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Their Attitude Stinks

Pharmacy | Right | November 14, 2014


(An order comes to my pharmacy for a well-known antibiotic. This antibiotic is known to smell exactly like rotten eggs, so most of us just hold our breath while we count it and try not to think about it too much. We dispense it to a woman who is picking it up for her teenage son. Everything is normal and she leaves with the prescription, but about 10 minutes later she comes stomping back into the pharmacy, pretty much shoves the person that I am currently helping out of the way, and throws the bottle of medication on the counter.)

Customer: “I want to speak to your manager right now! You guys gave me rotten medication!”

Me: “Really? Let me look at the expiration date on your bottle. Normally we don’t keep anything that has one less than a year away.”

(I look at the bottle and see that the pharmacist wrote a date of over a year away, and I go over to our stock bottle and check and the numbers correspond with each other.)

Me: “Hmm. Well, ma’am, it doesn’t look like this medication is expired but I will have the phar—”

Customer: “You are just lying! I mean, come on and open that bottle! It smells totally rotten! I can’t believe that you would ever give someone bad medication! My son is very very ill!”

Me: “Oh, that’s just because the active chemical that is in this medication has a bad smell. Trust me, I wish there was something that we could do about it back here, too. Most of us hold our breath while we count it.”

Customer: “Stop ****** lying to me. You just don’t want to admit you did something wrong! I will have your job for this, b****!

(At this point the pharmacist who has been listening the whole time walks over.)

Pharmacist: “Ma’am, while I don’t like the fact that you are calling my staff names like that I will let you know two things. One is, certain chemicals have a bad smell. It’s just a fact of life. So, while I know that smell is unpleasant, it’s just one of those side effects that come with being able to take medications that will help your sick son. I assure you it’s supposed to smell that bad. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t work right. Two, since you don’t seem to want to listen to my employees and call them awful names, this will be the last time that you or any members of your family can shop or fill any type of medication here. Maybe in the future you can learn how to treat people the way you want to be treated.”

(The woman proceeded to turn bright red with embarrassment and tried to apologize, but my boss wouldn’t hear it. That was almost two years ago and he still will not allow her or her family to fill their prescriptions at his pharmacy.)

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Old 12-16-2019   #241
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She’s Not Being Very Hip

Aunts & Uncles, Health & Body, home, Non-Dialogue, Pennsylvania, USA | Healthy | December 2, 2019


My great aunt gets a call from a friend asking her if she wants to go grocery shopping at a popular bulk warehouse store and my aunt agrees. When her friend gets to the house, my aunt goes outside and slips on some ice in the driveway; she hits her hip hard and can no longer stand up. She refuses to call an ambulance, and two of her neighbors manage to get her into her friend’s car.

My aunt’s friend asks if she wants to go to the doctor right away but my aunt responds, “No, you came to go to the store so we might as well do that first.” So, her friend goes grocery shopping while my aunt stays in the car with a broken hip. Afterward, the friend insists my aunt go to a doctor. Instead of going to the emergency room, my aunt insists on going to a faster care doctor’s office.

They pull into the parking lot and my aunt’s friend explains the situation. A doctor comes out and tells my aunt they have no way to get her out of the car — she is somewhat of a larger lady — and that she really needs to go to the ER. My aunt complains. Finally, the doctor says, “Ma’am, you’ve broken your hip. This is something outside of our control. We can help you if you need something minor, but you are going to need surgery; you need to leave and go get the care you need.”

She finally agrees to go to the ER and she ends up having quite the lengthy recovery process because she is just as difficult in her physical therapy appointments.
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When You Are Bugged To Go To The Doctor

Bizarre, California, Doctor/Physician, Medical Office, Non-Dialogue, Pets & Animals, USA | Healthy | November 27, 2019


When I’m in high school, I come down with a bad fever and my mother takes me to the doctor. I’m still seeing a pediatrician at this point. The building the office is in is undergoing construction.

Pretty soon I’m in the examination room, my mom sitting to the side. The doctor is a young woman, wearing a gauzy green sweater and some light gold jewelry. I notice a very shiny, pretty brooch shaped like a scarab pinned to her sweater.

She leans in with the tongue depressor, and as I watch in horror, the “brooch” sticks out a barbed leg and starts crawling up her shoulder! I scream and throw myself back.

“Are you okay?” asks the doctor. She thinks I’m scared of the tongue depressor.

“There’s a huge bug on you!” I yell.

This sets the doctor off. She shrieks, drops the tongue depressor, and starts frantically trying to brush the bug off her sweater. In the process, she breaks her necklace, sending bits of golden chain flying across the room. Part of it hits me and I think it’s the bug, so I scream again and the cycle begins anew.

Eventually, the doctor calms down a little, but we’re still trying to find the bug. She turns around and I spot it on her shoulder and yell, “It’s still there!” This time she holds still and my mom gets it off her with a tissue and squishes it in the garbage can.

Once everyone’s calmed down, Mom comments that she should have saved it, or at least not crushed it, since it was actually very pretty. She thought I was having a hallucination until she saw it herself! We figure it got in from all the construction downstairs. The rest of the appointment goes fine, though the doctor and I are a bit shaken up; my mom is pretty level-headed.

When we check out, the nurse at the desk asks what happened. We tell her and she laughs and says, “We get a lot of screaming in this office, but usually it’s not from the doctors!”
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Old 12-16-2019   #243
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Right Bad Back At Ya

Bizarre, Canada, Funny Names, Hospital, New Brunswick, Nurses | Healthy | November 23, 2019


(I am in the waiting room of a hospital waiting for a scan to check out my back injury. For the purposes of this story, let’s just say that my name is John Smith. The nurse calls me in for my scan.)

Nurse: “All right, just jump up onto the table.”

Me: “Umm… sorry, I can’t do that.”

Nurse: “We can’t do the scan if you don’t get on the table.”

Me: “But… I can barely move. How do you expect me to jump onto a table?”

Nurse: “Sure, you can.”

Me: “I don’t think you understand. I am physically unable to get up onto the table due to a back injury.”

Nurse: “You don’t have a back injury.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure I would know why I’m at the hospital.”

Nurse: “Your name is John Smith, right?”

Me: “Yes.”

Nurse: “And your date of birth is [date]?”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

(A patient in the waiting room speaks up.)

Patient: “Sorry to interrupt, but I think you might have us confused.”

Nurse: “Your name is John Smith?”

Patient: “Yep.”

Nurse: “And I suppose your date of birth is also [date].”

Patient: “Yes.”

Nurse: “And you’re here for a scan?”

Patient: “Yes, I am.”

Nurse: “Well, this is an interesting coincidence.”

(She looks down at her computer.)

Nurse: “Ah, I see the problem. There are two different people named John Smith with the same birthday, who just happened to both have appointments for a scan within the same hour. I was looking for John M. Smith.”

Patient: “That’s me!”

(The nurse apologized and I got my scan not long after. It was a confusing few minutes, but at least I got a good story out of it!)
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Old 12-16-2019   #244
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Operating Under Confusion

Children, Extra Stupid, Hospital, Nevada, Parents/Guardians, USA | Healthy | November 20, 2019


(I work for a pediatric dental practice. We are currently at our surgical center where kids get put to sleep so we can do all of the work necessary. There’s loads of paperwork, normal doctor check-ups, and numerous confirmations that patients’ parents need to go through before we see them. We have a two-year-old girl that needs work on every single tooth; she’s been on our waitlist for surgery for two months. We are about to bring her back to the OR.)

Nurse: “Okay, sweetheart, time to say bye to Mommy.”

Mom: *looking so confused* “Wait, why is she saying bye?”

Nurse: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you aren’t allowed into the OR for sterilization purposes.”

Mom: “But how is she supposed to fall asleep without me reading her a story?”

Nurse: “The anesthesiologist–”

Mom: “The what?!”
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Old 12-16-2019   #245
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Diagnosed With Not Quite Surgical Precision

Doctor/Physician, Ignoring & Inattentive, Medical Office, USA, Utah | Healthy | November 17, 2019


(In college, I start getting severe fatigue; I am sleeping ten hours a night, getting an hour or two nap each day, and still feeling exhausted all the time. I go to the student health center where they do some blood tests and diagnose me with hypothyroidism, where my thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormone. I am given a prescription for the generic of a synthetic thyroid hormone, and things improve drastically for several months. But after I have my prescription filled at a different pharmacy, I start having different symptoms: anxiety, feeling jittery all the time, being unreasonably cold, etc. I go back to the health center where they run more blood tests. This is what happens at the followup appointment when those blood test results come back.)

Doctor: “So, your thyroid hormone levels are much too high. You have hyperthyroidism.” *goes into treatment options, which basically boil down to either radiation to kill off part of my thyroid or surgery to remove part of it*

Me: “Okay. Well, before we start talking about surgery, don’t you think we should try reducing my [medication] dosage?”

Doctor: *stares at me for a second, then reads my chart more carefully* “Ah. Yes, yes, we should probably try that first.”

(A DIFFERENT doctor in the health center was able to explain that I’m in a small group of people that are sufficiently sensitive to thyroid hormone that the different levels in different generic brands can act like a completely different dosage, meaning that I need to be on the name brand to ensure my dosage stays constant. We put me on the name brand and I didn’t have any more problems, and I never saw the other doctor again.)
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Conversational Heart Failure

Jerk, Medical Office, Pennsylvania, Reception, USA |
Healthy | November 15, 2019

(I have myriad medical issues which give me some bother. I have an appointment with my primary care doctor. This office knows about all of my conditions. I get to the building and ride the elevator to the fourth floor. I get into the office and go to the check-in desk. There are two office workers there. One I know; the other I don’t. The worker who I don’t know goes to check me in and sees I’m breathing quite heavily.)

Worker: “Walk the steps today?”

Me: “No. I have congestive heart failure.”

(The worker couldn’t get her foot out of her mouth, it was wedged in so deeply. The other worker, the one I knew, just burst out laughing so hard that she spit out part of her sandwich. I did let the first worker off the hook and said I didn’t care what she said. I was not offended at all. It was just too funny.)
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Old 12-16-2019   #247
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Can’t Equate Numbers To Notes

Connecticut, High School, Jerk, Schoolmates, USA | Healthy | November 13, 2019


(My high school chemistry teacher is a very stern, organized lady. One of my friends is very bright but not organized at all, and he hates the very structured reports we have to make of our chemistry labs. He is constantly getting points off for one detail or another. One facet of these reports is that they are required to have two columns: one for equations and one for long-form notes. One lab, my friend and I are partnered and he actually is trying to do his report properly. The chemistry teacher comes to look over our work and taps his chemistry notebook disapprovingly.)

Teacher: “You haven’t labeled these columns; how am I supposed to know which is equations and which is notes?”

Friend: “See the one with numbers in it? That’s the equations column.”

(My friend immediately looked horrified with himself. He and the teacher just stared at each other for a long moment, and then she finally just huffed and moved on to the next group. I do realize that such labels are probably useful in a real laboratory, but to be fair to my friend, the teacher did sort of set herself up for that!)
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Old 12-16-2019   #248
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One Ring To Rue Them All

Bad Behavior, Doctor/Physician, Pharmacy, USA | Healthy | November 13, 2019


My mom has an accident at work and spills boiling water directly on her hand, badly burning several of her fingers, one of which happens to be the finger she wears her wedding ring on. Her boss drives her to a nearby pharmacy clinic where she is seen by the on-call doctor.

At this point, her fingers have swelled a lot, locking her wedding ring on her finger and causing painful constriction. It’s clear that the ring needs to be removed. My mother is assuming they will cut the ring off of her finger, which she is sad about, but at this point, she’s much more concerned about relieving the intense pain she is in. The doctor comes into the room and quickly examines her hand, saying, “What a beautiful ring! It would be such a shame to damage it by cutting it off!”

He then proceeds to forcibly yank the ring off of her finger past the swelling, putting my mother in even more pain and tearing open the blisters that have started to form.

She has since healed and is relieved to be able to wear her ring again and not need to pay to have it fixed, but she isn’t sure it was worth all of the pain and the extra time it took to recover due to the blisters being torn.
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Old 12-16-2019   #249
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A Shot Of Ignorance

Doctor/Physician, Hospital, Jerk, Patients, The Netherlands | Healthy | November 11, 2019


(One evening, I get the call every person with an elderly relative fears: my 90+ grandma has fallen down and can’t get up. Luckily, she ended up next to the phone; she actually tripped as she was walking over to it because it was ringing. Since everyone else in our small family is either on vacation, not on speaking terms with Grandma, or living in a nursing home on the other side of town and not in possession of a driving license — or their full mental faculties — I am the only one who can help her out. I race over, hoping it’s just a case of having to help her up because she is in an awkward position, but as soon as I walk in the door and see the unnatural angle of her leg, I know we have a fracture on our hands and have to go to the hospital. We end up in an examination room at the ER, waiting for either the x-ray nurse or the neurologist, whoever shows up first. The neurologist has been called because Grandma hit her head on the stone windowsill when she fell, which caused a small wound and a bit of blood. That wound is the cause of the following conversation with a very chipper ER doctor.)

Doctor: “Well, Mrs. [Grandma], I know you’re waiting for the x-ray nurse and the neurologist, but I’m neither; I’m just here to give you a little tetanus shot.”

(My grandma is neither stupid nor suffering from dementia, but she has never had more than an elementary-school education, and apparently, she never learned what a tetanus shot is, leading to this little gem

Grandma: “A tetanus shot? What is that for?”

Doctor: “Well, ma’am, that’s for what we call ‘street dirt’–“

Grandma: *interrupting indignantly* “Street dirt? I fell inside my own home!”

(She sounds like she thinks what the doctor said is the most ridiculous thing she’s ever heard, and he and I simply couldn’t contain our laughter. The doctor gives a brief explanation of what a tetanus shot is for, but too brief, apparently, because as soon as he is out the door…)

Grandma: “[My Name], what was all that about? I don’t get it. My house is clean!”

(I gave her a much more expansive explanation of germs, and why even her nice clean house wasn’t free of them. She was pretty horrified, but finding out her femur was broken soon took precedence. She could laugh about it later, though, when I mimicked her indignant tone. She almost sounded insulted at being associated with any kind of dirt.)
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Old 12-16-2019   #250
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Mothers Are Fighters

Awesome Workers, Hospital, Inspirational, New York, Non-Dialogue, USA | Healthy | November 10, 2019


Two years ago, I was admitted into the hospital for seven weeks via the ER. In good weather, the hospital is roughly an hour away. My boys were three and eight at the time and I had been a stay-at-home mom for most of their lives. My parents stepped up and helped keep the kids on a regular pattern of school, therapy, and play dates along with FaceTiming me. My husband would drive two round-trips a day to stay with me, see our kids, take care of our pets, and work.

This pattern repeated itself over again for the next six months, and at one point, I was told to start preparing my boys for life without me. The staff at the hospital was amazing. They tried their best to give me a room that faced outwards so I could see the sunset. They made sure I could be unhooked from chemo and transfusions when my boys got to visit. Then, they completely surprised us on Christmas when they gave us a Christmas party in my hospital room.

There were presents, food, and joy even though it was extremely hard to be there. They helped me fight even when I was beyond exhausted.

They became my family and even now we all stay in touch. They were complete angels that helped our family get through an extremely scary time.

I’m now in remission and hopefully will get the “cured” status once I reach five years in remission.
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Allow Me To As-cyst You

Hospital, Mexico, Mexico City, Silly | Healthy | November 8, 2019


(I’m a licensed nurse. I work at a hospital, and I also make some money on the side by assisting a dermatologist at a private clinic when she needs an extra pair of hands for surgery. This patient has a cyst under the skin beneath her hair.)

Patient: “You have done this before?”

Me: “Sure! It’s actually pretty simple. We make an incision on your skin right here, drain the cyst, clean around, and sew you back up. I’m going to numb the area, so you won’t even feel a thing.”

Patient: “All right, then.”

Me: “Uh… look, honey, I’m going to have to shave your hair — a tiny spot right here — so that the doctor can see. I know, I know you won’t like that — no girl ever does — but I have to. Don’t hate me!”

Patient: *shrugs*

Me: *cuts the hair, and shaves the area*

Patient: *completely deadpan* “Oh, no, look at what you’ve done. Now I hate you.”
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You Can’t Cough This Up To Cultural Differences

Australia, Health & Body, Jerk, Medical Office, Non-Dialogue | Healthy | November 7, 2019


I came into work today to hear my coworker, the office supervisor, in a high-volume discussion with a patient in another language. I don’t speak any other languages besides English, but I could tell the patient was agitated and my coworker was trying to neutralize it.

I let her handle that and helped other patients before my shift officially started. Later, she revealed the reason. Apparently, the patient was having an ultrasound with our chief sonographer. The patient was coughing on the sonographer, so they asked the patient to cover their mouth. The patient got offended by that and left the room in the middle of the scan. The patient commented things such as, “She shouldn’t be in the industry if she can’t take sick patients.”

My coworker tells me that in their culture coughing is open. They aren’t told to cover their mouths.

All three– the patient, sonographer, and coworker — are the same nationality
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Anti-Vaxxers Holding Out Until The Last Drop

Dallas, Extra Stupid, Jerk, Medical Office, Parents/Guardians, Texas, USA | Healthy | November 5, 2019


(I work in the billing department for an emergency clinic, and I get a call from an upset mother.)

Mother: “I will sue you all! How dare you treat my son with [medical shot]?! It’s against our religion to do this! I didn’t sign any form to give consent!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, let me look up his information.”

(I look up the information. The day we treated her son was the day he turned eighteen; he was old enough to have any medical treatments without parental consent.)

Me: “Ma’am, I have it here that your son was eighteen the day he was treated. There’s nothing else I can tell you or discuss with you unless he calls and tells us it’s okay for us to talk to you.”

Mother: “That’s f****** ridiculous! He was not officially eighteen!”

Me: “It says on his driver’s license that he was eighteen on the day he was seen.”

Mother: “NO! He was born at 4:00 pm! He was seen at 10:00 am! He wasn’t officially 100% eighteen!”

Me: “Ma’am, we don’t go by the time of birth. We go by date of birth.”
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This Relationship Has Teething Problems

Bad Behavior, France, Hospital, Strangers | Healthy | November 4, 2019


(I’m a dental student. During our fourth year, all of us have to do a week-long rotation at the ICU to provide “dental healthcare” to comatose patients — basically brushing their teeth with an iodine scrub and calling it a day. One of the patients is conscious but intubated, and he speaks using a whiteboard. After I finish brushing his teeth, a nurse comes into the room and makes small talk.)

Nurse: “So, I heard that [Woman] visited you yesterday, huh?”

(The patient nods.)

Nurse: “That’s nice! Also, your daughters called this morning; they want to come a bit later.”

Patient: *on the whiteboard* “Did they say what time?”

Nurse: “During the afternoon. They were afraid you’d get bored and alone, though, so I told them not to worry since [Woman] came by.”

(I see the patient’s eyes widen and he starts furiously scribbling on his whiteboard.)

Patient: “THEY DON’T KNOW ABOUT [WOMAN]!”

(I had to leave the room and didn’t stop laughing for a good five minutes.)
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It Can Cause Anxiety To Diagnose Anxiety

Australia, Doctor/Physician, Jerk, Medical Office | Healthy | November 3, 2019


(In Australia, we have a universal healthcare program called Medicare which covers a significant portion of our medical bills. If you want to see a psychologist, Medicare will often cover 50-100% of the bill for ten sessions. However, you first have to go to a GP and get a referral to qualify. I have been struggling with my anxiety recently, so I went to the GP for a referral.)

GP: “How can I help you today?”

Me: “I’m looking to get a referral to a psychologist to help me with my anxiety.”

GP: “You’re a uni student, right?”

Me: “Yes. Working on my Masters.”

GP: “Do you really need a psychologist? I mean, it’s the end of the semester. All your classmates are stressed, just like you are. I’m sure how you’re feeling is no big deal.”

Me: “Right… and are all of my classmates having panic attacks in front of their student support officers because the support officer tried to start up a conversation about finding a job after graduation?”

GP: “Um… no.”

Me: “And is that something a men
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Your Treatment Of Hypermobility Is Making Me Hypertense

Bigotry, Doctor/Physician, Jerk, Medical Office, UK |
Healthy | October 31, 2019

(This story has taken about five years to come to a close. When I was seventeen, I started having awful fatigue problems, sleeping up to fourteen hours a day, and being constantly exhausted. I’ve always been fairly healthy, hiking for fun and rock climbing on a weekly basis, but after a while, I became so tired and my joints and muscles started hurting so much that I couldn’t exercise anymore. Because of this, I put on some weight. At nineteen, I go to the doctor because I’m in constant pain and believe I may have hypermobility.)

Doctor #1 : “So, what’s the problem today?”

Me: *explains the last two years of problems, and how a friend showed me a list of hypermobility symptoms which seem to match up with what I’m experiencing*

Doctor #1 : “Okay, well, I’m actually the hypermobility specialist for this surgery so I’m going to take you through a series of tests.”

(He takes me through the tests, including touching the floor with my legs straight, bending my fingers and arms, etc.)

Doctor #1 : “Right, well, you definitely don’t have hypermobility; I don’t know how you got that idea in your head. You just need to lose some weight and you’ll be fine.”

Me: “How am I supposed to do that if I’m in pain all the time?”

Doctor #1 : “Oh, just take some painkillers, exercise more, and eat less junk food. You’ll be fine.”

(Miserable, but believing him, I spend the next three years in increasing pain, eventually unable to work, socialise, or do any of my old hobbies because I’m so exhausted all the time. I fall into a deep depression, believing that I’m making it up and that I’m just lazy. Finally, after counselling and heaps of support from my friends, I get an appointment at the closest rheumatology clinic.)

Doctor #2 : “All right, how can I help you today?”

Me: *twists my neck, making three to four loud pops on each side*

Doctor #2 : *blinks in surprise* “Oh… are they all like that?”

Me: “Yup. I can crack pretty much every joint in my body, including my elbows and my kneecaps.”

Doctor #2 : *after she takes me through all the same tests for hypermobility as the first doctor and a pressure point test to check for fibromyalgia* “Well, you’re definitely hypermobile in your upper body — anyone could see that — and the swelling around your knees is particularly concerning. I’m going to send you off for some tests and give you a prescription for an anti-inflammatory painkiller tablet. If it’s not enough, come back and I’ll give you some more. I can’t believe you’ve been dealing with this for five years!”

(Now, after a year and a half of unemployment, I have a job I love and am able to do with energy left over for twice-weekly climbing sessions and plenty of socialising. Thank you to the second doctor I saw, and to the first doctor? F*** you.)
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Give Thanks For Fewer Scams

Canada, Geography, Holidays, Jerk, Liars/Scammers | Healthy | October 28, 2019


(On Canadian Thanksgiving Day, an hour before supper, I’m scrambling preparing food when the phone rings and, lo and behold, I’ve won a cruise! Frustrated at the timing, I let it go to the operator…)

Me: “Hi. It’s Thanksgiving evening suppertime and I don’t appreciate being called. Please take me off your list.”

Scammer: “It’s not Thanksgiving.”

Me: *dumbfounded that they don’t even know where they’re calling* “I’m in Canada, you knob. It’s Thanksgiving here. Take me off your list, please.”

Scammer: “No.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Scammer: “No. Not until you say sorry for calling me a knob.”

(Granted, I shouldn’t be calling people names, but considering the circumstances…)

Me: “Yeah, that’s not going to happen now. You may be in America, but in Canada it’s Thanksgiving and your scam is interrupting our supper.”

Scammer: “I’m not really American. One of my parents is Mexican and the other is American.”

Me: “How’s that relevant? Please take me off your list.”

Scammer: “Just America is better and we earn money way faster than you.”

Me: “I doubt that at a scam job, and I’ll stick with my free healthcare, thanks.”

Scammer: “We out-earn you, and this isn’t a scam.”

Me: “Really? I really won a free cruise?”

Scammer: *perks up* “Yes, you did, ma’am!”

Me: “No, I didn’t. Take me off your list and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!” *hangs up*

(I was thankful to get off the phone.)
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Don’t Let The Anti-Vaxxers See This

Colorado, Doctor/Physician, Jerk, Medical Office, USA | Healthy | October 28, 2019


(I’ve recently found out that I’m pregnant and visited my primary care doctor to make some updates to my current medications. Please keep in mind that last week I had a sinus infection and lung spasms which resulted in me needing antibiotics and an inhaler.)

Primary Doctor: “So, you’re pregnant! While I know you don’t like the flu shot, it’s important that you get one. We can do that today. If a pregnant woman doesn’t get the flu shot, and gets the flu, she’ll end up in the hospital.”

Me: “It’s not that I don’t ‘like’ the flu shot. It’s that I’ve had very bad reactions to it before.” *something I’ve explained every visit and do so again*

Primary Doctor: “Well, it’s really important that you do it; otherwise, you’re putting not only yourself but the baby at risk. There’s no known risk with you getting the flu shot, and if you don’t, that’s dangerous.”

Me: “I’ll think about it, but since I’m recovering right now I’m not comfortable doing it today. I suppose I could do it at the end of next week?”

(Fast forward to the next day when I have an appointment with an OB/GYN, who is retiring but is giving me a referral.)

OB Doctor: “So, since you’re pregnant, we do recommend that you have the flu shot.”

Me: “Yes, my primary doctor said the same yesterday, but I’ve said I’d like to hold off for a week or so. I’d just rather not do it, but my primary said it’d be dangerous.”

OB Doctor: “Why don’t you want it?”

Me: “Years ago, I worked for a company that required us to have flu shots due to the medical nature. For two years in a row, after receiving the flu shot, I ended up in the ER within two weeks of receiving it with respiratory issues each time. I felt like I could not breathe and ended up on a lot of different medications, and never had anything like that before or after those two shots. After this happened the second time, the employer gave me a waiver. I haven’t had a flu shot since then and have only had the flu once in fifteen years.”

OB Doctor: “Wow! But your primary care doctor is saying you need it? Well, here’s the thing… we doctors act like we know everything based on the training we receive. We don’t. It is far too much of a coincidence for that to have happened to you two years in a row, but not since. I don’t want you to get the flu shot. If you do get the flu, there are options such as tamiflu, or yes, you may end up in the hospital, but that’s better than dead!”

Me: “Thank you so much for saying that; other doctors have told me I’m wrong and it’s so nice to have what I experienced validated. I’m not unreasonable.”

Doctor: *as he’s leaving the room* “Don’t get the flu shot! Do not let them kill you!”
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She Will Not Neglect To Tell You

Doctor/Physician, Hospital, Lazy/Unhelpful, USA | Healthy | October 27, 2019


(I’m in the ER for what I later learn is a massive kidney stone. I’m on disability and Medicaid, which of course I tell the desk, so they can bill it appropriately. A doctor comes in later.)

Doctor: “We’re going to keep you overnight and give you [pain medication] to help.”

(He leaves without any more information. At this point, I’ve only received Tylenol, which is doing nowhere near enough for the level of pain I’m at. I’m moved to a different unit in the hospital, and for the next eight hours, I’m in a painful daze as I still didn’t get medication. Word gets to my mom, who, while having the voice and appearance of a fairy godmother, also knows when people aren’t doing their jobs. She comes to visit and speak with a nurse.)

Mom: “Has she been given any medication?”

Nurse: “No, until [Doctor] actually sends through the order we can’t give her anything but Tylenol.”

Mom: “What?! He saw her early this morning and he hasn’t done something this simple?!”

Nurse: “I know, ma’am. I’ve tried paging him and he keeps saying he’ll get to it.”

Mom: “Can you page him up here?”

(I can see the nurse get a HUGE grin.)

Nurse: “Absolutely, ma’am. Just one minute!”

(After even more painful waiting, the doctor finally comes in. He looks bored and annoyed at having to come personally to me.)

Mom: “Are you her doctor?”

Doctor: “Yes, ma’am.”

(As soon as he confirms, my mom TEARS into him. She yells about how I’ve been suffering, how she got a call from a nurse about me being here, how I didn’t know what was going on and wasn’t given anything because of his incompetence. The man looks utterly terrified.)

Mom: “Now, you are going to get her whatever medications she needs right now. I am going to make some phone calls that are going to make your life h*** because I sincerely doubt my daughter is the only one who’s been treated this way by you!”

(I was blissfully medicated within the hour. My mom did, in fact, make some calls. I was quickly assigned a new doctor, and later found out the first one was fired for patient neglect.)
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The Number One Problem For Check-Ups

Australia, Pets & Animals, Vet, Western Australia | Healthy | October 25, 2019


(I have three ferrets, all due for a checkup. First ferret, fine but getting old. Second ferret, perfect health. When the vet picks up the third and starts feeling his little fuzzy abdomen, his face falls.)

Vet: “Hmm. Have you noticed that he’s got quite a large lump here? In his abdomen?”

Me: “No, I had no idea.”

Vet: “Okay. Hm. So, it seems very close to his prostate, maybe even on his prostate, so that’s quite worrying. It’s really large; are you sure you haven’t felt it before?”

Me: *starting to freak out a little bit* “No, definitely not.”

Vet: “Okay, well, I’m going to take him out the back and we’ll do a little ultrasound. Don’t panic; there’s a good chance it could be something benign, and if it isn’t, we have options, okay? I’ll be back in a minute.”

(I sit in the consulting room for ten minutes, wringing my hands, wondering if one of my pets has cancerous tumours and how I couldn’t have noticed. The vet comes back, still holding my ferret.)

Vet: *putting my ferret down on the examination table* “Okay, so, we did an ultrasound, and we’re at a little bit of a loss. It doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen, so we’re going to have to either biopsy or…”

(He trails off, as my ferret has toddled over to the sink and started urinating. It goes on for a very long time.)

Me: “Oh, geez, I’m sorry! He’s never done that before.”

Vet: “Well, better there than on the table, right?”

(He pauses, realisation dawning on him. He picks up my ferret once he’s finished his business, and feels the abdomen again.)

Vet: “So. Uh. This is a little awkward, but good news! He doesn’t have a tumour.”

(It turns out, my little boy was too polite to pee on a person or on the examination table, even while people were touching and scanning his large and very full bladder. They didn’t charge me for the ultrasound.)
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