That Attitude Doesn’t Have A Leg To Stand On

, , , | Healthy | August 10, 2019

(I am in intensive care recovering from surgery and infection. A nurse is doing her rounds when I ask her if she could pass me the lunch menu, as it was left on a table out of my reach.)

Nurse: “No.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Nurse: “People always think we’re their personal slaves, demanding this and that. The nurses agreed we wouldn’t be tolerating it anymore. You’ve got two legs; you can walk. Get it yourself.”

(I stare at her, confused, and lift my bedsheets revealing my lower half. The nurse’s face drains as she stares at my one remaining leg; I had the other removed two days ago.)

Me: “Believe me, I wish I could…”

(Instead of handing me the menu, she bolted for the door, leaving me to wriggle around for a bit and eventually letting a woman who had just had triple heart bypass surgery get it for me. I never saw the nurse again, but as I left I saw my name on the ward list being wiped off, with “LEG AMPUTATION” in big capital letters.)

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Casting You In A Bad Way

, , | Healthy | January 15, 2019

(When I was younger, I kept breaking my arms and legs. This takes place during that period. I think that I was about six years old. I break my right leg during gym class and go to the hospital with my parents. I go through the whole process of having doctors look disbelievingly at me, because surely my leg couldn’t be broken from such a minor fall; I have extremely brittle bones. However, the x-rays confirm that my leg is indeed broken and that I will need a cast. Right after the nurse has finished putting my cast on:)

Nurse: “All done. You can go to your own doctor in six weeks to have the cast removed.”

Me: *looking at my mum* “Mum, why is it my other leg that hurts?”

(The nurse had put the cast on the wrong leg! I can’t really blame her though. it was pretty late, and she was probably tired and overworked. I was tired, too. That is probably why I didn’t speak up about it being the wrong leg sooner.)

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Can’t Nurse That Gender Stereotype

, , , , | Healthy | January 14, 2019

(In Slovenia, as elsewhere, the schools to become a doctor or a nurse are different; medical faculty to become a doctor and faculty of health sciences to become a nurse and other health-related professions. I am a woman, studying to become a doctor and attending medical faculty, wearing a badge saying so when in a hospital. I can’t explain how much every time I have this conversation stresses me out.)

Patient: *always a male, sees the badge* “Oh, so you are still in school?”

Me: “Oh, yes, I’m close to finishing medicine actually.”

(We usually use “medicine” instead of “medical faculty”.)

Patient: “So you’re going to be a nurse soon?”

(Or:)

Random Person: *after finding out I’m still a student* “So what are you studying?”

Me: “Medicine, close to being done actually!”

Random Person: “Oh, so why do you want to be a nurse?”

(This always happens with men. Never women. It’s happened to me over twenty times already and I hear the same stories from other female students. I usually try to gently correct them and most are genuinely confused, but you can imagine how the conversation continues with those that are convinced women should only be nurses.)

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Scarred By Your Parents

, , , , , | Healthy | February 23, 2018

(I’m a nurse. I’ve been assigned to a young girl who just had emergency surgery to save her life. She has a long incision down her stomach, which will end up as a scar. Her parents come to me about a week after the surgery, but before the wound has closed or the staples have been removed, clearly upset.)

Father: “When are we going to talk about reducing that scar?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but your daughter has barely started to heal. Let’s get her healthy before we worry about appearances.”

Father: “Excuse me? It’s bad enough she has [large birthmark]; now you’re going to add this, too?”

Mother: “What about covering it in Vitamin E oil?”

Me: “Ma’am, right now we’re worried about infections and how well she’s healing. We can talk about—”

Father: “No! You will fix her now!”

(I made up something about talking to the doctor about it and left. I truly pity this child, if that was their concern.)

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You Need The Nurses To Come Back

, , , , | Healthy | February 21, 2018

(My husband is admitted to the local Veterans Administration hospital for heart problems. After hours in the ER, he finally gets a bed on the ward. His nurse comes in to introduce himself, check my husband’s vitals, retake history, and so on.)

Nurse: “Is there anything else I can get for you, sir?”

Me: *knowing what’s coming, I silently plead* “Oh, no… Not again.”

Husband: “Yes. Two weeks vacation, a raise, some sanity, and winning lottery tickets, please.”

Nurse: *dryly* “Sorry, sir. You’ll have to see the Travel and Disbursement clerk for those.”

(My husband has been replying that to ANYONE who asks him if they can get him anything — waitstaff, clerks, medical personnel, etc. — for the entire 30 years I have known him. This is the first time I have heard a really good comeback.)

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