Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

We consult medical experts when we don't feel well because we assume they have all the answers.

And let's face it, going down the Google rabbit hole for self-diagnosis only exacerbates our anxiety.

But are doctors always right?

Sometimes, a person's gut instinct about an ailment can be accurate and being told otherwise can be fatal.

Wondering how often patients saved their own lives, Redditor OutsideXtraGuard asked:

"Doctors and nurses of Reddit: What self-diagnosis of a patient suprisingly turned out to be right?"

Medical experts – as well as former patients – shared their experiences involving a variety of cases.

Common anecdotes involved people who knew they had a progressive disease and wound up having various stages of cancer after previously being told they were fine.

So if you ever notice a strange lump behind your ear that appears to be the source of excruciating pain and are told it is nothing life-threatening, you may want to insist on a thorough examination.

What do you have to lose? Exactly.

The Suspicious Mole

"A man came in, saying he had an aggressive cancer on his back. He also told us that he'd run no tests, so we were skeptic, tbh. When we ran the test, though, we saw he was right. Seriously."


They Know When It's Time

"My mom is a nurse supervisor at a nursing home. Multiple times, patients have walked up to her and said goodbye, that they're going to die that night. Even though these residents have been perfectly mobile and "with it" they have always been right."


It Wasn't "Heartburn"

"My grandfather never went to doctors. He wanted to go out the way he came in--no drugs and surgery and machines. He got chest pain and decided to see a doctor, so right there, it's clear that it was unusual. The doctor dismissed it as heartburn (because hey, what else could it possibly be in an elderly man who's hardly ever seen a doctor and has chest pain? /s ). A couple of days later, he died of a massive stroke. My grandmother wanted to sue or something, but everyone was like eh, it's not going to bring him back, and he went out the way he wanted to, anyway."

"Seriously, a 70+-year-old man with chest pain? My father's had two weird "episodes" and got sent to the ER both times. Neither turned out to be "anything" on tests, but normally, people don't fuck around with that. "Chest pain" is a magic phrase, usually."


The Lump

"My sister had a lump behind her ear that was causing her pain and was growing. My mom used to be a nurse and she thought it didn't look right, it wasn't just a cyst so she kept monitoring it and started to become worried that it might be cancerous. For a whole year my mom went back and forth with doctors asking them to take her seriously and one doctor finally agreed to go in and biopsy it. Lo and behold my sister had stage 1 cancer, and it was a rare form at that."


You're Never "Too Young" For It

"Not a doc or a nurse but back in the early 80s my mum (30 at the time) could not convince several docs that she had breast cancer. It was different to just a lump or pain. They all responded with 'you're too young.' Finally got one doc to write a referral to a specialist so she would shut up about it. She had breast cancer. Was told she may need a mastectomy but after going in they were able to remove enough without having to go that far."

"She went back to the original doc and had a go at him and said if she ever heard his name come up for malpractice in the future she would make a statement against him (she was in medical industry). Told him to NEVER tell a woman she was too young for breast cancer."


"Oh Look ... It WAS A Kidney Stone"

"Not a doc or nurse but a patient. I was having a kidney stone and my BF at the time took me to the ER. The nurse kept asking me what I did to myself (because I was practically screaming in pain). Through tears I managed to get out 'it's a kidney stone.' I then sat in the waiting room practically passing out until my BF somewhat yelled at the ER staff. They came over to get me and I couldn't even walk, the nurse said 'well are you coming back.' My BF said get her a f'king wheelchair."

"6 hours and a round of morphine later I passed the stone. The nurse said 'oh look at that it WAS a kidney stone.' Like seriously wtf."


A Collapsed Lung

"I had a spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung) that came out of nowhere when I was 17. Had to go to the hospital and get a tube hooked up to my thoracic cavity to reinflate my lung."

"A week later I was in statistics class and I felt my other lung collapse. I immediately knew what it was. Kind of a weird but very distinct feeling of pain and shortness of breath. Cut to me in the school nurses office trying to explain that I had a spontaneous pneumothorax and I need to go to the hospital. Yeah...she didn't believe me at first."


Shingles Doesn't Discriminate

"Not the doctor but I went in because I had shingles. Told them upfront I thought it was shingles. The doctor kind of chuckles and she says, 'Well, you are far too young to have shingles. It's impossible.'"

"So I lifted my shirt and showed her my side where it was and I instantly saw her eyes widen as she goes, 'Oh my, that is definitely shingles...'"

"The doctor and nurses were a little sheepish and apologetic but they did a great job helping me get better. I was the youngest case they'd ever seen (early 20s at the time)."


The Voices In Her Head

"I read about a woman who had a voice in her head that kept telling her that she had a brain tumor. She eventually got tested and it turned out that she did have a tumor and it was causing the auditory hallucinations."


Don't Dismiss Everything You Hear

"I work as a caseworker for adults with severe and debilitating mental illness. A team member had a client keep complaining that she had 'worms in my brain.' All her doctors would dismiss her because of her mental illness. My team member finally got her doctor to refer her for an fMRI. Turned out she had terminal, inoperable brain tumors.... It's unclear whether or not her death could've been prevented if she had received treatment at the onset of whatever symptoms she was experiencing that she was unable to describe."

"Often people with mental illness, particularly schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, will describe ailments in bizarre ways. It could be worms in their brain, possession, bugs in their stomach, etc. It's important to acknowledge that they may have a very real problem they are unable to verbalize, and we must not dismiss them."


Another Close Call

"My mom went to the doctors complaint about a pain in her lower back by her kidney. The doctor did a quick check up and told her it was nothing that she was probably just sleeping wrong."

"My mom mentioned cancer and the doctor said that it wasn't very likely because people with kidney cancer dont usually feel anything. She was adamant that something was wrong so she went to another doctor that told her the same thing but said he would run some tests to show her that it wasn't cancer."

"When the results came back from the test, it turned out she did in fact have cancer on one of her kidneys and because she caught at such an early stage, they were able to remove it before it spread."


Bleeding Brain Ignored

"Long time ago a patient of mine in the mental health unit had a delusion that he had a bleed in his brain. Kept on it for a month. One night he actually did have a massive spontaneous intracerebral bleed. Poor guy died after that."


Ocular Shingles

"Patient in a care home was complaining of eye pain and facial tightness. She told me it was shingles."

"I reported it to the physician and supported that it did look like shingles. Doctor did not believe me or the patient. Poor lady suffered for several days until the night staff sent to the hospital. Guess what? Occular Shingles."


Disc Herniation

"Patient here; got into a car wreck and right arm started going numb a few weeks later. Self diagnosed as disc pressing on spinal cord, requested they do an MRI, doc said to take more painkillers and it would go away, I don't like drugs so I insisted. Footed bill for MRI that insurance wouldn't cover because I requested it against doctors wishes. Bulging disc on C5/6. 7 months of PT and other non painkiller drugs arm works again."

"F'k insurance, f'k doctors that push painkillers. Nearly done with the debt hole that entire debacle put me into."


Unexpected Brain Surgery

"'Not a doctor but' I started having severe excruciating headaches come on when standing, or coughing, laughing, etc. They became so severe they'd make me scream and vomit, but would disappear as long as I was bent over and hanging my head or if I took crazy amounts of caffeine. Because the headaches were positional I thought it was a CSF leak and that I needed a blood patch. One morning my husband drove me to the ER, which triggered a headache so I walked into the ER bent with my head hanging and saying I had a CSF leak and needed a blood patch. They did an MRI and it turned out leaks from Chiari, so I was right about the leaks but wrong about the treatment and I got brain surgery instead."


Mother Knows Best

"My dad is a neurosurgeon and my mom thought I was having absence seizures (I basically zone out and forget what happened from the past ten minutes or so) and my dad said I was just ignoring my mom, my mom took me to go get a EEG and turns out I have seizures pretty strong ones. EEGs can take up to two to three hours long and mine was fifteen minutes. We walked to my dads hospital and my mom walked in flaunting the papers saying 'I knew it!! I'm smarter than the neurosurgeon!!' Haha 😂"

"Edit: I just remembered something when I had my seizures(I was on meds and now I'm off, we are waiting to see if they'll come back), I had to have someone check on me every few minutes to make sure I hadn't drowned. I couldn't drive(still can't) or swim or hardly do anything by myself. Makes you appreciate alone time lol"


Image by tookapic from Pixabay

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Luke van Zyl/Unsplash

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Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!