From the Blogposts » inbox

True Story of Hospital Admissions That Scares Me

ยฉ2009-2010 ~jgwr

Today was a full day at the hospital complex for me. I had a 10:30 Dexa scan (bone density scan) in the main hospital and my 3:30 appointment for a second opinion on my sinus situation across the road at the USF Health building, still on the main TGH campus.

I got there early to head up to see Sue to get a print-out of my latest meds and the ENT’s new patient form since I’d neglected to print it before leaving the house. Her having those for me when I arrived made me feel even better that we got her a little something for Christmas to let her know how much she’s appreciated for all she does for me and mine ALL year long. Later in the day, just to prove I still had the skills, I got a charge removed from my account by calling my insurance all by my onesie. Gotta keep those skills sharp!

Down to admissions I went. Italics shall be the nameless person in admissions who goes by the name SHEILA according to her name tag. Brackets would be what I’d have liked to have said but didn’t have the cajones to do so.

Mr. Petersen! Number 6 on your left!

As I got to the station, no one was there, but I placed my driver’s license and insurance card on their edge of the counter since they need it every time I get a wristband. She arrives and sits down.

Hi, let’s see. Is your date of birth 5/5/1963?

No, that would make me 47 years old. I am 31. {Do I really look like I’m 47? I still get carded for crying out loud!}

Oh!! I’m so sorry!

You have the wrong patient. {Obviously.}

Okay, what surgeon are you seeing today?

I’m sorry?

What surgeon are you seeing today?

I am here for an x-ray. {Please don’t operate on me. Are you trying to kill me?}

Oh!! I’m so sorry again! {Strike two, you’re way out. This is a medical facility where people die with two strikes.}

{Could I get someone with a brain to register me for a simple bone scan before I’m whisked away and killed in the bowels of the hospital, please!!} I’m clearly panicking now, but it’s not over yet, not by a long shot, and I’m not making any of this up or exaggerating (sadly).

What is your last name?

It’s on my license, but it’s Petersen {that’s been by your elbow for the last 2 minutes and you called me back here using my last name 3 minutes ago – please tell me you know who you’re admitting}.

Oh! How do you spell that?

It’s on my license. {I placed it there for your reference, your need to scan it, and obviously for my health. It’s sad that I placed it there for my health because people usually say things like “I didn’t do it for my health,” but I did in your case.”

Do you still live at…

Yes. I haven’t moved and nothing else in the computer needs to be altered since I was last registered 8 days ago. It’s all 100% accurate. {smile}

I could tell she was annoyed at my thorough answer, because she now had to go through about 200 cursor and Tab presses without asking my any of her precious questions. Then…

Are you still married to…

Yes. {No, I got divorced in the last 8 days and it completely slipped my mind to tell you that 90 seconds ago as I declared ALL of the information to be accurate.}

She took a very long time to get my wristband, which I expected because that’s what people do when they’ve been outed as incompetent as that. To add insult to her injury, she tried 3 times to grab both ends of it to get the sticky part to adhere to the other end, but failed at that hand-eye-coordination test so I pulled my hand into my lap and did it myself. On my first try.

That, my dear readers, is just admissions. The CF team is awesome, but that’s why we don’t stay in the hospital unless absolutely necessary.


  1. Ugh! IT never fails to shock me how cavalier some health care workers can be. It’s fortunate I am among the proactive and make sure to educate myself before dealing with them, and I hope everyone else does the same!

  2. Ha ha! Terrifying, really. And it is indeed no laughing matter to have someone wich such an avanced level of incompetence working in a hospital, period. Reminds me of some experiences I’ve had with CF nurses. Scary stuff. But still, really fun to read. I couldn’t help but laugh.

    • Thanks, that’s how I tried to come off. Admissions is one thing and someone with meds or a needle is another entirely. Now, where are my cajones for my next go-around to say the bracketed things?

  3. Kristi Bowers says

    is it bad that I am laughing? I think I am laughing because I can see it happening and I have had some similarly disturbing situations myself. The are you still married, no I divorced in the last 8 days literally made me LOL. Now let me humor you. Today, a nurse came in and said Kaleb I need to look at your wrist band to make sure you are Kaleb. He stops, looks up at her and says. You have got to be kidding me, you have been my nurse all day, how do you not know my name is Kaleb? And, you just called me Kaleb. hahaha

    • No, you’re supposed to ROFL. It is part of my gift to all. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      No kidding. Then at the bone scan, she made me say my name and DOB. Hey, you came and got me. “Jesse. December 18th.” … “Last name and year?” Seriously? I got through registration and have this band on my arm and responded when you called me back.

      He second part req’d pointing my toes inward to align the femur a certain way. “Can you move so and so?” No, I’m not pigeon-toed. I can do this (flattened them outward) but not that. (oh, this is getting long) She strapped the end of my foot inward, but didn’t anchor my heel on the plastic, so my sock slipped and my toe was back out. Oh well, too dumb to brace it against the guide on the board to keep my heel in place I guess.

  4. Lauramagsamen says

    Thanks for the laugh! My 16 year old daughter has CF and we have had similar situations. When you tell others the stories, they think you are making them up. In October, she was admitted and was previously scheduled for a colonoscopy and EGD (stomach pain, looking for varices, etc.). She is also diabetic, so during the bowel prep, she was having problems with hypoglycemia, all the way down to around 44. Of course, she can’t have solid food to bring it up, so we asked for an Italian ice, which they proceeded to be us one after searching and it was Red. Now mind you the next morning they are looking for bleeding and varices, but no one thought that giving her a red Italian ice was a bad idea! Oh, I forgot to mention that we were in one of the best hospitals in the country, Johns Hopkins. After more searching, the entire pediatric building only had red italian ice. Now, we just can’t make this stuff up!
    Thanks for your blog! I always enjoy your posting.
    Take care!

    • It’s amazing what they don’t think of sometimes. I’ve had Jordan’s link in my sidebar ever since I found her and your husband – being a WordPress/Web geek myself, I was instantly drawn to her site. Tell her to get that fever down so she can have her annual decorating party. Fatboy says so. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. My MIL just told me about several open positions for admissions at one of our local hospitals. I took the information with a grain of salt. Thank goodness this poor woman got a patient like you! My luck would be to get all of the other patients who are clueless about everything yet still manage to get themselves dressed every day. No way would I work in admissions. I would certainly lose my patience and my job. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s what we always deal with too. I just hold my breath and say if we can get through this our light is shinning bright on the other side. Long live the CF team!

    • What surprised me most about my surgery in Oct. was the difference in the quality of the staff between the floor and the one-day surgery center. Those nurses were top, top-notch… and we told the one on my case exactly that. She thanked me and said they go through 6 weeks of additional training to work there. It shows.

  6. I was in manatee memorial ONCE, my nurse came in hung the IV bag punched up the data on the device, pressed the start button and proceeded to walk out of the room. I then calmly, as she was exiting the door, asked her if she wouldn’t mind hooking the IV tubing into my arm before she left. My greatest fear is the day that I am incapacitated and cannot oversee the pervasive incompetence that occurs more than any of us truely want to acknowledge actually occurs.
    Got to stay sharp at all times.

    • That’s what I told the manager when she called. What if I had Alzheimer’s
      and just answered “Yes” to things?

    • There was an article a year or so ago in Reader’s Digest that would scare the hair right out of your ears. They strongly urged everyone to have an advocate with them in the hospital, especially at night.

      My mom is deaf as a post, but she pretends that she can hear. My sister always goes with her for Dr. visits & hospitalizations. At 83 years of age, that’s practically every other day for her.

  7. Robert Iseley says

    I think that attitude towards hospital staff and their dumb questions is part of the ฮ”F508/ฮ”F508 gene trait. Because those are my genes and exactly what I would be saying to myself if I didn’t say it out load(which I probably would have).

    • It’s good to not be alone… even in our use of StudioPress for sites, eh?
      Glad you stopped by. We’ll see if I have a new journal of comments after
      tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜‰