Anonymous Doctors Share Their Patients' Most Baffling "How Did That Happen" Stories
Somethings in life can just never be unseen. And if you're a doctor or medical staff you see things that will haunt you forever on the daily. For most of us just sitting through an episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' is stomach churning enough. It is truly shocking when you notice some of the situations people get themselves into, either through a 'just life' moment or sheer stupidity.
Redditor u/ehudros asked Doctors of Reddit, what is the most "how the Hell did that happen to you" case you've seen?
JEANS WILL BE THE DEATH OF US ALL!
Lady with very poorly controlled diabetes and morbidly obese came in via ED with a gaping hole on her thigh...like so deep you could put you're whole fist through it. It was oozing ridiculous amount of blood, so much so she had to be transfused. Her blood levels were rock bottom. It transpires she'd accidentally cut herself when trying to wriggle into jeans. Meantime, the wound just kept getting bigger and bigger, and she attempted to just sort it by packing the wound with socks! Single worst thing I've seen.
Working in the ER we had some interesting ones, but the simplest and most intriguing one I've had was a man came in complaining about chest and side pains. After a few tests to rule out heart issues, we discovered through an X-Ray that the man had NINETEEN fractures throughout his rib cage. When I asked him if he had been doing anything dangerous he replied with "Nope, just dancing." Needless to say I'd recommend NOT trying to do leaping flops into the worm on repeat on concrete, which is the only way I can fathom this occurring. And no, he didn't explain what kind of dancing.
This was years ago. I was near the end of my shift and a patient came in, I can't remember what the triage said but it would have been something along the lines of self-inflicted laceration to neck. He was put in a room behind a curtain and several of my bosses (all senior docs with like 20+ years experience) were coming out of the room with the same look on their faces. Sort of like shell-shocked horror. We work in the emergency department so these people see s*** on a weekly basis, and they all just looked, odd. So I was like, right, I need to see this. So I put on a pair of gloves and went in like I was being useful (I wasn't). There was a young guy sitting on the bed with blood running down his neck, and some lacerations to his arms. I was thinking, what's the big deal? obviously he's sliced his neck across but it's not THAT bad. Then the nurse that was in there was like, oh, ask him to lift his head up. So I did, and all the skin and soft tissue in the front his neck fell down and exposed.
I asked him why he did it and he said "it was the right thing to do."
I don't know what happened to him because I went home after that but I assume he would have gone to surgery and then the psych ward.
THAT'S NOT A VASE!
Doctor friend told me of a man with a flower stalk stuck up his [Urethra]. He was trying to give his GF a birthday surprise. Unfortunately, flower stalks have little angled hairs on them which make them easy to push in but impossible to take out.
THAT'S NOT TRUE.
The human capacity to deny the undeniable is amazing. As a radiologist I've seen an 80 lb ovarian tumor, a hand sized facial malignancy neglected until it eroded an underlying artery, numerous neglected breast cancers ( eroding through the skin ). People will refuse to see what they really don't want to see.
DON'T WAIT TI IT'S TOO LATE!
I had a patient come into the ER once with a tumor on his neck/jaw that was partially obstructing his breathing. It had been growing for YEARS and he'd ignored it. The only reason he finally came in was an old friend came to visit and was basically like _"what the hell?!" _and tossed him in the truck to come to the ER. Too late, though, his scan lit up like Christmas lights and he had mets all over the place.
THAT LOOKS PAINFUL...
Training as an EMT so not a doctor, but in the ER.
Old guy shuffles in with his girlfriend both mid-fifties. He is holding a "Members Only" jacket in front of his crotch and wobbling in. We take him through triage to the back and get him on the exam table. His scrotum was the size a large watermelon. It hung below his knees and was easily 18" in diameter. Serious hernia issue.
Just a big oblong mass of flesh that had overwhelmed the rest of his nethers. I think every physician in the Hospital came down to consult on it. I mean every one. Cardiologists, ENTs etc. everyone made an excuse to come take a look. This was clearly an issue he had been avoiding for years. The prescribed treatment if I remember properly was to Kevlar reinforce his belly and shove all his intestines back up and in. They were going to transport him to a nearby by hospital for the treatment, but because it was across state lines he refused to go. So he slid off the table pulled his jeans up around his crotch, grabbed his jacket and his girlfriend and shuffled off to the bus stop.
It's an image you never forgot, closest thing I can relate it to is when Hugh Jackman is trying to carry the fishbowl between his legs in"The Prestige"
BEWARE THE MACHETE!
Saw a guy who had a pretty blunt machette lodged perfectly across de middle of his skull, but the angle was unusual and it was like perfectly along so that caught my attention
Turned out the guy had (unsuccessfully) tried to murder his wife with the machete and later regretted it so he hit himself in the head with it. He held it with his hand, sharp side front and gave himself a whack perfectly in the middle of his skull. Thankfully the machete barely made it into the skull and since it was along the middle it didn't touch any brain tissue
End of nursing school did a rotation/internship in the OR. Large urban hospital. Get a call that the helo is bringing in a 17 yr old with a severe spinal injury. Call in the specialty surgeons and they get to work on this kid. He has C3 through C5 fractures from a diving injury. Docs work on him for hours with very little hope that he will regain anything below the neck. Once the surgery is over we are all exhausted but the surgeon wants to see what will happen if we wake him up. With respiratory standing by we bring him out of anesthesia. He starts breathing on his own. He opens his eyes and responds to his name. Holy crap awesome. For some reason i was near his hand. I saw a small movement. I said nothing. I grabbed his hand and squeezed. He squeezed me back. Mind you I'm just a nursing student but i yelled the surgeons name and said he just squeezed my hand. Surgeon called bull until he saw the kid raise his arm. The entire OR was silent. This kid should of been a quad for life but by some miracle he was moving. The feeling of seeing that kids arm move ia something that i will never forget. I tried to keep track of his progress but the last i heard he was killing it at physical therapy and had regained almost total control of his upper body.
I once had a patient that got pregnant despite never having sex. She had severe vaginismus and was not able to ever have anything go into her vagina, but her significant other ejaculated onto her and apparently one little swimmer found an egg.
WELL THAT'S FRIGHTENING!
Had a lady come to the morgue in pieces for several days. She had fallen off a catwalk thing into an industrial fan that had no guards due to a cleaning being performed on that area in a factory. They were having trouble finding all of her..it wasn't explained to me until 3 days after the first piece showed up so I thought there was a serial killer out there for a bit.
AXE ME ALL ABOUT IT!
My friend is a doctor and worked in Africa for some time. You can imagine, the hospital itself was a house, you could also have a school in. If no doctor had time even the janitor would stitch you up. One day, two people came in, one with an axe in the head. Surprisingly he was still alive. When trying to get the operation prepared, my friend asked the other guy without an axe in the head who he was. Brother? Cousin? Dad? Friend? No, neither of them. He was the owner of the axe and just wanted his axe back.
I HATE SOCKS!
Just last week I had a guy over 400lbs (BMI 60). He was a hoarder and kept getting cellulitis in his legs because his house was so cluttered he kept hitting his legs into things and getting cuts and infections. When he came in we had to remove his socks with scissors because he hadn't taken them off in over 3 months, his socks had imbedded into his skin and somehow become one (I didn't learn in medical school how that happens).
Nurse here. Had a patient come in due to pain in her chest four months after having a mastectomy. When we changed her dressings the site was so infected that I could see her lung inflating when she took a breath. She died a week later. Still don't know why she didn't come in earlier.
TAKE THE MEDS...
Work in the ED as a medical student. Had a guy the other day who let a leg infection get worse for years and when he finally came in his infected leg was at least 4 times the size of the other one and was draining copious amounts of foul-smelling puss. If the infection had been seen earlier, he would have just needed antibiotics. Because he waited so long, he's going to lose the leg, if not his life.
No country is a perfect place to live.
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm and sexual assault.
Why does your country suck?
Just because a country is beautiful to look at, doesn't mean it doesn't have its problems under the surface.
Pretty To Look At, Tough To Live In
"Today I learned it has way more expensive gas than neighboring countries and even more expensive gas than Austria. On the other hand minimum salary is 560 euro, while minimum salary in Austria is 1500 euro."
"My country is Croatia. And its economy rly sucks. All the prices (renting, food, etc) are the same like other EU countries but people just have way smaller salaries."
"Because of that many young people emigrated to Ireland and other countries, and the population is falling hard, and getting older and older."
"On the other hand it is a country full of sea, sun, islands, nature and beauty. Definitely nice to live in if you have a decent salary."
"Argentina — nobody knows why it doesn't".
"Argentina. Terrible governance, corruption, never-ending economic crises, poverty and insecurity. We have meat, cereals, fish, oil, minerals, beautiful and diverse landscapes. We were once the richest country in the world (1895). But now the situation is constantly worsening."
"Nobel winning economist Simon Kuznets stated that there are four sorts of countries: "developed countries, underdeveloped countries, Japan — nobody knows why it grows — and Argentina — nobody knows why it doesn't".
Unable To Agree In Bosnia
"There are 3 presidents so nothing will ever get solved"
"There are 3 presidents, 1 of each ethnicity that makes up the country, most of which hate each other. Impossible to come to terms with one another, imagine if the US had 2 presidents that were opposite political parties, they would never agree with each other enough to accomplish anything."
The worse thing about some of these places is how they treat their own citizens.
Or, how they don't treat their citizens.
Trouble On The Island
"New Zealand. We have the highest teen suicide rates sadly. I wish we could do something to change this. I know people are trying but its really not going anywhere. Of course, people with money and power don't do much either."
"In my opinion. It's probably because of our living cost as well as house prices. Cost of everything is increasing so fast and our wage increase is nothing compare to it. Your life savings is nothing compare to the people who already have 2 investment properties, they are going to out bid you straight away. If you want a property in NZ you have to buy one in the rural areas. Thinking about the future is so dam depressing."
A Slow Erosion
"Offshore processing of asylum seekers. The slow erosion of a great healthcare and educational system due to years of conservative governments."
Too Drunk To Work
"We got drunk president that is in hospital in critical condition rn and his spokesman is saying hes completely ok which hes not. Also our soon to be ex prime minister is pretty much a mob. He kidnapped his own son and send him to Krym bcs he could testify in tax and dotation fraud. (Czechia btw.)"
These are just unforgivable.
"mass shootings and sh-t healthcare"
"Ooh ooh I know the answer to this question of which country this is. Pick me."
"The healthcare is fantastic."
"Its the price that will getcha"
An Imperfect System For Criminals
"Our law system."
"In our country, when a crime is commited, u get a sentence, and then u can get some of the sentence removed."
"For an example, "u were under 18 when it happened? 10% off!" "U have a bad situation at home? Very well then, only one year prison instead of three".
"There was an instance where a serial assaulter was given 840 000SEK (around 105 000 dollars) because he was detained, awaiting trial, for the same amount of time as the sentence that he was given, which was around two years. This man assaulted multiple girls and walked out of court a near-millionaire."
"Swede here and i instantly understood what you meant"
The Pandemic Hits Everyone, Everywhere
"Our healthcare is free yet I am terrified to go to the emergency because I will probably be dismissed, rushed, or have to wait 12+ hours in a chair..."
"...First, I absolutely don't want to make a point that free healthcare is bad. I actually should have emphasized the issue is corruption and mismanagement of public funds. I'm in Quebec and have myself worked a long time in the system. It's badly managed from the top down, but don't get me wrong, private is bad, really bad. I worked at a clinic that has public and private services and the social inequalities are insane."
"About other provinces, sorry for the Maritimes, it sounds rough. I've heard Ontario isn't as bad as here. Would be interesting to see the best healthcare in Canada is where"
"Finally, I also heard it is bad like this everywhere else right now and I agree. But you can't even imagine how bad it was pre pandemic already. It is a long complexe issue though and the solution is absolutely NOT to privatize. If anything, over here we have a double system and guess what the public one is turning to sh-t while all the good doctors are turning to private."
"This pandemic has been rough for everyone. Hold strong!!"
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
I eat just about anything, but can't say I'm a fan of okra. Might it have to do with the way it is typically prepared, at least in my experience? It's slimy. It shouldn't be. It would probably taste better fried. But I have friends from the South who swear it is heaven on a plate.
But there's more than food that's disgusting. Like... why do people idolize Joe Exotic, the Tiger King? He's a sexual predator and a criminal. I know we all needed something to watch during lockdown, but damn. Don't tattoo his face on your body!
People shared their opinions after Redditor blackismyfavcolorlol asked the online community,
"What's that one disgusting thing that everybody except you seems to like?"
"It sounds so gross..."
"Deep-fried butter and deep-fried mayonnaise. It sounds so gross but everyone seems to eat it at state fairs or amusement parks."
Yeah... I'll pass.
I love butter. I love mayo. Do they need to be fried, though?
"You know the type..."
"Those social media videos of food being made with so much heavy and greasy s***! You know, the type where it's a whole burger, cooked into a quesadilla with a pound of cheese, then fried and covered in three different sauces."
So unnecessary. And they ultimately become a waste of food because who would actually eat that?
"People who slam..."
"People who slam their friend's faces into birthday cakes. Just stop."
I would be so pissed if I spent so much money on hair and makeup only to have it ruined.
"You know what..."
"You know what I think is sick and weird? Why do some people take pictures of their dead/dying family members? Like "at the hospital with my aunt," and it's pictures of someone's aunt on breathing tubes unconscious. It makes no sense to me why you would take pictures and put them on social media."
"Pictures with babies. Or parents creating Facebook profiles in the name of their children, and those children are like... 3 years old, or less."
"Well, I know I can't be the only one that finds them disgusting, but long fake nails. Unless you have a serious case of hand-washing OCD, there is no way that can be hygienic."
How do these people wipe after going to the bathroom?!
"Truffles. The smell makes my stomach turn. I feel like there has to be some kind of bizarre conspiracy or truffle gatherer lobby or something for them to be so expensive."
"He's a predator..."
The guy is a sociopath who manipulated two young straight men into a sexual relationship, which ended in one of them committing suicide. Then he had the audacity to give the most tasteless eulogy in front of the guy's family.
He's a predator and I'm shocked that more non-straight and non-monogamous people aren't speaking up against him being released and getting more screen time."
There are people out there who have gotten tattoos of him. Why would you want a tattoo of a sexual predator on your body?!
"You look like a clown."
"Lip injections. You look like a clown. I don't get it."
"I have so many friends..."
"Whiskey. I have so many friends who love it, but the moment it touches my tongue I gag immediately, regardless of how expensive it is."
Do you hear that sound?
That's me getting ready to hurl.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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How do you tell if someone has a crush on you?
It's not always so easy, and many of us will fumble our way through it. Perhaps our only experience with navigating crushes comes from John Hughes movies (which I don't recommend following).
Oh, and while this isn't a Hughes movie, I would not recommend doing to one's crushes what the nerds do in the terrible Revenge of the Nerds.
Looking for advice? Look no further. You can thank Redditor chaitea_lexax who asked the online community,
"What is a dead giveaway that someone has a crush on you?"
"When they tell you..."
"When they tell you at your 10-year high school reunion after they've married and had several children and it doesn't matter anymore."
This is oddly specific.
Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion this is not.
"When they try to be mean..."
"When they try to be mean to you, you can tell. If they weren't interested, they wouldn't be trying to tease you, they would just ignore you."
Yeah, but I wish people didn't think that was okay. Mind games aren't cool.
"She stayed in my dorm..."
"Well, she changed in front of me, that didn't tip me off. She stayed in my dorm for 5 days, I was none the wiser. She said she wanted to kiss me, I finally figured it out."
"Although this may be more for initial attraction, women tend to 'oh so casually' drop into conversation their relationship status or better yet, lack thereof. It's rarely subtle, but I don't think men do it quite so much."
Well, if you make clear that you're available, then it would make sense that someone might think that you're interested.
"Though the rule of thumb is usually..."
"It's something that can't really be answered as we are all different in our actions and how we interpret things.
Though the rule of thumb is usually if they attempt to spend more time with you and often seek your help, even if you don't know the answer. It's usually a presence thing. Though again, they may just simply enjoy your company and don't like you any more than just a friend."
"If you hang out..."
"If you hang out in the same social circles there are a few sure-fire ways. The one that is really telling is when something funny happens that makes the entire group laugh. If they look at you straight away to see if you found it funny, they're into you."
I had this happen to me a few times. Sometimes it worked out and sometimes it didn't, I'll leave it at that.
"If you have a watch..."
"If you have a watch, look at the time then look somewhere random. Chances are they will also check the time."
"If you have mutual friends..."
"If you have mutual friends or acquaintances it would probably be your friends or their friends giving you hints or teasing that the person is romantically interested in you."
This has happened with some of my friends and it's pretty cute when it's reciprocated!
"I asked my girlfriend..."
"I asked my girlfriend to marry me today and she said yes. I have suspicions she might have a crush."
Plot twist: it's you!
"A girl would always..."
"This happened to me in college. A girl would always glance at me and when we lock eyes she would look away. I asked her out and during our conversation she touched my forearms and thighs a few times."
When it comes to crushes, it's not necessarily one size fits all, so take any and all advice with a grain of salt. You're better off being direct, but that is, of course, easier said than done.
Have some tips of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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You feel safe all the time...
...but the world is more dangerous than you realize. Even the things you don't normally assume to be deadly, the actions you do every day, can lead to some unfortunate injury or, worse, death.
Watch out for springs. Seriously.
What's dangerous but most people don't realize?
Never underestimate the power of nature. Be it living or non-living, the things out in the wild are more ferocious than you realize.
Water Always Wins
"Water, specifically moving water. People have no sense about how powerful large volumes of moving water can be."
"My grandfather used to point out boulders in flash flood channels and ask us how they got there. A flash flood is literally thousands of gallons of water moving with the force of a hurricane, mowing down anything in it path; your odds of survival if you get caught in one are slim to none. Water is no joke!"pretty-as-a-pic
They're Called "Wild" For A Reason
"Ever since I saw that woman on TV that was ripped apart by her own pet chimp, I swear I would freak out if I ever had to be in the vicinity of a chimp irl. She didn't die but it f-cked her up bad enough that those things scare me. When people use them in music videos or whatever, I always think of that lady."
"It wasn't her chimp - it was her neighbor's. And she was known to the chimp, and had interacted with it for years before, on friendly terms."
"One day it just went, well, ape.."
It's Literally A Big Ball Of Burning Death
"THE SUN. Skin cancer is a major killer that is easily preventable by wearing sunscreen. Sun damage is more significant than many people realize and it's such an easy thing to avoid."
Even The Cute Ones...
"ALL wild animals are dangerous, even if they don't look it. Most people know that large predators like mountain lions and bears are dangerous, but many underestimate herbivores and/or smaller animals like deer and squirrels. A lot of people assume smaller animals/herbivores are tame, and try to get close or even touch them. This is extremely dangerous- these animals don't understand humans, and an animal that feels cornered or threatened will lash out to try and escape. Please keep a safe and respectful distance from any animal you don't know!"
Going to the doctor can feel like a big weight, especially if you don't have the right kind of coverage. That's probably why things like the following can lead to dangerous outcomes.
Brush, Brush, Brush Your Teeth
"An infected tooth."
"True! An abscess under the gum line can literally kill you."
"Argued with a receptionist about this. I had one badly and she said she'd never heard of it killing anyone. Like... yeah, ask your damn boss."
Go For A Walk
"A bad diet and sedentary lifestyle. Most people don't think about how these two can lead to an incredible amount of health problems and how they can remain asymptomatic for years and suddenly have a heart attack or stroke."
And then there's these, typical, every day actions or items we might come into contact with which actually pose more of a threat than we realize.
Watch out for those springs.
"Driving. The forces involved in driving are way above anything the human body can withstand should things go wrong. All the safety features built into cars lead us to believe that it's a safe activity, which encourages additional risky behaviors like texting. Everybody should be hyper focused while driving down the highway at 80mph, but almost everybody is doing something else in addition to driving."
Buckle Up THE RIGHT WAY
"90% of children are improperly restrained in the car."
"I spent a decade as a CPST and the things I've seen are deeply upsetting knowing they're easily fixable with an hour or two of effort."
"I've seen children internally decapitated. Parents put their kids in car seats forward facing far too early, booster seats before they're truly large enough, coats under the straps, straps never properly tightened."
"Car accidents are still a leading cause of death. The awareness has gotten better in the last 15 years but with plenty of room for improvement."
"If you have a child, please make an appointment with a certified CPST whenever they are big enough for their next seat or seating position. It's worth the effort."
"Also, not every fire fighter is a CPST. The goal is to teach YOU how to install the seat, not to have them do it for you."
Think Of Your Mental Health
"toxic workplace. stay there long enough and you will hate life itself"
"And then the toxic people who say "think about the money" when you mention quitting for your mental health"
Hire A Professional
"Garage door springs will f-ck you up."
"I'm generally a do-it-yourselfer, but I don't mess with breaker boxes or garage door springs."
Be safe out there. You never know when a wild spring is going to jump out of the dark, ready to attack.
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