Secret codes exist around the world for many reasons. The primary reasons? To decrease panic or increase privacy. The codes in the collection all fall into this category.
Thanks a bunch to Chris Baraniuk of BBC and Jamie Frater of ListVerse for their articles on Secret Codes that inspired this article. Links to their work are at the bottom of this article.
Not all codes are alphanumeric. Some are visual, intended to be hidden in plain sight. As BBC Future discovered earlier this year, many banknotes feature a specific pattern of dotscalled the EURion constellation, placed there to prevent people from photocopying money. Many copiers and scanners are programmed to spot it.
And online daters might want to use their profiles to alert potential partners to the fact that they have a sexually transmitted infection, but to do so discreetly. Theres a codeword for that, too: 437737. On a telephone dialing pad with letters associated with numbers, the number spells out herpes.
Other visual codes are scrawled in the landscape around us. One surprising example is the series of signs known as hoboglyphs a collection of symbols meant to provide information to travelling workers and homeless people. Among other things, these could indicate the quality of a nearby water source, or suggest whether the occupant of a house is friendly or not.
(Known as hoboglyphs, these nondescript graffiti tags highlight safe areas, water sources and information about police between the homeless (Credit: Flickr/Everfalling/CC BY 2.0)
The Ten Codes are a list of codes used by law enforcement officers in the United States. They are available on the Internet which would make them seem inappropriate for this list, but a large number of police departments have tried to have them made illegal for distribution, so they deserve a mention. The codes were developed initially in 1937 and were expanded in 1974. The California Police use a variety of extra codes which predated the ten codes. For example, a 187 (one eighty-seven) means homicide. In the ten codes system, a 10-31 means that a crime is in progress, a 10-27-1 means homicide (the 10 is usually not said when it is a three-number sequence), and a 10-00 (ten double-zero) means officer down all patrols respond.Wikipedia has a complete list of the police codes here.
In computer support, a variety of codes can be used when referring to a customer. One of these codes has become fairly well known on the internet: PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair) but there are a variety of others that are lesser known. One of these is used when reporting a fault which has been fixed: The fault was a PICNIC (problem in chair not in computer), or ID 10 T Error ID 10 T is, of course, IDIOT. Let us hope that you never see this noted down on your file when a serviceman is fixing your computer.
Time Check (usually taking a similar form to: Time check: the time is 12:00) can be a code in stores for a bomb alert. It alerts the staff to follow the bomb procedure, which can be to either try to locate any suspicious packages, or to prepare to get the hell out. If you hear a time check in a store, it is probably a good idea to start moving toward the exit. Surprisingly and shockingly, the majority of stores that use this code actually expect their staff to search for the bomb certainly an aspect of the job that the majority of teenaged checkout operators werent expecting when they signed up I am sure.
A code 10 in hospitals can refer to a mass casualty or serious threat (such as a bomb alert), but the majority of people experiencing a code 10 will do so for another far more common reason: a code 10 authorization is made by a merchant when he needs to call a credit card company to enquire about your card. This means that he is suspicious of you or your card and doesnt want you to know it while he gets it checked out. When the credit card company hears that they have a code 10, they will ask a series of yes/no questions to the merchant in order to find out what the situation is. This will often result in the merchant keeping your card if they believe it is safe to do so. This type of call often results in a call to law enforcement.
Doctor Brown is a code word often used in hospitals to alert security staff to a threat to personnel. If a nurse or doctor is in danger from a violent patient or non-staff member, they can page Doctor Brown to their location and the security staff will rush to their aid. In some hospitals, code silver is used to refer to a person with a weapon, and code gray can mean a violent person without a weapon. Hospitals have a huge array of various codes to describe all manner of situations. They often differ from hospital to hospital and they are usually not internationally recognized. [Image courtesy of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja]
On a ship, a code oscar means someone has gone overboard. If the ship has to maneuver erratically to handle the situation, it must also send out blasts on the signal so that other ships nearby are aware of the fact that it is about to change its course. It should be noted that ships dont have an internationally standardized set of PA signals and they can differ from place to place, but this is a fairly commonly used one. Oh and a code delta can mean that there is a biological hazard though who knows what that might be on a passenger ship. And finally, Code Alpha often means medical emergency.
Code Bravo is the code phrase for a general security alert at airports. Unlike most of the codes on this list, the code is meant to cause alarm but not through knowing what it means: when this alert is raised, all of the security agents will begin to yell Code Bravo in order to frighten the passengers this is supposed to make it easier for the agents to locate the source of the problem without interference from the general public. For those of you who travel on ships from time to time, you may like to know that Code Bravo means fire and it is the most serious alert on a ship if it burns, you either get off or burn with it. Ships also often use sound signals, such as 7 short and 1 long, meaning man the lifeboats.
Inspector Sands (or sometimes Mr Sands), is a code for fire in the United Kingdom. Obviously it would not be appropriate for the service staff of a store to announce a fire publicly, so this code is used to alert the appropriate staff to the danger without upsetting customers. The wording differs from place to place and in the Underground network a recorded Inspector Sands warning is automatically triggered by smoke detectors. In some shops you will hear the code used in a phrase such as Will inspector Sands please report to the mens changing room if the fire is in the mens changing room. It was played on a continuous loop through the underground during the July 7, 2005 bombings, and has been incorrectly described as a code word for a bomb the frequently used code for a bomb in the Underground is Mr Gravel for example, Mr Gravel is in the foyer. Mr Sands (or sometimes Mr Johnson) is also used in theaters in the case of fire. You can listen to a recording of the Underground Inspector Sands warning here.
WalMart gets its own item on this list because they have a large number of codes that are store specific. Some of their codes should not worry you for example a code 10 or a code 20 just means that there has been a dry spill or a wet spill the biggest danger this poses to you is that you might slip over. A code 300 calls for security and a code orange means there has been a chemical spill. But here are the ones you really need to worry about: Code red means there is a fire in the building get the hell out if you hear this. Worse still, a code blue means there is a bomb in the building. Exit swiftly but dont run in case they think you planted it. A code green means there is a hostage situation and a code white means there is an accident. The one you are most likely to hear is a code c which is simply a call for customer service (usually meaning that more cashiers are needed). And finally the most famous WalMart code well, its so famous it needs its own item:
Code Adam was invented by Walmart but it is now an internationally recognized alert. It means missing child. The code was first coined in 1994 in memory of Adam Walsh, a six-year old, who went missing in a Sears department store in Florida in 1981. Adam was later found murdered. The person making the announcement will state we have a code Adam, followed by a description of the missing child. As soon as the alert is heard, security staff will begin to monitor the doors and other exits. If the child is not found within 10 minutes, the police are alerted and a store search begins. Also, if the child is found in the first 10 minutes in the company of an unknown adult, the police must be called and the person detained if it is safe to do so. In 2003, the US Congress passed legislation making a Code Adam program compulsory in all federal office buildings. A similar alert is called an AMBER alert, a backronym for Americas Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response but initially named for Amber Hagerman, a 9 year old girl who was abducted and murdered.
There are few things more satisfying than a crisp $20 bill. Well, maybe a crisp $100 bill.
But twenty big ones can get you pretty far nonetheless.
Whether it's tucked firmly in a birthday card, passing from hand to hand after a knee-jerk sports bet, or going toward a useful tool, the old twenty dollar bill has been used for countless purposes.
Breaking Even<p>"I got a jacket and a pair of jeans at goodwill for about $20. My first time wearing the jacket I found a tiny zipper inside a pocket."</p><p>"There was a secret inner pocket with a twenty in it."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpdv70q?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TheBrontosaurus</a></p>
Keeps On Giving<p>"23 Years ago I was in the US for some work and was not prepared for the cold of Chicago. Went to wal-mart and bought myself a cheap, warm jacket."</p><p>"I'm wearing that jacket right now - still looks fine, still keeps me warm."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpe41xv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TastyEnd</a></p>
As Good As They Come<p>"Wool pinstripe double breasted suit from Goodwill, fit perfectly and was brand new. Ended up wearing it to get married the next year." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpdw6mx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">verminiusrex</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"God I love Goodwill!!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpe5aee?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Neverthelilacqueen</a></p>
The Socks She Needed<p>"I work at a thrift shop. A homeless lady came in and asked us where the socks were. We only sell new socks, so I directed her towards the new socks and she was... shocked and disappointed by the price tag, surely."<br></p><p>"I gave her a moment as she looked, and she moved to some kids' socks and picked them up, and I... just couldn't let that happen. I told her that I would help her, and told her to get herself some socks and a jacket."</p><p>"She kind of just... held out the children's socks, so I took them, put them back, and grabbed the extra fluffy socks that were hanging."</p><p>"She grabs a jacket and some pants, and I pay for it. My coworker looks the other way since we're not supposed to purchase anything while on the clock. The lady is in tears as she walks out."</p><p>"I notice that she's still outside a minute later putting them on, and ask her if they fit her or if she needed something else; and she told me they were perfect and proceeded to cry. I cried in return."</p><p>"It was a good day."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpen3w1?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Snowodin</a></p>
Not Forgotten<p>"A guy came into my work when I managed a mom and pop Pizza Place. He said he was stranded with no phone, and no money, but that the people at the Verizon store next door to us said they could get him a cheap phone with some minutes on it for 20 bucks."</p><p>"He offered to do dishes for a few hours to make some money so he could get this phone. I told him not to worry about it and gave him a 20 from my wallet. He thanked me, asked me for my name, and then he left and I never saw him again."</p><p>"Skip forward about 5 months, and when I get into work the owner was there and said she had gotten a letter addressed to me. 'Weird,' I thought."</p><p>"But when I opened it there was a 50 dollar bill and a short note from the guy I gave 20 dollars to thanking me for my kindness and for not turning him away."</p><p>"Turns out he was in a bad way (addicted to hard drugs and homeless) and really was stranded there. He was trying to get a phone so he could contact his parents (who lived in another state) for help."</p><p>"From what it sounded like, he seemed to really turn his life around. He was clean and working a stable job while still living with his parents."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpem2xc?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Mixmaster-McGuire</a></p>
The Best Finale<p>"It was the day before payday. My wife came to see me at work. My break was in an hour, so I asked for her to wait a bit, so we could enjoy it together. She did."</p><p>"I bought her some lunch, because it was what I could afford. I bought her a ham and cheese sub sandwich and two iced teas. These were her favorite. I bought gas with the rest of the twenty so she could get home. She dropped me back off at work."</p><p>"That night, she passed away. It brings me comfort to know that I bought her favorite sandwich and drink for her that afternoon. It was likely the last thing she ate, since it was near dinner. I'll never forget it. Best $20 I ever spent, because it was for her."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpe9c6d?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">LollipopDreamscape</a></p>
Leaning Into the Nerdery<p>"It was my ninth or tenth birthday. My grandparents gave me $20. The first $20 bill I ever held in my hand! I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it."</p><p>"A week later, we went into the city and Toys R Us. I went straight to the Transformers aisle. And there he was. My favourite Transformer. The one I always wanted...Soundwave."</p><p>"He's the one who turned into a Walkman and he could eject cassettes that turned into robot animals. The price tag said $19.99. It was meant to be."</p><p>"I took Soundwave to the clerk and gave her my $20 bill. "And here's your change!" she said, as she gave me a single penny."</p><p>"Ah, Soundwave. The best friend a lonely little nerd could have."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpdzzxe?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">originalchaosinabox</a></p>
Different Time<p>"I went to a Rush concert in 1982. The ticket was $9.50 and the t-shirt was $10." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpdyr0k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">PaulsRedditUsername</a></p>
Motivational Spending<p>"My then six year old niece had a loose tooth she loved to show off and had resisted pulling out for two weeks. We were all at my parents and I was getting ready to leave, I pulled out a $20 and said 'I'll give you this right now if you pull out your tooth.' "</p><p>"She was already crying because her little sister had did something so when she ran into the bathroom none of us had no idea in what she was about to do."</p><p>"So she comes out crying still, but a little bit of blood I'm her mouth because of course, she pulled out her tooth. But the now removed tooth fell down the drain to the sink and she was crying because she lost her proof!"</p><p>"After she calmed down she was happy as a clam with a brand new $20 and everyone was quite proud of her. My sister told me she spent it on candy and shared with her little sister."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpdxi4k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">themasimumdorkus</a></p>
For the Story<p>"It was actually to a scammer in Rome. There was this guy right outside of Colosseum who started tying strings around my wrist and told me to make a wish. I knew it was going to cost but I thought what the hell, last day in Rome so might as well go with it. </p><p>"My wish was to find love."</p><p>"I spent rest of the day getting lost in the city and stumbled across two weddings and one baptism ceremony. So I did find love, just not for myself."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpe7b2w?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">FatalFinn</a></p>
I realize that school safety has been severely compromised and has been under dire scrutiny over the past decade and of course, it should be. And when I was a student, my safety was one of my greatest priorities but, some implemented rules under the guise of "safety" were and are... just plain ludicrous. Like who thinks up some of these ideas?Redditor u/Animeking1108 wanted to discuss how the education system has ideas that sometimes are just more a pain in the butt than a daily enhancement... What was the dumbest rule your school enforced?
Don't Peek<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxNDc4OS9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNDE0Mzc2OH0.Y1Lzy1MTqxyVqOCe9xjeHTRZsKnbyVjYzdb4-Heldyo/img.gif?width=980" id="78b19" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e14a90be026b734830e7661f776ba4a8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="475" data-height="475" />schitts creek wtf GIF by CBCGiphy<p>Took all the doors off the men's room bathroom stalls because of vandalism for 2 months.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gphrfce?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"> Endless_Vanity</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Endless_Vanity/" target="_blank"></a></p>
Scanned<p>School added thumb print scanners at gates of school which counted as registration - needless to say I would just walk to school scan my thumb and walk back home with them none the wiser. Was a great few months until they noticed. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpidnou?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">richpianofan5</a></p>
Age of Empires...<p>Conservative Christian College. A group of us played Age of Empires one weekend. They didn't like it and called a meeting. Everyone involved got misdemeanors on their records. There was nothing in the handbook about it being against the rules. The only person that didn't get any punishment was the son of the president even though he was just as involved as the rest of us. <span></span></p>
"Genius"<p>In my freshman year of high school we had a terrible vandalism problem, the bathrooms would be broken in various ways almost constantly. In a stroke of pure genius, the staff decided that any bathroom that was vandalized would be closed for the week on first offense, the quarter for second, and permanently on the third offense.</p><p>They took back the rule after closing every bathroom on day one. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpi77co?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"> Samus388</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Samus388/" target="_blank"></a></p>
Is this Footloose?<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxNDc5Ny9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzg0MjU2M30.PeBUt-YWZeeRStaD_RZlGPQzo29E9t733yqZbIiJlYs/img.gif?width=980" id="3a5bd" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="102730e3b1b90ba9cb393561c702c9af" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="500" data-height="500" />kevin bacon dancing GIF by STARZGiphy<p>Prom was a mandatory lockdown for the night in order to avoid students going to parties after prom.</p><p>Prom was held at various house parties across town instead. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpi37x7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Coffee-spree</a></p>
HOLDEN FOREVER!!!<p>My high school mascot was Daniel Boone holding a musket. A kid wore a Guns 'n Roses shirt to school and was told he had to change shirts because of the pistols on the shirt. He pointed out the hypocrisy of the school mascot and they changed EVERYTHING. The mascot was switched to holding a flag pole instead. <span></span></p>
No Dots<p>You couldn't wear ANY kind of head items that were "gang colours" (red or blue) - this No included hair bands, scrunchies, beads in your hair, ribbons - ANYTHING. I got in trouble for wearing a blue hair band with white polka dots. </p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gphzpyf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Pleasant-Flamingo344</a></p>
Clothes Check<p>We had to wear belts. Someone snitched that people weren't wearing belts under their sweaters, and they actually checked and a bunch of people got detentions. Stupid. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gphz3y6?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ooo-ooo-oooyea</a></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gphz3y6?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"></a>We had belt raids at my school where the dean would burst into classes, completely interrupting any education, to check that everyone was wearing a belt. </p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpia8pp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">GuinnessMicrodose</a></p>
Chase the Flat<p>We weren't allowed to play tag football at lunch, only frisbee. When I asked the principal what the difference was, he responded with a sarcastic tone, "A football is round and a frisbee is a flat disk."</p><p>He left the school later that year, went to another school, and a few years later was brought up on charges for failing to report the abuse of a student by a teacher. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpi6lh3?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">uninc4life2010</a></p>
Poke-Thief<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxNDgwMy9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODg5MzY2Nn0.5LMPk1suou6U2SvAURKP-sHEuK7Izpkbxm0PWqvx95E/img.gif?width=980" id="b6e9f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="92383d30e34aa92fd74cf6c1374ec294" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="480" />hotline bling pokemon GIFGiphy<p>Pokemon cards got banned in middle school because someone stole the vice principal's kid's cards. Yep. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpiapym?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"> Skadoosh_it</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Skadoosh_it/" target="_blank"></a></p>
In the Face...<p>If you were involved in a fight, you got suspended. While it sounds reasonable, context didn't matter.</p><p>I got suspended once not for throwing a single punch, kick, whatever. I got suspended because someone knocked the books out of my hand and when I reached down to grab them they punched me in the face.</p><p>I got suspended for walking down the hallway and unprovoked getting punched in the face.</p><p>Forget Brandon Valley Middle School. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpicbyx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">CLG_MianBao</a></p>
One of the golden rules of life? Doctors are merely human. They don't know everything and they make mistakes. That is why you always want to get another opinion. Things are constantly missed. That doesn't mean docs don't know what they're doing, they just aren't infallible. So make sure to ask questions, lots of them.Redditor u/Gorgon_the_Dragon wanted to hear from doctors about why it is imperative we always get second and maybe third opinions by asking... Doctors of Reddit, what was the worse thing you've seen for a patient that another Doctor overlooked?
Grandma Wins<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxNDcxOC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0OTQxNTgzOX0.n9IaFGgHwnULMlI2kg7RUftxDg6lyWvdM9CnhvptCRY/img.gif?width=980" id="a0857" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9762f97a23c27ccf6b75974caa854361" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="270" />Old Lady Wine GIF by MattielGiphy<p>Not a doctor, but my grandmother saved my father's eyesight because she didn't listen to their doctor. </p>
The Mummy Appendage<p>When I was a resident, an 80yo female was admitted from the nursing home for confusion. Workup showed some mild UTI and we were giving her antibiotics. The nurse mentioned that her toe looked dark and asked me to look at it. The toe wasn't just dark, it was mummified. It looked like dry beef jerky. I touched it and pieces flaked off. So the patient from a nursing home, had a mummified toe, probably for months, that no one knew about. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lw2g2z/doctors_of_reddit_what_was_the_worse_thing_youve/gpg00qn?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Dr2ray</a></p>
The CT Save<p>Here's my story:</p><p>A guy came in to our ICU and was very septic but still talking. He had visited his primary care MD with complaints of a sore throat for a couple of days. Dismissed without any intervention since he didn't appear to have strep throat or the flu. At this point he was having pretty severe abdominal discomfort, so we sent him for a CT scan. As the scan was finishing, he coded and had to be intubated, multi-organ failure, etc. </p>
Patches<p>When I was an ER nurse we got an elderly lady in for altered mental status from a nursing home, when we undressed her to put her in a gown and hook her up to the monitor, I noticed no less than 5 fentanyl patches on her, guess I discovered the cause of the AMS. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lw2g2z/doctors_of_reddit_what_was_the_worse_thing_youve/gpg1lml?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ChewbaccaSlim426</a></p>
Use your Words<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxNDcyMi9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MDA1NjI0MH0.WtyCdxL1vRZwD2-jpKZXMOEakwhiBaJIkp1YPnOzlvo/img.gif?width=980" id="e45ca" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f5b98e6a4605a587dbd97579468a51d8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="498" data-height="367" />Communication GIF by memecandyGiphy<p>Neurologist sent patient to our ED without informing her that imaging showed a glioblastoma assuring her impending death. He didn't overlook the disease, he overlooked the communication. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lw2g2z/doctors_of_reddit_what_was_the_worse_thing_youve/gpfl5t5?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AzureSkye27</a></p>
Mad Cow Realty<p>During my residency we had this lady in her 60s who was getting progressively more forgetful, just overall declining and getting less and less able to take care of herself. She had been seeing her pcp who diagnosed her with dementia. And she saw a neurologist who agreed. She was not really able to provide an accurate history. <span></span></p>
After Birth...<p>I used to work in maternal-fetal medicine, and every single week, we would have women referred to us "because the doctor couldn't see something clearly with the baby and wanted to double check." Nope, they just didn't want to have to be the ones to tell you that your baby had a complex cardiac defect or multiple anomalies indicative of a genetic syndrome or any other of a large number of horrible things that can happen during fetal development. Still pisses me off when I think about how many women waited weeks for more information because their doctors were cowards who couldn't tell them, "There's something seriously wrong here." <span></span></p>
bad doctors<p>I'm not a doctor, but a RN. This happened to me, but isn't nearly as bad as most of the stories on here.</p><p>When I was in college, I got to where I couldn't swallow. It started with difficulty swallowing, progressed to me having to swallow bites of food multiple times/regurgitating it, and then got to where all I could swallow was broths and mashed potatoes with no chunks. I went to the doctor multiple times, and was told every time it was acid reflux and part of my anxiety disorder. <span></span></p>
The Valve...<p>He put the pacemaker lead in the subclavian artery (and across the aortic valve into the left ventricle). The proper approach is: subclavian vein to right ventricle). And then he didn't notice it for over a year. I saw the patient (a 25 yo woman who didn't need the pacemaker in the first place) when she was in congestive heart failure. <span></span><br></p>
Bitten<p>Rattlesnake bite. On a 2 year old. Patient and dad out in the fields near a small town that is several hours away from the nearest big city, where I work.</p>
When we think about learning history, our first thought is usually sitting in our high school history class (or AP World History class if you're a nerd like me) being bored out of our minds. Unless again, you're a huge freaking nerd like me. But I think we all have the memory of the moment where we realized learning about history was kinda cool. And they usually start from one weird fact.
Here are a few examples of turning points in learning about history, straight from the keyboards of the people at AskReddit.