It’s A Sticking Point

| Brisbane, QLD, Australia | Employees, Health & Body

(I’m incredibly allergic to the adhesives used in medical tapes and stickies. I’ve just had a test where they monitor my heart with a portable ECG for 24 hours. They place sticky tabs all over my chest to attach wires. I had a really bad reaction to them. I’m at my cardiologist getting the results and talking about buying my own monitor.)

Me: “Will it need me to use more stickies?”

Cardiologist: “No, some of them let you just put your finger on them.”

Me: “Good because my skin got really burnt from the last ones.”

Cardiologist: “You need to tell them you are allergic.”

Me: “Why? They can’t do anything.”

Cardiologist: “They can use different stickies.”

Me: “Yeah, but I’m allergic to the adhesive not the sticky…”

Cardiologist: “Yep… No point telling them.”


Very Bad Reception, Part 18

| OK, USA | Employees, Ignoring & Inattentive

(I’m not the best at keeping track of things on the calendar. I realize that I have not booked an appointment to get my daughter’s follow up vaccines, so I call one morning.)

Me: “Hi, my daughter needs to get her booster shots. I’m afraid I’ve put this off by two months.”

Receptionist: “No problem. You can bring her in this morning.”

Me: “Oh! Perfect! Thanks! We’ll be in soon.”

(She takes my daughter’s name and info. I hung up and began to gather what we’d need for our time out of the house. Just as I reach the front door with diaper bag, book, and baby, the phone rings.)

Me: “Hello?”

Receptionist: “Hi. This is [Receptionist] from [Doctor’s Office].”

Me: “Yes?”

Receptionist: “I’m afraid your daughter won’t be able to get her booster shots on a walk-in basis today as she is two months past schedule.”

Me: “Oh, yes, I know we’re late. What should I do then?”

Receptionist: “You’ll have to call for an appointment.”

Me: “Can I make the appointment now?”

Receptionist: “No. You’ll have to call to make an appointment.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I hang up, look up the number (this was before caller ID), and call the doctor’s office.)

Receptionist: *same voice as before* “Hello, [Doctor’s Office]. [Receptionist] speaking. How can I help you?”

Me: “Yeah, I’m calling to make an appointment for my daughter to get her booster shots.”

Receptionist: “Oh, you don’t need to call for that. She can get them as a walk in.”

Me: “No, I’ve put it off too long. I was told we’ll need an appointment.”

Receptionist: “No, you can just walk in.”

Me: “I was told by you that we’d need an appointment.”

Receptionist: “No, you can just walk in.”

Me: “You called me not three minutes ago saying we’d need an appointment.”

Receptionist: “No, you can just walk in.”

Me: “Okay, instead, I’ll be picking up my daughter’s medical records. We’ll be changing doctors. How soon can I get those?”

Receptionist: “Changing doctors? Why?”

Me: “Just please get the records together. I’ll pick them up in an hour.”

(We did change doctors. Sad, because I liked that one. But dealing with the receptionist was more than I could take.)

Very Bad Reception, Part 17
Very Bad Reception, Part 16
Very Bad Reception, Part 15


A Dizzying Number Of Doctors

| Portland, OR, USA | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring & Inattentive

(After returning from a vacation in 2008, I had no equilibrium. I walked and felt like I was highly intoxicated. I felt a rocking sensation as if I were on a little boat on big waves, and the floor felt like a trampoline. I was dizzy and confused. After 2 months, the symptoms faded away. In 2009 and 2011, each after another trip, I had another episode. Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong and bounced me from otolaryngologist (or ENT: Ear Nose Throat doctor) to neurologist and back again. In 2012, I had another episode and saw a new neurologist, hoping to finally get some answers.)

Me: *after describing the bizarre symptoms* “…and my ear sensitivity tests and [other tests] have all come back normal. My ENT wanted me to see another neurologist and see if I might have Multiple Sclerosis.”

Doctor: “MS? Obviously you don’t have MS so I don’t know why you’re here.”

Me: “What do you think it is then?”

Doctor: “I don’t know. You probably should have an EEG and an MRI, but I’m not going to order those for you.”

Me: *getting upset* “What should I do then?”

Doctor: “You should go back and see your ENT. This is clearly an inner ear problem. I don’t even know why you are here.”

Me: “I’ve had all the tests at the ENT. Everything is normal.”

(I am tired of being passed around from doctor to doctor, overwhelmed by being sick for years without a diagnosis, and the doctor is not even trying to help me. I begin to cry.)

Doctor: “It seems to me you have a problem with excessive crying. Superfluous activity of the nasolacrimal duct. Exorbitant weeping.”

(He continues thinking up as many synonyms for my crying as he can, while my frustration turns to sobbing rage.)

Doctor: “…unreasonable lamentation! Incessant lacrimal discharge!”

(I was crying too hard to even speak. He left the room and I went home. It was another year before I even attempted to see another doctor to try to get a diagnosis again. I was eventually diagnosed with Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, which most doctors have never heard of. I was paired with a fantastic neuro-otologist and have been almost two years without another episode.)


Some Things Can Weight To Be Said, Part 6

| Germany | Bad Behavior, Employees, Health & Body

(I am leading an active life and enjoyed working out regularly, but recently I have found myself constantly exhausted, with bouts of pain, dizziness, and a racing heart. Worried, I get an appointment with my doctor, who refers me to a neurologist to rule out a few things. I am a short young woman who appears heavier than she is due to a large chest, broad shoulders, and a muscular build. As I walk in, there’s no receptionist to be seen. A few minutes later the doctor himself arrives. When I start describing my issues, he takes a short look at me and asks me to step on the scales (fully clothed). I am confused, but comply. He doesn’t even look at the numbers before tutting.)

Doctor: “Well, there you have it. Just lose some weight and you will be all right.”

Me: *increasingly vexed* “I am trying, but I actually had to STOP working out due to those issues I have! I would love to be more active again, and I still eat healthy and walk everywhere I can, but—”

Doctor: *interrupting me in a condescending tone* “You just have to try harder.”

Me: *close to tears, trying to make him understand that I am serious* “Would you tell someone who’s in a wheelchair that they can of course run a marathon, they only have to try hard enough?”

Doctor: “Now, now, no need to get snarky. I’ll write in my report that you have weight-related issues and should work out more.”

(I raced out, embarrassed and angry. Later it turns out that I have fibromyalgia with chronic fatigue, as well as a severe panic disorder. I guess “just working out more” was not the solution…)

Some Things Can Weight To Be Said, Part 5
Some Things Can Weight To Be Said, Part 4
Some Things Can Weight To Be Said, Part 3


Very Bad Reception, Part 17

| Atlanta, GA, USA | Employees, Ignoring & Inattentive, Time

(I’m on a break at work when I get a call from the receptionist at my doctor’s office.)

Receptionist: “Hi, I’m calling from [Doctor] for [My Name]. We were wondering if you were going to show up for your appointment today?”

Me: “Um, I never made an appointment for today. I had one for tomorrow but cancelled it last week.”

Receptionist: “Okay, but you’re in the system for an appointment in five minutes, so you must have made the appointment.”

Me: “I never made that appointment, so I won’t be there. I’m not sure where it came from.”

Receptionist: “So… will you be showing up today?”

Very Bad Reception, Part 16
Very Bad Reception, Part 15
Very Bad Reception, Part 14

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