Anecdotes that have happened to us over the years

As you know, I like to tell you about the day by day in our clinic, as we often experience genuinely funny situations. With all due respects towards our patients, I’m gonna tell you about the ones I remember. Some have happened directly to us and some belong to colleagues who work in other centres.

A patient from Kenya who lives in Holland comes for an embryo adoption. She gets all serious and asks Dr. Jordi Suñol whether her child will speak Swahili, Dutch, Spanish or Catalan.

During a first visit a cell phone doesn’t stop ringing. It sounds something like: tweet, tweet, tweet. The patients leave but the tweeting persists and I start looking for the phone. I approach the sound and grab the small plastic bag from where it comes. Imagine what my face looked like when out of it… flew a real bird!

Once I asked Mercè Insa, our secretary, to go pick a sperm sample from a male in his white car in front of the emergencies entrance. Mercè asked the man to please give her his sperm and he answered: “Lady, don’t rush it, don’t you think we should get to know each other better first?” She insisted, while a couple of meters away a disabled adapted white car didn’t stop beeping and calling for her…

A patient comes with a much younger husband. He’s so young that on the day of the embryo transfer he rather stayed in the waiting room because he still hadn’t finished playing with his gameboy.

Working with many different languages sometimes leads to hilarious situations. Betty Guzman works at the reception desk. A couple of days ago, Gwen, one of our Patient Assistants, called her and asked her to call a cab for a British couple. Before hanging up, Gwen exclaimed “wonderful!” A few minutes later, the cab driver came, very fed up, ‘cause he couldn’t find the so-called Mr. and Mrs. Wonderful anywhere around.

Once, my attention was brought to a patient’s file whose occupation appeared to be “autist”. Betty asserted that’s what he answered when she asked. Apparently, in Italian an “autist” is an “auto (car) driver.”

Before an In Vitro Fertilization we always do a catheter test. We introduce the cannula through the cervix to ensure it will enter easily on the day of the transfer. Well, last month Dr. Martí did a catheter test to a patient and, when she was done, the girl, completely euphoric, thanked us: “you’re so straight-forward, my first time at your clinic and half an hour later my embryos are already on board!”

Dr. Carles Catllà saw a couple who couldn’t get pregnant. They owned a chicken farm. All the tests came out normal so they said they’d test an idea they had come up with. Three months later, she came back already pregnant. They explained: hens only lay eggs in the daylight, so to increase their production, farms are continuously lit so they don’t stop ovulating. They placed the same lights on their headbord and never turned them off.

Blood types also give place to amusing situations. I can perfectly remember a patient who had difficulties becoming pregnant due to her husband’s poor sperm quality. When I asked for his blood type, his tone suddenly became ironic: “JB positive.” This also reminds me of another time in which a patient was convinced her blood type was H2O.

Once, the video machine in the sperm sample collection room was damaged and we couldn’t turn the TV off. One of our secretaries took the technician to the room, the door closed all of a sudden and wouldn’t open again. There they sat for a good while, with an erotic movie playing in the background. Awkward much?

I remember a day in which a gay man came asking for an egg donation. Much to my surprise, he thought we would be using my own eggs! I felt absolutely ridiculous, I even explained I no longer have any oocytes left myself!

After a day with lots of surgery, Dr. Manuel Elbaile goes into the room of a patient whose breast he just removed due to cancer. He wanted to tell her family everything had gone allright. He was shocked when he found his patient sitting right there, wearing the same clothes she wore that morning. He almost died at the thought he had removed someone else’s breast! Maybe the patient who had to have her uterus removed? It turned out that the girl had an identical twin who was all dressed in black as well.

Dr. Pere Barri examines a patient who lies in gynaecologic position. The nurse tells her to please place her hands behind the neck (this position is necessary for a palpation of the breast). The patient quickly places her hands behind the neck… of the doctor! Can you imagine?

In Alicante, Dr. Rafa Bernabeu has a first visit with a couple who has troubles conceiving. He realizes there is some information missing in their medical history. “What’s your phone?” he asks. Surprised, the couple answers: “A red, cordless one. Can it have something to do with what’s happening to us?”

A very small Chinese woman goes to the hospital in Badalona to give birth. They give her a black, sack-like bag and tell her to put all her belongings inside. The assistant couldn’t help but laugh when she suddenly went into the room and saw that the patient had placed herself, from top to bottom, inside the plastic bag!

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