A Miscarriage Of Service

| USA | Employees, Health & Body

(My mom is pregnant with her first child when she is told by the doctor that she has suffered a miscarriage, which devastates her. She is told to come in for an aftercare procedure a week later.)

Nurse: “Okay, we’ll just do a quick ultrasound to check that everything’s in order, and then we’ll begin.”

Mom: “Okay.”

Nurse: *looks at ultrasound results and blanches* “Um, I’m sorry, Ms. [Mom], will you excuse me for a moment?” *steps outside*

Nurse: *returns, looking harried* “Um, well… it seems there’s been a mistake.”

Mom: *worried* “What kind of mistake?”

Nurse: “It appears that there was no miscarriage. Your baby’s still alive.”

Mom: “What?!”

Nurse: “I’m very sorry, Ms. [Mom]. I don’t know how this could have happened…”

Mom: “But it’s alive? It’s okay?”

Nurse: “Yes, and of course we’ll run further tests, but from what I can tell it seems perfectly healthy.”

(The doctor later came to apologize for his mistake, but by then my mother had already made the decision to switch to someone else’s care. My older brother was, happily, delivered without incident.)

Be-Labor-ing The Point Too Much

| Peterborough, ON, Canada | Bad Behavior, Employees, Health & Body, Religion

(I’m roughly seven months pregnant, and I’m 18 years. While having a shower, I notice a bit of blood, and discover that I’m heavily spotting, which should not be happening at this point in my pregnancy. Just to make sure everything is all right with my baby, I head to the hospital with my mom. This conversation happens after I’ve already been checked in and waiting on a hospital bed in the emergency department.)

Nurse #1: *motions to a swab* “We’re going to take a swab from you to determine if you’re in pre-term labor. This shouldn’t hurt, so don’t worry.”

Me: *nodding in agreement* “All right. I really hope I’m not.”

(Nurse #1 takes the swab and puts it in a sterile bag for processing. She leaves, telling me that it shouldn’t take too long to test. We wait only a half hour before another nurse, Nurse #2, comes to the side of my hospital bed with a strange look on her face, somewhere in between concern and disgust.)

Nurse #1: *looking sternly at me, speaking in a condescending manner* “Have you been… putting stuff ‘up there’?”

Me: *confused* “Uh… excuse me?”

Nurse #1: *again, condescending tone* “You know! Like… STUFF. Have you been… ‘playing’ with yourself with strange objects? Or having unprotected sex?!”

(My mom and I exchange weird looks. I assume she MUST be joking or something, since I often miss jokes completely or misunderstand.)

Me: *laughing and sarcastic, as I haven’t done anything even REMOTELY sexual throughout the entire pregnancy and have been essentially asexual* “Oh, yeah, ALLLLLL the time….”

Nurse #1: *yelling* “WELL, NOW YOU’VE PURPOSELY ENDANGERED YOUR CHILD BECAUSE YOU DECIDED TO BE SLUTTY INSTEAD OF RESPONSIBLE. THERE IS A TON IF BACTERIA ‘UP THERE’ THAT I CAN ONLY ASSUME IS CAUSING YOUR PRE-TERM LABOR. YOU COULD LOSE YOUR CHILD! HOW DARE YOU!”

([Nurse #2 stomps off, muttering JUST loud enough for me to hear that I’ve “just killed my baby,” repeatedly. I’m confused and start to cry because I’m pregnant, overly emotional, and obviously I don’t want my baby to die. Nurse #1 comes back and hands me a tissue with a sympathetic look on her face.)

Nurse #1: “I’m sorry, sweetie. You ARE in fact in pre-term labor, so we’ll have to admit you and try to stop it. Gather your things and follow me; I have a private room for you on the labor ward.”

(I’m still crying and my mom at this point is fuming.)

Mom: “You had better make sure that [Nurse #2] stays the hell away from my daughter. What kind of person would say things like that to a pregnant girl?!”

Nurse #1: *apologetic* “I know. I’m so sorry. She’s very religious and makes comments like those all the time. I don’t know why she’s still here, honestly.”

(I ended up staying in the labor ward for a full week before I gave birth to my son, who came out huge and healthy, only needing CPAP for two days due to underdeveloped lungs. I saw Nurse #1 a few more times during my stay and each time she was incredibly kind to me. I never saw Nurse #2 again, and to this day I don’t know how “a ton of bacteria” got on my cervix. A couple of other nasty things happened at this hospital during my stay as well — which I’ll post separately — but those had nothing to do with the previous nurses.)

So Funny You Can’t Breathe

| Yorkshire, England, UK | Coworkers, Language & Words

(I’m at work taking to a colleague about ditzy things we’ve done in the past. We work in the medical records library of a hospital.)

Coworker: “Oh, I’ve got a good story. When I first started working at [Previous Job, also in the hospital], I was covering the phones but I didn’t really have much knowledge of the hospital. I wrote down what I thought the caller had said, which was raspberry tree. It turned out that they wanted the notes for respiratory. I didn’t live that one down for a long time.”

Very Worrying Reception

| Berlin, Germany | Employees, Ignoring & Inattentive

(My husband was recently released from hospital after a lengthy stay and serious complications. He had to go back a few weeks later for further testing:l specifically, cognitive tests since he’s still pretty absent-minded and forgetful following a stroke. He knew when and where the appointment was, so I felt it was ok to let him go on his own while I went to work. In the middle of my workday, I get a call from the hospital.)

Nurse: “Hi, is this Mrs. [My Name]? It’s just, your husband didn’t show up for his appointment and we’re wondering where he is.”

Me: *nervous* “But he texted me earlier saying he’s on his way… Oh, dear. I’ll ask around.”

(I am close to panic pretty quickly, because my husband won’t answer his phone and no one else has seen him. Finally, having no way of finding him short of calling the police, I call the nurse back.)

Me: “Look, sorry about the missed appointment, but now I’m really worried. I can’t reach him and you know what he’s like right now. Maybe he’s on the premises somewhere.”

Nurse: “Huh. Well, dear, I guess I’ll check. Maybe he did show up after all.”

(She puts the phone down, and returns a while later.)

Nurse: “Haha, my bad! He’s here and was already in the doctor’s office. That’s why I didn’t see him.”

(Seriously?!)

A Feeding Frenzy

| Bangor, ME, USA | Employees, Family & Kids, Health & Body

(This is about a month after I gave birth to my daughter 14 weeks early. My daughter was taken to another hospital for the NICU. I go up every weekend, sometimes during the week, and during this time I am healing from an infection in my C-section incision. This happens one day when I go up to visit her. I have taken her out of her incubator and am holding her. The nurse starts her feeding tube.)

Me: *holding my daughter for only 45 minutes and talking to my dad* “Her feed is nearly done.”

Dad: “Is that how long it takes, 45 minutes?”

Me: “Used to take only ten!”

Nurse #1: “Dear, her feed is up. You need to put her back.”

Me: “But… But I’ve held her for longer! She needs me!”

Nurse #1: “No, you need to put her back.”

Dad: “Can’t you let her hold her own child for a while!? We live two hours away from here! She can’t be up here constantly like some of the parents are!”

Nurse #1: “I don’t care; I’m the nurse on duty.”

(The nurse then removes my daughter from my arms, and lays her FLAT in her incubator. My dad quickly leaves to go get my mom.)

Me: *buttons up shirt and starts crying*

Nurse #1: “Oh, stop, it’s been a month.” *leaves*

Me: *crying and goes over to my daughters incubator to watch her*

Daughter: *suddenly vomits*

Me: “[Daughter]! Someone help! She’s vomiting!”

Nurse #2: “Move out of the way, dear!” *quickly gets in and starts cleaning up my daughter and making sure she isn’t choking*

(By now I am inconsolable and my mother has arrived. I’m in shock from seeing my tiny baby vomit so much.)

Mom: “Who laid her down flat?!”

Nurse #2: “I’m not sure…”

Nurse #1: “I did.”

Mom: “YOU NEVER LAY A BABY DOWN FLAT AFTER THEY EAT! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! I SHOULD REPORT YOUR A** AND GET YOU FIRED! GET AWAY FROM MY GRANDBABY!”

Nurse #1: *speechless*

(I have to be pulled out so I won’t upset the other babies. After the nurses let me back in to hold my daughter’s hand before I leave, and to give her a kiss. I get home that night and they call.)

Supervisor: “Hi, may I speak with [My Name]?”

Me: “Speaking.”

Supervisor: “Hi, I’m sorry to bother you, but it seems [Nurse #1] has given [Daughter] another mother’s breast milk.”

Me: “WHAT?!”

Supervisor: “I’m terribly sorry, but we are going to need you to get blood work done next time you come up, and we will run tests on both the mother and your daughter. I also heard about what happened earlier. That nurse will NOT work on your daughter again while I am at this hospital.”

(Next time I went back, the head nurse gave me two gift cards and a card from the entire NICU, and expressed how sorry they were about the incidents. Thankfully neither the mother or I had anything and my daughter was all right, but I had never been more angry and sad in my life that someone could pay so little attention to a preemie!)