A Message From The Dead

, , , , , | | Healthy | July 18, 2019

My sister was a nurse in the geriatric ward of a hospital. Once, when she was doing the night shift, a patient died in his sleep due to old age. The normal procedure would be to get the bed out of the room on the corridor and someone from pathology would come up and collect it. The problem here was that the patient’s death was noticed around five or six in the morning and pathology had a shift change, so it would take longer as usual for someone to come up.

My sister and the other nurse present were worried that some of the early bird patients would wander the corridor and notice the body, so they decided to move the bed to the nurse’s room. The other nurse went on to respond to a patient’s call and my sister started preparing the morning medications for the patients.

Now, I assume everybody is familiar with rigor mortis? The body getting stiff after death? Well, that’s not a process that happens immediately. It takes some time, sometimes up to two days, until the whole body is stiff.

So, my sister was moving around in the small nurse’s office and preparing the medications, doing what you need to do for that. Occasionally, she would bump into the bed a little bit. Finally, the dead had enough of his disturbed peace and his hand slid out under the blanket, giving my sister a slap right on her backside.

The whole ward was awake after that.

Hair Apparent

, , , , , | | Hopeless | July 16, 2019

(When I am 24 I notice I am losing weight quite rapidly. I’m a six-foot-tall man and was around 250 pounds with shoulder-length hair. I am at 225 when I go to the doctor about my weight loss. After the blood tests, I am diagnosed with a form of leukemia that is treatable without chemo. I still need to go to an oncologist every few months just to make sure everything is going the way it should be. On my third visit to my oncologist, I am back to my original weight. I’ve seen several patients in the waiting room who have been going through chemo. Everyone else there is going through treatments for more severe forms of cancer and dealing with the effects. I am gaining weight with no side effects from my medication, and have kept my long hair. I can’t help but feel bad, like everyone is thinking I’m not the patient. One day, a woman who is around her mid-30s strikes up a conversation with me. She’s skinny, pale, and wearing a bandanna.)

Woman: “I love your hair.”

Me: “Thank you; I try to take care of it.”

Woman: “So, are you waiting for someone?”

Me: *already feeling my face turning red* “Actually, I’m a patient.”

Woman: “Oh, I’m sorry. Have you just started treatment?”

Me: “No, it’s actually been almost a year. I don’t need chemo; I just come in here so [Doctor] can review my blood tests and make sure my blood count is normal.”

(The woman’s eyes begin to well with tears. I’m feeling really bad, so I start to apologize.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to upset you.”

Woman: *raising her hand to shush me* “No, don’t apologize. I’m sorry for making you think that. I’m just glad to see that not everyone has to suffer with such a diagnosis.” *pulls out her phone and shows me some photos* “This was what my hair looked like before my diagnosis.”

(She had long black hair that went down to her hips.)

Woman: “I actually had it all cut off before my treatment and donated it to [Charity that doesn’t charge for wigs]. I was a stylist and loved helping people take care of their hair. Don’t feel bad because you still have your hair; a lot of us actually love it when people don’t have to compromise their health even more.”

(I thanked her for helping me not feel uncomfortable anymore. As we were finishing our conversation, a man and a boy come in and sat next to her — her husband and son. We chatted about how the boy was about to start youth football and how I coached one of the teams. He ended up on my team and we became really good friends. She even invited me and my girlfriend to her cancer-free party.)

Making The Blood Boil

, , , , , | | Healthy | July 13, 2019

(I am at the blood bank. There are two clinics running simultaneously: one for regular blood tests and another for pregnancy-related blood, linked with the midwife clinic next door. Regular clinic patients have to abide by the ticket system. The midwife patients do not.)

Phlebotomist: “Ms. [My Name], just come through here, please.”

(I stand up to go through to the chair behind the curtain, only to be pushed out of the way by a middle-aged woman.)

Woman: “I’ve been waiting over an hour for a simple blood test and that girl has only been waiting five minutes. You will take my blood now.”

Phlebotomist: “Ma’am. You need to get out of that chair. I can’t take your blood here. You need to wait until you’re called by someone on the other side.”

Woman: “I’m not moving! I’m number 27! I’m next to be called!”

Phlebotomist: “Fair enough. When’s your due date? Have you fasted for two hours for your prenatal diabetes test?”

Woman: “What are you on about? I’m not here for a diabetes check! I’m not pregnant.”

Me: “Well, I am. So get out of that chair!”

Woman: “Well, I never!”

Me: “Lady, this is the midwives’ clinic. You’re in the wrong place!”

Woman: “I’ve been waiting over an hour!

Phlebotomist: “Well, you’re going to have to wait longer than that. Security is here to take you away. Come back another day, when you’ve calmed down.”

(She was escorted out and I got my blood done. Her number was called as I left the waiting room.)

Booze On A Budget

, , , , , , , | | Healthy | July 9, 2019

(I recently accompanied my mother to a doctor’s appointment.)

Doctor: “Okay, now, since I’m giving you [medication], no alcohol while you’re taking it.”

Mother: “Question. By ‘no alcohol,’ do you mean ‘no alcohol at all,’ or is it okay to just have one or two drinks with dinner?”

Doctor: “Well, one drink will feel like four.”

Mother: *without missing a beat* “So, I’m just saving money?”


Medical Science Has No Cure For That Condition

, , , | | Healthy | July 7, 2019

I recently joined a social group which runs an indoor football session each week. With it being a regular thing, the guys all know each other, while I am new to the group.

Towards the end of the hour, everyone is getting tired and sweaty, and this tends to make people stop paying attention. One guy attempts to showboat, so when I go in and tackle him, he doesn’t see me and ends up standing awkwardly on my foot and going down. Less Messi, more Suarez…

He starts wailing about how he has badly hurt his foot, and everyone stops and swarms him, asking him if he is okay. Meanwhile, I’m having flashbacks to seven years ago where I received a high ankle sprain from a similar incident.

I end up escorting him to the walk-in clinic across the road from the sports centre, along with his girlfriend. When we get there, I explain the situation to the receptionist, who puts his details into the system. Throughout all of this, he continues to wail about how he is in so much pain from his foot, to the point where he can’t concentrate enough to give information. It should be noted that the social group caters to people with conditions like ADHD for the other guy, and the autistic spectrum for all three of us. It should also be noted that of the three, I actually have technical medical knowledge, so can act as translator for “doctor speak” for the others.

After ninety minutes of waiting, as well as a physical examination and five x-rays, the doctor confirms two things: that there is nothing physically wrong with his foot — he just overextended and put unnecessary pressure on the outside of his foot when he stepped on me — and that this guy is a ”gigantic” hypochondriac, to mine and the girlfriend’s utter amusement. 

The doctor takes it in stride, saying that unfortunately, they don’t have medication to fix the latter, but a bit of ice and elevation will help with the former. Cue the chuckles all round the following week!