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Making Your Eyes As Big As Dishes

, , , , | Healthy | February 7, 2022

I finally graduated as a licensed optician this year, and seeing as I have a love for storytelling, of course, I take every chance I get to ask my new coworkers about the weirdest or dumbest customers/patients they’ve encountered. So far, this story I heard from one of the sales assistants absolutely takes the cake, although I do have a close runner-up, as well.

A woman comes in, complaining over something regarding her contact lenses. My coworker asks some general troubleshooting questions: how often do you change your contacts, do you sleep with them, are you cleaning them properly? That last question is where it all goes south.

Patient: “Of course, I clean them, but that cleaner you sold me doesn’t work very well, so I just use dish soap, instead.”

Coworker: *Pauses* “You use what now?”

Patient: “Yeah, dish soap and water. See, the cleaner doesn’t get the contacts clear enough; I still see all blurry when I put them back in. The dish soap makes them much cleaner.”

Coworker: *Absolutely dumbfounded* “You can’t… do that. Your eyes could get really badly damaged from that. Please don’t. You need to use the cleaner that your optician recommended for you.”

Patient: “Well, I still think the dish soap works better.”

Lady, how have you, for your entire life, missed the glaring labels on every single dish soap ever telling you NOT to let it come in contact with your eyes?

At Least They’ll Probably Wear Their Mask

, , , , , | Healthy | January 5, 2022

It’s the middle of the health crisis, and everyone is still on edge about infection control protocols. We assure everyone that we have hospital-level infection control and take it very seriously. I’m the owner dentist, and occasionally, I listen in on calls to ensure patients are being helped. This is a call I listened to.

Office Manager: “Thank you for calling [Dental Office]. How can we help you?”

Patient: “This is [Patient]. I want to know what you guys are doing for infection control. I don’t want to get the [disease].”

Office Manager: “We have eliminated our waiting room, and you wait in your car until your appointment. We also have a strict mask policy until in the dental, as well as a hydrogen peroxide rinse before we work on you.”

Patient: “What about barriers?”

Office Manager: “I’m sorry?”

Patient: “Do you have those plastic plexiglass barriers set up in between the patients?”

Office Manager: “Between each patient chair? No, we don’t—”

Patient:What is wrong with you?! Haven’t you seen how even the grocery stores have those barriers to protect the customers? If I am getting my teeth cleaned, my mouth is completely open! You need to install plastic barriers between the chairs! What if another patient is next to me and has the [disease]? You need to have us separated!”

Office Manager: “[Patient], we have walls. Actual, real walls. All of the chairs are in separate rooms. With walls. And doors. Doors that close.”

Patient: “…”

Office Manager: “[Patient], you have been coming to us for ten years. The layout has never changed…”

Patient: “I still think you should put up the plastic barriers!” *Click*

I have no idea if the patient was just hotly embarrassed or genuinely thought we should replace our solid walls — and enclosed rooms — with plexiglass ones that are open on the tops and sides.

Are You Planning On Putting That Insulin In Your Ear?

, , , , | Healthy | December 27, 2021

I’m in the ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat)  department in the local hospital, waiting for an appointment with many other people. A woman’s name is called; she’s an older woman in a wheelchair, accompanied by her two daughters, who checked in just before me.

A woman with a cane follows them out of the waiting room, which seems odd because I haven’t seen her with them at all.

The nurse asks the woman with the cane if she’s with the patient whose name was called.

Woman: “No, I need insulin. Can you give me insulin?”

Nurse: “No, I’m sorry. We don’t have insulin here. You’d have to go to the ER.”

Woman: “I don’t want to; I’m here. I just need insulin.”

Nurse: “This is the ENT clinic. We don’t have insulin here. You need to go to the ER if you need insulin right now.”

Woman: “It’s too far!”

It’s in another wing of the hospital. If you use a cane, maybe it’s too far.

Woman: “I have an appointment here. I just need insulin.”

Nurse: “We really don’t have any insulin.”

Woman: “If I have to go to the ER to get it, it’ll be your fault I’m late for my appointment!”

Nurse: “Appointment?”

Woman: “Yes, I have an appointment with [Ear Doctor] in twenty minutes!”

She did end up leaving, I assume to go elsewhere for insulin. She wasn’t back by the time my name was called! I’m not sure if she thought the ear doctor is a one-stop-shop for all your medical needs?

Strange Visions Of This Working Out

, , , , | Healthy | December 24, 2021

I work as an optometrist. One of my coworkers snags me when I’m briefly leaving my room.

Coworker: “Hey, can you sign this prescription for me real quick?”

A signature is required in order for the prescription to be valid.

Me: “Yeah, sure thi— Wait. This says [date roughly ten years back].”

Coworker: “Wait, what?”

It’s an easy mistake if you only glance quickly before you print it. He takes back the paper, checks the date again, and heads back to the counter where a man is waiting.

Coworker: “It seems your last exam here was about ten years ago. This prescription is no longer valid. I’m sorry, but—”

Man: *Interrupting* “What do you mean? You can’t know what [the Swedish military] accepts! Just give me the prescription!”

He goes on a rant about how we can’t know, we should just sign it and let him try, etc. I smell a major nuisance, so I head over and get involved in order to spare my poor unprepared coworker.

Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s way out of date. Prescriptions are only valid for a year; there is absolutely no way they will accept this.”

Man: “Well, you don’t know that! They might accept it!”

Me: “Sorry, but no. Someone’s vision can change a lot even in just, say, two years, in terms of what correction they need and how they see with and without glasses. Ten years is way too much for me to sign—”

Man: “It hasn’t changed! You could at least let me try! You don’t know; they might accept it!”

Me: “I can guarantee they won’t. We could still book a new exam for you—”

Man: “But I just did an exam in another shop this summer. My vision hadn’t even changed!”

Okay, genius, then what in the entire world are you doing in OUR shop? Where you haven’t been for roughly ten years, mind you?

Me: “Which shop was that?”

Man: “Well, I don’t remember that! My vision hadn’t changed!”

Me: “Well, there’s no way for us to know that without a new exam. Maybe your best option is to figure out where your last exam was and ask them—”

Man: “Oh, come on. Seriously? Just give it to me! You don’t know if they accept it!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this is no longer legally valid. I can’t sign it. They won’t accept it.”

And this is where the man finally swore under his breath, did a full 180, and stomped out of the shop muttering about how awful we were. I just exchanged incredulous looks of get-a-load-of-this-guy with my equally confused coworkers.

Dude. I may not know the exact rules of the military, but I can guarantee you that the first thing their guidelines say about prescriptions and vision certificates is, “Must be less than a year old.” We are merely saving you from a waste of time.

Also, I am quite proud of my incredible restraint in not pointing out that the last time he did an exam with us, I, now a fully licensed optometrist, was literally still in elementary school. I wonder if that would’ve given him some perspective.

There Is Nothing Like A Nurse

, , , , , , , | Healthy | December 20, 2021

I’m a generally agreeable person but I can tell you that hospital visits generally put people a bit on their bad side. I’m actually amazed at the patience of the nurses and other personnel. I’m writing this during my second trip to the hospital via ER in three weeks.

The first time, I called 911 at 1:00 AM and then called my daughter to lock up my house and take care of my dog. The last thing I remember was blacking out in the ambulance. I was given Propofol, a sedative, and only remember some brief discussion and cutting off my shirt.

I woke about thirty-six hours later, a little disoriented, of course. I had pneumonia. A nurse gave some instructions. Then, a short bit later, another nurse came in to do something… nursey… and then she looked over why I’m there.

Nurse #1: “Oh, you’re the guy!”

Me: “I’m what guy?”

Nurse #1: “Well, I heard there was someone on this side of the ICU that ripped out of his restraints and removed his own breathing tube. Nobody’s ever done that before.”

Me: “I did?”

Nurse #1: “Yes. Apparently, you were ranting about being kidnapped. A doctor talked you down and you passed out again.”

A few days later, I did notice bruises on my hands that had to be caused by my Hulk routine. Over the next few days, though, I found nurses coming to my room and lingering. This seemed strange to me. Then, some nurse trainee (who was probably older than eighteen but looked sixteen or seventeen) was introduced to me. The other nurse left but she stuck around. We made a little small talk, and then I paused so she had the chance to go do her duties.

Trainee: “Can I stay here?”

Me: “Well, I guess. Don’t you have things to do?”

Trainee: “No. They don’t really give me much to do. I’m bored. Can I stay and talk?”

I figured, “Why not?” We chatted a while until she realized she couldn’t stay much longer. She bounced out of the room and down the hallway with a happy goodbye and more energy than I think I could ever muster in my entire life. Next day, one of the senior nurses was in my room and clearly not leaving and talking to me about… whatever.

Me: “Is it slow today?”

Nurse #2: “Yeah, it’s a bit slower than normal for some reason.”

Me: *After a pause* “Are you hiding?”

Nurse #2: *Blushing slightly* “Yes.”

Hospital visit number two, my daughter took me herself through the ER. My breathing capacity was probably a sixth of normal and I was suffering. But I simply cannot let go of my sense of humor.

Nurse #3: *Cheerfully* “How are you tonight?”

Me: “Is that the best question to ask someone in the E.R?”

Nurse #3: “Well, since you put it that way, I guess not.”

Me: “You realize I’m teasing you? It’s a good question. But to answer it properly, I can barely breathe. Otherwise, most of the rest of me is intact.”

I got my comeuppance. The next morning, a nurse come to do something else nursey. Everyone was in masks, so I didn’t recognize her at first.

Nurse #3: “Hi. I’d ask how you’re doing, but someone last night told me I shouldn’t do that.”

When I realized who it was I blushed and laughed. I should mention that the staff at the hospital are all remarkably friendly and wonderful.

Finally, today, I was talking with my nurse. It’s clear I only need one more night here to work with a CPAP machine.

Me: “I think I’m being released tomorrow.”

Nurse #4: “I hope not. I hope you’re here through Monday.”

I was thinking to myself, “Does he really think I need that much treatment? Do they want more money?” So, I just asked:

Me: “Why is that?”

Nurse #4: “You’re an easy patient.”

At that point, through the walls, we heard the terrible wailing of another patient.

Me: “Great. So to get out of here earlier, I just have to be cranky?”

They are all great people… BUT I WANNA GO HOME!