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Old 07-29-2022   #1961
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Dental Health Isn’t Their Only Area Of Expertise
Awesome, Dentist, Inspirational, North Carolina, USA | Healthy | December 4, 2020
I do not like shots. I don’t faint while getting them, but I turn into a nervous wreck. I also have a lowered pain tolerance, which doesn’t help matters.

I have to get a cavity filled. The first time this happened, I was knocked out since, as I said, I hate needles. Between that filling and this one, my periodontist pulled my last three baby teeth. He’s really good at what he does, so it didn’t hurt. Because of that, I decide to go with the novocaine shot.

I am told beforehand by my parents and other people that there’ll be pressure. I don’t expect much out of it. But I am still a nervous wreck when the day arrives. My dentist knows this and genuinely reassures me.

I shut my eyes. They warn me before the needle goes in, and when it does, I start screaming my head off. I’m not crying, just screaming from unexpected pain probably heightened by nerves.

Someone wordlessly squeezes my hand until I calm down. The rest of the procedure goes without incident, though I am on edge the whole time. I apologize to the dentist and hygienists afterward for screaming.

Dentist & Hygienists: “Don’t worry about it.”

Then, this exchange happens afterward.

Me: “Mom, did you come back and hold my hand?”

Mom: “No? Dad and I heard you screaming, but we didn’t come back.”

It was at that moment that I realized one of the hygienists held my hand. So, nameless hygienist, thank you so much for helping me.
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Old 07-29-2022   #1962
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Another Exhibit In The Case Of “Why Nurses Should Rule The World”
Austria, Awesome, Hospital, Inspirational, Nurses, Vienna | Healthy | December 3, 2020
My parents are with my severely disabled sister who is being prepped for an operation. We take care of her at home and have a live-in nurse, but she still ends up in the hospital every few months, so the nurses are quite familiar with my family.

Nurse: “Would you like to remove your daughter’s nail polish?”

Mother: “Is it really necessary?”

Nurse: “Well, yes. We need to be able to see her nails during the operation to make sure she’s getting enough oxygen.”

Mother: “Oh, I see. It’s only that my other daughter painted her nails before going to college, and she won’t be back home for months. She went all the way to America and we can’t afford to bring her back every time [Sister] is hospitalized.”

Nurse: “Ach, I’m very sorry.”

She makes small talk with my parents while removing the nail polish. There are no comments about how my sister wouldn’t understand or even notice the nail polish, just reassuring chatter.

When they wheeled my sister back after the operation, my mother broke down in tears; they’d repainted my sister’s nails. When my mother told me about it, I teared up, too.

I still think of that nurse’s kindness — how she must’ve left the hospital to get nail polish of a similar shade and then painted my sister’s tiny nails. It sounds like such a small thing, but it was so completely outside her job scope and so sweet of her. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
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Old 07-29-2022   #1963
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We’re Expecting A Baby! But It Could Be A Velociraptor…
Canada, Doctor/Physician, Manitoba, Medical Office, Winnipeg, Wordplay | Healthy | December 2, 2020
I’m pregnant with my second daughter. My general practitioner is very nice but has a little trouble with English. He sends me for an ultrasound and this conversation happens at our next visit.

General Practitioner: “I have results from your ultrasound here.”

Me: “How does it look?”

General Practitioner: “You are having a monster.”

Me: *Horrified* “WHAT?”

General Practitioner: “Yes. Very big baby. Probably ten pounds.”

Me: “Oh… Thank goodness.”

I probably should have told him that “monster” is NOT the word to use when describing a baby-to-be.
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Old 07-29-2022   #1964
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This Hospital Is Really Going Down The Toilet
Hospital, Jerk, Northern Ireland, Patients | Healthy | December 1, 2020
When I am a student, I take a summer job working as a temporary admin person in a local hospital. The first week or so involves just sitting in a file room sorting through old files, but then I am taken off this job and put on the outpatients’ reception, as the regular receptionist is going on holiday.

A couple of days into my stint as receptionist, one of the medical secretaries comes to see me.

Secretary: “[Gastroenterologist] is off sick today with gastroenteritis and his clinic has therefore been cancelled. I’ve phoned all his patients and told them, but one or two slipped through the net due to their contact details being out of date. If any patients do turn up for [Gastroenterologists]’s clinic, please explain that the doctor was off sick, apologise for the inconvenience, reassure them that they will be given a replacement appointment when the doctor returns to work, and then try to update their contact details.”

The first couple of patients who arrive for this clinic are really understanding. They accept my apology, acknowledge that “these things happen,” and happily allowed me to take their up-to-date contact details. Then, I have THIS patient.

She is an older lady, probably in her early to mid-seventies, and she turns up with her daughter. She hands me her letter, and when I see she’s arrived for the gastroenterology clinic, I begin my usual spiel.

Me: “Ah, I’m very sorry, but we’ve actually had to cancel the clinic today. The doctor has phoned in sick, so he’ll not be back to work for a couple of days at least.”

Daughter: “Oh, dear!”

Her mother looks crestfallen. I apologise again for the inconvenience, reassure her that we’ll be giving her a replacement appointment as soon as the doctor is back to work, and explain that the reason we didn’t tell her about the cancellation was that we were unable to get hold of her. She gives me her up-to-date address and telephone number, which I put in her file, and then she starts complaining about being badly treated.

Woman: “I don’t understand how you people can do this to me! I’m an elderly lady! I can’t just travel up and down to the hospital for appointments!”

Me: *Staying calm* “Yes, I really do understand. To be honest, if I was in your position, I’d be upset, too, but unfortunately, there isn’t anything else we can do.”

The daughter still looks completely calm.

Daughter: “We’re getting another appointment though, right?”

I reassure her that her mother WILL be getting another appointment because it isn’t her fault the clinic was cancelled and it is up to us to make sure she gets the treatment she needs. The daughter seems satisfied, so she thanks me for being so understanding and turns to her mother.

Daughter: “Let’s go, Mum.”

The elderly lady turns to walk away and then changes her mind and stops. She turns to face me again.

Woman: “So [Gastroenterologist] is off sick today, is he?”

Me: “Yes, unfortunately, he is.”

She looks around and then leans in close to me and screams.

Woman: “WELL, HE F****** DESERVES IT!”

And she stormed out!

I worked in the reception for another two weeks and then was moved on to other duties. I really enjoyed working in the hospital, and years later, I still vividly remember this elderly lady leaning forward to scream, “WELL, HE F****** DESERVES IT!” all because her clinic was cancelled due to illness.
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Old 07-29-2022   #1965
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I Just Can’t Wait For You To Stab Me With A Needle!
Children, Doctor/Physician, Jerk, Medical Office, New Jersey, USA | Healthy | November 30, 2020
When my son is seven years old, I move to a new town. The school system has some different regulations for vaccines than where we have just come from. As it turns out, my son needs a shot before joining school in the new town. Unfortunately, my son is extremely needle-phobic. I have previously assisted holding him still in instances where he needed a shot or stitches. I know, as a nurse and a mom, that what needs to be done needs to be done.

As I am new to the area and do not have a pediatrician yet, I ask the school for the name of the school doctor. The following happens when my son and I arrive at his appointment for his shot.

Me: *To the receptionist* “Hi, I’m [My Name] and this is [Son]. We are here for his [shot].”

Receptionist: “Sure, have a seat in exam room one. Someone will be with you shortly.”

Me: “Thank you.”

[Son] and I wait for a few minutes. He knows he is there for a shot and starts to get a bit anxious. I do my best to distract him and calm him down. Soon, the doctor arrives in the room.

Doctor: “Good afternoon, ma’am, [Son]. So, you’re here for a [shot]?”

Me: “Yes, we are.”

Doctor: “Okay, I’ll get that ready for you and I’ll be back in a minute.”

The doctor leaves the room and arrives back a few minutes later with the needle and syringe on a tray.

Doctor: “All right, so here we are.” *Addresses my son directly* “So, [Son], are you ready for your shot now?”

My jaw drops; I cannot believe what I just heard. Why would you ever ask a child if they are ready to receive a shot? My son immediately indicates that he is not ready.

Doctor: “Okay, I’ll give you a few minutes. I’ll be back.”

I sit trying to calm my son as he grows increasingly anxious. Twenty minutes later, the doctor returns.

Doctor: “All right, big guy, are you ready yet?”

Son: “No.”

Doctor: “Well, then, you just let me know when you are.”

The doctor leaves the room again. I am so shocked that I am not able to verbalize my thoughts. My son begins to panic. He is wringing his hands and pulling at his hair. It is difficult to watch. Imagine a needle-phobic seven-year-old being told that he is the one who has to actually ask to be given a shot. He just isn’t going to be able to do it.

Another twenty minutes go by before the doctor returns.

Doctor: “So, [Son], do you want me to give you that [shot] now?”

Me: “Okay, hold on, doc. We have been here for an hour, during which time you have been tormenting a young child by telling him he needs to ask to be given a shot. This ends now. I am the mother. I make the medical decisions, not him. He is getting this shot, and he is getting it now. Go get your receptionist and have her come in to help me hold him still. You have got him worked so into a frenzy that I cannot do it by myself. When she comes in here, this is going to go one, two, three: you give him the shot, we leave, this trauma is over. Go get her. Now.”

And that is what happened. To this day, I am still unhappy with myself that I allowed the torture to go on as long as it did. I later followed up with a complaint to the school system about their “school doctor.” I also put it in writing that for any school health screenings that might come up, that doctor was not to come within twenty feet of my son.
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Old 07-29-2022   #1966
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I Hear Peru Is Lovely This Time Of Year
Funny Names, Ignoring & Inattentive, Medical Office, Nurses, USA, Washington | Healthy | November 29, 2020
When my oldest son is a baby, I take him to the doctor for one of his early checkups. A nurse comes out to the lobby and announces a name.

Nurse: “Leema?”

My appointment time has passed, so I am paying close attention and wonder if that could be for my son, whose name is Liam. I don’t think anyone could mess it up that much, so I wait until the nurse has announced the name multiple times and no one has responded.

Finally:

Me: “Do you mean Liam?”

She looks at the paper.

Nurse: “No, it’s Leema.”

I figure I was wrong and she continues to call out “Leema” a few more times. Finally, she comes up to me.

Nurse: “What name did you say earlier?”

Me: “It’s Liam.”

It was for us. She was quite a scatterbrain; in the following years I had a few more kids and took them all to the same doctor, and that nurse was always a little different. I still sometimes call my son Leema.
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Old 07-29-2022   #1967
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They Don’t Pussyfoot With Pet Safety
Health & Body, Impossible Demands, Pharmacy, Reddit | Healthy | CREDIT: deadeyes2019 | November 28, 2020
CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

My girlfriend has a cat, and I’m allergic to it; I get incredibly itchy. I treat these allergies with promethazine, and it works perfectly.

I queue up at the pharmacy, and it comes to my turn to order.

Me: “Hi, could I get the [Promethazine Brand], please?”

Dispenser: “Of course. Can I ask what you’re using it for, sir?”

Me: “My cat allergies.”

Dispenser: *Frowning slightly* “Excuse me for a moment.”

She walks to the back and I can see her discussing something with the pharmacist. Then, she returns.

Dispenser: “I’m sorry, sir; we can’t sell you this if you are going to give it to your cat.”

I am slightly taken aback by this and try not to laugh.

Me: “Sorry, I meant it’s for my allergies to cats.”

We both laughed, and she jokingly claimed that it had been a long day.

That brand even has a cat on the packaging here in England.
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Old 07-29-2022   #1968
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Nothing’s Warmer Than These Nurses’ Hearts
Awesome, Family & Kids, Hospital, Inspirational, Nurses, USA | Healthy | November 27, 2020
When my younger brother is born, he contracts an infection from a nurse that was sick with a cold when she delivered him. As such, he has to stay in the NICU for a couple of weeks. My mother cannot stay in the hospital with him due to having my two-year-old self at home.

My brother is very snuggly as a baby; he loves being held and nestles his head closer to the person holding him. Because of this, he becomes a favorite among the NICU nurses. Naturally, the nurses hold him a lot and pass him around so each gets a turn with the snuggly baby.

One day, when my mother is visiting, she finds out through this exchange.

Mom approaches the NICU.

Nurse: “Quick! Put him back! The mother is coming!”

My mother hears this and smiles instantly; she had been worried that her newborn wasn’t getting enough attention.

Mom: *Walking in the room* “Oh, you don’t have to put him back when I come. I have a toddler at home so I can’t be here as much as I’d like to be, and I’ve been worried since I’m not here to hold him as much as he needs to be. I’m actually relieved to know that he’s getting enough attention.”

The nurses’ faces lit up, and they started to be less secretive about their cuddle sessions, gladly handing him to my mom whenever she was able to visit.
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Old 07-29-2022   #1969
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A Cool-Headed Manager Turneth Away Wrath
Instant Karma, Jerk, Pharmacy, Reddit | Healthy | CREDIT: rainbownator96 | November 26, 2020
I’m working the drive-thru at a pharmacy when an older patient who has occasionally been a handful pulls up. She has two prescriptions to fill and she hands me an empty tube of name-brand hydrocortisone cream.

Patient: “Can you get me another tube of this, too, please?”

Normally, we’re supposed to encourage patients to call ahead for curbside pickup, but we are slow and I am feeling nice. I leave the pharmacy, pick up the same tube, and add it to her order. The cream is about $6.

Later she comes in and starts complaining to the manager on duty.

Patient: “I bought this in the drive-thru earlier, and the employee there was rude to me, and she overcharged me! I demand that she be fired!”

She started generally causing a scene. Apparently, she wanted the store brand that was $3 cheaper. Surprisingly, after the manager reminded her that I was doing her a favor and I technically wasn’t supposed to leave the pharmacy to get over-the-counter products, she calmed down and left. I realize I could have been a bit friendlier, but I’m not a mind reader, lady.
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Old 07-29-2022   #1970
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Sounds Like It’d Be Easier To Just Wait It Out
Funny, Impossible Demands, Insurance, USA, Wisconsin | Healthy | November 25, 2020
I help people sign up for Medicare insurance plans and answer questions, whether they’re related to medicare or not, to the best of my ability. This is a memorable call.

Customer #1 : “Can you get Medicare at age seventeen?”

Me: “It’s possible, if unusual. If—”

There is a second person apparently listening to the phone on speaker.

Customer #2 : “Don’t you need to be sixty-five?”

Me: “Everyone can get it at sixty-five, but people on Social Security Disability can get it earlier, as well as people with kidney failure.”

Customer #1 : “So, it can be done before age sixty-five?”

Me: “Seventeen is rare, but it’s possible. There are other conditions that can get it for you early, as well, like Lou Gehrig’s disease.”

Customer #2 : “But you don’t really get it before sixty-five—”

Customer #1 : “Nuh-uh, he said it’s possible. You lost the bet, so—”

They disconnected the call at that point. I’ve done many things in this job, but I’ve never settled a bet before today.
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Old 07-29-2022   #1971
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Impossible Demands: Back To The Future Edition
Australia, Hobart, Impossible Demands, Patients, Pharmacy, Stupid, Tasmania | Healthy | November 23, 2020
Customer: “Has the doctor sent you my prescription yet?”

Me: “I’ll just have a look for you.”

I check both the physical file of hard copies and our digital copies saved on the computer.

Me: “Nope, sorry, it hasn’t arrived yet.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s right. The doctor moved my appointment to this afternoon so I haven’t seen him yet.”

Me: *Pause* “That’s probably why I can’t find it. See you this afternoon, then?”
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Old 07-29-2022   #1972
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Brace Yourself!
Alabama, Dentist, Instant Karma, Jerk, USA | Healthy | November 22, 2020
When I am a teen with braces, I have some problems with the brackets popping off fairly often — sometimes even when I’m not eating or doing anything with my teeth at the time. After yet another time of one of my brackets popping off for no reason, I am once again at the dentist getting it fixed.

The hygienist scolds me pretty strongly, even though I told her it popped off when I wasn’t eating anything.

Hygienist: “You need to be more careful! You’ll have to wear braces for even longer if you keep this up. You need to be much more careful about what you eat.”

Then, the dentist checks my teeth and tells me they are ahead of schedule and I might be able to have my braces off early.

When we are about to leave the dentist’s office, my mom has to use the restroom, so I wait for her by the front door. I haven’t even made it out of the dentist’s office, and I haven’t put anything in my mouth, and a bracket pops off.

As soon as my mom gets out of the restroom, we turn right around and walk back to the dentist’s reception desk… only to find that the dentist has just left for lunch. We have to make an appointment for later in the day.

But at least they stopped blaming me for the problem, and they started being more careful to attach the brackets thoroughly.
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Old 07-29-2022   #1973
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You’re Getting Sleeeeepy… TOO Sleepy!
Doctor/Physician, Hospital, Ignoring & Inattentive, New Jersey, Pharmacy, USA | Healthy | November 19, 2020
I used to volunteer with my township’s all-volunteer first aid squad. One day, we receive a call to respond to the house of a couple in their sixties.

Wife: “My husband isn’t acting right and I’m having trouble waking him up.”

Upon arriving at the house, my partner and I walk into the spare bedroom where the husband has been taking a nap. He is extremely lethargic and we have trouble even getting him to answer any questions. It looks just like an overdose. My partner starts providing care to the patient.

I turn to the wife.

Me: “Can you please show me the medications he’s taking?”

Among other things, he has been taking a sedative. I immediately pour them out on the kitchen table and count them. I look at the bottle and see that it is a new prescription. There are only one or two pills missing. I gather all the pill bottles into a bag and hand it to the wife.

Me: “Please bring this bag with you to the hospital.”

We transport the patient to the hospital. About fifteen minutes after that, something in my brain pops. I am familiar with the pills that the man is taking, as this isn’t the first time I’ve had to dump and count the pills in a bottle. Something about them was not right. The typical dosage is 0.25 mg or 0.5 mg. His pills seemed bigger than any others I had ever counted.

Never have I called a patient or family after transport, but today, I do. I call the wife.

Me: “[Wife], can you please pull the bottle of [sedative] out of the bag and read off the dosage size for me?”

It’s a full 2.0 mg!

Wife: “My husband’s regular doctor has been out of town, so he went to the covering physician, who gave him the prescription.”

Me: “What is his regular dosage?”

Wife: “It should have been 0.25 mg.”

Her husband received an overdose of eight times his usual dosage! I told her to report this information to the emergency room.

Yes, errors are made sometimes. But there are many checks and balances in medicine. One of the biggest ones is when a pharmacist reviews a medication and dosage for appropriateness. In this case, the doctor made a huge error in prescribing the wrong dosage. But the pharmacist should have caught it and clarified with the doctor before filling the prescription. Not doing so could have killed the husband.
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Old 07-29-2022   #1974
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Paling In The Face Of Those Assumptions
Fast Food, Funny, Health & Body, Jerk, USA | Healthy | November 16, 2020
I’m an opening manager at a fast food restaurant. I work four days a week on top of being a full-time nursing student. In terms of appearances, I am a redheaded female with British and Italian ancestry. This particular week, my seasonal allergies have been flaring up. These flare-ups are simply sneezing fits, and whenever they happen, I make sure that I am not around food and that my mouth is covered. (This is before the pandemic.) At around 10:00 am, my regional manager, who loves me to pieces, comes in.

Regional Manager: “[My Name], we got a corporate call about you.”

I’m a little worried, as our franchise takes these calls very seriously.

Me: *Cautiously* “What did I do?”

Regional Manager: “This lady says that when you were on the floor, away from food, you were pale, tired, sick, and sneezing, that you work too much, and how dare we not give you any days off.”

I choose to work four days a week. My company works with our availability and doesn’t schedule people when they aren’t available.

Me: “WHAT?!”

Regional Manager: *Laughing* “So I told your boss to call her back and tell her that you’re a redheaded student nurse who works four days a week, and you’re from Ireland, so of course, you’re pale, sick, and tired.”

Me: *Laughing* “[Boss], what did she say?”

I look to my general manager, who has been listening to our conversation.

Boss: “She didn’t pick up when I called. I have to call her again today. I hope she doesn’t answer.”

Cue another round of laughing. I love my bosses!
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Old 07-29-2022   #1975
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He Did His Research… But At What Cost?
Bad Behavior, College & University, Medical Office, Michigan, Therapist, USA | Healthy | November 14, 2020
When I am a graduate student, I go to my university’s health clinic for routine HIV screening. My personal history is very low risk, but I am a sexually active gay man, and the CDC recommends testing of all MSM — men who have sex with men — every three to six months.

The testing at this clinic involves making an appointment, filling out a questionnaire, talking with a counselor, getting blood drawn, and then talking with a counselor again a week later. All of the counselors are, themselves, graduate students in either physical or mental health programs; most of them are not really prepared for a patient who can quote health statistics from the most recent literature on population-level studies of HIV-positive individuals in high-income countries.

The first few times are fine, though the counselors clearly are a bit surprised to be dealing with someone who hasn’t had drunken unprotected sex and is now worried about it, but is just there for routine testing.

Then, I have the Awful Counselor.

Awful Counselor: “When were you last tested?”

Me: “Either four or five months ago. I know it was in [Month], but I don’t remember if it was at the beginning or end of the month.”

Awful Counselor: “How many sexual partners have you had since then?”

Me: “One partner in that time frame, oral sex only.”

Awful Counselor: “Is this a new partner?”

Me: “No. I’ve had sex with him before, too. He’s one of my four partners so far in my life.”

Awful Counselor: “So, why are you here?”

Me: “Because health authorities recommend regular testing for any sexually active MSM?

Awful Counselor: “But you were here less than six months ago. No one should be tested more often than once a year unless they’re doing something they shouldn’t be.”

Me: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the CDC specifically say that any sexually active MSM should be tested every three to six months?”

Awful Counselor: “Yes, but that’s wrong. It clearly shouldn’t be more often than once a year.”

She then rants about why people should get tested less often.

Me: “Well, okay, but I’m going to follow the CDC recommendations here. I trust them.”

Awful Counselor: “And you list yourself as low-anxiety?”

Me: “Yes. I know from my personal history that my odds of having contracted HIV are very low. But, there’s value from a public health standpoint if there’s more widespread compliance with recommended testing protocols.”

Awful Counselor: “Well, no one with the history you list would be here if they’re not anxious. So, either you are high-anxiety or this is not your accurate history. And that makes me wonder what else you’re lying about.”

Me: “Excuse me? You’re… accusing me of lying because I’m following CDC guidelines?”

Awful Counselor: “It’s possible that it’s not intentional on your part. But there’s no way everything you’ve said is true.”

Me: “You have literally no way to know that. And it’s also not even remotely your job to determine that. We’re done here.”

I left her office, told the secretary that the counselor hadn’t given me my paperwork for the blood draw, and went down to get the draw. I also grabbed a comment card and filled out how ludicrous and inappropriate the counselor was. For the rest of my time as a student there, I asked for a different counselor if I was assigned to the Awful Counselor. I don’t know how she kept that job.
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Old 08-01-2022   #1976
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Paling In The Face Of Those Assumptions
Fast Food, Funny, Health & Body, Jerk, USA | Healthy | November 16, 2020
I’m an opening manager at a fast food restaurant. I work four days a week on top of being a full-time nursing student. In terms of appearances, I am a redheaded female with British and Italian ancestry. This particular week, my seasonal allergies have been flaring up. These flare-ups are simply sneezing fits, and whenever they happen, I make sure that I am not around food and that my mouth is covered. (This is before the pandemic.) At around 10:00 am, my regional manager, who loves me to pieces, comes in.

Regional Manager: “[My Name], we got a corporate call about you.”

I’m a little worried, as our franchise takes these calls very seriously.

Me: *Cautiously* “What did I do?”

Regional Manager: “This lady says that when you were on the floor, away from food, you were pale, tired, sick, and sneezing, that you work too much, and how dare we not give you any days off.”

I choose to work four days a week. My company works with our availability and doesn’t schedule people when they aren’t available.

Me: “WHAT?!”

Regional Manager: *Laughing* “So I told your boss to call her back and tell her that you’re a redheaded student nurse who works four days a week, and you’re from Ireland, so of course, you’re pale, sick, and tired.”

Me: *Laughing* “[Boss], what did she say?”

I look to my general manager, who has been listening to our conversation.

Boss: “She didn’t pick up when I called. I have to call her again today. I hope she doesn’t answer.”

Cue another round of laughing. I love my bosses!

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He Did His Research… But At What Cost?
Bad Behavior, College & University, Medical Office, Michigan, Therapist, USA | Healthy | November 14, 2020
When I am a graduate student, I go to my university’s health clinic for routine HIV screening. My personal history is very low risk, but I am a sexually active gay man, and the CDC recommends testing of all MSM — men who have sex with men — every three to six months.

The testing at this clinic involves making an appointment, filling out a questionnaire, talking with a counselor, getting blood drawn, and then talking with a counselor again a week later. All of the counselors are, themselves, graduate students in either physical or mental health programs; most of them are not really prepared for a patient who can quote health statistics from the most recent literature on population-level studies of HIV-positive individuals in high-income countries.

The first few times are fine, though the counselors clearly are a bit surprised to be dealing with someone who hasn’t had drunken unprotected sex and is now worried about it, but is just there for routine testing.

Then, I have the Awful Counselor.

Awful Counselor: “When were you last tested?”

Me: “Either four or five months ago. I know it was in [Month], but I don’t remember if it was at the beginning or end of the month.”

Awful Counselor: “How many sexual partners have you had since then?”

Me: “One partner in that time frame, oral sex only.”

Awful Counselor: “Is this a new partner?”

Me: “No. I’ve had sex with him before, too. He’s one of my four partners so far in my life.”

Awful Counselor: “So, why are you here?”

Me: “Because health authorities recommend regular testing for any sexually active MSM?

Awful Counselor: “But you were here less than six months ago. No one should be tested more often than once a year unless they’re doing something they shouldn’t be.”

Me: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the CDC specifically say that any sexually active MSM should be tested every three to six months?”

Awful Counselor: “Yes, but that’s wrong. It clearly shouldn’t be more often than once a year.”

She then rants about why people should get tested less often.

Me: “Well, okay, but I’m going to follow the CDC recommendations here. I trust them.”

Awful Counselor: “And you list yourself as low-anxiety?”

Me: “Yes. I know from my personal history that my odds of having contracted HIV are very low. But, there’s value from a public health standpoint if there’s more widespread compliance with recommended testing protocols.”

Awful Counselor: “Well, no one with the history you list would be here if they’re not anxious. So, either you are high-anxiety or this is not your accurate history. And that makes me wonder what else you’re lying about.”

Me: “Excuse me? You’re… accusing me of lying because I’m following CDC guidelines?”

Awful Counselor: “It’s possible that it’s not intentional on your part. But there’s no way everything you’ve said is true.”

Me: “You have literally no way to know that. And it’s also not even remotely your job to determine that. We’re done here.”

I left her office, told the secretary that the counselor hadn’t given me my paperwork for the blood draw, and went down to get the draw. I also grabbed a comment card and filled out how ludicrous and inappropriate the counselor was. For the rest of my time as a student there, I asked for a different counselor if I was assigned to the Awful Counselor. I don’t know how she kept that job.
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Old 08-01-2022   #1977
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Hey, No Pressure
Medical Office, Nurses, Patients, USA | Healthy | November 12, 2020
While I’m at the doctor’s to get a checkup for an overnight camp, the nurse comes in to check my pulse and blood pressure. As she’s doing this, she’s looking over my records. I’m thirteen. While I don’t have a severe needle phobia, I get very nervous when I have to get shots and just being in doctor’s offices in general.

Nurse: “Oh, since you’re about to start seventh grade, we need to give you [shot #1 ] and [shot #2 ] today.”

She pauses for a moment.

Nurse: “Huh, your blood pressure’s kinda high.”

I wonder why.

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Do You Have Any Idea How Expensive Your Laziness Is?!
Bad Behavior, Emergency Services, Lazy/Unhelpful, New Jersey, Patients, USA | Healthy | November 10, 2020
I volunteer for my township’s all-volunteer first aid squad. We have a designated crew manning the building during the day to answer any calls, but overnight, the designated crew responds from home via pager. My town and surrounding towns are not very big, so we or other towns sometimes have difficulty putting a crew together. For this reason, we have a “mutual aid” agreement with nearby towns. If we do not have a crew available, another town offers their crew, and vice versa.

Many people misuse the 911 system. They think that arriving at an emergency room by ambulance will mean faster service. It does not. I have literally been to a house in the middle of the night for a stubbed toe. There were four cars in the driveway and five people in the house, any one of whom could have driven the “patient” to the hospital… for the stubbed toe.

On one night shift, my pager goes off to respond to the next town over, which also happens to have the hospital that we take most of our patients to. Bleary-eyed, I drive to my building, meet up with my crew, grab an ambulance, set the GPS, and go off on our way.

Dispatch: “The patient is experiencing urinary retention.”

This can be very painful and dangerous to the kidneys.

And where was the house we ended up at? Across the street from the hospital emergency room entrance. And where was the patient? Sitting on his front porch with a packed bag and quietly reading a book. And how long had it been since he had passed urine? About three hours. Grrrrr!
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Old 08-01-2022   #1978
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Well, When You’re THAT Accident-Prone…
Employees, Funny, Medical Office, New York, Patients, USA | Healthy | November 8, 2020
I am EXCEEDINGLY accident-prone, to the point that I joke that my hobby is keeping my doctors’ lives interesting. I also have a host of medical issues.

I seriously strained my right hamstring — it felt like a tearing, ripping sensation — last July while trying to lever a pokeweed root out of the ground — roots hard as trees and just as hard to remove. My friends told me that only I could manage to hurt my hamstring that way.

I started aquatic therapy for it, but my hamstring still hurt a lot, so my ortho ordered an MRI to see what was going on. I tell the MRI techs that, after a lifetime of x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs, I have developed the ability to remain perfectly still for the entire time any of the tests are being done.

Apparently, they don’t believe me; they keep asking me if I am okay after each scan.

Me: “Why? Did you think I died here?”

Tech: “But you were so still!”

Evidently, they didn’t check to see that I was breathing.
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Old 08-01-2022   #1979
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Do A Little Brain Labor Here
Medical Office, Patients, Stupid, Texas, USA | Healthy | November 5, 2020
I work in an obstetrics/gynecology clinic. My coworker answers the phone.

Coworker: “So, you think your water broke? Hang on while I get a nurse.”

I’m talking to another patient while listening to her. My coworker talks to a nurse and comes back to the phone.

Coworker: “Wait, so you’re at the hospital? No, you need to stay there and get evaluated. We can’t do anything here at the clinic. Stay at the hospital.”

I could only close my eyes, as hearing that one-sided conversation gave me a headache.
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Old 08-01-2022   #1980
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An Im-Patient Doctor
Canada, Current Events, Doctor/Physician, Jerk, Manitoba | Healthy | November 1, 2020
At eighteen, I was diagnosed with ADHD. Over the years, I’ve used different coping mechanisms to stay organized to varying degrees of effectiveness. I probably could have benefited from medications but felt like it wasn’t affecting my life too negatively.

Once the global health crisis hit, I was laid off.

When my industry reopens, the myriad of new regulations, sanitizing steps, changes to daily practice, and dealing with the public who may or may not have strong opinions on the rules all lead to my stress levels rising and my ADHD becoming more unmanageable. Brain fog and memory issues rise through the roof. Now, at thirty-six years old, I’ve decided to talk to a psychiatrist to look into medication options.

These are some highlights from my very frustrating two-hour appointment where I feel like I am defending the legitimacy of my diagnosis.

Doctor: “Your teachers never complained about you?”

Me: “No, but I still struggled in my classes.”

Doctor: “No one talked to your parents and your teachers never complained, so it couldn’t have been that bad.”

Also:

Doctor: “You studied subjects that required a lot of academic focus in college. So it couldn’t have been that bad.”

Me: “I ended up dropping out because I couldn’t maintain my GPA. I only did well in the classes I liked and needed for my degree. I failed the mandatory Bible classes everyone had to take.”

Bible college was a bad choice.

Also:

Doctor: “Do you ever have issues with distractibility?”

Me: “Sometimes I forget I’m hungry and I go all day without eating. Suppertime rolls around and I can’t figure out why I’m starving, and then I realize I might not have eaten at all that day.”

Doctor: “GOOD FOR YOU!”

Also:

Me: “My work has been really affected. All the new rules and regulations because of the health crisis have caused me to forget a lot of important things and it’s causing my performance to suffer.”

Doctor: “The crisis has changed everyone’s jobs. Your job isn’t that hard, anyway, not like a secretary. You don’t even need to concentrate that hard, not like a secretary.”

Also:

Doctor: “So why did you look for a diagnosis? Who referred you?”

Me: “My dad and my little sister both have it. I’ve had many of the same issues as my sister. She was diagnosed with dyslexia in kindergarten and they found out about her ADHD during those tests. At the time, I was just the chatty, loud, fidgety kid. I flew under the radar until years later when I realized I probably had it, as well. That’s why I looked into it.”

Doctor: “So why did you go looking for a diagnosis?”

Me: “Because it ran in my family? As I said, I already have a dad and sister with it, and I wanted to know before I went to college so I could be prepared during exams if I needed academic accommodations.”

I was close to tears a couple of times, and after I hung up, I realized I had been on the phone with him for two hours. I was so frustrated and upset. I talked with some friends about what happened and they all told me I should make a complaint.

I contacted my hospital’s Patient Experience Liaison as soon as I felt mentally ready. After an investigation, they found that I got an accurate assessment but his tone and wording did need to be addressed.

The doctor approached me and said he was sorry that I’d had such a negative experience and would use my complaints to focus on self-improvements. The director of the unit said my experience would be used to help teach students the importance of proper communication.

It’s in my file that I will never be scheduled with that doctor again.

There might not have been drastic changes, but I’m happy it’s on his record, and I hope that if others have issues with him, they also file reports.
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