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  • September's Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Can’t Get Ovary It

    | France | Extra Stupid, Health & Body

    (I have a huge ovarian cyst to be removed and I feel worried, even though I try not to show it. The surgeons need to know precisely how it looks and there’s no MRI equipment in my hospital so I’m having an MRI scan in another hospital. Everything goes smoothly. Then a doctor shows me my results.)

    Doctor: “You see? Your cyst is nearly 8 inches long!”

    Me: “Yes, I know.”

    Doctor: “It’s huge! You need it to be removed!”

    Me: “I know. I’m going to show the images to my doctor.”

    Doctor: “You don’t seem to understand: your cyst is abnormally big. You need surgery as soon as possible!”

    Me: “Yes, I know. The surgeon who’ll remove it told me she needs MRI images, so can I please go home with my results now?”

    Doctor: “You should worry.”

    Me: “Will the cyst disappear faster if I worry?”

    (Captain Obvious, I mean, the doctor let me leave with my images. I gave the cyst a funny nickname because I wanted something to joke about and make the nursing staff smile, even though I was worried. I had surgery shortly afterwards. It was painful and I had an ovary removed with my cyst but I’m fine now.)

    Think Before You Ink

    | McCook, NE, USA | Bad Behavior, Employees, Health & Body

    (I go into a doctor’s surgery about a terrible cough.)

    Doctor: “Right, we just need to look you over; won’t be a minute.”

    (After a quick examination, I see him frowning.)

    Me: “What is it?”

    Doctor: “You need to get tested for HIV and hepatitis.”

    Me: *as I am a virgin* “What?!”

    Doctor: “Your tattoo. You may have had a dirty needle poking you. I need the address of where you got that.”

    Me: “Listen, I—”

    Doctor: “And since you have tattoos, it’s likely you’ve used drugs at one point, so we need to check you for HIV.”

    Me: “Look—”

    Doctor: “You young people think you’re never getting these diseases, but you do; I’ve seen a LOT of young people who got illnesses from needles—”

    Me: “It’s a rub-on!”

    A Painful Diagnosis

    | Denver, CO, USA | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (I am having some pain in my lower right side so I have my brother take me to the nearest hospital as it is getting worse. We wait for quite some time in the waiting room which is unusual for this hospital. As we are finally being taken back the nurse turns to me. I haven’t even entered the room yet or given the full array of symptoms.)

    Nurse: “You have a urinary tract infection.” *stares at me for a moment as she moves aside the curtain leading to the room*

    Me: “Okay… I don’t think it comes with pain on the right side.”

    Nurse: “You have one, but I am sure the doctor will run the test to make sure.”

    (We wait for nearly five hours in which I still haven’t seen a doctor, but they run all kinds of tests. Finally, at about three in the morning, the doctor comes in.)

    Doctor: “Well, we can’t find that you have a urinary tract infection but i am going to prescribe [antibiotics].”

    Me: *sighs as I am extremely tired, hurting and fed up* “Does a urinary tract infection cause pain here?” *points to right side just around hip area*

    Doctor: *stares then eyes widen* “You have pain there?”

    (Found out I had uterine and ovarian cancer. The pain? From the ovarian cancer that had attached to my pelvic wall. I don’t trust that hospital anymore…)

    International Blame Game

    | USA | Criminal/Illegal, Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I work in a hospital lab. We often will send samples to other labs if specialized testing is requested (especially genetic testing). When we pack it, the boxes are labeled all over with stickers that say “temperature sensitive,” and “human origin specimens.” We also send a shipping manifest electronically to the lab so that they know it’s coming and can match the samples to the paperwork. We get a doctor who calls and wants to know why he hasn’t seen results on a patient from about three weeks ago. We call the lab we had sent it to.)

    Lab Assistant: “I’m wondering about a sample we sent you a while back. Do you have an update on it? It’s—” *gives the identifying information*

    Other Lab: “We never got it. We called Veronica about it.”

    Lab Assistant: “What are you talking about? We don’t have a Veronica. The contact name on the shipping manifest would be our supervisor, [Name] and it was signed by [Other Name]. We have a duplicate copy of it.”

    Other Lab: “We never got it.”

    (About two days later, we get an international call. It is an appliance factory in Mexico. We learn that after the shipping company tagged the sample as received at the other lab, it was somehow loaded back on a truck and sent to Mexico. After speaking with the shipping company, we learn that it was the other lab’s doing. We call the other lab and try to figure out what to do about this issue. The other lab just keeps insisting that it isn’t their fault, that we should have marked the box better. We don’t really want to play the blame game; we just want to make sure this testing gets done, and that the patient doesn’t get charged twice for very expensive genetic testing. Finally, after they keep on going on about blame, one of the other lab scientists asks the lab assistant to give them the phone.)

    Lab Scientist: “Look, I don’t care whose fault it is. We just want this to work out for the patient, but since you’re stuck on this topic, we weren’t the ones who shipped human biological samples across an international border without customs declaration, and also discussed privileged health information with some lady named Veronica who clearly has nothing to do with this issue. So, if you want to play the blame game, you probably won’t like your consequences.”

    (They shut up about blaming after that.)

    Ignoring The Baby Steps

    | Nottingham, England, UK | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (I’m 27 and just had my first child. I’ve never really been around babies before and as I gave birth nearly four weeks early, I have missed all the antenatal classes I had booked. This is the first morning I have been well enough to get out of bed after surgery and my first time alone with the baby and I’m understandably nervous.  My baby starts crying and I check her nappy and see that I’ll have to change her, so I pick up the nappies and start examining the packet when a midwife walks in.)

    Midwife: “I see you’re finally out of bed. Your baby is crying and you need to sort it.”

    Me: “Oh I know. I was just looking at the packet but there don’t seem to be any instructions.”

    Midwife: *condescending* “Of course there isn’t ,you silly girl! Everyone knows how to put on a nappy.”

    Me: “I really don’t. I’ve never done it before and missed all my antenatal classes as I had [Daughter] so early. I was hoping there would be some kind of instructions. Would you be able to give me a start?”

    Midwife: “No! I’m far too busy!” *storms out the room*

    (I’m now panicking but decide to drive in and give it a go. I take off the dirty one, give baby a wipe to clean her up and start to put it on just as the midwife walks in for my records.)

    Midwife: *shouting* “YOU’VE GOT IT BACKWARDS!” *mutters something about me being stupid as she walks out again*

    (At this point I’m quite upset and feeling a bit of a failure and generally wondering if I’m cut out for motherhood. I carry on and manage to figure it out and feel a bit better once I can see it’s on and secure. The midwife walks in.)

    Midwife: “What are you doing?! You’ve got it all wrong!”

    (She snatches the baby and starts to adjust the nappy where I can’t see what she is doing and complaining about stupid girls getting themselves knocked up. When she is finished, she puts baby back in the crib and stalks off.  I promptly burst into tears, which is when my husband arrives. He manages to get out of me what happens and marches up to the desk where the head midwife sits.)

    Husband: “One of your midwives has just upset my wife, who is still poorly from surgery, because she didn’t know how to change a nappy.”

    (He goes on to tell her what happened.)

    Head Midwife: “I had it noted on her file it was her first baby and she had missed her antenatal classes. Don’t worry, I’ll sort it.”

    (I later found out the midwife was moved wards so she was away from me for the rest of my stay and I was introduced to a wonderful care assistant who helped me with everything from nappies and how to bathe the baby to feeding and dressing her. I sent a tin of chocolates to thank everyone on the ward once I left.)

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