I think it's safe to assume that most people have overreacted to an illness or diagnosed themselves with something terrible, when all they've got is a runny nose. 22 doctors revealed the times that their patients went a little overboard with their hypochondria on Reddit. Here are their stories...enjoy!
1/22. I had a patient a few weeks ago who was in her late 80's come in worried about having a sexually transmitted disease. She goes on to tell me that she hasn't had sex since her husband died. In 1994. I am an allergist.
2/22 Someone once booked an emergency appointment at my clinic to have a mole inspected because "it had shown up overnight and was cancer." About five seconds into the exam, I touch the "mole" with my finger only to find out that what they think is cancer is actually just chocolate melted onto her skin.
3/22. Patient tried to convince me he had "Kittens playing inside his chest." Not so much. The atrial fibrillation and palpitations were real, though.
4/22. I had a cis male patient tell me he was pregnant.
5/22. Pharmacist here. I've had more than one patient run to me screaming that they looked up their rash on WebMd and must have Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Actual diagnosis: contact dermatitis from laundry soap.
Continue for more wacky self-diagnoses!
6/22. Had a patient come in once due to weight gain that she thought was due to being pregnant. Made sense, except she'd taken more than half a dozen pregnancy tests and they were all negative. She was convinced she was pregnant though, and wanted me to check. I tell her ok, I'll do a blood test, since we can detect pregnancy earlier with that, and she refuses. Says that she just wants to pee on the stick in front of me and have me read it. So I say sure, and lo and behold, it's negative. Little more questioning, and it turns out she'd been eating literally nothing but chicken wings for weeks. When I asked her why in the world she would do that, she replied that she just really liked chicken wings.
7/22. ER doctor here. I had a patient insist she had a fever once and when I pointed out that our thermometer did not record a fever she told me "I'm not sure they taught you this in medical school but when Asians get a fever their temperature doesn't go up."
8/22. My mom took my sister and me to the doctor when we were kids because we had weird bumps all over the back of our tongues. We were diagnosed with tastebuds.
9/22. ER and family practice mid-level here. Had someone come in one day saying they had wires and fibres under their skin, including a little ziplock bag of (you guessed it) wires and fibres that they had pulled out, he said with a needle.
10/22. Patient was experiencing seizures from what he thought was a parasite. He was actually self-treating what he thought was a parasite infestation by drinking household cleaning agents. When he started seizing afterwards, this reconfirmed his parasite diagnosis in his mind, so he drank more.
Continue to learn more bizarre self-diagnoses!
11/22. Dentist here - I had a patient come into my office, absolutely certain he only had gingivitis and needed a normal cleaning. All because he had googled his symptoms and believed he could get a normal clean and go back home and do oil pulling after, which would somehow miraculously heal his gums. Would not allow me to take x-rays or deep clean his teeth, which he needed because plaque was formed well below his gums. He even told me his gums were bleeding from just smiling, moving his mouth etc. He insisted on just a regular clean and then accused me of trying to make money off him when I basically put my foot down and said I wouldn't be working on his mouth unless he allowed me to do my job properly.
12/22. Once had a patient come in who was convinced he had colon cancer. He was just constipated.
13/22. As a resident I had one patient wait in the ER waiting room for 8 hours for painful lips. Diagnosis: chapped lips. Prescribed chap stick. Another patient waited the same amount of time in the ED waiting room at the county hell hole hospital. The reason: mosquito bite. One stupid mosquito bite. He said he was a hemophiliac and was afraid he would bleed to death.
14/22. I was coming off an all-night LSD experience and managed to convince myself, on next to no evidence, that I had anal cancer. I wound up calling my mother in a panic. It was 7AM and I was 25. And my girlfriend was there too. They talked me down, but I wasn't satisfied until I'd had a colonoscopy and minor surgery. Turned out all I had was constipation, hemorrhoids, and a lipoma in my thigh.
Continue to the next page for more odd patient stories!
15/22. Pediatric therapist here, it's astounding the number of families I've worked with that believe their autistic child has been diagnosed as "artistic".
16/22. An elderly lady who didn't speak English came into the clinic with a live chicken. She claimed the chicken had the spirit of her dead husband in it, and it was giving her nightmares. She told the check-in desk she wanted to talk to the doctor about what to do. So, being the only guy who spoke Spanish at the moment in the clinic, I listen to her and don't quite know what to do. I asked the lady if she has tried getting rid of the chicken, the lady says no she doesn't want to get rid of the chicken, she wants to keep it alive it's a pet. She tells me she wants a doctor to cleanse the chicken of her husbands spirit so he can rest in peace and so she can stop having nightmares. So I told her I dont think I have anything to fix that particular problem, and asked if she'd tried anything already, she says yes but it didn't work, that's why she went to the clinic. She said thank you and left with her chicken.
17/22. Once a patient self-diagnosed themselves with cancer. Everyday. For like a year. With WebMD. Because their throat hurt.
18/22. Not a doctor, but work in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. One night we were called to Labor and delivery for a preterm delivery. NotAMom called 911 because her stomach hurt a lot and she thought she was dying. At the hospital ER it was confirmed she was pregnant and in labor. The whole time we were there she kept saying she was dying and why wouldn't we help her. OB key telling her she was in labor and to push each time she felt pain. She kept yelling "It's just gas! I've had gas for a while, but it won't come out because I'm dying!" Fast-forward to baby coming out. OB hands the baby to the nurse who then shows NotAMom her baby. NotAMom says "That's not mine! I have gas!" Nurse places the baby on her chest and says "Well, here's your gas. It's a boy.
Continue for more fascinating stories about self-diagnosis!
19/22. I had a woman who SWORE she was having a heart attack, despite not having any symptoms at all. We did the EKG and full work up, which unsurprisingly came out completely normal. She insisted so we transported her anyways. ER apparently ran all their tests and discharged her when they were clear. Three hours later, guess who calls. She's still convinced she's having an MI, and wants to be transported to another hospital. She was politely told to stop calling. Found out later that she calls once a week or so.
20/22. An older gentleman came in complaining of headaches. During his history, he became agitated and kept insisting that the government had been experimenting on him by dusting his house, food, water, etc. with anthrax. He was quite certain that there was anthrax in his brain because he could "see it in the back of his throat." Turns out he just had an upper respiratory infection. So... same thing I guess.
21/22. I had something with my neck. I injured it, was sure something was messed up, but never went to the doctor. I would be very careful with moving it a lot and wouldn't turn it as far as I could for for fear of messing it up. I went to countless chiropractors, but asked them to please not mess with my neck because I didn't want them to hurt it. The pain was getting worse and worse so I finally went in to a spinal doctor and they gave me some x-rays. The spine doctor, however, told me things looked okay - no sign of fracturing. She asked me to turn my head as far as I could, and knowing that something was wrong I was worried, but did anyways. It popped and hasn't hurt since. I guess it just needed a good cracking. Pretty sure I was making my neck worse by convincing myself that it was messed up and not moving it very much...causing it to become stiff and hurt.
22/22. Had an elderly patient who thought she produced too much electricity. Because of this she had issues with anything electrical. Namely computers, cash registers, pin pads, and my personal favourite, gas pumps. Turns out she was just paranoid about technology.