“Accurate” medical descriptions…

Look, it’s the middle of the night. 2:15AM, to be exact and I can’t sleep because I had a really rough day.

I have another doctors appointment today and I’m just a ball of insomnia because anxiety is fun. /s

So, as I was laying in bed trying to sleep, I realized that while I appreciate the medical field and staff for doing what they do— some of the shit they say literally does not mean what they want the patient to think it means. So with that in mind, I wanted to list some quotes and things that are “loose translations,” of things that have been said to me over the years.

  1. “This will be just a small pinch” = “You paid me to stab you with a needle today.”
  2. “You’re going to feel some pressure” = “This will be terribly uncomfortable for you.”
  3. “I just need to move some things around in there….” = “Don’t speak or move, I can’t find the site and this will probably hurt you.”
  4. “Everyone always tells me I can’t find their veins, but I’ve never had any trouble.” = “I always have trouble, but I want to make you feel better about your blood drawing anxiety”
  5. “You have a lot of adipose tissue, it’s normal– just makes finding the veins a little hard” = “You are a fat fuck and I can’t find your veins”
  6. “I know, you’re doing so good.” = “I’m a really compassionate person and can tell you’re in pain and this procedure makes your pain worse. I am telling you that you’re doing well, because in my eyes, you’re a really strong person to not scream and holler while I get this biopsy”

A few bonus ones for pregnancy:

  1. “let’s practice some pushes before the doctor arrives.” = “I am going to teach you how to push, and you’re going to do it until the baby is almost crowning. Then, we will call the doctor and have them come to the hospital to finish the delivery.”
  2. “This won’t hurt me at all!” = “I am going to check your cervix and it’s going to hurt you a fucking lot.”
  3. “You’ll feel like you need to poop.” = “You’ll feel like you need to poop. For real. But it’s just push-time.”
  4. “It’ll feel like you peed yourself” = “The only way to describe what your water breaking will feel like, even though it’s more like squeezing out a water balloon with both your hands.”

Also, those pain scales are bullshit. So I made one that perfectly represents how MY personal pain works:

pain scale

Fun fact: I had a 30 hour labor with my daughter and the epidural didn’t take. So I sat there in mostly total silence while I was having contractions. I didn’t want to open my mouth and say anything because I knew if I did, I would start screaming. Which I did do about an hour before it was time to push. But it lasted for only a few minutes because the nurse came in and told me to shut up and breathe. (She was right– screaming doesn’t help, but she could have been nicer about it. She did apologize after I delivered my baby, though.) Also, for anyone who wants to know what contractions feel like… it’s basically like waking up in the middle of the night from a really fucking bad charlie horse/muscle cramp, except it’s from the lower rib cage-down to your toes.



Okay, that was neat! I’m glad I got this out. Maybe it was educational.

Maybe it was funny.

Maybe it was both?




Remember to be kind to yourself and if you or someone close to you is in serious distress or simply needs to talk to someone, please call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741.


UPDATE: It is now 3:44PM and I am home from my doctor’s appointment. I told them that I was at about a 4 on my Personal Pain Scale and they told me to try a heating pad and to come back in a few weeks when the doctor would be present. So, I spent my whole day at the doctor…literally 3 hours at the office– mostly waiting, to be told that they have no idea why I am in pain and they wouldn’t perform even the most basic tests to rule anything out. So, that’s fun.

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