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“Trust Your Gut” Has Never Been So Literal

, , , , | Healthy | November 30, 2022

My mom is a tough cookie with an incredibly high pain tolerance. She’s not one to complain about feeling ill unless it’s really bad. I get up one morning to find she’s not at home. I don’t give much thought to it, thinking she’s running an errand, until she calls me.

Mom: “I’m at the doctor’s. I need you to pick me up and take me to the hospital.”

Trying not to panic, I rush over to our local doctor in my car. When I go in, my mom is lying in their small clinic room, pale, sweating, and vomiting. The doctor explains that she came in complaining of severe abdominal cramps. The doctor offers to call ahead to the hospital so that we don’t have to wait in triage. I get my mom into my car and rush her to the hospital. In my (albeit non-expert) opinion, it sounds like her appendix is about to burst.

I rush into the ER and get them to bring mom in using a wheelchair. She’s getting worse by the minute, and I’m trying not to panic as I fill in her details. I call my dad, but he’s at least two hours away for work. Mom gets seen in triage and admitted.

Once we’re in her room, we’re told we need to wait for the doctor. Mom is still vomiting and in agony. The nurses refuse to give her anything without the doctor.

An hour goes by. Two. Three.

I’m frantic. I know that this is an absolute medical emergency, and there is no urgency being shown. The nurses brush me off when I tell them they need to get a doctor immediately.

Eventually, the doctor arrives, giving some bulls*** excuse. My mother is still dry heaving in pain, so I fill him in and say that I think she has appendicitis. He looks at her with little interest and asks if she ate anything weird. (No, we all ate the same things.)

Doctor: “Could it be an ectopic pregnancy?”

Me: “For God’s sake, she’s menopausal and had a hysterectomy two years ago, which is on her d*** chart! It’s her freaking appendix!”

Mom: “Doc, I’ve had two kids, and this is worse than the pain I felt during labour.”

Doctor: “Hmm… I think you may be being a bit dramatic. I’ll give you something for the vomiting and send you for a scan.”

He leaves. Thirty minutes later, the nurse administers the nausea medication, which has no effect, but at least Mom’s given fluids.

It’s another hour-long wait before they’re ready to do the scan and another forty-five minutes for the results. Mom’s pain is worse when the doctor comes back.

Doctor: “I don’t see anything suspicious on the scan, but seeing how much pain you’re in, I think we’ll have to operate and see what’s going on.”

They prep Mom for surgery and wheel her off. At this point, I collapse with worry. My dad has since arrived, so he and I go home, waiting for the hospital to tell us she’s out of surgery. By 7:00 pm, we get called back.

Mom has done a total 180; her colour is back, the vomiting has stopped, and she’s feeling relief despite having just had major abdominal surgery.

Me: “What was wrong?!”

Mom: “The doctor hasn’t told me yet. Guess we’ll find out.”

The doctor walks in about forty-five minutes later, looking sheepish, to say the least.

Doctor: “Ma’am, it turns out you weren’t overreacting. Your appendix managed to twist itself and had become gangrenous. You literally had a gangrenous bowel. There’s nothing more painful. I’ve never seen anything like it. We actually took pictures to show our colleagues.”

My mom was less than impressed with the doctor who had brushed us off. She was back home the next day. Trust your gut, people.

They Got The Lion’s Share Of The Stupidity

, , , , , , , | Right | November 21, 2022

Back in 2011, I went to Africa to volunteer at an animal park. One of the areas I helped out with was a drive-through space with a pride of lions. People could drive their cars through to look at the lions, but there were rules. No cars with soft roofs (i.e., a cloth convertible top) or open roofs. Windows had to be closed at all times. Stick to the path. And so on.

Of course, people would try to break the rules, so a staff member would drive around in a truck to keep an eye on things, and sometimes volunteers would ride along to help look out. Most of it was fairly minor — cracking a window for a camera or trying to drive off the path to get closer to the lions. Except for this:

My volunteer coworker and I were in the backseat of the truck, looking out our respective windows, when suddenly my coworker gasped loudly. The staff member and I turned to look, and she was pointing toward a car that had stopped only a few feet away from the male lion.

They had two windows fully open: one for their camera and the other to DANGLE THEIR BABY OUT THE WINDOW so they could get a photo of the baby and the lion.

The staff member immediately jumped out of the truck and scrambled over to them. He briefly spoke to them. Then, they pulled the kid (and the camera) back inside, closed the windows, and drove off. When he came back, we asked him what he had said to them.

Staff Member: “I just told them that if they didn’t want their baby anymore, I had much kinder ways of getting rid of the kid than offering them up to the lions as food.”

We Must Confess, This Kid Sounds Like A Terror

, , , , , , | Related | October 23, 2022

In the Catholic church, before a child can receive the first communion, they are expected to take part in the “Sacrament of Penance”, aka confession. My sister, being a precocious and bookish child, naturally did her homework first, and when she arrived at the confessional she was ready.

Sister: “Bless me, oh, father, for I have sinned. I have committed adultery, coveted my neighbor’s ox, taken the Lord’s name in vain, and—”

She heard an angry voice from the other side of the confessional screen.

Voice: “What? Whose child are you?”

Sister: “Oh, I’m [Other Girl in her catechism class]”

She never, ever confessed to the lie, even though the blameless accused was spanked for disrespecting the confessional. The eighth circle of Hell is the one that is reserved for liars and frauds.

You Literally Want Her To Phone It In?

, , , , , | Working | October 17, 2022

Some years ago, I managed and operated a recording studio in a larger corporate team for one of the big four consulting firms. At the time, our management team had very little experience in media production, but they also constantly wanted to tell everyone how to do their jobs.

One of our voice artists phoned in, saying she could not make a scheduled session. This was a slight problem as we were chasing a deadline.

Me: “[Boss], we’ll have to manage the deadline with the client as the voice artist will not be able to make the recording session.”

Boss: “This is a problem. We really can’t afford to move the deadline. Do you have any suggestions?”

Me: “Well, not really. If it’s her voice the client wants, they will have to be a little flexible in this instance. It is unfortunately outside of our control.”

Boss: I have an idea! Phone her, then switch your phone to ‘speaker’ mode, and have her read her lines while you just hold your phone close to the microphone and record her. It’s basically the same as her coming into the studio, right?!”

Me: *Blinks*

Since When Is Your Store My Responsibility?

, , , , , , | Working | September 6, 2022

I’m at my local off-licence (liquor store) buying a few bottles. I’m in shorts, a T-shirt, and flops, so I’m very obviously a customer. A rough-looking dude sidles up to me.

Dude: “Hey, you work here?”

Me: “No, mate, just shopping.”

He looks at me suspiciously and then sloooooooowly reaches out an arm, grabs a bottle of cheap spirits, and shoves it into his shirt. He squints at me for a moment, as if to check whether I am going to do anything about it, and then sloooooooooooooowly reaches out and grabs another bottle, stuffs it into his shirt, and saunters out of the door. I pass a real employee.

Me: “That guy just walked out with two bottles.”

Employee: “What? Motherf***er! Well, what were they? You’re going to have to pay for them!”

I didn’t end up paying for them, but the manager wouldn’t let me leave until the police arrived, which took a while. The manager was then shocked when I had him charged for, among other things, gripping my arm and refusing to let me leave and common assault.