Pregnant women sometimes come up with many weird assumptions when they aren’t properly educated on the topic of pregnancy.
These Redditors shared the strangest things they’ve ever heard a patient say. Scroll down to hear some of the most disturbing, absurd things women had told their doctors!
grandmother worked for the medical clinic at her local army base during
WWII, and she sometimes got to deliver the news that a woman (usually
the wife of a soldier) was pregnant.
She told one young woman, who replied, “But that’s impossible! My husband has been overseas for more than a year!”
grandmother assured her that she was definitely pregnant and asked if
she had had sexual relations with anyone else recently.
The woman replied, “Well, yes! But…you can’t get pregnant with nobody but your husband!”
The poor girl actually had no idea.
I worked on a psych unit, and as a nurse, I had access to video
cameras. A resident approached my desk, claiming he fell and wanted to be
sent out to the hospital, where earlier, I had heard him mention they had
better food. Suspicious, I decided to follow my gut by doing a bit of
investigating of my own….
I went to view the video and watched him looking around, taking off
his baseball cap, and lying down on his side. He didn’t even bother to
throw some water down for the pretense of it, or even a banana.
knew I had him. I approached him with this information; he admitted it
and added he was in the mood for a cheeseburger tonight.
A friend of mine started having terrible cramps one night and ended up going to
see a doctor in the morning with a friend she was supposed to go out
for breakfast with.
The nurse checks her, makes her take a test just in case
(even if she’d never skipped a period). She was mortified when told she
The nurse asked her what she wanted to do – she replied
that she’d have to talk with her boyfriend. Nurse went to get a doctor
because the cramps were still not normal.
comes in, checks her briefly, looks nervous, leaves without a word.
While my friend is freaking out a bit, he comes back with two paramedics
– she’s in labor. She gave birth to a beautiful, healthy boy later that
She had just come back from
working 4 months in France, eating often in restaurants, so she didn’t
really worried about having put on a few pounds. She regularly takes
pregnancy tests now.
Had to cancel a woman in Preop because her preg test came back positive. I told her “I have good news and bad news. The bad news is we can’t do your surgery today. The good news is….your pregnant!” Her response was “doc, neither of those is good news.”
I had a woman call the office to make an appointment, and when I
asked her what the appointment was for, she said that she needed a
“Do you mean you want to get your tubes tied?” I
offered, thinking that must surely be what she meant. She said, “No, I’m
trying to get pregnant.” I was so confused….
I think this woman may have skipped out on her anatomy class in high
school (or maybe, lot a ton of schools across the country, she didn’t
even get any classes on things like this).
Every anatomy class discusses
the reproductive organs in our bodies. It’s possible that she meant
something else and got confused, but I will never know.
I’m actually an ultrasound technician. One day, I had a young patient
that was curious about the way everything worked during pregnancy.
While performing her exam, I was asked, “How does the baby breathe in
there? Does it swim up and take a breath through the belly button?” I
was shocked she didn’t know how it worked and calmly explained
everything to her….
In case you were wondering, babies get all of their nutrients, blood,
and oxygen through the umbilical cold. The only way they would have
trouble getting oxygen is if something happened to the mother’s oxygen
flow or if something happened with the umbilical cord.
While I wish that
she was more informed, it was also kind of cute and a great learning
I had an acquaintance try saying that she was
only pregnant for six months, but her baby came out full-term: like her
child was fine and needed zero medical attention due to being so
I don’t think she was actively lying, but she was not a
bright person. She might have found out she was pregnant at three months
and just assumed that she was just newly pregnant by the time she found
Either way, it sounded very fishy. These babies can go through a lot
of health issues after being born. I guess it’s possible that she was
further along than she thought, but wouldn’t a doctor have told her?
didn’t really know what to say, so I just told her congratulations on
the healthy baby and that I was glad all was well.
I’m an obstetrician in a large city with many patients, and I can’t
tell you how many times something like this has happened.
numerous couples come in with concerns about whether or not intercourse
is safe during pregnancy. They always seem to be concerned that the
man’s part will poke the baby in the face. I can tell you that this
Babies are protected by the cervix, amniotic fluid, and the uterus in
a woman’s body, so there is no way anything can poke your baby. It’s
safe to have intercourse unless you’re told otherwise by your doctor.
you’re unsure, please ask your doctor. I hear these questions all the
time, and doctors like me are there to help you through the process.
I had a nineteen-year-old ring our office because of abdominal pain.
She was 37 weeks pregnant.
I asked if she could be in labor, and she
said, “I just need to put the phone on my bed while I get changed. I
think I wet myself.”
I said, “Do you think that could be your water
breaking?” I asked if she could get to the hospital, and she sighed….
“No, everyone in the house is drunk.” I asked if I could send an
ambulance, and she didn’t want me to, as she had “a house full of
people” watching the World Cup match.
She eventually agreed as though
she was doing me a favor. It seemed as though this woman was
more concerned about being embarrassed in front of her guests than going
One of my friends in college told me her mom had at least two or three children before she went to the doctor to ask why she kept getting pregnant.
I think she ended up having five kids in total. It turns out there is such a lack of reproductive education in South Asia. This poor woman was married off in her late teenage years and literally had no idea how pregnancies came about…
It was kind of a sad situation. It makes you realize the differences in education around the world. Every woman deserves a proper education for every subject, including reproductive education.
It sounds like she had a rough life, and I hope the doctor was able to help her learn more about her body. Everyone grows up differently around the world, and it’s difficult to imagine what some women go through.
I’m not a midwife or gynecologist but an actual patient that assumed something. I actually asked if my twin boys could “see each other” in utero.
The nurse laughed and said it was pretty dark. I was 35, and it wasn’t my proudest moment. I don’t know what I was thinking. I think I just blurted it out before considering what I was saying….
Yeah, and in case I had you wondering? It’s impossible for twins to see each other in the womb. There’s no light in there since it’s the inside of your body.
Luckily, nurses and doctors hear all kinds of questions and are able to answer without judgment, so I don’t think I honestly got judged super hard for blurting that out.
If anything, she probably just had a chuckle about it for the rest of the day.
I was asking consent from a woman to put in an in-and-out catheter to
drain her bladder. (For context, sometimes a baby’s head presses on the
urethra, and it’s impossible to pee, but the bladder needs to be
emptied; otherwise, it gets in the way of the baby’s descent).
partner asked if it would hurt the baby, and I said that it wouldn’t….
He then asked if it would poke the baby in the eye. I was a tad
confused to say the least. I said, “Well, I won’t accidentally put the
catheter in that area, so it won’t even touch the baby.”
“Well, how are you going to get the pee out if you’re not going to put
it in the v?”
My dad was a doctor. He had a couple come to see him to discuss their
failure to conceive. They had BOTH somehow come to the conclusion that
what was needed to make a baby was male parts to belly button contact.
have no idea how anybody was getting any satisfaction or how on earth
they kept believing this after doing it once; it must have been a
He explained (literally) the facts of life to them, and upon coming
home, had a TALK with my brother and me, just in case we believed things
like this as well.
I’m not sure where this idea came from, but needless
to say it’s completely incorrect. Please do not try this at home. I
guarantee it won’t work.
A very young girl (barely 13) came in for symptoms of a UTI. A
pregnancy test came back positive.
She and her mother claimed that could
not be possible because “you can’t get pregnant until you’re 18.” When
asked why they thought that, mom said, “Well, if that wasn’t the case,
why would they put warnings for pregnant people on cigarette packs….”
The daughter genuinely thought that “only grown-ups can have babies.”
This is another one of those cases that could have been prevented with
The mother should have known better, but her daughter
needed to get a better understanding of her body and didn’t get it in
time. This poor girl is just a baby herself, and her whole life will
change at only thirteen years old. It’s sad that things like this
I’m a midwife and have been asked a variety of interesting questions
over the years. Two of my favorites are: “What day of the week do I need
to have intercourse to have a boy?” and “Do you microchip babies after
I’m not sure where these questions came from, but the patients
were absolutely serious. I had to calmly explain that you can’t
guarantee what gender you’re having without extensive planning….
I’m not sure why someone would think babies are microchipped like
animals…. Hospitals do have monitors on some babies while they are in
the hospital to ensure they aren’t taken before they can go home.
possible that’s what this patient was talking about? Also, the only way
you can guarantee the gender you’re having is to take a look at the
embryos and fertilize one of that gender.
My hardworking and honest dad was a high-risk OB/GYN. He once had to
argue emphatically with a woman (whose daughter was in labor) that her
daughter didn’t get pregnant from swallowing.
She protested that her
daughter was a virgin and that oral intimacy had to be the cause. My dad
replied that he was only aware of one previous virgin birth in history,
and it wasn’t her daughter….
This situation could have been handled much differently. The daughter
should have been honest with her mother when she found out she was
I did what I could to explain things, but it sounded like the
mother couldn’t accept what was happening with her daughter. It’s
understandable to be upset, but you should never argue with a doctor
that is trying to help, people.
A man somehow lost a testicle. Then, the couple had a son a year
later, so all his parts obviously worked, right? Then a few years later,
they had a daughter.
A fight ensued in the maternity waiting room
between the two families. His family was insisting that the mother was
fooling around because “he lost his girl testicle in the accident….”
The doctor had to separate them and give a lesson to explain that
men’s testicles aren’t made to be one to make boys and the other to make
I’m not sure what would make this family believe something like
this, but it is definitely not right. You can lose a testicle and still
have children of either gender.
We found out my wife was pregnant when she got trampled by a horse. They wanted to do a pelvic X-ray and had her take a pregnancy test. The nurse came back with a terrified look on her face and awkwardly told us she was pregnant.
My biggest concern at the time was the X-ray and I asked immediately about that. The nurse was dumbfounded because we had no initial reaction to the pregnancy.
I had a woman come to triage one day, in no visible distress but confident that she was in labor. She denied feeling any loss of fluid, contractions, or pain.
When questioned further, she explained that she was already “dilated 4.” She was accompanied by her granny, who stated that she had checked her granddaughter at home and was able to fit four fingers inside the vagina, so she knew it was time….
Not in the cervix, in the v. It sounded like the woman’s grandmother just wanted to help, but unfortunately, checking for dilation doesn’t work that way.
It was clear both women were a little lost for words when I explained how it was actually done. Luckily, we doctors have seen and heard it all and aren’t fazed by things like this.
My wife took a pregnancy test at home, and we were super-excited that it was positive. We had a little emotional moment at home by ourselves.
We went to see her doc a couple of days later to have the “official” test. My wife doesn’t know her doc well (she had only seen her once or twice before), and obviously, I had never met the woman before.
When she came in with the results — “You’re pregnant” — we just high-fived. We still look back and think that must be one of the strangest ways to react.
In our minds, we didn’t really want to have an emotional moment in front of a complete stranger.
I 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 only twenty-five years old and was
thoroughly convinced it wasn’t possible. She quickly realized she was
actually in labor when I explained that someone of her age couldn’t go
It’s possible to not have a period due to other illnesses, but
menopause definitely wouldn’t be the cause for a twenty-five-year-old
She probably should have gone to the doctor when she first
noticed she had missed her cycle. There are all kinds of complications
that can arise without doctors’ visits while pregnant. I hope her baby
is healthy and safe now.
I’m a midwife, and usually, when ladies come to see me, they already know that they are pregnant. I do have some women who were past clients who come to see me for their paps and stuff, and I recently had a woman come in in her late 40s thinking she was menopausal.
Turns out she is actually pregnant. This is the third time I have seen this (the last two were while I was a student.) When I told her, she said, “shut the f up. Shut right the f up.” Then left the office without saying anything else.
A few minutes later she came back, and we talked about it, laughed, cried, and laughed some more.
We get a lot of women who don’t understand the difference between “Don’t get pregnant” and “You can’t get pregnant.” We had a mom recently who delivered a 26 week baby because her cardiomyopathy and hypertension were out of control.
Her cardiologist visited her in the NICU and asked why she didn’t listen to his advice to avoid pregnancy. The cardiologist just shook his head…
“Don’t get pregnant because your body can’t handle it,” he said. She physically couldn’t get pregnant because her body couldn’t handle it. It’s essential to have a full understanding of what your doctor tells you.
If you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation. I hope her baby is happy and healthy, but things could have turned out much differently for both of them. Reddit User: Kyelmo
My wife is a midwife. She had a patient who called one night and
reported that she was vomiting for the past few hours. She was very
concerned that she could possibly be vomiting up amniotic fluid.
turns out, the digestive tract is in no way connected to the uterus. My
wife explained this to her and told her some helpful tips to stop the
I’m glad that doctors and midwives like my wife are able to pass
along helpful knowledge in situations like this one. She could have
laughed when her patient called, but she was professional and
Questions and concerns like this one could be avoided
entirely with proper education. It sounded like the patient was
comfortable with her midwife and had the ability to trust her with any
questions she had.
mother and her teenage daughter came to the ER once, the mother was
very upset because her daughter had been complaining of “stomach
cramps” for about 2 weeks and refused to take any meds.
the patient and not finding any conclusive evidence as to what was
causing the pain, the daughter finally gave in and suggested she might be
pregnant, the mother went apeshit, fainted, and had to be admitted and
treated for hypoglycemia.
was told I would never have children. I of course was devastated
because I love kids but my husband and I thought we could just adopt in
So one night, I was shaking like crazy and feeling horrible,
my throat hurt, and I felt like dying. My husband took me to the hospital,
and to lighten the mood, he said “Hey take a pregnancy test.” I thought
he was being silly, but I was like eh, why not it’s going to come out
We wait and the
nurse just walks by and says, “You’re pregnant.” and just walked away. I
started crying because I thought my husband did some kind of sick joke
but then I saw my husband’s face light up.
Now our son is a beautiful,
healthy, and very happy 1-year-old. He is our little miracle, but I really
wish I knew I was able to have children because we would have waited a
few more years.
The number of times I’ve had to explain to a patient and the father
of her baby that the baby, in fact, does not come out of the “pee hole”
Another time, a woman called the labor and delivery unit
and told me she knew she was ovulating because the app on her phone told
her she was, and she just had intercourse with her husband….
“Am I pregnant?” was literally the next three words out of her mouth.
These assumptions are definitely concerning. The education classes in
high school should offer a more in-depth look into women’s bodies so
that they know what they’re getting into with pregnancy.
because an app on your phone says you’re ovulating doesn’t necessarily
mean you are.
I’m a midwife. At least once a month, I will be looking after a woman who is shocked to find out that a vaginal examination is how I check for cervical dilation.
How else would I check? It’s upsetting that women don’t know as much about their bodies as they should. I always thoroughly explain what’s going to happen when this issue arises…
Women should have a better understanding of their bodies. That’s why it’s so important to educate yourself about your body and how it works.
I think classes should be separate in high school for boys and girls so everyone feels comfortable to discuss and ask questions. You are less likely to ask questions with everyone giggling around you.
My friend with multiple kids had yet another pregnancy scare months
ago. She said she thought she’d be protected since she’d taken the morning-after pill a MONTH before.
She also told me some time ago that
she wouldn’t bother with the pill anymore because, aside from side
effects (which I understand; they can be awful), it didn’t work, and she
still got pregnant on it….
I asked her if she took it every day, and she said, “Well, I’d miss a
few days here and there, but it still should have worked.”
proper understanding of how birth control works, you may end up with a
surprise pregnancy like my friend. Please always ask your doctor if you
have any questions about medications. And take the dang pills every day.
My dad worked as a hospital orderly to put himself through college. He told me that he went to clean up half of a double room, and the other half was occupied.
Sitting in the bed was a girl who was somewhere between 14 to 16 going through labor. She was in agony on the bed, her mother holding her hand, and a teenage boy who was obviously the father was crying in the fetal position in the corner…
Eventually, the girl’s father came into the room, seemingly having just heard that his daughter was pregnant. The father threw the teenage boy against the wall and screamed at him.
“How did this happen!?” he yelled. Through tears, the kid said, “My brother told me it wouldn’t happen if we were standing up!”
This father was obviously upset with his daughter’s decisions, but this probably wasn’t the time to confront her boyfriend.
A woman was about 6cm dilated. Her partner was murmuring in her ear, which I assumed was reassurance and encouragement.
I kept hearing her actively pushing and kept reminding her not to because her body and baby weren’t ready yet. I came over to listen to the baby’s heart rate and overheard her partner say to her, “Why are you taking so long, just push this baby out already.”
I kindly told him it didn’t work like that and pointed out that if she pushed on an undilated cervix, the baby could get distressed, her cervix could swell or tear, and she could have a hemorrhage post-birth.
I had to give them both a biology lesson in between contractions. This poor woman deserved a positive partner to help her through delivery and instead had someone who was trying to rush her.
This is a story that my grandmother told me a few years ago. My
grandmother asked her obstetrician when she was pregnant with my mom how
it happened. This would have been 1953.
My grandmother was 20 years old
at the time. She had no idea that intercourse caused pregnancy, and my
grandfather wasn’t aware that she didn’t know at the time….
I wonder what she thought would happen. Intercourse can always lead
to pregnancy if you don’t use protection.
I’m not sure what the
standards were back then for reproductive education, but it sounds like
she didn’t learn everything she needed to.
Thankfully she was very happy
to have her child and was super excited, it was just unexpected.
I’m a midwife that does home births in a small community. There have
been a variety of interesting stories over the years but only one that
A patient of mine that was 40 weeks along called saying that
something came out of her body. She was convinced something was wrong
with the baby when, in reality, it was just her mucous plug….
I was able to get over to her house quickly, and she gave birth six
hours later. This woman was terrified when she noticed her plug coming
This is a normal part of pregnancy and means you are getting ready
to have your baby. So don’t panic! Just alert your doctor and get ready
to welcome your newborn!
While these pregnancy stories are interesting, to say the least, you won’t believe what some doctors and nurses had to go through in their careers. These Redditors shared the strangest encounters they had with a patient!
Ophthalmologist here. I told one of my patients one day that he
needed reading glasses, which he didn’t believe.
I explained to him that
everyone develops presbyopia (or the inability to see things up close)
to some extent eventually. “Come on, George Clooney doesn’t wear reading
glasses!” he shouted at me.
A) Yes, George Clooney does wear reading glasses, and B) I’m not sure why you’re comparing yourself to him.
My mother is a nurse in elderly mental health and always tells me
stories of the ward. My favorite was the ‘Princess of Russia,’ who
called the nurses by country names (I suppose comparing the nurses to
the countries), and my mother was always “You GERMAN.”
Apparently this was because she took nothing from the elderly woman
when she got aggressive. She apparently didn’t mind dealing with the
lady because she never caused any trouble.
I was on a ladder installing a wireless access point in the ceiling
of a psychiatric locked ward of a geriatric hospital.
quietly shuffled up behind me and whispered, “Anyone ever pushed you off
the ladder?” I looked down and locked eye contact with her. She looked
like the sweetest thing ever.
I gently shouted, “Uh…nurse?” without ever taking my eyes off the woman. I was terrified.
My boyfriend is a paramedic in a shifty neighborhood. He ran a call
on a middle-aged man who had apparently had too much to drink. The
garage was littered with beer cans and he smelled strongly of beer, so
it seemed pretty cut and dry.
Turns out this man was a landscaper who
was either too poor or lazy to properly store his Round-Up weed killer.
So as he explained the story, he wasn’t paying attention and
accidentally ingested a whole can of Round-Up. Not sure how you get
through a whole can of the stuff, but the guy ended up being ok.
I had a patient who would speak in three different voices. Her normal
voice, her dad’s voice, and a baby’s voice.
Normally it was just inane
chatter, but one night, she started talking in her dad’s voice saying to
give the baby to him so he could “get rid of” it. The baby kept saying,
“Please don’t hurt me,” and her voice was crying.
It didn’t help that this happened around Halloween. I went out and told a supervisor what happened.
I worked as a nurse’s aide for a summer. At night, it was common for
older people to talk with their deceased spouse or family member.
of sad, but I could tell that they still loved them. I knew a lot of
people who would do this, and it always seemed to give them a measure of
Hey, I’ll still take it over possessed old ladies. I’ve heard the stories that other people have to deal with.
After I found out I was pregnant, the dr. said to come back in to discuss my blood test results. He told me I was anemic and to eat more iron.
I was anticipating more bad news when he said what I thought was, “You have syphilis.” I started bawling and wondering out loud if my husband was cheating on me. He looked at me irritated and said, “You don’t have to pick it, eat it from a can.”
What my Indian doctor actually said was I was so embarrassed, but when I explained to him what I thought he said, he laughed so hard he had to leave the room.
My mom is an MD and used to work in the ER, saw all types of funky butt stuff.
This one well-dressed, put-together man comes in one day, sweating profusely and complaining of abdominal pains. Mom orders an x-ray, and a thoroughly confused radiologist sends her a clear picture of two pool balls up his ass.
They extract the balls, all the while the man insisting that he has no idea how they got up there.
A 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 setup, 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.
I once had a 20-year-old and his girlfriend come in at 2 am freaking
out because “something had torn his throat open.”
He seemed fine. No
blood. Breathing fine. I had him open his mouth and saw nothing. I
didn’t want him to lose confidence in me.
Clearly something had
happened, so I’m looking and looking…but there is nothing wrong with
this kid’s throat.
Finally I say, “Look, it seems ok…what do you feel or see?” He huffs.
“I don’t feel it, but LOOK, IT’S RIGHT THERE!” Looking, looking. It was
Somehow this kid had gotten to the age of 20 without ever
noticing his uvula. His girlfriend was also horrified, but I told them
it was normal.
They did not believe me. So I told them I was about to blow their
minds and showed him his girlfriend’s uvula. Minds blown, and another
life saved in the ER.
I had a guy in the ED who kept peeing in the corner of his room. He was told several times to let us know if he needed to go, and we would happily help him to the bathroom.
He said he was going to keep doing it because he was going to tell everyone I was the one peeing in his room so I would be fired. He told everyone, and I didn’t even get to go home.
I had a patient who was a legit gangster with the name and all (for HIPAA, I won’t post his name, but pick any over-the-top mobster name like Jimmy, the ape).
He was in because he got in a fight with another gangster who shot his toe off. Instead of coming to the doctor, the patient attempted to “treat” his wound by himself. Surprise, surprise, it got severely infected, and he had to come in for it to be debrided and treated with abx.
He saw my wedding ring and asked, “Oh, you’re married? Does your husband have life insurance? I can work something out…” I believe that was supposed to be flirty, but it was just the strangest thing.
While in dental school, my friend pulled out several bombed out
(technical term) teeth on an adult male who had come in.
procedure was finished and post-op instructions were given, the man
turned to my friend and asked, “So when should I expect my new teeth to
He was completely serious. I thought my friend would also have to tell him that the tooth fairy wasn’t coming to give him money.
A homeless man with a history of alcohol abuse arrives intoxicated at ED. Blood Etoh doubles within 2 hours despite being isolated in his room and having been thoroughly searched for alcohol containers.
No one can figure out where this guy is getting the booze from. A resident decides to check the multi-hospital system to try and get more info on the guy and sees an old note from another hospital mentioning having to remove the alcohol hand sanitizer dispensers from the patient’s room.
We go into the patient’s room and see a hand sanitizer dispenser on the wall…upon close inspection, it’s been visibly tampered with and completely empty.
54-year-old psych patient. Ran away from her care home without pants on. Was hanging out with some local teenagers who were smoking. The smoke made her start hearing voices, so naturally, chest pain ensued.
She was afraid to step into the ambulance and stared at the light, talking about how hot she was for 20 minutes to the hospital ( 300 lbs easily with a face covered in dried spaghetti or something).
It then took half an hour to convince her to step out of the ambulance because she was afraid it was going to hurt. Now once out of the ambulance, she proceeded to insert her fingers into her anus.
She then proceeded to pull them out and lick them. Rinse and repeat. Come ten more minutes we get her to triage. Good God, please, never again.
I work in anesthetics, and it drives me absolutely mad the number of
patients who want to have allergies; for example, antibiotics give them
No, that’s a side effect. Anyway, the anesthesiologist
comes into the room one morning and asks me not to ask the patient about
I’m puzzled at this and ask her why. The patient was “allergic” to oxygen. Yes, oxygen. She was a fun patient.
patient I had didn’t have people’s voices in her head, she had cat
voices. She would just sit there and talk to all these cats. And then
yell at me for not letting them come inside because they were freezing
to death. I’m terrified of cats, so the whole thing just weirded me out.
It was 3 am, and I’d been on duty in the emergency department since 8
am. I was exhausted. A well-dressed man came in with his 8-year-old,
I asked him what the problem was. 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?” he asked. He was being genuine.
My brother finished his residency last year. During his residency, I
got to hear a lot of stories of mistakes residents had made.
I guess one
time a doctor told a first-day resident to give the patient orange
juice, but since the patient was sleeping, she put it in his IV.
Personally, I don’t think that it takes a genius to realize that’s not
how you give someone juice.
She went through rigorous years at medical school only to end her
career on the first day. Needless to say, the patient, unfortunately,
didn’t make it due to this error.
I’d always thought that attending
doctors were so hard on residents, but that particular story made me
realize why that’s what’s actually necessary.
I’m a receptionist at a doctors’ clinic. During my second week, a very distressed guy approached the counter and told me in a whisper that he had just found out his housemate was homosexual and that he needed to see a doctor right away to get the “appropriate tests” done.
He said that he’d moved out already but was worried because he’d used the same cutlery and light switches as his housemate. I don’t know what he thought he’d caught. I was speechless! I squeezed him in with the most scathing, sarcastic doctor.
In high school, I interned at the local nursing home and helped out the CNAs. There was a lady named Carrie who was a resident there, and she was a paranoid schizophrenic.
My first encounter with her was a simple hi and I introduced myself, and her immediare response was “Don’t talk to me and don’t touch me! I have a high level of radiation today and we haven’t had sex yet!” She then picked up her books and wandered away.
Scrub nurse here. A patient had gone in for surgery on their right
knee. The surgeon did his job, and everything was fine, except … it
turned out he did the surgery on the wrong knee.
The patient was really
good about the whole thing and had a bit of a laugh (I wouldn’t have
been that chill). Fast forward a few days, and the patient returned for
surgery on the correct knee.
The surgeon repeated the surgery on the patient’s knee, and this time
he forgot a sponge in the knee. But, guess what? It was still the wrong
knee. So, the poor patient had to come back a third time to get his
The last time, they finally got it right. Granted, they
also insisted that a different surgeon handle it. I’ll always remember
what the guy said the last time he went into the OR, “Third time’s the
not a medical worker, but when I was shadowing a doctor we had this guy
come in, and he really wanted to have ALL of his toenails removed since
one of them was infected.
The doctor only removed the infected one.
As an intern, I was told to round on a patient who was admitted for a
workup due to coughing up blood. It was 6:00pm and I’d been up for
about 20 hours.
I went up to the floor and grabbed her chart. I briefly
scanned through it and noticed that the oncologist had confirmed the
diagnosis of small-cell lung cancer.
I went to the 88-year-old lady and her 92-year-old husband and
informed them that she had small-cell lung cancer. Her husband was a
retired pediatric surgeon.
The news struck him as unusual, considering
both were never-smokers. I told him I was incredibly sorry that these
things happen, and the oncologist did confirm the results.
The husband then proceeded to start quizzing me on all of my medical knowledge. Long story short, I had the right chart but I just happened to have the wrong room. I told someone they had cancer when they didn’t. Always triple-check your charts.
During the first week of my intern year, I was on the ICU team. A patient
who just got out of open heart surgery ‘coded’ (his heart stopped, aka
The surgeon opened him back up in the recovery room and put
him in a pacemaker. He asked me and my fellow intern if we wanted to close –
meaning put the last layer of sutures in. We jumped at the chance.
As I was tying a suture, I mistakenly yanked the pacemaker wire out,
and the guy’s heart stopped again. I could have quit right there.
Instead, the surgeon said, “no problem,” and just stuck the pacemaker wire
back down into the guy’s heart and let me finish suturing.
forget how chill that surgeon was. He could have easily ripped me a new
one. Instead, he stayed calm and let me keep learning.
I was working in a call center where we gave pathology results and
advice to doctors. The problem/mistake escalated to me, as I was the
supervisor of the team, and it still makes me shake my head.
doctor has the histopathology result of a breast lump. The summary of
the result reads, “There is evidence of malignancy.”
The result is sent to the specialist, the specialist calls the
patient to come in for immediate surgery, and she’s prepped for surgery.
Then, before they start, a fax comes through to the OR.
It’s the same
report again, except there is one minor change. There’s an extra word in
the summary…. the word ‘no.’ “There is NO evidence of malignancy.” It
was a typo from the transcription of the histopath’s report. This poor woman
almost had an unnecessary surgery over a typo.
I assist with hair transplant surgeries. I also do consultations for surgeries.
What I have found is that men who come in for consultation are usually the strangest individuals. There are very few things that affect men’s self-esteem as hair loss does.
It becomes such a psychological stress to them. I have had many strange individuals come in for surgery, and they feel that having hair will instantly change their lives and make them a better person.
There was that one time I accidentally left an elderly patient in the
MRI tube overnight. It was late, and I was tired.
Don’t judge me.
Everything had gone smoothly, and the patient had been super quiet the
whole time. I honestly thought that the nurse had come and taken him out
of the machine, but turns out he’d fallen asleep.
I can’t imagine how scary it was for him to wake up and still be in
that tube. He was a really, really good sport about it, but I felt so
I made a point to find out what his favorite books and snacks were
and sent him a huge gift basket to apologize. He sent me back a lovely
letter saying that he’d made far worse mistakes and woken up in far
My sister-in-law is a Chiropractor. One of her patients came in as usual. He has diabetes and some other typical ailments for someone who doesn’t look after their body.
At one appointment she asked him to remove his shoes and socks so she could examine his feet. He put his bare feet on the table he was on, and voila….he had a raw pepperoni stuck to his bare foot.
She ignored it and referred him out to another chiropractor that day.
It was my first year on the job. I was an intern, and I was on call. I
gave a confused and aggressive dementia patient an antipsychotic dose
of haloperidol and put him to sleep for four days straight.
developed bed sores and possibly pneumonia. I was too scared to follow
up on what happened to him afterwards, but I’m sure he was angry.
That was the first and the last time I made that mistake. You never
forget your first really big “uh-oh” moment as a doctor.
mine didn’t result in loss of life like some of my fellow interns. I’m
an attending physician now, and I always remember to be compassionate to
interns. I still remember just how terrifying it is.
I had a patient once tell me about her friend Ralph. That he is always there for her and always listens to her.
She said she wanted him to accompany her in the ambulance. I didn’t see anyone, and she sounded a little funny, so I asked her, “Who’s Ralph?” Turns out it was a ceiling hook that she actually thought was a large bug.
Working the ER overnight when a woman in her 40s came up to me and said with a wide smile that she got her BP checked already earlier, and it’s fine.
Then left. No introduction or greeting or goodbye or anything. She was carrying a garbage bag.
When I was a medical student, I was on a vascular surgery rotation,
and a patient came in with aortitis – a rare and extremely severe
infection of the aorta.
However, he was doing pretty well, and we were
treating the infection conservatively with antibiotics and hoping we
wouldn’t have to operate.
My job on the team was to take the patient’s
vitals a couple of times a day and examine them to see how they were
When I went to examine this guy, he was lying flat on his back, so I
said I’d sit him up in bed to take his blood pressure. I raised the head
of the bed, and a few seconds later he started to complain of severe
pain, and passed out straight after that.
He was taken straight to the
operating theatre and opened up. It then became apparent that his aorta
had ruptured due to the increase in abdominal pressure when I sat him
up. He almost didn’t make it. Oops?
Not me, but my roommate is a nurse that works in an emergency. Recently a lady came in saying she might have worms, and that her doctor told her to bring proof to the hospital.
She legit tried to hand her a bag full of poop, trying to get her to sift through it to find the worm. She basically said, ‘f*** no f*cking never,’ in the nicest way possible, and this lady proceeded to lose her cool. Apparently, she got written up for it too.
I had a patient who missed her follow-up. Pathology showed colon
cancer, but somehow she was never called by the clinic to reschedule,
nor did she call in herself. So, she got no treatment whatsoever.
came back one year later for a repeat consultation. I read her chart and
discovered the oversight. I felt so bad for her.
I actually have no idea what happened to her. My manager and her
specialist took it from there. I just remember the worst “uh-oh” feeling
I’ve ever had in my life so far.
What made it even more “uh-oh” was
that I was the one who had to explain that she really should have had a
follow-up a year ago. I got to watch her eyes get round and her face
turn white. It wasn’t even my original mistake.
I’m a physical therapist who has seen more than a few of these fake
cases. We had a patient in the ICU who was obviously faking a stroke.
She would always test really weak when asked, but if you made her do
something functionally, she managed to find the strength to complete the
task: something that was really weird and at odds with what she said
had happened to her….
When she was told by the doctor that she needed to discharge, she got
so upset that she ran out of the room after the doctor argued the
discharge. Which was another sign.
Sorry lady, people who have had
strokes with complete hemiplegia can’t run, nice try. She was discharged
even sooner, thanks to that running after the doctor stunt.
There are so many stories that I can tell, but this one sticks out
the most. I’m a nurse who works at a hospital, and I’ve seen a few
things. I once had a gentleman who presented with terrible pain in his
He screamed in agony almost non-stop for 30 minutes, so we
ordered some tests for him. Full tests were done, and nothing came up….
As usual. He was a frequent flyer who came in once a week to do this.
I started the process of discharge, but then he realized what was
He proceeded to pull out a sharp object from his bag and
dismembered his private area. Suffice to say he ended up getting the
pain relief he wanted when we had to reattach it.
friend of mine was a paramedic in the seventies and got called to a
fairly serious motorcycle accident. When they got the guy into the ER
they started cutting his pants off of him and stopped because he had ginormous bones.
So they called the attending Dr over, who continued
cutting the pants off to find a ginormous zucchini stuffed in the guy’s
When they asked him about it later, he said you were going out
dancing that night and wanted to “look good for the ladies.”
My mom is a cardiovascular care nurse, meaning she works with
patients who have heart problems. She used to see this patient every
once in a while.
He was a convict from the local jail who would often
complain about chest pain, so obviously, they’d quickly take him to the
He’d be fine, spend a few days there, and go back to the
jail. And he never had any real symptoms other than his chest pain….
Finally, my mom said something to one of the guys escorting the
convict about how the next time he came in complaining about chest pain,
the jail should pack food for him to eat.
As soon as he wasn’t allowed
to eat hospital food, he was “cured.” He was faking chest pain to go to
the hospital, sleep in a comfy bed, and eat nice food.
I’m a pharmacist and deal with these people all the time. In fact, my
coworkers and I often compare stories, and there’s a monthly winner for
whoever has the best story.
The weirdest one from recent memory was a
patient who wanted to get his meds two weeks early because “I recently
moved to Highland Park to buy a house and everything in my mansion is in
boxes and I don’t know which box has them….”
One, he’s on Medicaid, so he can’t afford a mansion in Highland Park.
Two, who packs their medications in boxes when they move? Who doesn’t
at least label the box if they actually do that? I should mention that I
work in Dallas. The average home price in Highland Park is $900,000,
which he most likely did not have.
Walked into a room to do a blood draw on a patient, he was clearly out of it, declined the blood draw then got up in his hospital gown to follow me out the door, stopped in the middle of the room, yelled, and started peeing while turning in a circle. Fun times.
Not on rotations, but when I was volunteering in the hospital once, this lady claimed the aliens were stealing all the information from her brain and that they were sending all her information to the hospital.
Her brother was even with her and was wearing those yellow gloves you use when cleaning your house as protection.
Had a type 2 diabetes patient, once entered the room and asked for his name, he said, “Don’t you know who I am?”
Of course, I didn’t, so after the consult, I went and searched his name on google, he is a famous rapper in my city and was charged with murder 2 years ago but was put in liberty cause of lack of evidence.
This isn’t my story, but my dad works in A&E (accident and
emergency) and gets a lot of people wandering in for attention.
no set protocol on how to handle them because different cases require
different things, but my dad and his coworkers do find it funny
sometimes. There was one time: imagine a guy is driven in pretending to
The kicker is that the same guy pulled this trick the week before,
but they’re not allowed to turn these people out. My dad, knowing this,
says something like, “Hey, isn’t this the idiot from last week?”
then miraculously wakes up and starts hurling insults and has to be
held back. Charming, but makes for a good story at least.
I was working at night, and one of the patients died while I was in the room, we tried everything to revive this person, but it didn’t work so after doing the papers and everything, I went to another place in the hospital, and I swear to god that this patient who I saw dead, touched my right arm. I think that I have never cried that much in my life.
We had a lady when I was in nursing school who had been in the
hospital a multitude of times for various (actual) neurological
conditions. On top of this, she had borderline personality disorder and
was extremely manipulative.
She had had a full neurological exam on so
many occasions that she could actually mimic a problematic exam and make
you believe that she was having a stroke or some other issue….
Problem was, on an occasion I witnessed, she’d forget to be
consistent with the side that she was feigning weakness or paralysis on.
So she’d sit, only move one side of her face, one side of her body,
etc., but then would forget and move a finger or something on the side
that was supposed to be paralyzed.
I had a 6-year-old who fell from a tree and had a significant head injury. She didn’t respond to voice commands or painful stimuli, but she was having a conversation with someone.
The only part I could clearly hear was when she said, “Well, I know, but I don’t WANT to be dead.” She then went unresponsive. Happily, the neurosurgeon got her in the OR in time and take care of her epidural bleed.
She survived with mild deficits and came to see us after being discharged. She didn’t remember the “conversation” at all.
There was once this patient who insisted she could not walk due to
back pain. She was on heavy pain meds, both IV and patch, but would
still cry that “it hurt.”
She paid for a motorized scooter because she
insisted she was unable to walk. But when no one was in her room, she
would walk around, tidying up after herself….
I caught her several times. She would jump back into bed and scream
in “pain.” Almost as if the shock of seeing me reactivated the back pain
that seemed to be fine just moments ago.
When enough of the staff
caught her, we were able to get her out of the room and give it to
someone who actually needed it.
Back when I was a paramedic in Oakland, I was taking care of an elderly gentleman in the back of my ambulance he looked up into the upper corner of the ambulance and said, “It’s okay, Lulu I’ll be with you soon.”
His daughter was with him and told me that Lulu was his wife who died 20 years earlier. A few minutes later he went into cardiac arrest and passed on.
I’m a nurse, and I see these excuses every day. My favorite was the
patient in 10/10 pain, hobbling to the bathroom with their walker,
almost crying in pain. I got their pain meds ready and waited about 10
Finally, to make sure the patient was OK, I went to check on
them in the bathroom and let them know that their medication was ready….
There he was, standing on the toilet, smoking a cigarette and
dancing, all at the same time. With 10/10 pain too! I told him to get
down, put out the cigarette, and then I threw all his medication down
the toilet right in front of him.
All while he came back walking down
the hall almost crying in “pain.” Seriously though, who dances on a
mom used to do in-home care, not exactly a nurse. One day she was at a man’s house feeding him his supper. She cleaned up, made sure the man was
set up, and said goodbye before leaving.
He seemed perfectly normal to
her. As she walked down the front driveway to her car, she got a weird
feeling. She kept walking until a random huge gush of wind stopped her
in her tracks.
She tells me she heard someone telling her to go back.
She turned back and went inside to find that the man had passed. If she
had left, he probably wouldn’t have been found for a couple of days.
My dad is an ER doctor, so he has had a lot of good stories. One
time, a patient came in and claimed lower back pain. There was no
evidence to suggest he was actually in pain.
In fact, one of his
neighbors was the security guard at the hospital and informed my dad
that this gentleman had recently bought a trampoline to jump on, which
was currently in his backyard….
Anyway, he was denied the attention he requested. The patient, albeit
poorly, pretended to be having a heart attack. My father and all the
people around him saw right through it, and when that failed, he
pretended to have a seizure.
Nobody fell for it. He absolutely refused
to leave the premises; the police were called, and he was arrested.
In medical school, I admitted an 8-month pregnant lady who didn’t know she was pregnant. She simply
wouldn’t accept that she was and was in denial in a seriously strange
I was on my psychiatry rotation, so she was admitted to obstetrics
for observation but with our team following. She thought we were
performing unnecessary surgery on her when we did the ultrasound.
didn’t believe she was delivering while she was. Complete denial and
delusional thoughts (paranoia).
After she gave birth, she refused to accept she had a child, and the ministry had to adopt.
It was a very distressing case. To my knowledge, she has never accepted the pregnancy.
used to work in hospice and had one patient who was on her deathbed. The
family had all gathered around her to say goodbye. Up until the last
remaining family member showed up, this patient remained resting in bed.
Before anyone could say something, this patient, sat straight up, eyes
wide open, looked and pointed to every single family member there like
she was counting them. Immediately after this, she fell back into her bed
Her daughter told me
that she wasn’t the most pleasant person and wasn’t surprised that the
patient would keep tabs on who showed up before she kicked the bucket.
Seems kinda weird to keep a grudge into the afterlife.
I work at a hospital as a pediatric nurse. A kid once came in for an
ADHD recheck. The kid was adamant that he’d been having seizures,
although his mother knew nothing about it.
The doctor knew he was lying
about his illness straight away; the child had been his patient for 13
years, so he knew him well enough to know he was full of it….
The doctor told the kid to stop lying. He then proceeded to throw
himself on the floor, wiggling his arms around and flopping like a dang
We just sat and watched. The kid stopped and immediately, got up,
and said, “See, I’m not lying, that’s a seizure!” Where he was wrong,
besides the fish dance, was that you can’t just get up from a seizure
Not a doctor but a nurse. Had a patient come in with a toothpick in his penis. Refused to tell me how it got in there, insisting he was picking his teeth, and it fell in.
I admitted a guy for chest pain. As part of the workup, I did a urine drug screen which came back positive for c*caine.
the rest of his cardiac workup was negative, I said to him, “Good news,
you didn’t have a heart attack. It’s likely that your chest pain was
caused by c*caine.”
His answer: “I
didn’t use c*caine. See, I was at a party, and people had some lines of
c*caine out on a table. As I was walking by, an oscillating fan blew
the c*caine into my face, which is why my urine was positive.”
Obligatory, not a doctor, I’m a nurse. We had a patient come into the operating room for brain surgery. Probably a mid-50s guy with a nice head of light brown hair.
Before a patient comes into the actual OR, we ask them a series of questions, including whether they have any implants, jewelry, non-hospital clothes on, etc. Guy says no to all the questions.
After the patient gets put to sleep, the surgeon grabbed his hair to start shaving it off (because, you know, brain surgery), and ALL HIS HAIR PEELED OFF BECAUSE HE WAS WEARING A WIG AND DIDN’T TELL US.
We almost shaved his hairpiece because he wouldn’t admit to anyone he wore it.
I was a student nurse at the time, but this happened when I was at
the gym. The guy next to me fell off the elliptical, somehow got his
foot trapped between the foot pedals, and went sideways.
surprisingly inept PTs (personal trainers are usually well-trained in
first aid) were freaking out, and this guy was really hamming it up.
Talks of calling an ambulance were thrown about. I offered to step in.
I kneel next to him. “Hey, bro,” I greet him. He’s so surprised that
I’m there (came up from behind) that he forgets to groan. “How much does
it hurt on a scale of 1-10?” “Erm…8,” he says. I look at his ankle.
There’s a scratch on it the size of a penny and superficial, hardly any
blood. There’s a little red area around the scratch, and the ankle isn’t
I ask him if he could point and flex his foot and rotate his ankle,
which he could do with zero difficulty. I figure he’s probably hamming it
up cuz it’s embarrassing falling off a machine in front of everyone, so I
get him an ice pack (mostly for show) and tell him he’ll be fine.
sister comes to pick him up in her car, and he limps out on the wrong
I’m a pediatric dentist, so maybe not the type of doctor you were looking for, but this one throws me for a loop every time so I’ll share it.
When I sedate kids they have to be NPO for 8 hours before, so I always ask if they had anything to eat or drink in the morning.
Parents NEVER want to admit their kid ate or drank, even when I remind them it’s very important because if they vomit and aspirate they could die. Often they try to minimize it and say it was just a few bites, but one kid walked in eating a bag of Cheetos at reception and then the parent insisted to me that they hadn’t eaten.
Yeah, I’m 100% not sedating your child today.
This one is sad, from my old roommate.
The girl had a very large lump on her breast that she didn’t tell the doctors
about. She actually went to the hospital for migraines, saying they were
getting increasingly bad. When they found the lump, they asked why she
didn’t say she had that.
she knew it was going to kill her eventually, but she just wanted to get
rid of the migraines because they giving her a lot of pain in her last
I work in a psychiatrist’s office. It’s curious how many people
“lose” their prescriptions, or even their whole bottles of medication,
almost every month.
In a lot of ways, it’s sad, because it makes things
harder for those who genuinely misplace their prescriptions. But that’s
life, I guess. We’ve heard some good excuses over the years, and here
are a few of the go-tos.
Lots of them “lose” their bottles by dropping them into the toilet.
We now tell all patients, especially college-aged patients, that they
need a police report stating that their meds were stolen to get a refill
if it’s too early. It’s always the same people who do this time after
A nurse friend told me about this one, which happened about a few months
ago. A woman and her boyfriend were rushed in by ambulance after being
in a car accident.
My nurse friend was with the boyfriend, who kept
yelling about his baby. It took a minute to calm him down, but my friend
gathered that the guy’s girlfriend was pregnant.
So they check for a heartbeat but don’t hear anything. The woman
keeps asking the doctor to check again. Both she and her boyfriend are
Finally, another nurse comes in with some of her test results
and announces that the woman wasn’t ever even pregnant. It turns out that a
few months back, her boyfriend tried to break up with her, so she lied
about being pregnant to get him to stay.
Once had a woman come in for a “possible yeast infection.” On the exam, she had a glass bottle stuck in her vaginal filled with urine.
Totally wouldn’t admit it was hers or explain how it got there even after we removed it. Just kept saying “I think this is all a joke and you put it up there.”
There was a guy in the UK that had to stop driving because he has
auto-brewery syndrome. Basically, the makeup of his digestive tract
turns anything sugary/yeasty like bread into alcohol. He got stopped by
the police and blew over the drink-drive limit.
Took quite some time to prove he hadn’t been drinking and that it was
a medical condition….He didn’t know he had it at the time when he kept
being pulled over by the cops in the beginning, but eventually, after
doctor visits, we managed to sort him out.
They definitely didn’t teach this to us in medical school, and we
only found it thanks to research. Obviously, your body constantly being a
bit drunk isn’t great for your liver, so he’s on a special diet to
counteract the effect.
There was a women sent in by her family doctor for urinating some bloodWe put a camera into her bladder with her awake, looking to exclude a tumor.
We found her bladder full of citrus seeds/pits. So many of them. When
asked why she put them there she said ‘well I eat a lot of fruit’ and
wouldn’t accept any responsibility for them being there.
All the symptoms of pregnancy + 2 positive pregnancy tests. “There’s 0% chance I can be pregnant. I’m not married.”
be fair. The patients mother was there and this was in a very
conservative country. She ended up “admitting” she was pregnant when we
separated her from the mom.
They never prepared us for how to put a fake eye back in. A patient
came in from a not-so-nice nursing home with a multitude of problems,
one of which was a disgusting, draining fake eye that had to be removed
Upon discharge, we had to put it back in. Simple enough,
we thought. But we had no idea how and struggled to figure it out.
I suppose that’s why the nursing home staff never took it out to
clean it. Let me preface this by saying that this was decades ago. Fake
eye technology is probably much better today, and this most likely won’t
happen to anyone else.
It’s the seemingly simple stuff like that that
trips up a lot of people in the medical profession.
Not a doctor but my husband. He had a 17-year-old girl with abdominal pains come into the ER with her mom, turns out she was in full-blown labor.
Assures them she can’t be pregnant, she’s a virgin. The baby is literally crowning right there in ER (no maternity ward in their hospital and she was in advanced labor when she arrived), and she still insists she’s a virgin.
late here, but I am a nurse, and we just had a patient (mid 50’s male)
strictly pooped in diapers. When asked why he said so he can freeze
them. He has a deep freezer in the garage full of poopy diapers.
He also works for housekeeping in the hospital.
to do a drug test on a patient who came in with his pregnant
girlfriend. The guy goes into the bathroom. A few minutes later, he comes
back out with an empty cup.
He goes back to his room to drink some
water. A couple of minutes later, he hurries back over to the bathroom with a
noticeable bulge in his pants pocket.
comes back out with an adequate sample. So, we run the test. It comes
back negative. We then run a pregnancy test on the sample. That comes
Dude denied his
pregnant girlfriend provided the sample even after being told there can
possibly have prostate cancer if his urine turns positive on a pregnancy
test. It was unbelievable.
had a guy at the VA hospital in Urology who complained of a white
urethral discharge.. had many tests; we couldn’t figure it out. Multiple
visits later, he was admitted due to urinary obstruction. It turned out
he was squeezing toothpaste into his urethra.
Respiratory therapist here! They don’t teach you how to act when we
unplug the ventilator to let go of a patient, especially when the family
In their defense, they do warn us it’s going to happen, but
it’s never until you actually do it that you realize the weight. I like
to talk to my patients, even if most are already brain-dead at this
Although I did have to unplug conscious patients, that was hard, to
say the least. This gives me a sense that at least if even a small part
of their consciousness is still alive at this point, they know they’re
I tell myself that at least from now on, they won’t be
suffering anymore. It’s a tough place to work but also very rewarding at
We caught a mother of a patient injecting poop in his son’s veins. She obviously denied it. She could do so because she and her son were well-known in the hospital, so she gained the trust of the nurses.
She was arrested and diagnosed with munchausen syndrome by proxy. The poor baby is alive but with development problems.
My parents are both doctors. One time my mom told me that there was nothing too weird that I could tell or ask her because she’s heard it all before.
Her example: once a woman came in with severe intestinal cramps, turns out she had two tampons shoved up her vagina. She swore she only had one and could hardly believe what the nurses told her they had found.
Number one most memorable: A cardiac massage for ten straight minutes
while a guy was bleeding to death from multiple gunshot wounds.
to stick my fist up through someone’s left lung to locate the heart and
to directly give them CPR. I was literally pumping this dude’s heart so
it can keep circulating blood. I felt like I was making a fatality move
in Mortal Kombat.
It was surprisingly small and very squishy. They never teach you to
expect the unexpected. I got floated to the ICU on a slow day, and they
immediately gave me a patient who was violently hemorrhaging out of his
mouth while all of the family was inside freaking out with me.
an hour later. I also had two patients come in with knives in their eye
sockets, awake too
Had a homeless patient come in for a colostomy bag replacement. He said it got dislodged while he was sleeping. No big deal. Life on the streets is rough, and things happen.
He came in 3 days in a row with the same complaint. By day three, everyone knew the guy was lying about it “falling off.” Come to find out, he finally told one of the doctors he was selling his colostomy site on the streets as a “Detroit Sidecar.”
Look it up in Urban Dictionary. I always wondered if he charged extra for dirty talk.
If you have a patient in labor or in any painful procedure who wants
to hold your hand, only let them hold two fingers.
They can’t squeeze
them too hard and break the bones. They still get the comfort of the human
touch. I’ve had patients in labor pinch me, pull on my clothes, and
squeeze my two fingers as hard as possible….
Some are just panicked, but some seem to be angry and want to hurt
someone. I calmly ask them to stop with the pinching or pulling on my
clothes because that isn’t helping them.
These are often people who have
refused an epidural because they’re afraid of needles, and I understand
that I just am not going to be black and blue.
My cousin works X-Ray for a hospital, old guy came into the hospital at like 11 PM and said he slipped and fell in the shower.
Needless to say, they did an X-Ray there was a smallish wine bottle stuck up his ass, wouldn’t admit how it got there, though.
On my first day in a new ward, an older woman rang the buzzer in the
bathroom. I was keen on impressing her, so I ran straight to her.
confronted with a wall of smell and what looked like an explosion
of…well, you can imagine… everywhere, up the walls, and just everywhere.
It turns out she didn’t think she needed her laxative the past few days
and hid them….
The doctors, wondering why they weren’t working, increased her dose,
then she took them all at once when she felt bunged up, she had also
been eating an abundance of fruit.
I had to use several disposable mops
to reach parts of the wall. I’ve never seen anything like it. Luckily I
work in neonates now!
Happened to me, but I was in med school. Was on a gyn/onc rotation and a 50-something-year-old lady came in with an enormous ovarian mass. It was so big she looked pregnant.
She was hiding it from her family members, but it was putting so much pressure on her abdomen that she couldn’t eat anymore and was losing weight despite this mass growing to epic size.
When we finally removed it, it weighed just shy of 45 pounds. She had lost so much weight that it was almost a third of her mass. She actually ended up doing quite well.
The only good thing about a tumor this big is that it’s almost always benign. If it had been malignant she would’ve died years earlier from it.
here. I had a patient tell me that he broke his prosthetic leg while
tripping at a party. About a month later, when we were aligning his new
prosthesis, he tried running in the hallway to “see if he could outrun
Turns out he didn’t break his leg at the party, it was afterward when a police officer had to tackle him to the ground. Yup
that will definitely exceed the weight limit of the device. He’s lucky
he broke the prosthesis and not his other leg.
my intern year, I visited an old lady who needed hip surgery. Some of
my questions were about her performance status before the fracture.
spent 15 minutes talking about how she still rides her motorbike, which
was impressive to me, this woman was in her late 80s and seemed to have
some troubles seeing/hearing.
later talked with the daughter who informed me that her mother wasn’t
even walking in the last 10 years, and she never owned a motorbike
I’m a radiographer. This happened about ten years ago. Occasionally
we x-ray prisoners. A female prisoner comes in with two guards for a
check-up on the femoral nailing.
She gets changed and hands her clothes
to her guard. We take an x-ray of the hip and see some sort of device
over her bladder. Confused, we take another picture focusing on more of
She had shoved a mobile phone up herself. Prisoners aren’t allowed
mobiles in prison, and they get confiscated if found. It was the one
hiding place she had after giving her clothes to the guard.
Interestingly, it was an old Nokia 3310, it had a hand free kit wrapped
around it, and ironically, she was on Virgin Mobile. Getting it out and
giving it to the guard was interesting.
A dying patient wanted to marry his partner while bedridden in the
hospital. I’d developed a real fondness for him and got to know his
family over a number of prolonged inpatient stays and surgeries.
apparent that he was deteriorating and had a big problem with anxiety,
but I seemed to be one of just a few who was able to calm him down at
His partner was spending a lot of time at his bedside, as you’d
expect, and he ended up asking her to marry him. I got roped into
They were 100% aware that I’m not experienced, legally or
not, in wedding couples, but in the absence of something better,
because I had a bond with them and because it was a dying man’s wish, I
agreed to do it in the presence of their family at the patient’s
I work in an OR and had a teenage patient that weighed 150 kg (330ish
lbs) and was a clinical psychotic. He was known to be violent on wake-up
from anesthesia, so we were prepared with four burly guys (including
me) surrounding the OR table at the end of the case.
When he opened his
eyes, they got really wide and then…he started crying.
Not just whimpering, but full-on lip quivering and tears; it broke my
heart. So, as I was standing near the head of the table, I leaned down
(probably not the smartest thing) and asked him, “Dude, what do you
To which he responded through those shudders you get when you
cry-talk, “I JUST WANT A HUUUUUUUG!”
I reached down, gave him a big ol’ bear hug, and he quieted right
down and relaxed. Got a bunch of awwwws from all the nurses in the room