Not At Your Cervix

, , , , , | Healthy | August 8, 2018

(My 26-year-old sister has had problems with endometriosis for five years. She is on medications that she hates, and has thousands of dollars worth of medical bills as a result. She doesn’t want children, and has decided to have her uterus removed, with the support of her therapist, OBGYN, and our family. Because she has never had children, they will have to do the surgery like a C-section, which will have a six-week recovery time, and she cannot take that much time off of work. Her OBGYN recommends her to another doctor who uses robotic-assisted equipment, so she will have a shorter recovery period. She goes to meet with the other OBGYN. The nurse is taking her history, and you can see the judgement on her face. A few minutes later, the OBGYN comes in.)

OB: “I’m not going to try to talk you out of it… Okay, I am. You are very young to have this procedure, and many women who are younger than 30 end up regretting the surgery once it is complete. And you aren’t married; your future husband might want children.”

(He keeps repeating that he isn’t trying to talk her out of it before contradicting himself as he goes on to suggest several other medications — most of which she’s already tried — that caused her to gain weight, suffer severe anxiety and depression, and give her suicidal thoughts. She is extremely sensitive to side effects. Finally, the doctor suggests another medication she hasn’t tried, but has side effects she has suffered before.)

Sister: “No, but I have researched it, and I don’t like the side effects.”

OB: *pointing at nurse* “She’s been on it for eight years, and she’s just fine.”

Mom: “She would rather be an aunt. She has never had any desire to have children, and she is tired of being in pain.”

(It seemed like once he knew my sister had my mother’s approval, he realized he was fighting a losing game. He sighed and gave up, and told us how they would do the procedure, and that they would get in touch with her insurance. Later, my sister told me that she believed the doctor would have flat-out refused to do the surgery if my mother hadn’t been there to back her up, and two weeks after the appointment, she called to check up on what her insurance could do, only to be told they hadn’t even contacted them yet.)

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Severely In Need Of A Cruise

, , , , , | Healthy | August 7, 2018

Patient: “I’ve been waiting for a half hour. I am in severe pain and need treatment urgently!”

Doctor: “I’m sorry about that. I want to get you treated as quickly as possible. Let’s walk over right now to the Physical Therapy department. Chiropractic treatments have worked well for you in the past, and we can set you up for some chiropractic treatments right now.”

Patient: “Oh, no, I can’t do that. I am leaving on a vacation cruise for a month. I’ll call to schedule when I get back.”

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Title Goes He—Pork Chop!

, , , , , | Healthy | August 6, 2018

Doctor: “Did you bring your MRI?”

Patient: “I drove home to get my MRI, and, yes, I got it; but when I was there I was looking in the refrigerator and I saw pork chops, and I started thinking about pork chops for dinner and how great those are going to be! Well, the pork chops forced the MRI out of my mind, and I forgot all about the MRI and left it on the kitchen table!”

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Same Old Tired Story

, , , , , | Healthy | August 6, 2018

(My nurse recounts this story to my father, her coworker, after I wake up from appendix surgery.)

Nurse: “I’m getting her to recovery and expecting her to be out for another few minutes when she suddenly sits up, turns to me, and tells me in the most deadpan voice, ‘Hey, I’m going to throw up now. Sorry,’ and spews. Then she makes a face, lays back down, and falls right back asleep.”

Dad: *snorts* “Funny thing is, sleep-walking and -talking runs in our family. I do it, and my sister does it. It wouldn’t surprise me if my daughter does, too.”

Nurse: “She warned me. Maybe she just woke up for a minute.”

Dad: “She’s a teenager. She hasn’t been awake since she was twelve.”

(And that’s when I ACTUALLY woke up from the surgery and started grumbling about feeling groggy. Either way, I don’t remember puking, or telling the nurse I was going to. And to be fair to my dad, it’s ten years later, and I’m STILL always tired.)

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Will Fight You On This Tooth And Nail

, , , | Healthy | August 5, 2018

(I study dentistry at a dental clinic in France. The dental clinic is split into what we call services: surgery, prosthetics, urgent care, etc. That means that a patient who wants the teeth we remove to be replaced by a prosthesis needs to coordinate his appointments with both services. It’s more complicated than just going to a regular dentist, but in France clinics make you pay exactly what healthcare reimburses, making it free for everyone, apart from “better” acts, like implants. The basic stuff is 100% covered, though, and that’s why poor people come here. Every service is clearly labeled. I have this interaction while working in the surgery service, with a patient who has six teeth left, and NO prosthesis.)

Me: “So, according to your file, we have to remove those three teeth.”

Patient: “But you will replace them, right?”

Me: “It says in your file that you have an appointment in prosthesis; they will take care of it.”

Patient: “But I want you to do it now! It’s in two months!”

(It is rather urgent that his teeth be removed, as they have already become infected in the past.)

Me: “Ah, well, then, we can remove the teeth now, and you can go to your planned appointment. In fact, it’s not that bad; we require about two to three months of healing before we can make a fully-functional prosthesis.”

Patient: “What will I do without my teeth, though? I’d rather stay like this and come back in two months!”

(The teeth we’re talking about are premolars. His front teeth, the incisors, are long gone, as are his back teeth, his molars. The premolars serve no purpose if they’re not surrounded or faced by other teeth.)

Me: “Are you sure? They could get infected again and cause you a lot of pain. They’re of no use to you, you can’t eat with them, and we don’t see them when you smile.”

Patient: “I want to keep them! What would I do without them?”

(I don’t know, the exact same thing you’ve been doing for the past ten years with your six remaining rotten teeth? He ended up leaving and refused any care. Bet he’ll b**** and moan when, in two months, they tell him they can’t do a nice prosthesis for two other months…)

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