The following question was posed to US Soldiers: "Soldiers who've fought in Afghanistan, what preconceptions did you have that turned out to be completely wrong?"
The responses were shocking, revealing, and incredibly insightful. Everyone should read this, there is a lot to learn here.
1. It is hard enough taking the lifeof an absolute enemy wearing a uniform. Now you need to kill someonewho may or may not be a real enemy, or may be one part time, or may beone because some other asshole has a gun to his kid's head. It is a sadcluster-f*** of a mess.
2. They told us we were going to fight the Taliban.But it turns out, there is no way to know who is Taliban, or what Taliban is,or what they look like.
A guy will be bringing his kid to your clinicone day, then shooting at you the next. You'll make friends with a kidon an airdrop, then see that kid slit another kid's throat on patrol aweek later. There is no "enemy" and no goal. The people don't evenunderstand who you are or why you're there. Many of them believed wewere invulnerable demons. One elder tested this theory by sending asmall child to try and stab me in the back with a knife, which was madeby welding a blade onto an old .50 cal casing. Kids dig up mines,bouncing betty's, and old russian munitions and set them off likefirecrackers.
The place is a f***ed up maelstrom with noconceivable sense of morality, justice, benevolence, or community. Everysingle person is just trying to survive.
3. That they had any idea why we were there.We'd ask them if they knew what 9/11 was, and they had no idea. We'dshow them pictures of the World Trade Center on fire after the planes hit, and ask themwhat it was...their response was usually that it was a picture of abuilding the US bombed in Kabul (their capitol).
Kind of mind blowing that they're being occupied by a foreign military force and have no idea why.
4. That Afghanistan was an actual country. It's only so on a map; the people (in some of the more rural places, at least) have no concept of Afghanistan.
We were in a village in northern Kandahar province, talking to some people who of course had no idea who we were or why we were there. This was in 2004; not only had they not heard about 9/11, they hadn't heard Americans had come over. Talking to them further, they hadn't heard about that one time the Russians were in Afghanistan either.
We then asked if they knew where the city of Kandahar was, which is a rather large and important city some 30 miles to the south. They'd heard of it, but no one had ever been there, and they didn't know when it was.
For them, there was no Afghanistan. The concept just didn't exist.
5. I heard of an Australian Special Forces patrol that went out into the mountains and came across an isolated Afghan village. They thought the newcomers were the Soviets. No idea that one war had ended and another one had started.
6. About the fighting we did. Ihad in my mind that it would be these organized ambushes, against asomewhat organized force. It may have been like that for the push(Marjah), but once the initial defense was scattered, the fightingturned into some farmer getting paid a year's salary to go fire an AK47at our patrol as we walked by. I mean, no wonder there was so much PTSDgoing around...it doesn't feel okay when you killed some farmer fortrying to feed his kids, or save his family from torture that nextnight. It feels like shit actually.
7. Most afghans are polyglots. Many of the most rural, uneducated, near medieval living people could speak 3 or more different languages.
We were briefed that there were two languages spoken in Afghanistan: Pashto and Dari. In fact there are dozens of unique languages. Each isolated valley and village had their own language. Some sound very persian. Some sounded like archaic greek. There was a village in the north that sounded like a tone language. My team tried to record an many local languages as we could. We had terps ask questions in pashto and had them answer in their local language. Unfortunately cultural mapping was considered intelligence gathering and all our recordings were classified. So somewhere at the NSA there are recordings in soon to be dead languages asking a village Elder to share the oldest story they could remember about his village.
8. I expected everything to be desert and mountains, but I spent as much time in orchards as I did anywhere else while I was there.
Also, a lot of the people didn't want us there any more than they wanted the Taliban there. Ultimately they just wanted to be left alone to live their lives.
9. That we would be fighting the Taliban. Themajority of people we managed to detain had been coerced into shootingat us by the "Mujahideen" (which is made up of all sorts of people) whohad kidnapped or threatened their family.
The most glaring exampleof this was when our FOB (Forward Operating Base) was attacked by amassive VBIED (truck bomb) that blew a hole in our wall. Suicide bombersran into the FOB through the hole and blew themselves up in ourbunkers. Every single one of them had their hands tied and remotedetonation receivers (so they couldn't back out).
10. Soldiers tend to train for fighting at sub-500 metres. At least I always had. Not being able to see the enemy wasn't completely out of the norm for training, but they were usually within the effective range of our small arms.
Come to Afghanistan and we were getting fired at by invisible enemies on the side of mountains a kilometre + away. We hardly knew we were getting engaged, let alone went into contact drills.
11. Their concept of food. In their culture if anyone had food they were to share it with everyone around them. This is even if you only have enough for one person to have a snack. It was almost as if they didn't believe food could be owned by a person. Some of the Afghans I worked with would be offended if I ate anything and didn't offer them some.
I guess also that I would actually be working with some Afghans. I didn't expect that to be a thing.
12. That it was all arid desert. At one point in my deployment my team had to dig irrigation trenches because our tents were flooded past our ankles. At another point in my deployment I was trudging through what was essentially a jungle.
13. That everyone was going to be dirty and poor like in those "help a poor starving child" commercials. I remember being really suprised to see kids running around playing in dirt roads and everyone was clean. No dirt smudges on their face or anything.
Also there were these 2 little girls with the most unbelievably white dresses I have ever seen standing by the side of the road watching our convoy roll by. Very surreal.
14. That it was really a war. It's just people sustaining other people, with a lot of nothing actually getting done. As someone who was a gunner for most of my tour, we mainly did transportation missions from Kabul to the eastern province. We never saw any action, and to this day I thank God for that. The fact that a lot of my time outside of convoys was spent either sleeping, eating, or gaming surprised me I suppose, but in the end, we're just there to provide presence, and not expected to actually accomplish anything.
The amount of awards given out back in Kabul for people simply hitting a high quota of maintenance repairs threw me off to. There were times when I was looked down upon for not working everyday in a shop and instead being on convoys. The worst part of it all was losing a friend to suicide after returning home safe. That was something I never expected to see happen and it still messes with me to this day.
15. I was mortuary affairs in 2008 during my first deployment to Afghanistan and I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I never had to fight, but I was constantly dealing with the remains of 18-22 year old soldiers that had been blown into pieces or burned alive due to HMEs and IEDs.
Seeing your fellow soldiers and countrymen brutally killed in such a way that is easy to see as cowardly turned me into a budding racist pretty quickly. I hated the Islamic religion and the people in Afghanistan and I had an opinion similar to the whole "just nuke em all" mentality.
But one day we were called to the hospital on base to remove a dead civilian local national (which we often did if they died in our hospital or on base) and it turned out to be a 3 year old little girl that was shot with AK-47 fire at a fairly close range. Her father followed us to the morgue as we had to get his permission to take her into our care because we were males and all that, and he didn't seem particularly bothered by his daughters violent murder imo.
It wasn't until we placed her into a hand-made casket and draped the Afghanistan flag onto it that his emotions came out. When we began to load the casket into the back of a truck to transport her off base, he lost it and collapsed onto the casket containing his little girl. We were holding her at the time so we nearly lost it, but were able to set her down as he gripped the flag and the casket and wailed louder than any wailing I would ever seen.
I don't know if you've ever seen a grown man truly cry as if he'd just lost everything, but it's surprising how much it affects you.
I realized in that moment how wrong I was about everything.
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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.