patients say the darnedest things

It’s been awhile since I wrote anything about my new job which is really my old job. If you’re not sure what that means, you can read about it here. And, since writing that post, the world, as we once knew it, has descended into chaos, madness and alternative facts. With that in mind, I figured we could all use a bit of a distraction in order to escape that madness, even if it’s just for a few moments. Or you could totally look at this post as a way of descending into a different kind of madness. It’s completely up to you.

Anyone dealing with the public knows how challenging it can be and, when you work in the medical field, you are also dealing with people who are not feeling well. This means that you enter into an entirely different realm of madness, delirium and inappropriate comments. It’s those comments I would like to share with you in order to distract you from the escalating madness that has become the world as we now know it. Damn you, January 20th, 2017.

Keep in mind that where I work, the doctor’s practice is limited to seeing patients who are dealing with back, hip, neck, headache issues, etc. which means that most of our patients crazy-people-_-medical-fieldare either in acute or chronic pain. This creates an an entirely different type of monster patient which, praise the high heavens, only affects a small percentage of our practice. The amount of pain that the patient is experiencing at the time may or may not influence the way he/she speaks to me, or it could be a matter that these patients do not have filters preventing them from saying inappropriate comments, or it may mean that they are just simply assholes. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. Whatever drives them, I have put together a collection of the more ridiculous and inappropriate things that have been said to me so far.

Things I have been told when trying to schedule appointments for patients:

  • Next week would be better. My diarrhea should be gone by then. You wouldn’t want that on the exam table, now would you?
  • I can’t come that day. I have to kill my chickens then. Do you have anything a couple of days after that? They should all be dead by then.
  • Don’t be booking my husband’s appointment and mine at the same time. Isn’t it enough that I live and work with him? Do I have to go to the doctor with him too?
  • Anything is fine. Just give me the first appointment you have (which I offer). No, I can’t come then. No, that time doesn’t suit either. Nope, doesn’t work. Nope. Nope. Nope. Don’t you have anything better than that? Are you sure you know how to run that program?


Things I have been told and asked by patients:

  • You’re voice is too soft to be a receptionist. He should have hired somebody with a stronger voice.
  • I don’t understand those automatic flush toilets in the public washroom. I had to ‘pooh’ and the toilet flushed three times before I was done. That’s not right. Do you think it’s right?
  • At least you dress nice.
  • You got your hair cut shorter. Does that mean you can’t handle the job already?
  • You shouldn’t get any holidays. You’re new here.
  • The last time I was here there was only one person running the office. Today, there are two. Is it too much for you to handle? (The second person was a co-op student. Sigh.)
  • Would you mind telling the doctor that I haven’t showered today?
  • Do you think the doctor will know if my socks are clean or not?
  • The doctor prescribed a hot water bottle with a fleecy. Can you tell me why the fleecy? What is a fleecy?
  • I have a couple of autoimmune diseases. One is ‘sclerosis something’. It affects the lady parts after menopause. Do you know what it’s called? Do you think it will affect my knee surgery?


Times I have been offered money, yelled at and sworn at:

  • Here’s $20.00.  Now, dance.
  • That’s just bulls**t. You don’t know what you’re talking about. (Patient was told that he would need a referral from his family doctor before seeing Dr. Who.)
  • For f*** sake, that is just ridiculous. (Patient was told that he needed to schedule an appointment for his form completion.)
  • i-want-10-billion-dollarsI’ll pay anything if you would just give me an appointment and overlook that referral rule.
  • If it’s a matter of money, just tell me how much you need and I’ll pay it. (Again, over the referral rule.)
  • I’ll read your palm for free if you’ll just give me a referral. (This fella claimed he was psychic. I was thinking that if he truly was, he would have known he was going to need a referral.)

There you have it. The best of the worst. And, in case you were wondering, not one of those comments were alternative facts. I prefer to deal with just the facts, Kelly ma’am, just the facts.

Resist the madness y’all!

(P.S.: My something new for this post was being asked each and everyone of those questions. I can honestly say that never before have I been asked anything quite like that.)






    1. I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Without getting too political, I wanted to insert a little bit into my post and the ‘alternative facts’ were just the thing. Thank you for dropping by the Cabbage Patch :).

  1. Too funny! Reminds me of when I was teaching and some of the things the kids would ask, which were quite similar: “I’ll pay you anything for an ‘A’. Why not?! Come on, I really need one…”

    1. So glad you enjoyed it. I would have loved to have seen the look on my face when the patient came out with that ‘chicken’ comment. Bet it was priceless.

    1. Why, thank you, Nadine! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed it. If only these nasty patients knew that I stockpile their nasty comments for a later blog post, they might change their minds about how they speak to me LOL. Thanks for dropping by the Cabbage Patch. 🙂

    1. Hi Judy! Thanks for the compliment. Your alpacas certainly put a smile on my face … my goodness, they are adorable! I will keep writing … I think I’m finally getting my groove back. 🙂

  2. Okay, WHAT IS A FLEECIE? Haha. I’m going to have to Google that one. I’m just as confused as the patient 🙂 Damn, people are RUDE. Any time I’m in pain, I try to be extra nice. Who wants to go out of their way to help an asshole? Common sense. Sorry you put up with so much crap. Ick.

    1. We finally figured out that what she was talking about was a covering for her hot water bottle.

      Most days are good but all it takes is that ONE nasty grouchy grouch to ruin your whole day. If only some of these GGs knew that they would be featured in blog post, they might think twice about what they say to me lol.

  3. I work a reception desk–mostly dealing with callers trying to find the most bizarre answers in an infinite universe. I’ve had to explain that, no, I don’t understand about “X”, I’m not a treasurer or a health insurance professional. My most-hated response to telling someone no one is available to answer their question is, “Oh, I’ll ask you. I’m sure you know!” I listen politely to sometimes rambling sagas regarding whatever the heck they are talking about and then explain, again, that ‘No, I’m still just a receptionist. You probably want to get tax advice from the specialists! Now, would you like me to put you into so-and-so’s voicemail?”

    1. Oh, how I feel your pain! It is unbelievable what some people will ask, assume, and get nasty with you about. Some days it is so exhausting being polite, isn’t it? Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

    1. I know exactly what you mean. I operated my own gift store for 14 years and the retail customers were much nastier. It was good prep for my current job ;). Thanks for dropping by the Cabbage Patch. 🙂

  4. My ex husband is physician. He would regale us with things his clinic patients said. By far the best was the lady with fireballs in her Eucharist?!?

    1. Ha! Oh, I had a good chuckle over that one … imagine fireballs in her Eucharist!

      I had another doozie of a week resulting in some good stories to share about it; I hope to get the post written this weekend. Thanks for dropping by the Cabbage Patch. 🙂

    1. It’s so true … filters, as well as common sense, just do not seem to exist in some people. Makes for some great stories, though!

      Thanks for dropping by the Cabbage Patch 🙂

    1. We could co-author a book about the things we hear during our crazy weeks. I just had another bizarre week and am currently working on a post about it. I find that I am shaking my head even while writing it. Eeeeek!

  5. hello there,
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  6. I really loved this – because it’s so familiar. I deal with completely different situations but wow, dealing with patients (and families). You meet such… interesting (and sometimes lovely).. people.
    I’m a nurse in palliative care, not working with it right now but I’m going back to it at least part time. In my field people are sad and upset which can cause all kinds of reactions, I really mean ALL kinds.. everything from threats to just weird things. One of my colleagues told me one person once asked if he/she could take the dead body of their family member home. I definitely don’t know what I would have answered!!!

    1. Oh em gee … I don’t know what I would have said either to the person asking to take their dead family member’s body home. That request takes the cake!

      I’m glad that you enjoyed this post; many times I find that they only thing I can do about my job experiences is to just laugh about them. Oh, and record them in a journal to write about in a future post. This past week was another doozie so I am currently working on writing a post about it as well.

      Thanks for dropping by the Cabbage Patch 🙂

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