“In the morning, take a piece of Scotch tape and place it directly over the anus. Then peel it up and stick another piece of tape over that one. Take that to your pediatrician’s office when you take your son in.”
Those were the words of the after-hours nurse we called when our son could not sleep due to severe itching. I allayed my son’s fears by demonstrating on my own arm that yanking Scotch tape off doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as pulling off a Band-Aid. Then I dutifully did what the nurse directed and sealed the sample in a zippered sandwich bag.
I felt a bit like MacGuyver. Or maybe George Clooney’s character on “ER.” He was in Peds, after all, and was known to improvise with what he had on hand.
We told the doctor that we had collected and brought in a sample, per the nurse’s orders, and he said, “Yeah, that doesn’t really do anything. There are lots of things like that going around the Internet.”
After we left, bewildered at our boy’s second positive test for strep at the opposite end from where most people get it, I thought maybe the doctor hadn’t understood. We had gleaned that advice from the after-hours nurse we reached through his clinic’s main number. We didn’t subject our son to the first cockamamie medical advice we found on an online forum. In fact, we didn’t research it at all until after talking to the nurse, because she had been our source of terms to search.
Surely their paid professional nurses don’t dispense advice based on their own half-baked Web research. If so, then someone needs to know it and put a stop to it. Here I go, dialing the clinic’s number.
What’s the weirdest medical advice you’ve received from someone who ostensibly could be trusted to dispense it?