Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

, , , , , | Healthy | June 5, 2018

(Shortly before we met, my husband left his job to start a new one, and his insurance lapsed for a month. During this month, he had to get an emergency appendectomy. A year and a half later, we’re down to the last $1,000 of the $10,000 he owes to the hospital. Due to my medical conditions, I’m a stay-at-home wife and mom to my step-kids, so we have had no choice but to stay with my parents during that time. We’re finally able to see the light out of the debt, and the same hospital calls me. This isn’t the first time they’ve called, but the first time I’ve answered.)

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Hello, is this [My Name]? I’m calling to discuss your account with [Hospital]. I see here that you owe $200 for a visit.”

Me: “Yes, I’m aware of that. I had a pretty bad bout with bronchitis, and it didn’t play well with my asthma. I fully intend to pay that $200. But since I’ve been paying you guys $10,000 for my husband’s life-saving operation, we were kind of waiting until that was paid off before paying mine.”

Caller: “Uh… I’m going to send out some financial help paperwork to you, and make a note of this. It was headed to collections, but it’ll put a hold on it for you.”

(I’m not sure if the shock in his voice was because I was intending to pay my debt, or because of how much we had already paid them, but it made me giggle. People can be surprisingly understanding if you explain the situation to them.)

That’s Not Going To Cruci-fix This

, , , , , | Healthy | June 5, 2018

(I work in the dementia section of a senior living community. We have one resident who is known for her paranoid delusions and her visions of a religious nature. When dementia patients express beliefs that diverge from reality — e.g. that their long-dead spouse is waiting for them in the car, that they are the owner of the facility, etc. — it’s rarely helpful to correct their delusion, because it just makes them more agitated. We just try to keep them safe and calm, and redirect their attention if possible. Sometimes it’s not possible, though.)

Resident: “Did you see them?”

Me: “Did I see what, [Resident]?”

Resident: “The babies. They’re all dead. Satan killed them all, and they’re outside my window.”

Me: “No, I didn’t see them. But I wasn’t looking out the window. Say, [Resident], would you like to join the others in the rec room? We’re having a snack and a singalong.”

Resident: “Attack? Why would I attack you?”

Me: “No, a snack.”

Resident: “No snakes!”

Me: “Okay, how about the chapel? Should we go to the chapel? You could pray for the babies.”

Resident: “Yes, the chapel, that’s good. Let’s go to the chapel.”

(We go to the chapel, which has been known to have a calming effect on this resident in the past.)

Me: “Okay, let’s just have a seat and pray.”

Resident: “TOOL OF SATAN!”

(I turn, just in time to duck the three-foot-long, brass crucifix that is being swung towards my head. The resident, a small, frail lady, apparently snatched it from the altar, and is wielding it like a pick-axe, and her face is contorted in a red ball of rage.)

Resident: “Out! Out, you tool of Satan! You have no power here!”

Me: *knowing that saying, “I’m not a tool of Satan,” isn’t going to convince her of anything* “Oh, s***.”

(I turned and ran. My coworkers heard the commotion, and laughed heartily at the sight of a 6’2″, 250-pound man fleeing from a crucifix-wielding woman half my size. For the rest of my time there, one coworker refused to address me as anything but “Tool of Satan.”)

You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine

, , , , , | Healthy | June 4, 2018

(I’m a CNA at a local nursing home. I take care of one elderly gentleman in particular that I’ve developed a very good relationship with. He calls me “Sunshine” because of my sunny demeanor, very blonde hair, and love for yellow scrubs. I am chatting with him one evening when this exchange happens:)

Me: *telling a story* “And my friend said, [My Name], what did you do now?”

Resident: *looks confused* “Sunshine, who is [My Name]?”

Me: *laughing* “[Resident], I’m [My Name].”

Resident: *pondering this for a moment…* “No, you’re not. You’re Sunshine! End of story!”

(It made my day!)

Barking Up The Wrong Vet

, , , , | Healthy | June 1, 2018

(I am working the overnight shift at an emergency veterinary clinic. The phone rings and I answer it:)

Me: “[Clinic]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Caller: “Is this [Other Clinic]?”

Me: “No, ma’am, this is [Clinic].”

Caller: “Okay, so this is [Owner of other clinic’s office]?”

Me: “No, ma’am. That’s [Other Clinic]. This is [Clinic].”

Caller: “Okay, well, I’m right outside your office at the intersection of [Road #1] and [Road #2]. My dog has an emergency.”

Me: “No, ma’am, that is [Other Clinic]. They are closed because it is two am. We’re [Clinic], which is right down the road. Head south on [Road #1] for about two miles until you go under the overpass, then we’re on your right-hand side.”

Caller: “Okay, are you on the left or the right?”

Me: “We’re on the right-hand side, ma’am.”

(Twenty minutes later she calls back.)

Caller: “I went all the way down to the overpass and didn’t see you, so I turned around. Where is your office?”

Me: “You have to go under the overpass before you can see our office. We’ll be on your right-hand side once you pass the freeway.”

Caller: “Okay, I’ll be right there.”

(It took her another thirty minutes to find our clinic. Her pet’s emergency? He needed a nail trim.)

Take My Breath Away…

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 31, 2018

(I’m in the early stages of dating my partner, and one night he falls asleep while we are watching television. It’s the first time he’s ever fallen asleep with me present and I almost immediately notice that he appears to stop breathing in his sleep for LONG periods at a time between heavy snores and gasps for air. It’s so long that it scares me, and I go to wake him up, but his own snort/gasp wakes himself up before I can.)

Me: “Did you know that you stop breathing in your sleep?”

Partner: “What are you talking about? I just snore really loudly is all.”

Me: “YES. It freaked me out.”

(He dismisses my concerns and we go back to watching television. Shortly after, he falls asleep again and I pull out my camera to record this time. It’s the weirdest and most horrifying thing to watch his back and neck muscles strain while he stops breathing for up to 45 seconds at a time — yes, I timed it. He wakes up again, and I’m prepared.)

Me: “You have to watch this. You need to go to the doctor to get this checked out. Of the three minutes I recorded, you didn’t breathe for 170 seconds!”

Partner: *after watching* “That’s probably not good.”

(Two months later, he has just finished doing the at-home sleep assessment which is required before the official sleep study at the hospital. Note that he has complained significantly about the test. He had to wear a device on his face and a band on his chest to check his breathing. They also put an “annoying pulse monitor” on the finger, so he complained that he had too many wires going to too many parts of his body for him to sleep at all during the test. Regardless, he meets with the doctor two days later to discuss the results.)

Partner: “Guess what they found out. I stop breathing in my sleep. We went through a lot of hassle to prove what we already know.”

Me: “Ha! You stop breathing while you sleep? I never would have guessed. I thought that the 30- to 45-second breaks in breath sounds were just your lungs taking a nap.”

Partner: “My record was 82 seconds. Champion!”

Me: “Woohoo! Winner! Some people can’t hold their breath that long when they are trying to.”

Partner: “I can do it in my sleep.”

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