Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

The Needling Issue Doesn’t Have To Be

, , , , | Healthy | January 16, 2018

Due to a chronic condition, I needed to have a series of blood tests done, some of which required larger gauge needles than normal. I headed to the hospital closest to my apartment in Tokyo, waited to see the specialist, and got my notes to take to the blood draw lab reception.

The intake nurses were a bit flustered to be treating me, but my Japanese was good enough that I got through the first steps just fine. Then, I headed into the blood test room and the nurse there started telling me that the tests would hurt, the needles are pretty big, etc., and that in Japan, they don’t use skin-numbing cream. I assured her that I’d be fine, but she didn’t believe me and stomped out of the room to find a nurse that spoke English, despite the fact that we had been conversing in Japanese just fine.

I took off my cardigan, and my heavily-tattooed arms were now visible, right when the nurse came back, dragging a young doctor behind her. He looked at me and said to the nurse, “I think she’s okay with needles,” then burst out laughing as the nurse just gawked at me. Turns out I was the first foreign patient she’d ever taken blood from and she was terrified I’d flip out or faint because of the needles.


This story is part of our Japan roundup!

Read the next Japan roundup story!

Read the Japan roundup!

The Bone Isn’t The Only Thing Broken Around Here

, , , , , | Healthy | January 15, 2018

(I fall in my house while holding my two-year-old. As I fall, I turn my body to hold her against the wall so I do not crush her, and as a result, end up with a spiral fracture on my fibula, and a broken and dislocated ankle. When I arrive at the hospital, they try to wrench my ankle back into place but don’t quite align it, so they have to do it again. Of course, this time I know it’s coming, so they decide to use some sort of anesthesia that is meant to make the patient woozy and forget what happened. I’m concerned about whether this will work, and express that concern to the nurse preparing me for the injection.)

Nurse: “Don’t worry; you won’t remember a thing! It probably won’t hurt, either.”

Me: “Can’t you just use this with some actual pain medicine, too?”

(The only pain medicine I’ve received at ALL has been two doses of Fentanyl administered by the paramedics, an hour ago. Fentanyl at the dose I was given lasts 20 minutes, tops.)

Nurse: “Look: you won’t remember, and you won’t feel anything. The only time you might feel something is if I pricked you with a pin, or something!” *he says this as though he’s a genius for thinking of this persuasive argument*

Me: “You mean like the kind of pain I’d feel if someone was moving around my dislocated ankle?!”

(I remembered everything. They also acted like they were doing me a massive favor in keeping me overnight instead of sending me home with three broken bones before surgery the next day. I finally got pain medicine six hours later at the room they begrudgingly gave me, and the call button didn’t work! I had to call my own room phone number with my cell phone and let it ring until a nurse came, because I couldn’t find the nurse’s station phone number!)

Nurses Are Hard-Working Before They Are Nurses

, , , | Learning | December 12, 2017

(I work at a training school for LPNs – the level of nurse below Registered Nurses. One day one of my students is feeling ill, and throws up in the bathroom. After she is finished, she goes to the secretary to explain why she is leaving school early.)

Student: “Hey, I just vomited so I’m going home for the rest of the day.”

Secretary: “I’m sorry to hear that! You go home and feel better. I’ll tell our custodian to take care of the mess.”

Student: “Oh, I already cleaned it up; just tell him he needs to sanitize the handicapped stall really well. I would have done that, too, but didn’t have the supplies for it.”

(The secretary told me later that when she told our custodian what the student had said, he replied, “This is why I love working at a nursing school – easiest job ever!”)

Death By Chocolate Is A Happy Death

, , , , , , | Working | December 11, 2017

It was my great-grandma’s 103rd birthday, and the family had gathered for a small celebration. By that point she had several health problems, including having a breast and a leg amputated because of cancer, having a foot amputated because of adult-onset diabetes, general difficulty with hearing and sight, and a tendency to have her mind wander quite badly. At one point, she seemed to notice the party happening and asked for a piece of cake, which my cousin and I cut and attempted to serve her.

One of the nurses who worked there came rushing out, smacked the plate out of my cousin’s hand, smacked the fork out of mine, and started yelling about how our great-grandma couldn’t have cake; she was diabetic, it might make her sick, etc.  

After a bit of a fight, which left my great-grandma crying, the nurse wheeled her away to her room, told us she could only have one visitor at time in there, and we would have to pack up to start leaving. As everyone was packing up, my cousin and I snuck a piece of cake to our great-grandma’s room and helped her eat it, which made her stop crying and start to smile. As we were leaving, the same nurse caught us and gave us a big ticking off, with the final shot, “You could have killed her.”

She’s 103 already; if she wants cake, she can have cake. If she wants a lap dance and some heroin, she can have that, too. It’s better to die of cake at 103 than to sit in your room by yourself crying on your birthday!

A Pox On Your Assumptions!

, , , , | Working | September 14, 2017

(I’ve always been a naturally skinny girl. When I was 17, I got chickenpox and lost a lot of weight, because they were in my throat. I spent a year after that trying very hard to gain weight, but couldn’t. I am very weak and frail when I go to summer camp. I have a doctor’s note saying I shouldn’t play the games, because they get very rough and I could get hurt. One day, I notice I have a large spot in the back of my throat, resembling a canker sore, so I go to the nurse’s station.)

Me: “Hey, I have a white spot on the back of my throat. It hurts and makes it hard to eat. Do you have anything that can help?”

Nurses: “We have some throat numbing spray. And we can give you some ibuprofen. But we’ve seen this before, and we’re going to monitor you closely now, to make sure you stop throwing up.”

Me: “Excuse me? I’m not throwing up.”

Nurses: “This only happens to girls who are bulimic. You’re too skinny. You need to eat and not throw up.”

Me: “I do eat! I’m only this skinny because of chickenpox! I’m actually trying to gain weight!”

(They wouldn’t believe me, no matter what I said. I’ve never had an eating disorder, and I didn’t like how closely they monitored my eating, because some of the camp food didn’t taste good, but they made me eat more than I wanted to.)