Narcotics By Night

, , , , , | Healthy | February 4, 2019

(The pharmacy where I work is the only 24-hour one in town. We keep all our narcotics in a time-delayed safe that we don’t open at night. The only exception is a few we keep out for hospital patients. One night after 11:00 pm, a lady comes through the drive-thru to drop off a script for one of these medications.)

Me: “We have this in stock and we can have it ready for you around 7:00 am.”

Lady: “I can’t get it now? I’ve been out all day! Can’t you just give me a couple to get me by?”

(I’m thinking, “If you’ve been out all day, why wait until this late at night to get more?”)

Me: “This is in a time-delayed safe, so we can’t fill these at night.”

Lady: “Well, what’s the point in being a full-service, 24-hour pharmacy if you can’t fill prescriptions at night?”

Me: “We can fill most prescriptions at night, but this is in our time-delayed safe which can’t be opened after eight.”

Lady: “I don’t care about anyone else’s prescriptions. This is for me!”

Your Throat Is Fine But Your Brain Is Missing

, , , | Healthy | February 2, 2019

(The office I work in is in a larger building with other medical offices in it. I’m walking in to work one day and see an older lady standing in the intersection of two hallways looking lost. I’m not wearing scrubs or a uniform of any kind, but I must look like I know where I am going because she stops me with this:)

Old Lady: “Where do I go?”

Me: “Which office are you looking for?”

Old Lady: “I don’t know; where do I go?”

Me: “Are you seeing a doctor or having a procedure done?”

Old Lady: *motions to her throat* “They’re scanning this.”

Me: *thinking this narrows down the possibilities to two offices* “Do you know what kind of scan, or the name of the office you need to be at?”

Old Lady: “They just told me to come in door B.” *our building entrances are marked with letters* “Where do I go?”

Me: “Well, I work at [Radiology Clinic], so follow me and we’ll see if your appointment is with us.”

Old Lady: “But where do I go?”

(Her appointment was with us, but for the next day. We were able to squeeze her in. It happens way too often that patients come for scans but have no idea what it’s for or which doctor sent them. I would be able to understand getting lost if the offices in our building weren’t so clearly marked and there weren’t maps at every entrance.)


School Is Not Much Of An Improvement Over Hospital

, , , | Healthy | February 1, 2019

(I’m a nurse in a smallish community hospital. A number of our patients are awaiting placement in long-term care and aren’t acutely ill. However, because they’re living in a germy hospital, they’re inclined to pick up bugs, and older folks with cognitive decline can get intensely confused with any sort of infection. One morning, one of our longtime patients, an older, bedridden lady, starts telling us all that she’s on a couch in a schoolhouse in a completely different small town and she needs to get back to the hospital. She laughs at us when we try to explain that she’s already in the hospital, and has a shouting match with her husband when he comes in and tries, as well. Later in the day, I’m doing some charting at the nursing station and answer a phone call:)

Me: “[Floor], [My Name] speaking.”

Patient: “Oh, hi. I’m just calling to let you know that I’m not there today; I’m at the school in [Town].”

Me: “[Patient], you are here today. I saw you this morning. I helped with your bath.”

Patient: “No, I’m not. I’m in [town], but I thought I should call in case [Husband] is looking for me.”

Me: “[Patient], your husband was in this morning. To the hospital. Where you are. In room [number]. Look. I’ll walk down the hall to your room.”

Patient: *laughs* “Okay, you do that; I won’t be there, though.”

(I walk down the hall, while talking to the patient on the cordless extension, and into her room. She sees me and continues talking over the phone to me.)

Patient: “Oh, a girl’s here now!”

Me: *hangs up* “[Patient], that’s me; you were just talking to me.”

Patient: *keeps talking into the phone* “See, I’m in [Town] and I need to get back to the hospital!”

(I gave up; she would not be reoriented. Later, I answered a call from our switchboard, who patched through 911. The patient had called them to ask to be returned to the hospital. I had to go back to her room to talk to the 911 dispatch on her phone and cancel the request. Then I disconnected her phone. This patient is recovered and quite lucid once more.)

Time To Tell Them The Hard, Black Truth

, , , , , , | Healthy | January 31, 2019

(My flatmate has been seeing a doctor for heart palpitations and has had to do a number of things to troubleshoot it, including wearing a portable heart monitor. One evening we are hanging out in the kitchen.)

Me: “Didn’t the cardiologist say you have to cut down on caffeine?”

Flatmate: “Yeah, so I stopped drinking coffee.”

Me: “How many cups of black tea have you had today already, though?”

Flatmate: “Six. Why?”

A Blue Eye For A Broken Tooth

, , , , , | Healthy | January 25, 2019

(This happened a few years back. Two of my teeth had cracked and gone completely rotten and required removal. I was put under anesthetic and had the operation. Just after I woke up…)

Me: *pokes holes in mouth* “What… What? Where’re my teeth?”

Nurse: “You just had an operation to remove them.”

Me: *pokes mouth* “What? No… No, I didn’t. I was shopping… Yeah…”

(A bit of a pause. To check my jaw, she makes me bite a bit of cotton.)

Me: “I want my teeth back, please.”

Nurse: “Don’t worry; we have them in a little packet.”


Nurse: “I’m afraid that’s impossible. They’re all broken.”

Me: “PUT THEM BACK!” *sits up, throws the cotton at the wall, and then starts crying for no particular reason* “They were killed too soon!”

Nurse: “Don’t worry; they went out bravely.”

Me: “Yeah… The funeral will be so sad… They were so brave! Rest in shade… No… peas… peace!”

(I look at the nurse.)

Me: “Your eyes… Why are they blue? How does it work? They are very blue. Did anyone ever say your eyes are blue? Why are they blue?”

(I don’t remember any of this, but my dad was there and told me the whole thing once the anesthetic wore off. I felt so mortified!)

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