Hopefully You Have A Good Vinyl Collection

, , , , | Healthy | July 15, 2018

(I am allergic to both latex and nitrile, but they’re both relatively new allergies for me, so I don’t think to mention them at first. I need blood taken, so the nurse and I are chatting as she gets the vials ready. As she reaches for the gloves, I notice the box.)

Me: “Oh, sorry. I forgot to say, I’m allergic to both latex and nitrile. Do you have different gloves?”

(The nurse looks at the box, as well.)

Nurse: “These are latex free.”

Me: “I know, but they’re usually nitrile, and I’m allergic to that, too. Do you have vinyl?”

(She grabs a box of vinyl gloves for me.)

Nurse: “Do you know how often I need to wear these? Maybe once a year. They’re horrible! They’re too big, and they feel awful on your hands! I hate them so much!”

(She continued to complain about the gloves as she took my blood. I know vinyl gloves are horrible; I have to wear them for work, too. But I’d also rather not spend the next few hours itching because I got latex or nitrile on my skin!)

A Good Comeback Helps The Medicine Go Down

, , , | Healthy | July 12, 2018

(I am in high school, and for this semester I need to have a physical done so that I can participate in a mandatory PE class. My mom brings me over to the doctor’s office the school recommends, since our regular GP is currently out of town. At this time in my life, I am very active; I regularly go to karate lessons, hike, swim, and go mountain biking. I also take after my mother’s side of the family, who are built very squarish: short, with broad shoulders and hips. After going through all of the questions and tests, we have this gem of a conversation.)

Nurse: “It looks like everything is in order. Just remember that walking from the fridge to the couch is not ‘exercise.’”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Nurse: “Honey, calling it ‘hiking’ doesn’t make it any better for you.” *she turns to my mother* “Especially with that as an example.”

Mom: “I’m sorry; I didn’t realize that judgemental comments were part of the package. We don’t have to pay extra for them, do we?”

(The nurse looked shocked, but we got the paperwork we needed and headed out. We also let the doctor know about his nurse’s behavior.)

When Patients Need Patience

, , , , , , , , | Healthy | July 8, 2018

(I am in the waiting room of an OBGYN office I’ve never been to before. It is the only one in the area that is in my HMO insurance network. It’s late morning; appointments are not meant to be longer than 20 minutes, so I am planning to attend classes afterwards. When I walk in, I’m told that there is an extremely long wait time, even though we all have timed appointments — and are actually meant to be seen at that time. Though every hospital and office in this entire HMO company has a policy that if a patient checks in more than 15 minutes late they lose their appointment, obviously no equal rules have ever applied to providers being penalized for lateness. I have waited an hour already. Another patient, who is waiting for the same doctor, is sitting next to me with her newborn baby.)

Patient: “Oh, yeah. It’s aaaaalways been this way in this office for as long as I’ve been coming here. They’re aaaaalways extremely behind schedule.”

(This is not reassuring; since she’s got a baby, one can assume she’s been a patient with frequent appointments here for at least nine months.)

Patient: “Yeah, that’s why I’ve always made sure to get the very first appointment super-early in the morning. That’s absolutely the only way to get out of here on time. I just couldn’t manage it today. Oh, but don’t worry; I’ll be super-quick with my appointment, only five minutes. So you all won’t have to wait too much longer!”

(It’s nice of her, but we’re all already extremely late, anyway. I’m pretty appalled that a woman with a newborn is being made to wait around like this for well over an hour; luckily, her baby keeps on sleeping. I also wonder, if this office always runs severely late, why don’t they at least warn patients when we make our appointments? Many patients go up to ask the nurses several times what is going on with the excessive wait time. From overhearing them, it becomes clear that at least half a dozen of them are waiting for the same doctor I am, who appears to be the main cause of waiting-room congestion. The nurses seem extremely practiced at politely fobbing us off while giving non-answers about why this is happening or how much longer it’ll be, as well as pretending to be helpless and confused themselves, while giving off the heavy impression that this is actually all “business as usual.” I’m extremely unhappy; there is no end to the wait in sight, and it’s clear I’ll miss my classes. In other circumstances I’d just leave, but I am there because of suspicion of a uterine tumor and absolutely need to have tests done. Most people resign themselves to waiting, except for one young woman, who checked in 20 minutes after me, and keeps on whining to the nurses over and over. After waiting less than an hour, she starts going towards the exit door in showy slow-motion, while she declares extra loudly to the entire room that she’s leaving since she must get back to her job. I feel extremely skeptical of this, as she is dressed very unprofessionally, even by the standards of the most casual minimum-wage job, and has multiple large, prominent facial piercings.)

Nurse: “Oh, no! No, Ms. [Whiny Patient], don’t leave!”

Whiny Patient: “Oh, I absolutely have to get back to work! There’s no way I can stay here any longer!”

Nurse: “If you wait just a moment, I’ll go right away to ask the doctor if she can accommodate you sooner! Just wait right here!”

(The nurse goes inside the medical office, and comes back within two minutes to call the whiny patient in to be seen by the doctor immediately. I am shocked, as I know this girl was in line behind me, and there’s still at least one other person in front of me, as well. I go up to the nurses again.)

Me: “Excuse me, but I believe that young woman who just went in is seeing the same doctor as me, and several other people here.”

Nurse: “Well, yes, she is in with [Doctor].”

Me: “Did you really just call her in ahead of all of us, including those that were here first?!”

Nurse: “Well, yes. You see, she is in a very great hurry to get back to work. So we just had to see her now. [Doctor] did her a favor and managed to squeeze her in sooner.” *without appearing to realize the actual obvious meaning of that sentence*

Me: “Oh, my God, really?! [Doctor] did her a favor and squeezed her in?! What you’re actually saying is you talked Dr. [Doctor] into seeing her sooner, at all of the rest of our expense, without even consulting us! Neither [Doctor] nor any of you lost anything by doing this! You all just chose to steal several other people’s time for your own convenience of not having to explain the reason behind the patient’s appointment cancellation after she’d already showed up and paid for it! Wow, I wish I’d thought of getting up, whining a lot, and loudly threatening to leave; apparently it would have gotten me seen a lot sooner, too!”

(Even besides me, there were very good odds that some of the other patients also had to get to work — no one was even asked. But we all acted like adults and dealt with it instead of making a loud fuss to skip ahead of others in line. The nurse and doctor just decided that since we didn’t throw up a fuss, it automatically meant our time was worthless compared to [Whiny Patient]’s, and could be taken away from us with no notice. [Whiny Patient]’s appointment was not quick in the least. By the time she left, and then they finished with the other patient ahead of me, I was called in a whopping hour and 42 minutes later than my scheduled appointment time. While [Doctor] seemed likable and competent in person — once I finally got to see her — I couldn’t help questioning both her character and her competency in my head through the entire appointment because of the unprofessional mess with the waiting room.  After leaving there, since they’d already ensured I would fully miss all my classes that day, I went straight up a couple of floors in the hospital, to the Member Services department– where they saw me very promptly, even with no appointment — and submitted a complaint face-to-face with a nice, attentive employee who typed up everything I told him. I made sure to tell him every detail, including the 1:40 wait time and the long-time patient who told me that the OBGYN office always operates this way. It’s been several years, and I have never gone back to that office.)


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The “Collapse” Of The Drug Trade

, , , , , , | Healthy | July 4, 2018

(I am working at a retail chain one night. While helping pick up empty pallets around the store, I pass out for no discernible reason, completely losing consciousness and only waking up briefly at the store to EMTs loading me into an ambulance. Strangely, I remember the rest of the events pretty clearly.)

Me: “No, no ambulance. I don’t want to go to the hospital; I don’t have money.”

EMT: “You have to go.”

Me: *trying to sit up and move away* “No, I’m fine. I don’t want to go to the hospital.”

(I lose consciousness again after that and wake up in the actual hospital room to a nurse taking my vitals.)

Me: *still groggy* “Um… Where am I? What happened?”

Nurse: “You’re in the hospital. What drugs did you take?”

Me: “Huh? I’m not on any medicine.”

Nurse: “No, what drugs did you take?”

Me: “None?”

Nurse: “Come on. You’re not in trouble; just tell me what drugs you’re on.”

Me: “I’m not on any drugs!”

(The nurse just gave me side-eye and left at that point, only to return with a doctor a few minutes later.)

Nurse: “Okay, you need to tell us what drugs you’re on.”

Me: *having recovered enough now to be (mostly) sensible* “I told you: I’m not on any drugs! I’m fine; I’d like to go now.”

Nurse: “You can’t leave until you tell us what drugs you’re on. Just tell us what you took and you can go.”

Me: “I’m. Not. On. Drugs. I don’t even know what happened!”

Doctor: “If you tell us what drugs you’re on, we can help you.”

Me: *out of patience* “I’m not on drugs! Why are you not listening?”

(Fortunately, my friend from work came in and did her best to assure the staff that, no, I was not on drugs. They finally ran some tests and let me leave, but I don’t think they ever believed I wasn’t on something. Seriously, I get you have to ask, but there has to be a limit. Plus, you HAVE my blood.)

Birth Control Out Of Control

, , , | Healthy | July 4, 2018

(I live in a small town where everybody knows everybody, and we have one family practice with three or four doctors on staff. When I am 12, I have to go on an antibiotic for two weeks. The nurse tells me what to prepare for, since it is a new medicine.)

Nurse: “You may feel sleepy. You may cough more. You may have diarrhea.”

Me: “Eww!”

Nurse: “Part of the deal, I’m afraid. Do you have any questions?”

Me: “Nope.”

Mother: “No, we’re good to go.”

Nurse: “All right.” *walks is to the lobby* “I hope you feel bet– Oh! Use condoms.”

Mother: “What?!”

Nurse: “Antibiotics can negate birth control. She’ll need to use another contraceptive.”

Me: *bright red and ready to cry* “But… I don’t… I’m not…”

Mother: “She is not sexually active.”

Nurse: “She’s not on the pill?”

Mother: “No! She’s 12!”

Nurse: “You can never be too careful. [Classmate Of Mine] is due to have her first baby in a few weeks, and she’s 13. [My Name] should really start birth control after these antibiotics.”

Mother: “[My Name], are you having sex?”

Me: *mortified* “NO!”

Nurse: “Children lie.”

Mother: “And that’s what she is: a child. She hasn’t even had her first period yet.”

(While I’m waiting for the floor to open up and swallow me whole, the nurse and my mother go back and forth about my nonexistent sex life until one of the doctors comes out.)

Doctor: “What is going on out here?!”

Nurse: “[My Name] is going on antibiotics, so I told her to use condoms for a while.”

Doctor: “I… I don’t even know where to begin with that. Please forgive us Mrs. [Our Last Name], [My Name]. If you have any further questions, please call me directly.”

(The doctor handed my mother her card and mother pulled me out of the office. When we returned a few weeks later to report back about the antibiotics, we learned that the insistent nurse no longer worked there. Obviously, some children do what they want, when they want. But given that boys were still pretty gross to me, I couldn’t imagine needing birth control at that age.)

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