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Old 04-16-2022   #281
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A Shot Of Humanity
Awesome, Doctor/Physician, Hospital, Nurses, USA | Healthy | May 2, 2019
(I have a serious phobia of needles due to a traumatic incident when I was a child, and because of this I always need someone present with me to cope with the situation. I am due to have very minor surgery on my arm, but I will need two needles during the operation. My boyfriend schedules off to go with me, but on the day of, he is called into work. I can’t cancel or I will incur a large fee, so I decide to tough it out and go. When I am called into the room, the nurse starts asking me questions, and I let her know that I have a phobia of needles. As soon as she leaves the room I enter into hysterics. I end up calling a friend, and he calms me down by the time the doctor returns with the nurse. They keep my friend on speaker, the nurse holds my hand, and they all keep me laughing so much I don’t have time to cry. These are just some of my favorite moments from the hour-long procedure.)

Doctor: “You’re telling me you’re getting birth control, but you’re afraid of a little prick?”

(Another moment…)

Friend: “You still alive over there?”

Me: “I sure hope so. Is everything going all right?”

Doctor: “Oh, you’ll know something’s wrong when you hear me walk out the door saying, ‘I am not dealing with that paperwork today.’”

(Another moment…)

Me: *to nurse* “Is it really bad?”

Nurse: “Don’t ask me, I’m not looking! Why do you think I need to hold your hand?!”

(Another moment…)

Me: “Thank you so much for being so nice to me. I know, as an adult, I should be able to handle this all by now. I know it’s not logical; I just work myself up and go into hysterics.”

Doctor: “And while you were in the room with me, you didn’t cry once. Sometimes it’s not your fault that you’re scared. Sometimes it’s the fault of the people around you for not knowing how to make you feel safe.”

(I can’t thank those three enough for not only making a terrible experience into a great memory, but for helping relieve some of the self-hatred I had due to my phobia. If I ever need a shot again, I know exactly where I want to go!)
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Old 04-16-2022   #282
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Bringing Your Emergency To The Emergency Room
Doctor/Physician, Lazy/Unhelpful, Medical Office, Non-Dialogue, USA | Healthy | May 2, 2019
A standard practice in the US is for pharmacies to call physicians for refills on prescriptions, not patients. If there are issues with getting refills, the physician’s office will contact the patient for a visit.

I’m currently seeing a new physician who I’m not happy with, but the waitlist is two months long to see a different doctor. I’ve found that this doctor doesn’t listen and doesn’t seem to take mental health issues seriously. She tried to switch my medications — without telling me — despite the fact that I’ve been stable on this medication for over five years. She also accused me of faking foot pain, despite evidence that I had an untreated break in my foot two years ago which didn’t heal well, and tried to convince me to get unnecessarily invasive tests at a specialist clinic for no reason. She also made me get tested for Hepatitis and HIV because I have tattoos — which are all over a year old — even though I just had those tests done two months prior as part of my regular checkup with my old doctor, which was in my medical record.

I’m on a mental health medication known for terrible withdrawal symptoms after just one missed dose. It’s very important that I take it every single day. I notice that I am out of refills, so I notify my pharmacy and they send out a refill request. It is denied because I still have a month left. I have the pharmacy send in another refill request two weeks later. The doctor doesn’t respond. The pharmacy contacts me, saying there were some issues and they can’t get a refill. I call my doctor’s office. They say they will have my doctor send in a refill that day. Still no refill and no request for an appointment. I call again two days later, still nothing. I now have less than a week left. I call every day for the rest of the week, still nothing. On Saturday morning, I’m tired and scared because I’m out of medication and don’t have any refills. I decide to go to the ER because it’s the closest place open on a weekend; there are two urgent care centers but one isn’t open on weekends and the other doesn’t have someone who can write prescriptions working that day.

I go into the ER and explain my issue. I’m clearly not having an emergency, but thankfully there are no other patients that morning and they’re able to write me a one-week prescription and send me on my way in under thirty minutes. While I’m at the ER, I’m clearly frustrated but grateful for the lovely doctor and nurse who are assisting me. The nurse gives me a giant hug and a chocolate muffin from the break room, and both the doctor and the nurse file a report against my doctor.

Monday morning at eight am, I get a call from my doctor’s boss. She saw on my chart that I had an ER visit for the sole purpose of getting a medication refill and wanted to know why. I explained the situation, and also mentioned being worried that I couldn’t afford an ER bill because emergency room visits aren’t covered under my insurance if they’re not considered an actual emergency, such as a broken limb.

A few days later, I check my insurance claims to see what my ER bill is going to be, expecting a bill of at least $2,000 out-of-pocket. My entire ER bill has been comped, as well as my past visits with the terrible doctor. I end up paying $0 for the entire debacle. I also get a three-month refill instead of one month, and it is also comped instead of the usual $45 per month.

I have since found a new physician, but at the same clinic because they went so far above and beyond to correct one doctor’s mistakes.
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Old 04-16-2022   #283
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Has A Bad Ring(worm) To It
Bad Behavior, Doctor/Physician, Lazy/Unhelpful, Medical Office, Non-Dialogue, USA | Healthy | May 2, 2019
CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

When I was very young, my family lived in a rural area where we only had access to one clinic that took our health insurance. While we could have driven into the city — about three hours — if there had ever been a situation that the clinic couldn’t handle or if we’d needed a special consultation, for the most part, my parents stuck with the local clinic. The clinic was very small; I don’t believe that there were ever more than four doctors on staff, and most of them were not there full time. Although the clinic tried to hire doctors who practiced family medicine — so they could see all ages of patients — there was one pediatrician on staff, and because of this, my brother and I were just automatically sent to him, as were most kids in our area. He often rushed through appointments and was impatient when my parents had questions, although since my brother and I were generally healthy kids, our family didn’t have too many issues with him… until I was four.

When I was four, I developed a strange rash on my neck, back, and legs. My mom took me to the clinic, where the pediatrician took one look and said that I had ringworm. He prescribed a salve, an oral antifungal medication, and an antifungal shampoo, since the rash on my neck was near my hairline and ringworm can cause permanent hair loss if it develops on your scalp. I was on the medication for over a month before the symptoms subsided, and we thought that it was over… until I had another rash a few months after that. And a few months after that. The doctor kept prescribing the same regime every time. I was miserable because the oral medication messed up my stomach, and my parents were driving themselves crazy trying to sanitize anything that I ever came into contact with to hopefully prevent a recurrence and to avoid my brother getting infected.

This happened about four times over the course of two years; although my parents asked if there could possibly be something else going on, since ringworm is not supposed to be a chronic condition, the doctor blew them off every time and essentially told them not to question his authority, since he’d gone to school for this and they hadn’t. He was very condescending, and when my parents asked for advice, he’d just repeat stuff about hygiene and washing up. My parents had actually just decided to take me into the city for a second opinion if I had another rash when the usual doctor stepped down and we got a new one.

My parents brought my brother and me in for our flu shots, and the new doctor noticed the beginnings of the rash on my arm. He asked my parents about it, and they told him that they weren’t interested in putting me on the same antifungals since they clearly weren’t working and were just making me miserable. He was confused and asked why I’d be on antifungals for eczema. A couple of quick tests confirmed that he was correct, that I definitely didn’t have ringworm, and instead of multiple infections, I had one condition that flared up every few months. I got a prescription for an anti-inflammatory cream, and the doctor suggested that my mom change our laundry detergent, and then the rash was handled. But that wasn’t the end of the story.

The new doctor checked my file and confirmed that the old doctor hadn’t done any testing to diagnose me the first time — no black-light test, no biopsies or cultures, nothing — and had just marked that it visually presented as ringworm. Each subsequent time I came in, the old doctor stuck to that rather than reassess. After that, my parents requested a copy of my file, and then saw the notes that the old doctor had made, which basically amounted to him complaining about working with dirty, poor, uneducated families who couldn’t keep their kids clean. He hadn’t bothered to do any further testing when my parents told him that they’d complied with all his suggestions for how to make sure that I didn’t catch “ringworm” again, because he just assumed that anyone who lived in our rural area must be a dumb, ignorant hick who couldn’t really value hygiene.

My parents were furious. We later learned that he had been asked to step down from his position in the clinic precisely because he’d had this attitude with most of the families who came into the clinic, and had said as much to one of the nurses, not realizing that a patient had overheard. One of the things he must not have realized about smaller communities like ours is that word spreads like wildfire. Dozens of families were suddenly requesting records for their children, and people found multiple stories like mine where the pediatrician diagnosed without testing, or made assumptions about families that impacted the way he handled their treatment. There was a community-wide effort to send complaints to the state medical board. I know that there was at least one successful lawsuit against him, and last I heard, that pediatrician’s license to practice medicine was revoked.

Meanwhile, our new doctor treated my eczema, saved my brother’s life during an allergic reaction, became a hero in our community for doing house calls, and has received state-wide recognition for being willing to go above and beyond for his patients.
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Old 04-16-2022   #284
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Your Strong Opinion Is Not Strong Enough
Doctor/Physician, Hawaii, Honolulu, Jerk, Medical Office, Nurses, USA | Healthy | May 1, 2019
(My one-and-a-half-year-old needs a TB test — for the curious, it turns out negative. She’s always been very strong, and I know it’s going to be tricky to get her to hold still for the jab, so I offer to help the technician.)

Me: “She’s pretty strong; would you like me to help hold her?”

Tech: *eyes rolling and voice dripping with sarcasm* “I’m just sure she is. Every parent says that.”

Me: *stepping back* “Okay, have fun.”

(For the next few minutes, the tech finds himself unable to do the quick little jab because my daughter is able to fight him off. Finally, he admits defeat.)

Tech: “Could you hold her, please?”

Me: *sickly sweet* “I’d be happy to.”

(I wrapped my arms and legs around her tightly, and it was still a struggle, but the tech administered the test. If he’d just humored me instead of being condescending, it would have been much easier for him!)
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Old 04-16-2022   #285
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Putting The Lying Into Lying Down
Bad Behavior, Doctor/Physician, Hospital, USA, Utah | Healthy | May 1, 2019
(I have epilepsy and have had several partial-complex seizures. I have been delivered by ambulance to the city hospital; unfortunately, the neurologist on call is one who I stopped seeing when he accused me of faking seizures in order to get attention, possibly because he is friendly with the neurologist who molested me when I was a teen.)

ER Nurse: “Her ID says she has epilepsy. We need to make sure she’s had her medication today.”

Neurologist: “There’s no need. She’s just being dramatic.” *to me* “[My Name]! Stop trying to make everyone feel sorry for you.” *to the nurse* “Give her some [anxiety medication]. She’ll tell you it gives her panic attacks; she’s a chronic liar. Just do it.”

(I am not sure what happens next, but I wake up in the darkened room alone. Confused and sick, I throw up in a trash bin and wander down an empty hall until I find an exit. I remember walking blankly until I find a street sign, then calling my sister and asking her to pick me up. About an hour later, I am home in bed when the phone rings and my mother answers.)

Caller: “This is [Caller] from [Hospital]. Your daughter was here earlier today. She isn’t currently in the room and hasn’t been seen in a few hours; would you like us to begin looking for her?”

Mother: “She’s with us now, and safe, no thanks to you.”

Caller: “Oh, okay. When can she come in to give us her billing information?”

(I did go back, with my parents… and a lawyer. He suggested that charging me for improper treatment that I had never consented to, and had been harmed by, might not be in their best interest. They dropped the bill. They also sent my mother flowers, which was weird.)
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Old 04-16-2022   #286
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Putting The Lying Into Lying Down
Bad Behavior, Doctor/Physician, Hospital, USA, Utah | Healthy | May 1, 2019
(I have epilepsy and have had several partial-complex seizures. I have been delivered by ambulance to the city hospital; unfortunately, the neurologist on call is one who I stopped seeing when he accused me of faking seizures in order to get attention, possibly because he is friendly with the neurologist who molested me when I was a teen.)

ER Nurse: “Her ID says she has epilepsy. We need to make sure she’s had her medication today.”

Neurologist: “There’s no need. She’s just being dramatic.” *to me* “[My Name]! Stop trying to make everyone feel sorry for you.” *to the nurse* “Give her some [anxiety medication]. She’ll tell you it gives her panic attacks; she’s a chronic liar. Just do it.”

(I am not sure what happens next, but I wake up in the darkened room alone. Confused and sick, I throw up in a trash bin and wander down an empty hall until I find an exit. I remember walking blankly until I find a street sign, then calling my sister and asking her to pick me up. About an hour later, I am home in bed when the phone rings and my mother answers.)

Caller: “This is [Caller] from [Hospital]. Your daughter was here earlier today. She isn’t currently in the room and hasn’t been seen in a few hours; would you like us to begin looking for her?”

Mother: “She’s with us now, and safe, no thanks to you.”

Caller: “Oh, okay. When can she come in to give us her billing information?”

(I did go back, with my parents… and a lawyer. He suggested that charging me for improper treatment that I had never consented to, and had been harmed by, might not be in their best interest. They dropped the bill. They also sent my mother flowers, which was weird.)
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Old 04-16-2022   #287
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Vape Escape
England, Hampshire, Hospital, Ignoring & Inattentive, Non-Dialogue, Nurses, UK | Healthy | April 30, 2019
After getting mugged, which involved several kicks to the head, I came to in A&E a bit concussed but otherwise okay-ish.

I had been out for a few hours, and as a smoker, my nicotine levels were way down. I asked if I could use my vape as I’m allergic to the glue they use on most of the commercial patches. The answer was that an anti-allergenic patch would be provided. I ask what specific brand it is, as I am severely allergic to some.

A tech turns up and tapes a patch to my arm, complaining that this brand is awful for staying on.

It is ninety seconds from patch to, “Oops, we stopped your heart as part of the massive response to what you told us not to do.”

I’m now allowed to vape in bed if I can keep it discreet, or I can go down to a vape spot if there’s a nurse or someone willing to go with me. Given that half the medical staff are smokers, I’m proving popular.
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Old 04-16-2022   #288
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When It’s The Healthcare That Gives Us The Blood Pressure
Insurance, New Jersey, Non-Dialogue, Patients, USA | Healthy | April 30, 2019
CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

For an assortment of reasons, my husband has been unemployed for a while, outside of extremely short temp work and off-the-book odd jobs. For a while he has been having random symptoms: foot and ankle pain, shortness of breath after exertion — more than normal — and lower back pain. All together, they don’t seem to add up to anything aside from random aches and pains, they never stick around long, and without insurance, he can’t afford to see a doctor properly, so he just treats with aspirin and the like.

Finally, it happens: the Affordable Care Act is passed. He signs up and gets real health insurance for the first time in a decade. He’s assigned a primary care physician and we call to set up an appointment. No answer. We try again, and again, and again, at both the number listed on the insurance site and on their individual site. We never get an answer; we never even get voicemail. After a bit more than a month of this, he’s feeling ill; the local EMO doesn’t take the medicare-based version of his insurance, so we head to the hospital ER right down the street. He apologizes for coming for such a minor thing but we don’t have any other options at the time. They say it’s fine and after a wait, they take his vitals… and they immediately wheel him into the observation room. We’re trying desperately to get some actual information from the first nurse bringing him in, or the second nurse coming to hook him up to all their monitors.

Finally, a full doctor comes in and starts asking questions, but we interrupt and ask, specifically, why they are doing all this. She shows us the blood pressure monitor: 220/120. His BP has always been high, especially at the doctor’s/hospital because of “white coat syndrome,” but never that high! Somehow he never actually had a heart attack or stroke over the past several months, but that unrestrained pressure did a lot of damage to his kidneys. My husband is in the hospital for about ten days — although he was originally going to get out in six, one batch of test results gets messed up and they can’t run it again until the following Monday. When he leaves, he is on a prescription for about eight different heart and blood pressure medications, two of which are quickly dropped and two others cut in half once he gets home and can relax!

The bad news is that, because of the level of damage his kidneys have suffered, my husband’s on the verge of needing to go on the transplant list. The good news is that his heart has made a near-complete recovery, his prescriptions have been cut down further, and his kidney functions have actually improved to a point where he’s no longer hovering on the verge of failure!

And that’s why we say to this day, with no irony: thanks, Obama!
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Old 04-16-2022   #289
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Sick As A Dog
Alberta, Canada, Employees, Lazy/Unhelpful, Reception, Vet | Healthy | April 30, 2019
(My roommate works outside of the city, about an hour’s drive away. She decides that she wants to get a dog, and the other two roommates and I agree to help take care of it during the day when she’s away. On Monday, the dog is having some stomach trouble. We watch her closely but determine that she needs to go to the vet on Wednesday. My roommate contacts the vet to let them know that I will be bringing the dog by. I drop the dog off, and then return a few hours later when called to pick her up.)

Me: “Hello, I’m here to pick up [Dog] on behalf of [Roommate].”

Front Desk: “Great! She’ll need to take these pills for nausea.” *hands me the pills, and brings the dog out on a leash*

Me: “Has she had the pill for today? Is there anything I can or cannot feed it to her with?”

Front Desk: “I didn’t handle her case; let me get the vet.” *goes to the back, then returns a few minutes later* “I’m sorry, but the vet is with another patient right now. I’ll pull up her file, instead.” *pulls up the file on the computer* “It says that you need to keep an eye on her.”

Me: “What do you mean by ‘keep an eye on her’? What do I need to watch for? And does it say anything about the pill or the foods she shouldn’t have?”

Front Desk: “I can’t tell you that for privacy reasons. The vet has contacted your roommate; you’ll need to talk to her.”

Me: “My roommate is at work right now and might not be able to respond to calls or texts for a few hours. Could you at least let me know what I need to watch for over the next four hours until she’s home?”

Front Desk: “I can’t tell you about anything else on her file for privacy reasons.”

(Frustrated, I take the dog and start walking to my car. I realize that I have no way of knowing if she’ll be able to handle the ride home without an accident, as the vet hasn’t given me any information about what’s wrong or what they’ve given the dog. I turn around, go back into the clinic, and hand the leash back to the woman at the front desk.)

Me: “Here’s [Dog] back. Without knowing any more than I did when I brought her here, I don’t feel comfortable taking her home. I don’t know what she’s had, how to care for her, or what will happen when we get home. Frankly, I don’t know why you’re even releasing her to me if you don’t feel that I have the right to that information. You’ll need to contact [Roommate] to come and get her, if you can get a hold of her at work.”

(I texted my roommate to give her a heads up about the situation, including the name of the woman that I had dealt with at the front desk. Thankfully, she felt I’d made the right move leaving the dog at the clinic and was able to pick her up after work. She also contacted the clinic to express her anger about how they had handled everything, and had my name along with our other roommates’ added to the account.)
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Old 04-16-2022   #290
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Your Diagnosis Is Broken
Denmark, Health & Body, Lazy/Unhelpful, Patients, School, Teachers | Healthy | April 29, 2019
(I have a fall during gym class when I am about ten years old. Because I have pretty brittle bones and very weak joints — but apparently not enough to warrant getting any kind of diagnosis — I instantly know that I have broken my arm. The fall was pretty minor; I was just running on the soft grass and fell down. I am crying and trying to explain to my teacher that I believe my arm to be broken.)

Me: “My arm hurts. I think it’s broken.”

Teacher: “It isn’t. You can’t break your arm from something so minor.”

(I explain that I have broken many bones before and that I know the feeling of a broken bone. I can tell she still doesn’t believe me, but she does send me down to the office. She doesn’t send anyone with me, though. I walk down there alone and crying, while my arm is swelling more and more. When I get to the office, I try to explain what happened to the secretary.)

Secretary: “Oh, no, what happened to you?”

Me: “I think I broke my arm. I fell out in the field while doing a running exercise.”

Secretary: “You didn’t fall from anything?”

Me: “No.”

Secretary: “It’s not broken, then. I’ll give you some ice for the arm, and then you’ll be better in no time!”

(I put the ice pack on my arm, but it still hurts. I sit and cry silently for about ten minutes in the corner. Even though I am normally very shy and not a fan of conflicts, I am also in a lot of pain. I approach the secretary again.)

Me: “Look. My arm really, really hurts, and the ice pack isn’t cold anymore. Would you please just call my mum?”

Secretary: “Fine! But your arm isn’t broken.”

(Neither of my parents answered their phones. I continued to sit and cry quietly while the secretary sent me sour looks. She finally got through to my dad, but he was delivering merchandise two hours away. My mum worked at another school pretty close to mine, so my dad suggested that the secretary should try to call my mum’s school. The secretary called my mum’s school and had their secretary fetch my mum. Over an hour had passed since I’d hurt my arm, but my mum obviously knew about my brittle bones and came to take me to the hospital within ten minutes of getting the call. My arm was, indeed, broken. When I told my mum of how my teacher and the secretary handled the situation, she was livid. Even though I was supposed to take a few days off after breaking my arm, my mum dragged me down to the principal next morning with my arm in a cast and sling. I told him my story, too, and both the teacher and the secretary got a stern talking-to about how to handle injured students and were asked to apologise to me. They did, and I hope they learnt something about listening to their students regarding their health. Never assume you know somebody’s body better than they do.)
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Old 04-16-2022   #291
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The Worst Possible Flea-ting Moment
California, Jerk, USA, Vet | Healthy | April 29, 2019
(I have a cocker spaniel with a lot of allergies and a skin condition that makes her very itchy. Her regular vet prescribes allergy shots for her. A few times we don’t get to see him but a newly-graduated vet who is working there temporarily. All she does every appointment is to try to refer us to specialists. She does this so much that we are starting to think she is getting kickbacks from them. One time, we get her when we are there for my dog’s allergy shot.)

Vet: “She’s just itchy because she has fleas.”

Mom & Me: “No, she doesn’t.”

Me: “I just checked her this morning. No fleas. And she’s had a bath.”

Vet: *rolling her eyes* “It’s just fleas. She doesn’t need an allergy shot.”

Mom: “Dr. [Regular Vet] prescribed them. We want her allergy shot.”

(We watch as a flea crawling on the vet herself jumps from her to my dog. The vet only sees the flea now.)

Vet: “I told you she had fleas!”

Mom: “We saw that flea crawling on you! Now, we want her allergy shot.”

(The vet continued to argue and tried once again to send us to a specialist, but we finally got the shot, only after a lot of huffing. Mom complained to the regular vet as soon as he was free and told him how this one was always trying to send us to specialists. He seemed rather angry with her when he heard this. We never saw her there again.)
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Old 04-16-2022   #292
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Not Willing To Billing
Editors' Choice, Employees, Ignoring & Inattentive, Insurance, Lazy/Unhelpful, USA | Healthy | April 29, 2019
(I have medications being filled on a 30-day supply. My insurance company requires me to call every month and verify that I do need the medicine and that my health panel — age, weight, allergies, etc. — is up to date. I made my call earlier this month, letting them know that I would be on vacation when the medications were scheduled to be delivered and asked if they would deliver without requiring a signature. The representative said it was fine and told me that my medicine would arrive while I was gone. I asked my sister to check on the house while I was gone, specifically mentioning the delivery and the rough timeline I was given. When I come home, she tells me that there have been no deliveries. I call my insurance company again.)

Representative #1 : “[Insurance], this is [Rep #1 ] speaking. Can I have your name and policy number, please?”

Me: “Hi, my name is [My Name]; my policy number is [number].”

Representative #1 : “Okay, I have your account here. How can I help you?”

Me: “I was supposed to have some medicine delivered, but nothing has arrived.”

Representative #1 : “Okay, I see here that we attempted to deliver on [date] but there was no one home to sign.”

Me: “I was told I could opt out of the signature because I was out of town.”

Representative #1 : “No.”

Me: “…”

Representative #1 : “…”

Me: “Can I get a new delivery scheduled?”

Representative #1 : “I can add you on today’s shipment and overnight the medication to you at no additional cost.”

Me: “That’s great!”

Representative #1 : “Okay, I just have to verify your info.” *we go through the same questions I answer every month* “Everything looks good. This will go out today for delivery tomorrow, with a signature required.”

Me: “Thank you!”

(The next day, I’m home all day and nothing comes. Since our package deliveries can come as late as nine pm, I’m stuck waiting all day before I can call back. The day after my delivery was to arrive, I call again. I get a different representative.)

Representative #2 : “[Insurance], this is [Rep #2 ] speaking. Name and policy number?”

Me: “[My Name], [policy number].”

Representative #2 : “Thank you, [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Me: “I spoke with [Representative #1 ] two days ago and was told I would have my medications delivered yesterday but nothing came.”

Representative #2 : “Oh, I’m sorry about that. I see here that you tried to order [medication] on [date before vacation] and we tried to deliver but there was no one to sign.”

Me: “Yes. And I called again and was told it would be here yesterday.”

Representative #2 : “I’m not showing anything like that but we can ship– Oh, wait. There’s a hold on your account for unpaid copays.”

Me: “Unpaid copays? I’ve never received a bill.”

Representative #2 : “You should have received… two.”

Me: “I don’t think I did. Why was I not told of this hold when I called two days ago?”

(I open my online account to see past bills. There is nothing.)

Representative #2 : “I’m not sure, ma’am. I only see a bill for $243 that needs to be paid.”

Me: “I’m confused. I’ve met my out of pocket deductibles. What is the bill for?”

Representative #2 : “One moment, I can look that up for you.” *hold music* “I’m sorry, ma’am, I’m having trouble finding the specific bill.”

Me: “…”

Representative #2 : “…”

Me: “So… what now?”

Representative #2 : “If you want to pay in full, I can have your order shipped as early as tomorrow.”

Me: “Um… I don’t even know why I’m paying.”

Representative #2 : “They’re unpaid copays.”

Me: “I’m looking at my online account and there’s nothing like that. How do I suddenly owe that much money?”

Representative #2 : “Oh. Um. Hold, please.” *hold music* “Thank you for holding, ma’am. My supervisor is looking into this further. Unfortunately, we cannot authorize your medications until you pay your balance. I can take your credit card info—“

Me: “I’m not paying anything until I have an itemized bill.”

Representative #2 : *huffs* “Hold.” *hold music* “Okay, ma’am, I’ve talked with my supervisor. Your balance is $243. Will that be card or check?”

Me: “That will be nothing until you tell me why I’m paying.”

Representative #2 : *huffs again* “Ma’am. I am trying to work with you here. You owe copays. We cannot fill your prescriptions until you pay in full.”

Me: “And I will happily pay as soon as someone can tell me why I’m paying. I’m looking at my history right now. Not only is there nothing with a copay for the past six months, but all other bills are marked as paid.”

Representative #2 : *clearly annoyed* “Would you like to speak to my supervisor, ma’am?”

Me: “Yes, I would.”

(Hold music.)

Supervisor: “Hello, [My Name]? I’m told you would like to speak to a supervisor. I’m [Supervisor].”

Me: “Yes, thank you. I called almost two weeks ago to have meds delivered. There was a miscommunication and they were not delivered. I called two days ago to have the same meds delivered as of yesterday, but they weren’t. I called today and found that I owe money and [Insurance Company] is withholding my medications until I pay. Nothing in my records shows any unpaid copay, so please tell me what is going on here.”

Supervisor: “I apologize for the inconvenience. Please be patient with me while I look into this further. Can I put you on hold?”

Me: *thinly veiled annoyance* “Yes.”

Supervisor: “Thank you.” *hold music* “Hmm. Ma’am, I apologize. I see the bill, but I’m not finding anything that it could be linked to. Unfortunately, I cannot authorize your prescription to be refilled until this bill is paid.”

Me: “Let me get this straight: your records show that I owe money. Yes?”

Supervisor: “Yes.”

Me: “You will not send my medication until I pay this bill. Correct?”

Supervisor: *uneasy* “Correct…”

Me: “But when I ask why you want me to pay, no one can tell me why. Am I wrong?”

Supervisor: “No, ma’am, you are not wrong.”

Me: “Can you see why I’m annoyed?”

Supervisor: “Yes. Please let me put you on hold one last time.”

Me: “No.”

Supervisor: “Ma’am?”

Me: “I will not be put on hold again. This phone call is already over an hour long. If you cannot tell me why I owe this money, I can only assume it’s a mistake on your end and I’m being billed for someone else’s medication or—“

Supervisor: “We are very thorough in our billing process and—“

Me: “—OR someone is committing insurance fraud and I’ll have to hire a lawyer to get this resolved.”

Supervisor: *panicked* “Um. No, no, that won’t be necessary.” *clicking keyboard* “I will see to it that your medication is shipped out today and I will put an override on the unpaid bill. I will continue to research this and get back to you as soon as I know what is going on. Is your number [phone number]?”

Me: “Yes, it is. Thank you.”

Supervisor: “Thank you, ma’am. Enjoy the rest of your day.”

(My medication was delivered the next day and yes, I signed for it. It’s been two weeks and I still haven’t heard anything about my mystery bill. I guess I’ll have to wait and see what happens when I call for my next refill!)
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Old 04-16-2022   #293
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Behind Every Man Is A Wife Trying To Keep Him Alive
Hospital, Patients, Spouses & Partners, USA | Healthy | April 28, 2019
(One of our patients is a very stubborn gentleman who has broken his hip. He thinks he can get out of bed without help, but he can’t. We instruct him to use his call light but he continues to get out of bed alone. We’re worried he’s going to fall, so we put him on a bed alarm which will automatically alert us if he tries to get up. However, when visiting hours start, it turns out we don’t need it after all…)

Patient’s Wife: “DON’T YOU EVEN THINK OF GETTING OUT OF BED BY YOURSELF! I’VE TOLD YOU A MILLION TIMES, YOU HAVE TO CALL THE GIRLS IF YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF BED!”

(Cue the nurse and I hustling over to his room to respond to the verbal bed alarm.)
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Old 04-16-2022   #294
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Not Feline These Vegetables
Pets & Animals, Stupid, USA, Vet | Healthy | April 27, 2019
(A woman comes in with her sick cat.)

Woman: “I don’t know what happened. She was very healthy when I adopted her.”

Me: “Did she eat something she shouldn’t have?”

Woman: “I am very careful about what ends up in her tummy. I make sure she gets only the best vegetarian meals.”

Me: “Excuse me, vegetarian?”

Woman: “Oh yes, I cannot stand meat consumption.”

Me: “Ma’am, cats are strictly carnivorous. Did your cat say she was okay with converting to your lifestyle?”

Woman: “Of course not, animals can’t consent… Oh…”

(I’m still getting headaches when I try to understand why that woman had to be told what I told her. The cat was held at the animal hospital until it was in good health and ready to be adopted. The woman agreed the cat was better with someone else. I’m vegetarian myself, but I would never feed my snake vegetables. Piece of advice guys: if you are vegetarian or vegan and won’t even feed meat to your pet, please get a herbivorous pet.)
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Old 04-16-2022   #295
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Wheelchairs, Trains, And Automobiles
Awesome, Health & Body, Inspirational, Japan, Non-Dialogue, Tourists/Travel | Healthy Working | April 26, 2019
My parents came to visit me in Japan. On the second day of us all being together, we were walking through the hotel garden and my mom hurt her foot. She iced it as soon as we got back to our room, but an hour later she couldn’t put any weight on it. The hotel we were staying at organized a taxi for us to a local hospital that had an ER open at midnight. We got there and the doc and nurse that cared for my mom spoke English. It was midnight and they had English-speaking staff on duty!

When they wheeled my mom into the ER from the waiting room, she had an anxiety attack, so back to the empty waiting room we went for the rest of her care. In the end, she had broken her foot — her big toe really. There was nothing that could be done for that but for her to stay off it.

Yeah, right. Day two of a two-week vacation in Japan? Ha! We rented crutches for the next two weeks and borrowed the hotel wheelchairs wherever we stayed.

After getting back to the hotel, the staff there were able to organize a rental wheelchair for us for our week in Kyoto.

Before Kyoto was Hiroshima. Our hotel was basically connected to the train station by a long walkway. Dad contacted the hotel, and two employees met us at the ticket gates with a luggage trolley and a wheelchair. At the end of our stay, one pushed Mom to the station as Dad and I had the luggage. Dad used the wheelchair to get Mom up to the shinkansen waiting room and returned the empty chair to the hotel staff member.

In Kyoto, the rental company delivered the wheelchair to the door of our B&B and collected it from Kyoto station, after we wheeled Mom up to the shinkansen platform.

After returning to Tokyo from Kyoto, Mom made her way to a waiting room. I went from ticket gate to ticket gate to get a wheelchair to get her from the shinkansen waiting room to the local train line. The employee wheeled her from the waiting line to the ticket transfer gate where two local line employees met us. One pushed Mom and the other lead the way, breaking traffic. It was over 700m to get to our train and Mom would never have made it on her crutches.

At the train, Mom was asked to sit on the train seat and the ladies took the wheelchair. At our exit, another employee was there with a wheelchair. She took us to the Tokyo Monorail line where we had another employee and chair. He got Mom onto the monorail where yet again there was an employee waiting with a chair for Mom.

Japan is nowhere near as wheelchair friendly as the US. People here have smaller personal bubbles and got too close to my mom for her comfort, but the level of care my mom got from train and hotel employees was amazing
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Old 04-16-2022   #296
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She’s About To Put Her Foot In It
Bad Behavior, Hospital, Nurses, USA | Healthy | April 26, 2019
(While cleaning a route for climbing, some rocks come loose and hit my foot. I am a few hours from the nearest town, and about six from the nearest hospital. Because the pain is manageable, I just lace my boots up and get a ride to the hospital a few days later. I will admit to looking more than a little scruffy at this point, and bathing hasn’t exactly been a common occurrence over the past few months due to lack of facilities.)

Nurse: “Why are you here today?”

Me: “I think I broke my foot.”

Nurse: “Why do you think that?”

Me: “Around 45 pounds of rocks fell on it a few days back, and I can move one of the bones around.”

Nurse: *rolls her eyes* “Are you sure that’s not just a joint? If you broke something a few days ago, you would have come in a few days ago.”

Me: “Well, it wasn’t really an option because I was two hours outside of [Small, Rural Town] and had to wait to get a ride to here. Plus, it’s really swollen and I don’t think the arch of my foot has a joint in it.”

Nurse: “If you want pain meds, just admit it. I’m not wasting time on a room for you if you’re just looking for pills.”

Me: “I haven’t asked for any medications at all, and I just want an x-ray of my foot.”

Nurse: “No. You clearly want drugs. I’m not wasting time on you anymore. Just leave. Try the methadone clinic across the street.”

Me: “No. I am not leaving until someone actually examines my foot!”

Nurse: *rolls eyes again and motions to the security guard* “Listen, if you won’t leave, we’ll have to escort you out.”

Me: “Just have someone actually look at my foot! I don’t want pills, I don’t want a room; just have an actual doctor look at my d*** foot!”

(The security guard looks at me and the nurse.)

Nurse: “Get her out of here; she’s a junkie.”

Guard: *looking confused* “Has she asked for pills? Or been violent to you? Because I haven’t seen her threaten you, [Nurse]. I don’t see why she needs to leave before seeing a doctor.”

(The nurse stomps away but returns a few minutes later, dragging a doctor by the sleeve.)

Nurse: “See? She claims she broke her foot days ago and just now came in for it. She’s clearly looking for drugs or a place to sleep.”

Doctor: “Have you actually looked at her foot yet, [Nurse]?”

Nurse: “No! She’s gross and clearly faking it! She doesn’t need treatment; she needs a f****** job!”

Doctor: “Let me see your foot, ma’am.”

(I take off my boot and sock. Apparently, one of the bones has moved around; it’s now visibly poking up.)

Doctor: “[Nurse], get out of here. Her foot is clearly broken. Go find something else to do, instead of your asinine crusade against people who you don’t like.”

(I got my foot x-rayed and got a boot for it. I broke it in five places and the doctor said I was lucky to not have caused permanent damage by not getting it set right away. The nurse had to send me an apology letter for her behavior, and I learned to shower and look nicer before going to a hospital!)
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Old 04-16-2022   #297
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She Had A Fall, And So Did Australia, Apparently
Australia, Golden Years, Hospital, Patients, Perth, Politics, Western Australia | Healthy | April 26, 2019
(I’m in the ER with my husband after he broke his arm. A woman and her adult daughter are in the curtain area next to us. From what I can gather, the older woman had a fall and hit her head; she doesn’t remember what happened and has lost her hearing aids. The nurse is asking her some general questions. It is 2014 and we live in Australia.)

Nurse: “Okay, just a few questions. What is your full name?”

Older Woman: “[Older Woman].”

Nurse: “Great, and your birthdate?”

Older Woman: “Pardon?”

Daughter: *bit louder* “Your birthday, mum”

Older Woman: “Oh, it’s [birthdate].”

Nurse: “Who is the prime minister?”

Older Woman: “I’m sorry, what?”

Daughter: *louder again* “Who’s the idiot that runs the country?”

Older Woman: “Oh, that’s Tony Abbott.”

(My husband and I couldn’t help but laugh. The nurse had a good chuckle, too.)
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Old 04-18-2022   #298
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She’s About To Put Her Foot In It
Bad Behavior, Hospital, Nurses, USA | Healthy | April 26, 2019
(While cleaning a route for climbing, some rocks come loose and hit my foot. I am a few hours from the nearest town, and about six from the nearest hospital. Because the pain is manageable, I just lace my boots up and get a ride to the hospital a few days later. I will admit to looking more than a little scruffy at this point, and bathing hasn’t exactly been a common occurrence over the past few months due to lack of facilities.)

Nurse: “Why are you here today?”

Me: “I think I broke my foot.”

Nurse: “Why do you think that?”

Me: “Around 45 pounds of rocks fell on it a few days back, and I can move one of the bones around.”

Nurse: *rolls her eyes* “Are you sure that’s not just a joint? If you broke something a few days ago, you would have come in a few days ago.”

Me: “Well, it wasn’t really an option because I was two hours outside of [Small, Rural Town] and had to wait to get a ride to here. Plus, it’s really swollen and I don’t think the arch of my foot has a joint in it.”

Nurse: “If you want pain meds, just admit it. I’m not wasting time on a room for you if you’re just looking for pills.”

Me: “I haven’t asked for any medications at all, and I just want an x-ray of my foot.”

Nurse: “No. You clearly want drugs. I’m not wasting time on you anymore. Just leave. Try the methadone clinic across the street.”

Me: “No. I am not leaving until someone actually examines my foot!”

Nurse: *rolls eyes again and motions to the security guard* “Listen, if you won’t leave, we’ll have to escort you out.”

Me: “Just have someone actually look at my foot! I don’t want pills, I don’t want a room; just have an actual doctor look at my d*** foot!”

(The security guard looks at me and the nurse.)

Nurse: “Get her out of here; she’s a junkie.”

Guard: *looking confused* “Has she asked for pills? Or been violent to you? Because I haven’t seen her threaten you, [Nurse]. I don’t see why she needs to leave before seeing a doctor.”

(The nurse stomps away but returns a few minutes later, dragging a doctor by the sleeve.)

Nurse: “See? She claims she broke her foot days ago and just now came in for it. She’s clearly looking for drugs or a place to sleep.”

Doctor: “Have you actually looked at her foot yet, [Nurse]?”

Nurse: “No! She’s gross and clearly faking it! She doesn’t need treatment; she needs a f****** job!”

Doctor: “Let me see your foot, ma’am.”

(I take off my boot and sock. Apparently, one of the bones has moved around; it’s now visibly poking up.)

Doctor: “[Nurse], get out of here. Her foot is clearly broken. Go find something else to do, instead of your asinine crusade against people who you don’t like.”

(I got my foot x-rayed and got a boot for it. I broke it in five places and the doctor said I was lucky to not have caused permanent damage by not getting it set right away. The nurse had to send me an apology letter for her behavior, and I learned to shower and look nicer before going to a hospital!)
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Old 04-18-2022   #299
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She Had A Fall, And So Did Australia, Apparently
Australia, Golden Years, Hospital, Patients, Perth, Politics, Western Australia | Healthy | April 26, 2019
(I’m in the ER with my husband after he broke his arm. A woman and her adult daughter are in the curtain area next to us. From what I can gather, the older woman had a fall and hit her head; she doesn’t remember what happened and has lost her hearing aids. The nurse is asking her some general questions. It is 2014 and we live in Australia.)

Nurse: “Okay, just a few questions. What is your full name?”

Older Woman: “[Older Woman].”

Nurse: “Great, and your birthdate?”

Older Woman: “Pardon?”

Daughter: *bit louder* “Your birthday, mum”

Older Woman: “Oh, it’s [birthdate].”

Nurse: “Who is the prime minister?”

Older Woman: “I’m sorry, what?”

Daughter: *louder again* “Who’s the idiot that runs the country?”

Older Woman: “Oh, that’s Tony Abbott.”

(My husband and I couldn’t help but laugh. The nurse had a good chuckle, too.)
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Old 04-18-2022   #300
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No Three Cheers For This Doctor
Bad Behavior, Doctor/Physician, Georgia, Hospital, USA, Wild & Unruly | Healthy | April 25, 2019
(My first experience with a migraine is not a fun one. I lay in bed for two days and nothing works. I am ten at the time. My mom decides to take me to the ER to get stronger medicines since I am missing school and crying any time I am awake. After waiting for an hour, I am taken back and they begin prepping for medicine.)

Doctor: “All right. I’m going to give you a shot to help your head.”

Me: “W-what? I didn’t…”

(I start crying again due to a fear of needles while my mom comforts me. The doctor preps the shot.)

Doctor: “All right. Going to count to three and then we’ll stick you. One… Two…”

(He then jabs the needle in. I scream and jerk away because I wasn’t prepared, causing blood to get all over my arm.)

Doctor: “What the h*** was that for?! You’re ten! Grow up!”

Mom: “And you stabbed my child! You said, ‘On three’!”

Doctor: “Well, if he wasn’t such a brat—“

(A nurse comes in at that moment and sees me crying with blood all over my arm, my mom cornering the doctor, and the doctor with the needle still in his hand. The doctor shoves my mom away and all but slams the needle into the nurse’s hand.)

Doctor: “You take care of this spoiled brat!”

(The nurse patched me up and waited until three to stick me. It took a few tries, but we finally got the medicine. Once it took effect, I don’t remember anything, but, from what I heard, the doctor was fired because he was too rough with patients. One even almost died because of him.)
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