No One Cares More about You than YOU

One consequence of moving from paper-based medical files to electronic health records: people are lazy.

Some medicos have gone to lengths to mitigate hospital security controls. Staff at one unnamed hospital put styrofoam coffee cups over proximity sensors in a bid to prevent automated log outs.


One hospital charged the junior medico with pushing the spacebar on computers every five minutes to prevent log outs.


These workarounds which keep machines logged in have resulted in at least one instance with the issuance of the wrong medication when a doctor did not realise the wrong patient records were open.

This is why you should always pay attention when you’re at the doctor or in the hospital.

While medical professionals of all stripes usually go into the profession because they want to help people, they have to work all day every day just like the rest of us. And, just like the rest of us, they become tired, annoyed, frustrated, rushed, fed up, bored, sad, or inattentive.

I can’t tell you how many times at work I haven’t been paying attention, and started typing things into Microsoft Word instead of the email message I had been intending to write.

Or even worse…a message intended for a chat with a friend going to someone else instead.

We’ve all been there.

But sometimes typing into the wrong box, or not saving a file, can have major consequences.

So if you’re at a doctor’s appointment, getting an infusion, or in the hospital, stay vigilant. Don’t nap. Pay attention. Ask questions. Be curious about what’s going on.

If something seems fishy, ask.

And if you don’t feel up to being that pushy, bring along someone who will do it for you.

As much as your nurse cares for people in a general, abstract, sense, you (and the people who love you) are the only ones who truly care about you, the human being.

So take care of yourself, and pay attention when you’re receiving medical treatment.


Anticipate the Hangover

When you drink too much, you get a hangover.

When you stay up way too late, you’re tired the next day.

When you eat too much, you get full and uncomfortable.

There are always consequences.

You may not like it. You definitely don’t want it. But the consequence is there just the same.

One of my favorite facts is this: “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” It comes from the study of physics.

Scientific or not, I like to apply it to everything from human relationships to the way my body reacts under stress.

The reaction may not come out in the way that I’m expecting it, but there’s always something.

In my last post, I explained how I thought ahead to the fancy wedding I was attending, to make sure I had food for the day. That definitely helped cut down on unhelpful consequences like hanger and anxiety.

That wedding also included things like dancing (I’m recovering from pneumonia), talking to lots of people (introvert), and sitting in the sun next to a field of grass (hello, pale skin and seasonal allergies).

When you think ahead, you can usually head off some of the worst consequences my moderating yourself in the moment. Rest after dancing. Take a walk by yourself. Sunscreen and Claritin. Drink water.

Even when you’re taking care of the little things, they still add up.

The next day you wake up with a pollen hangover.

Maybe you’re a little bit dehydrated.

Or you have a sunburn.

Those things take a little while to recover from. And that’s okay.

Make sure to plan for it!

Don’t pretend that you can muscle through it, because you can’t always do that. Take a half day off work, or work from home if you can. If that’s not an option, take into account recovery time when you’re asking for time off or swapping shifts with your coworkers.

Make sure to have water and aloe lotion in the house, so you don’t have to expend extra energy to go get them, energy you could be spending on recovering.

Cook yourself the equivalent of a greasy breakfast and coffee, make sure to stay hydrated, and ride out that hangover.

Expect it. Embrace it. Realize its inevitability and just let it be.

Shamelessly bringing your own dinner to a black-tie wedding

You know all those stories about old ladies bringing tupperware or ziplock bags to parties and stealing leftovers?

You feel bad for them, but at cringe at the same time.

I’m the opposite of those old ladies. I bring my own food to fancy parties. Non-fancy parties, too. Anywhere there’s food that I can’t eat (which is everywhere).

I’ve even started buying my own containers specifically to bring food to parties. (I like the Systema brand because they lock tight to stay closed and are pretty leak-proof.)

This came in handy over the weekend, because I RSVP’d too late to a superfancy black-tie wedding, which meant there wasn’t a dinner ready for me.

But it worked out, because I brought my own food! Sometimes having a cranky gut works in your favor.Never got around to eating the Epic bar

My philosophy with Bring Your Own meals is to keep them as simple and easy to eat as possible. That way, no matter what the utensil situation is, you’ll be prepared. Nothing’s worse than trying to guzzle yogurt out of a container because you don’t have a spoon! (I’ve done that before. Way too messy for a wedding.)

Here is what I packed:

  • Deviled eggs (not shown: make a little sandwich with two whites plus filling in the middle)
  • Pickle
  • Olives
  • Meatballs
  • Epic bar (pork ‘n’ pineapples flavor)
  • Black Medicine coldbrew coffee (do not recommend, try Chameleon Coldbrew or Stumptown instead)

Yes, it’s a little bit weird to whip out a container full of food at a fancy dinner table, but like most things, it’s only awkward if you make a big deal out of it. I would be willing to bet that the people on the other side of the table didn’t even realize I wasn’t eating the steak or fish options.

Maybe the guy sitting beside me thought I was bonkers, but he was too polite to say anything.

And because I didn’t have to worry about what to eat, I had more time to enjoy the party. Win!