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Old 06-06-2022   #1201
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Graduated Up To A Personalized Service
Pennsylvania, Pharmacy, USA | Healthy | November 23, 2017
(I am picking up my medicine and in order to do so, you must give your name and birth date, including year.)

Clerk: “Name?”

Me: “[My Name].”

Clerk: “Birthday?”

Me: “[Date].”

Clerk: “That’s the same day I graduated. To the day.”

Me: “And year. Next time you ask, I’m just going to say, ‘the exact day you graduated.’”
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Old 06-06-2022   #1202
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Sickening Lack Of Attentiveness
Hospital, Switzerland | Healthy | November 22, 2017
(I’m staying at the hospital because of an exploded appendix. Unfortunately, the surgery goes wrong and I end up with several complications. One of them includes not being able to hold any liquid, not even the liquid my stomach produces. So despite not eating or drinking anything, I spend several days (around a week) vomiting up green goo until I finally manage to get that under control. A few days later, I’m chatting with a nurse when I suddenly feel the need to barf again! Thankfully, there’s a vomit-bag sitting right next to the nurse.)

Me: *with some urgency* “Can you please give me the vomit bag?”

Nurse: *shocked* “What? I thought you were done with that?”

(At this point I’m afraid that if I talk any more I will just start projectile vomiting so I just stare at her, hoping she’ll get the hint. But the nurse just stares back at me for what seems like an eternity, expecting me to answer the question.)

Me: “Quickly!”

(The nurse finally scrambled to get the bag, but by the time she got it, I’d already started vomiting all over the floor. I sure hope she’ll be more attentive in the future!)
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Old 06-06-2022   #1203
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The Sad Estate Of This Family
Pharmacy, USA | Healthy | November 22, 2017
(I work at a long-term care pharmacy. We service patients in nursing homes, assisted living, etc. and bill prescription costs monthly. Of course, this means we have trouble with people not paying their bill. Part of my job is to make collections calls. I hear all kinds of excuses, but this was a first.)

Man: “Hello?”

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] calling from [Pharmacy]. Is [Person #1 ] available?”

Man: “Nope, he’s in jail over in [County].”

Me: *not sure how to respond* “I’m sorry to hear that… I also have [Person #2 ] listed as an authorized contact. May I speak with her?”

Man: “Nope, can’t talk to her either. She’s dead.”

Me: *now REALLY not sure how to respond* “I’m sorry to hear that, too. I’m calling in reference to [Patient]’s account. Who could I speak with that handles [Patient]’s finances?”

Man: “Not him. He’s dead now, too. His wife’s still living but she’s got ‘all-timers’ disease so she won’t be much help.”

Me: *basically at a loss for words at this point* “There must be someone handling [Patient]’s estate. Who would that be?”

Man: “Couldn’t tell you. The only one I know of that’s not dead, locked up, or crazy is [Person #3 ]. She’s probably the best you’re going to get.”

(Turned out [Person #3 ] was extremely nice and helpful, and promptly sent a check for the full balance. She must have been the shining star in a family of “dead, locked up, and crazy!”)
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Old 06-06-2022   #1204
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Making Sure You All (Co)Pay Dearly
Money, Pharmacy, Stupid, USA | Healthy | November 22, 2017
(I work at a long-term care pharmacy. We bill prescriptions monthly, and always get angry phone calls a few days after statements go out.)

Me: “[Pharmacy], this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Angry Man: “What kind of scam are you all running out there?”

Me: “Sir?”

Angry Man: “Do you think you’re going to get away with charging these outrageous prices? I should report you for robbery!”

Me: “If you have questions about any charges, I’d be happy to explain them to you.”

Angry Man: “As a matter of fact you can! I’d like to know why you’re charging me $50 for a month’s worth of [medication]!”

(I pull up the claim and go through my normal spiel of how we submit a claim to the insurance company, they respond with how much they’ll pay and how much of a copay we need to collect from the patient, and how we have no influence over the cost of the copay, as this is determined by the plan, etc.)

Angry Man: “Well then, how come I can go to [Other Pharmacy] and get three months’ worth for $150?”

Me: “Sir, that’s the same price.”

Angry Man: “You’re trying to tell me that $50 and $150 are the same thing? How stupid can you be to have your job?”

Me: *remembering to be professional and not sarcastic* “No, sir. I’m telling you that $50 for a 30 day supply and $150 for a 90 day supply is exactly the same price.”

Angry Man: “I can’t pay $50 every month for one prescription! I’ll go broke! I’m going to be using [Other Pharmacy] from now on so I can get more for a decent price! And I’m going up to [Nursing Home] and telling everyone there that you’re robbing them!”

Me: *slowly losing professionalism* “You have the right to use whatever pharmacy you like. If you feel the need to tell them that, I can’t stop you. But if they can do basic math, they’ll realize that copays are no different with us than they are anywhere else.”

Angry Man: “I know the tactics you people use to try to confuse me. You talk over my head hoping I’ll give up and pay your ridiculous price! You’re not going to fool me. I’m no dumb-a**!”

(At this point I was contemplating whether it would be worth the complaint I’d get if I said “Well, sir, you certainly could’ve fooled me,” but he slammed the phone down, making my decision for me. People are unbelievably dumb
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Old 06-06-2022   #1205
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Doctor Nose Best
Boston, Family & Kids, Massachusetts, Medical Office, USA | Healthy | November 21, 2017
(I am a pediatrician. A woman has come in with her little girl who is suffering from a rather infected finger. I diagnose her with a staph infection, prescribe some antibiotics, and send them home. At the end of the antibiotics, the woman is back in his office, and the infection has spread to several areas; a spot on the little girl’s face, the inside of her nose, and a spot on her leg. She demands that I run a million tests because I’m clearly a “failure of a doctor.”)

Me: “Ma’am, it appears that your daughter has spread the infection to other areas of her body, most likely through scratches or by touching a scratch that was already there.”

Mother: “That’s impossible! How would she get one in her nose? You’re just making excuses because you don’t want to run any tests!”

Me: “I can assure you, ma’am, that’s not the case. If I felt the need to, I would certainly run more tests, but there is no need for all that time, effort, and money when I can clearly see what the cause is. It’s more than 99% certain that she spread it through her nose by a scratch as the bacteria causing the infection is located under her fingernails. She picked her nose, scratched it, and spread the infection there.”

Mother: *turns bright red* “That’s ridiculous! My little princess would never do anything so disgusting as pick her nose! We’re just going to go and get a second opinion! You’ll be run out of business, you’ll see!”

(We turn around to see her “little princess” with a finger very far up her nose indeed. The mother grows nearly purple at this point and swats her daughter’s hand away from her face.)

Me: “So I’ll be prescribing that next round of antibiotics, then?”
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Old 06-06-2022   #1206
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His Humor Is Straight As An Arrow
England, Hospital, Non-Dialogue, UK | Healthy | November 21, 2017
Before I retired, I spent many years working permanent nights in operating theatres, giving skilled assistance to the anaesthetist. We performed emergency surgery in quite a few fields but our main area of expertise was plastic surgery.

One night, a young man was brought into the anaesthetic room conscious, calm, and pain-free. We started to talk about what had happened to him. He was a competitive archer and he presented with a carbon fibre arrow through his left hand! On one side there was about a foot of gleaming black arrow with a perfect flight and on the other side there was a hideous splay of fractured carbon fibre. He explained that the only problem with carbon fibre arrows is that they are susceptible to damage if one strikes another in the target. He simply didn’t notice that this particular arrow had been weakened and when he released it the torque caused it to fracture and it punched through his hand.

I started to formally check him in: looking at his wristband I asked him to state his name and date of birth. Both tallied. “When did you last have anything to eat or drink?” Quite a few hours, so no problem. “Are you allergic to anything, especially any drugs or medicines?” No allergies. “Do you have any jewellery or body piercings?” He gestured towards his left hand: “Oh, just the one…”

I felt myself going bright red and we both giggled. We sent him off to sleep and the surgeon removed the arrow, cleaned up and debrided the wound, and carefully checked to see if he’d damaged any of the structures inside his hand. Fortunately, nothing significant had been affected – he was very lucky.

On nights we multitask, so I had to supervise his recovery from the anaesthetic. Before discharging him to the ward, I made sure that he could remember his snappy reply. “You’ll be dining out on that one, I’m sure!”
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Old 06-06-2022   #1207
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The ‘Feeling’ Is Mutual
California, Phone, USA | Healthy | November 21, 2017
(I’ve had some pain for several weeks, but recently had a medical test that found nothing wrong. After telling me this result, the doctor left and sent me on my way without any recommendations about how to feel better. I was frustrated so I asked her assistant to have the doctor call me back as soon as possible. I don’t get the call for a few days, and when the doctor finally does call, she sounds annoyed and uninterested.)

Doctor: *on the phone* “So there’s really nothing I can do for you. This sort of thing happens to everyone as they get older…” *stops listening to me and launches into a long standard spiel about aging and health*

Me: *struggling to get a word in edgewise, I finally have an idea* “So, how are you feeling?”

Doctor: “Wha… what?”

Me: *trying not to laugh at how I finally stopped her in her tracks* “I said, how are you feeling?”

Doctor: “You… you’re not supposed to ask me that! I’m supposed to tell you what to do!”

Me: “Well, you must feel one way or another. You are human, right?”

Doctor: *speechless*

(When she finally got her brain back on track, she humbly recommended a doctor at a different hospital who might actually be able to help me!)
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Old 06-06-2022   #1208
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Flu Right Past The Diagnosis
Hospital, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA | Healthy | November 20, 2017
(I am in so much pain that I have a friend drive me to the ER. Note: I commonly have stomach problems and this pain is certainly NOT in my stomach. I get seen fairly quickly and given pain medicine but am still in some pain in spite of it.)

Doctor: “Did you recently have the flu?”

Me: “Yes, but this isn’t the flu.”

Doctor: “Yes, it is; it is causing you more pain because you’ve gotten it two times in a row. The pain is in your colon.”

Me: “I’ve had issues like that before. This is not it. Digestive pain does not happen on one side. Check your tests again.”

(The doctor leaves. I continue to experience pain and walk around to try to relieve it as sitting down seems to make it worse. Finally a nurse comes and tells me they are taking me to get an ultrasound.)

Me: “So what happened? Did he finally believe me?”

Nurse: “Yes, your pee sample came back and you had blood in it. You probably have a kidney stone.”

(Guess what was confirmed by the ultrasound? Never have I wanted to punch a doctor so badly. The flu indeed!)
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Old 06-06-2022   #1209
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Bleeding Puns
Hospital, Iowa, Punny, USA | Healthy | November 20, 2017
(I’m in the ER with some potential heart issues. At one point, I get a very nice lady in to draw some blood, and she’s joined by a coworker who’s about to go off shift. My elbow veins aren’t cooperating, so I have to get blood drawn from the back of my hand as well. It goes faster after that, and soon, the lady who’s leaving heads out, then pokes her head back in the door.)

Phlebotomist: “Thanks for letting me stick around!”

(My mom and I couldn’t stop laughing. Definitely made the whole visit bearable!)
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Old 06-06-2022   #1210
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MRI = Milk Restrictive Invention
Australia, Hospital, New South Wales, Sydney | Healthy | November 20, 2017
(It took my husband and me several years to conceive. I wasn’t overly impressed with my induced labour of 48 hours that resulted in emergency C-section, and I struggle with breastfeeding that can’t be resolved by any method. I am feeling pretty down about not being able to do anything unassisted and am not 100% happy about having to top up every meal with formula but I am determined to keep going with breastfeeding. I’ll admit this is probably out of stubbornness, but it means a lot to me. Meanwhile, I have to have an MRI that I had to reschedule while pregnant and when I make the appointment, I ask if it is safe while breastfeeding. I am assured it is and though I am dubious, I will admit that I don’t look into it further, assuming they know better than I do. The appointment comes up and I leave my six-week-old baby for the first time with my husband and drive myself (also for the first time since the operation) to the radiologist.)

Receptionist: “Yes?”

Me: “Hello, I have an appointment for an MRI. My name is [My Name].”

Receptionist: “Here.”

(She thrusts paperwork at me. I fill it out, listing my allergies and so on, and note that there’s a question asking if I might be pregnant or breastfeeding. I put a tick next to it and finish the form. Handing it back to the receptionist, I ask about the question. She says it’s fine and tells me to sit down. Since I am the last patient of the day, I am taken in before I have a chance to ask her more and I figure it’s better to ask the tech anyway. The radiologist technician glances briefly at my form and sprints off down the corridor with me struggling to keep up. He obviously wants to get out for the day because he’s saying all his introductory explanation spiel to me similar to the squirrel from Hoodwinked. When he comes up for air, I manage to talk.)

Me: “The form asked me if I am breastfeeding.”

Tech: *casually* “Yes, you can’t breastfeed.”

Me: *thinking over his poor choice of words*

Tech: “…are you breastfeeding?”

Me: “Yes, I am breastfeeding. I did ask about this when I booked the appointment. They said it’s fine.”

Tech: “We have to put the dye in you and it’s toxic so you can’t breastfeed for three days after the MRI.”

Me: “That doesn’t explain why they didn’t tell me this when I booked.”

Tech: *looks confused*

Me: “I asked reception today, too. She said it’s fine.”

Tech: “What would they know?”

Me: “Actually, I’d imagine they’d know who can and cannot come for an MRI since it’s their job to book and take appointments.”

Tech: “Oh, yeah, probably then. Well, I can’t answer for them but the dye is toxic. You can’t breastfeed for three days. So just don’t breastfeed and you’ll be all right.”

Me: “That’s okay. I will just reschedule.”

Tech: “Can’t you just stop for a few days?”

Me: *feeling pretty crappy* “I am sorry but I can’t just casually stop breastfeeding.”

Tech: “Just breastfeed more and store up milk for three days.”

Me: “…”

Tech: *cheerfully* “You know you can freeze it, right?”

Me: “It would take me at least a month to build up three days worth.”

Tech: “Okay, we’ll reschedule for a month. That will give you time.”

Me: “…”

Tech: *getting irritated* “Or, just go buy formula. It’s really not that bad.”

Me: “Of course formula isn’t bad, but that’s not the point. If I stop I might not be able to keep going at all.”

Tech: *getting angry* “Then go buy a pump and just throw it away for three days. But make sure you wash it properly because it’s toxic.”

(I am thinking this is not his business and I don’t want to talk about it, but also as I am now teetering on a cliff between furious and devastated, I go on.)

Me: “I need to physically feed her and I can’t just stop. Yes, I pump, but I need to do both. It’s not your business but I have been through too much to throw it away casually like you want me to. Forget the MRI. I am leaving.”

Tech: *cheerful as his workday has ended sooner than he expected* “No worries. We can book you in when you’re ready.”

Me: “Thanks, but I will go somewhere else, with properly trained staff who know what services they can and cannot provide and give proper information in an understanding way, when I am no longer breastfeeding.”

(I was temporarily impressed with my own ability to string more that three words together because I never stick up for myself and I was shaking like a leaf, and I made my way back down the maze-like corridors without getting lost. I also managed to get my referral back from the receptionist who talked to the tech in front of me about how I couldn’t get the MRI because I am breastfeeding, to which the receptionist asked “so when do you want to rebook?” and I responded “like h*** I will be,” before leaving and getting in my car. I cried in the car and they never knew it. For that, I was thankful.)
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Old 06-06-2022   #1211
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Oh The Eye-rony
Canada, Marriage & Partners, Ontario, Optometrist/Optician, Toronto | Healthy | November 19, 2017
(I walk into my optometrist’s office and find a new secretary. I’m curious about what happened to “Jane,” the last one, especially since “Jane” and the doctor were married! I’m the only one in the office right now so I decide to be nosey

Me: *after the preliminary sign in conversation* “So, Jane is no longer here?”

New Secretary: “No, she’s gone.”

Me: “I’m surprised considering her relationship with the Doctor.”

New Secretary: “It was all very awkward, Jane needed to start wearing glasses but she refused to. The doctor had to fire her because she was giving out the wrong prescriptions to people and messing up things like that.”

Me: “Ooh, that’s not good. Wait, she was married to an optometrist and worked in an optometrist’s office and refused to wear glasses?”

New Secretary: “Yup. I shouldn’t say this but I believe it was a case of vanity gone wrong. They’re getting divorced now, too.”

Me: “Gee, I wonder why?”
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Old 06-06-2022   #1212
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Let’s Hope It Was A Clean Break
Australia, Home, Ignoring & Inattentive, Queensland | Healthy | November 18, 2017
(Our two storey house has a lot of windows, many of them quite high up, so we use a window cleaning service. We’ve used the same guy every time. One day, he brings a coworker with him. He introduces me to the coworker, who responds to my greeting by saying curtly

Coworker: “Yeah, hi. Where are your taps? We need to get started.”

(I’m working in my home office, which is upstairs. I see the ladder resting against the side of the house and our window cleaner ascending it. He gives me a friendly smile and wave and right then, the ladder wobbles and he falls. I race outside and he’s lying on the grass unconscious. I rush into the house for the phone and as I do, I pass the coworker.)

Me: “[Window Cleaner] has just fallen from his ladder; he’s out cold! I’m calling an ambulance!”

Coworker: “You do that.”

(He doesn’t make a move to check on his colleague; he just carries on cleaning. I call the ambulance and rush back outside.)

Me: “Didn’t you hear what I said? [Window Cleaner] has had a bad fall. Why aren’t you checking on him?”

Coworker: “You just said you’d called the ambulance. What do you want me to do about it? Do you want your windows cleaned or not?!”

(I’m not about to stand there arguing with him and I rush round the house to open the gate for the paramedics and to stay with my window cleaner until they arrive. As they are assessing him he starts to come round, but is later revealed to have a broken ankle, a broken collarbone, and a concussion. After the paramedics have taken him away, I go back to the coworker.)

Me: “I think he’ll be okay. They’ve taken him to [Hospital]. Shouldn’t you follow the ambulance or let his wife know or SOMETHING?”

Coworker: *after a long pause in which he just stares at me* “That’ll be $160.00.”
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Old 06-08-2022   #1213
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And Every Male Reader Just Crossed His Legs
Bookstore, Pennsylvania, USA | Healthy | November 8, 2017
(A lady calls into our bookstore. We are a private, Christian, non-profit organization. She wants to know about circumcision and any materials pertaining to that subject. I am confused as to why she wants it.)

Lady: “Hi, do you guys have any books on circumcision?”

Me: “Uh… no. That is mainly a Jewish practice, started in the Old Testament by Abraham and his family as a holy covenant with God.”

Lady: “That’s fascinating! Well, my nephew has just been born and the family was talking about it, and I didn’t know what it was. Every time I ask they avoid the subject with me.”

(After explaining to her what it was and why people did it, I told her that the practice today is done by a trained professional called the Mohel or by a medical professional.)

Lady: “So, it’s not as bad as it sounds! So do you think I could do it on my boyfriend? Here he is now!”

(Her boyfriend apparently walked into the room. She proceeded to check his penis to see if he was circumcised and tell me the gory details over the phone.)

Lady: “Can it be done with some scissors?”

Me: “Um… no… you would have to go to the hospital for that.”

Lady: “But you said it was not that bad!”

Me: “Yes, but if it’s not done right you can seriously hurt your boyfriend.”

Lady: “Oh. But Abraham did it with a knife!”

Me: “That was a long time ago and I’m sure he had divine intervention to help him!”
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Old 06-08-2022   #1214
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A Miscarriage Of Justice
Medical Office, Texas, USA | Healthy | November 7, 2017
(My husband and I have recently found out we’re pregnant. We’re excited but also nervous since a year before I had a traumatizing and painful miscarriage. We’re at the clinic where three weeks prior they did an ultrasound but said it was too early. But upon our return this ultrasound showed a fetus but no growth or heartbeat. We’re devastated to say the least. My husband had to step out for a few minutes. The doctor comes back in with blood test results.)

Doctor: “Your choices are to miscarry naturally or have a procedure for it to get taken out. My schedule is tight so we may need to try naturally first.”

Me: “Isn’t it… dangerous for me to try naturally, given my history?”

Doctor: *heavy sigh* “All right, we’ll schedule you for next week when I have an opening. [Nurse] will give you a packet of the information. You’ll be put under so as usual, no food or drink after midnight and no alcohol or recreational drugs 48 hours before. So for the next few days PARTAY IT UP! It’ll probably make you feel better.”

(He then puts his hand on my leg, which I’ve made clear I can’t stand people touching me.)

Me: *trying to keep from bawling* “You are a psychopath. Come near me and I will take your stethoscope and shove it so far up your a** you can hear your own heartbeat, if you have one. I’m going to go find a real doctor.”

(I ran out of there as fast as I could, found my now confused, then angry, husband, and left. I spent an hour in the car crying my eyes out, which might have been eased had I a doctor with empathy. I later found a different doctor that handled the situation properly and discovered the first doctor’s practice was eventually shut down due to fraud and malpractice. Good riddance.)
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Old 06-08-2022   #1215
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Idiot Number One
Medical Office, Tennessee, USA | Healthy | November 7, 2017
(I’m a nurse and am bringing a patient back to do blood pressure, temperature, and a urine check before they see the doctor.)

Me: “All right, ma’am, this is going to be your room, but do you feel as if you could pee in a cup for me real quick?”

Patient: “No, not right now.”

Me: “That all right! I’ll be right back with my blood pressure cuff to check your blood pressure, okay? We can get you some water to drink after that.”

Patient: “Okay, but I really need to pee, and do you need me to save any of it to check for infection?”
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Old 06-08-2022   #1216
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Inject A Little Compassion
Hospital, USA | Healthy | November 7, 2017
(My 12-year-old friend has many physical health problems, so she has to be at the hospital a lot. She has had many surgeries and medical procedures, and therefore has built up a bit of pain tolerance as well as being able to go for longer periods of time without food. My friend and her mom get onto the elevator. My friend has eaten nothing for over a day; she is very tired, and we all had a long day at school with lots of work and homework. Before the operation, she has to take a medication. She has a fear of needles, so she always takes medication via pill when she can. This takes longer, as the pill needs longer to work, but they are scheduled accordingly.)

Doctor: “Let me get the shot.”

Friend’s Mom: “Actually, she request—”

Doctor: “Ugh, she doesn’t need to do that. She’s not a little kid!”

Nurse #1 : “Actually, they requested the pill, because [Friend] has anxiety and we don’t want her to have a panic attack before surgery.”

Doctor: “She needs to stop being a special snowflake and grow up!”

Friend: “I was diagnosed by Dr. [Name] seven years ago. Do you think I want panic attacks?”

Doctor: “Fine.”

(The doctor goes to get the medication. My friend’s mom and the nurse leave the room. Suddenly the doctor rushes out and sticks her with the needle.)

Friend: *is taken by surprise and tenses up, making the shot hurt more, and starts to have a panic attack*

Friend’s Mom & Nurses: “What’s going on?!”

([Nurses #1 and #2 ] rush to help [Friend].)

Friend’s Mom: “What the f*** are you doing?!”

Doctor: “She’s just a stupid kid! You don’t know anything about medicine anyway!”

Friend’s Mom: “I’m a nurse! I WORK here!”

(They did the surgery, and it turned out the pain medication didn’t work too well because the doctor injected it wrong.)
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Old 06-08-2022   #1217
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Juiced Up On Idiocy
Hospital, New Jersey, USA | Healthy | November 6, 2017
(I’m a nurse working on a medical-surgical floor. One night, I am assigned to a certain patient who is known to be extremely difficult, and honestly, a bit of an idiot. He is very uncooperative, and won’t even let us put an IV in him. He has a mess of medical problems, particularly uncontrolled diabetes. We check all diabetics’ blood sugar levels throughout the day in order to control their levels with insulin shots.)

Me: “Good morning. I have to check your blood sugar.”

Patient: “Whatever.”

(I check the level and it’s shockingly low. A normal blood sugar level is 60 – 120. His is 40.)

Me: “Sir, your sugar is very low. Let me get you some juice to boost it up.”

Patient: “I can’t drink juice. I’m diabetic.”

Me: “Yes, but in this case, juice will help boost your sugar quickly. We don’t want it to drop any lower. Lemme get you orange juice, okay?”

Patient: “Fine.”

Me: *comes back later with a cup of OJ* “Here.”

Patient: “I don’t want that.”

Me: “Sir, I just told you that you need to take some juice for your sugar.”

Patient: “I don’t like OJ.”

Me: *a little annoyed that he didn’t tell me so in the first place* “All right. What will you take?”

Patient: *after a few minutes thinking* “I want apple juice.”

Me: “Fine.” *leaves and comes back with apple juice* “Here. Drink this.”

Patient: “I don’t want that.”

Me: *at this point, I’m in complete disbelief* “Sir, you just told me you would drink if I got you apple juice instead of OJ!”

Patient: “I’m diabetic. I can’t drink juice.”

Me: “But your sugar is low and we really need to boost it up. It’s dangerous to have low blood sugar.”

Patient: *getting angry* “You can’t force me to do what I don’t wanna do! Don’t try to trick me into taking that juice! I don’t even like apple juice!”

(At this point, I’m about ready to throw the juice in his face. I leave the room just as the doctor passes by with some surgical students, asking what’s up. I explain the situation to the doctor.)

Doctor: “Let us talk to him.” *takes the juice from me and walks in with the students*

(I leave to take care of another patient. Five minutes later, I return to see the students coming out of the room one by one, all of them shaking their heads and chuckling. Finally the doctor comes out and I ask him if he took the juice.)

Doctor: *shakes his head* “That man is an absolute idiot. Just make sure he gets breakfast. If he passes out, let us know.”
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Old 06-08-2022   #1218
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A Cereal Snacker
Hospital, New Jersey, USA | Healthy | November 6, 2017
(I’m a hospital nurse. In my experience, some patients tend to see the hospital as some sort of medical hotel, where they’re allowed to ask for whatever they like whenever they like just because they’re sick.)

Patient: *at two in the morning, at the other end of the unit* “HEY! HEY! SOMEBODY HELP ME OUT!”

Me: *coming in, resisting the urge to smack him for waking up the d*** unit instead of just using his call bell* “Yes, sir, how can I help you?”

Patient: “I want cereal.”

Me: *utter disbelief* “Sir, it’s two in the morning. We don’t have any cereal.”

Patient: “Then go to the kitchen and get me some cereal.”

Me: “The kitchen is closed and won’t open until morning. You’ll have to wait until breakfast.”

Patient: “But I’m hungry now!”

(Keep in mind that this patient has a history of uncontrolled diabetes and has even lost a foot. He usually keeps a stash of food in his room against our advice, and his blood sugar is always extremely high due to snacking and refusing medications. We always try to limit his snacks to better control his sugar.)

Me: “Sir, you already had your dinner and your snack for tonight. You need to wait until morning. We don’t have any more snacks for you.”

Patient: “This is the worst hospital ever. First you try to poison me with your whacked drugs and then you wanna starve me all night long? Why can’t you give me any cereal?”

Me: *already past my limit and trying to keep an even tone* “Because this is a hospital, not a hotel. I’m not your maid; I’m your nurse. I’m not here to enable your bad habits and give you whatever you want just because you want it. I’m here to help you maintain your health. But you’ve been uncooperative, rude, and downright disrespectful. You don’t like how things are here? You have the right to refuse. And you have the right to leave. But you can guarantee that you will be back. And you keep heading down this path, you can also bet that you’re gonna have more problems, too.”

Patient: “…”

Me: “…”

Patient: “…I’ll go to sleep and wait for breakfast, then.”
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Old 06-08-2022   #1219
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Pink Eye To Your Red Face
British Columbia, Canada, College & University, Medical Office | Healthy | November 6, 2017
(I’m in my second year of university, working part time and in full courses for science with labs. I don’t exactly have free time at convenient hours, so I decide to go to the doctor on campus to confirm my suspicion. They ask me to fill out a form covering the basics, including pregnancy, STDs, allergies, and a list of symptoms. I make it quite clear what my issue is.)

Doctor: “Hello, [My Name]. How are you feeling?”

Me: “Not bad.”

Doctor: “Do you need a pregnancy test?”

Me: “Uh… no.”

Doctor: “Well, we can screen for STDs. It will take about a week to get results back.”

Me: “That’s… that’s not what I came in for.”

Doctor: “Oh.” *looks at chart* “Why are you here, then?”

Me: *points to my swollen closed eye and slightly swollen face* “I think I have pink eye?”

(I don’t really know how he missed it, but he wrote me the prescription for antibiotics and I went on my way.)
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Old 06-08-2022   #1220
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The Situation Is Agonizingly Fluid
Medical Office, Non-Dialogue, Pennsylvania, USA | Healthy | November 5, 2017
I had some issues with ovarian cysts when I was in high school, so I had to go in for a pelvic ultrasound. In the instructions we received prior the appointment I was told I needed to drink 32 oz of water before coming in so that my bladder would be full, which helps them to get better images. Now, I was 15 and very skinny. I had just gone through a growth spurt and at 5’5″ I weighed in around 100 pounds. I drank the water and immediately had to pee; I looked down, my pelvic area was bulging already. This was 10 minutes after I drank the water, right as we were leaving, and it was a 30 minute drive to the office.

Needless to say, that drive, through a bumpy, uneven construction site, was miserable. I was in such physical pain by the time we got to the doctor that I was in tears sitting in the waiting room. When I finally got called back to the ultrasound room and I lay down on the table, the ultrasound tech gave my visibly full bladder, by this point halfway to a pregnant belly, a bit of a side eye, but continued with her explanation of the procedure. I heard none of this, as all of my energy and focus were tied up in not urinating all over that table.

She begins the ultrasound, poking at the watery skin ball that is my pelvis, until after a few moments she stops. She can’t see anything. There’s too much liquid.

I ask her what to do and she tells me that I need to go to the bathroom (which was luckily adjacent to the exam room) and “pee a little, then stop” so that there would be a good amount of liquid for her. By this point, I have been in intense physical pain because of this full bladder for roughly an hour, so these instructions felt more than a little impossible. But, being a determined kid, I went in there and against all odds, I did it. So the rest of the ultrasound goes off without a hitch, and afterward I am finally able to fully relax my bladder for the first time that day.

As I was getting ready to leave, the technician asked me how much water I had been instructed to drink, and was appalled when I told her 32 oz. She went off about how they should’ve looked at my chart to see my height and weight because they would’ve been able to tell just from that that the amount should’ve been lower, and it was lucky that I was able to control my bladder so well; otherwise, the whole appointment would’ve been a waste.

A few days later my mom gets a call from the doctor’s office and guess what? Turns out the whole appointment was, in fact, a waste, since the notes were wrong in my file and the ultrasound tech performed an abdominal ultrasound instead of a pelvic one. I was less than pleased.

At least I knew not to drink so much water for the next one.
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