Some Patients Can Be An Arm-ful

, , , , , , | Healthy | April 5, 2018

(My mum told me about this, as I have little memory of it. I had a fall a few weeks ago where I dislocated and fractured my ankle, broke the leg, and tore the ligament. Now, I’m in hospital for day surgery in which I’ve had some pins removed from my ankle. I get wheeled into recovery. My mum and her best friend are waiting next to my bed while I wake up properly. The nurses are doing vitals checks every 10 to 15 minutes. At this stage, I’m facing mum and her friend, and I’m still fairly groggy, so this intrusion of my sleep is starting to annoy me.)

Nurse: “Hello again. Sorry to wake you, but can I get your arm please, [My Name]?”

Me: “Ugh, fiiiiine.”

(The nurse checks my blood pressure.)

Nurse: “All righty, all done.”

(The next time the nurse starts to come over, my mum tells me:)

Mum: “Love, the nurse is coming over.”

Me: “Please excuse my back.” *turns over as the nurse approaches and raises my arm up* “Just take the arm.”

Nurse: “I’m sorry, what?”

Me: “Take my arm back with you to do checks so I can sleep.”

(My mum, her friend, and the nurse laugh.)

Nurse: “I’m sorry, hun; I can’t do that. We’d end up with so many arms at the nurses’ station, it would become inconvenient for everyone, especially those who the arms belong to.”

(I was discharged a couple hours later. I know checking vitals is very important, but at the time sleep was way more important.)

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Has No Heart For Others

, , , , , | Healthy | March 30, 2018

(My cousin is sitting in the reception area, waiting for his appointment with the doctor, when a gentleman who is also waiting suddenly has a heart attack. The receptionist screams for help, all the doctors come running, and while they are busy administering CPR, the receptionist calls for an ambulance. The receptionist then prepares to go outside, to guide the paramedics to the right location when they arrive. My cousin, along with all the other patients in the waiting area, keep out of the way to allow the doctors to work on the gentleman… all except one patient, who arrived in the midst of all the chaos, hasn’t registered what is going on — or simply doesn’t care — and is therefore standing at the reception desk, huffing in indignation.)

Patient: “Well, really! Where do you think you’re going? I have an appointment! And I’m in a hurry, so I expect to be seen on time.”

Receptionist: *looks pointedly down at the floor, where the doctors were still administering CPR* “Well, I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m afraid all the doctors are a bit busy right now, TRYING TO SAVE THIS GENTLEMAN’S LIFE!”

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Walk In-Sane

, , , , , , | Healthy | March 24, 2018

(I’m a patient sitting in the waiting room of a walk-in clinic. Although I try not to, I overhear the following conversation, as the patient is being extremely loud.)

Patient: “I want to see [Doctor].”

Receptionist: “I’ll see if I can get her for you, but if it’s urgent, we try to send patients in to doctors as they become available, and [Doctor] will be off the clock in twenty minutes. You’ll probably be waiting longer than that.”

Patient: “My friend told me [Doctor] is the best one, and I came on a Thursday because he said she works on Thursdays!”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry you were inconvenienced, ma’am. In future, if it’s urgent, please come in right away. All our doctors are fully qualified to help you.”

Patient: “Well, what about next Thursday? Will she be in, then?”

Receptionist: “Again, if you come late in the day, she may not be able to help you.”

Patient: “I can’t come any earlier! I’m at work until five, and I’m sure as hell not going to take time off if you can’t guarantee that I’ll even get to see the right doctor! This is absolutely ridiculous! I’m coming in next Thursday at 5:30, and I expect to see [Doctor]!”

Receptionist: “Ma’am, it doesn’t work like that.”

Patient: “Well, why the hell not?!”

Receptionist: “Because asking to see a specific doctor at a specific time is called an appointment, and this is a walk-in clinic.”

Patient: *glares at the receptionist, crumples up her sign-in sheet, and stalks out the door*

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Allergic To Common Sense, Part 13

, , , , | Healthy | March 23, 2018

(I work in a hospital in a mid-sized city as a CNA. We like to refer to our dietary service as “Room Service” for some reason. A patient hits the call light.)

Patient: “I need to talk to you about my diet. Room service won’t let me order hardly anything on the menu.”

(I call down to room service. Apparently, the patient has eggs listed on her allergies in her chart, so naturally, they won’t allow her to order anything with eggs in it. This is kind of a problem at breakfast time. I head back into the room.)

Me: “It seems that our dietary department has eggs listed as one your allergies.”

Patient: *deep sigh* “No, I’m not allergic to eggs. I’m allergic to egg yolks.”

Me: *with a look of confusion on my face* “Um, I’ve never heard of that. What happens when you eat egg yolks?”

Patient: “They make me gag, but I can eat scrambled eggs with no problem. As long as they’re mixed in, they don’t bother me.”

Me: “I don’t think that’s an allergy; I think you just don’t like runny yolks.”

(It took me a full four hours of bugging the nurse and the doctor to change this woman’s diet, because this woman in her sixties didn’t know the difference between allergies and foods she doesn’t like.)

Allergic To Common Sense, Part 12
Allergic To Common Sense, Part 11
Allergic To Common Sense, Part 10

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Pregnant With A New Perspective

, , , , | Healthy | March 21, 2018

(I have been sent to the radiology department within the ER for an urgent chest x-ray. When the technician asks me if it is possible I am pregnant, I have a mental glitch — I have a language-based learning disability — and my brain takes a good 30 seconds to interpret the question. Since I hesitated, the technician turfs me back to Family Medicine for a pregnancy test. I am upset at having to spend longer in the hospital while sick, as well as the effort to walk across the hospital and back. The nurse administering the test is also upset for having her work interrupted for the test.)

Me: “I tried telling him I would have to have the gestation of an elephant to still be pregnant two years after last having sex.”

Nurse: *annoyed, slamming objects as the test is performed* “Yes, you couldn’t even be on ‘I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant’ [reality TV show] by this point.”

Me: “And he’s going to throw me in the back of the line, so I’ll wait all over again. I’m on bed rest. I just want to be — and should be — at home, but we have to go through this! So, I took 30 seconds to answer the question, but I answered it! I don’t know why he just didn’t believe my disability.”

Nurse: *still annoyed* “Belief in your honesty has nothing to do with it. He wouldn’t be allowed to interpret; the policy is that anything other than a ‘quick no’ has to be investigated.”

(I pause for a moment as this sinks in. My tone becomes lower and calmer, and my speech slows as this new perspective hits me.)

Me: “I hadn’t thought of that. That makes sense. While he wouldn’t have any reason to believe I’m lying, he also has no ability to know if I am telling the truth, since my disability isn’t on the test request. He probably gets women who hesitate because they are in denial. This policy may annoy a lot, but probably saves a few zygotes from harm.”

(The nurse stops what she is doing for a moment in thought.)

Nurse: *obviously calmer* “Yeah, the policy probably does save those precious few.”

(We’re silent for the rest of the test, but the tension in the air around us has dissipated. The test is negative, and she signs a slip for me to take back to the x-ray technician. I take it and smile at her.)

Me: “Thank you. And I’m sorry about the interruption. I hope you can get back into your rhythm easily.”

Nurse: “Thanks, and I hope they manage to rush you through, and get you back to bed. Feel better!”

(It is amazing the difference perspective can make! And, while the technician had another patient when I arrived, he took me next, and even defended me when people complained I had jumped the line. [“She waited in line before, so she doesn’t have to wait now!”] I got upset for nothing — except the exhausting trek through the hospital!)

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