Anonymous Doctors Share The Dumbest Patient Stories They’ve Ever Had To Deal With
We all know those people who, for whatever reason, have strange medical beliefs. Maybe it's a religious belief, cultural belief, a family thing, or maybe it just from "educating" with your "own brain" - but some people just can't seem to grasp that doctors might actually know a thing or two about the body and disease. One reddit user put out the call for doctors to share their worst stories when they asked:
The answers have us feeling pretty good about ourselves, honestly. So we put together some of the best (or maybe worst?) to share with you. Some are gross, some are stupid, all had us staring at our computer screens with our faces all scrunched up unsure of what we just read. You ready? Let's go.
Not a doctor but I'm a nurse who worked in the OR at a trauma center. Was doing surgery on a 19 year old who tested positive for meth and cocaine who was grilling the anesthesiologist about every drug we were going to use in surgery because "he doesn't like putting chemicals in his body"
Gotta stick with that organic, fair trade, Non-GMO cocaine
A patient comes into A&E with abdominal pain.
As part of the work up he gets an abdominal X-ray which shows the problem as clear as day.
The colleague has then proceeded to remove, from the patients rectum, an 8 inch replica of Nelson's Column (the statue in the centre of Trafalgar Square, London)
On showing it to the patient, the response was "Oh that's Nelson, he lives up there."
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Had a young woman with recurring UTIs that began after a recent partner and with no STDs; went through the standard questions trying to figure out what could be causing them and eventually found out she had been lubricating with jelly. Not KY jelly. The mix-up had literally been a joke on House. It took me some effort to keep a straight face, but we eventually resolved the problem and she stopped getting UTIs.
That's Not How Pregnancy Works
Young adult male presents with multiple abscesses on various parts of his body. States he injected his boyfriends semen into himself trying to get pregnant. He tells one of the APCs he should have gone with his original plan and tried on his dog first. Psych clears him. He's admitted to the floor and gets IV antibiotics.
"My Own Brain"
Med student here...on my pediatrics rotation a mother refused vaccines for her kiddo after "educating herself." When prompted as to what she was using as her source, she replied, "my own brain."
Bacon Cures Everything
We had a diabetic foot patient a couple weeks ago who thought that wrapping his foot in raw bacon would help get rid of bacteria not too long ago. Not too long ago was also about 4 toes ago....
There's An App For That
When a woman in an emergency room told me she wasn't going into labor because her app said she want ready yet. I could see the top of her daughters head... But what the f-- do I know keep asking apple for advice.
Birth Control Bracelet?
Female patient came into the pharmacy complaining that her Nuvaring (contraceptive that you place vaginally once a month) was too small. I was very confused, as these only come in one size. Then, I noticed that it was around her wrist like a bracelet/hair tie. SMH. I counseled her on correct usage and said she made need a pregnancy test.
Not a doctor. But was an army medic in Iraq.
Ran a daily sick call. Iraqi prison guard complained of an abscess on his ass. Tell him to show me. He obliges. And then the smell hit me.
He had been putting yogurt on his abscess because he thought that since yogurt is full of good bacteria it would eat away the infection.
It. Did. Not. Couple that with an open abscess and a lack of a shower in an Iraqi heat, it was the worst smell I ever experienced.
Just Brush Your Teeth
I worked as a dental assistant and receptionist for a while. We had a new patient come in who rarely brushed her teeth. Why you ask? According to her, she learned that the more you brush your teeth, the more the bacteria develop a resistance, which makes them grow faster.
Not a doctor, but I assist on a clinical trial and my main job is screening potential participants. I have to ask a list of questions about their medical history and current drug use. And I've heard the wildest sh*t I've ever heard in my life at this job. Some people just want to feel smart.
One of my favorites was when I asked someone if he'd ever had an MRI. His response? "I NEVER enter hospitals because I don't agree with their practices. Did you know homeless people go into hospitals for warmth and because they feel bad for them, the doctors give them cocaine?" He withdrew his interest when I informed him the trial would take place in a hospital. Think he was also the one that called me "Big Farmer." Not pharma. Farmer.
Yesterday I interviewed this guy who, upon being asked if he had any existing medical diagnoses, told me that when he was born he was admitted to a study on "infants of greatly superior cognitive intelligence." When I told him he was ineligible for the study, he scoffed and said "It's not a problem. I was actually worried I'd corrupt your data, since you probably don't have any other participants of my IQ. Wouldn't be fair to apply my results to them." Okay buddy.
Father Knows Best
When I was about 3, I got sick. After a few days my mom noticed a dark spot developed on my neck so she took me to the emergency room. The nurses looked at it and scheduled some sort of scan for it. They said it looked serious. My mom called my dad with the news, so he rushed to the hospital from work. When he got to me, he picked me up, licked his finger, and wiped some grape jelly off of my neck. That was the spot the doctors were freaking out about.... he wasn't happy.
Had a patient who we sent to the OR for surgery. NPO (nothing by mouth, no food no water, nothing) for at least 8 hours. The OR calls back to the unit furious because the patient was eating a Milky Way. Turns out, she had hidden a Milky Way under each breast in case she got hungry later. She was having heart surgery.
Home Penis Enlargement
ER physician told me this one: 16-year-old boy presented to the ER with an extremely swollen discolored penis. Apparently he has been using his mom's insulin needles to draw blood out of his arm and inject it into his own penis. He thought that adding blood would help increase his size. His penis was terribly infected and he was hospitalized for a week or so...
A Nosebleed Couldn't Possibly Be From Hitting Your Nose
70 yo female tripped and fell 2 days ago. She came it with hip pain but reports after the fall her nose was bleeding - she had landed on her nose. About a year prior her dentist had messes up an infraorbital nerve block and caused some swelling in that region but that all was resolved. This old lady is now convinced her nosebleed after falling on her face is related to an "infection" from the dental issue a year ago. After multiple back-and-forth on the etiology of the nosebleed, she became the first patient I raised my voice and put down an authoritative "no, you are wrong, just stop it".
The Water Allergy
RN here. I see some crazy stuff, but one thing that stands out was the time I was admitting a guy to the hospital. I can't really remember what for but he was about 400lbs, diabetic, heart disease, you name it. Anyhow I'm at the computer going over some admission questions with him and his 10 family members who are crowded in the room with him. A few minutes in he starts complaining that he's thirsty. He needs something to drink RIGHT NOW. So I get on my phone and call the nurse assistant and as her to bring in some ice water. As soon as the words are out of my mouth the whole family screams "NOOOO! NO WATER! HES ALLERGIC TO WATER!"
Well this is gonna be a problem. Turns out the guy had been drinking nothing but sprite and sweet tea for years because of his "water allergy".
The next question the wife had was "where are we all supposed to sleep?" The whole family, 10 people, were planning to stay at he hospital with him.
You can't make this shit up.
Low Blood Pressure
So - the patient had low blood pressure - so their self treatment: eating more fatty foods in order to decrease the size of their blood vessels in order to increase the blood pressure within their system...
The Glass Cup
I work in the ER. We had a very pregnant patient come in needing stitches in her vagina. Turns out she was a realtor and didn't want her water to break while she was showing a house, so she put a glass cup in her pants to catch the water. Instead of using a pad or an adult diaper, she went for a GLASS CUP. She sat down while showing a house and sure enough, it broke and cut her up pretty bad.
Stop; Hammer Time
I'm ashamed to say I have a story that fits here. I have a ganglion cyst on the inside of my wrist, when it starts getting large I smash my wrist down on a hard table and it goes away. I developed a similar bump on the top of my foot. I couldn't smash it down like my wrist so I tried hitting it with a hammer. Didn't do anything and it was getting bigger and interfering with my shoes so I got it investigated. Not a cyst, but arthritis in the joint. No wonder my hammer trick didn't work. The radiologist did find my treatment method amusing, but advised me to get any more lumps checked out rather than randomly hitting things with a hammer.
Had a patient who refused all diabetic medications because he believed that he could control his livers production of glucose with his mind. He believed himself to be very fit and active and felt that with his mental control he was a better athlete than most other people because he could ramp up his glucose production when he needed to. He was in the hospital for a diabetic foot ulcer that required amputation.