Thanks For Injuring Yourself; Come Back Soon!

, , , , , , | Healthy | June 19, 2018

(My family has always been accident-prone, especially my brother and me. When he gets married and they start having a family, I decide to warn my sister-in-law.)

Me: “Are you sure you want to do this? Just so you know, my brother has the Mother’s Curse. ‘May you have children like yourself so you know what it’s like.’”

Sister-In-Law: “Oh, it’s worse than that. I have the Mother’s Curse, too. So it’s doubled!

(Fast forward several years and four kids later. At a family gathering, my sister-in-law explains all of the times in the last year that her children have been in Urgent Care from accidental injuries.)

Sister: *referring to my experience after an injury that required repeated medical interventions* “Well, as long as the ER nurses don’t know you by name, I think you’re doing just fine.”

Sister-In-Law: “Well, they don’t know us by name, but they sort of recognize us now.”

(On a later date, my brother is joking with our father:)

Brother: “Last time we took a kid in, I told the intake nurse, ‘[Family Name], party of six. We have a reservation?’”

(And recently, after a particularly eventful month:)

Brother: “We have our own examination room!”

1 Thumbs
505

This Patient Is Not A Breath Of Fresh Air

, , , , , | Healthy | June 18, 2018

(I work at a large, multi-specialty medical office. Access to the back office is restricted, so patients are guided to their rooms by me or by another nurse after they check in. After their appointment, there are signs showing the patients the way out, but unsurprisingly, many ignore them and get lost. My coworker finds a woman wandering the halls.)

Coworker: “Were you looking for the exit? Let me show you the way.”

Woman: “No, I… I’m here to see the pulmonologist.”

(It turns out the woman had never actually checked in, and had just followed another patient into the back office when they were called back! My coworkers and I wondered if she thought she was just going to stumble upon the pulmonologist waiting for her in one of the rooms!)

1 Thumbs
273

Hopefully That’s The Exception And Not The Rule

, , , , , , | Healthy | June 18, 2018

(I work the night shift in an ER as a doctor.)

Me: “You say you have something stuck up your rectum?”

Patient: “Yep. It’s a flexible rubber ruler.”

Me: “How did it get there?”

Patient: “I intentionally put it there.”

(I’m little surprised, because usually in cases like this they try to make it seem like it happened by accident when it very obviously didn’t.)

Me: “Why did you put it there?”

Patient: “I wanted to see how far it goes. Apparently, it’s deeper than a foot.”

Me: “Okay… Well, we’ll see about having that removed.”

Patient: “Can I have it back when it’s out? My son needs it for school.”

(I feel really bad for that guy’s son.)

1 Thumbs
413

Weak In The Knees

, , , , , | Healthy | June 14, 2018

(I have gone to my general practitioner to get a referral to a specialist for endometriosis. My regular GP is a middle-aged, Singaporean man, but I don’t mind having male doctors for female issues.)

Me: “I’m seeing [Specialist] for endometriosis, and I need a referral.”

GP: “You realise that you’ll have to have surgery to know for sure?”

Me: “Yes, I have a family history.”

GP: “Okay, I just have to make sure that you have a reason to go. Do you have painful periods?”

Me: “Yes, definitely.”

GP: “So, it hurts in your abdomen region? Is it cramping, or other pain?”

Me: “Actually, my knees hurt.”

GP: “Come again?”

Me: “I get pain from my knees up during my period. But it’s worst in my knees.”

GP: “Really?” *chuckles* “All right, just give me a minute to write that referral.”

(I honestly hadn’t realised how weird it was, before that. I did end up having endometriosis — it turned out the knee pain was nerve damage from that.)

1 Thumbs
377

An Ambulatory Emergency

, , , | Healthy | June 12, 2018

(I’m working at the window as a tech in the ER. It’s three am, but pretty busy, and the wait times are very long because we only staff half a dozen nurses and only one doctor at this time. A very impatient woman with a headache comes up to the window several times demanding to know how much longer it will be. Being an ER and not an urgent clinic, we see patients based on how likely they are to die in the waiting room, and we have seen her twice in the last week for her headache, so she has to get in line behind ambulances with broken bones and heart attacks.)

Patient: “How much longer is it going to be?!”

Me: “I’m so sorry, ma’am. Unfortunately, we’ve been getting many ambulances with critical patients in tonight, so it’s going to be a while before you can be seen. We cannot give out exact wait times, as we never know what kind of emergencies we will receive in the interim.”

Patient: “Well, if I go outside and call an ambulance, will it get me seen sooner?”

Me: “Well, no… the charge nurse would have you sent right back here to the triage area. Then we would be calling the police. Calling an ambulance from outside an ER for a medical emergency is against the law and they could arrest you.”

(She walked away from the window in a huff and waited another hour to be seen for the headache she should have seen a primary doctor for after her first visit a week ago. Our doctor gave her no more pain medicine, just a referral identical to two others she had gotten in our ER.)

1 Thumbs
321