threw a hissy fit and ranted at our poor receptionist for several minutes before storming out in a snit. Her best line, as the receptionist later conveyed, was that she’d told our phone operator she was “on 50” and he should have known how far away she was. Highway 50 runs from West Sacramento to Maryland…)

Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 12

, | Healthy | October 23, 2017

(This was a few years ago. I have made an appointment with a new GP to give me a contraceptive implant since I keep forgetting to take my pills and I want to be safe. This is my first time at this particular office.)

Doctor: “So I’m just going to numb the area first and then we’ll get the implant in there.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I roll up my sleeve and turn my head away.)

Doctor: “Are you all right?”

Me: “Oh, yeah, I just don’t like watching the needle go in. So I’m gonna look at that wall there.”

Doctor: “All right, then.”

(She then stuck the needle in and lifted the skin of my arm up with the needle as she removed it. When she apologized she attempted to do it again. Both times were quite painful but thankfully the needle didn’t break and the rest of the appointment went fine.)

Doctor: “Again, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened there. Maybe if you didn’t have such tiny arms!”

(Three years later I went to get my implant replaced. This time I got a nurse to do it. She did it completely pain free on the first try. I guess my tiny arms weren’t a problem for the nurse.)

Related:
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 9
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 10
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 11

Making Some Piercing Assumptions

, , , | Healthy | October 23, 2017

(My mother and I are out for lunch on my twentieth birthday. I’ve been wanting to get my navel pierced for a while, so when we pass a tattoo and piercing parlor I go in to check it out. It’s very clean and on the up and up, so Mom offers to pay for the piercing right then and there, and we get it done. Around this same time, I have to go in for an MRI on my right knee to see why it’s hurting so much lately. Mom and I are currently attending the same college, so I’m living at home to save money. Mom drives me to the appointment. She brings her homework and spreads it out all over the table and the surrounding seats, as there are a lot of seats and almost no people.)

Doctor: “[My Last Name]?”

Me: *jumping up* “Right here!”

(Mom begins to pack up her schoolwork.)

Me: *quickly* “Oh, no, that’s fine; you don’t need to come back! Just keep working on your project.”

Mom: *laughs* “I keep forgetting you’re an adult now.”

(I go back with the doctor and, all of a sudden, remember that I’m now pierced.)

Me: “Oh. Oh, jeeze.”

Doctor: “What?”

Me: “Well… see, I know the rules about MRIs and metal, but I just realized that I have a fresh piercing that I can’t take out yet… uh… this is going to be a problem, isn’t it?”

Doctor: “Not if we only scan your knee. May I see it?”

(I lift up my shirt to show him my piercing.)

Doctor: “Are you cleaning it?”

Me: “Twice a day with soap, water, and hydrogen peroxide.”

Doctor: *starts going through his desk* “We get a lot of kids with piercings that they don’t take care of and it can get real ugly, you know.”

Me: “Oh, I know. I got my ears done when I was six. And eight.”

(The doctor gives me a handful of individually wrapped sanitary wipes.)

Doctor: “Here, you can use these to keep the area clean.” *pause* “So, does your mother know about the piercing?”

Me: “What? Oh! Yes; yes, she does. She’s the one who got it for me. I only told her to stay because I didn’t want her to have to pack everything up, that’s all.”

(The doctor looks suspicious.)

Me: “Honest!”

(I change into the hospital gown and the procedure goes well. I get a little more lecturing about how to clean a piercing, and to always make sure to go to a reputable place that uses sterile equipment, before the doctor leads me out. When we’re both in the waiting room, I turn to Mom.)

Me: “Hey, Mom, tell the doctor who bought my navel piercing.”

Mom: “Um… I did?”

(The doctor laughed. Then believed me, and sent me home to await the results.)

Can You Hear The Irony?

, , , , , , | Right | October 23, 2017

(I answer the phone at my mother’s house, and since they have old party-lines in her area from forever ago, whenever the lines get wet from rain or condensation, they sound really static-filled and have a lot of feedback.)

Me: “Hello?”

Lady: *mumble mumble mumble*

Me: “Sorry, I can’t hear you. Can you speak louder?”

Lady: *slightly louder mumble mumble mumble*

Me: “You might have to yell; I really can’t hear you, sorry!”

Lady: “I’M CALLING FROM [TOWN] HEARING CLINIC TO ASK WHEN YOU LAST HAD YOUR HEARING CHECKED?!”

Me: “Never; my hearing is fine, thanks!”

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