how to get yourself fired at an allergist\'s office

Posted on: Fri, 07/13/2007 - 8:40am
ajgauthier's picture
Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

Wow - I couldn't get home fast enough to post this!

I had an appt. with my allergist today to talk about my RAST scores for tree nuts. Mind you, since I've lived in strict avoidance of anything since age 2, I've never had a known reaction to a tree nut, further I've been reaction free for over 16 years now. So, I've just got a curiosity about tree nuts and how allergic I really am. It'll be a huge 'quality of life' when I'm in Germany (and Greece) for 3 months this fall. I just want to know what I'm in for.

So --- I originally set the appt to talk about skin prick tests, and to also talk about "preventative measures" and "if I'm stuck out in the Northern Alps of Greece and have a reaction" plans.

Walking into the allergist's office there is a big "NO FOOD OR DRINK ALLOWED" sign. Good. The male nurse/PA/whatever calls me in, takes my weight, and then my height. As I walk over to do my height I pass by him as he is exhaling. PHEW-WEE! PEANUT M&Ms smell! I look up, he's STILL CHEWING SOMETHING. So I go (and I really said this way) "DUDE! Are you eating peanut M&Ms?" He's like, "yeah", I say (really, I did), "DUDE - PEA-NUT-ALL-ER-GEEEEE???" he goes, "huh?" I'm like, "I can smell your peanut M&Ms really bad, it's kinda annoying, I have a peanut allergy." He goes, "Do I need to get someone else to do this?" "YES, YOU DO."

So...the other nurses heard, start laughing...he ends up rinsing out his mouth and coming to help me --- THEY WON'T DO IT. He's f'd up and they know it.

Now that he's rinsed his mouth and drank half a bottle of soda...I'm ok. I can't smell it. So --- I'm ok with him continuing on.

He walks in to take my blood pressure. I go, "Can you wash your hands?" At this point, he's VERY embarrassed and showed that he felt bad. He stops being sarcastic and said, "Oh right, sure." He uses the bacterial soap on the wall. I then go, "Ummmm...that doesn't get the peanut protein off your hand. You need soap and water. I really don't feel like getting mystery hives today from you."

He goes off, comes back with gloves on. Hahahaha. It's kinda funny. I talked him through it --- educating him, telling him "Yes, I am that sensitive. That's why I'm here."

Turns out, it's not in an obvious place in my chart. Then after some asking, turns out HE'S SUPPOSED TO LOOK BEFORE SEEING THE PATIENT AND DOING VITALS. Good gawd! My blood pressure measured out at 143/101!!!! He was like, "Is your blood pressure normally this high?" I'm like, "No dumb_ss, you just stressed me out."

I didn't tell my doctor b/c at that point I wasn't sure if I was going to have to go back for testing. I don't want a disgruntled nurse there if I have to go in again. I am going to write a letter though, now that I have what I need and know I don't need to go back. He was joking that he'd probably get fired.

I did cough a little, but I don't know if it was from the heat (I didn't have water with me when I left work and I have a 10 minute walk to my car) or from inhaling his after-breath. He heard me cough and freaked out though...kept coming in to check on me to make sure I was alive and ended up just leaving the door open so I could holler.

I actually said to him, "You are so glad I'm a calm-minded adult. If I was a parent and you breathed peanut breath at my child who was PA...your butt would have been toast immediately."

I can understand people not thinking about particular recent discussions here about doctor's offices and hospitals. BUT THIS WAS ALLERGIST'S OFFICE!

I scolded him and educated him...and I'm sure once my allergist gets the letter (it's a private practice by the way) he'll do the same.

No harm to me, but a little cough (which is now gone).

Adrienne [img][/img]

30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

Posted on: Fri, 07/13/2007 - 8:56am
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

I am quaking angry. That is incredibly irresponsible.
I just hope your doctor actually thinks so, too.
Goodness--your chart is now contaminated. Wow--the destruction that people bring on w/o thinking. It's horrible.
Glad you're okay.

Posted on: Fri, 07/13/2007 - 9:08am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

Applause from me!!!! You did a good job standing up to the idiot and I am glad you took the time to educate him, especially the way you did, whooohoooooo from me!!!
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 1/2(beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 1/2(peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-4 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 1/2 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Fri, 07/13/2007 - 9:16am
ajgauthier's picture
Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

oh thanks...he felt INCREDIBLY awful when I did have a cough. But, I'm a "calm" kinda angry person...I was fuming inside. It was better to handle the situation with grace and talk to him about it rather than "go postal" (pardon the expression if it offends)...then I'd be another overly-dramatic "peanut allergy sufferer".
Composing the letter now. I think he may have been someone in training or an internship...he looked VERY "medical school" young.
I think by my being nice about reprimanding him made him understand and feel really bad. If I had yelled and stormed out or caused a scene he'd just be resentful.
Believe though, if the coughing continued or I got itchy eyes or hives...I *would have* immediately gone out to the other nurses and had the doctor called out ASAP from the other patient's room to deal with it.
I think the coughing was from walking in the heat/no water...once I drank some water (which he graciously got me a nice new chilled unopened bottle) I felt better.
30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

Posted on: Sat, 07/14/2007 - 10:16am
GinaC's picture
Joined: 11/11/2006 - 09:00

Jeesh! You really wouldnt think you'd have to ask the staff at the allergists office to refrain from eating (at least peanuts and treenut) while caring for patients.
Glad you're ok though!

Posted on: Sat, 07/14/2007 - 8:19pm
Christabelle's picture
Joined: 10/03/2004 - 09:00

I had a pediatric allergist for my PA daughter whose receptionist staff was eating peanut candy during my last visit. Last, because of that, and because of their notion that they would fill out the school's epipen form in a few weeks, and it was no big deal, she would just "have to go without her pen for a few weeks at school til we can fill it out." Those two things together added up to they had no clue what they were talking about re: peanut allergy. We found a new allergist.
Good for you for educating this person. He IS lucky he wasn't eating peanuty treats around a parent of a PA kid. He would've gotten the "chewing" of his young life over that!

Posted on: Sun, 07/15/2007 - 4:39am
Ree's picture
Joined: 12/31/2004 - 09:00

This just reminded me of when I took my 2 PA ds' to get their RAST blood work drawn last summer. The tech was eating peanuts and when I told her they were allergic, she quickly tossed the last ones in her mouth and said, "They'll be fine," washed her hands and continued to chew as she started to draw their blood! I was floored!! People everywhere just don't get it.

Posted on: Sun, 07/15/2007 - 4:45am
amy2's picture
Joined: 09/02/2000 - 09:00

you go girl!
Amy (mom of 2)
Daughter PA/TNA

Posted on: Wed, 07/18/2007 - 2:12am
Jacobs_Mommy's picture
Joined: 03/15/2007 - 09:00

Good for you girl!!! If we can't feel safe in the allergist's office, where can we?
The last time I had Jacob in to see his allergist, I noticed a jar of peanuts on the nurse's desk upon leaving. I was furious...I had just finished crying to the doctor and telling him how I felt like my child had a loaded gun pointed at this head everytime we left the house. I marched right back down the hall and told the doctor about the nuts on the counter. His reply..."oh really?" and just chuckled. Hopefully he said something to them about it. He is not very aggressive and the PA just doesn't seem to be a big deal to him.

Posted on: Wed, 07/18/2007 - 5:13am
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

I encountered the same situation a few years ago but it was at our local pharmacy. The girl preparing Wade's RX for Asthma drugs & Epipen was eating peanuts while preparing it. Luckiliy I decided to wait there while they filled the RX or I would never have know.
Good for you, you handled this so well. Maybe this person has learned from this, knowledge is power.
Lwt us know if there is any more news.
Take care

Posted on: Wed, 07/18/2007 - 5:40am
ajgauthier's picture
Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by katiee:
[b]I encountered the same situation a few years ago but it was at our local pharmacy. The girl preparing Wade's RX for Asthma drugs & Epipen was eating peanuts while preparing it. Luckiliy I decided to wait there while they filled the RX or I would never have know.
Good for you, you handled this so well. Maybe this person has learned from this, knowledge is power.
Lwt us know if there is any more news.
Take care
ah yes - pharmacy techs and pharmacists are notorious for eating while working. Pharmacists especially b/c they don't really take/get breaks.
I can speak to this point b/c I'm a former pharmacy technician..."poppable" things are especially popular. where I worked, peanuts/peanut M&Ms, Reeses were banned b/c of my allergy. After a few instances where I got contact hives after handling the pill counters...the you-know-what hit the fan.
30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy



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