Doctors Share The Worst Thing They Have Ever Experienced At Work
For most of us, a bad day at work might mean a missed deadline, having to fire off a few snarky "per my last email"s or maybe a snoozefest of a meeting. For medical professionals, a bad day at work can mean literally the worst - or last - day of someone's life.
These are those stories.
Reddit user J0E_The_Psych0121 asked:
Doctors/surgeons/nurses of reddit, what's the worst thing you experienced while at work?
We're going to caution you, if you've got a weak stomach for talking about bodily fluids (or solids... or semi-solids) or you're easily upset by talk of death or dying, proceed with caution. This article will have plenty of it all.
The responses were sometimes funny in retrospect, but for the most part they ranged from disgusting to heartbreaking to disgustingly heartbreaking. Take a look.
Go Through It Alone
"Taking care of a fall patient that broke her pelvis. She just found out her husband had cancer and she wouldn't be there for him. She was crying, telling me that he was there for every appointment and treatment when she had cancer, and now he'd have to go through it alone. She felt like she was failing him or letting him down."
"She About To Die Anyway"
"Watching another nurse pulling a fall mat away from a patients floor next to her bed. When asked why, she said flatly (in front of the patient!) "She about to die anyway."
"The patients mouth was stuck open because she was so emaciated, but she could still cry. Her frozen face somehow allowed her to still cry after she heard that, and she did for a long time. I sat there with her. The patient was in custody of the state (a mental hospital) and they chose to withhold food and water as a type of forced DNR (do not resuscitate.)"
"Part of a DNR type of plan can include refusing artificial ways of being fed like a feeding tube etc... and if someone else is in charge of making you a DNR or not because you've been deemed not of sound mind, then yes that can happen. A lot of mental patients have no family and their "guardians" are the state. The state doesn't know the patient and will chose whatever option they want, typically the most "cost effective" one which can lead to situations like this."
"She was around 90 something. We were forced to watch her slowly starve to death and were not cleared to give her enough medication to ease her awareness of it."
"The nurse who made that heartless comment in front of the patient was reported, but I don't know what happened because I quit right after that."
The Longest Incident Report
"Former Paramedic, long story short, got a call for what turned out to be a very dead, decomposing man who had passed alone in his apartment. His body was filled with gas (fairly common.) As I'm standing by the body calling the hospital to give them a heads up about what's about to come their way and get approval to move, the new EMT decides to poke gas filled body. It explodes. He loses a hand and a trillion vaporized bits of dead old man cover me, got in my open mouth, under my clothes, etc. Taste was...awful."
"A lot of gas can accumulate in dead bodies, and if it gets trapped, it can be almost like a bomb. New guy was kneeling next to the body, I think this was his first serious call because he had that kind of glazed-over, "I'm in shock" look in his eyes, and he put his hand on the guy's stomach. NEVER press on bloated dead body's stomach. His hand sank down into this bloated, gas filled sack until said sack just..broke."
"My crew chief said it would be like sinking your fist into a box of firecrackers. Honestly, not sure how he came up with that analogy and didn't really work in my mind. But yeah... dead body exploded, got gunk everywhere and took off the EMT's hand."
"After hundreds of showers I could still smell corpse on me. My SO at the time said every time she nuzzled me, or got close to my hair she could smell it too. It was like that for about a week. It still makes me gag to think about - but that new kid's life was pretty much permanently changed."
"Longest Incident Report I have ever filed."
Fear Of Dentists
"This happened when my wife was a student nurse. A guy came in who had broken a tooth; but as he had a morbid fear of dentists and of anything to do with his mouth, he didn't seek any treatment for months and the tooth got horribly infected."
"By the time he came to hospital, he was seriously ill and it was too late. The infection got into his blood and he died a few days later of septicemia. Apparently, the smell from his mouth was the worst smell that any of the staff had ever experienced."
Why I Gave Up On Pediatrics
"This case in my internship made me give up on specializing in pediatrics."
"Young boy got brought in for rheumatic heart disease, already in heart failure. Apparently this all started from a minor skin infection and went all the way up into his heart valves. We met him already in the pediatric ICU. He was still conscious and able to talk, and so for his first day we built a sort of rapport."
"The next morning, before my friends and I clocked out, he wasn't looking so great so the resident in charge called in the general surgery team to perform a cutdown to expose his veins for access. I had to hold down the poor kid during the procedure, since local anesthesia could only do so much. He was screaming so I told him, "Just hold on, we'll get through this!"
"He nodded and said "Okay" then tried his best to be brave."
"That was the last conversation we had. When I came in for my next shift, he was already intubated. The only parent with him was his father, since his mother was employed overseas. Now for many of these cases, a letter to the employer is needed to explain why so and so must go home in this case of family emergency. I volunteered to draft the letter and send it out so we could get this lady on a flight soon, and have her come home for her son."
"As soon as I put the last period on that letter I was typing in the nurse's station, the kid coded just a few feet away. We couldn't bring him back. The next worst part, of course, was telling his father what had just happened and asking if he wanted us to stop the resuscitation. That conversation will stay with me."
"No one should have to bury a child due to something so preventable."
Death Over Debt
"The saddest one was a woman who had an aggressive but treatable cancer. She was riddled with guilt from all the debt her family was incurring and broke down when she told me she wished she would just die soon so that the debt would stop accumulating. That one hurt to hear."
When Mom Only Wants One Baby
"Respiratory therapist here. When I was a student we had to do a rotation through a NICU/PICU. The NICU was very busy with 7 or 8 sets of twins all on mechanical ventilation. As the therapist I was with was giving me a generalized report on the babies and trying to teach me about the disease states the babies were experiencing, she said "and mom only wants one of them" and moved on like it was nothing."
"I asked if it was common if a family only wanted one baby and she said "Oh, yes. all the times. sometimes it's because one baby is a lot worse than the other and mom doesn't want to get too attached in case it doesn't make it, or, like those two over there, mom can only afford one of them."
"I couldn't believe something like that took place and was as common place as it was. Made me never want to work in pediatrics. The human experience is far, far worse than the traumas and illnesses."
"People think they want everything possible done to save them until they see what that means on a dying family member. We had it happen in our family. It took two months for her spouse to finally let their dying partner go and the shock and grief made our younger daughter not talk for a year. I went gray in those two months and my husband barely spoke during that time. Death with dignity should be available for anyone who needs it."
"Our younger daughter is back to singing again after years of therapy. We all wish more people knew the importance of medical wishes being filed before things go really wrong so that nobody else suffers the way my family member did because of someone that just doesn't want to let go. She needlessly suffered and it devastated everyone else."
"I worked a temp job for a local hospital's home health/hospice department. One of my jobs was to call new patients and confirm their address before the nurse and/or therapist would make their first visit. I had to call this one patient who tried to take his own life by jumping in front of a commuter train."
"When I called, his uncle answered and went on a twenty minute rant about how worthless his nephew was and how he was a complete burden on the family now and that it would have been better if he died. I understand suicide can be seen as a selfish act but my heart went out to this guy."
"The patient obviously had some stuff going on to push to the point of attempting to end his life and then for him to survive and have to listen to his family member say such harsh things... it was brutal to say the least. I often wonder what happened to him."
Diarrhea Blood FountainGiphy
"I was a 3rd year med student on my 3 month internal medicine rotation. For people who don't know, this is generally the time in your life where you feel the most stupid every minute of every day."
"I had arrived for work just barely on time (at 430 am) for my 573 hour shift. Of course I was dressed to the nines because medicine is stupid sometimes and you have to dress to impress. Tie, nice shoes, slacks, button up, that sort of thing. Might as well have had on tails and a top hat. Imagine a monocole for effect."
"I started rounding of course. I went in to see a patient I will call "Mr. Hipaa." I had seen him for several days at this point and he was usually pretty chipper. He had been in the ICU for a GI bleed, but had done great and now stepped down to the floor. This morning he wasn't talking very much. That's not unusual though, it was 442 AM and I was barely conscious myself. But something felt off and there was just an odor in the room."
"My spider sense was tingling so I checked the bathroom. They always say you only have to smell melena once to never forget. This was my once. The floor, the toilet, the walls, were covered in that inky black anal spray. I was assaulted by the pungent aroma of iron shavings and death. It was icky. So I went, "Oh. Mr. Hipaa I'll be right back!"
"I toddled off to find one of my residents. Those lazy bums didn't usually wander in until after 5. Managed to find my chief who seemed uninterested in what I had to say. I wasn't chicken little, I had never cried wolf before. I remember this seemed fairly important and him showing no interest whatsoever. Bad resident, no donut."
"So I went to the real power on the floor, the nurses station."
"They promptly did the wrong thing too."
"They check his BP and systolic is in the low 80s. Prior had always hovered in the 130/40s. My internal dialogue is screaming "that boy aint right!" but my third year medical student body is standing there, now surrounded by multiple nurses, just trying not to get in the way and trying not to look even more stupid or say the wrong thing."
"Well, they want to move him to the chair. I still all these years later have no idea why. I managed to squeak out a "Should we be standing him up right now given the crazy low BP and massive blood loss?" but an MS3 speaking is like a fart in the wind so I went unheard."
"So we stand him up. I'm holding on to his left arm, another nurse on his right. He had little strength to support himself. A half a gallon of blood-tinged feces (or feces tinged blood?) promptly falls out of him and on to the floor. I mean it literally fell. Imagine moving your china cabinet and it tilts a little bit and the dishes just FALL. It didn't squirt, or spray. It just fell as a mass, hitting the floor and splashing out."
"At that point Mr. Hipaa decides, "Enough with being conscious!" and promptly passes out. It could have been something to do with he now had a Hgb around 3 and went from laying to standing with a BP on the lower end of life compatibility. Now I'm a regular sized big guy, 6' 200 pounds. My nurse was 5'3 120. Mr. Hipaa was 6'3 250. There was no stopping this fall once it began. Timmmmbbbeeeeeerrrrrr He fell face forward and planted... right into his bed! Crisis averted! My moment of joy was instantly changed to terror as I looked down at his bare behind, jack-knifed into the air like a Whataburger A-Frame. Then it happened."
"Diarrhea blood fountain."
"The perfect symmetry of it as it exploded from him is something I'll never forget. It was like the Bellagio, or Buckingham fountain in Chicago. Just this perfect fluid dynamic cone that reached a foot and a half into the air then gently allowed gravity to pull it down making that gorgeous trumpet like flare."
"Except it was made of diarrhea and blood."
"I, in my tie and fancy clothes suddenly became Neo from the matrix. My concrete pillars were the various nurses. They took hit after hit, while I dodged like Christian Bale in Equilibrium. I danced, I juked, I spun like no one has ever spun before. I was the Fred Astaire of sh*t swerving."
"When it was all said and done, three nurses lost their lives that day (meaning were covered in feces and blood) while I, who had been staring down that fleshy barrel, had gotten away without one speck of red or brown or black on me."
"The outcome? Mr. Hipaa went back to the ICU, little bit of PRBC, another embolization and he was home happy and healthy two weeks later, I got in trouble for not letting my resident know what was going on (WHAT?!), And as far as I'm aware those nurses are still showering to this day."
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/
We thank all the medical professionals out there for their commitment to their patients.
Do you have any experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Humans make mistakes.
It's part of the deal with life.
But some mistakes and choices can have huge repercussions.
The trick is to not dwell on the outcomes.
That dwelling leads to a lot of regret.
Redditor FroyoNecessary5999 wanted to hear about the things we could all change about the past, so they asked:
"What is something you did that you deeply regret doing?"
Sometimes I feel like my whole life is one big regret.
TimeGIF by Ariana GrandeGiphy
"Putting time and efforts into relationships/friendships that I should have just let go the first chance I had."
"Alternatively, not putting enough time and effort into relationships/friendships that actually were worth it."
We just can't...
"Probably rejecting my grandpa when he wanted to play chess, he then fell from a roof like a week later and I never had the chance to play chess with him again, still bothers me that I kinda never had this moment with him.."
"I have this fear now, while my parents are still alive. And my psychologist says the most sensible thing: we can't spend every moment with the people that love us. We just can't. And they don't expect us to. It wouldn't be healthy. And so we will ALL have SOME moments where we have said no. And that's okay. Or else we'd be resentful."
"I was seven years of age, I had an argument with my mother the night before she died. Before I went to bed she asked me for a hug I told her NO and stormed off to bed. The next morning I woke up to find everyone in the house was gone, it was very surreal and confusing. My father came back in that morning crying and told me my mother had died of a brain hemorrhage."
"Never go to bed on an argument."
"When I was 7 or 8 years old, I snapped at my dad for getting me the wrong video game and I can still see the disappointment in his face. Haunts me to this day."
"I remember my grandma taking me to the mall as a kid, and I was getting super upset I couldn’t get this $50 Pacsun hoodie. $50 hoodies are common now, but it was very expensive then. I freaked out and even said I pay her back. We ended up going back for it. What haunts me most is I didn’t even wear it. I really don’t know why I acted that way and still feel terrible."
Too Young to KnowMake It Rain Money GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
"Not opening a retirement account when I was 18 like I was told to."
"That and not investing my money I made bartending in my 20s. When you're that young you don't think about things like that unfortunately."
I'm still at a loss about investing.
I need to figure that out.
Maxed!credit card debt GIFGiphy
"Use my credit card too much to buy things I didn’t need. Now I’m dealing with a maxed out credit card that’s killing me every month."
Practice is Perfect
"I deeply regret letting my creative writing and piano playing skills go to sh*t. Ever since I entered the corporate world 19 years ago, it has consumed me, and I no longer feel passionate about those things. I stopped practicing everything. When I try to make myself do them, it feels like just that, like I am forcing myself and it is no longer fun. I feel like I’ve become a shell of my former self in so many ways."
"Getting married to my first girlfriend at 19. I rushed the relationship because it felt good to not be alone and I thought that I could help her with her depression and anxiety, was hoping to have kid with her as well. However as time went on she just got worse and worse and kept using her depression as a crutch to justify every shi**y thing she did."
"When I started experiencing depression I stopped trying to keep things together and we got divorced a few years ago. I still haven't recovered mentally from it and between that and the pandemic I feel like a shell of the man I used to be."
Peace OutPhaedra Parks Bye Felicia GIFGiphy
"Being too loyal and putting up with poor treatment from so called friends to the detriment of my mental health... not anymore *itches."
"Cut them all out when I realized they were unable to respond to me in a healthy way and still expected me to be on default fawning mode."
Biggest Lesson? Don't let life slip by.
Those who grew up between the '80s and early 2000s have a long memory of items and experiences that either went out of style or disappeared completely.
From early PC games to Blockbuster to favorite snacks, there's a lot to miss from childhood.
But the odd thing is how quietly some of these things went away, and how few people seemed to notice.
Feeling nostalgic, Redditor lukiiiiii asked:
"What quietly went away without anyone noticing?"
"ROFL (Rolling on the Floor Laughing) dropped off of the face of the planet, and now we just go straight from LOL (Laughing Out Loud) to LMAO (Laughing My A** Off)."
"I've been using it way more lately because of this. ROFL; can't let the classics die."
Save Those Box Tops!
"Actual toys in cereal boxes and Cracker Jack boxes."
The Early Facebook Years
"Facebook 'Poke' wars."
How the Times Have Changed
"People calling them 'camera phones.'"
"When you turn off the TV, how the image would shrink to a dot before slowly fading away."
"When you turn off the TV and then you run your finger on the screen and hear the crackle and feel the static on the glass."
Positive Environmental Change
"It was a huge environmental issue in the late 70s through the early 90s. Rain was acidic and damaged fertile areas among other things."
"In the US, there was much research done, and eventually industrial regulations were put into place. Companies were allowed to decide what approach they chose to take as long as the results showed the appropriate amount of reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions."
"Unfortunately, positive news doesn't sell, so news outlets did not do justice to reporting this success. As we went into the 2000s, hardly anyone remembered what was done."
Can We Say, 'Nom Nom Nom'?
"McDonald's all-day breakfast menu."
"The pandemic killed a lot more than just people. I really miss McDonald's all-day breakfast."
"And being able to go to Walmart at 2 AM."
The Days of Landlines and Cords
"I live in a rural area and have to pay for landline service to have internet. Since I have to pay for something so stupid, I figured I'd have to get something stupid."
"...So I got the hamburger phone from the movie 'Juno.'"
"Not gonna lie, the landline has come in clutch a few times, and holding a hamburger to your ear is amusing every time. 10/10 would recommend."
Late-night Grocery Runs
"I think people have noticed now but at the time, nobody noticed it was happening: the closing of 24-hour stores. I live in a major city and we don’t have a single 24-hour grocery store ever since the pandemic."
"In a World Where..."
"Movie trailers with that deep voice guy [Don LaFontaine] doing the voiceovers."
"SoBe. I think the last time I had one was at Quizno's."
"[cue 'X-Files' Music]"
Gizzard the Taco Bell Dog
"Taco Bell used to have a chihuahua as their mascot. Little dude just disappeared one day, and anyone born after 2000 probably doesn't even know what I am talking about."
"Google+ was the only social media our school forgot to block on our laptops, so I used it a lot. RIP."
Some of these really brought back some deeply-engrained memories for the '80s to '00s kids, and it's true that many of them blipped out of existence quietly.
But if this teaches us anything, it doesn't mean that "out of sight, out of mind" also has to mean "out of heart."
And let's have a moment of silence for the vocal stylings of Don LaFontaine and Gizzard the talking Taco Bell dog.
We all know that the human body is very complex.
But even with all the recorded and available science, there are certain things about our bodies that continue to elude us, and medical experts can still get stumped about how the human form reacts unpredictably.
Curious to discover some of the mystifying yet unsettling truths about our anatomy, Redditor Hot_Banana_Ice-cream asked:
"What is a creepy fact about the human body?"
Now, observe this.
"If you wear glasses which vertically inverts your vision long enough, your brain will correct it, and you'll see things normal. But when your take those glasses off, everything will look upside-down again until brain recalibrates again."
"Our brain filters out a lot of what we see along with just straight making sh*t up based on extrapolation."
"My favorite is the blind spot at the center of each eye, where the optic nerve is."
"A lot of people don't even know it exists, and even if they do, it is bigger than people often think."
"And it's also really easy to demonstrate to people if you know how. It's one of my favorite bar tricks - all you need is a pen and a napkin to draw a cross and a dot."
Alternate demo: https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/chvision.html
"Edit: If it doesn't work, you're doing something wrong - not getting close enough, the image is too small on your phone, you're not closing the correct eye or not keeping your gaze fixed on the cross."
"It isn't because you don't have a blind spot. Unless you're a squid, you have a blind spot. All vertebrates have them."
The workings of our innards are out of this world.
The intestines are covered by a double "fleece" of peritoneum. See it like a blanket.
When your intestines get damaged for whatever reason, this blanket starts moving out of itself and crawling upwards towards the place which has the injury. It will stay there until the injury is recovered. And then move on again.
Maybe not the most creepy fact, but definitely interesting in my opinion.
Do Do That Doo-Doo
"We don't just have one anal sphincter. When poo comes along it passes another inner sphincter which isn't under voluntary control."
"Sensory cells can detect whether you're about to pass gas or solid. From toddler age on, you can decide to go or not to go. If the time isn't right (e.g. at a friend's house or no toilet nearby), the inner sphincter can push the poo back and store it there for later."
"That's why sometimes if you need to do a number two but don't go, the urge goes away after about 20 minutes later. (But seriously, go if you can. Constipation risk.)"
"Gas can't be pushed back so easily, so we sometimes toot by accident when moving or engaging the core."
The Same Lining
"The inside of your cheek and your rectum are lined by the same type of tissue."
You don't always have control of your body.
Taste Of Curiosity
"The front of your tongue is curious, constantly patrolling, and autonomous. It chases the dentist around your mouth and you aren’t even aware of it. So embarrassing and weird/creepy."
"In dental school, I learned this fact when practicing taking impressions on each other. My buddy’s tongue kept licking my finger. I asked him to quit licking me, and he was like 'I can’t help it!' And then we switched places and my tongue wouldn’t leave him alone.And for those of you that don’t think your tongue does this: some of you are right. But the majority of you just think your tongue is behaving, but it is all over the place without you even knowing."
Dancing With The Dead
"Bodies will move as they’re coming out of rigor. I’ve been bumped by a few (I’m a coroner). Bodies can also make sounds as the remaining air/ gas leaves… 2am in the morgue and I thought I was in COD zombies."
Wonder of wonders.
The Only Way Out
"When you get laser tattoo removal the ink doesn’t disappear, you pee it out."
"Your body’s immune system breaks down the pigments of ink and it flows in your blood stream, gets processed through your kidneys, then you pee out the ink."
Our soul-containing vessel is a mysterious wonder unique to us.
We should do whatever it takes to take great care of it because it's the only one we've got.
If we don't, they might turn on us.
When the global pandemic hit in march of 2020, countless companies saw themselves going under.
Sadly, some companies, from a wide variety of businesses, simply couldn't adapt to working under the parameters of social distancing, or couldn't adapt in time, resulting in them permanently closing their doors.
Many people were sad to see these companies close, while many others were even sadder that some companies managed to pull through and stay open.
Indeed, long before Covid-19 wreaked havoc on the world, some companies and corporations people felt were actually detrimental to society would be doing the world a favor by going out of business.
Redditor param_T_extends_THOT was curious to find out which companies people fell into this less than prolific category, leading them to ask:
"Which company could go out of business tomorrow and it would be to the betterment of this world?"
Nothing Express About It
"Express Scripts."- BadDadJokes
Wildly Different, Yet Equally Unnecessary
"Glitter manufacturers."- Sped-Connection
Where To Even Begin?
"The church of Scientology?"- dipshipsaidsochurch building GIF by South Park Giphy
Beware The Pyramids
"Any MLM bullsh*t."- Work-Alone
Taylor Swift Would Probably Agree
You Really Want To Trust Them With Your Money?
"HSBC, one of the largest banks in the world, is a criminal enterprise:"
"In 2012, the bank paid $1.9 billion to settle charges brought by U.S. authorities that it had failed to prevent money laundering by Mexican drug cartels."
"In 2013, HSBC was fined $1.92 billion by US and UK regulators for its role in the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), a benchmark interest rate."
"In 2014, the bank was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice for violating sanctions against Iran, Sudan, and other countries."
"In 2018, the bank was charged by the US Department of Justice for violating the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering regulations."
"Also, Nestle."- alecsputnik
"Joel Osteen's ministries."- ststevegJoel Osteen Highwire Live GIF by Volcano Live! with Nik WallendaGiphy
Maybe All Big Pharma?
'Seems like the general consensus is Nestle, but I’ll be weird and say DuPont."
"They’re the reason every living human on the planet has Forever Chemicals running through their bloodstream."-poppidypoppop
"Blinded By The Light"...
"Everyone one that makes blindingly bright low beam bulbs."- RetinaMelter9000s
One Bad Experience Can Ruin It Forever
"Mark's plumbing."- GreenieMachinie93Rockos Modern Life 90S GIFGiphy
"Oh The Wells Fargo Wagon Is A Comin' Down The Street..."
"Wells Fargo."- Itchy_Focus_4500
Honestly, Can't Agree With This One
"F*cking TurboTax."- camilofl20
"Dirty mercenary army with soldiers for hire."
"They have caused chaos where ever they have gone."
"Syria, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Libya, Venezuela, mali, Mozambique and a few other places, they have no desire to see a peaceful world as that would financially cripple them as a organization."
"Look at what they are doing to the Ukrainian people."
"Despicable organization and they have zero moral compass."- Weary_Violinist_3610
Maybe all Credit Reporting?
"Experian, Equifax, and/or Transunion."
"Leeches on America."- compusmackSmiley Face Thumbs Up GIF by Tier One CreditGiphy
Can't Help But Say It, Did She Really Think "goop" Was An Appealing Name?
"Comcast & goop."- celeresaharano·
Be it poor customer service, questionable business practices, or just plain fraud, it's hard not to agree that any or all of these companies would not be missed should they close their doors.
After all, when a health and wellness brand openly tells you that some or all of its products may not actually improve your health or wellness, that just about says it all.
...even if Shakespeare in Love remains a romantic gem...