Pregnant With Ignorance

| Birmingham, England, UK | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring & Inattentive

(I have gone to the hospital with a rather intimate problem and of course the doctor asks me about my private life, etc. She then asks if I minded talking to a new student nurse and I agree, as they have to learn!)

Nurse: *after reading my notes CLEARLY stating I have never had relations with anybody* “I think you might be pregnant.”

Me: “Well, that is impossible, unless it is another virgin birth.”

Nurse: “Well, I’m certain you are pregnant and I want you to do a pregnancy test to clarify.”

(I do but I roll my eyes and no surprises when it came up negative. The nurse looks at it.)

Nurse: “I still think you’re pregnant…”

(I felt like screaming, but both I and the doctor had a laugh when I told her!)

That Moment We All Thread

| Germany | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring & Inattentive

(I had a laparoscopy to remove fluid of a burst abscess from my stomach. I only have three small wounds, closed with one thread each. Unfortunately, the tube for the drainage was placed right next to a nerve, causing extreme pain, so they had the head physician remove the threads and the drainage.)

Doctor: “There, all done.”

Me: “Miss, you only removed the drainage and the thread that held it in place…”

Doctor: “Yes, as I’ve said, all done!” *smiles*

Me: “I’m pretty sure the wounds in my navel and on the left side of my stomach were stitched, too.”

Doctor: “No, no, don’t worry. There was only one thread.”

Me: “Miss. There is blue fuzz in the scabs of both wounds. I’m pretty sure that my blood isn’t able to form blue fuzz. Those are the knots of threads, as far as I can tell.”

Doctor: *checks my wounds* “No, all done. There are no threads.”

(About a week later, my wounds got infected, so I got my mother’s medical kit out (she’s a nurse) and carefully removed the scabs to disinfect the new scar tissue. Lo and behold, there were the blue threads. I removed them myself and the infection healed, but the two scars where the threads were left in still act up to this day and are, despite their small size, very eye catching and ugly. The doctor got laid off after nearly the whole hospital staff signed a petition against her.)

Has No Hang Ups About Hanging Up

| Hungary | Employees, Lazy/Unhelpful

(It’s Thursday and I’m calling to ask whether my doctor, whom I visit three times a year, is in the next day. I never needed to get an appointment before; I just show up. According to the schedule posted online she is on duty on Friday, but since it is summer, she might be on holiday. The schedule also seems to be old, so I want to make sure.)

Assistant: “[Hospital Department], [Assistant] here.”

Me: “Good morning, I’m [My Name] and I’m calling to ask if [Doctor] is in tomorrow.”

Assistant: *in an unfriendly, resentful tone* “Morning. No, she won’t be here. Goodbye.”

(She quickly hangs up before I can say another word. I really hate to speak on the phone anyway so my boyfriend calls the hospital back to ask again.)

Boyfriend: “Good morning, I would like to ask when [Doctor] will be in next week.”

Assistant: “Morning. On Tuesday. ” *hangs up again immediately*

(Someone really did not want to do their job that day! But maybe if we make a third call, we will finally know the exact hours…)

Our Great DiscrimiNation, Part 4

| USA | Bigotry, Employees

(I am a medical lab scientist. I have a coworker, also a medical lab scientist, who is Brazilian by birth, but speaks perfect English. She has a slight, gorgeous Brazilian accent, but is entirely understandable. She also has a very roll-with-the-punches, sweet-hearted personality. A nurse calls my coworker’s lab bench phone. Because her hands are full/covered in bodily fluids, she hits speaker phone, so I can also hear the conversation.)

Coworker: “Lab. This is [Coworker].”

Nurse: “Ugh. Can I talk to someone who speaks English?”

Coworker: “I speak English. What can I do for you?”

Nurse: “No. Not someone who kind of speaks English. Someone who actually does.”

Coworker: “I actually speak English.”

Nurse: *enunciating like she’s speaking to an idiot* “No. When you were a baby, running around in a diaper, what language were your parents speaking to you?”

Coworker: *being honest* “Portuguese. But I speak English as well.”

Nurse: “Get me to someone whose parents were speaking English.”

(My coworker peels off her gloves in frustration, puts the phone on hold and turns to me.)

Coworker: “Can I transfer this to you?”

Me: “Sure. Transfer it to my bench.” *answering phone* “Lab, this is [My Name].”

Nurse: “Where did you grow up?”

Me: “Seattle, mostly.”

Nurse: “Thank the skies! Okay, I have a question about the urinalysis for [Patient]—”

Me: “Okay, I’m going to stop you right there to let you know that I can answer general questions about that, as I am certified in urinalysis. However, if you have any questions about that patient’s urine specifically, you’re going to have to talk to [Coworker] as she has analyzed all the urine today. I’m doing blood counts today. So, it might be better for her to answer your questions.”

Nurse: “No. I need to talk to an American about this. I need to know [proceeds to ask a question very specific to that patient’s urine].”

Me: *such that the nurse can hear me* “Hey, [Coworker].” *I repeat the question, and then directly relay the answer as she says it*

(After hanging up the phone.)

Coworker: “Well, that was different.”

Me: “No. That was offensive.”

Related:
Our Great DiscrimiNation, Part 3
Our Great DiscrimiNation, Part 2
Our Great DiscrimiNation

A Miscarriage Of Service

| Johannesburg, South Africa | Employees, Health & Body, Time

(I fall pregnant in my early 30s. My husband and I are quite excited because it’s our first child. However, about halfway through the pregnancy, they pick up major issues and we have to make the difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy. My OBGYN only schedules surgeries every Friday, so I am booked in for my surgery on the same day he will be doing births as well. I arrive at the hospital on the day at six am, which is the time I was told to be there. My mum is with me and my husband is going to meet us there. After being shown to my room, I get a visit from the anaesthetist, who is extremely sympathetic and understanding of how difficult the whole situation is for me. Then I speak to the nurses.)

Nurse: “Because you were scheduled so late, your surgery will be the last one of the day, at four pm.”

(I can barely hold back the tears.)

Anaesthetist: “I’ll speak to the doctor and see what we can do.”

(The following conversation happens in my room once the doctor comes in:)

Anaesthetist: “Doctor, they’ve said that Mrs [My Name] is only scheduled for this afternoon?”

Doctor: “Yes, her surgery was scheduled after all the other mums to be, so it’s only fair.”

(None of us in the room could believe what we we’re hearing him say.)

Anaesthetist: “Well, Doctor, I think under these special circumstances, I’m sure you can change the schedule around a bit. Considering what Mrs. [My Name] is here to do, I don’t think it’s right to keep her here for the entire day before she can get it done.”

Doctor: “Oh, well… I don’t know. Let me first go and check on all my mums to be and see how they’re doing first and then I’ll decide.”

Anaesthetist: “I’ve already checked on all of them and they’re all doing just fine. Please, look at her, she’s already upset as it is, understandably. It’s not right to prolong this any more for this poor woman. Please just change the scheduling.”

(Through my tears, I can see the doctor stammering, unable to think of any more excuses.)

Doctor: “Fine! Nurse, get this patient ready for surgery, then!”

(The surgery went fine in the end. I was scheduled for a follow up visit to the same doctor about six weeks after, but I never went. I refused to see somebody who was so absolutely heartless and cruel. I still have no idea what I ever did to this doctor, but I hope no other expectant mum ever goes through what I did with him.)