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Their Attitude Stinks

Pharmacy | Right | November 14, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Old 02-16-2020   #1121
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Students Learning A Hard Lesson In Patients

Canada, Hospital, New Brunswick | Healthy | January 2, 2018


(I am a student nurse doing a placement in a teaching hospital. As it is a teaching hospital, patients are told that they may have a student and an RN caring for them at some point in their stay, and usually they are okay with that as they get more attention. I go in to introduce myself at the start of my shift.)

Me: “Hi, my name is [My Name] and I am a student nurse with [University]. I am working with [RN] today, so you’ll see us both in and out of your room tonight. Is there anything I can get you?”

Patient: “You’re a student? That means you don’t know what you’re doing! You’re going to mess something up and I’m going to die!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you that I do know what I am doing; this is my fifth week on this unit and I have completed four other placements in different areas of the hospital already. I also have my instructor and [RN] to assist me if I am unsure of something.”

Patient: “Get me [RN]! I don’t want a student! Get out of my room before you kill me!”

(I went to find my instructor and explained the situation, and after speaking with the RN I was assigned a new patient. I later heard from another nurse on the floor that the first patient told the nurse that she was taking too long to get her a glass of water, and said they really needed to get the students to help out more
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Students Learning A Hard Lesson In Patients

Canada, Hospital, New Brunswick | Healthy | January 2, 2018


(I am a student nurse doing a placement in a teaching hospital. As it is a teaching hospital, patients are told that they may have a student and an RN caring for them at some point in their stay, and usually they are okay with that as they get more attention. I go in to introduce myself at the start of my shift.)

Me: “Hi, my name is [My Name] and I am a student nurse with [University]. I am working with [RN] today, so you’ll see us both in and out of your room tonight. Is there anything I can get you?”

Patient: “You’re a student? That means you don’t know what you’re doing! You’re going to mess something up and I’m going to die!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you that I do know what I am doing; this is my fifth week on this unit and I have completed four other placements in different areas of the hospital already. I also have my instructor and [RN] to assist me if I am unsure of something.”

Patient: “Get me [RN]! I don’t want a student! Get out of my room before you kill me!”

(I went to find my instructor and explained the situation, and after speaking with the RN I was assigned a new patient. I later heard from another nurse on the floor that the first patient told the nurse that she was taking too long to get her a glass of water, and said they really needed to get the students to help out more!)
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Dancing Around The Subject

Clinic, USA | Healthy | January 2, 2018


(Our county health department is holding a special flu vaccination clinic at a local senior center. There are a number of other activities going on in different parts of the building, so I’m staffing the desk, checking in clients and giving directions. A very small, fragile-looking but smartly dressed gentleman walks in, leaning on a cane. He appears to be ninety if he’s a day.)

Me: “Good afternoon, sir; are you here for the flu clinic?”

Gentleman: “No, I’m here for the square dancing class!”
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Making You Pregnant With Sarcasm

Hospital, Sarcasm, USA | Healthy | January 2, 2018


(For a quite number of days now, I’ve had terrible stomach pains with a fluctuating appetite. I go to the doctor. I’m a virgin.)

Doctor: *after hearing me talk about my stomach problems* “So, it says here on your sheet that you’re not pregnant.”

Me: “Yes.”

Doctor: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes.”

Doctor: “Is there a possibility you could be pregnant?”

Me: “No.”

(He makes a face at this. I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m an idiot who can’t accept the fact I could be pregnant. Later on after he runs some tests.)

Doctor: “Well, you’re not pregnant.”

Me: *thinking* “No s***, Sherlock.”
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You’re In Deep Heat Now

Medical Office, Time, UK | Healthy | January 1, 2018


(A woman waddles into the building.)

Woman: “I need to see a doctor.”

Me: “Do you have an appointment?”

Woman: “No, I need to see one now.”

Me: “I’m sorry, emergency appointments ended at 11. I can make you an appointment, however, for next week?”

Woman: “NO! IT HAS TO BE NOW!”

Me: “If it’s an emergency you need to go to A&E. Should i call an ambulance?”

Woman: *jumping on the desk* “I RUBBED ‘DEEP HEAT’ ON MY GARDEN PATCH. IT F****** KILLS!”

Me: “Oh, umm. Like I said, if it’s an emergency, you need to go to A&E.”

(She huffed and waddled out, screaming about how incompetent we all were. I haven’t seen her personally since, but a letter came through from the local hospital for her, with a prescription for something which treats chemical burns. I’m fairly certain Deep Heat wasn’t involved in whatever she was doing.)
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Old 02-17-2020   #1126
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Might Need Brain Surgery, Too

Medical Office, USA | Healthy | January 1, 2018


(My mid-60s father was recently goofing off and pulled a stunt where he rode a luggage cart down a hill and wiped out hard. The injuries are mostly scrapes and bruises but he also has a small break in his wrist. There is lots of back-and-forth over whether he needs to do a re-aligning surgery. He is in the doctor’s office consulting with the surgeon, who he said was barely 30.)

Doctor: “So how did this happen?”

Dad: “You want the real story or a version that makes me look better?”

Doctor: “…how about the real version?”

Dad: *recounts story*

Doctor: “I see. Well, to be honest with you, we don’t like to do these kinds of surgeries on patients over the age of 60 because [reasons].”

Dad: “Well, yes, I’m over that age, but if you’ll recall the story, I was clearly thinking like a 16-year-old.”

Doctor: “That’s a good point. We’ll schedule the surgery for tomorrow morning.”
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Flipping Out Over This

California, Hospital, Los Angeles, USA | Healthy | January 1, 2018


(I accidentally remove most of the tip of my middle finger with a gardening tool and am getting fixed up in the ER.)

Nurse: “There you go. Would you like me to tape your middle finger to the one next to it?”

Me: “Um, no. Why would you?”

Nurse: “Well, sometimes with a injury to the middle finger people ask us to tape an adjacent finger too so that they don’t inadvertently flip other people off.”

Me: “Are you kidding? This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for
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Acerbic Allergic

Alberta, Canada, Medical Office | Healthy | December 31, 2017


(I am 15. In my family, most of the women on my mom’s side have a condition called Restless Leg Syndrome, which is a brutally frustrating tic where your muscles in your thigh and calf feel like they are in spasm, like a small electric shock. It comes randomly, and nothing seems to help it stop once an episode starts; you just have to ride it out. I’ve been dealing with this myself since I was a kid. What my mom thought were growing pains turned out to be RLS. I’ve been referred to a specialist to see what my options are. Part of the process is conducting a nerve path function test. I have small needles pointed into the tips of my fingers, with electrical simulation higher up my arms to track if the signal is flowing properly. The test is uncomfortable to say the least.)

Specialist: “The results seem to be okay for your arms, which is a good indication that your legs would reveal the same.”

Me: “No short circuit, then? Bonus!”

(I am trying to lighten the mood as my mom is stressed at seeing me in such discomfort, and I am trying to take my mind off of it as well.)

Specialist: *stares blankly at me* “Your RLS is likely caused by poor diet and lack of exercise and in many cases, alcohol.”

Me: “Well, geeze, Mom, if you had just laid off the whiskey at bedtime, we wouldn’t be here now!”

Specialist: *blank stare* “In the event we have to do a minor surgery to explore nerve function, is there anything you’re allergic to in terms of medication?”

Me: “Penicillin.”

Specialist: “And what happens when you take it?”

Me: “I get a terrible rash over my stomach and chest and become very sick to my stomach.”

Specialist: “So you’re not allergic to it.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Specialist: “You’re not allergic to it. You wouldn’t die if it was given to you.”

Me: “Well, no, I guess not but—”

Specialist: “That’s an intolerance. You shouldn’t say you are allergic to penicillin. What if it was required to save your life from an infection?”

Mom: “Well, there are plenty of alternatives out there, I think it’s a semi-common allergy? She’s had to have antibiotics for various infections, and they always seem to find something else.”

Specialist: *to my mom* “Do you have allergies?”

Mom: “Yes, I’m allergic to strawberries.”

Specialist: “And what happens if you eat them?”

Mom: “Well I go into anaphylactic shock very fast.”

Specialist: “THAT, is an allergy. I’m not writing on your chart that you’re allergic to penicillin. See the front reception to re-book when you’re ready.”

(He promptly leaves, with my mom and I sitting in stunned silence. I suppose he was right — I wouldn’t die if I was given penicillin in an emergency, but the marvel’s of modern medicine mean I don’t have to when there are so many alternatives. I am careful to tell other doctors now, that it’s not a life threatening allergy, but to avoid it if possible!)
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It Takes More Than Money To Clear A Bill, Part 2

Insurance, Nebraska, Non-Dialogue, Omaha, USA | Healthy | December 30, 2017


Several years ago, I started to receive bills at my home in Nebraska, from an insurance agency on a policy that I no longer had, denying payment for psychiatric care/services. When I got the first bill, I called the number listed for the practice — in North Carolina. It turns out that they had a patient with the same name, down to the middle initial, and the same birthday. The doctor’s office agreed that I was not their patient, but said that it was up to the insurance carrier to sort out.

Three weeks after I contacted the insurance company letting them know I was not the right person, I got a letter in the mail telling me that according to their records, I *was* the right person, and could I please pay the bill. So I contacted them again. I was assured that it would be straightened out.

Sure enough, I got another letter in the mail from the insurance company telling me that their “investigation” is complete, and that I am the “right” person after all, in spite of living half-way across the country.

This back and forth with the insurance company went on for SIX MONTHS, each time the insurance people coming back telling me that I had made these appointments for psychiatric care, and increasingly nasty demands for payment.

Finally, I contacted a college buddy who was a lawyer for [Insurance Company], where upon he taught me the magic words: Violation of HIPAA.

Finally after nearly seven months, the magic words did the trick. I later found out that the insurance billing department was looking up patient information by name and birth date instead of social security number, and that my name was apparently the first one listed, in spite of the fact that my policy had been cancelled over four years prior due to a job change.
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The Solution Is As Clear As Glass

England, Manchester, Optometrist/Optician, UK | Healthy | December 29, 2017


(I need to get new spectacles, so I get assessed. During the sight test, the optometrist notices I have the start of macular degeneration in one eye, tells me it isn’t serious at the moment, but warns me to watch out for lines appearing wavy when they should be straight. She gives me a leaflet to put on my fridge door, so that I’ll look at it several times a day and be aware of the need to check. She also instructs me to come straight back for another test if anything changes. This all freaks me out a bit because I’ve never heard of macular degeneration, so I dutifully put the leaflet on my fridge door and inspect that thing every time I go in the fridge, for about a month. I start noticing the sight in my left eye is quite blurry. So, off I trot back to the optometrist. I explain everything to the receptionist, then the optometrist, a different one to my first visit. He sight-checks me then leaves the room for a few minutes. He comes back in and asks if I mind him checking again. I don’t mind, but by now I’m sweating and my imagination’s working overtime. He does the same tests and asks me to explain again what the problem is.)

Me: “Look. I cover up my right eye…” *demonstrates* “… and you’re blurry. I cover up my left eye instead…” *demonstrates* “… and you’re not blurry.”

Optometrist: “Well, Mrs [My Name], both sight tests we’ve conducted today show no changes to the other test we did recently.”

Me: “Seriously? But I’ve definitely got strange vision in my left eye? How is that, if the test results are the same? Look, doctor, if it’s psychosomatic, tell me. If you think I’m dreaming it up because I’m so worried about losing my sight and I need a psychiatrist, just tell me straight. I really can handle it.”

(By this time, I’m near tears. I don’t know whether I’m losing my sight or my marbles.)

Optometrist: “Show me again.”

(Demonstrates covering up the eyes, etc.)

Optometrist: “I… might be a bit off course here but… did we provide your glasses?”

Me: “Of course, yes.”

Optometrist: “It looks like the common denominator is your glasses. Let’s get them realigned and see.”

(Aaaand I felt a fool. Mind you, so should they, too. My ‘demonstrations’ of blurry vs normal sight were done wearing my specs. The sight tests had been done WITHOUT my specs. It turned out there was a minuscule adjustment needed for the left lens. He brought my specs back and the blurred vision was gone. At least I know I haven’t lost my marbles yet. Not about that, at least.)
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It Takes More Than Money To Clear A Bill

Columbia, Medical Office, South Carolina, USA | Healthy | December 1, 2017


(I get about a $3,000 bill from a doctor I had seen several months prior. I am confused because I know my insurance had paid it. I call the billing dept. but get no answer and leave a message. I forget about it until the next month when the bill comes again. Once again, I call, leave a message, and forget about it. Then I get a letter threatening to send me to a collection agency. I call my insurance company to double check. They tell me that not only have they paid it, but had a duplicate charge under a different account number that was of course denied. I start calling every other day. The office phones aren’t open until 10 am and they shut them down at 3:30 pm. I either get a recording and leave a message or the receptionist tells me everyone is in a meeting. This goes on for over three weeks. Then I get another threatening letter. I even go to the office in person but am told everyone is in a meeting and no one can talk to me. At this point I have had it. I wait until 10 pm at night. I call and get the voicemail system. When it says press “1” for nurse, I do so and leave a detailed, angry message that NO ONE will return my calls, I am being threatened with being sent to a collection agency for a bill that was paid, and someone better call me back or I am filing fraud charges with the insurance company and talking to a lawyer. I hang up and call back and do it again after pressing a number for a different department. I go through the entire employee directory. I do this for almost two hours and leave dozens of messages on EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE’S voicemail. I then call the doctor’s emergency after-hours line and leave the same message there. The next morning, at 10:01, I call the office. The receptionist recognizes my voice.)

Receptionist: “Yes, ma’am, I have the office manager here for you” *transfers me*

Manager: “Good morning, Mrs. [My Name]. I was just about to call you.”

Me: “Yeah, I bet you were.”

Manager: *sheepishly* “Yeah, everyone is talking about the messages you left, especially the doctor.”

Me: “Well, it’s not like you left me much choice.”

(She apologizes and explains. The guy who was handling the bills was creating fake patient accounts and double billing the insurance companies. Most didn’t catch it, paid the doctor, and then the guy stole the money. They fired him but have such a paperwork mess to clean up and had to gather the evidence to convict him that they didn’t have time to call the patients.)

Me: “I understand, but that is no excuse. You are sending me letters threatening to send me to a collection agency.”

Manager: “What?! Crap, the computers are printing those out automatically. We didn’t know any had been mailed out.”

Me: “Yeah, well they are and you better start answering these calls because you have some very peeved off patients who, like me, are calling lawyers.”

(She apologized again and told me that my account had been cleared up. I wonder, though, about all the others who just kept calling and getting nowhere.)
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Your Blood Or Your Wallet

Hospital, USA | Healthy | December 29, 2017


(The phlebotomists in our blood draw station are completely tired of the vampire jokes. They’re just overused. But not wanting to be jerks, and also realizing that the joke is a way for some people to deal with their discomfort over blood draws, our phlebotomists mostly politely laugh. One of our phlebotomists found a way to do one better.)

Patient: “Is this where the vampires are?”

Phlebotomist: “Nah. They’re all down in billing. You here for a blood draw?”
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Taking Regular Checkups To The Next Level

Family & Kids, Medical Office, Pennsylvania, USA | Healthy | December 29, 2017


(We’ve had a horrific week. My toddler came down with chicken pox, then an ear infection. My husband had an accident, causing first, second, and third degree burns all over one hand. I am also seven-months pregnant, and joke that the only thing that HASN’T gone wrong is my going into premature labor.)

Monday Morning: Trip to doctor’s office to confirm chicken pox.

Monday Afternoon: Trip to doctor’s office. We went there instead of the ER for the burn.

Tuesday Morning: Recheck on nasty burn.

Tuesday Afternoon: ‘Well Baby’ check for me.

Thursday Morning: Toddler earache visit.

(We walk into the examination room. A few minutes later, our doctor walks in.)

Doctor: “It’s the [Our Last Name]s! My favorite family!”
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There’s A Slight Baby Bump In That Diagnosis

Medical Office, UK | Healthy | December 28, 2017


(I am a female in my late 20s. I was in a serious car accident after which some of my organs were damaged and some had to be removed. As a result I am on a cocktail of drugs to keep me functioning. I’ve gone to the doctor’s office as I have been suffering from dizzy spells and sickness, which could be problems with my current medication. I don’t get my usual doctor but this doctor — who is male — seems fairly friendly. He’s asking me questions about what I’m experiencing and is making notes. He has asked about my medication as well, which I’ve told him about, including my hormone replacement ones, but doesn’t ask me why and I don’t volunteer that information.)

Me: “Will I need to come back for tests?”

Doctor: “You won’t. I know what’s wrong”

Me: *somewhat glad* “Oh, really? Is it [Medication Brand]? I was warned—”

Doctor: *shaking his head but smiling warmly* “Oh, no, no, no. Nothing serious. In fact quite a happy diagnosis! You’re pregnant!”

(There’s a pause, whilst he grins at me and I feel myself getting irritated.)

Me: “That’s impossible.”

(He gives me a funny look and gets snappy.)

Doctor: “You’re using something that boosts probability to get pregnant, and you’re shocked. Birth control methods like condoms aren’t 100%, and if you didn’t want to get pregnant I’d suggest you got a coil, which is a bit late now.”

Me: “Did you even look at my notes?”

Doctor: “I don’t need to look to know what this is. Dizziness and sickness are common during early pregnancy.”

Me: “If you did, you’ll see the hormone therapy is because I no longer have my reproductive system.”

(He goes very quiet and turns to his computer.)

Doctor: “There’s a slot open in a fortnight for blood draw. Same time but on Wednesday. Is that okay?”

Me: “Fine.”

(I didn’t get an apology from him. The tests did show that one of my medications is thinning my blood, so with a few tweaks I was feeling okay again. I didn’t get, though, why doctors have full notes but don’t consult them before making a diagnosis. I never wanted kids so I was more annoyed than anything but some would have been devastated with that gaff.)
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Old 02-18-2020   #1135
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Building A Wall Between Them And Common Sense

Insurance, Minnesota, Politics, USA | Healthy | December 28, 2017


(I work for an insurance nurse-line helping people with injury and illness questions. We are required by HIPAA to fully verify a member before discussing any specific issues or giving specific information on their health plan. There have been a number of people who object to HIPAA law, but this one takes the cake. The member in question doesn’t have her ID card on her and doesn’t want to use alternative methods to verify who she is.)

Member: “But I didn’t know I’d need to identify myself. Why can’t you just give me the information I need?”

Me: “Federal privacy law, called HIPAA, does not allow us to discuss or give out information to unauthorized people.”

Member: “But that’s a dumb law and President Trump doesn’t allow dumb laws, so you need to give me the information I asked for!”
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Old 02-18-2020   #1136
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Have A Bad Feeling About This

Maryland, Medical Office, Non-Dialogue, USA | Healthy | December 28, 2017


I have a regular gynecologist who I’ve been seeing for several years. Usually before she begins the exam, she’ll touch the speculum to my thigh, and move it up my leg, saying ‘Feel this, feel this,’ to get me used to the feel and temperature before she begins the exam. Today, she’s asked me if it’s all right if an intern does my exam while she supervises, and I agree.

The intern is super nervous, and admits to me that I’m the first patient today that’s agreed to it. When she begins the exam, she picks up the speculum and starts tapping it to the side of my knee. “Um, so… You’ll feel this…”

My doctor and I both burst out laughing, and my doctor had to correct her. I hope I didn’t break her confidence!
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Addicted To This Routine

Scotland, Supermarket, UK | Healthy | December 27, 2017


(Our supermarket has a resident addict. Somewhere in there is a nice guy who made some very bad decisions some time ago. He is permanently off his face on whatever he can get his hands on. Some variant on this conversation takes place at least daily

Member Of Staff: “Right, [Addict], you’ll need to go. You’re barred, remember?”

Addict: “Am I? Why?”

Member Of Staff: “Because you keep trying to nick stuff.”

Addict: “Well, yes, I do, but I don’t remember being barred for it.”

Member Of Staff: “You were off your face at the time, so you probably wouldn’t, but you are. Trust me.”

Addict: “Well, if you say so. Will I remember this conversation tomorrow?”

Member Of Staff: “Probably not.”

Addict: “Right, well. I’ll see you tomorrow, then.” *leaves*
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Ignoring The Sticking Point

Hospital, Montana, USA | Healthy | December 27, 2017


(My husband has sliced his thumb open at work and after an hour of convincing him, I manage to get him into the ER. The doctor looks at it and determines it needs stitches, plus he needs a tetanus booster, and so the nurse gets the shot ready. This happens with me and [Nurse #1 ] talking to him on his right, and [Nurse #2 ] on his left prepping for the injection.)

Husband: “Okay, just… I don’t know… Let me get a deep breath before you inject me.”

Nurse #1 : “Are you afraid of needles? It’ll be a quick pinch and done, way less than slicing your thumb open.”

Me: “Exactly. It’s so quick. Remember all of the times you donated plasma? The needle is smaller and you barely feel it.”

(In the meantime, [Nurse #2 ] has prepped him and has uncapped the needle. She gives us a little nod and sticks him while we continue talking.)

Husband: “I know; it’s just irrational and my thumb hurts and it’s just overwhelming!”

Nurse #1 : “You used to give plasma? That’s awesome! What do they use, like 15 gauge?”

(The other nurse is done now and cleaning up.)

Me: “No, 12. The needles are HUGE!”

Nurse #1 : “Oh, geez. Well these are only 25 gauge, so super tiny compared to what you’re used to.”

Husband: “Yeah. I suppose. It wasn’t so bad, I just hated that cold feeling when they put the blood back into you.” *deep breath before turning to [Nurse #2 ]* “Okay, I should be good now. Go ahead.”

Nurse #2 : “Dude, I’ve been done for like a minute now. You did fine.”
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To Call It A Scar Is A Bit Of A Stretch

Hospital, Massachusetts, USA | Healthy | December 27, 2017


(I have dislocated my shoulder.)

Doctor: *looking at a mark on my shoulder* “I see you’ve previously had your shoulder operated on.”

Me: “No.”

Doctor: “Yes, there’s the surgical scar right there.”

Me: “No, it’s a stretch mark.”

Doctor: “No, it’s a surgical scar.”

Me: “Unless somebody kidnapped me, drugged me, then operated on me while I was unconscious, I think I would remember surgery.”

Doctor: “…”

(A few years later, I was being examined by a dermatologist, and I told him the story. He said that it did indeed look like a surgical scar, and would I care to come by the hospital during rounds so he could fool his interns?)
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If I Leave It’s Your Floss

Dentist, Maryland, USA | Healthy | December 26, 2017


(I am at the same dentist I’ve been going to for the past five years without issue. I brush my teeth twice a day and frequently use dental floss wands. While I do take really good care of my dental hygiene, my teeth aren’t bright white, as whitening toothpaste hurts my sensitive teeth. However, I’ve gotten nothing but glowing reviews from my dental hygienists and dentists the past few years. I haven’t even had a cavity since I was in elementary school. As the dental hygienist is looking at my teeth, she asks me various questions about my dental hygiene.)

Hygienist: “How often do you brush your teeth?”

Me: “Twice daily.”

Hygienist: “Oh, good! Do you floss?”

Me: “I don’t use dental floss, but I use floss wands.”

Hygienist: “Oh, that counts! Good on you for using those.”

(The dentist stops by to do his inspection of my mouth. I have never seen this dentist before, but I’m not worried, since I’ve had nothing but good experiences with this dental practice. It is an uneventful few minutes, until he jabs me unnecessarily hard in one of my back molars with his sharp tool. Keep in mind, I’ve been going to the dentist twice a year for 25 years, so I’m used to the mild pains of getting my teeth inspected and cleaned. This pain is far out of the ordinary and almost feels deliberately hard. I have never had a dental professional cause that kind of pain in my mouth, even from cavities.)

Me: “Ow!”

(I begin to taste blood, which has me really concerned.)

Me: “I taste blood.”

(I say this with his tools still in my mouth, as he has not stopped his inspection at all.)

Dentist: “Well, that wouldn’t have happened if you actually flossed. See, this is why flossing is so important.”

Me: “I do floss.”

(Again, I mumble, as his tools are still in my mouth and I don’t want to be hurt again. He then finishes his inspection, stands up, and quickly speaks to the dental hygienist. While this is happening, I sit up to check on my tooth. I reach into my mouth and pull out a finger with blood on it.)

Dentist: “Schedule a follow-up appointment in one month, due to her poor flossing habits. It would seem she’s caused herself extremely sensitive teeth and gums. She’ll have permanent dental damage if she doesn’t start taking better care of her teeth.”

(The dentist then walks away, leaving me completely speechless.)

Hygienist: “I’m so sorry about that, honey. Let me get you some cotton balls for that blood. I’ll clean that up and try to finish your teeth cleaning.”

Me: *as I’m fighting back tears* “I swear, I do floss! I even have a pack of floss wands in my purse right over there!”

Hygienist: “I’m so sorry, sweetie. You’re fine; I promise. I didn’t see any inflammation or signs of apparent sensitivity. You also didn’t react to my inspection at all, so I don’t think you have overly sensitive teeth from poor dental care. Again, I’m so sorry. He’s the head dentist’s son, and he’s right out of dental school. He’s only temporarily hired until he finds a job at another dental practice. From what we’ve seen so far, he likes to give an excuse why a patient needs an immediate follow-up appointment so he can try to make more money through more appointments. His father has promised that he won’t be here much longer. I’m so sorry you were here on a day that he was scheduled to fill in for his father.”

(The nurse gave me an over-packed goodie bag with stickers, a new toothbrush, three new toothpastes, a small toy, and a new set of floss wands. She also continued to apologize many more times. She told me I wouldn’t need to come in again until my next dental check-up in six months, when she assured me the dentist’s son wouldn’t be employed there anymore. I’ve never had an issue with this dental practice, but if he’s still there when I come back in six months, I’ll be finding a new dentist.)
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