Some of us dread going to the doctor's office, but keeping up with your checkups is important. You wouldn't want to have a sudden health emergency would you? (Keeping up with appointments is kinda difficult to do in a nation where so many people are uninsured, but that's a topic for another article...)
Redditor Chevyp43 provided today's burning question when they asked the online community: "Doctors of Reddit, what's your best "they came in for a small check-up and ended up needing surgery" story?"
Doctors, patients, and other medical professionals weighed in.
"Turns out I had a cyst..."Giphy
I went to my doctor thinking I had a bladder infection. I felt like I had to pee every 5 minutes. Doctor found nothing but sent me for an ultra sound.
Turns out I had a cyst the size of a grapefruit on one of my ovaries that was resting on my bladder. 5 days later I was in the hospital having my ovary removed.
"As a tech..."
Not a doctor, but I worked in an emergency room in nursing school. I was sitting out in triage late one night, my nurse had ran to the back for a minute and a guy comes in, only complaint was a sore throat. Nothing else at all. Just a sore throat. But something was off, he had a slight grayish tone.
As a tech, I figured why the hell not. Told him to follow me and took him to our EKG area. Few minutes later, my nurse comes back and is looking at me like I'm nuts because I'm doing an EKG on a sore throat.
I handed her the printout and she had an 'oh sh!t' look, he was having a STEMI (massive heart attack.)
My charge nurse came out later after the dust had settled and asked me what made me check him, I told her I didn't know he just didn't look right. Intuition can be a funny thing. Poor guy, he was slightly confused about the whole thing, he just wanted something to fix his throat irritation.
"I teach an EMT class..."
I teach an EMT class on the side and we were going through rare medical conditions that you can identify with little to no equipment.
Your aorta is the biggest artery in your body and if anything happens to it, it's a big problem. It can develop an aneurysm (think a semi-failure of the wall, causing it to balloon out to the side, pending full rupture). I'm explaining the ways you can identify this in the field, one of which is to take both the radial pulses (wrist) simultaneously. They should beat together. If they are beating off-tempo, that can be a sign of an aortic aneurism.
I tell everyone to partner up and take both their partners pulses so you no what 'normal' feels like.
A hand is raised in the rear of the room.
"U/sam_neil! My partners pulses are wrong."
I start by joking that students need to be more diligent in practicing taking vitals etc etc until I take the students pulses. Hers are indeed "wrong". The head instructor and I go into work mode and do a barrage of other tests. She shows additional signs in a couple, but not all the tests.
We advise her to go to the hospital immediately. We explain that if you have an aortic aneurysm and it ruptures while you are on the operating table of the most skilled surgeon in the world your odds of survival are around 2%. She refuses and finishes class after we do CYA paperwork. She follows up with her doctor from childhood who, as she tells it, drags her by her ear into the ambulance he called.
It turned out to be a very minor aneurism, and she had a procedure to repair it and takes medication to keep her blood pressure low, but otherwise has a completely normal life.
When I was a brand new medic we got a call Sunday morning for a twenty something year old male vomiting, with a small amount of blood in the vomit. I speak two languages, my partner at the time was from a former soviet-bloc country and spoke about 5 fluently. Believe me when I say this guy got cursed out the entire ride to his house in 7 languages. A twenty something year old called because he was throwing up? On a Sunday morning? Dude. You have a hangover ffs.
We arrive and are met downstairs by his girlfriend who is panicking and confirms they went out drinking the night before. We roll our eyes, grab our gear and head upstairs.
As soon as we see the patient our tone changes. Guy is Asian, but is paler than printer paper, soaked with sweat, is cold when I touch him and is barely conscious. I look next to his bed and "a small amount of blood in the vomit" is in reality a medium sized garbage can, almost 1/4 full of straight blood.
His blood pressure is low, around 70/30, his heart rate is compensating by beating at about 160 times per minute. We get a big IV in him and replace about a liter of fluid. His vitals improve, he comes around enough to answer questions. He says he drank 2 beers last night and smoked some mary jane. He says he has never been able to have more than a few beers without getting sick for days.
I ask about his medical history and he says he has had general digestive issues his whole life but never anything like this- just has to have a low fat diet or else horrific diarrhea. Bad hemorrhoids, low grade abdominal pain constantly that has never been given a clear diagnosis. Nothing on paper to go from.
We get him to the hospital and drop him off in critical. In one of my only true Dr House moments, as I'm walking out I tell the triage nurse exactly what the issue is.
From the deepest depth of a half slept through lecture during paramedic school, I remember all these symptoms. He has an undiagnosed liver issue, which is causing bloodflow through his liver to get backed up. When the liver doesn't work properly, you can't digest alcohol or fat effectively. When blood starts backing up it causes portal hypertension which causes hemorrhoids and basically hemorrhoids in the esophagus, called esophageal varices. One of these varices has popped and he was bleeding out through his esophagus.
One of the only times I have correctly diagnosed a problem beyond "hey this drunk guy has been drinking alcohol!"
"Went in for a recurring pain..."
I'm the patient. Went in for a recurring pain in my throat. Quadruple bypass a week later.
"Teenager comes in for ear pain..."
Teenager comes in for ear pain and turns out there is a hornet stuck in the ear biting the crap out of his canal and ear drum — had to have it surgically repaired
Kid comes into ER for cough for a couple weeks, parents are very worried and the kid looks "off", so I order a chest xray. His mediastinum (the white part between the lungs) takes up almost the entirety of his chest. Massive tumor.
Kid with belly pain and vomiting for 12 hours. Belly exam is hard — not like she is flexing but like rigid as a board. Ultrasound for appendicitis shows a massive kidney tumor that went from right lung to bottom of the right pelvis. Wilms tumors are crazy!
Most recently had a little one in for a regular check up that parents had kept postponing. Kid can't sit up alone and parents still have to feed — not normal for a 9 month. Ultrasound of the head shows too much water in the brain and the kid gets surgery within 24 hours.
"I was the patient."
I was the patient.
I got into a 60mph motorcycle accident a year ago. I slammed into a guardrail. It seemed like there were no serious injuries than some scrapes and a pain in my back. I was transported to the ER anyway, they did an X-ray, told me I had bruised muscle, and attempted to send me on my way.
Except when I sat up I couldn't lift my ass up to put on my pants before stepping off the gurney because my back hurt so bad. They run another X-ray, do an MRI, and a few minutes later the room is flooded with doctors and nurses.
I had a fracture-dislocation of vertebrae T2-T8. Basically my spine was in half and parallel to itself. On top of this, they missed the fact that my lung had collapsed and was filling with blood. Hemopneumothorax. They had never seen someone like this who could still walk. I had basically won the medical equivalent of the lottery that day. I was life-flighted to a level 1 hospital in my state and 5 hours later had 14 inches of titanium put in my back. I was only in the hospital for 9 days and required no rehab.
"This one is completely on me..."
This one is completely on me because I did some questionable things as a kid.
I was 12. And growing up in Maine. I had a pellet gun that was advertised as shooting a .177 projectile at 1200 FPS. I had been shooting it for a few years so my parents would let me shoot it on my own out back as long as I wore safety glasses.
That afternoon during the summer I found a small piece of piping along the road in the front yard and brought it out back to shoot.
I took the first shot and instantly felt something hit me in the head.
I have a younger brother so I thought it was a pebble or something, And put the gun down to investigate. I think the only reason i didn't immediately think I got hit by ricochet was because it didn't hurt at all. The only thing I felt was a bump, like a small rock hit me in the head.
I didn't notice the blood till I wiped my face to clear what I thought was sweat. I was greeted with a completely red hand. At this point it didn't click that I got hit by a ricochet and I didn't feel anything when I touched the cut so I didn't worry.
I couldn't stop the blood with anything outside and I couldn't find my brother so I assumed the bullet just hit me but didn't stick, because the cut was so long. so I had to open the front door and yell for my mom.
As soon as she passed the corner she turned white, And started freaking out. At this point the blood was covering the whole front of my shirt and was starting to drip onto the ground. I told her a total lie because I didn't want them to take my pellet gun away, so I told them I hit myself with a metal pipe while flipping it in the air. She looked at my cut and could immediately tell I needed stitches and they rushed me to the urgent care in the next city.
When I got there the towel my dad wrapped around the top of my head was showing a lot of blood. When the nurse made me take off my towel, her eyes opened wide. You could see my skull in the cut. They took me within like ten min.
The doctor took a look at the wound and made me tell the story again while stitching up the inch long gash which started at my hair line at about 11 o'clock on my face.
The doctor decided to take an X Ray. I waited for them to come back with the results with my dad and after like 15 min the doctor came back in. He asked me to tell the story again. His next question was what kind of pipe shoots metal four inches under your scalp. He made me tell the real story and showed my dad the x ray and my dad was visibly pissed.
The next thing I knew I was in an ambulance on my way to the OR. Those guys didn't even put me to sleep while they cut into my scalp. And pulled out a perfectly circular saw shaped piece of mushroomed lead That was almost 5 inches from the entrance point. They couldn't remove one of the fragments because of its location and it was small.
My pellet rifle still got taken away.
"Fellas, check ya nuts."Giphy
I was/am the patient. I work construction for a living and was working a job removing some very heavy laminated glass. Strenuous lifting all day long. During the course of the gig, my left testicle began to swell and hurt, and wasn't getting any better. I told my supervisor I suspected I had given myself a hernia, not unheard of in my field, and went to the occupational healthcare clinic in town. The sweetest grandmotherly physician did the whole turn-your-head-and-cough deal. Awkward, necessary, but yielded nothing.
She recommends I check myself into the emergency room and get an ultrasound. Well, when the ultrasound tech finished the session by saying "good luck to you, buddy" I suspected something amiss. Well, one removed testicle, a round of chemotherapy, and an abdominal lymph node removal later, testicular cancer hasn't beaten me down. I'm awaiting my four-month post-surgery CAT scan now. Fellas, check ya nuts.
I had one a few months ago sent into the hospital by his primary care doctor with 'shoulder pain'. He said he felt absolutely fine, just a really uncomfortable right shoulder pain that hadn't gone away for a couple of weeks. He maybe felt a bit more tired than usual and oh, come to think of it, had lost quite a bit of weight recently and none of his clothes fit him any more.
I went to examine him and had what we describe in the profession as a "heartsink" moment. He was jaundiced, and his abdomen was absolutely solid in the right upper zone from a huge, craggy liver.
Get him in the ct scanner and he is just fulllll of cancer. Everywhere. Couldn't even work out which was the primary.
The shoulder pain is what we call "referred pain" and is commonly caused by diaphragmatic irritation, in this case from all the liver masses pushing against it.
Bless him. I think about him a lot.
"I went to my doctor..."
I'm the patient. I went to my doctor because I was tired. I asked to get my hormones checked, but my doctor is thorough and did a full exam and workup.
During the internal exam (I'm a lady) she said she felt something weird and referred me out for an ultrasound.
I had an external ultrasound and a transvaginal ultrasound that took nearly an hour with the tech snapping pictures the entire time.
Unfortunately the ultrasound didn't show anything clearly. Whatever was wrong with me wasn't an issue with my uterus.
My doctor referred me out for a CT. I went in, drank the gross goop, and they took a bunch of pictures of my pelvic region.
I get a call from my doctor who says I need to meet with a surgeon right away. I get an appointment the next week. If you haven't had a CT scan done before, it's a series of images that are slices of your body shown as contrast in black and white. As the surgeon scrolled through the images, they showed the inside of my pelvic region slowly becoming full of white as he scrolled up and down my body.
I had a tumor the size of a football in my pelvic region.
And the only symptom that prompted me to go in was feeling so tired I couldn't finish a normal gym workout.
Looking back I also realized that I still felt like I had to go to the bathroom sometimes even though I had just gone because it was putting pressure on my bladder.
They scheduled surgery for a few weeks later. Because it was my entire pelvic region, they weren't sure what they would find when they went in...like, what was tumor, what wasn't, and what it was attached to. There were at least 3 specialists in the room with my general surgeon.
It was actually much better than thought. Took about two hours to remove. No major organs involved other than a few internal lady bits, and only minimal side effects. The biopsy showed it was benign.
"It was bad."
Not a doctor yet but a student. I haven't seen the worst kind of stuff yet but this was a "fun" one.
I'm shadowing a GP at her office and a guy comes in for a routine check-up a few weeks after surgery on his toe for an ingrown nail. Doctor asks how he's doing, guy is like "fine I guess, a little tender." She says ok, how does it look when he cleans it? Guy says he doesn't know.
Turns out he was still in the same dressing they gave him at the hospital after the surgery, never even opened it. Had just been walking around in the filthy thing for weeks. Even the experienced Dr was struggling to keep a neutral face when she opened that dressing and the Smell came. It was bad.
"14 year old cancer survivor..."
14 year old cancer survivor comes in for his routine post-chemo screening echocardiogram. His heart was barely moving. I don't remember the EF, probably in the low teens. We sat him and mom told for some bad news, put EMLA on his arm for a PICC and walked him to the cardiac ICU. A few months later he has a heart transplant. Kids, man. They can look great on the outside when compensated. Then you look at the images and just get nauseous for them. Scariest thing about pediatrics and #1 reason why kids need kid doctors.
"As part of our medical course..."
As part of our medical course, we need cannulas ticked off. Another medical student and I went to the ED, where many patients need cannulas. We found a fantastic nurse willing to supervise us, who recommended a patient with easy veins e.g. young, no urgent problem. Young woman with vague, 3/10 abdominal pain was triaged low down on the list, so she was perfect.
It was the other medical student's turn, so she begins rummaging through the drawers for equipment. It's apparent she doesn't know what she's looking for, the nurse helps. Student sets out an enormous needle, 14G, the kind you'd use for a blood transfusion. Nurse gives her a weird look and replaces it with a smaller one.
It becomes apparent this is the student's first cannula. After poking several random areas, she enters the vein. And then she....does nothing. Doesn't release the tourniquet, doesn't put a bung (cap) on it. Does nothing, while looking at the pathology tubes blankly.
The nurse is telling her to put the cap on it, but the student is still obviously trying to figure out whether to attach the pink or the yellow tube. Blood is gushing out. The nurse tries to hand her a cap, student doesn't notice. Patient finally looks down. Blood everywhere. Over her arm, the bluey (towel placed under the arm), chair, reaching her pants.
The patient's face goes ghost white. Even her lips turn white. Her eyes roll back into her head. Before I know it, she's passed out. The cannula still isn't capped.
The nurse is desperately trying to hurdle over the student and the trolley to cap the cannula or take it out. Student is still standing there, not moving out of the way. Flummoxed, I grab another nurse and we find a bed to transfer the patient onto and elevate her legs. The patient is rolled into resus, where there are bigger bays. There's so much blood on the floor that the wheels of the bed left a long, red trail across the emergency department.
In handover later, I heard she was hypovolaemic and they were keeping her for awhile until her red blood cell count was returned, to confirm she wasn't anaemic from all the blood loss.
TL;DR - woman came in with vague abdominal pain, ended up admitted for violent blood loss.
Afterwards, I heard the student asking the nurse if she would tick her off for the cannula.
"Lady came into the ED..."
Lady came into the ED with substernal exertional chest pain that she'd had for a day or so, but she had never had it before prior to this episode. She was active, shoveled snow regularly over the winter, etc; it just came on out of nowhere. In the ED, had a mild trop elevation of 0.06, I thought ok, indeterminate trop but whatever, we'll throw her on a heparin drip, ASA, etc, and we'll see if she is cath in the morning vs stress test.
Her chest pain stopped, and I figured it would be non-cardiac since she had been tolerating serious exertion without pain up until yesterday...but her trops didn't stop going up. They went up and up, peaking later that night in the low hundreds, and her EKG clearly showed NSTEMI. She went for cath, and had horrible multi-vessel disease with tons of collaterals; stenting would be insufficient, but there weren't any good targets for CABG either. She ended up getting listed for heart transplant.
"Once a little old lady came in late one night..."
Internal medicine resident - as the other doctors in this thread, there are loads of stories;
Once a little old lady came in late one night with altered mental status. During the initial work-up she was a bit off (oriented for space, not time etc). When I palpate her abdomen it is unusually hard, but not at all tender. When her bloodwork is done her liver enzymes are sky high - turns out her liver was basically just a tumor at this point. Turfed her to surgery and they ended up moving straight to palliation. Hadn't seen a doctor in years and ignored most of her (probable) symptoms, probably due to an unrecognised dementia.
Another old lady came in with intermittent «weird» feeling in her left arm - usually too non-specific follow up, but due to a history of cancer and low staffing we ended up keeping her overnight for an MRI in the morning. Turns out she had had repeated cerebral infarctions, and one ultrasound exam of her right carotid revealed a straw thin occlusion and she was cleard for vascular surgery the next day.
Oh and most cases of thoracic aortic dissection (tears in the layeres of the main artery in the chest) only present with pain, usually severe, but this one guy only had light, but persistent stomach pain. No other complaints, all vitals stable. We did a CT scan, and his aorta had split from where it left the heart, all the way down to the groin. Within 20 min he was in a helicopter on the way to a thoracic surgeon.
"This is almost my everyday..."
This is almost my everyday in my field (optometry in the US). So many patients come in for an seemingly minor eye problem, or with no complaints at all, and I end up catching something serious that needs further evaluation or treatment.
Here's a couple of example stories:
- Patient is really nearsighted and just wants a new prescription for contact lenses. She hasn't been dilated in a few years and I convince her to let me dilate her eyes. During the exam she mentioned that she noticed a little floating thing in her vision. Sure enough, upon dilation I noted a tear in her peripheral retina. Miraculously, her macula was still attached, so she still had 20/20 vision. She was sent immediately, same day, to the retina surgeon for repair of her retina.
- Patient comes in complaining of some headaches. Vision is 20/20, but I wanted to dilate to take a look at her nerves. Turned out she had bilateral papilledema. No insurance, no primary care doctor. Had to send her to the hospital for an MRI and LP. Diagnosis ended up being idiopathic intracranial hypertension/pseudotumor cerebri.
- Patient comes in thinking they have a scratch on their eye. They are a contact lens wearer....or shall I say, a contact lens abuser. They are not wearing their lenses properly. Sleeping in them, throwing them away "when they feel bad". Two ulcers, one eye. Sent immediately to the cornea specialist, needed compounded antibiotics.
- Patient comes in just wanting a new pair of glasses. I check pressures and they are in the 40s, I dilate and his optic nerve is nearly completely cupped out. Advanced glaucoma, completely undiagnosed. Poor guy was only in his 40s, so I sent him to the glaucoma surgeon because honestly, we need to do everything we can to keep his pressure low because that's pretty young to have advanced glaucoma.
- Guy comes in, knowing he has glaucoma, but just wants glasses. Despite being on 3 glaucoma drops, his pressure is in the high 30s and he's got no vision in one eye (basically, super high risk patient, when you only have one good eye, we have to be extra cautious). That's another one that went straight to the glaucoma surgeon as well, he ended up getting a tube shunt that lowered his pressure down to 14.
- Guy comes in with uncontrolled diabetes for a routine eye exam. Had clinically significant macular edema and had to be sent to the retina specialist for intraocular injections.
If you're reading these stories and thinking "holy shit that's crazy I had no idea eye exams were so important/could uncover so much" well, yeah. That's kind of the point. Don't skip your eye exams!
"They didn't believe it so much..."
I'm a nurse, we had a schizophrenic patient who swallowed a toothpick, which caused an abcess in her stomach. Doctors removed the abcess and biopsied it- turned out to be adenocarcinoma. They didn't believe it so much that they biopsied her a second time to confirm it. She had to have major surgery and had most of her stomach removed.
"I was the patient."
I was the patient. I went to the dentist because of a blister in my mouth which just wouldn't go away. It turned out to be ab abscess. After my dentist removed it she made an x ray to make sure everything is fine. It was not. Part of the bone structure of my lower jaw was gone and she wasn't sure if this was really cause by the tiny abscess I had. So she insisted that I see another doctor to investigate this. It probably saved my life because it turned out to be cancer. The tumor was still very small so they just removed it and everything was fine. I lost two teeth but I will get my dentures soon. Without this abscess they would never discover my cancer and I could have died because of late treatment.
"Man came in..."
Man came in A&E for some laceration wounds after a fall, noticed he had a putrid nasty dead toe. On further questioning, he admitted that the toe had been like this for some time, but it didn't worry him because it didn't hurt. He was admited for an amputation and possibly sepsis.
DQ: What was your most sudden health scare?
And there are just as many grievances for which we are not at all sorry.
Curious to hear about people's track record of their questionable behavior, Redditor NanoPKx asked:
"What is something bad you have done with no regrets?"
Is it petty theft or flat out stealing? You decide.
The Parting Gift
"'Forgetting' to bring back a company ipad after they forgot about me having it. Actually they never asked for it back so I still have it and use it."
"I stole a barn kitten while delivering packages for FedEx. He kept climbing my legs and getting into the van, sitting under the wheel when I tried to back out (it was a steep driveway, no way to swing the van around). I called the number on the package, looked the name up on facebook, called the local non-emergency to get contact info, all failed."
"So I took him. Now, if you're not from a rural environment, you might not understand that barn cats like that are 'no-man's-cats.' For all the owners know, he got sick or got got by a coyote. And he would have died, because when we got him to the vet he had a nasty upper resp infection and some other nasties."
"Now, one deformed nasal passage and the cutest snore later, we have a bonkers little orange cat with the heaviest penchant for snuggling I've ever seen (his name is Monty btw)."
"Edit: I forgot to pay my Cat Tax: https://imgur.com/a/HIXS4us"
"Edit Part 2: Monty loves the attention. Thank you for loving him as much as we do :3"
"MmmmMMMMRrrrrrrrrrrAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW" -Montgomerey Valentine, 2022
The Dirty Treat
"A housemate of mine kept eating mine and my girlfriends food and even though I asked him to stop the only thing he would ever say is 'I thought it was mine' then keep eating it."
"Well I bought my girlfriend some ice cream she really enjoys and she put the half she didn’t finish back in the freezer. Well when she want to get the rest it was gone and it made me madder than I think it probably should have."
"The very next time I saw him and somehow keeping a straight apologetic face I told him how he accidentally ate our sex ice cream and that bits of it had been on our parts etc. I told him I felt guilty not to tell him and that I had to apologise for him to eat such a thing."
"I will never forget the face he made when I told him. A face of pure self disgust and shock to which all he had to say was 'I wish you never told me that' and proceeded to move out around a month later."
"Although he didn’t actually eat sex ice cream, like why the f'k would you put it back after use anyway? Sometimes I wonder if I went to far but in that moment I just did not care at all. He still doesn’t know it isn’t true and I’ll probably never see him again."
"F'k you Vitas buy your own food."
Vengeance is sweet.
"A drunk driver hit my parked car, left a huge dent in the front driver’s side door, and then drove away. I happened to be looking out the window at the time and saw the whole thing, including his plate number. Cops got there not long after and took my statement. After a couple days and a couple phone calls, I found out nothing was going to come of it because he was the son of the sheriff the next county over."
"Fast forward a couple months, I see his car parked behind a local bar within walking distance of my apartment. I got out my hunting knife and sliced all four of his tires, and made a couple trips around it destroying the paint job. Yellow Pontiac Sunfire, and I still remember the goddamn plate number even after almost 20 years."
For The People
"I was a GM for a retailer that was going out of business. During the liquidation I let my employees that worked until the end store product they wanted to buy in a closet I claimed I didn't have a key to. Oh the final days I sold them all the items they requested for 95% off. 70" tvs, ipads, gaming laptops whatever they requested."
"Years ago I worked for a wealthy dude who was married to someone semi-famous. He would waltz in every morning and talk about the fantastic dinner he had the night before, how he hung out with some other famous person or whatever else."
"He paid me peanuts. I had a hard time making ends meet."
"I was the office assistant and IT guy. So it comes time to get a new computer for one of the designers. I spec something out, and show it to him. It was a ripper of a machine for the time (early 2000s). But it wasn’t expensive enough for bossman."
"So I added a really high end graphics card. Boss was happy then. The card added nothing for the designer: they only did illustrator and photoshop."
"So I came in that weekend and swapped the graphics card for my aging one from home."
"No one ever knew. Or cared. And I got a new graphics card."
When times are tough, people had to do what it took to survive.
"In college I was so poor I would steal toilet paper from the supply closet in our major building."
Hungry College Buddy
"I stood watch for a college friend who was going hungry because he’d been disowned and his roommates had made living with him intolerable after he came out."
"I was loosely affiliated with an off campus program with local churches that gave free student dinners on Thursdays. We would go to church to eat, then bring dishes into the kitchen."
"Anyway, he would go in there and steal stuff like peanut butter, literal bread (not an allegory), granola bars etc. while I watched out for the pastor."
"Eventually we both got caught, the pastor for the college students got a bit mad because he was responsible for us while we were there to eat. And I think it was offensive on some level to steal from church. But then he saw what my friend was taking, and asked him if he had enough to eat. My friend shamefacedly said no, not usually."
“'Okay, fine. Put the food back, and come with me.' Took my friend grocery shopping instead, got him connected with the food pantry and community garden at church instead."
Based on these examples, people didn't twice about their actions in the heat of the moment.
Within reason, we all gotta somehow get by.
But do you think their actions deserve punishment?
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Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
When a person sees someone they care about going through a struggle or crisis, their instinct is to uplift them with positive advice.
But sometimes, the wisdom imparted by friends isn't always helpful or relevant to the situation.
Curious to hear from strangers online who could do without specific knowledge, Redditor Saibotnl1 asked:
"What life advice can just f'k off?"
These Redditors have a problem with how certain people have on outlook on life.
Time To Rest
"Sleep when you’re dead."
"Cool, but you’re going to be dead a lot sooner."
"People have it so much worse than you so don’t be sad!"
"To that I like to say, 'people have it so much better than you so don't be happy!'"
Your Life Path
"Almost anything relating to what age you must be in order to buy a house, have children, marry, have a profession, or do anything else. Seriously, everyone's life is different from everyone else's. Make your life the way you want it to be. If you so desire. Up to you."
On The Contrary
“Cheaters never prosper”
"Yes, they f'king do."
People can get out of any situation they find displeasing.
But others feel people should just "stick it out."
"Just ignore bullys or get someone else to handle it for you. I have never seen this work, only makes it worse. The only effective way I've seen to deal with them is by not making yourself an easy target and make them scared to f'k with you again. If going psycho on their a** is the only thing they'll respond to that's their fault. Also want to add in schools they will punish you for self defense but that punishment is only sitting around a few hours in detention or sitting around at home with a suspension. The punishment is temporary boredom, it's absolutely nothing compared to being bullied and when it's over the important message will still stand that you will not tolerate being a victim."
– User Delted
Remain to be Miserable
"Stick it out"
"Whether that's sh**ty jobs, shi**y relationships, shi**y living situations..."
"By all means don't just give up on things when you face challenges, but if something feels wrong or is wrecking your peace then take some control and change it if you can!"
"Easy for you to say," might be an auto-response to these suggestions for many people.
Invitation For Recklesslessness
"Live like everyday was your last"
Yall know what people do when they learn they have a single day left to live?"
A Possible Consequence
"I did that as a teenager and ended up homeless and addicted to heroin. Didn’t pan out for me too well."
"19 years sober though today."
A Practical Approach
"If I knew with certainty that I had one day left, I'd double-check all my financials, my will, and my insurance policies, make sure my wife had all of my passwords and knew where all the money was, spend the rest of the day with her and the kids, then call the medical examiner and ask to lie down on the gurney so that when I die they won't strain their back moving my remains out of my house."
Nose Stuck In A Book
"Work while they sleep. Study while they party"
"That's not a recipe for success, that's a recipe for a lot of white hairs, burnout syndrome and a stroke before your 40s..."
Doesn't Apply To Everyone
"Do what you love and money will follow"
"I love walking my dogs and grilling food for my friends but That sh*t doesn't pay the bills as well as my engineering degree!"
While people's intentions are good, they're better off keeping their two cents in their own pockets.
Not everyone likes to hear platitudes.
Sometimes, people just want to know they're not alone with their problems over listening to unlikely solutions that are nothing more than superficial pick-me-ups.
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Kids start going to school from the age of five, and for the most part, they spend more time at school than at home. Because of that, teachers can become very important figures in the lives of their students.
Some students don't have the best home lives. Some keep it to themselves, but others confide in their teachers.
Curious about various situations, Redditor Delicious_Mastodon83 asked:
"teachers of reddit what is the saddest thing you found out about a student?"
In Need of Parents
"Not a teacher but was a school-based therapist. Had a student (7 -8 y/o) I didn’t know knock on my office door and ask if I’d adopt her and “if you have room, my brother too, but if not, that’s ok, we can be split up. We’re split up now. And I don’t take up space. I just need a sleeping bag”. Broke my heart."
Heartbreaking, But Industrious
"My mom taught at a school in a bad neighborhood in Chicago in the mid 90’s. There was a second grader that would save his milk and ketchup packers from lunch for his mom so she had something to eat when she got home from work."
"Not a teacher but a parent with a 9 year old son. Every day I pack extra in my sons lunch because he tells me he has a friend that never has anything to eat. It's winter and my son came home and told me his friend was turning up with shorts and shirt and holes in his shoes. So I sent in a jumper and long pants for him to wear and some slightly used but good condition shoes. I have been up to the school recently and the teacher pulled me aside and thanked me profusely for helping this child. Apparently teachers are not allowed to aid kids they teach here in Australia and they have already reported the issue 3 times to child welfare without results so I was the only one helping this child. The teacher told me before I started sending in more food and clothes, this child would steal others food from their lunches and look through the bins because he was so hungry. They doubt he gets fed at home. So now I make sure to always send an extra lunch and some school clothes/supplies when I can. I can only hope child welfare eventually does something but it breaks my heart."
Amazing Big Sister
"It was right after winter break and before class started I was just talking with some students and asked if they got anything fun for the holidays. One girl said on no, I don’t ever get presents, my mom is a drug addict. But I went out and got some stuff for my little sister so that she can have a real Christmas."
"She just said it so matter-of-fact. She was so used to being the parent to her little sister that she didn’t even care about her own childhood. It totally broke my heart."
The Importance Of Human Affection
"Second hand story from my mom, elementary teacher for 30ish years. She had a hug or a handshake out the door policy, just some small contact and a proper goodbye, and had this young boy who always picked the hug. She wondered why he always went for it, most kids would go back and forth depending on their mood that day, so she asked him why he was always so excited for the end of day hug? His answer, "It's the only one I ever get.""
Coming Out The Other Side
"Two teenage boys (16/14) with learning disabilities were on my caseload, they never missed school but often ditched class. They were homeless mid-year after they went home from school to find the locks changed, their Mom had abandoned them for a new boyfriend. She didn't leave an address for them to find her."
"*Edit: both eventually dropped out, however a couple of years later the younger brother came back to visit. He and his brother were both working construction, and his brother had gotten married, had a child, and was living with his wife’s family."
"The younger had roommates and was saving for a car. He told me it was a shame I didn’t have kids, because I would make a good Dad."
"People often persevere, even with the odds stacked against them."
"Not me but my daughter is a teacher, she has lots of stories but one that stands out for me is one of her kindergarten kids saying she was tired and her asking why, the little girl explained that she had been up all night with her mums newborn baby. She did this every night, fed her bottles and everything."
Luckily, He Was Resilient
"This year I had a 17 year old kid enroll at my school. He was sitting in my math class and I could tell he was struggling. After class I took some extra time to go over a concept with him. I asked him to read the question to me, and he sat there silently. He then looked at me and said “I’m not going to lie to you, I cannot read. I have no idea how to say these words""
"Turned out at age 17 he was illiterate and had been kept out of school by his very religious, controlling parents. Over the past few months he has worked very hard! Now he can finally read at an 8th grade level and he is STILL improving!!"
– User Deleted
A Heroic Teacher
"I worked in an inner city charter school. One of my students (`M10) had a sib (M8) in a lower grade. The mom was there every day in the beginning of the year encouraging them, helping them and generally being very supportive... until a CPS agent spoke to me asking about her behavior. After CPS left things went downhill. The boys showed up late to class even though they lived a half block away from school. When in school both boys were tired from sleeping in the car while their mom "went fishing". She also had two very young girls which she dragged around making the boys take care of them. One day the boys didn't show up and their teacher walked over to the house to find the mom had loaded up the fridge, paid the rent for the month and abandoned them. The teacher (a candidate for sainthood btw) took them in, adopted them and grew them up to be great men."
This is really heartbreaking stuff! Luckily, teachers aren't just another adult in your life; they can be your saving grace as well.
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TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains sensitive content about depression and mental health.
As the stigma around mental health lessens (however slowly), people are more forthcoming about the problems they are facing. One of the most common mental health issues is depression.
Depression can affect many different types of people. Factors such as gender, race, nationality, and even age have no bearing on whether someone suffers from depression or not.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, "...an estimated 3.8% of the population affected, including 5.0% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years..."
Depression displays in certain patterns, such as mood changes, physical difficulties, and social isolation. However, depression manifests differently in different people and feels different to different people.
Reddit users divulged what depression felt like to them when Redditor iodineseaspray asked:
"What does depression feel like to you?"
Some of this is sure to sound familiar.
The Worst Kind Of Boredom
"Like being more bored than you could imagine but also not wanting to do anything at all, even breathe. So you want to do something, but you can't imagine anything that you would like to do so you're just sort of stuck."
"So you then spend literally hours staring at a blank wall hating yourself, your life, and everything around you. Well, as much hate as you can summon in the absolutely mentally numb state you find yourself sat in day after day."
Lack Of Motivation and Energy
"Complete lack of motivation."
"Ignoring people that I love, and who are trying to help."
"I feel it extra at work. Letting things slide until you either get into trouble or trying last minute to prevent it."
"Funny those times when I'm working to save my butt, the depression goes away and i feel super focused and motivated."
"I try to carry that energy over but no, it's rinse and repeat."
"Insecure about absolutely everything, no hope for the future, dissociation from society and not knowing how to “act” anymore, feeling like I’m not as good at the things I always thought I was good at or that the “talent is wasted on me”, only food cheers me up and sometimes even that doesn’t work"
Loss Of Creativity
"This. It's like some numb fuzziness you feel in your brain. It's the worst thing ever for an artist who just wants to create but your brain comes up dry with a dense fog that wants to just lie down for a few hours"
A Mental Inability To Breathe
"For me, it feels like I’m in a lake with a ball chain tied to my feet, desperately swimming up for air, the only problem is the chain isn’t long enough. I can only get an inch of my head out of the water to breath, and as soon as a high tide comes, the water just floods over me and I feel like I can’t breath again. I live like this, constantly feeling like I’m struggling to breathe, weighed down by my own mind. It’s a struggle and I can’t really describe it in any other way, I’m jealous of people who don’t worry about depression"
"Like suffocating under a heavy cloak"
"Like being crushed. Like if the air was crushing my muscles and bones and I can’t breathe because I’m being crushed…"
"Kinda like that."
"Scrolling thru your steam library. Thinking you want to play something, either not settling on anything or not wanting to put the effort into the game. Going back to the scrolling."
"It feels like you're forced to play a game of Monopoly (represents life) and your just rolling the dice to appease everyone but you genuinely don't care about where you go, where you land, what you pick up, what you pay, what you gain."
"You kind of just watch it happen without interest and while people are cheering or oh no-ing for you, you genuinely don't care. Everyone is a piece on this board that hardly matters and you feel like we're all just running in a circle over and over again and it's boring and disinteresting as hell."
"You lose all curiosity for everything and just let everything happen and pass by you. No motivation, hardly any love, hardly any care. Feels like the world is in black and white and your waiting for the game to end became it's so absolutely boring and disinteresting, but it never does."
"You come to resent the game and eventually hate it because it feels like you're being forced to play it and suffer it's consequences when you never asked to play it in the first place."
"That's what depression felt like for me. Since then I've been medicated and recieved therapy. I'm doing a lot better now and I don't feel this way anymore, thankfully."
A Relation To Fantasy
"You know that scene in the Lord of the Rings where Bilbo is describing to Galndalf what having the Ring all those years felt like? "I feel thin. Like too much jam spread over too much bread." That's honestly the best way I've seen to describe it."
"I always say the closest thing to compare it to is a dementor in harry potter. It sucks every ounce of happiness out of you until there is only darkness left."
"Side note: chocolate always helps"
Fear Of Lack Of Justification
"Like someone close to you died yesterday. Expect no one has, and nothing has happened to justify how you feel."
A Physical Pain
"Physical pain in my heart, will start crying just by attending to the physical sensation in my body."
"I've always described it as having a shadow fixed to your brain which fuels things like indecision and negativity. You can do things to temporarily help but you can't truly shift it. Previous normality is forgotten. But it's amazing how much you can mask it."
"I found I didn't realise how bad I was until I started to get better"
"For anyone suffering with depression. Please, please speak to someone. Best thing I ever did"
Depression isn't something you can just deal with or get over. Learning to cope is not easy. However, as Redditor DavosLostFingers pointed out, talking to someone can literally save your life.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, contact the American Psychological Association by phone at 800.374.2721 or 202.336.5500.
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