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Old 04-18-2022   #341
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The Hotel D’Mentia
Assisted Living, Golden Years, Patients, The Netherlands | Healthy | March 11, 2019
(This happens when I am just 17 years old. I get a summer job, one of my first jobs ever, in a retirement home serving coffee and tea in the public living room during the afternoons. This interaction happens with one of the residents. She has Alzheimer’s but I do not know that at the time, and it is one of my first times interacting with someone in that condition.)

Elderly Lady: *very politely* “May I inquire if it is possible for me to stay in the same room one more night?”

Me: *a bit confused, since she lives here* “Um, this is not a hotel, so your room is yours, of course.”

Elderly Lady: “No, I booked a room here and I would like to pay for one more night’s stay, please.”

Me: *still confused* “But this is a retirement home; you live here.”

Elderly Lady: *suddenly a bit shocked and looking around* “Oh, my gosh. I am so sorry; I am in the wrong place! I will go to my sister’s house and stay with her tonight. Thank you.”

(With that, she walks out of the building and leaves me very confused and worried! I realize that this lady does not seem to have a full grasp of the present or reality and I go to find a nurse. I am worried the lady will get lost or injured. The nurse laughs and knows who I am talking about. She says that the lady will come back eventually by herself, as usual. I continue with my tasks but am still worried. When I am almost done with my shift, who would walk in but the elderly lady from before! I immediately walk up to her.)

Elderly Lady: *very politely* “Excuse me. I cannot seem to locate my sister’s house. May I inquire if it is possible for me to stay in the same room one more night?”

Me: “Of course, madam. Your room is ready for you; it is the same room as usual. You are welcome to stay as long as you like.”

Elderly Lady: *enormous smile on her face* “Why, thank you, miss. Such good service. I always enjoy staying here.”

(With that, she happily went to her room. I was so relieved she managed to come back. There was no benefit or point in arguing with her and trying to make her understand her circumstances; it would only make her feel scared, confused, and miserable. I felt that that would just be mean.)
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Old 04-18-2022   #342
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An Ambulatory Story
Editors' Choice, Hospital, Impossible Demands, Patients, Stupid, UK | Healthy | March 11, 2019
(A friend of mine has had problems with a stomach ulcer for some time. Today it’s causing a lot of pain, so he goes into A&E to get it checked.)

A&E Receptionist: “Since you haven’t been to the hospital with this problem for over a year, you need a referral from your doctor in order to be seen.”

(He then leaves, but sits in the car still in the hospital car park to phone the GP.)

GP: “Well, I can refer you, but if the pain is that bad you need to phone [non-emergency urgent care line] to get an appointment straight away.”

(He phones this number and explains all of the symptoms.)

Call Handler: “With the symptoms you’ve explained, you need to be seen straight away. We’ll send an ambulance on blue lights to you now.”

Friend: “I’m in the hospital car park; I can walk to A&E from here.”

Call Handler: “No, absolutely no walking there. We’ll send you an ambulance.”

Friend: “I’m in the hospital car park! I don’t need an ambulance!”

Call Handler: “With your symptoms, you must be transported to the hospital via an ambulance. It’s not safe for you to get yourself there.”

Friend: “I can see three ambulances from here! I can go and over and sit in one if it makes you feel better!”

(They did eventually consent to allowing him to walk the 50 feet back into the hospital himself.)
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Old 04-18-2022   #343
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Take A Breath And Think About It
California, Medical Office, Patients, USA | Healthy | March 9, 2019
(I work at a sleep clinic work with people who have sleep disorders such as apnea and Hypopnea. These disorders, in a nutshell, make a person stop breathing or breathe so shallowly the oxygen in their blood is affected like with apnea. And I get this almost every time I’m working when I put CPAP on a patient!)

Patient: “Excuse me, miss? I can’t breathe with this thing on!”

Me: *after seeing them stop breathing for almost a minute* “Well, you aren’t breathing with it off, either.”
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Old 04-18-2022   #344
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You’ve Got Male, But Not Babies
Bigotry, Ignoring & Inattentive, Medical Office, Nurses, Patients, UK, Wales | Healthy | March 7, 2019
(I am a trans guy, currently at the doctor’s office for an ear infection. The person I’m seeing about it is the nurse practitioner, our practice’s head nurse.)

Nurse: “Are you sexually active?”

Me: “Yes.”

Nurse: “Is there a chance you could be pregnant?”

Me: “Nope.”

Nurse: “I know your partner is male; you could be pregnant.”

Me: “I’m not.”

Nurse: “Just because you think you’re a man, that doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant.”

Me: “Not pregnant.”

Nurse: “You still have female anatomy. Quit pretending you don’t. All you people are like this, thinking you can’t get pregnant because you think you’re not a girl. I’m giving you a pregnancy test.”

Me: “I had a hysterectomy last year; my medical records are in front of you.”

Nurse: “That doesn’t matter. You people are all like this. I’m giving you a pregnancy test.”
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Old 04-18-2022   #345
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Having A Hard Time Understanding
Doctor/Physician, Hospital, Stupid, USA | Healthy | March 5, 2019
(I work in a hospital laboratory. One of the tests we do is clotting times in order to monitor dosages of blood thinners. Basically, we do some magic with the blood, and the machine counts the seconds until the specimen is clotted, hence “clotting times.”)

Doctor: *on the phone* “Hey, do you have the results for [test] yet?”

Me: “Nope, but it’s running right now.”

Doctor: “Well, do you have any idea how much longer it’s going to be? The patient is waiting on their next dose.”

Me: “If I knew how much longer it would take, I’d have the results.”

Doctor: “Huh?”

Me: “[Test] is measured in time. The unit of measure is seconds.”

Doctor: “Oh. Well, carry on, then.”
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Old 04-18-2022   #346
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That’s Not How Not Working Works
Liars/Scammers, Medical Office, Texas, USA | Healthy | March 3, 2019
(I work at a multi-doctor cardiology office as a receptionist. This story comes directly from my coworker, who sits beside my station.)

Coworker: “Thank you for calling [Clinic]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, I have a return-to-work form that needs to be filled out. Can your doctor get it done for me today?”

Coworker: “Which doctor do you see at our office?”

Caller: “I don’t see anyone up there.”

Coworker: “You would have to be a patient up here for any of the doctors to fill out.”

Caller: “So, they can’t fill it out for me?”

Coworker: “No, you’re not a patient here. They wouldn’t know if you can return to work or not.”

Caller: “Well, can I see one of the doctors today?”

Coworker: “They wouldn’t be able to see you today, no. What do you need the signature for, anyway?”

Caller: “I hurt my leg.”

Coworker: “I don’t think a cardiologist can sign on a leg injury unless it’s vein related. You may need your primary doctor to sign it.”

Caller: “I don’t have a doctor. I just wanted someone to sign my letter so I don’t have to work.”
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Old 04-18-2022   #347
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Medicine Prices Can Wind You
Health & Body, Non-Dialogue, Patients, Pharmacy, Revolting, Silly, USA | Healthy | March 1, 2019
I had been having horrible stomach cramps, to the point where I could barely stand. I’ve already had my appendix removed, so my doctor ran a few other tests and determined the pain was from a bowel obstruction. He sent me home with instructions to drink more water and take a laxative and some OTC pain killers.

While waiting in the checkout line with my purchase, several waves of cramps came over me and I started seeing stars. The cashier saw me start to stumble and called for help. More stars appeared before the pain became so intense I passed out.

When I regained consciousness, there was a crowd surrounding me with a mixture of emotions on their faces. Some were concerned, others embarrassed, and others looked like they were trying not to laugh, but none of them are looking at me. I started to sit up and the associate closest to me — the pharmacist who helped me pick my laxative — told me to stay still and wait for the ambulance to arrive.

I asked what happened and the pharmacist blushed deeper. I looked down to make sure I hadn’t lost control of my bladder. I hadn’t, but then I realized my stomach didn’t hurt as much anymore. I made that comment aloud, and some of the crowd laughed. A man from the crowd leaned in and told me that when I hit the floor, I’d released the biggest, loudest, longest fart he’d ever heard out of any human being.

The people gathered around were obviously there to see how I handled the news of my flatulent faux pas. I was terribly embarrassed, but I was also so relieved that I wasn’t in pain anymore, I just laughed until I cried. The ambulance arrived shortly thereafter and gave me the okay to go home. I apologized to everyone in the vicinity and told them I hoped the rest of their day went better than mine.
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Old 04-22-2022   #348
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Can’t See Why Some People Become Parents
Bad Behavior, Germany, Medical Office, Optometrist/Optician, Parents/Guardians, Stupid | Healthy | February 24, 2019
(Ophthalmologist’s offices in Germany have a rotating system of which office has to stay open for emergencies on the weekends. Today, it’s our office’s turn and I’m manning the front desk. A couple comes in with their five-year-old daughter. She has a very red eye and says it hurts a lot. I take their info and ask how long she’s had those symptoms.)

Mother: “I think since this afternoon — a couple of hours, maybe.”

Me: “Okay. Did something happen? Did she get something in her eye?”

Mother: “I don’t think so; I was watching her all the time.”

(The mother looks a little annoyed at my questioning and the father just nods, apathetic. I give some numbing eye drops to the girl to ease the pain and send her right to the doctor. My coworker follows in, only to come back out some minutes later looking rather angry.)

Coworker: “Guess what? This girl has a metal splinter burnt into her cornea.”

Me: “She has what?”

Coworker: “Yes, her father let her watch him using the angle grinder without safety goggles.”

Me: “And he didn’t think that might be kind of… dangerous?”

Coworker: “Apparently not. I’m getting the instruments to get the splinter out.”

(My coworker goes back in to the doctor and they start trying to get the metal out. After a while, the couple and the girl storm past me out of the door, the mother looking angry, the girl rather relieved with a patch on her eye, and the father pouting. My coworker and the doctor come out right behind, looking exhausted.)

Coworker: “WOOOOOW!”

Me: “What happened?”

Doctor: “The girl was wriggling all. The. Time. [Coworker] couldn’t hold her by herself, so I asked the mother to hold the girl, too. When I was just about to pick the splinter out, the mother let her wiggling daughter go and said, ‘Oh, no, I almost got a cramp in my hand,’ and I was thinking, ‘Oh, no, I almost impaled your daughter’s eye, but good for you that you didn’t get a cramp!’”

Me: “What caring parents this girl has…”
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Old 04-22-2022   #349
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Keeping Your Patients Straight Is Harder Than It Looks
Hospital, Ignoring & Inattentive, Nurses, USA | Healthy | February 23, 2019
(I’m getting an x-ray done of my back for a suspected back fracture. Essentially, I am in so much pain I can’t stand straight; I’m sort of bending over and favoring one side. The technician is setting me up by the machine but frowns.)

Technician: “Can you stand up straight? We aren’t going to get a clear picture this way.”

Me: *wincing, gasping in pain as I clearly struggle to even stand up* “No?”

Technician: “Oh… Right.”

(She figured out another way.)
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Old 04-22-2022   #350
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The Patient Is Gluten-Free; The Doctor Is Brain-Free
Doctor/Physician, Ignoring & Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful, Medical Office, Texas, USA | Healthy | February 22, 2019
(I’ve been suffering from chronic pain and fatigue for years, and my GP refers me to a rheumatologist following some concerning test results. I’m in my mid-twenties and walking with a limp.)

Doctor: “You were referred to me because of your test results, but this test often shows false positives. You probably have nothing to worry about. I’ll order you a new series of blood tests. Now, you indicated that you’re in pain. Where does it hurt the most?”

Me: “It varies; some days it hurts–”

Doctor: *interrupting* “Where does it hurt the most right now?”

Me: “Um… here.” *point at my leg* “But the pain moves around. Sometimes it hurts my jaw, my neck, my shoulders… As I wrote on the forms, it’s sort of all over. It makes it difficult to exercise, to cook, or even to write.”

Doctor: *looking at my leg* “It’s probably just a pinched nerve.” *glancing down* “You indicated that you have psoriasis. Is that it?”

(She leans forward without warning and pokes at a patch of dry skin on my leg.)

Doctor: “Does that hurt? It looks bad.”

Me: “Um… No. It itches sometimes, but it’s pretty mild.”

Doctor: “It doesn’t look like psoriasis. When were you diagnosed?”

Me: “When I was a kid, maybe ten or so?”

Doctor: “And what did your dermatologist say at the time?”

Me: “Um… I was ten, so… I don’t really…?”

Doctor: “You should see your dermatologist. And a neurologist for your back pain. I see here that you’re trying a gluten-free diet? That should help with the pain, and your weight, too.”

Me: “I’m not… What?” *confused* “I’m not ‘trying’ a gluten-free diet. I’m gluten-intolerant. I’ve been gluten-free for over a year.”

Doctor: “Right, it should help. Your pain should decrease, and you should start losing weight.”

Me: *frustrated* “As I said, I stopped eating gluten a year ago. It did help. A lot of my fatigue and stomach issues went away. But if it was going to help with the pain, I think it would have done it by now.”

Doctor: “Well, I think you’ll start to see the benefits soon. Anyway, go to our lab. I’m sure we’ll find that you have nothing to worry about.”

(I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease related to psoriasis. I decided to transfer to a different doctor. I requested a copy of my records to send over, and what I read there only strengthened my decision, since her only notes from that appointment said that I was experiencing minor pain and that I should go on a low-carb diet.)
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Old 04-22-2022   #351
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Good Thing Stupidity Isn’t Contagious, Either
Arkansas, Ignoring & Inattentive, Medical Office, Nurses, USA | Healthy | February 21, 2019
(My wife has been under the weather for a while. They send her home early from work one day, so I take her to our favourite urgent care clinic. They did really well when she had pneumonia last spring, so we have no reason to doubt their abilities this year. But… the nurse is inattentive. She walks in, sits down, doesn’t look up from her laptop while taking history, and then flees as soon as she can. In meanders the “doctor,” a nurse practitioner. I’m sure there are good ones out there, but I’ve yet to meet a truly competent one. He checks her ears, throat, and breathing, all from the outside. I don’t recall him actually looking in her mouth once. We tell him she’s sneezing blood, vomiting mucus, and having intense sinus pressure.)

Practitioner: “Sounds like an asthma flare-up to me.”

Me: *incredulous* “Asthma attacks cause sinus pressure, pain, and vomiting?!”

Practitioner: “Okay, with a minor sinus infection.”

Me: “Really?!”

Practitioner: “We’ll send over an antibiotic and a steroid and give her a shot.”

Me: “For asthma?”

(He is dismissive of my concerns and leaves. One week later, my throat is swollen and sore and I can barely speak. My wife, feeling a little better than me, calls the clinic.)

Wife: “I was in last week and saw your nurse practitioner. He said I was just having an asthma flare-up, but now my wife has it! I didn’t know asthma was contagious.” *pause* “He’s an idiot and you should screen your people better.” *pause* “No. Screen your people. Make sure they know what they’re talking about when they see someone.” *click*
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Old 04-22-2022   #352
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That Is Off The Charts
Hospital, Non-Dialogue, Nurses, Ohio, Patients, Stupid | Healthy | February 21, 2019
I’m an RN who previously worked in a hospital unit where we dealt with concussions. This is the best thing I’ve ever written in a patient’s chart:

“Patient educated on not riding with chainsaw in the uplifted bucket of the Bobcat.”
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Old 04-22-2022   #353
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Doctors Have Homes?!
Hospital, Impossible Demands, Patients, USA | Healthy | February 20, 2019
(I am a resident on long call, staying after all of the other residents leave at 5:00 pm and admitting patients until the night team takes over. Near 8:00 pm, I get a call from the emergency department to admit a patient who was brought from her primary care provider’s office. Her condition is not that serious and she is generally pleasant, except for one thing

Patient: “[Attending Doctor] promised me that he would meet me right when I arrived!”

Me: “Oh? When did you speak with him?”

Patient: “When I was in the clinic.”

(Note that that was six or seven hours ago.)

Me: “Oh, well, the ambulance company never tells us a time of arrival, and it sounds like yours was pretty delayed. And the ED doesn’t tell every attending doctor when they admit a patient. [Attending Doctor] likely isn’t at the hospital anymore, but I’m sure he would have been here if he had known what time you were coming.”

Patient: “But he promised that he would be here waiting for me when I arrived!”

(She brought it up over and over again, making sure to interject it after each question she answered. I was a little taken aback by how fixated she was on this, especially considering how calm she was about her actual medical condition, and also by the fact that she assumed doctors don’t have lives and spend all of their copious free time at the hospital instead of with, I don’t know, their families? It turns out [Attending Doctor] was at a meeting and he drove back to the hospital to see the patient when it was done. I’m sure the patient was still upset that he did not use his psychic powers to know the exact time she arrived so he could be at the emergency department doors to greet her.)
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Avoid Taking These, But When You Do… Go Crazy!
Doctor/Physician, Medical Office, Stupid, Sweden | Healthy | February 19, 2019
(I typically never get ill, but when I do catch a bad cold, I tend to get pink eye, an ear infection, and a sinus infection all at once. This happens between Christmas and New Year’s about ten years ago. I’m miserable and decide I need to see a doctor to get some antibiotics. I go to my local health center, but since it is holiday time, my normal doctor is not there. Instead, a temp doctor sees me. At the time I am very overweight.)

Doctor: “You know, you could benefit from losing a few kilos!”

(As if I didn’t know!)

Me: “Okay, but what about my cold?”

Doctor: *while listening to my lungs* “You have really light skin and a lot of birthmarks. Make sure you use sunscreen!”

Me: “Okay, but do I need antibiotics?”

Doctor: “Mmm, but we should only take antibiotics if it is absolutely unavoidable. I’ll give you a prescription, but don’t use it unless you don’t get better in a few days!”

Me: “Fair enough!”

Doctor: *looking through his big book of drugs* “So, how many pills do you need?”

(Yeah, he is serious. He asks me what the dosage is. Then, he calculates from my weight that I should have 21 pills per day! When I protest, he becomes irritated and snarky and gives me the largest dosage in the book.)

Doctor: “Are you happy now? “

(Eh, yeah. Sure! I just left as soon as I could. A few days later, I needed those pills, as I wasn’t getting better. When I spoke to the pharmacy, they were horrified to hear about the 21-pill dosage. They said that they would never, EVER have given me that much. Later, I returned to my regular doctor for a follow-up, and he was just as horrified. He also told me that the dosage I did get was what they give to bad cases of pneumonia. So, yeah, I was cured, but my doctor said that they would never use that doctor again.)
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In A Spot Of Bother
Bad Behavior, Doctor/Physician, Medical Office, Oklahoma, Stupid, USA | Healthy | February 19, 2019
CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

(For a month or so, I’ve had a very small lump right at the base of my hairline on my neck. I don’t worry too much about it, as it doesn’t seem to be growing and isn’t painful at all, until one day it very suddenly floods with blood, like a blood blister. I have a very strong family history of melanoma, so anything on my skin that changes color rapidly is cause for alarm, so the next morning I go to the emergency clinic for an opinion as they are the ones that will see me the soonest.)

Doctor #1 : “Okay, let’s have a look

Me: *tipping my head to show him the lump* “It was the same color as my skin before last night when it turned red like that.”

Doctor #1 : “Hmm… Well, it sort of just looks like you may have broken a capillary, but because of that, it’s a bit hard to see what might be under it… Oh, and what’s all that?”

(He points to my shoulder, which is healing up after a nasty acne breakout)

Me: “Oh, I went and visited my home state a week ago; I always break out something awful while I’m there, and it’s just healing up. And besides, the lump was there before then.”

Doctor #1 : “Hmm… Well, I think we should still get you on something for that. That lump could still be acne-related.”

(This seems reasonable enough, so he prescribes me an oral medication for acne and a cream for topical use. He tells me to use both for three days and then come back to check the progress. I do so, and when I return we have the following conversation)

Doctor #1 : “Oh, your shoulder looks much better!”

Me: “Er… Yeah, well, it’s had a few more days to heal.”

Doctor #1 : “So, we should definitely keep you on the acne medication.”

Me: *pause* “Sure.” *with no intention of actually keeping up the entirely pointless medication* “But that lump hasn’t reacted at all.”

(He checks to see that I’m correct)

Doctor #1 : “Huh! Well, then, do you want it off?”

Me: “Well… I mean, I don’t know what it is.”

Doctor: “Oh, well, that’s called a nevi. It’s just a harmless skin growth for the most part, but given your family history of skin cancer, I very strongly suggest you get it removed.”

Me: “Well… All right…”

Doctor #1 : “Great! I’ll be right back!”

(He does the procedure right then — which is not fun, by the way — burning off the “nevi” with an electrical current. I’m honestly a bit hesitant, but I don’t want to be that patient that insists I know more than a medical professional. After he’s done, he starts poking me in the shoulder.)

Doctor #1 : “Oh, what’s this here? You should really get this looked at, too.”

(I think about the spot he’s poking. It’s what I know for a fact is a completely benign mole. It’s perfectly healthy and I’ve had it for ages, and I’m beginning to suspect that this doctor is just of the opinion that I shouldn’t have any sort of blemish anywhere on me.)

Me: “Er… Thanks, but I think we’ll leave that one alone.”

Doctor #1 : “Are you sure? I really think you should have it looked at.”

Me: *now feeling even more uneasy about the whole thing* “I’ll keep that in mind, but I think we’re done for today.”

Doctor #1 : “All right, suit yourself!”

(I go home and let the burn start to heal, but I also look up the word, “nevi.” It means, “mole.” I cannot express how much my complaint was NOT a mole. I kick myself for letting this guy burn whatever it was off, but it quickly becomes apparent that what he ACTUALLY did was burn off the layer of skin covering whatever was causing my complaint. There’s still a bump there, and now it’s much more obvious as it’s turned into a bright red nodule. I do the thing you’re not supposed to do and start Googling, as I figure I can’t cause more harm by looking things up. The theory I land on is that the bump is actually an inflamed lymph node — which I did not previously know could be that near the surface — reacting to some previously unnoticed infection. This is further backed up when, after about another week, I start noticing some more lumps further under the skin, as well as developing a headache localized to that side of my head. Finally, I make an actual appointment at my regular doctor’s office and explain the whole story to him. He actually stares at me for a moment after I tell the story.)

Doctor #2 : “He… he tried to burn it off?”

Me: “Yes. So, you know, that particular lump is going to look especially bad, so you might want to look at the others for better reference.”

Doctor #2 : “Yeah, I’d better.”

(He comes to the exact same conclusion I did, and further traces the issue to a tooth I was preparing to have a crown put on. I hadn’t connected the two because, while the tooth definitely needs work, it wasn’t really painful so I wouldn’t have thought it was infected)

Doctor #2 : “Okay, so… we’re not going to be, you know, giving you any freaking creams for this because, you know, they’re your lymph nodes… I just… God!”

Me: “Yeah, I figured not. Antibiotics, then?”

Doctor #2 : “Yes. And we’ll do some blood work too… I just…. He tried to burn off your lymph node!”

(I left feeling rather vindicated, and as of writing this up, my lymph nodes have finally started settling down, and my headache is gone. Would have been nice not to have a chunk of my neck burnt off first, though.)
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Sick Of Puns
Hospital, Indiana, Nurses, Punny, School, Silly, Teachers, USA | Healthy | February 18, 2019
(This happens to my dad when he is going back to nursing school in his sixties — a story in itself! One time a senior nursing instructor visits the class to give a “very important” presentation. This happens in the late 2000s, and both bird flu and swine flu are of major concern at the time as potential pandemics.)

Senior Instructor: *solemnly, and with a completely straight face* “I need to teach you how to recognize the difference between swine flu and bird flu. If it’s bird flu, you need a tweetment. If it’s swine flu, you need an oinkment!”

(The entire class just about busted a gut laughing. My dad said in his entire time in nursing school, this particular instructor was always taciturn and businesslike and NEVER showed this sort of levity, except on this one remarkable occasion.)
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Old 04-22-2022   #357
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So Many Optometrists But They Can’t See What’s Happening
Bad Behavior, Maine, Medical Office, Reception, USA | Healthy | February 17, 2019
(My family and I have been going to the same optometrist, a family friend who grew up with my father, for as long as I can remember. He finally retires after around 50 years and sells his business to a local chain optometry company. I get one final exam in with my regular optometrist, about five months before he retires, and I run out of contact lenses around two months after he retires. I call up his old office, now owned and operated by the chain and of whom I am now a patient, to order more.)

Me: “Hi. This is [My Name]; I was a patient of [Optometrist]. I’d like to order more contacts.”

Receptionist: “Of course. But before we can order more contacts for you, we’ll need you to come in for an exam.”

Me: “Uh… I’m sorry, why?”

Receptionist: “Your prescription is out of date.”

Me: “I just had my last exam seven or eight months ago. Why do I need another one?”

Receptionist: “Because you are a new patient; the optometrist has to see you before he can order your contacts.”

Me: “Okay… How much is an exam?”

Receptionist: “It will be [amount].”

(My old optometrist charged a little more than half the price that was quoted to me. My vision insurance only covers one exam every twelve months, regardless of who gives the exam, and at the price they quoted me I cannot afford a second exam in less than a year. I explain as much to the receptionist.)

Me: “There’s really no way for the optometrist to order me enough contacts to get me through the last four months before my insurance covers another exam?”

Receptionist: “Let me speak with the optometrist; we might be able to work something out. I’ll have to put you on hold.”

Me: “That’s fine.”

(I am on hold for about 20 minutes, and finally, the line cuts to ringing. A completely different person answers.)

Receptionist #2 : “Thank you for calling [Chain Optometrist].”

Me: “Oh… I was on hold, waiting for a different receptionist to ask the optometrist a question.”

Receptionist #2 : “Oh! What was the question, do you know? I might be able to answer it.”

Me: “Whether the optometrist could order me more contacts before I have another exam. I just had one about eight months ago.”

Receptionist #2 : “That shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t know why the other receptionist needed to ask the optometrist that. May I have your name, please?”

Me: “Sure, I’m [My Name].”

Receptionist #2 : *typing audibly* “Okay… Hm, that’s weird.”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Receptionist #2 : “I don’t have you in my system.”

Me: “That is weird; I thought all my information transferred over fine.”

Receptionist #2 : “Transferred? Which doctor did you see?”

Me: “[Optometrist].”

Receptionist #2 : “I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with that doctor.”

Me: “But you guys just bought his company?”

Receptionist #2 : “Oh… Oh! Oh, you mean in [Town]?”

Me: “Yeah, that’s the one.”

Receptionist #2 : “You called the [City] location; we can’t order you contacts, but the [Town] location where you’re registered as a patient can.”

([City] is a large city about 60 miles away; [Town] is a small town that is about a five-minute drive from my apartment.)

Me: “That’s what I did; I called [Town], then I was put on hold when I asked to order contacts..”

Receptionist #2 : “Ah, I understand. Our home office is in [City], so all hold calls eventually transfer back to us after a certain amount of time.”

Me: “That’s… strange. Could you please transfer me back?”

Receptionist #2 : “Of course. Hold on just a minute, please.”

(I am placed on hold again, again for around twenty minutes. Finally, a third receptionist picks up.)

Receptionist #3 : “Thank you for calling [Chain Optometrist].”

Me: “Hi. this is [My Name]. I was a patient of [Optometrist]. I called earlier to order more contacts.”

Receptionist #3 : “Of course. Let me look up your prescription. Oh… You haven’t seen the optometrist yet.”

Me: *sighs* “No, but I just saw my old optometrist about eight months ago.”

Receptionist #3 : “Well, we can’t order you more contacts until you see the optometrist.”

Me: “Yes, I was told this by the first person I spoke to. She put me on hold to ask the optometrist.”

Receptionist #3 : *snorts* “Don’t know why she would do that. She should know we won’t give you any without an exam by our doctor.”

(I have worked customer service for almost ten years, and as such, I don’t want to cause a scene but I am frustrated and this particular receptionist, being so curt with me after the other two were trying to be helpful, irritates me. At this point, including the hold time, I have been on the phone for almost an hour now for what should have been a three-minute call.)

Me: *forcing my voice to be as even as I can* “I’m sorry, let me stop you there. I apologize if I come off as frustrated, but it’s because I am. I have been transferred three times and been on the phone for nearly an hour, and you are the third person I have spoken to. I literally need maybe one full box of contact lenses to get me through four months, as my insurance won’t cover another exam so soon and I can’t afford your exam rate without insurance. Is there really no way for me to get just one box of contacts without seeing your optometrist?”

(There is silence on the line, and I think at first that she hung up. Then, she speaks, very icily and sharply.)

Receptionist #3 : “That is how we do things here. You know, there are four other optometrists within ten miles of us.”

Me: “I see. I’ll take my prescription information now, thank you. I’ll order my contacts from [Mail Order Contacts Service].”

(The receptionist proceeded to read off my prescription to me rapidly and, again, rather sharply. I managed to write it down, and as soon as she finished speaking she hung up on me. I got some recommendations from family and friends, and four months later I very happily saw a different optometrist, whose employees were sympathetic but not surprised when I told them about my experience with the chain. They told me they already had sixteen former patients of [Optometrist] switch over to them after the chain took over! Not a good look for the chain.)
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Old 04-22-2022   #358
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Their Real Selves Bear Teeth
Dentist, England, Jerk, Liars/Scammers, UK | Healthy | February 15, 2019
(I’m at the dentist, and he suggests I go to the hygienist for a clean, etc. I say okay, though I’m not convinced I need it. I’ve not been to the dentist for a couple of years, but my teeth are in great shape, as I look after them well. The following conversation proves me right, and I have not been back since.)

Hygienist: “You know, your teeth are quite incredibly clean considering it’s been six months since we last saw you.”

Me: “Actually, it’s been two years since you last saw me.”

Hygienist: “Well, you really should have come in before now, then! Your teeth need a clean!”

Me: *long pause* “Goodbye.”
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Old 04-22-2022   #359
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Valentine’s Day 2019
Roundups | Friendly Healthy Learning Legal Related Right Romantic Working | February 14, 2019
Valentine’s Day. It’s a day of romance and celebration of love. It’s a day of candy and flowers and romantic dinners. It’s a day for sappy endearments and mushy exclamations of adoration.



But this is NotAlwaysRight, so instead we’re going to look at another side of love: Wedding Mayhem. Bridezillas. Groom-monsters. In-Laws that should be outlawed. Maids of Horror and Worst Men. Plus other participants in the event, willing or not.

Here are just the stories for you to make you think twice before walking down the aisle — or to bring up memories of your own.



Procrastination Cost You Your Marriage — What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Fall of Bridezilla — There are some lines that a bride — that anyone — should not cross.

The Bridal Shower Of Tears — So much for a family celebration.

Forget The Announcements, Here Comes The Pronouncements — The more you think about it, you wonder if she’s mean or right…

It’s A Warzone Up There — The wedding party has turned into a wedding riot.

Married To Herself — Maybe she was trying to start a family tradition of being self-absorbed.

She Is The Opinionator — The Maid of Honor is supposed to be helpful…

Pogo Bounce Out Of That Wedding — Even the band can get the worst of Bridezilla.

Bridezilla On Line 1 — What do you mean, you don’t have telepathy?

Mother Of Bridezilla — More like Momthra, wouldn’t you say?

Can’t Dress It Up As Anything But Bridezilla — “Your clothes. Give them to me.”

A Bridal Shower Of Criticism — The Momster Monster does not listen.

Stress About The Dress — We had to include this favorite, where a Bridezilla tries to ruin the day for another bride and gets her comeuppance.

Do you have any wedding disaster stories? Was there madcap mayhem at your wedding, or in the planning of it? Tell us all about it in the comments, or submit it here and we may publish it!
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Old 04-22-2022   #360
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Stuck In A Bloody Cycle
Car, Health & Body, Israel, Non-Dialogue, Police, Police Station | Healthy | February 13, 2019
About twelve years ago I was riding my motorcycle when I got hit by a driver that didn’t look to see whether the road was clear while exiting her driveway. The impact and subsequent fall wrecked the bike pretty badly; the lights and the mirrors were shattered, the rear brake drum had cracked, the clutch got stuck on partially-disengaged, and the transmission got stuck on third. I was okay, aside from a nasty cut on my chin that got the front of my jacket covered in blood.

After checking myself for bodily injuries and concluding that I had sustained none aside from that cut, I exchanged the mandatory details with the woman that hit me, and told her I wanted to contact the police to have an accident report filled. The woman exclaimed that “she had no time for this,” and promptly drove off, leaving her front bumper, which had torn off in the collision, behind. I then found out that I had no battery remaining on my phone.

I just went to the police station to get that report, on that very bike which was somehow still driveable with all that damage. The officer I spoke to was horrified by the way I looked with all that blood, told me that the report could wait, and urged me to go to the ER to get myself examined. When he asked me whether I could get to the hospital myself, I absent-mindedly just nodded and pointed at the helmet I had in my hand. That seemed to satisfy him and I went on my way.

In retrospect, I don’t know what was worse: the fact that I rode a motorcycle in a condition that made it nowhere near legal to be ridden right up to the police station’s front door, or that the officer, who must have assumed that I was involved in a serious crash, was perfectly fine with me riding the motorcycle involved in that very same crash to the hospital.
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