This one was fun (aren’t they all?). Had a patient who wanted to have a tooth extracted. First question out of their mouths after avidly giving me the stink eye (like I was the one who put them in this situation) was:
“So DOC, Imma ask you a question. WHAT are you giving me for PAIN?”
“What? You mean I’m not gettin’ Percocet???”
“No. You don’t need it.”
“What?? Nah forget this then I ain’t doin’ this”
“Ok just let us know if you change your mind.”
“Nah nah fine, whatever I’ll just go to the ER and I have some at home anyway.”
. . . “Ok. . ?”
“Nah I just gotta get this tooth outta here ya know what I’m sayin’ it hurts and it smells like poop.”
. . . Ok??? Don’t know what your extracurricular activities are but whatever boss. .
Patients. . .
Just got finished with a patient’s hygiene examination.
I asked if they had any questions before I left, and they proceeded to ask:
“How do I know if I have sensitivity?”
Thinking they were going to be more specific, or ask about maybe WHAT things may cause sensitivity, they were asking me how THEY knew if they had sensitivity.
I mean it’s not like sensitivity is a secret cancer that stays silent and has no symptoms until it’s too late.
You eat ice, say OOOO that’s cold, and boom. You have sensitivity.
So I replied “Well do your teeth feel cold when you drink cold drinks?”
“Do your teeth feel hot when you drink coffee?”
“Do they ache when you brush your teeth?”
“. . . Ok. Then it doesn’t sound like they are sensitive?”
Common sense people. .
Had a fun one come in first things this morning.
A patient needs a repair on their denture.
You’d think it’s because they used it for chewing and broke it on something hard. Or maybe dropped it. Or it’s just old and needs a refresh. Or because it’s 9am on a Monday.
They let their kids play with it.
I’m sorry but with the immense materialism present in the world who in the heck thinks playing with someone’s dentures is a good idea? Or FUN?
“Hey mom! Look at the evil teeth attacking the city! Rawrrrrr”.
Get them a fidget spinner. Or some vampire teeth. Or build some teeth out of Lego so at least you can fix it at home with your own blocks.
Patients . . .
Here is something I’ve heard at least once a day since practicing. It hasn’t been directed towards me as a person, but towards the profession.
“I hate the dentist”
I walk in to the exam room, introduce myself, and the first thing you tell me is that you hate what I am.
Not the smartest conversation starter, Sherlock.
You do realize that I’m going to be the one examining you and treating your neglected, festering, intraoral disease you call a mouth because you couldn’t be bothered twice a day to clean it?
Yet you hate the dentist. The only people who are capable of fixing your problem.
Maybe re-word your thoughts like:
“I’m scared of this place because I’m afraid it’s going to hurt since I have so many issues to fix”
“I don’t like needles can you help me get through this process?”
This would help me to actually want to help you more and be sympathetic towards what you are feeling. I didn’t put that rampant decay in your mouth. I didn’t make you drink Mountain Dew before bed since you were 12 and now all of your teeth are hurting. I’m here to help you. Don’t hate us. Don’t tell us how much you hate coming to us. Hate yourself for doing this to your own mouth.
Patients. . .
Patients who use Google before they come to the office are suddenly experts.
Years of training just makes you “a doctor” but you still know nothing because we are only here to take your money and lie to you apparently.
“Mrs. B, you have an infection. I’m going to give you a round of antibiotics that treat this particular strain of bacteria and we will check the area again in a week.”
“Oh no I’m okay. I’m just going to use coconut oil.”
“Oh I don’t want any of those harmful chemicals. I read it on Google. I’ll just use coconut oil on the area and take some tumeric.”
” . . you do realize that this infection is very large and can travel into your bloodstream if we don’t take care of it immediately.”
“Well this lady who used it is okay and other people I read are doing it. I just don’t believe in big pharma they’re just trying to take my money.”
Lady came back a month later. Infection doubled. Sent her to the ER.
Don’t use Google to be a doctor.
Patients. . .
This was one of my less frustrating experiences with a patient. We had gone through the normal routine of doing their exam, giving her a diagnosis and treatment plan, when we got the questions about payment.
“Can I pay for this later?”
“No. Payment is at the time of service.”
“Can I get a discount? I can’t afford all this. I’m going on vacation in a few months and I don’t make a lot of money.”
“I’m sorry, maybe you’d like to look into Care Credit to help pay for the services?”
Her last attempt was the best.
“Well maybe we can barter? I’m not as young as I used to be but I can dance and used to entertain at parties when I was younger. I can’t drop it like it’s hot anymore honey but I can drop it like it’s warm! Whoooooo!” As she proceeded to wiggle in hula-hoop fashion while still sitting in the chair.
After trying not to laugh out loud and keep it to a visible smile, I quickly excused myself from the room and had an assistant take over. I don’t know what was funnier. Picturing her actually dancing for the office with her walker or her persistence.
Patients. . .
Welcome to the incredible world of patient stupidity. I have worked in the medical/dental field for over 11 years and have heard some incredible things. Each year that goes by I think I’ve heard it all but I continue to be surprised. Those reading this who have had experiences with patients will probably just nod and agree that they have their own stories as well.
What is it about people when they walk into an office their brain suddenly turns off? Even the simplest of questions seem too complicated for them to process. Working as a doctor has seriously made me question the future of humanity.
Frequency of my posts depends on the real-time stupidity I encounter. I have plenty of old stories to tell, but I hear so many each day I have no lack of material. As I encounter a story I will write and post it.
Expect enjoyment throughout the week!
This is my story.