A journey through a land of extreme poverty: welcome to America

The UNs Philip Alston is an expert on deprivation and he wants to know why 41m Americans are living in poverty. The Guardian joined him on a special two-week mission into the dark heart of the worlds richest nation

Los Angeles, California, 5 December

You got a choice to make, man. You could go straight on to heaven. Or you could turn right, into that.

We are in Los Angeles, in the heart of one of Americas wealthiest cities, and General Dogon, dressed in black, is our tour guide. Alongside him strolls another tall man, grey-haired and sprucely decked out in jeans and suit jacket. Professor Philip Alston is an Australian academic with a formal title: UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

General Dogon, himself a veteran of these Skid Row streets, strides along, stepping over a dead rat without comment and skirting round a body wrapped in a worn orange blanket lying on the sidewalk.

The two men carry on for block after block after block of tatty tents and improvised tarpaulin shelters. Men and women are gathered outside the structures, squatting or sleeping, some in groups, most alone like extras in a low-budget dystopian movie.

We come to an intersection, which is when General Dogon stops and presents his guest with the choice. He points straight ahead to the end of the street, where the glistening skyscrapers of downtown LA rise up in a promise of divine riches.

Heaven.

Then he turns to the right, revealing the black power tattoo on his neck, and leads our gaze back into Skid Row bang in the center of LAs downtown. That way lies 50 blocks of concentrated human humiliation. A nightmare in plain view, in the city of dreams.

Alston turns right.

Philip
Philip Alston in downtown LA. Photograph: Dan Tuffs for the Guardian

So begins a two-week journey into the dark side of the American Dream. The spotlight of the UN monitor, an independent arbiter of human rights standards across the globe, has fallen on this occasion on the US, culminating on Friday with the release of his initial report in Washington.

His fact-finding mission into the richest nation the world has ever known has led him to investigate the tragedy at its core: the 41 million people who officially live in poverty.

Of those, nine million have zero cash income they do not receive a cent in sustenance.

Alstons epic journey has taken him from coast to coast, deprivation to deprivation. Starting in LA and San Francisco, sweeping through the Deep South, traveling on to the colonial stain of Puerto Rico then back to the stricken coal country of West Virginia, he has explored the collateral damage of Americas reliance on private enterprise to the exclusion of public help.

The Guardian had unprecedented access to the UN envoy, following him as he crossed the country, attending all his main stops and witnessing the extreme poverty he is investigating firsthand.

Think of it as payback time. As the UN special rapporteur himself put it: Washington is very keen for me to point out the poverty and human rights failings in other countries. This time Im in the US.

David
David Busch, who is currently homeless on Venice beach, in Los Angeles. Photograph: Dan Tuffs for the Guardian


The tour comes at a critical moment for America and the world. It began on the day that Republicans in the US Senate voted for sweeping tax cuts that will deliver a bonanza for the super wealthy while in time raising taxes on many lower-income families. The changes will exacerbate wealth inequality that is already the most extreme in any industrialized nation, with three men Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet owning as much as half of the entire American people.

A few days into the UN visit, Republican leaders took a giant leap further. They announced plans to slash key social programs in what amounts to an assault on the already threadbare welfare state.

Look up! Look at those banks, the cranes, the luxury condos going up, exclaimed General Dogon, who used to be homeless on Skid Row and now works as a local activist with Lacan. Down here, theres nothing. You see the tents back to back, theres no place for folks to go.

California made a suitable starting point for the UN visit. It epitomizes both the vast wealth generated in the tech boom for the 0.001%, and the resulting surge in housing costs that has sent homelessness soaring. Los Angeles, the city with by far the largest population of street dwellers in the country, is grappling with crisis numbers that increased 25% this past year to 55,000.

Ressy Finley, 41, was busy sterilizing the white bucket she uses to slop out in her tent in which she has lived on and off for more than a decade. She keeps her living area, a mass of worn mattresses and blankets and a few motley possessions, as clean as she can in a losing battle against rats and cockroaches. She also endures waves of bed bugs, and has large welts on her shoulder to prove it.

She receives no formal income, and what she makes on recycling bottles and cans is no way enough to afford the average rents of $1,400 a month for a tiny one-bedroom. A friend brings her food every couple of days, the rest of the time she relies on nearby missions.

She cried twice in the course of our short conversation, once when she recalled how her infant son was taken from her arms by social workers because of her drug habit (he is now 14; she has never seen him again). The second time was when she alluded to the sexual abuse that set her as a child on the path towards drugs and homelessness.

Given all that, its remarkable how positive Finley remains. What does she think of the American Dream, the idea that everyone can make it if they try hard enough? She replies instantly: I know Im going to make it.

A 41-year-old woman living on the sidewalk in Skid Row going to make it?

Sure I will, so long as I keep the faith.

What does making it mean to her?

I want to be a writer, a poet, an entrepreneur, a therapist.

Ressy
Ressy Finley, who lives in a tent on 6th Street in Downtown LA. Photograph: Dan Tuffs for the Guardian

Robert Chambers occupies the next patch of sidewalk along from Finleys. Hes created an area around his tent out of wooden pallets, what passes in Skid Row for a cottage garden.

He has a sign up saying Homeless Writers Coalition, the name of a group he runs to give homeless people dignity against what he calls the animalistic aspects of their lives. Hes referring not least to the lack of public bathrooms that forces people to relieve themselves on the streets.

LA authorities have promised to provide more access to toilets, a critical issue given the deadly outbreak of Hepatitis A that began in San Diego and is spreading on the west coast claiming 21 lives mainly through lack of sanitation in homeless encampments. At night local parks and amenities are closed specifically to keep homeless people out.

Skid Row has had the use of nine toilets at night for 1,800 street-faring people. Thats a ratio well below that mandated by the UN in its camps for Syrian refugees.

Its inhuman actually, and eventually in the end you will acquire animalistic psychology, Chambers said.

He has been living on the streets for almost a year, having violated his parole terms for drug possession and in turn being turfed out of his low-cost apartment. Theres no help for him now, he said, no question of making it.

The safety net? It has too many holes in it for me.

Of all the people who crossed paths with the UN monitor, Chambers was the most dismissive of the American Dream. People dont realize its never getting better, theres no recovery for people like us. Im 67, I have a heart condition, I shouldnt be out here. I might not be too much longer.

That was a lot of bad karma to absorb on day one, and it rattled even as seasoned a student of hardship as Alston. As UN special rapporteur, hes reported on dire poverty and its impact on human rights in Saudi Arabia and China among other places. But Skid Row?

I was feeling pretty depressed, he told the Guardian later. The endless drumbeat of horror stories. At a certain point you do wonder what can anyone do about this, let alone me.

And then he took a flight up to San Francisco, to the Tenderloin district where homeless people congregate, and walked into St Boniface church.

What he saw there was an analgesic for his soul.

San Francisco, California, 6 December

The
The Gubbio project at St Boniface in San Francisco. The church opens its doors every weekday at 6am to allow homeless people to rest until 3pm. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian


About 70 homeless people were quietly sleeping in pews at the back of the church, as they are allowed to do every weekday morning, with worshippers praying harmoniously in front of them. The church welcomes them in as part of the Catholic concept of extending the helping hand.

I found the church surprisingly uplifting, Alston said. It was such a simple scene and such an obvious idea. It struck me Christianity, what the hell is it about if its not this?

It was a rare drop of altruism on the west coast, competing against a sea of hostility. More than 500 anti-homeless laws have been passed in Californian cities in recent years. At a federal level, Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon who Donald Trump appointed US housing secretary, is decimating government spending on affordable housing.

Perhaps the most telling detail: apart from St Boniface and its sister church, no other place of worship in San Francisco welcomes homeless people. In fact, many have begun, even at this season of goodwill, to lock their doors to all comers simply so as to exclude homeless people.

As Tiny Gray-Garcia, herself on the streets, described it to Alston, there is a prevailing attitude that she and her peers have to contend with every day. She called it the violence of looking away.

Coy
Coy Catley, 63, in her homeless box made of cardboard sheets on a sidewalk of Tenderloin, San Francisco. Photograph: Ed Pilkington for the Guardian


That cruel streak the violence of looking away has been a feature of American life since the nations founding. The casting off the yoke of overweening government (the British monarchy) came to be equated in the minds of many Americans with states rights and the individualistic idea of making it on your own a view that is fine for those fortunate enough to do so, less happy if youre born on the wrong side of the tracks.

Countering that has been the conviction that society must protect its own against the vagaries of hunger or unemployment that informed Franklin Roosevelts New Deal and the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson. But in recent times the prevailing winds have blown strongly in the youre on your own, buddy direction. Ronald Reagan set the trend with his 1980s tax cuts, followed by Bill Clinton, whose 1996 decision to scrap welfare payments for low-income families is still punishing millions of Americans.

The cumulative attack has left struggling families, including the 15 million children who are officially in poverty, with dramatically less support than in any other industrialized economy. Now they face perhaps the greatest threat of all.

As Alston himself has written in an essay on Trumps populism and the aggressive challenge it poses to human rights: These are extraordinarily dangerous times. Almost anything seems possible.

Lowndes County, Alabama, 9 December

Aaron
Aaron Thigpen discusses the poor sewage conditions in Butler County. Improper treatment has put the population at risk of diseases long believed to be extinct in the US. Photograph: Bob Miller for the Guardian


Trumps undermining of human rights, combined with the Republican threat to pare back welfare programs next year in order to pay for some of the tax cuts for the rich they are rushing through Congress, will hurt African Americans disproportionately.

Black people are 13% of the US population, but 23% of those officially in poverty and 39% of the homeless.

The racial element of Americas poverty crisis is seen nowhere more clearly than in the Deep South, where the open wounds of slavery continue to bleed. The UN special rapporteur chose as his next stop the Black Belt, the term that originally referred to the rich dark soil that exists in a band across Alabama but over time came to describe its majority African American population.

The link between soil type and demographics was not coincidental. Cotton was found to thrive in this fertile land, and that in turn spawned a trade in slaves to pick the crop. Their descendants still live in the Black Belt, still mired in poverty among the worst in the union.

You can trace the history of Americas shame, from slave times to the present day, in a set of simple graphs. The first shows the cotton-friendly soil of the Black Belt, then the slave population, followed by modern black residence and todays extreme poverty they all occupy the exact same half-moon across Alabama.

There are numerous ways you could parse the present parlous state of Alabamas black community. Perhaps the starkest is the fact that in the Black Belt so many families still have no access to sanitation. Thousands of people continue to live among open sewers of the sort normally associated with the developing world.

The crisis was revealed by the Guardian earlier this year to have led to an ongoing endemic of hookworm, an intestinal parasite that is transmitted through human waste. It is found in Africa and South Asia, but had been assumed eradicated in the US years ago.

Yet here the worm still is, sucking the blood of poor people, in the home state of Trumps US attorney general Jeff Sessions.

A disease of the developing world thriving in the worlds richest country.

The open sewerage problem is especially acute in Lowndes County, a majority black community that was an epicenter of the civil rights movement having been the setting of Martin Luther Kings Selma to Montgomery voting rights march in 1965.

Philp
Philp Alston talks to a resident. Many families in Butler and Lowndes counties choose to live with open sewer systems made from PVC pipe. Photograph: Bob Miller for the Guardian

Despite its proud history, Catherine Flowers estimates that 70% of households in the area either straight pipe their waste directly onto open ground, or have defective septic tanks incapable of dealing with heavy rains.

When her group, Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise (Acre), pressed local authorities to do something about it, officials invested $6m in extending waste treatment systems to primarily white-owned businesses while bypassing overwhelmingly black households.

Thats a glaring example of injustice, Flowers said. People who cannot afford their own systems are left to their own devices while businesses who do have the money are given public services.

Walter, a Lowndes County resident who asked not to give his last name for fear that his water supply would be cut off as a reprisal for speaking out, lives with the daily consequences of such public neglect. You get a good hard rain and it backs up into the house.

Thats a polite way of saying that sewage gurgles up into his kitchen sink, hand basin and bath, filling the house with a sickly-sweet stench.

Given these circumstances, what does he think of the ideology that anyone can make it if they try?

I suppose they could if they had the chance, Walter said. He paused, then added: Folks arent given the chance.

Had he been born white, would his sewerage problems have been fixed by now?

After another pause, he said: Not being racist, but yeah, they would.

Round the back of Walters house the true iniquity of the situation reveals itself. The yard is laced with small channels running from neighboring houses along which dark liquid flows. It congregates in viscous pools directly underneath the mobile home in which Walters son, daughter-in-law and 16-year-old granddaughter live.

It is the ultimate image of the lot of Alabamas impoverished rural black community. As American citizens they are as fully entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Its just that they are surrounded by pools of excrement.

This week, the Black Belt bit back. On Tuesday a new line was added to that simple graphic, showing exactly the same half-moon across Alabama except this time it was not black but blue.

blue belt south

It depicted the army of African American voters who turned out against the odds to send Doug Jones to the US Senate, the first Democrat from Alabama to do so in a generation. It delivered a bloody nose to his opponent, the alleged child molester Roy Moore, and his puppetmasters Steve Bannon and Donald Trump.

It was arguably the most important expression of black political muscle in the region since Kings 1965 march. If the previous entries in the graphic could be labeled soil, slavery and poverty, this one should be captioned empowerment.

Guayama, Puerto Rico, 10 December

So how does Alston view the role of UN rapporteur and his visit? His full report on the US will be released next May before being presented to the UN human rights council in Geneva.

Nobody expects much to come of that: the world body has no teeth with which to enforce good behavior on recalcitrant governments. But Alston hopes that his visit will have an impact by shaming the US into reflecting on its values.

My role is to hold governments to account, he said. If the US administration doesnt want to talk about the right to housing, healthcare or food, then there are still basic human rights standards that have to be met. Its my job to point that out.

Alstons previous investigations into extreme poverty in places like Mauritania pulled no punches. We can expect the same tough love when it comes to his analysis of Puerto Rico, the next stop on his journey into Americas dark side.

Three months after Maria, the devastation wrought by the hurricane has been well documented. It tore 70,000 homes to shreds, brought industry to a standstill and caused a total blackout of the island that continues to cause havoc.

I Tried Moon Milk To Fall Asleep When I Was Sick & I Was Out Like A Light

You don’t have to dare me to try anything once when it comes to wellness trends, especially viral recipes and holistic remedies. When people on social media were adding spirulina powder by the scoop to their smoothies, I, too gave the gorgeous blue-green algae a try (and, TBH, I wouldn’t recommend it). I’ve sipped bone broth for my immune system, and I’ve snacked on no-bake protein balls for a healthy energy boost. Most recently, though, it was the pretty moon milk recipe ideas floating through my Instagram feed that piqued my interest, and once I came down with an atrocious cold that left me tossing and turning all night, I figured now was as good a time as any to put the alleged sleep tonic to the test.

If, somehow, your social feed loaded with gorgeous snapshots of this milky potion, allow me to enlighten you on this super healthy, super delicious bedtime sip. It’s basically the upgraded version of the glass of warm milk your mom or grandmother might have served you as a child when you couldn’t sleep at night. Moon milk is an aesthetically pleasing spin on the Ayurveda custom that highlights different adaptogens as its key ingredient.

According to Be Well, adaptogens are herbal ingredients used to “improve the health of your adrenal system.” Different adaptogens cater to a variety of individual needs, from reducing stress to increasing energy levels. They were a hot commodity in the health and wellness community in 2017, and I’d been itching to give them a try all year.

Even though I was definitely hesitant to try any so-called super-charged powders after my epic spirulina fail, once the opportunity presented itself to find out whether or not moon milk was actually a liquid lullaby, the health guru in me couldn’t resist.  

I found a golden moon milk recipe that was as simple as it was gorgeous.

Looking up “moon milk recipe” on any given search engine will generate millions of mugs to choose from. As this was my first time giving the warm beverage a go, I was looking for something easy, but also something that provided that picturesque aesthetic we millennials love (because if it couldn’t make me dozy, at least it would be pretty to look at, right?).  

I came across Alaina Sullivan’s Moon Milk recipe for Bon Appétit and quickly skimmed through the ingredients list. I was thrilled to see that nearly everything I needed to whip up the bev was already in my pantry — everything, of course, except ashwagandha powder.

Because stress can cause bouts of insomnia, it’s super important to keep anxiety levels low to hopping into bed, otherwise you might be tossing and turning all night. This is where ashwagandha comes into play. According to The Chopra Center, ashwagandha is an adaptogen best known for helping people “strengthen their immune system” and reduce symptoms of stress. In other words, adding ashwagandha powder to teas, matcha lattes, smoothies, and other recipes can boost your immune system, as well as help your mental and physical body deal with anxiety.

I hopped onto Amazon to browse a few adaptogen brands and, to be honest, these powder supplements are a little pricy. Seeing as how this was my first time giving ashwagandha a try, I definitely wasn’t ready to commit to a $25 bottle. Instead, I opted to try Feel Good’s sample packet, which comes out to about eight bucks for about four ounces.

The recipe only calls for a quarter teaspoon of ashwagandha, but don’t let the tiny measurement fool you. A little goes a long way, especially when combined with all the other spices Sullivan’s recipe calls for, like antioxidant-rich ground cinnamon, turmeric for hormonal balance, and cardamom for healthy digestion.

The first sip alone convinced me that moon milk was well worth the hype.

Julia Guerra

Once I had all the ingredients laid out in front of me, the recipe only took about 10 minutes to put together. All you have to do is combine the spices into a simmering pot of whole or unsweetened nut milk (I used Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk) and vigorously whisk the mixture for anywhere from five to 10 minutes until the liquid is warmed through. Sullivan notes that the longer you stir, the stronger the medicinal effects.

I poured my beautiful, golden milk into a mug, and relaxed at my dining room table while I took my sweet time sipping away (after snapping a few pics, of course).

Now, I’m typically skeptical going into experiments like these, just because I’ve had more errors than successes testing different health trends, but I can honestly say Sullivan’s moon milk recipe had me feeling drowsy within minutes of the first sip — so much so that I actually stumbled over my words in a conversation with my husband, a tell-tale sign that this girl was ready for bed.

I would definitely recommend moon milk to anyone having trouble falling or staying asleep.

While I (sadly) cannot report that the moon milk miraculously cured my sniffles, I can confirm that I slept through the night without having to wake up every hour on the hour to blow my nose, so that was a huge plus.

This is definitely one social media health trend that I think anyone on the lookout for a home sleep remedy can benefit from. The beverage itself tastes amazing, it’s Instagram-worthy, and just a few sips will have you feeling sleepy in no time.

Pinkies up, and sweet dreams!

Read more: https://elitedaily.com/p/this-moon-milk-recipe-lulled-me-to-sleep-even-though-i-was-sick-as-a-dog-7578681

Doctors Are Sharing Their Stupidest And Funniest Patient Stories, And Its Hilarious

Nobody really likes going to the doctors do they? I mean, that antiseptic smell, the silence of the waiting room except for the odd groan and sniffle, and don’t get me started on those magazines.

However as far as the potential for awkward situations go, going to the doc’s can be comedy gold. From hilariously misinformed (read: dumb) patients, to doctors with a wickedly dry sense of humour, we at Bored Panda have compiled a list of occasions when doctor/patient interactions were just too funny.

Scroll down to check them out below, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite!

As I leaned in to check her eyes, my older patient got a little frisky.
“You remind me of my third husband,” she said coyly.
“Third husband?” I asked. “How many have you had?”
“Two.”

“Here,” says the nurse, handing the patient a urine specimen container. “The bathroom’s over there.” A few minutes later, the patient comes out of the bathroom.
“Thanks,” he says, returning the empty container. “But there was a toilet in there, so I didn’t need this after all.”

My patient announced she had good news … and bad. “The medicine for my earache worked,” she said.
“What’s the bad news?” I asked.
“It tasted awful.”
Since she was feeling better, I didn’t have the heart to tell her they’re called eardrops for a reason.

When I went to the ER to have a painful ingrown toenail removed, I was sobbing, gagging, petrified … the works. But my doctor knew how to calm me down.
“Don’t worry about a thing,” he assured me. “I just looked up how to perform this operation on YouTube.”

Scene: The operating room. I’m reviewing the surgical checklist with the nurses.
Me: We have the surgical equipment, the heart-lung machine, antibiotics, and the replacement heart valve on hand.
Patient: You wait until now to figure this stuff out?

Patient: Doctor, I slipped in the grocery store and really hurt myself.
Me: Where did you get hurt?
Patient: Aisle six.

I gave my patient the results of her sleep study: “It looks like you stopped breathing in your sleep over 65 times per hour.”
Her response: “Did I start back?”

During surgery, my fellow resident bumped heads with the surgeon.
“Ah, Dr Jones, a meeting of the minds,” he said, laughing it off.
The surgeon mumbled, “Yes. And I felt so alone.”

I was coming to just as my doctor was finishing my colonoscopy. Feeling some pressure “back there”, I reached down and patted the doctor on the head.
“It’s OK, Yehudi,” I said. “Just go back to sleep.”
Yehudi is the name of my dog.

The day after I had surgery on my leg, a nurse came into my hospital room with a box in her hand. “Are you ready for this?”
“What is it?” I asked.
“Fleet enema. Didn’t your doctor tell you about it?”
“No.”
She rechecked the orders. “Whoa! It said feet elevated!”

I took my puppy to the vet bc she had these weird bumps on her belly. As I was waiting in the exam room I suddenly realized they were her nipples. When the vet came in I sheepishly told him that I am a complete idiot. He was awesome. He said, “Here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to open this door and you’re just going to walk out. Don’t stop at the front desk to check out or pay, just keep walking.”. In my defense…no. There’s no defense.

My husband’s new “unbreakable†titanium eyeglasses broke. When he brought the many pieces back to the optometrist to have the glasses replaced, the assistant asked what had happened.
“They fell under the lawn mower,†he explained.
“Oh,†she said, nodding. “Were you wearing them at the time?â€

A gentleman calls our office with questions about an upcoming test he is scheduled for, and we talk at length about the procedure.
Patient: I’m sorry to have so many questions.
Me: Oh, that’s no problem. You can always call and ask for clarification when you need it.
Patient: Thank you very much, Clara Fication! You’ve been very helpful.

Call it … carma! A car belonging to a pregnant patient was broken into. The only thing that was stolen was a wine bottle in a brown paper bag. It turns out, that’s where she was keeping her urine sample, which she’d brought in to be tested.

The doctor explained to his patient that she suffered from inflammation of the cervix. Concerned, she demanded that he test her husband for it too.
The doctor assured her, “I’m positive your husband does not have cervicitis.â€
She shot back, “How do you know? You haven’t examined him yet.â€

I had an 8 year old kid in the OR say “You mother fu*kers!” right before she fell asleep.

I’m an anesthesia student currently doing my clinical rotations and I had an old guy wake up and the first thing he asked was “do I still have my balls?” and I told him “yep, both of them” and he said “both? Aw you guys are great”

I once had a patient tell me he needed his decapitation medicine because he was feeling full of shit. I had to think about it for a minute then I realized he was asking for his constipation medication.

“I have the Ebola”. “Sir, you actually had a heart attack.” “Because of the Ebola”

Emergency surgeon here
Got called 2 a.m. because a patient demanded to see me because “her daughters farts smelled too bad”
Kept a straight face.

My mom’s an ER nurse and she said once some crazy lady came in and complained hat she had the whooping cough. And whenever she coughed she followed it with a loud “woooOOOP!”

There was a guy who came to the ER because his iPhone app told him his sleep was poor quality.

When I bad a colonoscopy, my GI doctor said I said, “wow, now I know what a Muppet feels like!” He had to stop a minute to regain his composure.

It was 3am and I’d been on duty in the Emergency since 8am. I was exhausted. A well dressed man came in with his 8 year old, healthy looking, son. I asked him what was the problem. He said, “Well, I was at a wedding and it occurred to me that my son is a little short. Can you give him something right now to make him taller?”

Me coming out of anesthesia: “Man, you’re handsome.” (To Asian doctor.) He paused a second, then thanked me.

I woke up from anesthesia and asked the nurse what mascara she was wearing.

When I came out from having my wisdom teeth pulled I apparently shot up, looked at the doctor and said “Charlatan! I demand you return my teeth! They are mine and I will choose where they are to be spent!” My dad said he couldn’t stop laughing because I wouldn’t leave without them. When I woke up at home I asked my dad why my teeth were in a plastic bag on the table, he told me everything and promptly started calling me Lord Molar for the rest of the night.

Answered the bed alarm for a 90 year old this evening.
Nurse: “Where are you going?”
Patient: “I have to go.”
Nurse: “Where?”
Patient: “Well I don’t wanna be here.”
Me too, lady. Me too.

I asked a female patient with dementia what year it is. She said, “Oh, my, no, that’s far too personal to discuss in polite company. A nice young lady like you shouldn’t be concerned with such things.”
I didn’t bother pointing out that I’m not a lady. I figured if she didn’t notice the beard, then she wasn’t going to understand an explanation either.

One of my 5 patients tonight keeps yelling maybe once every 2 minutes, going “OWWWWWW!!!” as if she’s looking at a handsome man. I’ve asked her several times why she’s yelling (waiting to see if she’s in any pain) and her answers range from “I didn’t know I was yelling,” to “It’s a habit.”

Went about an anal problem. The doctor put his finger up to check all was ok, I made a slight noise and he asked if I was ok. And this is when I said “That’s nice”, instead of “That’s ok”.

Was at a urologist in a hospital and there were a couple of power cuts. Lights dipped out, generators kicked in.
As he’s finishing the examination, mid-sentence, the lights go out again. He gets up and walks out to check on things.
Fifteen minutes later I’m still sat on the bed with my old chap out and pants around my ankles. A nurse walks past the open door and does one of those comedy double-takes.
“….do you…do you have an appointment?”
Turns out the doc had actually finished the examination, and returned to the ward some 15 minutes ago. To the nurse I was just some guy who had walked in and pulled his pants down and left the door open.

During a yearly check-up the doc was concerned about my weight. I promised him I’d do better and next year I would be back down to a healthy weight.
Maybe a week or so later my doc saw me at a local pub with a plate of hot wings in front of me and a pint of beer. He was a bro and didn’t say anything but I could see the look of disappointment in his eyes.

The stupidest thing I’ve been to the doctor for: I took my young son in because he had a very regular rash on his lower back. It wasn’t until I was in the doctor’s office that I noticed that it had exactly the same pattern as the inlet cover on our jacuzzi. Which he had just been bathing in.

Not a doctor but I was a Nurse’s assistant and a kitchen staff member came in and said “Help, I ate raw corn”. Apparently the cook had convinced him that eating raw corn was poisonous or something. I had a good laugh about it.

I hope I’m not too late. I have a friend that works in a doctors office in Amish Country in Pennsylvania. They had an Amish couple come in, saying that the wife couldn’t get pregnant. They ran a couple tests, and everything was coming up normal. So then they gave him a cup and asked him for a semen sample. He came back with it full of his piss. He had been pissing in his wife, thinking that is how you impregnate someone.

Ran to the dermatologist because of a spot on my butt that I thought might be cancerous. Doc looked me in the eye and said “Phil330, that’s a pimple”.

Not a doctor, but I WAS a corpsman in the Navy. I had a Marine come in because he swallowed a rock. “Why,” I asked, puzzled, “would you swallow a rock?”
“I was hungry.”

I’ve had a few patients freak out because webMD told them that their rash was Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Actual diagnosis: contact dermatitis from new laundry soap.

Nurse here, I work in Anaesthetics and it drives me mad the amount of patients that want to have allergies, e.g, antibiotics give them the trots, er no that’s a side effect. Anyway the anaesthetist comes into the anaesthetic room morning and asks me not to ask the patient about allergies, I’m puzzled at this and ask her why, the patient was allergic to oxygen. Yes, oxygen. She was a fun patient.

Paramedic here. Was driving with my partner and patient in the back. Patient was fine. Patient’s skeezy boyfriend was riding in the front with me and apparently saw a golden opportunity to ask a question that had obviously been on his mind for some time.
Him: So when cats and dogs eat grass, that means they have cancer, right?
Me: Ummm. No. No it does not.
Made for an awkwardly silent ride the rest of the way.

While in dental school my friend pulled out several bombed out (technical term) teeth on a adult male. After the procedure was finished and post-op instructions we given, the man asked, “So when should I expect my new teeth to grow in?” He was serious.

As a veterinarian, I had a 10 minute conversation with an owner explaining which side was the dog’s left side.

My fiance is an X-ray tech. He gets weird cases all the time. He had to do a head CT on someone who came into the ER because she took two marijuana tablets and wondered why her head was foggy and she felt slow moving… Face palm.

I dated a Med student who had no idea how girls used tampons.. He thought you “laid them sideways” along the opening to the vagina. I was rather suprised by this one..

Not a doctor, but I’m a former Special Forces medic and I treated indigenous populations in Iraq, Afghanistan and several other Middle Eastern countries. Some of the patients and their families asked incredible things of me, such as putting brains back inside after an explosion took half the head off, but I have never been as incredulous as when I had to explain “wrong hole” to a very old tribal elder who was wondering why he couldn’t father any children.

Had a woman who was in active labor, despite insisting she couldn’t be pregnant. She said her last period was “like ten months ago” so she’d gone through menopause.
She was 25.

Was translating at a medical clinic once. A father brought in his 20-year old son convinced he had early signs of diabetes since his hair was greasy. After convincing thr doctor that’s what he was actually there for, we told him to go take a shower and try different shampoo 🙁 its sad how little some people know about diabetes

Not a doctor, dental hygienist…
Had to explain that brushing your teeth with Comet ( the cleaner ) was not a good way to clean your teeth to a 40 year old woman.
Also had to tell a woman that painting her teeth with white finger nail polish was a bad idea.

Patient comes in at 2 am for insomnia, clearly tweaking her brains out, heart rate 200. Can’t sit still, bouncing off the walls. I suggest maybe easing up on the cocaine. “But doctor, I LOVE cocaine.” K.

I don’t have to deal with people patients, but I helped out a vet for a while and there’s a lot of dumb pet owners. Had one lady who was really concerned about her obese lab getting hiccups. The vet let her know the dog was overweight and she told him he was wrong and then insisted we do diagnostic tests to “figure out” the hiccups.

Not a doctor but my dad is an opthamologist (eye doctor). He once told me that one of his patients came in utterly confused why the “medicine in his glasses no work anymore.”

As a veterinarian, I had a 10 minute conversation with an owner explaining which side was the dog’s left side.

Friend of mine is a doctor. Had a christian couple come in and ask why they didn’t get a child. Both virgins untill married at 26 and 27. I mean, they did sleep with each other every night. Sleep.

A friend of mine mistakenly called her gynecologist instead of her dentist to make an appointment, and started the call by admitting she was overdue for a cleaning…

I had a patient’s mom ask me if putting a catheter in her 6 year old son would break his hymen and would he still be a virgin.

So, not a doctor but I work at a hospital. We had someone come into A&E because they needed their nails redoing… They genuinely thought it was a good idea to go to accident and emergency to have their fake nails taken off and redone because they had gotten too long and become uncomfortable.

I’m a rural family doc doing locums and was working at a city family practice clinic when I saw this patient.
21 y/o female, not overweight, in no distress and appears quite well
Me: “so what brings you in today”
Pt: “I’m pretty sure I had a heart attack”
Me: “okay, tell me more about why you feel that. what does this pain feel like”
Pt: “like a heart attack”
Me: “oh I see. When did you last have a heart attack that this feels like”
Pt: “I haven’t had one before. But I get this pain every time I have my period. And I’ve sent my mom to the ER twice with the same pain before so I know it’s a heart attack”
She was a non smoker who had no comorbidities, very noncardiac sounding chest pain, no risk factors and her mother that was sent in to the ED, had an EKG, no bloodwork and sent home shortly after (though patient swears both episodes were heart attacks).

I asked a patient complaining of dizziness if she had ever been diagnosed with “vertigo”. The daughter chimed in and said “no, no, she’s a Libra…” I then laughed hysterically at her awesome joke. She was dead serious.

Patient comes in with abdominal pain. “I think it’s my gallbladder,” they say. Looking over their chart, I see their gallbladder was removed 20 years ago so that is impossible. I mention this, to which they reply “yeah but it grew back.”

A memorable lady was utterly convinced that her friend got cancer because she quit smoking (not because she eas a smoker…duh). This lady had a mild goitre, and her reason for not quitting was that if she quit smoking the ‘lumps in my neck would turn to cancer’. Could not be convinced otherwise. Then I referred her to ENT for her hoarse voice and she was surprised how fast she was seen. I said ‘well you’re a smoker so they were worried you might have throat cancer’ “Smoking causes throat cancer?!?!”. I always needed a strong coffee after her.

A memorable lady was utterly convinced that her friend got cancer because she quit smoking (not because she was a smoker…duh). This lady had a mild goitre, and her reason for not quitting was that if she quit smoking the ‘lumps in my neck would turn to cancer’. Could not be convinced otherwise. Then I referred her to ENT for her hoarse voice and she was surprised how fast she was seen. I said ‘well you’re a smoker so they were worried you might have throat cancer’ “Smoking causes throat cancer?!?!”. I always needed a strong coffee after her.

Ophthalmologist here. Told patient he needed reading glasses which he didn’t believe. I explained that everyone develops presbyopia eventually. “Come on, George Clooney doesn’t wear reading glasses!”. A) yes he does & B) not sure why you are comparing yourself with him…

Had a female patient. Her mom asked me to adjust her scrotum. Trying not to burst out laughing, I said “Your daughter’s scrotum?” She acted like I was stupid and pointed to the back of her neck.
I knew she wouldn’t listen as she was so convinced so I stopped arguing with her. And I also wanted her to go around saying it to other people.

The time I was telling the family that the patient is going to die and her lab results (pH 6.6, lactic acid 25) are not compatible with life and they said they were pretty sure she would wake up if I put ice in her underpants. Well. Yeah we are not going to do that. She died and they still didn’t believe me she was dead. They kept trying to wake her up.

Doctor here. One we get commonly is “I know my body.” Scoped a guy with knee pain – the joint looked perfect. Told him after the surgery, and he told us “no, my tendons are all torn. I know my body”
Told a lady she was pregnant. “No, I’m not. I just had a big lunch. I know my body”
Absolutely, when something doesn’t feel right and your doctor doesn’t want to listen, seek a second opinion. You know how your body normally feels. But if someone has performed an invasive surgery to look at your joint, or has seen a fetus on ultrasound, they probably know what they are talking about.

Doctor here. One we get commonly is “I know my body.” Scoped a guy with knee pain – the joint looked perfect. Told him after the surgery, and he told us “no, my tendons are all torn. I know my body.”
Told a lady she was pregnant. “No, I’m not. I just had a big lunch. I know my body.”
Absolutely, when something doesn’t feel right and your doctor doesn’t want to listen, seek a second opinion. You know how your body normally feels. But if someone has performed an invasive surgery to look at your joint, or has seen a fetus on ultrasound, they probably know what they are talking about.

Gynecologist here.
Imagine a revved up version of that dreadlocked beanie-wearing woman meme: “Uh, it’s not vuh-JI-nah anymore, it’s pronounced vaah-ZHEE-nah now.”

Might be late to this, but a 17 year old girl who was pregnant and came into the emergency department to get checked as she was punched in the stomach. She wanted to go out for a smoke so I did the whole pregnancy and smoking spiel, she stopped me and told me I knew nothing as the baby would be harmed if she stopped smoking straight away.

Me: Sir, I need to know why you stopped taking your antiretrovirals for your HIV.
Him: Well I met this witch online that…
Me: Wait, did you just said “witch”?
Him: Yeah, she sent me a bunch of herbs every month to cure my HIV, and they worked, last time i checked I was cured.
Me: Where and what tests did you do to know you were cured?
Him: I made an online test that the witch told me to, they were a lot of random questions but in the end it said that I was free of HIV.
Me: Ooook, we will need to do a blood test to confirm that. Now, can you tell me wich herbs were you consuming?
Him: I don’t know the name, but I have them right here :points at his backpack:
Me: May I take a look?
Him: Sure!
I opened the bag and what I saw was nothing but grinded oregano with something that smelled like chlorine… The patient, sadly, died from a severe sepsis a month later with a highly resistant microorganism. Just because a “witch” in a website told him to stop taking his meds…

Me: Sir, I need to know why you stopped taking your antiretrovirals for your HIV.
Him: Well I met this witch online that…
Me: Wait, did you just said “witch”?
Him: Yeah, she sent me a bunch of herbs every month to cure my HIV, and they worked, last time i checked I was cured.
Me: Where and what tests did you do to know you were cured?
Him: I made an online test that the witch told me to, they were a lot of random questions but in the end it said that I was free of HIV.
Me: Ooook, we will need to do a blood test to confirm that. Now, can you tell me wich herbs were you consuming?
Him: I don’t know the name, but I have them right here :points at his backpack:
Me: May I take a look?
Him: Sure!
I opened the bag and what I saw was nothing but grinded oregano with something that smelled like chlorine… The patient, sadly, died from a severe sepsis a month later with a highly resistant microorganism. Just because a “witch” in a website told him to stop taking his meds…

Radiographer here and had the ED doctor give me a request for soft tissue neck X-rays and the doctor was p much like “don’t question it, just do it.” Anyway after that patient had left the ED dr came and told me that the gentleman presented to ED at 3am because he had hot milk three days ago and his tongue has been hurting ever since. The patient basically burnt his tongue but was insisting on a X-ray to ensure nothing is wrong.

Woman with this weird abdominal cramping, twitching presentation. I won’t say stupid because she probably had some kind of undiagnosed dementia, but definitely the most bizarre.
Ask her what she is feeling, why she’s twitching her abdomen “It’s like it’s trying to get out!” “Like what’s trying to get out ma’am?” “My…. my…. my SPERM!” “Um ma’am… you don’t have sperm” “Oh”
For those of you curious, by the time I saw her last official diagnosis was pseudoseizures. She had a tendency to start twitching parts of her body whenever we would start asking whether she had twitching in those areas. “Ma’am have you had any twitching in your legs” *she looks at leg, leg starts twitching” “Yeah, I have”.

Med student here, but I have had two winners.
When discussing a precancerous skin lesion on a patient, they opted to use their “laser ray” instead of classic treatment. It was a cancer laser ray that was bought online. It also apparently had “frequencies for arthritis”. They insisted that the vibratory frequency can be tuned to destroy cancer cells, just like a trained singer may be able to use her voice to break a crystal glass. The patient did not believe that cancer cells and regular cells would have the same frequency.
Another patient insisted that his cancer had been properly treated at home with baking soda (he gave me a website like phkillscancer.com or something). The patient also had with them a surgery report in which it appears their baking soda consumption resulted in buildup of abnormal calcium in the wall of the stomach, which had to be removed.

When I was shadowing in a peds unit, a doc told me how a father of a newborn was against vaccines, even vit K because he thought the preservatives in them were harmful AS HE WAS EATING A BAG OF F*CKING DORITOS. Family came in like a day later because the kid was about to bleed out.

While I am a doctor, this happened to my wife, also a doctor. Female pt came in complaining of infertility. Said she and her partner had been trying to conceive for like five years and had “tried everything.” At one point she let the pronoun slip “she and I…” and my wife said, “wait, let’s back up a minute.” Turns out the woman had been in a hetero relationship for a few years and never got pregnant despite using no protection. She then entered a same-sex relationship and again never got pregnant even though she really wanted to, leading her to believe she was infertile. When my wife tried to explain that conception requires sperm (sourced from a male) as well as an egg, the pt was incredulous, and exclaimed that she “didn’t need a man in my life” and she didn’t like being judged. Perhaps needless to say the patient was lost to followup.

I am a family practitioner and I had a family not want to vaccinate their newborn because they heard that vaccines were derived from monkeys brains and they didn’t want their child to develop monkey like characteristics.

I had a patient come in for an STD check. She was very upset and continued to tell me that she only had one partner. Progressing through my assessment she further divulged that even if he was sleeping with other people it shouldn’t matter “because he uses a condom every time and he makes sure to wash it thoroughly after every use.†I asked what she meant when she said he washes it after every use. She explained that he washed the condom with hot water and soap before he used said condom again..

Not a Doctor, but EMT.
Had a woman who was in active labor, despite insisting she couldn’t be pregnant. She said her last period was “like ten months ago” so she’d gone through menopause.
She was 25.

A woman came in for a baby check with her 6-month-old and she had what looked like chocolate milk in the baby’s bottle. So I started explaining to her as kindly as I could that she shouldn’t be giving her baby chocolate milk. At which point she interrupts me and says, “Oh that isn’t chocolate milk. It’s coffee! He just loves it!â€

A woman comes in after having a baby and tells us she’s having trouble breastfeeding. I book her an appointment at a breastfeeding clinic, give her some resources, etc. Her appointment was fine and she went on her merry way. A few weeks later, we get the fax that she went to the breastfeeding clinic and everything was fine. Awesome.
A year later she shows up for her doctor’s appointment, and she’s morbidly obese. She must have put 100lbs on an already obese frame. She’s developed many health problems related to her weight (that she refuses to acknowledge are due to her weight. Of course.) She tells us she’s never been more active after having a kid, her diet hasn’t changed, her work life hasn’t changed, nothing has changed, the weight gain just happened due to ~hormones. We ask if she’s breastfeeding, she says yes. We ask how she’s getting the extra calories for the breastfeeding, and she tells us the Clinic told her to eat 1-2 bowls of plain oatmeal a day. It worked, so she’s still doing it.
We figure this is how she gained so much weight (she’s probably eating 2 large bowls of oatmeal on top of her meals, with milk, sugar, butter, etc), but the woman insists she’s eating 1-2 packets of plain oatmeal a day. Nothing on it, nothing added to it. It says plain on the package, it tastes plain, it’s plain.
We send the doctor in to see her after briefing him on the whole story about the oatmeal. He’s in the room with her a long time — much longer than normal. When she comes out of the room, she keeps her head down and walks off, looking angry and embarrassed. The doctor walks up to the nursing table and fills out the chart.
“You never asked what brand of oatmeal she’s eating”.
Yeah. Turns out she didn’t know plain rolled oats were a thing. She thought the breastfeeding clinic meant plain oatmeal cookies. She was eating an entire package of Dad’s oatmeal cookies every single day for a year (basically a ‘bowl or two’ filled with cookies), and could not understand how that was different from oatmeal.

An older lady was brought into the ED barely conscious by her husband. In a very thick Italian accent she told the doctor she was dying. She had complained of feeling tingly and having a dry mouth prior to passing out.
The doctor sat the husband down and they did a history. No serious medical problems and she was very fit. In fact she spent the morning cleaning her sons bar, as she often did on a Sunday morning.
Considering her age they took these symptoms very seriously and begun running tests to find the source of her ailments.
The son came in to visit his mother, and on the way he bypassed his bar. He noticed that his mother had helped herself to some of the ‘treats’ prepared the night before.
The son, the apple of his parents eye, had to then explain to his father and the doctor that the treats she had enjoyed were space cakes. And apparently she really enjoyed them as she ate quite a few.
They then had to sit down and tell this elderly lady that she was not dying, and that she was in fact stoned!
Fortunately she was still high enough to see the humour.

I had a patient that got a pretty nasty infection and became septic after putting collard greens in her vagina for several days because she thought it would induce an abortion.

Doc here. I had a guy with an ICD in place. For those who don’t know, it basically shocks your heart if it goes into a funny rhythm.
He would regularly come into the hospital to have it turned off because he would do a ton of cocaine and the thing would keep firing due to his high heart rate.
I told him not to do cocaine. He kept doing cocaine.

This happened in med school. I was taking the history of a guy in clinic and I asked about his past medical problems, including if he had had any heart attacks.
He responded, “oh yeah, I’ve had about 20 of those.”
“…you’ve had 20 heart attacks??”
“Yup”
“Which doctor(s) did you see about them? Do you have a cardiologist?”
“Nah, I never went to a doctor. My wife is a massage therapist, and whenever a heart attack hits, she starts to massage some pressure points and it stops.”
“……Uhhhhh, ok……What does it feel like when you have a heart attack?”
“I don’t ever remember them. My wife tells me that I fall onto the floor and my arms and legs start jerking. She says it takes about a minute of her massaging before it stops. I then get really confused and tired afterwards, and I can’t remember much of anything that happens to me until I take a nice long nap.”
The dude was having seizures, and thought that they were heart attacks. They normally stop on their own after a few minutes (at the most), and his wife thought that her massages were curing him.

I’ve had a patient claim that amputations run in his family.
He said that was the only reason he needed both legs taken off above the knee. He was adamant that it was not actually due to his uncontrolled diabetes, his enormous and continual sugar intake, his refusal to use insulin, or his refusal of treatment for the giant infected wounds on both feet.

A female doc I know at my school likes to tell this story as an example of why one must always ask for patient attribution (i.e. “What do you think is causing your problem?”)
Really old guy came in complaining of foot pain. He was diabetic. Lady doc already has a diagnosis in mind, but goes through the whole shebang. At the end asks “And what do you think is causing the problem?” He goes: “I think I have a tack in my shoe.”
He had a tack in his shoe and couldn’t bend over to get it out. She helped him remove it and he went on his way.

As a self-diagnosing patient…One day notice a white, hard, jagged object protruding from my back gum. Can’t believe I’m having a tooth come in, especially since I’m 23 and had my wisdom teeth taken out years ago. Go to the dentist to get some X-rays annnnd it turns out to be a piece of a tortilla chip.

Surgeon here. Was doing varicose veins surgery on a very posh middle aged lady. Very cut class accent. There was an anaesthetic that we used that sometimes induced some hallucinations either going under or coming out of anaesthesia and heard some funny things.
Anyway this lady was in recovery just coming out of the anaesthetic. The team were around waiting for her to wake up and gag a little on the tube in her throat (for breathing) so we knew it was time to remove it. She gagged, we removed the tube, she smacked her lips and said loudly, in her incredible accent:
‘That’s the best bit of cock I have had in years!’
The whole recovery room just fell about laughing. Luckily she didn’t remember it.

I took care of an 11 year old boy in the ER a little while back. I gave him ketamine for a fracture reduction, or in other words setting and splinting of a broken bone. As he was coming around he started with typical stream of consciousness babbling and then he seemed to snap awake to say “I’m fuckin liiiiiit I’m gonna do so many drugs when I get older” to the amusement of his parents. They thought it was funny and cute but I’m pretty sure I created a monster.

A woman had a gynecologist appointment one afternoon. Before leaving home she used a little feminine deodorant spray, just in case.
She gets to her appointment and is assisted into the stirrups for her pelvic exam.
The doc takes a quick look and says “My, aren’t we fancy today!”
She and not used her feminine deodorant spray; she had instead accidentally used her daughter’s glitter hairspray.

Not a doctor but a nurse. I once walked into my patient’s room responding to his call light. He had an accident and peed on the floor on the way to the bathroom and was now laying in bed stark naked calling for me. His wife, I guess oblivious to all this, was just dancing in the pee. Like eyes closed, hands over her head, hips swaying. In a puddle of her husbands pee. They were really a bizarre couple.

Went about an anal problem. The doctor put his finger up to check all was ok, I made a slight noise and he asked if I was ok. And this is when I said “That’s nice”, instead of “That’s ok”.

I went to the doctor to treat my soar throat and I agreed to get a shot of penicillin. If you don’t know this shot goes right into the ass. As he put the needle into my rear end I suddenly had the need to vomit. I wasn’t feeling anything until the exact moment of contact with my cheek. I yell STOP and immediately try to run over to the sink where I proceed to trip and fall. Then I just start letting it all out over the floor. I was just laying there on my side blowing chunks with the needle still stuck in my ass. It wasn’t one of my finer experiences at the doctor.

Farted on my doctor’s hand just as she finished a prostate exam. Because of the lube it was an especially wet and raspberry sounding one. She giggled and said she’d be rich if she had a pound for every time it happened.

I popped a boner on the nurse prepping me for a vasectomy… in front of my wife. During the procedure the doc kept referring to my member as Mr. Happy and talking about how hot the nurse was. The nurse was still on the room btw.

Getting a physical around 11-13 and the doctor who was probably around 75 at the time asks me to strip down to my boxers for the whole awkward ball grab thing. Obviously at that age and dealing with all that shit you feel weird so when the doctor only said “cough” I mustered up a big one and was prepared to fire when he suddenly interrupts me with these words of wisdom “Son, when a man has your balls in his hand you don’t cough in his face.”

Dropped a nasty rotten-egg fart in a patients room. He asked if I smelled anything and I said, “no.” He was silent for a minute, then says, “it smells like food.” He hadn’t had anything to eat or drink in days because of cancer in his stomach. Must have been really hungry if he thought it smelled edible

Guy comes into the emergency department via Ambulance with burns on his lower extremities. His shoes are charred and the bottoms of his pants are definitely burned away but his skin isn’t so bad. He had been trying to use a propane-powered weed burner in his yard (think flame thrower) and things got a little out of control. I smelled alcohol on his breath so I asked the guy if he had been drinking and he looked me directly in the eye and said, “Nooooo”. I got drunk just standing next to him. It was a once in a lifetime set up and I couldn’t help myself. As straight faced and professionally as possible I said, “Sir…liar, liar, pants on fire”. The paramedics all turned at once and ran out of the room they were laughing so hard! The patient just stared at me. He was so drunk it went totally over his head.

Heard this story from a nurse friend.
Some guy was dancing in skin tight leather pants at the opening of a new nightclub in a nearby small city. It was hot inside with the huge crowd.
The guy fainted from the heat and was taken to the ER, where his pants were cut off.
This revealed that the guy had a length of pepperoni in his crotch, taped to his thigh.
The ER staff got the giggles and left his room to laugh in the hallway. At some point one of them said something like, “We’ve got to get back in there and deal with an unconscious patient.” At this point they returned to professional duties.

The other day I had a 400 lb, 50 year old patient who hadn’t pooped in (she claims) 6 days. So I gave her all kinds of things to make her go and the moment comes when she feels the urge. She’s too heavy and unable to do things on her own so she asked for a bedpan. When she turned to her side, stool the size and shape of a small baby or big burrito slid out and I caught it. I looked up at the aide and down at the baby sized poo and back at the aide and did my best not to laugh or make a sound.
All I could think of is how I legit felt like I delivered a baby

I once had the daughter of one of my patients march up to the nursing station, slam the vitals chart down on the desk and yell at me “How dare you say my mother stinks” I’m utterly puzzled by this as no-one had said anything of the sort and ask the daughter to explain what she meant, she grabs the chart, points to the row of “BO’s” recorded on it and shouts “Here you even had the nerve to write it down” I explained that “BO” meant Bowels Open not body odour before escaping to the staff room to laugh my head off.

I am an ER doc. I once had a 20 year old and his girlfriend come in at 2 am freaking out becuase “something had tore his throat open”. He seemed fine. No blood. Breathing fine. I had him open his mouth, saw nothing. So didn’t want him to lose confidence in me, clearly something had happened, so I’m looking, and looking….there is nothing wrong with this kids throat. Finally I say look, it seems ok…what do you feel or see? “I dont feel it but LOOK ITS RIGHT THERE”. WHERE??? Looking, looking. It was his uvula. Somehow this kid had gotten to the age of 20 without ever noticing his uvula. Girlfriend was also horrified….I told them it was normal. Did not believe me. So I told them I was about to blow their minds and showed him his girlfriends uvula. Minds blown, another life saved in the ER.

I had a patient in her 30s complain of monthly rectal bleeding that would last 4-6 days and stop on its own. It started when she was 11. She just thought she should get checked out. It did stop for a while when she was pregnant.

There was one who was very upset to find out that she was pregnant again because she’d used her diaphragm EXACTLY as she’d been told.
She carefully inspected it for holes, applied the spermicide, placed it, wore it at night, then took it out, cleaned it and put it away each morning.
…And then her husband arrived home from his night-shift.

I posted this a while back when a similar question was asked:
GP here. The most outrageous thing I’ve heard was from a boy who was something like 20-22 years old. Very poor, illiterate family. The boy had a bad case of tonsilitis and refused to take any meds because all he needed to do was “bite the sun”. Basically at noon he had to look up to the sun, open his mouth as wide as possible and “bite” the sun several times so it would “burn” his tonsils and cure him over the course of a couple weeks. When that wouldn’t work, plan B was to do the same at night but only under a full moon.

I worked at the ER during my internship and met a girl who had increasingly painful and red eyes since a couple of days back. The last 24h had been horrible. I asked about all the normal stuff, and she claimed to have no idea why she had this eye problem – she had never had anything wrong with her eyes. I proceed to drop some dye in her eyes to check them in a microscope, and when I do I realize she’s wearing contacts.
She didn’t like her natural eye colour, so she had bought a set of blue coloured lenses 8 months earlier. Never removed them, not even during night time. Didn’t even think to mention this to me, claimed to have no “foreign materials” in her eyes.
Needless to say, I gave her quite the harsh lecture and a referal to an ophtalmologist.

I’m a med student but I once saw a patient in the ER who came in because she lost her vibrator inside herself. It was still on. She sat in the waiting room for over an hour with that thing in there.

I once saw a high school aged kid come in with a dinner candle stuck in his rectum. He reportedly was using it to reach an itch. Apparently the itch was in his spleen because that thing was deep. Mom told me the story, and how she had previously asked him to not itch himself with other things of hers. I didn’t ask for any more details. I honestly think she believed that he was just really itchy.

My pharmacist at my old job was a very beautiful woman. Many people complemented her, but we had one patient that she would literally hide from (duck under counters, around corners, fake phone calls if he had already seen her). He said the worst things to her. For example, “if you were my girlfriend I would never let you out of bed.” Which in your reading-stuff-online-mental-voice probably isn’t as bad as it was to have some creepy old lech mouth breathing and leering at you. He would ask her horribly personal questions like if her boobs were real and had she ever been with a white guy before (she’s black.) I guess to answer your question, she handled it by avoiding slash hiding from him.

I’m not a doctor, but I’m an ER nurse. I had a patient come in for an STD check. She was very upset and continued to tell me that she only had one partner. Progressing through my assessment she further divulged that even if he was sleeping with other people it shouldn’t matter “because he uses a condom every time and he makes sure to wash it throughly after every use.” I asked what she meant when she said he washes it after every use. She explained that he washed the condom with hot water and soap before he used said condom again…

I had severe asthma as a kid. I was intubated for a severe attack a few times. My parents were instructed to take better precautions in our home and went through instructions, more dusting, washing bed sheets and the big one: NO SMOKING inside the house. So my parents agreed to all of this.

Few weeks later, I’m back in the hospital. A doctor recognized me and came over to talk. Then he bent over and smelled my head (I’ll never forget that. I thought it was so weird). He told a nurse to sit there and not let me leave with my parents. When my parents showed up, he asked point blank, ‘Did you not understand what I told you last time? Do you understand these attacks could be fatal?’

‘But we open windows and have stopped smoking in her room when we put her to bed!

Not a doctor, but my human sexuality professor in grad school had some interesting stories. He worked a lot in very conservative Christian communities and so a lot of times people got married with no sex education. One couple was in therapy because neither one of them enjoyed sex or ever had an orgasm. After having them talk through step by step what they did in bed, he learned the guy was just sticking it in and nothing else. He told the guy to move back and forth next time and see what happened. They couple came back one more time to say “THANK YOU!!!!!” and didn’t need any more sessions.

Not a doctor, but I regularly have people come in for eye examinations because ‘when I take my glas

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/funny-doctor-patient-stories-fan/

Whats Its Like To Be An INFJ, In Other Words, A Living Paradox

Mohammed Metri

If you’re at all into learning more about personality types, you’ve probably run across descriptions of the INFJ before. INFJs are touted as the rarest personality type of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, but what does it actually mean to be an INFJ? INFJs are often labeled as “The Protector,” “The Empath,” “The Advocate” and “The Counselor.” This type stands for “Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Feeling (F), Judgment (J).” Although INFJs make up only 1-2% of the population, remember that you’re likely to “run into” an INFJ more often in creative communities (whether virtually or in real life) because that’s where they tend to congregate to share ideas.

As someone who has consistently tested as INFJ since the age of eighteen and has interacted with more than a few INFJs in the mental health advocate community, I wanted to share some insights about this interesting personality type and how they work. Keep in mind that INFJs share a few of these traits with other like-minded personality types such as INTJ, ENFP, INFP and ENFJ, but the ways in which they manifest can vary by personality type. In an INFJ, these traits tend to be embodied in more extreme ways:

1. They are complex but they have integrity.

Like a living, breathing Walt Whitman cliché, INFJs contain multitudes. Developing a friendship or relationship with an INFJ is like slowly peeling away an onion. You think you know them, but you turn around and they’re revealing another facet of their personality that doesn’t seem to align with their more cookie-cutter image. You may see a scholarly and reserved INFJ get down on a dance floor with alarming ease, or a normally demure and quiet INFJ serve a savage clapback to someone who’s pissed them off. They can be both the class comedian and the highest achieving student. There isn’t a ‘box’ that contains their seemingly contradictory characteristics.

This is because INFJs are duplicitous; in fact, they tend to be extremely genuine and authentic, veering on the edge of perhaps being at times (unless they’re a narcissist, in which case, can be). Rather, it’s because INFJs have many layers to their personality that sometimes even haven’t worked out! It can take years to get to know an INFJ; not because they’re deliberately hiding parts of themselves, but because they tend to take their time trusting people and revealing different facets of themselves along the way.

2. Although they are natural loners, they tend to get mistaken for extroverts; they love people, adapt well to social situations and can be the life of the party.

INFJs can be incredibly vivacious, humorous, fun-loving and energetic, especially with those they feel comfortable with. They definitely have a wild side which can shock those who stereotype them as button-down academics. However, just like any other introvert, they also need enormous amounts of time to recharge from being around others. Being alone for long periods of time is necessary for them to detox from social interactions and to reflect on their lives.

INFJs love disappearing inward, exploring deep philosophical questions and inventing things. Even a simple walk in the neighborhood can turn into a full-on imaginative fantasy scenario for them; there’s nothing they love more than taking refuge in their own minds. They can spend days pondering hypothetical scenarios or coming up with ideas. INFJs have such rich inner lives that they can imagine new worlds and new methods in the blink of an eye; being creative comes easily to these types. They are also lovers of research and learning. Their intellectual complexity and imagination make them ideal candidates for careers that challenge them to create in some capacity or engage in innovation.

3. They’re incredibly compassionate, but it’s wise not to mess with them.

INFJs are often among the world’s changemakers. Famous INFJs are said to include Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa and Oprah – you get the picture. Their compassion for others drives their need to help the world and save it. But sometimes, INFJs also bear a remarkable ability to save themselves from toxic situations.

To put this ability into context, remember that INFJs are natural targets for toxic predators like malignant narcissists, who assume these sensitive types will succumb to their bullying behaviors. INFJs make up a large portion of survivor communities that are healing from violations like narcissistic abuse.

Yet what predators forget is that INFJs appear to be lambs, but they’re really lions. They are extremely compassionate, but they will defend themselves and others fiercely when they feel that their rights are being violated. If you’ve read anything about an INFJ, you’ve probably heard of the infamous “INFJ Door Slam.” This is what happens when these normally warm, gentle individuals meet with someone who causes them to ‘flip their switch’ so to speak.

The INFJ door slam is not a malignant trait; it’s a protective measure taken against chronic bullying and injustice.  It often occurs after numerous transgressions have already taken place (for example, when an INFJ meets someone who consistently talks down to them and treats them with contempt). In this type of scenario, the INFJ finally recognizes his or her worth and boundaries. They face emotional overwhelm and they need to retreat – stat. In a flash, you see them depart and probably never hear from them again. Or, if they’re in the mood, they’ll serve you with an epic manifesto of your wrongdoings before leaving forever (after all, they do tend to be excellent communicators!).

Outwardly, INFJs may not be as overly bold and aggressive as other personality types, but when they bring the reckoning, they bring it with full force. You’ll never see an INFJ coming – and perhaps that’s a good thing, because they do tend to be on the front lines of massive social change.

4. They are extremely loyal and devoted, but they don’t like authority.

Don’t mess with the ones they love, either. INFJs hold a special place in their hearts for those they connect with and they will remember those who had their back during difficult times. That’s why, if they see someone being bullied or oppressed, especially someone they’ve bonded with, they will defend them with a righteous sense of devotion.

INFJs make loyal dating partners, friends, spouses, employees and parents, and their loyalty extends to social change too. They are the harbingers of revolution and the defenders of the outcasts, the bully victims, and the outliers. It’s because they themselves know what it’s like to not belong, so they seek to create refuge and safety for those like them.

However, the INFJ’s loyalty doesn’t extend to authority figures unless that authority figure is someone they admire and respect. Because they are naturally independent, strong-willed individuals with a high degree of intuition, they rely on their own sense of intuition to pave their path. They can sense when someone is working integrity, and it makes them viscerally sick. They can be stubborn and hard-nosed at times when it comes to bending to someone else’s will especially if it contradicts the strong moral values they hold dear.

In many cases, especially in circumstances where there is oppression or injustice, this can be a good thing. INFJs are idealists who work to bring justice into the world and sometimes going against authority is the perfect way to do so. However, INFJs must also learn how to balance their faith in their inner authority with the ability to respect other perspectives. They could also benefit from letting themselves off the hook once in a while; their high standards of moral perfection are likely to falter under mental duress and human folly. While their intuition does bring them to great places, sometimes their way is not always the best way. The INFJ is still flawed and their high expectations of themselves and others could stand some reevaluation at times.

5. They are both scientific and driven by emotion.

The INFJ is an enigma in that he or she is not entirely driven by hard facts nor hot-headed emotion. They are a paradoxical package of both research and poetry, science and spirituality, intuition and statistics, art and dissertations. They are what I would call the “intellectual artists” of society, merging imagination and knowledge. Able to see the big picture as well as the finer details, they are motivated by a need to serve others while also cultivating the potential of every individual. They can reach masses of people with their message but they can also change individual lives because they know how to connect one-to-one. This is perhaps what also make them great researchers, counselors, scientists, writers and teachers. They flourish in fields where they can be both creative and logical, individualistic and people-focused.

The magic is that while INFJs make for great orators and can inspire people with their words, they are also very practical and know how to bring about tangible results. Their mission always has a purpose of improving the state of society in some way. They practice what they preach and they help motivate people to live their best lives not just by words but by living example. When it comes to persuasive arguments, they’ll bring the receipts but they’ll also appeal to your pathos. Their ability to stir emotion in others and also appeal to their action-oriented side is what make them great leaders and catalysts for radical change.

6. They are highly intuitive, but have a tendency not to trust themselves.

A fully empowered INFJ is someone who can take one look at a situation, follow their instincts and say, “I just know.” For example, INFJs may know years ahead of time when the person their friend is dating is conniving, even when they present a false mask. They know how to read the energy of a room, even in a room full of people they’re meeting for the first time. They know when someone is putting on a front. They can sense the aggression beneath someone’s niceties. The INFJ’s uncanny intuition is something other more seemingly “rational” personality types might dismiss, but in many cases, they really and they turn out to be right.

This is because an INFJ’s intuition can catch on quickly to the nuances of every situation. They can see through the facades of others and they can sense when someone is not being authentic. However, because they’ve been gaslighted for so long by a society that does not always appreciate their gifts and label them oversensitive, they’ve also learned to distrust their intuition and second-guess themselves, often. A challenge for the INFJ is re-learning how to fully trust in their inner voice while also leaving room for the constructive feedback of others.

The Big Picture

Being an INFJ is not easy, but INFJs can find a sense of community with others like them and those who appreciate their traits. Distancing oneself from toxic people and cultivating genuine relationships is key. When INFJs are supported and are able to grow in environments where their gifts are nurtured and seen, they can thrive and become incredibly revolutionary changemakers in society.

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/shahida-arabi/2017/12/whats-its-like-to-be-an-infj-in-other-words-a-living-paradox/

Target to Buy Shipt for $550 Million in Challenge to Amazon

Target Corp. agreed to purchase grocery-delivery startup Shipt Inc. for $550 million, stepping up its challenge to Amazon.com Inc. by speeding the rollout of same-day shipping.

The all-cash deal will let Target customers order groceries and other goods online, and then have the items sent directly to their doors from nearby Target stores.

Buying Shipt further beefs up Target’s logistics operations after the retailer earlier this year acquired software company Grand Junction, which also manages local and same-day deliveries. Target now offers same-day delivery in New York City and can send orders from 1,400 of its stores. Competition in this space is growing fiercer, though, as rivals Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co. also offer same-day service, keeping pace with Amazon.

Target’s decision to buy Shipt, rather than partner with it, “shows how serious they are,” Kantar Retail analyst Robin Sherk said. “One-stop shopping was convenient in the 1990s but for today’s families you have to be able to do instant food delivery as well. It’s also a realization that Amazon, this big technology disruptor, has entered the consumer landscape.”

Four out of five shoppers want same-day shipping, according to a survey by fulfillment software maker Temando, but only half of retailers offer it.

“With Shipt’s network of local shoppers and their current market penetration, we will move from days to hours, dramatically accelerating our ability to bring affordable same-day delivery to guests across the country,” John Mulligan, Target’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.

The deal will give Target same-day delivery at about half of its 1,834 stores by next summer, with the number growing to a majority of stores in time for next year’s holiday season. The service — costing $99 a year for unlimited deliveries — will initially encompass categories like groceries, household essentials and electronics before expanding to all major product groups by the end of 2019.

Improved Position

“While it will not affect Target’s capability this holiday season, the fact that Target will have this service in place during 2018 will significantly improve its online competitive position,” Charlie O’Shea, an analyst at Moody’s Corp., said in a note.

Target rose 2.7 percent to close at $62.67 Wednesday, while the news caused a momentary dip for the shares of Shipt’s existing retail partners, Kroger Co. and Costco Wholesale Corp. Kroger ended the day up 1.4 percent, while Costco was little changed.

Kroger said it’s still optimistic about the company’s prospects for home delivery after expanding its logistics operations in recent years via partnerships with Instacart Inc. and others.

“We feel really good about the variety of partnerships Kroger has going,” corporate communications head Keith Dailey said. Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti declined to comment.

Online Preference

Consumers’ increasing preference for shopping online, along with Amazon’s purchase of upscale grocer Whole Foods and its encroachment into new arenas like apparel, have sent retailers scrambling to improve their online offerings. E-commerce sales are up about 17 percent this holiday season, according to Adobe Systems Inc., and online merchants racked up a record $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday alone, the company found.

The question for traditional retailers is how to handle all those internet orders. They could build their own delivery network, but it’s an arduous and expensive process. That’s why many of them are seeking help from e-commerce startups like Shipt and Instacart.

Founded in 2014, Shipt serves about 20,000 customers through partnerships with retailers including Publix Super Markets Inc., HEB Grocery Co., Kroger and Costco. It will continue to operate independently and plans to expand its business with other retailers, Chief Executive Officer Bill Smith said in an interview.

‘Scale Matters’

“We’ve spoken to a number of our existing partners about this deal and all the conversations have been very positive,” Smith said. “Having multiple retailers allows us to grow our membership base and make it more attractive. In same-day delivery, scale matters.”

For now, Target shoppers will need to pay Shipt’s $99 annual membership fee to gain access to the service. Once a customer orders, they send a “shopper” into the store to grab the groceries, and then deliver the items. Target is working on how to integrate Shipt into its website and mobile shopping app, Mulligan said.

The deal is expected to close before the end of the year and will be “modestly accretive” to Target’s profit in 2018, while boosting online sales, the company said. The retailer’s e-commerce sales already grew 24 percent in the third quarter.

‘Big Loser’

Target has worked with Shipt’s rival Instacart for same-day service in cities like Minneapolis and Chicago since 2015, and Mulligan said he “will have conversations with them on where we go next.”

“The big loser in this deal is Instacart,” said Cooper Smith, an analyst at business-intelligence firm L2.

Following Target’s announcement, Instacart said it works with more than 165 retailers, including seven of the eight biggest grocers in North America.

“As an independent company, Instacart doesn’t compete with any of our partners,” the company said. San Francisco-based Instacart has recently expanded its partnerships with retailers including Costco, Kroger, Albertsons Cos. and drugstore giant CVS Health Corp.

Target and Shipt began discussing the deal in the middle of the summer, Mulligan said. They decided to pursue an acquisition rather than just a partnership in order to plow Target’s resources into expanding Shipt’s business, and to maintain its current level of customer experience.

Smith will stay in his role, reporting to Mulligan, and its 270 employees will remain in Shipt’s offices in San Francisco and Birmingham, Alabama.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-13/target-to-buy-shipt-for-550-million-in-bet-on-same-day-delivery

    Huntingtons breakthrough may stop disease

    Image copyright James Gallagher
    Image caption Peter has Huntington’s disease and his siblings Sandy and Frank also have the gene

    The defect that causes the neurodegenerative disease Huntington’s has been corrected in patients for the first time, the BBC has learned.

    An experimental drug, injected into spinal fluid, safely lowered levels of toxic proteins in the brain.

    The research team, at University College London, say there is now hope the deadly disease can be stopped.

    Experts say it could be the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative diseases for 50 years.

    Huntington’s is one of the most devastating diseases.

    Some patients described it as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and motor neurone disease rolled into one.

    Peter Allen, 51, is in the early stages of Huntington’s and took part in the trial: “You end up in almost a vegetative state, it’s a horrible end.”

    Huntington’s blights families. Peter has seen his mum Stephanie, uncle Keith and grandmother Olive die from it.

    Tests show his sister Sandy and brother Frank will develop the disease.

    The three siblings have eight children – all young adults, each of whom has a 50-50 chance of developing the disease.

    Worse-and-worse

    The unstoppable death of brain cells in Huntington’s leaves patients in permanent decline, affecting their movement, behaviour, memory and ability to think clearly.

    Peter, from Essex, told me: “It’s so difficult to have that degenerative thing in you.

    “You know the last day was better than the next one’s going to be.”

    • Huntington’s generally affects people in their prime – in their 30s and 40s
    • Patients die around 10 to 20 years after symptoms start
    • About 8,500 people in the UK have Huntington’s and a further 25,000 will develop it when they are older

    Huntington’s is caused by an error in a section of DNA called the huntingtin gene.

    Normally this contains the instructions for making a protein, called huntingtin, which is vital for brain development.

    But a genetic error corrupts the protein and turns it into a killer of brain cells.

    The treatment is designed to silence the gene.

    On the trial, 46 patients had the drug injected into the fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord.

    The procedure was carried out at the Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.

    Doctors did not know what would happen. One fear was the injections could have caused fatal meningitis.

    But the first in-human trial showed the drug was safe, well tolerated by patients and crucially reduced the levels of huntingtin in the brain.

    Image caption Prof Sarah Tabrizi , from the UCL Institute of Neurology, led the trials.

    Prof Sarah Tabrizi, the lead researcher and director of the Huntington’s Disease Centre at UCL, told the BBC: “I’ve been seeing patients in clinic for nearly 20 years, I’ve seen many of my patients over that time die.

    “For the first time we have the potential, we have the hope, of a therapy that one day may slow or prevent Huntington’s disease.

    “This is of groundbreaking importance for patients and families.”

    Doctors are not calling this a cure. They still need vital long-term data to show whether lowering levels of huntingtin will change the course of the disease.

    The animal research suggests it would. Some motor function even recovered in those experiments.

    Image copyright James Gallagher
    Image caption Sandy Sterne, Peter Allen, Hayley Allen, Frank Allen, Annie Allen and Dermot Sterne

    Peter, Sandy and Frank – as well as their partners Annie, Dermot and Hayley – have always promised their children they will not need to worry about Huntington’s as there will be a treatment in time for them.

    Peter told the BBC: “I’m the luckiest person in the world to be sitting here on the verge of having that.

    “Hopefully that will be made available to everybody, to my brothers and sisters and fundamentally my children.”

    He, along with the other trial participants, can continue taking the drug as part of the next wave of trials.

    They will set out to show whether the disease can be slowed, and ultimately prevented, by treating Huntington’s disease carriers before they develop any symptoms.

    Prof John Hardy, who was awarded the Breakthrough Prize for his work on Alzheimer’s, told the BBC: “I really think this is, potentially, the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative disease in the past 50 years.

    “That sounds like hyperbole – in a year I might be embarrassed by saying that – but that’s how I feel at the moment.”

    The UCL scientist, who was not involved in the research, says the same approach might be possible in other neurodegenerative diseases that feature the build-up of toxic proteins in the brain.

    The protein synuclein is implicated in Parkinson’s while amyloid and tau seem to have a role in dementias.

    Off the back of this research, trials are planned using gene-silencing to lower the levels of tau.

    Prof Giovanna Mallucci, who discovered the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in any neurodegenerative disease, said the trial was a “tremendous step forward” for patients and there was now “real room for optimism”.

    But Prof Mallucci, who is the associate director of UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, cautioned it was still a big leap to expect gene-silencing to work in other neurodegenerative diseases.

    She told the BBC: “The case for these is not as clear-cut as for Huntington’s disease, they are more complex and less well understood.

    “But the principle that a gene, any gene affecting disease progression and susceptibility, can be safely modified in this way in humans is very exciting and builds momentum and confidence in pursuing these avenues for potential treatments.”

    The full details of the trial will be presented to scientists and published next year.

    The therapy was developed by Ionis Pharmaceuticals, which said the drug had “substantially exceeded” expectations, and the licence has now been sold to Roche.

    Follow James on Twitter.

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42308341

    This Is Why Copay-Free Birth Control Is So Important To Me

    Why Copay-Free Birth Control Is So Important For My Health, Profession, & Wealth

    Today, as I do every three months, I went to my local pharmacy to pick up my birth control. As I walked up to the counter, I let out a sigh relief that I didn’t have to open my wallet to receive my chosen form of contraception. This is all thanks to the birth control benefit included in the Affordable Care Act, which designated birth control as preventive health care and made all FDA-approved contraceptives copay-free with insurance.

    I am one of the more than 62.4 million women across the country who have access to copay-free birth control because of this benefit. But in October, President Trump rolled back this copay-free birth control coverage, immediately allowing any company or university to deny birth control coverage if it conflicts with “religious” or “moral” beliefs. While I don’t believe my employer will take away my birth control coverage, thousands of other women will not be so lucky. And President Trump’s actions could cost these women hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each year — the cost of trying to have control over their own futures.

    I started taking birth control nine years ago when I was a college student. College was a turning point in my life — I was investing in my future and excited for what it might hold. I wanted to put preventative measures in place that would allow me to concentrate on my education. Nine years later, my birth control has given me peace of mind to know that I have control over one part of my life. I’ve been in a committed relationship for almost 13 years and we’ve always known that we both have goals we want to achieve before taking the next step to have a family.

    Keep Birth Control Copay Free on YouTube

    Trust me when I say that finding the best birth control for me wasn’t easy. Staying away from the pill (I knew I could not for the life of me remember to take a pill every day), I ultimately landed on the NuvaRing, which I’ve been using ever since.

    Right now at 26, I’m able to focus on developing my career and saving for retirement. I’m building an “emergency” savings account to ensure I have funds available in case I lose my job or get sick. I want the peace of mind in knowing I won’t have to struggle to support myself.

    Not only has having copay-free birth control allowed me to control my life, it’s helped my bank account. Over the last five years since the birth control benefit was put in place, I’ve saved almost $125 each month and nearly $1,000 in 2017 alone. I use what I’ve saved from birth control to increase my “emergency” fund, invest in my future, and expand my horizons through my favorite hobby: travel.

    Without copay-free protection, the cost for my annual birth control is nearly equal to one month’s rent. My Nuvaring is the same cost as a monthly MetroCard that gets me to and from work. And for low income families, paying for birth control could mean skipping a meal here and there.

    Why are we putting women and their families in the position to choose between two things they need to succeed?

    Copay-free birth control should be a standard benefit for women across the country. It’s mind boggling that the Trump administration would create loopholes for any company to deny birth control coverage to their employees when contraception has been such an important benefit to our economy, our society, and our families.

    Women should be making our own healthcare decisions. Not our bosses and not our government. That’s why I’m joining women across the country to stand against President Trump’s efforts to roll back women’s health. We will fight back.

    Read more: https://elitedaily.com/p/why-copay-free-birth-control-is-so-important-for-my-health-profession-wealth-5481157

    Want sexual misconduct by men to stop — Start by cracking down on boys easy access to internet porn

    In just the past few weeks, the news has been filled with reports of alleged sexual misconduct by well-known men. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. Comedian Louis C.K. Actors Kevin Spacey and Sylvester Stallone. Journalists Mark Halperin and Michael Oreskes. Filmmaker Harvey Weinstein. And many more earlier this year and long before.

    Add to this all the men we’ve never heard of who engage in sexual harassment and assault every day around our country.

    Why are so many men doing so many bad things to girls and women – and sometimes to boys and men?  

    There are many reasons, and they vary from individual to individual. But many times, sexual misconduct by men grows out of their view formed early in life that women are sex objects whose primary function is to give men pleasure.

    As we try to mend the broken lives of victims of sexual assaults, we have a responsibility as a society to do something to stop the boys of today from growing up to engage in sexual misconduct tomorrow.

    The warped male view of that dehumanizes women often starts early in life. One contributing factor: Every day, tens of millions of boys and young men see women objectified and sometimes brutalized on sexually graphic internet videos on pornography sites.

    Viewing pornography on a regular basis warps the mind and is like being addicted to a drug, with ever stronger doses needed to spark the desired effect. And eventually, some boys and men want to move from the virtual world to the real world, acting against real girls and women instead of simply viewing fantasy sex videos.

    Last year, my wife and I made a documentary about pornography. We showed it to parents in 270 cities across the continent, and the response was the same everywhere: “My son is dealing with this.”

    The first step our society needs to take is to prevent underage exposure to pornography. Currently, about 90 percent of boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18. We are allowing their minds to be poisoned.  

    At home, parents can install anti-porn filters like KidsWifi, which says on its website that it “filters, monitors and controls all your kids online devices, from tablets to computers to game consoles.”

    But is it enough? What happens when the kids go to school? What happens if they own a cell phone and can find a Wi-Fi connection at the library or burger joint?

    To give a child a cell phone and expect him not to watch porn is like stuffing a pack of cigarettes in a kid’s pocket while saying “smoking is bad for you.” But taking away a cell phone won’t do the trick, because there will always be another kid with another phone.

    We need to hold porn companies accountable. Child protection groups have long advocated for some form of meaningful age verification on websites. Even porn stars told us when we made our documentary that the question on adult websites – “Are you over 18? Click yes or no” – simply isn’t enough. There is nothing to stop a younger teen from lying about his age.

    Britain is the only country moving toward meaningful age verification. In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party recently went in the opposite direction.

    It’s incredibly disingenuous to say we believe in protecting a child’s innocence while allowing porn companies to freely expose our children to explicit sexual imagery day after day.

    While we must do a better job policing the porn companies, we also need to do a better job educating and raising resilient, responsible and respectful boys who think before they act.

    This is a challenge, because as a result of the internet we’re raising a generation of boys who are addicted to profoundly hardcore pornography, with the ability to view their fantasies at the touch of an app.

    More than a third of boys have seen sexual bondage online, and over half of those boys believe it’s a realistic depiction of sex. So we really shouldn’t be surprised that these boys take these acts offline when they start dating or attend a drunken frat party.

    We need to teach our boys that women are deserving of their respect, as equals. And we need to teach them that civilized society imposes boundaries on all of us.

    It still takes a (global) village to raise a child. Teachers will need their sex education curriculums to include a unit on pornography and addiction. Parents will have to start having “the talk” far earlier than seems intuitive, using brilliant resources like the book “Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids.”

    And the media must simply stop objectifying women. It is hypocritical to speak in favor of women’s rights while earning millions of dollars demeaning and degrading women and measuring their worth only in their sex appeal.

    Until we deal with sexual expectation, addiction, and how boys and men view girls and women, how can we assume sexual misconduct will be substantially reduced in the future?

    Our task is to go upstream and prevent these sorts of behaviors from becoming destructive habits in the first place, or the sexual misconduct making headlines today will continue with future generations for decades to come.

    Jared Brock is the co-author of Bearded Gospel Men and the co-director of Over 18: A Documentary About Pornography.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/11/18/want-sexual-misconduct-by-men-to-stop-start-by-cracking-down-on-boys-easy-access-to-internet-porn.html

    The GOP Tax Plan Is Entering Its Make-or-Break Week

    The $1.4 trillion item on President Donald Trump’s wish list — a package of tax cuts for businesses and individuals that he has said he wants to sign before year’s end — is headed into the legislative equivalent of a Black Friday scrum next week.

    Senate Republican leaders plan a make-or-break floor vote on their bill as soon as Thursday — a dramatic moment that will come only after a marathon debate that could go all night. Democrats are expected to try to delay or derail the measure, and the GOP must hold together at least 50 votes from its thin, 52-vote majority in order to prevail.

    Their chances improved this week when Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she’ll support repealing the “individual mandate” imposed by Obamacare — a provision that Senate tax writers are counting on to help finance the tax cuts. Murkowski had earlier signaled some reservations about the provision; and her support was widely viewed as a positive sign for the tax bill’s chances.

    Trump is scheduled to address Senate Republicans at their weekly luncheon Tuesday afternoon on taxes and the legislative agenda for the rest of the year, according to a statement from Senator John Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee. 

    The White House previously announced that the president would talk with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders at the White House the same day about an agreement on spending to keep the government open after funding expires on Dec. 8. David Popp, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, both said that meeting is still on the schedule.

    If the tax bill clears the Senate — a step that’s by no means guaranteed — lawmakers in both chambers would have to hammer out a compromise between their differing bills, a process that presents potential pitfalls of its own. For now, though, much of the Senate’s attention will focus on its legislation’s price tag.

    Three GOP senators — Bob Corker of Tennessee, Jeff Flake of Arizona and James Lankford of Oklahoma — have cited concerns about how the measure would affect federal deficits. Independent studies of the legislation have found that — contrary to its backers’ arguments — its tax cuts won’t stimulate enough growth to pay for themselves. Both the Senate bill, and one that cleared the House earlier this month, would reduce federal revenue over a decade by roughly $1.4 trillion, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

    On Wednesday, a report from the Penn Wharton Budget Model at the University of Pennsylvania said the bill would reduce federal revenue in each year from 2028 to 2033. That finding would mean it doesn’t comply with a key budget rule that Senate Republican leaders want to use to pass their bill with a simple majority over Democrats’ objections.

    Budget Rule

    In essence, that rule holds that any bill approved via that fast-track process can’t add to the deficit outside a 10-year budget window. The JCT has already found that the Senate bill would generate a surplus in its 10th year because it has set several tax breaks for businesses and individuals to expire.

    But JCT hasn’t yet weighed in publicly on the revenue effects in subsequent years. Senate GOP leaders have expressed confidence that their proposal will satisfy the rule ultimately.

    Another potential stumbling block stems from the fact that Congress is trying to act on complex tax legislation under a tight, self-imposed timeline in order to deliver on promises from Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and McConnell.

    For example, Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has said he can’t support the current Senate bill because it would give corporations a tax advantage — a large rate cut to 20 percent from 35 percent — that other, closely held businesses wouldn’t get.

    ‘Change the Most’

    His concern centers on the Senate’s plan for large partnerships, limited liability companies, sole proprietorships and other so-called “pass-through” businesses. Under current law, these businesses simply pass their earnings to their owners, who pay income taxes at their individual rates — currently, as high as 39.6 percent, depending on how much they earn.

    Read more: A QuickTake guide to the tax-cut debate

    The Senate bill would provide pass-through owners with a 17.4 percent deduction for income — but in combination with other provisions, that would result in an effective top tax rate for business income that’s more than 10 percentage points higher than the proposed corporate tax rate.

    The House bill would use an entirely different approach, setting a top tax rate of 25 percent for pass-through business income, but then limiting how much of a business’s earnings could qualify for that rate.

    Reconciling those differences — and addressing Johnson’s concern — may be a complicated process. “That’s part of the equation that could change the most over the next few weeks,” Isaac Boltansky, senior vice president and policy analyst at Compass Point Research and Trading LLC, told Bloomberg Tax. “No one is planning around it yet. There is uncertainty across the board.”

    Meanwhile, the Obamacare issue looms in the background — threatening at least one GOP senator’s vote. Susan Collins of Maine said earlier this week that tax bill “needs work,” and “I think there will be changes.”

    The 2010 Affordable Care Act — popularly known as Obamacare — contained a provision requiring individuals to buy health insurance or pay a federal penalty. Removing that penalty in 2019, as the Senate tax bill proposes to do, would generate an estimated $318 billion in savings by 2027, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The savings would stem from about 13 million Americans dropping their coverage, eliminating the need for federal subsidies to help them afford it.

    Because many of the newly uninsured would be younger, healthier people, insurance premiums would rise 10 percent in most years, the nonpartisan fiscal scorekeeper found.

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-24/trump-s-1-4-trillion-tax-cut-is-entering-its-make-or-break-week

      “I Thought He Hated Me”: When Jesus Finds Out a Good Christian Girl Got an Abortion

      On the outside, Carli Salzburg looks like the all-American girl.

      Blonde hair, beautiful smile, a sweet southern accent and a contagious love for Jesus, she instantly looks like someone I’d want to be best friends with.

      Like so many strong Christians today, Carli hasn’t always walked in the way of the Lord. In fact, at one point in her life, she felt so far from God that she actually believed she was making the right decisions for herself—particularly when it came to having an abortion.

      According to the World Health Organization, there are an estimated 50 million abortions performed around the world each year. That equates to approximately 125,000 abortions per day. 125,000 lives that are ended before they’re even given a chance.

      After turning to drugs, alcohol and boys to fill a void in her heart following her parents’ divorce, Carli found herself pregnant at 17 with an abusive boy who was more interested in playing games and manipulating her than he actually was in Carli .

      “I had no idea who Jesus was,” Carli admits. “I had no idea that he was just waiting to wrap his arms around me, and just for me to come to him—brokenness and all.”

      In her brokenness, Carli made the decision to have an abortion.

      “I was so ashamed, I didn’t tell a soul.”

      She didn’t know it at the time, but God was working in her heart. Later that year, Carli set off for college. But before doing so, she remembers praying for godly friends.

      “I didn’t really know why, but I wanted to be different, and I wanted to know who Jesus really was.”

      Carli jokes that she’s a slow learner, but in time, Jesus heals all wounds. The pain of her parents’ divorce, the abusive relationships, the abortion, the heartbreak, it has all been made perfect in God’s perfect timing.

      Carli says she often thinks back to the decisions she made before she came to know Jesus. She reflects on her decision to abort her baby, and like most women in her position, it can be hard not to experience regret.

      She thought she would surely be disowned by her Heavenly Father after her sinful decision.

      “I kinda thought he hated me,” said Carli. “But I was wrong. God had not quit on me.”

      In seeking God, and surrounding herself with Godly community, the Lord revealed to Carli that she IS worthy, and she IS valuable.

      “He made it known to me that I am so much more than that pain and regret that I had been facing, and the decisions I made, and that’s not who defines me.”

      In the end, Carli hopes others who are carrying around the regret and weightiness of guilt that comes with having an abortion, will know that God is not finished with you yet.

      “God showed me–the girl from a Christian home, who had the abortion, who’s familiar with the regret and the shame–what it’s like to be wanted. God pursued me. All the past, all the failure, all the junk, He pursued me, out of all people.

      What would happen if you realized He was doing the same thing for you?”

      If you or someone you know is considering abortion today, visit www.focusonthefamily.com now, or call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) to speak with a licensed Christian counselor today. If you’ve had an abortion and are interested in finding support, visit www.hopeafterabortion.com for prayer, resources, and next steps.

      Read more: https://faithit.com/christian-girl-abortion-testimony-carli-salzburg/