A Breath Of Death Air

, , , | Healthy | December 14, 2017

(I recently got home from an overseas trip. On the flight back I caught a fever and started having stomach issues. A few days later, I had to switch out with my father when driving because I didn’t feel like I could both drive and focus on breathing. I’ve always had asthma, but usually only have had issues when exercising and breathing very cold air. However, this is the second event in around a month where I couldn’t identify a trigger and the breathing problems lasted for a long time. The first time I went to the emergency room, was told it was a panic attack, and was sent home. When things didn’t clear up, I went to the school clinic where they said it was my asthma — not a spasm like I was used to, but inflammation — and gave me medication. Things cleared up. Because it is only a little after New Year’s, my mom doesn’t think our GP can fit us in quickly enough, so we head to an emergency clinic. Our new insurance only allows us to go to one chain in the area, and it’s 30 minutes away. There isn’t a doctor available, so we confirm we are fine with seeing the head nurse. I’m used to journalling some aspects of my health due to things like adult onset allergies, and have written specifics of the start and stop of the symptoms in a notebook, along with details from the other attack. Sometimes I also have difficulty speaking because of my focusing on my breathing.)

Mom: “She’s been having trouble breathing. We were here a couple days ago because she had a stomach bug.”

Nurse: “Can you describe when this started?”

Me: “Um, I noticed I had to focus to breathe. I was really aware of my breathing. It started last night, I guess? Um— I wrote it down, if it’s easier.”

(I hand her the notebook. She looks through it, but she looks skeptical.)

Nurse: “Okay, I know what’s going on here. Honey, you’re having a panic attack.”

Me: “I don’t think it’s a panic attack! It happened before around a month ago. I have asthma—”

Nurse: “The emergency guys thought that was a panic attack, too. Listen, I know you don’t want to hear this, but this is in your brain.”

(This sets me off for multiple reasons, one of which being that I DO have anxiety, but it is controlled and not the kind that results in panic attacks. Another being that I’ve been misdiagnosed with “stress pains” by my father’s urologist, who was checking for kidney stones, when we later found out I had some muscle issues in that area that were easily taken care of with physical therapy. I should also note my mother has been making some comments, but I can’t exactly remember them. She’s mostly worried.)

Me: “But the other doctor said it was asthma! I’ve had people dismiss things like this before! But when it was checked out by someone else they found something! I have anxiety, but I get those! I don’t have this problem!”

Nurse: “So you just keep going to doctors till they say what you want to hear. But I’m telling you, this is a panic attack. You said in your notes that talking is difficult, but you’re talking fine now. You seem fine. You just need to accept this. Maybe call your therapist or psychiatrist.”

(She ended the appointment. I was pretty hysterical once we returned home. I have been well functioning for years and even though I didn’t believe the nurse, she put the idea in my head that I was as well off as I thought. I should also note my mom is of the generation that often writes things off as stress, and seemed to be taking the nurse’s side, or at least playing devil’s advocate, adding to my stress. I blubbered to my mom and eventually my psychiatrist’s hotline. [Psychiatrist] quickly wrote a prescription for anxiety, but was very firm in telling me most of her patients didn’t end up using it and that often having it in their possession helped. She also said that if I felt I needed it to only take half and assess how I felt. Honestly, I didn’t feel any different. Later, my mom apologized that she helped upset me and called our GP. )

Mom: “[Doctor] made an opening for you tomorrow.  Guess what she said, though, when I told her everything that happened?”

Me: “…what?”

Mom: “In her experience asthmatics usually have panic attacks because they can’t f****** breathe.”

(My GP gave me a steroid inhaler and I started breathing better in a few days. I later went to my asthma and allergy doctor and found out I have a new severe allergy to dust mites, something that aggravates asthma. F*** you, nurse.)

A Needling Suspicion They Did That On Purpose

, , | Healthy | December 13, 2017

(The dentist’s assistant has treated me like a child the whole time because I said I have a needle phobia. Important note: I am in therapy for this, and the coping mechanism I learned was to steel myself for it, to watch it. I know most nurses think that it’s better not to watch, but I got the phobia from a bunch of medical students practicing on me at age 10, and not letting me say no or have any control over the situation at all. They practiced until my parents came in and threatened them. Since then, I have needed to prepare and watch.)

Assistant: “So we’re going to give you some numbing, okay, sweetie?”

Me: “Okay. Just tell me when you’re using the needle. I need to know.”

Assistant: “Of course, honey. Now I’m just going to make sure your teeth are squeaky clean for the procedure.”

(She starts using different tools, and I let my mind wander… until I feel a needle pierce my gums. I jump.)

Me: *mumbling because of her hand* “Hey! I told you to tell me!”

Assistant: “Tell you what, sweetie?”

Me: “When you used the needle!”

Assistant: “There’s no needle, silly!”

(I push my tongue against the side. I can also feel it on my lips. This is freaking me out worse than if she had told me.)

Me: “Uh-huh!”

Assistant: “Stop being ridiculous!” *finishes the injection, pulls out the needle* “There. That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

(I started having flashbacks so I couldn’t even respond. I got up and ran into the bathroom, barricading the door. The dental assistant acted confused and surprised and asked me what’s wrong. I didn’t answer her. The dentist ended up rescheduling my appointment, but brushed it off when I told him what she did. I didn’t let her touch me again.)

Smells Like Teenage Dispirit

, , , , , , | Right | December 12, 2017

(I am a customer in a supermarket. There’s a group of five obnoxious teenagers — three girls and two boys — with a middle-aged woman at the checkout. They are being rowdy, and while staying somewhat close to the woman, they’re wandering around the aisle that connects all the checkouts, getting in people’s way, and shooting superior glares and smirks at the people they’re blocking. Most other customers aren’t even TRYING to get past the teenagers, and instead, are going all the way down an aisle and coming up another aisle that takes them closer to a checkout that’s away from the teenagers. The woman the teenagers are with isn’t scolding them, but she looks as though she’s been trying to make them behave but finally decided to stop wasting her breath. She looks very annoyed and VERY embarrassed by their behavior. I place my items on the conveyor belt, then bend down to place my hand-basket in the stack under the overhang of the conveyor belt. Someone had dropped a basket on the floor earlier on, so while I’m putting my basket away, I pick up the other basket, upright it, fold the handles down, then add it to the stack of baskets, as well. One of the teenage girls addresses me.)

Teenage Girl: “Why’d you do that?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Teenage Girl: “Why’d you put it away? It wasn’t your basket.”

Me: “Because I did?”

Teenage Girl: “But why?”

Me: “Because it didn’t take any effort and it was the right thing to do.”

Mother: *loudly*That is how I raised you to be! I don’t know what the f*** happened!” *she waves her hands in exasperation*

Cashiers: *giggling*

(All of the teenagers suddenly looked mortified, shut up, stopped meandering into other people’s way, and stood calmly around the woman they were with.)

We Only Have Chicken Strippers

, , , , | Right | December 11, 2017

(I am working as a front desk attendant when someone calls. Seconds after answering I recognize it as a prank call.)

Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [Restaurant]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, I heard somewhere that after you guys close, there is a burlesque show. Is that true?”

Me: *caught off guard* “Uh… No. Sorry.”

Caller: “Really? Well, there went my weekend.”

Me: “Again, sorry for ruining your weekend.”

Caller: “Man, I love strippers. I could watch them all day and night.”

Me: “Well, that sounds like an expensive habit. You have a good night.”

(I hung up and my coworker standing next to me just died laughing.)

Please Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out

, , , , , , | Right | December 10, 2017

(I’m a cashier. I am watching over the self-checks when one of them decides to act up while saying, “Please take your change,” to a customer. Thankfully, it dispenses the change and receipt like it should, but the customer is laughing.)

Self-Check Machine: “Please Ta-Please Ta-Please Ta-Please Ta-“

Me: “Sorry, but at least it gave you your change and receipt.”

Customer #1: *chuckling* “It’s all right. Besides, these things are more polite than some of the people in here.”

(I laugh as well while I open the machine top cover to reset it.)

Me: “That’s tru—”

(Just then, I hear another customer.)

Customer #2: “How much is this?!”

Me: “I’ll tell you in just a second.”

Customer #2:No! I asked you now! How much is this f****** thing?!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t tell you right this second. Let me get this closed.”

(As I’m standing back up fully and beginning to pull my hand back, [Customer #2] pushes down on the cover, SLAMMING my fingers in between it and the machine. For those who don’t know how that feels, it’s about the same as a car door, particularly as hard as she slammed it.)

Me: *flinging open the cover, biting my lips* “Mmmmmpphhh!”

(Seeing me open up the machine cover again, [Customer #2] huffs.)

Customer #2: “I f****** closed it for you; now you’re reopening it. Fine! I can take a f****** hint, but you will hear from your manager!”

(As she leaves, I close the machine again and head to the watch station, clenching my fingers and using a damp rag to ease the pain. However, I have no idea that [Customer #1] has seen everything until he speaks up.)

Customer #1: “You know what? I’m going to stay here. If a manager does come, I’ll let them know what happened.”

(Sure enough, one of my supervisors approaches, with [Customer #2], while I’m still massaging my fingers.)

Supervisor: “Did you ignore this customer?”

Me: “I was fixing a machine and I told her to wait a moment.”

([Customer #2] opens her mouth to speak but [Customer #1] beats her to it.)

Customer #1: “The machine I was at had frozen up, and he was trying to restart it when she came up asking for price while he still had his head inside of the top part. He politely told her it’d be a moment, and she proceeded to demand it be done at that moment. However, as he was getting ready to close the machine, she slammed the machine down on his fingers.”

(I held out my slightly red fingers to illustrate the point only to notice [Customer #2] turning red.)

Customer #1: “He kept it to himself about how bad it hurt while reopening the cover. That’s when she left.”

Supervisor: *looking at my fingers and then at [Customer #2] pointedly* “What happened?”

Customer #2: “Uh… Um…” *turns red and leaves in a hurry without anything*

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