Is there such a thing as an "average" day for a doctor? So much can happen––and all at once––taking things from zero to sixty with barely a moment's notice.
After Redditor WafflesontheWeb asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what was the thing that made you go "Oh god, oh ****"?" doctors shared their most striking experiences with the patients in their care.
Warning: Some graphic content ahead.
"Literally saw someone..."
Literally saw someone have progression of a stroke in front of my eyes. My intern tells me that she's concerned about a patient because since the previous night he's had some right arm weakness. We go see him together. When starting out he is talking perfectly normal, but then all of a sudden he starts slurring his speech and half his face droops.
(Immediately called a stroke code, but he was outside the window for emergency intervention since his symptoms started the night before.)
"Those kids are the ones..."
Every kid that comes into the ED needing resuscitated from abuse. Those kids are the ones that keep me up at night.
When performing an emergency Caesarian and the baby's head is lodged so hard in the pelvis that it just won't come out. It is really scary.
Those poop events happen almost on a daily to weekly basis, especially on a gastro ward. Worst was a old little lady on an ITU ward who hadn't passed any thing for a couple weeks. We sent a nurse in with a commode pan, a few minutes later the nurse emerged holding the pan with a thin paper towel draped over a clearly overflowing stack of human faeces that was the size of a newborn.
"Hitting a pocket of pus..."
Hitting a pocket of pus as I removed a chest tube and all of the juice spewing out onto me.
Disimpacting a WW2 veteran who hadn't pooped in 2 weeks. Same result but with poop.
"I mean, not much after awhile..."
I mean, not much after awhile, but I do remember this guy with his renal function in every way but the right one. He had collapsed in the out patients department while waiting for his heart clinic appointment. After he's resuscitated and everything, I'm asking him how much he drinks (He reeked of booze) and he says around 2-3 bottles of whiskey. Now that's a fair bit for a week, but people always underestimate so I go to clarify:
"So two or three bottles a week, any beer with that?"
"No, two or three a day. And sometimes some beer, yeah."
"How much beer would you say-"
He then starts seizing on me and his vitals drop through the floor. Yeah, he was drinking so much apparently the 2-3 hour wait for his appointment resulted in him going into withdrawal and seizing. You ever try to correct someone's electrolyte levels when their blood is mostly alcohol? It's a bad time. He arrested multiple times and it took us a solid three weeks to get his blood work anywhere near normal. This dude would be stable for a few seconds and then immediately swing into horribly unstable. Can't believe he was walking around like that for months beforehand. His blood had enough alcohol in it you could've run a car off it. If someone had lit a match around him I wouldn't have been surprised if he straight up exploded.
"During my time in the NICU..."
Pediatric Resident here.
During my time in the NICU I had several „Oh shit" moments, I think everyone of us does. In one of my first night shifts a 500g preterm newborn on non-invasive ventilation stopped breathing. I immediatelly started to bag her, which usually works nicely to stabilize the patient. Didn't work this time. I had the nurses call my attending to get here ASAP but he was about 20 minutes away, which was way too long for the patient. I had to intubate an extreme preterm baby on my own for the first time. The patient became bradycardic very quickly, the nurse started chest compressions, while another nurse handed me the laryngoscope. For some reason I stayed relatively calm and just thought „you better not f*** this up". I successfully intubated on my second try, heartrate shot back up, O2 saturation followed shortly after. We put her on a ventilator and when we were all done my legs just gave out. I had to go back to the doctors room, my whole body was shaking.
"I was saying that under my breath..."
I am a doctor. I was saying that under my breath as we were losing a 13 month old kid during a resuscitation.
"He used to tape a plastic shopping bag..."
There was a clinic patient with a colostomy who was not performing good maintenance. He used to tape a plastic shopping bag over his ostomy. You would smell him before you saw him. There was no amount of mint oil on the planet that took the smell away from the room and it hung there for days. It also didn't help that the guy was a raging putz who was non-compliant and likely on drugs.
"12 year old comes in..."
12 year old comes in with complaint of double vision. Came on suddenly a few nights ago and has slowly gotten worse. I perform cover test to assess eye alignment, but it doesn't make sense. She has severe divergence excess. Basically, the eyes are pointing outward more while focusing on something far away compared to close up. For eyes, this doesn't happen often because they have to converge (or point toward the nose) much more for an object up close. Then, it dawned on me. She had seen another eye doctor for an annual exam the month previous with absolutely no symtpoms; it had to be a tumor. We refer her out for surgery that day, but the hospital is hemming and hawwing. They put her off because "oh well she can just close an eye if she's seeing double."
When they finally X-Rayed her MORE THAN A MONTH LATER, the tumor had aldeady compressed her optic nerve and she lost all sight in one eye.
"Little old lady signs an RMA..."
EMT here. 3am call for leg pain. Little old lady signs an RMA and refuses transport to the hospital. Her husband pulls me aside and asks me to try to convince her to go because he's afraid that if it worsens, he won't be able to get her there himself and doesn't want to call for an ambulance again. I talk her into going-she refuses a stretcher or stair chair and climbs in the ambulance herself. We're on our way and I notice one leg is significantly shorter than the other. Yup-femur fracture.
"Our suspicion index..."
We were a Navy ship in a support role with a full surgical suite but minimal facilities in total. We had 2 doctors and 20 corpsmen. We were in port, and got a call from a small ship one dock over: Their corpsman was out, could they send a 3rd Class with chest pains over?
Our suspicion index is low - it's pretty rare for active duty sailors to have heart attacks, and 3rd Class is a low rank so it's someone young. So sure, send him over. What are the symptoms?
Well, he's got chest pains, but he thinks it might just be the burritos he had for lunch.
Our suspicion index is very low.
SO, we wait for this guy to come over. We get a call from the quarterdeck - he's here, they just walked up the gangplank.
Ok, our suspicion index is very, very, low.
Patient arrives. He is a middle-aged black man, a reservist. Suspicion index raises. He's holding his chest, sweating, and panting. Suspicion index to high. He takes of his shirt, he's got a scar from previous open heart surgery!
Panic Stations! Immediate EKG, Nitro under tongue, etc.
Turns out it was just the burritos for lunch, but things got tense for a bit when he first presented.
"I spent at least 30 minutes..."
Had a delirious post-operative patient following resection of some part of the colon(i forget exact details but probably left hemi) who had yanked off his ostomy bag and surgical dressing over a midline abdominal incision. There was melenic stool(dark black stool because of metabolized blood which has a very special stink) all over the place including within the surgical wound. I spent at least 30 minutes irrigating the wound and cleaning the patient. It was a f****** nightmare.
"As a student..."
As a student I was doing research in cardiac surgery and watching an aortic valve replacement. They'd used a minithoracotomy approach (6cm cut on the right/front of the chest wall) instead of the big midline one you usually see in cardiac surgery. He'd just come off bypass (the machine that acts as heart and lungs for a patient) and the blood pressure plummeted. I saw a systolic of 12mmHg on the art line (normal is 120, the pressure of static blood in blood vessels is around 7). A surgeon jumps on the chest to start CPR and every pump results in a huge gush of blood from the incision. The new aortic valve had torn off, so he was losing blood into his chest (and onto the floor) at a rate of ~6L/min (1.5gallons/min - basically your entire blood volume in 60 seconds).
Surgeon is frantically working in this tiny incision with everyone staring at him and yells "We're going back on bypass". Keeps working for another 15 seconds, then "SAW. NOW." He pulled off a thoracotomy (cutting skin, splitting sternum) and bypass cannulation in about 2.5 minutes. I've seen this take 40 minutes. Valve fixed, patient taken to ICU under sedation. No idea what the neurological outcome was, but the collective sphincter tone in that room would would make diamonds from charcoal.
"Grab the chart..."
First year doc on a medical ward, no seniors around. Nurse flags me "Hey doc your patient in 2 has a pretty low BP." Poke my head in and see someone I've never met before, who has the look of a dying man, with a systolic of 62. Grab the chart to get some fluids into him while I figure out what the fuck is going on and see that he'd been given 4 litres (1 gallon) over the past 3 hours. Panic.
Turns out he'd been admitted from ED 6 hours prior with biliary sepsis (not usually my team's responsibility) and only just arrived on ward. Things that went wrong: Admitting Dr did not tell ward staff they'd admitted a sick++ patient, admitting Dr did not see the patient again after initial assessment, patient sat in ED for 6 hours awaiting a ward bed, patient transferred to ward in septic shock, ward Dr not told patient had arrived on ward. Poor guy ended up dying a few hours later, alongisde my faith in that hospital's systems. There are SO many steps where someone could have said "hey something is wrong" before we got to the subtext of "Can you make the call to press the buzzer so I don't get in trouble for doing it if I'm wrong?"
"I was on my first practical as a nursing student..."
I was on my first practical as a nursing student and at morning handover we had been told one of the patients during the night had been delirious and ripped out his catheter (tube placed up the shaft of the penis into the bladder). This issue with this was that you don't just slide a tube in, once it's in you inflate a small balloon to prevent it from slipping out and when you remove it you need to deflate it in order to get it out.
Obviously the patient had not known/been able to deflate the balloon so it tore up the inside of his penis on the way out. Initially, the nurses/doctor on the nightshift had been able to replace the catheter and there seemed to be no further issues.
Around midday the patient started to become delirious again and the on call doctor said we needed to remove the catheter. I will never be able to get the image of bright red blood literally pouring out of this man's limp penis any time it was held in a position other than vertical.
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Love is crazy. I've finally come to that conclusion. And marriage, you take your life in your hands and just throw caution to the wind in hopes of survival with that step.
When love falls apart, things can get real messy, real fast. And I've always been stunned by people's behavior when love subsides.
More often than not, it's like they become different people. Sometimes people are beset by tragedy and grief and sometimes people smile wide and move on. It's a coin toss.
But my favorite post divorce personality has to be the sudden super villain. Oh honey watch out for them!
Redditor u/hyperyog wanted to hear all the tea from the divorcees out there by asking:
Divorced Redditors, what is the craziest thing you or your former spouse did after divorce?
I once had a friend who burned her ex's house down when he wasn't home. He had started seeing someone almost immediately, so she thought, lemme set their sparks. Yeah, she wasn't well. Whatever happened to just a quick goodbye?
Swipeddean winters crying GIF by MayhemGiphy
"She removed the retaining clips for my windshield wipers, but put the wipers back on the arms. First storm after I got my car back from her, driver side wiper flew off the car on Interstate 40. Good times."
"He wrote suicide notes and put them in my kids backpacks for them/me to find. Then he turned off his phone and went to a coworkers house to play crib and have drinks.. all the while knowing I would be freaking out searching for him thinking he was in danger or worse. Thankfully my kids didn't see the notes and didn't know what was going on. This was just one of the many, many crazy things he did. Two years out and he just recently stopped showing up at my work and driving by my house at night."
A Sad End
"Died of a drug overdose. To be fair, her drug addiction was the reason for the divorce, so maybe that isn't too crazy."
"That's so incredibly difficult to have gone through. I unfortunately know the depths of this kind of pain, and while I'm sure the circumstances surrounding it are different, the loss that still happened is a tragedy. My condolences."
"Stalked me for 5 years. Would make fake social media profiles to try to follow me (which I would block endlessly) and would try to find where I worked so she could talk to me. This lady cheated on me with 7 different men 2 months after we were married. I kicked her a** to the curb and made her sign the court papers."
"When we had our day in court she cried in the judges office while I just wanted to get this crap done. After, my dad was with me and he threw 50 dollars at her and told her to "change your freaking last name." Good guy Pops. I haven't seen or heard from her in about 5 years, thank goodness."
Take it All!skin care spinning GIF by Primal Life OrganicsGiphy
"I had an ex-boyfriend go through my apartment and take back every gift he had given me that he could find. Then he went in my bedside table and took the condoms. And the vibrator he had given me."
See now, when I'm out... I'm out! I don't want to see you, hear from you or know you. I wish you well in life, but please live it far from me. Anyone agree? Clearly not the people here. Let's continue...
For the Boybicycling father and son GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"All I wanted was custody of my son, I gave her everything else except one of our cars. She fought me through 5 hearings, I won. She never came to see him again."
"My ex cheated on me the week my mom died in the hospital. She spent a year and a half trying to get in touch with me. She would call my old work and make fake accounts trying to message me on FB. It was insane. She later sends a certified letter explaining she was sorry that she did what she did and that she aborted our child."
"Wanted me to meet her somewhere so she could apologize face to face. She already married some other guy that she had children with and was still trying to get in touch with me. I never understood her."
"After years of telling me she wanted a child, that she wanted to be a mom, that her life's dream was to be a stay at home mom, she got pregnant with the first guy she slept with while we were getting divorced and put the kid up for adoption even before it was born. This was a long-standing thing with her, she always wanted something (car, house, dog, cat, marriage, etc) and the second she got it she immediately hated it."
"Called me and pretended he had been hit by a car while we were talking. He even tried to voice the crowd that had gathered around his "body." God-awful acting, but pretty funny listening to him try to mimic a woman's voice. Points for trying to be inclusive, I guess."
"I think he was trying to get me to re-live my trauma of being on the phone with a friend who actually HAD been hit by a car while we were talking. Too bad he didn't realize that hearing the real thing is worlds different than hearing a dumba** try to act it out."
"I was sending 600 dollars a month to support my daughter because she's the only thing I give a sh!t about. My ex texts me and tells me I need to be sending 1200 a month because she's broke and can't pay her bills and I should feel guilty about it. She left me for another guy while I was on deployment I told her to go screw herself--call my lawyer."
Pop OffTom Hanks Drinking GIF by The Good FilmsGiphy
"Took the sodas from the fridge as he walked out the door. Dumfounded."
See, I blame Alanis Morissette and her "Jagged Little Pill" album. All I'm going to say is... the secret song. I think she gave people ideas. (I love that song) Y'all, seek therapy if you can't shake people. When it's done, let it be done.
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Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is highly regarded for his delicious plates, his ability to run a solid restaurant, and, let's face it, his stage presence.
He's also a foul-mouthed Brit who is all too willing to dismantle people's self-esteems and compare them to livestock animals.
Alas, as watching all reality television goes, we love to see the crashing and burning.
But what if the shoe was on the other foot? What if you were the one being torn into by the sailor of all chefs, Mr. Gordon Ramsay.
Wondering what horrible dishes were lurking in unknown kitchens all over the place, Redditor FalloutSl*t413 asked:
"What's something you made that was 100% delicious but Gordon Ramsay would slap you for anyway?"
Some people talked about those purely functional meals that are just perfect for piling on enough protein and calories to get through the day.
"My mom used to make us 'Volcanoes.' Mashed potatoes topped with ground beef with some ketchup. I still tear it up to this day."
Quick and Easy
"I make weeknight 'enchiladas.' "
"You stick frozen taquitos in a casserole dish and cover them with canned or frozen chili and cheese. Bake them until everything's hot, serve with a dollop of sour cream. They sound disgusting but they taste amazing, and they take like, five minutes to prep."
"I know it looks like, smells like, and probably tastes like cat food but potted meat sandwiches. Look, when you're poor as hell and you can make 3 sandwiches with one little can that cost like 20 cents, it's pretty good."
"While I'm at it, Treet and bologna are pretty great. I have the taste palette of a raccoon and I like it that way."
"When I was younger I would make this thing where it was a patty melded of:"
- "a can of tuna"
- "two eggs
"And I would eat that almost daily, pan-fried, for lunch. Just slap me now and lets get it over with."
Others shared the recipes they make to feel fancy despite being totally trashy.
A Nuanced Process
"I call them 'chicken puffs.' Some par-cooked chicken (white or dark meat, either works) with sauteed serrano peppers and onions and garlic."
"All wrapped in crescent roll dough in little balls (a bit smaller than a baseball), put in a casserole tray filled juuuuust above the top of the little dough balls with cream of roasted chicken soup. Baked to completion/safety."
"Overly indulgent and delicious."
A Famous Side
"I consistently make a box of pastaroni angel hair and herbs as a side with meals I prepare for people. EVERYONE always asks for the recipe LOL please don't tell my secret"
Just a Couple Additions
" 'Fancy Ramen' Ramen made normal. Don't mix seasoning. Drain water. Add Mayo. Then mix in seasoning. And Volia. A lot of people question it. Until they try it."
Others outlined the things they eat that combine some ingredients it may seem disgusting to mix together.
Throw An Egg On There
"Fu** it lasagna, alternating layers of bread and shredded cheese (your choice which, I use cheddar) then crack an egg on top and put it in the microwave. Old depression meal, but it still holds up."
Hard to Wrap Your Head Around
"As a kid I would eat a banana with a cheese slice. Haven't tried it in years but it might hold up" -- Send_it_to_me
"Let's not" -- Sea-Entertainer-4974
"When I was younger I would make toast with peanut butter on it, then add pepperoni. Delicious then but I cringe thinking about trying it today"
The truly horrifying thing? There are so many more recipes out there that would leave Ramsay trembling.
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People love to talk about food. There are blogs, books, television shows, conversations in bars and farmers markets. In all likelihood, there is a recipe swap happening right this second in some deep corner of a suburb somewhere.
But sometimes talk is a lot of hot air. And the topic of food sure isn't immune to that criticism.
You can't get through a day without some telling you what "you gotta try."
The problem is, talking about food is often far more exciting than the food itself.
Redditor anicaodha asked:
"What food is overhyped?"
Many people were angry about garnishes. They hated the way restaurants try to entice people to eat certain menu items by slapping some kitschy ingredient on there.
A Very Expensive Burger
"Anything with gold flakes, absolutely pointless." -- Spend_Total
"ugh, i just remembered throwing up gold flakes from goldschlager, yuck!" -- spaceygracie12
"Aka how to add a crunch to your dish like a douche." -- CakeBot_TheReckoning
Catches the Eye Though
"Any rainbow food, rainbow grilled cheese, rainbow smoothie..."
"Just a cheap money grab."
No Breath On My Meal Please
"Dragon's breath/ nitro puffs or any dessert that contains liquid nitrogen to make it look cool." -- throwjango
"This stuff exists? God, I'm out of the loop." -- -The-Magic-8-Ball
"Truffle oil, usually doesn't contain a single truffle." -- BlckontheMoon
"The 1 thing I love about Truffle oil is I've never seen someone use it on a cooking competition show and not lose." -- igotmadshirts
Some people talked about the big trends that they just never could quite figure out.
That Almighty Nectar
"Remember when people were treating Nutella like it was the second coming of Christ?" -- Grapezard
"I had an Italian friend once invite me to his birthday party in high school. His mom made a Nutella pie and it was one of the greatest desserts I've never had the pleasure of trying again. It was so simple, like a soft flaky dough covered with Nutella."
"I don't want to come out of the blue and ask this kid for his mom's recipe 15 years later so I'll just suffer I suppose." -- JupiterTarts
"Red velvet is literally a red chocolate cake that has nowhere near enough chocolate and to much red food coloring. It literally was invented when done dudes chocolate turned kinda red when he added vinegar to the chocolate cake mix."
"Friends loved the color, but it was finicky to get the red color without changing flavor of cake, so he decided to use red food coloring."
"Fu**ing Avocado Toast.
"Avocado is a buck. Toast is few cents. Avocado Toast is $10+"
And some discussed the things that people insist are fancy and delectable, but are really just run of the mill entirely.
Meat is Meat?
"steak is good, and I'd even say a high quality steak can be very very good. But people act like it's better than busting a nut and that's just not true. It's just meat"
"Lobster. It's good, but poor value given it's almost always the most expensive protein available."
"Plus most places just drown it in butter, which again, fine, but if all you taste is butter, why spend that much?"
Depends on the House
" 'Housemade' ketchup. Give me the damn Heinz and get your banana aoili mess away from me." -- peanutbutterallytime
"I live in Pittsburgh and I have seen multiple restaurants try and fail to make housemade ketchup work. Every single time they go back to Heinz." -- HooBoy401
So if you find yourself tired of hearing people go on and on about something you don't go wild over, know that there are others fuming too.
It's not easy to always do the right thing.
Which is why most people don't usually do the right thing. Doing the right thing involves a lot of thought, empathy for others, and a self-awareness of your place in the world. You're not making a choice just for yourself, you're more often than not doing it for someone else. This, in itself, presents a difficult hill for most people to climb so, usually, they feel it's easier to make the selfish choice.
Doesn't mean people always do. They can surprise you sometimes.
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
What's the hardest moral decision you've ever had to make?
Even when the choice amounts to something small, it can still matter to someone else.
How Dare You Make Me Morally Astute?!
"This is small potatoes compared to most of the people on this thread but many years ago I was travelling and had very little money. I went to a stall at a market, handed them a 10 dollar bill. Item cost 5 dollars but instead of handing me a five dollar note, the handed me a 50."
"I was walking away from the stall when noticed. My first thought was BONUS. But I had lately been hanging out with a bunch of people who were really into karma. So I stormed back to the stall, slammed the 50 down on the counter and told them off for making me make moral decisions. Lady behind the counter was like "ahhhhhh, thanks"
Didn't Believe The First Time, But Can't Deny Visual Evidence
"I told a co-worker his wife was cheating on him. It ruined our friendship for a good amount of time, until he caught her himself."
"To bad he couldn't just believe you."
Owning Up To The Mistake
"Fessing up to an error I made at work that cost the company 5k. I was a manager and misinterpreted a sales promotion. I almost lost my job, this is the one time that telling the truth actually saved me. It's true what they say that the cover up is usually worse than the crime. Lesson learned.."
Doing something morally correct when it comes to family can be tricky. On one hand, you don't want to ruffle the feathers of the people you're going to be related to for the rest of your life...which is how family works.
On the other hand, do the right thing.
Making The Best Call For Your Children
"Removing the mother of my two sons out of their lives completely as she was unfit and abusive while I was on deployment. They were 3-4 years old then and now they are 17 and 15 with their mother never attempting to come back into their lives which I would prefer at this point."
Because They're Going To Be Sad Later...
"My grandmother died, and I lied to my parents about it."
"My grandparents were 95 and my parents hadn't had a vacation in 30 years. So when she passed away with only 5 days remaining on their vacation, my family decided not to ruin it for them; instead, we'd plan the entire funeral and if my mother wanted to make adjustments when she returned, we'd arrange it for her; there was nothing they could do to get her back."
"Having to decide on the DNR (do not resuscitate) order for my father who had been victim to a massive stroke..."
"I know millions have done it before and millions will again but to me it was devastating....."
"As a health worker, you did the right thing by your father. I've come across families of patients who keep them alive for their own peace of mind while the patient themselves is tired and in alot of pain mentally and physically from the constant treatments and would rather rest from it all. Don't feel bad for your decision."
Never doubt your actions when it comes to protecting children.
"Calling CPS on a student's family after she begged me not to. CPS did an investigation and she was pissed at me for months until the vice principal had a talk with her and explained that I only did it because I care and didn't want her to get hurt."
"That VP is awesome. I sat in his office while he coached me through the call, since it was my first time calling CPS."
Standing Up For Your Friend, Even When No One Else Will
"I was in high school and my best friend was being bullied on the bus. She brought a knife to school and had previously mentioned a list of people. I cried a lot when I went to the principal to turn her in. I knew I was ruining her life but I wanted her to get help. I didn't want anyone to get hurt because we were all just kids. She was expelled and forced into therapy. We had been friends since we were 11."
"My mom listened on the phone line when I was trying to comfort my friend (while absolutely not admitting it was me) and my mom jumped on and told her I'm not allowed to be her friend anymore. I had told my mom I had turned her in and she had no empathy for this girl. Because I had been bullied and stood up for myself and never "did anything like that". My friend was getting cornered on the bus by 4 people whereas I was normally taunted in public and was lucky enough to always have an upperclassmen or school employee around to help me out. I felt guilty about turning her life upside down for many years but would do it again because she did get help."
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/