Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

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Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

Postby Simon » Sat May 24, 2014 5:26 pm

I've been to the doctor the other day. Had a couple of minor things that bothered me for a while. "My" doctor wasn't in, so I went to a different one. It was a rather young doctor, I'd guess late 30ies. It was quite odd from the beginning, as she seemed a bit annoyed from the start, not very friendly and just plain matter-of-factly. Never even a hint of a smile on her face.
Anyway, I gave her my list of little problems, and of top of that I asked whether they do HIV tests, how they do it, how much it costs and how long the results would take. The doctor looked at me and asked "Why?" almost saying "you look healthy, so why bother?" I was quite surprised by her reaction and couldn't say anything, so she added "Have you been exposed to a potential risk?" And I knew full well that what was behind this question was either whether I was doing drugs or whether was having sex with men. So, I deliberately answered in a neutral way without disclosing any references to the sex that I had been a naughty boy the last couple of months and probably years and I would like to make sure as there had been a rubber malfunction now and then. She was not really pleased with that answer, told me in a dull way that I would have to pay for it, she doesn't know the price and I should ask at the reception desk.
And no, I did not ask there, as about ten people were standing around there. And just because I and hopefully a lot of other people think that everyone should check their status every now and again if there is a... fluctuation of lovers in life, I was not fond to reveal that I could not be 100% sure of my HIV status.
At first, I thought this was almost funny, but then I realized how naive this doctor must have been? After everything that my and younger generations had been or are being taught; that she insinuates that an HIV test is not really necessary only if you think you belong to a so-called risk-group. I mean... isn't every unprotected sex situation, gay or straight, to all people involved an exposure to a certain degree of potential of risk?
And I am almost sure she wrote into my file "Probably gay (can't be sure as he did'nt wear women's clothes.)"

Did you have any weird experiences like that?
Last edited by Simon on Sun May 25, 2014 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HIV-test

Postby Tarkus » Sat May 24, 2014 11:42 pm

She needs to do some research- you can get HIV from heterosexual sex as well.

My weird experience was when I went for my invasive angiogram. The operation is basically that you lie there, the doctor puts a large needle in your groin attached to a tube about a meter long and 3mm in diameter, which then goes right in your femoral artery, all the way up to your heart, where he then injects die into your blood, and scans you so that the dye shows up on the scanner, where he can see how well or how badly the blood flows around the arteries in your heart. Once the tube is removed, they put a dissolvable plug in the hole to stop the bleeding.

In my case, when I was on my way to the theatre, I was diverted to another theatre by a lab technician, so that they could clear up a mess (WTF?) and hold a memorial service for someone who passed away there the previous week. (WTF??!?!) I was as nervous as all hell before, but now I was borderline terrified. Once I lay down on the gurney, the doctor turned out to be a lab technician who'd only had about four hours' sleep, and was living on strong coffee for the day. This did not boost my confidence- especially when he realised that I'd noticed him mentioning all this to his colleague (And I wasn't supposed to hear) and tried to reassure me by saying that only one out of a thousand operations goes wrong. With what had happened before I'd even GOT there, all I could think of to say was "I hope you didn't operate on 999 patients before me!" (With nervous laughter)

The operation went OK, but I didn't get a dissolvable plug- instead the nurse pressed down hard on my groin for half an hour before putting on a plaster, then told me to lie down and not move for two hours. Once I'd got through all THAT, and was able to gingerly dress and hobble to the collection point to get a taxi home without bleeding to death, the taxi driver just left me at the collection point 'because he needed a wee-wee'. (sic) once he got back, he drove my wife and I home over every bloody speed bump in South London before I got home, and all I wanted to do when I got back was collapse in a foetal ball and cry myself to sleep.

Weird, unsettling and not just a teeny bit scary all rolled into one...
 
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Re: HIV-test

Postby nicksmithworld » Sun May 25, 2014 12:11 am

er..I took a plaster off my arm yesterday and it took a bit of hair with it.. :-|
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Re: HIV-test

Postby Simon » Sun May 25, 2014 8:43 am

:lol:

Tarkus, that's weird indeed. Not really good promotion for the hospital, the procedure, the taxi driver or anything, really...

PS. I'll probably rename the thread :P .
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Re: Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

Postby Elessar » Sun May 25, 2014 9:51 am

I've heard a similar one to the angiography haematoma one. A friend of mine had to spend 90 minutes standing/sitting/leaning (whatever was comfortable), applying pretty hard pressure to a haematoma that someone had suffered following an angiogram. The consultant said that these are one of the more common of the rare adverse effects, but that this one was one of the worst he'd seen. My friend then had to apply 90 minutes of pressure (with both hands) and had to somehow simultaneously bleep the on-call vascular surgeon and the on-call ultrasonographer for their assistance. He also had to get nurses to answer his relentless bleep during this time, and ended up staying late because he'd not been able to do anything else for an hour and a half. Apparently he had pins and needles in his hands for hours.

I'm told the patient was lovely about it though. Grateful for the diagnostic procedure that could have saved her life if there was something sinister going on; grateful to the team for quickly diagnosing and minimising the haematoma formation; and despite having to stay in for an extra 48 hours, grateful in general for the free NHS care she had received.


P.S.: I don't do anything particularly risky, but by giving blood every 3 months I get a free HIV test, as all blood is tested and they inform you if anything is wrong. Back in the day, having a known HIV status (even if negative) affected your ability to get life insurance or a mortgage, as the act of getting the test was seen as an admission of high-risk behaviour. That is no longer allowed now.
 
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Re: Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

Postby Elessar » Sun May 25, 2014 10:02 am

Another story I heard involved a very unfortunate man, who was quite young, who had pancreatitis (due to alcohol) that was so severe that huge amounts of his internal organs had been auto-digested by the leaking pancreatic enzymes. He was taken into theatre in a last ditch attempt to save him. His entire abdomen was full of dead, dying, and in some parts decomposing viscera. The smell was so overwhelming (I'm told) that everyone in there had to squirt local anaesthetic on the inside of their masks to numb their noses.

The poor man died, unsurprisingly. Other cases that day were delayed or cancelled because the smell was lingering. I don't know if anyone whinged about it. I hope not.
 
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Re: Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

Postby Lino » Sun May 25, 2014 12:00 pm

Hit my head once against an attic ceiling and started bleeding. Went to the local health centre (it was in a village in the countryside some 15-20km away from the city) and the doctor said "you're not registered in here, you should head to the main health centres of one of the 2 main towns closer to here (respectively, 5 or 10km away).
Even if you registered you'd have to wait till tomorrow morning (it was before lunchtime)...
in the meanwhile he could have done a couple of 2 stitches in my head... but off I went (luckily someone took me) to the closest place 5km away while still bleeding).

Fucking bureaucracy. :angry:
Another time, late night, we took my octogenary neighbour with a long history of heart problems to the hospital as she was feeling bad. She was taken into the ER but was only taken care some 2-3 hours after arrival.... :stupid:
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Re: Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

Postby Simon » Sun May 25, 2014 4:29 pm

P.S.: I don't do anything particularly risky, but by giving blood every 3 months I get a free HIV test, as all blood is tested and they inform you if anything is wrong. Back in the day, having a known HIV status (even if negative) affected your ability to get life insurance or a mortgage, as the act of getting the test was seen as an admission of high-risk behaviour. That is no longer allowed now.


That must have been so weird... being aware of a disease, and knowing you don't have it suspects you that you ultimately will get it anyway. But yeah, I guess that subconsciously was hindering me from asking at the busy reception how much an HIV test will be.
Unfortunately I am not allowed in the German state I live in to give blood as I probably suffer from a slightly annoying (though only seldom affecting me) illness that may (or may not) have consequences to my blood. (Other States in Germany are not that strict and I could give blood there.) Anyway, that's the reason I cannot give blood and would have to rely on official tests for all diseases that can be detected in your blood.
And that's another thing: I don't know how this is performed in other countries, but you are not allowed to give blood for a variety of reasons. The questionnaire you have to fill out has questions like "Do you know gay people(!), Do you have sex with the same sex, or, if you are a woman, do you have sex with a man who also has sex with men? Have you been to prison?" Either question answered with yes automatically disqualifies you from giving blood. Lying is a heavy offence and may cause drastic steps.
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Re: Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

Postby Elessar » Sun May 25, 2014 5:49 pm

Simon wrote:And that's another thing: I don't know how this is performed in other countries, but you are not allowed to give blood for a variety of reasons. The questionnaire you have to fill out has questions like "Do you know gay people(!), Do you have sex with the same sex, or, if you are a woman, do you have sex with a man who also has sex with men? Have you been to prison?" Either question answered with yes automatically disqualifies you from giving blood. Lying is a heavy offence and may cause drastic steps.


Yeah - at the moment you can't give blood if you are male and have had sex with a man in the last 12 months. Every now and again people kick up a fuss about how it's homophobic and there's a bit of a debate about it. Obviously the blood donation service isn't fundamentally homophobic, but it is a difficult subject, as it is undeniable that gay men are more likely than straight men to have infections such as HIV. All blood is tested, but the test isn't 100% accurate. The greater the number of people with HIV donating blood is, the more likely that a positive sample will test negative. It's basic stats, not homophobia. I think that's why the wording has changed from one of sexuality to one of behaviour. Gay men are more than welcome to donate, but people who have had anal sex in the last 12 months aren't.

In an ideal world they'll develop a more reliable HIV test, I guess.
 
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Re: Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

Postby JLP » Sun May 25, 2014 5:57 pm

I remember something that happened around 20 years ago. I was working a night shift on a Saturday night in A/E. A young man with Downs Syndrome was brought in. He was going in and out of cardiac arrest. Whenever resuscitation was started he recovered once a pre cordial thump was applied.

He must have arrested half a dozen times and the senior medic wanted to give up despite him recovering each time. The young man's father begged us to continue so we did. He arrested yet again and we got him back. The medic decided to intubate him as he was by now unconcious. However he could not get the tube down. He applied suction and we brought out a half of a sausage. That had been blocking his airway and when we used the pre cordial thump, it was moving so opening up his airway.

One of the strangest things I have ever been involved with and thank fuck we carried on because the PM would have been interesting.
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Re: Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

Postby icy » Sun May 25, 2014 6:23 pm

Lino wrote:Hit my head once against an attic ceiling and started bleeding. Went to the local health centre (it was in a village in the countryside some 15-20km away from the city) and the doctor said "you're not registered in here, you should head to the main health centres of one of the 2 main towns closer to here (respectively, 5 or 10km away).
Even if you registered you'd have to wait till tomorrow morning (it was before lunchtime)...
in the meanwhile he could have done a couple of 2 stitches in my head... but off I went (luckily someone took me) to the closest place 5km away while still bleeding).

Fucking bureaucracy. :angry:
Another time, late night, we took my octogenary neighbour with a long history of heart problems to the hospital as she was feeling bad. She was taken into the ER but was only taken care some 2-3 hours after arrival.... :stupid:

I won't go into detail about my personal ups and downs in the health care system, I almost wish I had the nerve to post about it, but yikes at the waiting times, it's awful in many places in Canada. From the ER to the waiting times to see specialists, a very long way to go before I will be on good terms with the waiting times :x
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Re: Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

Postby Capt. Den Ronson » Sun May 25, 2014 7:27 pm

Please PM me about my experiences of misery and misfortune. I don't want to bore everyone on here. Thanks x
 
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Re: Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

Postby icy » Sun May 25, 2014 7:43 pm

Capt. Den Ronson wrote:Please PM me about my experiences of misery and misfortune. I don't want to bore everyone on here. Thanks x

Hmm. :roll:
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Re: Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

Postby Elessar » Sun May 25, 2014 10:43 pm

Why don't staff just work harder and faster? I've absolutely no idea how hard they work or what they do on a day to day basis but surely they could just do it better? Lazy.

Whinging about them should boost their morale and improve their performance though, so we should probably do that some more. Ideally my doctor will have had 8 hours sleep, but failing that, I'd at least like him to feel like he's a slave to a bunch of ungrateful tossers while his peers from childhood earn four times as much in the city.
 
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Re: Weird experiences in the world of medicine and doctors

Postby Tarkus » Mon May 26, 2014 1:17 am

Why don't some NHS employees just realise that some people's experiences are the exception rather than the rule, are not generalising about everyone in the NHS, and don't just assume that the person's experiences don't necessarily make him 'ungrateful' or a 'whingeing tosser' for having experienced them?

In my case, I was having to come to terms, in a very short time, with changing from being a person with rude health and a mystery pain in his chest and left shoulder, to a person having to cope with a possibly very fast demise because he was rapidly approaching the age of his father, who had died of the condition that his son has now inherited. Now, this isn't your fault, and I don't blame anyone really, but I actually believe that counselling should be available (Yeah, I know- expensive, yadda yadda) for people who are having to deal with a major life-changing event like that. I was seeing a brick wall rapidly approaching, was understandably pretty bloody scared about it, but my concerns were largely glossed over or not really addressed, (By those I was seeing) simply because the surgical techniques that are available to help someone in that condition have become so routine that to many in that profession, it's probably 'just another disease'. It may well be, and I probably didn't have all that much to worry about really, but for someone who'd grown up with seeing his 50-year-old father die of a heart attack when he was barely starting school, that pretty much shaped my whole life in many ways, and at 47, all I could think of at that time was "Oh-crap-I'm-going-to-follow-in-my-father's-footsteps-and-I've-only-got-three-years-left."

With that going on in the back of my head, and every test I'd undergone just going more to confirm that fear as time went by, incidents in the theatre that I could probably have had a bemused giggle at in any other circumstance (I can laugh at it now, thank heavens) just contributed to my general sense of fear and dread at that time. Pretty understandable, now you know what was going on in my head, don't you think?
 
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