Annoyingly Dumb Patients
Medicine is a difficult profession. Thanks to the wonder that is human nature, healthcare workers are subjected to incredible Darwin-award-winning scenarios daily, so it’s no wonder that many of them feel the need to go home and scream into their pillows at night. From self-inflicted injuries to dangerous prescription misuses, these Redditors revealed the most facepalm-worthy patients they’ve ever encountered.
But be warned: They’ll all leave you wondering how we’ve survived this long as a species.
There Is No Plan Cwhite and red cross signPhoto by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
I’m a pharmacist. One evening, I was working a relief shift (not at my usual pharmacy). A man comes in looking distressed. He tells me, “I had intimate relations with a woman I do not intend to pursue a long-term relationship with”. Yes, he said it just like that. I say, “Okay. I’m assuming there was an accident, or it was unprotected. How long ago did it happen”? He answers, “Last night, at 7 PM on the couch”.
Woah, TMI. I just needed to know the approximate time so I’d know if Plan B would work. I start to tell him, “We have this medication called Plan B, and since the incident happened within 72 hours—” but he interrupts me and I was thrown completely off guard: “Oh yes, I got that for her already yesterday, right after we finished. We want to know if there is anything we can do to know if she is pregnant now”.
I answer, “Unfortunately not. She’ll have to wait three weeks or so to see if she gets her period, and if she doesn’t, she can do a pregnancy test then. Theoretically, you could do a blood test for faster results, but that would also not be until a couple of weeks, at least”. He responds, “We’re just really anxious because she doesn’t want to be pregnant. Is there anything that she can take to prevent the pregnancy? Any multivitamin? Minerals? Food”?
I tell him, “She’s already taken it, which was the Plan B. There are some other options, but those are prescriptions. And no, there are no over-the-counter products she can take”. Then he asks, “What about me? Is there anything I can take now to prevent the pregnancy? Any multivitamins or minerals”? A little bemused, I just answer, “…No sir. There isn’t anything you can take now”.
Get A Load Of This Guy
I’m 73, and I’m a former clinical microbiologist from LONG ago. Still, I found myself all over the clinical lab at times, not just infectious diseases. So, one day, this 20-something guy (with his wife and mom in tow) walks in with a paper request for an analysis of his “swimmers”, pre-computer era. Okay, not the most comfortable encounter, but I’m a professional, and I’d done this drill many times.
It turned out he had not been briefed by the doctor and had no idea how establishing infertility in males was done. Well, okay—this would be a challenge, then. I took him aside and, using standard medical terminology, told him how a diagnosis is made and what he needed to do to provide a specimen. He couldn’t believe that I was asking him to “do it” into that container.
Astonished! Then he played dumb as if the concept was unfamiliar to him. We looped through the medical terms and procedure again, and I eventually resorted to every word I knew to describe the “act”. It was like a George Carlin bit! A half-hour later, he emerged from the toilet with two inches of urine in the cup. God almighty.
The report came back: “Patient provided improper specimen”.
This Is How The Elderly Get Their Wrinkles
I’m a paramedic. I had an elderly woman complain that her mouth was dry and she felt a bit dizzy climbing the stairs earlier. So I go through the whole rigamarole of getting a medical history, vitals, and more detail on her symptoms. Then I asked her what she’s had to drink today. Her answer? A cup of tea—ten hours ago. I asked, “Any water”? She says no.
Guess what fixed it within five minutes.
The Mother Got A Lot Of Heat For This
I was at the children’s hospital with my eldest when he was a toddler (ah, the day we found out he was allergic to penicillin) when a rushing team suddenly occupied the bed next to me with a limp, unresponsive infant. This happened on a hot day during the mid-summer. The baby was in a full Canadian winter-level snowsuit.
After they got the baby’s temperature down, I overheard the doctor losing his mind a little bit with the mother as she kept insisting she had to have her baby in the suit lest the baby risk feeling chilly. He explained that the minor discomfort of having to cry for a blanket did not trump the risk of it losing its life or the possibility of literally frying the kid’s brain.
He had to get quite nasty with his wording in that she had almost unalived her baby and might have given it brain damage.
Mr. Hot Shot
I had a buddy who was an EMT, and he was called out to a location for a GSW. What happened was a father was mowing his lawn when he accidentally touched a part of the mower near the engine and burned his hand. He got mad at the lawnmower, pulled out his pistol, and shot it. The shot ricocheted and hit his son in the leg.
Now, He’s Gonorrhea-Valuate All His Conditions…a woman holding a stethoscope in her right handPhoto by Eben Kassaye on Unsplash
I worked in ED for 10 years. Every day. Every day people come in, and it shocks you how they’ve managed to evade unaliving themselves for that long. One of the worst was when we had a guy come in. He was a twin. He told us he needed to get checked for STDs because his sister just got one. We, of course, had to ask if he’d had intimate relations with her, and he said no, but they were twins, so whatever she has, so does he.
After a collective sigh of relief that this wasn’t some weird Alabama, your-my-sister scenario, we had to educate him on how that’s not how it worked at all.
It Was An Arm of Intervention
I got told to go introduce myself to a patient to get vitals, history, and more info on their chief complaint, before starting an IV and drawing blood for labs. She came in for arm pain, and it looked like she had a nasty bug bite on her arm. So her story was she was an exotic dancer, and her Adderall prescription wasn’t doing the trick. So, she had an idea of how to make it more potent.
She heard from a friend that if you crush it up, suspend it in water, and then inject it, it would be more effective. Except she used tap water to dissolve the Adderall before she injected it. This ended up causing a huge abscess and infection at the site of injection. She ended up losing her arm at the elbow...So now she’s a one-armed exotic dancer.
They Must’ve Gone Ballistic
I had a patient who had a bullet lodged in her leg. We had the surgeon come and assess her. Based on its placement, he suggested leaving it because removing it could cause even more danger. We discharged her. She immediately walked to the ER in the same hospital to complain of leg pain. She had prescriptions and wound supplies in her hand.
Still, they brought her back, discovered her injury, and called for a surgical consult. The same surgeon was on-call and came to assess her. Guess what?! The surgeon made the same suggestion to leave it. Then we educated her EXTENSIVELY about never getting an MRI or the metal will fly out of her skin. Eventually, she left.
She returned a few months later to a sister hospital complaining of a headache. She got inpatient admission, and you guessed it: They did an MRI. The slug ripped out, and the MRI machine was down for almost a week!
She Just Couldn’t Seem To Grasp The Conception
I had an 18 or 19-year-old girl come into my ER with some complaint that required an X-ray. It’s standard that we do a urine pregnancy test before imaging on any female of childbearing years. She insisted she’d never “done it”, and there was zero possibility of pregnancy. We did the test anyway, and it resulted that she was pregnant. We then did a blood pregnancy test to confirm the result since she insisted she couldn’t possibly be pregnant because she’d never had intercourse.
That was positive too. We gave her a few minutes to herself to figure out what the heck happened, and when I returned to check on her a short time later, she asked me if she could get pregnant even though her boyfriend “didn’t go all the way in”. She 100% believed that as long as he wasn’t entirely inside her, it didn’t count as intercourse.
It took nearly a half hour of explaining reproduction for her to understand that, whether it’s halfway in or in, sperm travel.
It Ultimately Wasn’t Very Fun-Knee
I overheard a conversation between a nurse, a doctor, and a patient in the ER. They were trying to figure out whether the patient was very stupid or had a head injury. It was both hilarious and sad. He kept telling them that he was there for a hurt leg, but he couldn’t explain why his leg was hurt, how it was hurt, or how he got there—nearly anything.
I heard them talking in a hallway to each other. The nurse was convinced the patient hit his head. The doctor, without skipping a beat, dropped his unexpected diagnosis: “No, he is just an idiot.” It turned out the doctor was right. They got ahold of the guy’s wife. She told them in the hallway he’s always this dumb, and if she left him, he would get lost in his own house and starve.
It sounded like the patient’s leg was visibly injured or swollen. But when asked what happened or how it felt, he gave nonsensical idiot answers. He wasn’t slurring, but answering in a regular idiot voice, saying things like, “It feels hurt”, and “I was talking to Jimmy, and we were doing our usual work, and my leg hurts”.
The doctor would ask, “Did something happen? What is the work”? But the patient kept responding, “Something always happens; you know how it goes”, or “I just want my leg fixed”.
An Change Of Heartman in white dress shirt wearing black framed eyeglassesPhoto by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash
This one came from a colleague of mine. So, this 60-something-year-old suffered from an acute complication and got a pacemaker to solve the problem. Everything went normally, and as planned, he recovered. Every care and medication that he needed to take got prescribed and explained and his medical appointments with a cardiologist/arrhythmologist were scheduled so he could get the follow-ups he needed. The man then proceeded to never show up to any appointments and never answered any calls from the hospital to know of him and reschedule.
This went on for around three years. Then one day, he showed up without former warning and asked to talk with the doctor who did the procedure to put in his pacemaker. People were weirded out, but since the doctor was present that day and this patient was in clear distress, they talked to him and managed to find a couple of minutes to have the doctor check on him. Inside the appointment room, the doctor noticed that the man was wearing a bra inside his shirt.
The man explained he’d been wearing his daughter’s bra for three months after his “problem” got worse. So the doctor asked that he take off his shirt…and there he stood, this shirtless man wearing his daughter’s bra, showing off the pacemaker that should’ve remained inside his body. It was now dangling outside of it, being held by the left bra cup, with a big infected open wound above it with the pacemaker leads still inserted into his veins and connected to his heart.
Nobody had any idea how the man let that situation come to be or how he didn’t pass from sepsis or any other health problem that might’ve appeared, for that matter.
The Parents Were The Real Suckers
While working the midnight shift in the ER, a family brought in a four-year-old at 2am-ish. I asked them what was wrong. They said, “Ask him. He said he needed to see a doctor”. I further pressed, “Did he say anything was wrong”? They answered, “No. He said he needed to see a doctor, so we brought him”. A quick back and forth firmly established that they actually showed up to the ER at 2 AM, purely because the four-year-old said he needed to see a doctor and that they didn’t know why.
So I asked the child, “Why do you need to see a doctor”? His answer made me shake my head in disbelief: “The doctor has suckers”. To be clear, it was the parents who lacked sense and not the kid.
A Very Delicate Condition
I’m a social worker, and one of my clients kept getting pregnant over and over after having kids. I had a frank conversation with her about birth control or getting her tubes tied because she kept going through horrific births only to get her kids taken away, and she said to me that she didn’t know that birth control or safe intercourse would save her from getting pregnant.
She didn’t realize that intercourse = pregnant because she was mistreated as a child, and her father told her that she could only get pregnant when she fell in love, and she had never been in love, so she didn’t understand why she kept getting pregnant. Intercourse was only a pleasure for her, so she didn’t realize that was what was getting her pregnant.
The Answer Was At Hand
I am a dermatologist in India. As is the culture here, people eat with their hands, and almost all of our curries or even other dry side dishes have a lot of turmeric. It is common knowledge to anyone born and brought up in India that this means the nails of your dominant hand (statistically, the right hand) will be yellow-stained because we have seen this happen since our childhood.
Usually, this wears off in about a day and a half if you wash it a couple of times. Cut to the first patient in my OPD, a young girl in her early 20s, very anxious. I ask her, “What brings you here today”? The patient says, “Doc, my right-hand fingernails keep getting yellow-discolored”. I take a look and confirm, “Only your right hand”? She answers, “Yes, and only after meals”.
So I ask her, “Erm…do you eat with your hands”? The patient confirms, “Yes, always”. I then explain to her, “So...you know it’s just turmeric, right”? And she goes, “Yes, but can you make it stop happening”? Perplexed now, I just tell her, “For God’s sake, use a spoon”! But she’s still not quite getting it. Surprised, she asks, “So you mean there is no medicine to make it stop”?
I just stared at her while she looked at me expectantly. “NO”! This might hit home more with people of South Asian cultures or people who habitually eat turmeric-cooked food with their hands. Anyway, for a grown person to complain about this was just…well, surprising and a little ridiculous.
This Guy Wasn’t Very Treat Smart
I work in emergency medical services. I had a diabetic in his 30–40s who refused to take insulin since 2012. It was 2020 at the time. When I took his blood sugar, it only read as “HI”, meaning it had to be over 700 for the glucometer not to read it. Upon seeing this, he asked me if that was high and then went, “Is this because of all the ice cream I ate”?
He was playing a Facebook Messenger video with his girlfriend the entire time. I met him later on in the parking lot after he got discharged, and it took this man less than fifty paces from the ER door to rip off the bandage covering his IV and play with the IV wound until it started bleeding all over the place again.
He then knocked on our ambulance door and asked for a bandaid to fix it. We had to walk him back into the ER and bandage his entire arm with gauze so that, hopefully, by the time he got it off, it would’ve clotted enough for him not to end up exsanguinating himself.
Rubbing Salt In The Woundbrown and white shell on orange round platePhoto by Arnold Antoo on Unsplash
My sister told me a story of a woman with chronic blisters and lesions on her lips. They couldn’t figure out what it was for weeks. It would heal and come back, heal and come back. The truth was disturbing—it turned out she would jam out on like three bags of salt and vinegar chips a day for weeks at a time until the sores hurt too bad to continue, then she’d go to the doctor.
Details Make A Difference
This was one of the funniest yet cutest ones from when I was a student doing a shift in andrology/reproductive health. Doctor: “So, you’re trying to have kids but not managing to. Do you have any other kids”? Patient: “Yes, Doc. I have one”. Doctor: “Okay, so we need to do [this and this and that]”. Patient: “Okay, great”.
Then he proceeded to visit him and stuff, after which he went away. But after a couple of seconds, he knocked on the door again, saying: “Hello, Doc. My wife told me that it would be relevant to you that the son I have is adopted, but that makes no difference to me. I’ve always considered him my son”!
Do No Farm
I’m a physiotherapist. For those who don’t know, after a total knee replacement, you have a six-week window after the surgery to regain the range of motion. If you don’t regain the range in those first six weeks, it ain’t coming back. I had a patient who was a farmer who was very enthusiastic about regaining the range because he needed to be mobile for his work. I saw him for the first time about five days after his surgery.
I showed him all the basic exercises, told him not to do any farm work for at least six weeks, and told him to come back to see me once a week for the first six weeks. He disappeared and came back about eight weeks later. His range was non-existent, maybe 30 degrees of range in total. He was visibly mad at me as if it was my fault. He was shouting and calling me incompetent.
Our conversation went something like this: Me: “Have you been doing the exercises”? Him: “No”. Me: “How often are you doing farm work”? Him: “Every day”. Me: “Why haven’t you come back since the first appointment eight weeks ago”? Him: “Too busy with farm work”. Me: “So, to summarize here, you did absolutely nothing that I told you to, and this is somehow my fault”?
I never saw him again.
A Jaw-Dropping Encounter
As a pharmacist, I often encounter a lot of people who lack common sense; namely, everyone who comes in to buy homeopathic stuff, especially for serious things. Once, a lady came in with a prescription from the dentist for some heavy antibiotics and painkillers due to an infection that threatened to damage the jawbone.
When I asked if she knew how to take them, she went: “Oh, I’m not gonna take those; they’ll go right into the garbage. But I gotta buy them so that my dentist is happy. I’d rather stick with [insert name of homeopathic stuff here] instead of harming me with some devilish chemicals”!
Throughout the years, I’ve learned to just shrug and accept those Darwin-award candidates instead of arguing with them. It just infuriates me when I see that they’ve got children or/and pets…
That’s Never Gonna Heel Now
This was circa 1983, and I’m a nurse (retired). I had this one guy in his early 20s who went swimming hammered in a notoriously nasty lake in our area. It was a “don’t drink the water” kind of lake, and he went in without shoes, stepped on an old booze tab, and cut his foot open. He didn’t go to the hospital or try to clean it at all for about a week. His girlfriend said he kept saying, “It’s fine, it’s just a cut”, when she pressured him to get it seen, so of course, he showed up in the ER with a foot that blew up like a balloon.
Healing it took two and a half months in the hospital, with his foot completely laid open in surgery, doing debridement and packing, which I can honestly say after over 30 years in healthcare stands as one of the nastiest jobs I have ever had to do—and I had been dealing with things like bedsores and open wounds from radiation treatments and cancer for about seven years at that point.
It was bad, but that's not all—on top of this, he was obnoxious, disrespectful, and, when the opportunity presented itself, cruel. Other nurses, you know the type, they’re everywhere. Hopefully not as open about it these days, but yeah. I had a student nurse I was training come running out of the room in tears and refused to go back in and would not tell any of us what he said, but I can imagine.
Eventually, we finally got it cleaned out, and it’s responding well to antibiotics, and the tissue is granulating well. He gets sent home with antibiotics and strict instructions on how to care for it and to keep it clean and dry. THE DAY he left the hospital, he went back out to the same lake, got inebriated, put on some nasty tennis shoes, and went swimming.
He showed up on our floor again a week after being discharged. He lost the foot. His girlfriend left him.
Fortunately, They Caught Him Red-Handedman in blue scrub suit wearing blue stethoscopePhoto by Bruno Rodrigues on Unsplash
I don’t know if a cleaner in a hospital counts, but this one time, I got to work early on a Saturday morning, and we immediately received a request for help from the ER and got sent over by my boss. When I got there, the first thing I heard was yelling from this guy behind one of the curtains. He was shouting at the nurses, “Don’t touch my downstairs”, and “I didn’t use any substances”!
Then I smelled iron in the air, and then I found out there was blood all over the hallway, with hand prints in blood against the wall. Almost the entire floor was covered in blood, with actual puddles in some places. What happened? The guy pulled out his catheter, causing arterial bleeding, and he decided to run away from the nurses who were trying to help him.
It seems like he lived through that. I had never seen that much blood before that day, nor after.
Thinking Against The Grain
I am a medical professional, but I have two really good ones about my ex-fiancé. Laugh at me all you want; this relationship was not my proudest moment. For starters, at our baby shower for my son, he asked if we were going to pick “innie” or “outie”. I looked at him like he was insane, and he started getting angry and just repeated the question louder until I shushed him and took him aside to explain to him that we don’t choose how the belly button looks; it just happens.
Another time, he had really bad eczema and went to a doctor who suggested oatmeal baths during flare-ups. He bought a couple of boxes of Quaker Oats Maple & Brown Sugar and would dump the entire box packet by packet into the tub. It was a couple of weeks before I found the wrappers and questioned him about it.
He told me (angry again) that he wondered why he was so sticky after getting out and why the freaking literal brown sugar was making his open wounds fester. I explained that an oatmeal bath is not flavored oatmeal and that he had to buy either plain oats or actual oatmeal bath packets. He was furious that I expected him to just know better.
When I asked him why he picked maple and brown sugar, he said he didn’t want to smell like strawberries or peaches after his bath. After our son was born (and we had broken up, thank God), my son also had some occasional eczema, but not nearly to the same degree. The pediatrician recommended oatmeal baths, and GUESS WHAT THIS FREAKING GUY BOUGHT?
He said he only remembered what happened the last time when he picked my son out of the sink, and the towel stuck to him. When I started to scold him for being so stupid, he looked at me like I was an idiot and told me he only used one packet since we were still bathing the kid in the sink instead of in an entire tub.
The Patient Had A Med-ley Bag
I’m a pharmacist. I had a woman bring in a literal sandwich bag that she kept all her meds in, unseparated. She needed help seeing which meds she was low on or out of and was asking different questions about the medications. When she pointed to an Apoquel and stated it was her blood pressure medicine, I immediately became concerned as to why pet medicine was in her bag (and also why she was mixing all her meds in a bag in the first place).
It was then that I found out that she had been throwing her pet’s meds inside her bag of medicine, too. So Lord knows what she’d been giving her dog or taking herself. I immediately stressed how important it is to keep medicine in its original container to protect both the medicine and herself and to know the directions of how to take it.
I’ve seen her a few times since then, and I’m glad to see she has since taken my advice. But how any pharmacist or doctor hadn’t advised her on this before is beyond me.
They Didn’t Air On The Side Of Caution
I used to be a medical oxygen tech, mostly doing in-home work. One guy was on such a high concentration that he would have drawn nearly zero oxygen from breathing regular atmosphere. This required two heavy-duty machines hooked up in tandem just to keep him barely alive. This was explained ad nauseam to him and his wife with fully signed documentation of every conversation.
What they did was absolutely ridiculous—they’d shut one machine off because they decided it was too loud. He’d take his mask off because he decided it was too cold. She would unplug the hose if she decided it was in the way. So on and so on. They did everything you could think of that would restrict or cut off his oxygen intake. Then they would panic and call our emergency service when he started to react to no oxygen intake.
I lived not even five minutes away, right beside our EMS station, and calls would always come for me to “fix” the machines at random times of the day and night, 3–7 days a week. They refused to call 9-1-1 because they “didn’t want to make a scene”. This went on for ages, well over 18 months, until he was having trouble sleeping one night, and they shut the machines off before going back to bed.
It’s been years, and I still see the wife around town. She always glares at me as if I’m the one who unalived him.
She’ll Just See Herself Out, Now…
I’m an ophthalmology surgical technician. A glaucoma patient in her late 50s was going blind despite her drop therapies for the past six months. Her pressure was consistently in the 30s and 40s. I asked her if she was using her drops regularly (twice daily), and she said yes. I asked, as politely as I could, if she’d missed any doses in the past month. She said no. I asked if she was using them properly, and she got super offended.
She asked me very rudely, “Do I look like an idiot to you”? I said, “No, but I just need to be sure. Sometimes patients think they’re doing it right, but they can easily miss it. Can you show me how you use your drops”? So she took out her drop bottle, gave it a good shake (so far, so good), looked up at the ceiling (also a good sign), opened her MOUTH, and swallowed two drops.
I got in trouble, but my OD backed me up and told her that’s the stupidest thing he’s ever seen in 25 years. She cried and said we were being mean to her and that the drops burned her eyes, so she didn’t want to put them in there, and since the eyes, ears, nose, and throat are all connected, why did it matter where she put them?
That’s not how glaucoma therapy works. She needed a shunt implant, and we were able to save about 30% of her visual field. But yeah, she was drinking her drops and going blind.
That’s Ill-Adviseda woman in a white shirt holding a stethoscopePhoto by Alexandr Podvalny on Unsplash
I used to volunteer at a free medical clinic to take vitals and histories. A woman came in with pneumonia and wanted to know why her normal treatment of drinking half a bottle of Listerine and inhaling a pack of cancer sticks a day wasn’t working. I asked why she thought ciggies were a good treatment for a lung infection, and she said, “Indians used to purify the ground by burning all the weeds away before planting, so I’m puffing to purify my lungs”.
I left that one to the doctor.
I’m an optometrist. I had a patient booked in for an emergency appointment with a raging red eye. It was very painful. So I looked under the microscope, and the cornea was not happy: wobbly reflexes, haziness, the works. So I asked, “What happened”? The patient said, “It’s my niece’s wedding this Saturday, and I wanted to tint my eyelashes to match my hair, and the color scheme of the wedding is light blue, so I used the same dye for both to match the color”.
I inquired, “Does that hair dye contain ammonia, by any chance”? The patient answered, “I think so. Do you think my eye will be better by Saturday? Will it match the color scheme”? I just responded, “Unless you can convince them to change the color scheme to red, no”.
This Grave Mistake Takes The Biscuit
I heard this story from a sibling; I don’t think he’d mind me sharing it just on the off chance it prevents someone else from making this mistake. Lots of surgeons have a similar story, but thankfully this one doesn’t end in someone’s demise. According to my brother, these parents claimed that their child hadn’t eaten anything before surgery, as they were carefully directed. But it turned out they thought the surgical team was just being cruel to their child.
So when she said she was hungry that morning, they detoured on their way to the surgical center and got her a full Southern breakfast. The result was triggering—she dang near passed from aspirating biscuits and gravy. I’ve rarely seen my brother so angry and disgusted (somehow, biscuits and gravy look even more nauseating the second time around) as he recounted what had happened.
I do not doubt that he tore a strip off the parents once their five-year-old was stabilized, and they probably still felt justified and angry at the surgeon for telling them what they could and could not feed their child right before anesthesia. The parents did feel justified and hard-done-by, although, as far as I know, they didn’t express anger at my brother (knowing him, they didn’t get a word in edgewise).
There was no acknowledgment or realization that they could easily have unlived their own child or that they’d made a bad decision. I remember they were annoyed by her whining for food.
The Outcome Suited Them Just Fine
I’m a pharmacist. One time my coworker, another pharmacist, got served with a lawsuit while I was there. The patient suffered a fall resulting in a concussion, and she claimed it was because her Lisinopril (blood pressure medication) got increased from 10mg to 20mg and that she’d not been informed and passed out as a result. She was suing the pharmacist, the pharmacy, her doctor’s office, and the doctor.
It eventually came out in early discovery that she was at a rave and had a BAC of 0.18, THC, and MDMA in her system. The case against the doctor’s office, doctor, and pharmacy fell apart right away, so she decided to go all-in on trying to sue the individual pharmacist. The pharmacy’s POS system confirmed that she checked, “I decline pharmacist consultation at this time”. So the case was eventually dropped.
He Had To Take A Pregnant Pause
I work in the ER. I have so many stories. The one that left me dumbfounded was a woman who was brought in by her sister for pelvic cramps and amenorrhea for three months. Lo and behold, she’s pregnant. The sister informs me that she sleeps with the Brazilian construction workers building the condo complex next door. I ask if they have any questions.
The patient then asked me if her baby would come out speaking Spanish. After a long pause and her sister staring at the ceiling, I told her, “No, because they speak Portuguese in Brazil”. The patient seemed relieved, and the sister hustled her out of the ER before I could discharge her.
It Cost Them An Amen And A Legman in white dress shirt holding black tablet computerPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
I worked in cancer research/surgery a couple of years ago. There is a good amount of people who will refuse to have a small removal/surgery because they think holistic medicine or praying it away will work. They always come back, and we always have to remove so much more. One time a patient had melanoma on their calf, and the doctor wanted to do a simple wide excision, but they left because they wanted to pray it away.
They came back a couple of months later because it got bigger, and we had to amputate their leg. I’m pretty sure they had positive lymph nodes at that point too.
They Gave Her A Herbal Warning
A lady brought her baby into the ER with a rectal temp of 103. The kid had tachycardia (i.e. a fast heartbeat) and looked awful. The worst part? The lady refused all medications. She said she didn’t believe in them and wondered why her herbal tea (she brought a jug of it) wasn’t working. She wanted us to just check her out. She thought a children’s emergency room just checked them out. I tried to explain why the kid needed an NSIAD. She kept refusing. She said she didn’t know what was in it.
I brought up the fact she had her kid in a hospital and that she received medication herself (IV, epidural, etc). The lady didn’t budge. Only concerned for herself, I told her that when the kid has a seizure or goes unresponsive and she calls 9-1-1, she can expect the medics to give the kid everything it needs regardless of whether she likes it or not.
Desperate times called for desperate measures, so the doctor threatened to contact social services for child endangerment and mistreatment. Only then did she start to listen…for, like, five whole seconds. She then left against medical advice. People like this exist.
Words Cannot Expresso How Ridiculous This Call Was
I’ve been a firefighter for 18 years. People call 9-1-1 for the dumbest things ever. But the one that takes the cake? It was a guy who called 9-1-1 to say he was choking. He answered the door as high as a Georgia pine with a lit joint in his mouth. I asked him who was choking. He calmly said that he was. He said he swallowed an ice cube, and now he couldn’t breathe.
Just to be sure and partly out of morbid curiosity, I looked in his mouth and then asked him to take a few deep breaths...which he was able to do easily. He still insisted he couldn’t breathe. So I told him to make some hot coffee and then drink it. He asked me, “Why”? I told him that the coffee would melt the ice cube, and he’d be able to breathe again. “Oh, cool. Thanks, man”.
Then I left.
I work in clinical research at a hospital. Basically, for patients who have cancer but don’t have other standard-of-care options, clinical trials, or “experimental treatment”, are a viable option for many. Some people have a negative view of research, but it’s highly regulated and not as scary as it sounds. Anyway, we went through the consent form with this one patient who had a history of substance use.
We don’t know everything about this new medication, but one thing we DO know is that using coke while taking this drug will make your heart “explode”, in layman’s terms. This patient “promised” they were off the sauce and that they “totally wouldn’t do coke while they’re on the trial”. Two weeks later, they relapsed, and well…You can figure out the rest of the story.
Wrestling With Logic
My brother did a rotation in an ER before med school. Paramedics brought in a man with a lacerated neck. He was inebriated and fell into a fish tank. His equally inebriated buddies called 9-1-1. When the paramedics arrived, they realized his friends had put a very tight tourniquet around his neck to stop the bleeding. It turned out that the guy and his buddies had been playing a boozy game of WWE.
He had a two-inch glass shard stuck in his head in addition to the neck laceration, but the dude came into the ER with no idea the glass was there. Four different firefighters had to hold him down as he screamed prejudiced remarks at the female doctor. My brother said that when they removed the glass, blood shot out about 10 feet in the air.
My brother, at that point, silently “noped” the heck out of medicine. He went on to attend Berklee Music School and is living his best life as a musical producer and engineer, and is not arguing with rednecks about whether or not there is a glass shard in their head….
Shear Stupiditya close up of a person laying in a hospital bedPhoto by César Badilla Miranda on Unsplash
I’m an ER nurse with seven years of experience. The list of dumb things I’ve seen is nearly endless. People coming in with massive burns because they smoked in bed is not as rare as you’d think. But the one that got me the most was a guy who came in for chest pain and fatigue. An EKG revealed he was having a really bad heart attack.
We activated the cath lab for emergency stents to hopefully save the guy’s life. They almost always access the patient through the groin for the procedure, so one of our jobs in the ER is to shave the patient’s groin to prep them for the cath lab. We got the clippers out, as we don’t use actual razors anymore, and informed the guy we needed to shave him. This is when things got annoying.
He refused. No problem, we figured we woul adjust let the cath lab do it once he’s knocked out. Nope, the guy refuses to sign the consent for the stents because he doesn’t want his downstairs shaved.
After trying to educate him, pleading with him, and contacting every goddang lawyer the hospital had, the guy signed himself out of AMA and went home.
He would rather die than have his curlies shaved. We looked up his address, and we weren’t the closest hospital to him, so if he passed at home, the medics would have to take him to a different hospital. I doubt he survived the day.
Paws For Thought
I’m a vet. A few years ago, I had a client bring his young cat in complaining of lethargy. Besides being a bit underweight, the physical exam was unremarkable, so I asked more questions about the cat’s diet. I asked him, “What do you feed the cat”? The owner answered, “I feed him [online trendy raw food brand]”. I asked, “How is his appetite? Does he finish what you feed him”? The owner replied, “Yes, he always eats everything”.
Pressing further, I asked, “How much do you feed him”? The owner said, “Half a cup”. For clarification’s sake, I then asked, “Once or twice daily”? What he said next absolutely floored me. He answered, “Once every three or four days”. Shocked, I replied, “…You only feed your cat twice a week”? The owner explained, “I believe in a more natural feeding approach, and based on my research, that’s how often cats eat in the wild”.
This owner was slowly starving his cat into oblivion based on some cockamamie idea he’d made up while watching National Geographic. I had to explain to him that domestic cats are not tigers and that small wildcats eat 10–20 small meals daily. Surprise, surprise, the cat’s lethargy and weight improved with regular feeding.
I once heard a story about a particular patient receiving radiation therapy. It was impressed upon her that she couldn’t miss her fractions of radiotherapy, even if she were busy, so she needed to inform us if she really couldn’t make the appointment. Well, one day, she couldn’t make it. But instead of just informing us, she sent her twin sister to receive the radiation therapy in her place.
Of course, the twin answered yes to all the ID questions and had the same birthday, etc. She was only found out when the radiographers had trouble matching her to the CT. The CT was of a person who had undergone a mastectomy, while this “patient” still had both her mammaries. This story, many years later, is still told to new staff during training to reiterate the importance of ensuring correct identification.
You would be stunned by the number of people who try to skip the queue. The number isn’t high. But it isn’t zero.
It Took Some Arm Twisting
I work in orthopedic rehab. I had a patient with a common fracture of the wrist that a doctor sent over because she was inexplicably getting stiffer and stiffer. I spent 17 sessions with her one on one, 40ish minutes each. But nothing I did worked. For whatever reason, instead of just bending her wrist, she would contort her entire body.
She was married, raised kids, had a career, and was a seemingly functional adult. I tried everything to get her to actively use her muscles to move her wrist. I put her in front of a mirror, filmed videos of myself doing the exercise or her doing it, and tried to get her to spot the difference between moving your shoulder versus moving your wrist.
The last time I saw her, I even strapped her arm to a chair, and she still didn’t understand that she should’ve only been trying to move her wrist. I will never understand it.
There Was No Sugarcoating It
I work at a vet clinic. We get a lot of this sort of thing, oftentimes with diabetic patients. One of the worst I’ve seen was an older owner come in with an extremely overweight, diabetic dog. The owner says the dog has been slow, tires easily, and has been “flopping around”, which is odd for her. The doctor checks the dog’s blood glucose, and it is so high it is literally off the charts.
Normal blood glucose for a dog is around 100 or so. The dog's reading was shocking—it was beyond 1000. We asked the owner how it got so high. Was she eating? She was because she was obese. Were you giving her the insulin? The owner then proceeds to say that they think she’s probably fine without it since she’s a “strong and hardy dog”.
Ma’am, your nine-year-old 80-pound Dalmatian is currently half-alive on the floor because you don’t give her insulin. How they kept that poor dog alive for that long was astounding.
Are You Kidding Me!?a person is holding a picture of a babyPhoto by Amr Taha™ on Unsplash
When I was an intern posted in the obstetric department, I saw a 42-year-old pregnant woman who came for an antenatal checkup. This was her seventh pregnancy, and she had only one living child. So she had five pregnancies previously, which failed (three spontaneous abortions and two stillbirths). The sixth one had been high-risk too, and she’d needed to get a cervical cerclage done (they stitch the cervix because it is too weak to hold a baby in until term).
When the OBGYN asked her why she would put herself through pregnancy again instead of being content with her daughter, she replied, “My in-laws want us to have at least two children”. It was the biggest Pikachu-face moment of my life.
Jesus Took The Wheel Years Ago
I’m an optometrist. I had an elderly patient come in surrounded by concerned family members because the patient ran over one of those pop-up tents on the side of the road that the telephone engineers use to protect themselves from the rain. Luckily no one was hurt as the worker was on lunch. Worried as to how the elderly driver missed seeing a large, red, and white tent in the middle of the day, it was then that the elderly relative admitted to having spent the last three years driving from memory.
Trying Hard To Be Patient
I had a patient come to see me in the clinic on a Monday; everything was fine. By Tuesday morning, she’s on the hospital census with a pending consult for me. When I see her, she says she’s fine and doesn’t know why she was admitted. She then walked out of the clinic, called an ambulance from across the street, and got taken to a different hospital.
She reported her problems were uncontrolled, and nobody was taking her seriously. They transferred her back overnight because I don’t work at that other hospital. She then gets discharged Wednesday morning. On Friday morning, she is again back on the census with a pending consult. I go to see her, and once again, she says she’s fine, and she’s not sure why she’s there.
This time she had a friend pick her up from the hospital and drive her to a small outlying hospital without the services she needed. She walked into the ER and said she was in distress but that nobody was taking her seriously. Yet again, she gets admitted and transferred back to my hospital overnight. She gets discharged on Friday afternoon.
Sure as heck, she came back on Saturday morning. I asked her, “Why do you think you keep getting admitted to the hospital”? She has no clue. Completely baffled. I tell her it’s because she keeps going to hospitals and telling them she needs help. No lights come on. I ask her, “Why do you keep going to other hospitals”?
Finally, she tells me, “I didn’t know what else to do. My apartment is a complete mess. My caretaker won’t clean my apartment because I’m supposed to learn how to do it, and I just don’t want to do it”. Please note that she is not a ward of the state but still gets most of the services, like coaches, guardians, drivers, etc.
So, I follow up with, “But why do you keep telling them that I’m not taking you seriously”? What she said next is forever burnt into my brain. “If I don’t, they just send me home in a cab”.
I’m a dental nurse. My favorite story involved a 30-something-year-old woman who came in for a checkup at the low-cost emergency clinic I worked at. Her teeth were broken and almost black, and her gums were angry, swollen, bright red, and bleeding by just moving her tongue against them. She needed multiple scaling and hygienist appointments and a debridement.
An X-ray showed she needed work on all but her wisdom teeth, and the results made me raise my eyebrows—she needed 10 fillings. She also needed root canals to try and save some teeth and extractions for, I think, three teeth or possibly more if the root canal treatment didn’t work. I explained everything and did the usual explanation of proper oral hygiene.
I then asked her if she had any questions, to which she said, “It’s okay if I lose this set of teeth; my others will come through”. The dentist and I just looked at each other, probably a lot longer than we should have. No words. I couldn’t think of anything to reply to that comment. I had a lot of weird and disgusting things happen at that clinic. I miss working there.
When You Just Can’t Sulfa Fools
I’m a paramedic, and I had this call while working on a rural fire/EMS service. A call came in for an allergic reaction. I arrived at a rural farm and found the patient in the kitchen on the ground, wheezing. Her husband said she took sulfa, which she’s allergic to, and after grabbing her blood pressure, we hit her with epinephrine (which is the same as an EpiPen) and Benadryl.
Her breathing improved, and she started to be able to answer my questions. First, I confirmed her allergy by asking, “So, you’re allergic to sulfa”? The patient says, “Yeah”. I reply, “And you took sulfa”? Again, she goes, “Yeah”. So I asked, “Was it mislabeled or in the wrong bottle”? She answers me with a simple “No”. Okay…
Needing more information, I inquired, “Was it your husband’s prescription”? And unbelievably, she tells me, “No, it was for our horse”. Huh? Feeling a lot more confused, I respond, “Was...Wait, did you say a horse? You took sulfa prescribed for a horse”? She then clarifies, “Well, I only took half”. Sure, that makes it better.
Still trying to follow her logic, I guessed, “...You only took half because a horse is much larger than a person”? The patient confirms, “Yeah”. Uh-huh…I’m still not fully understanding, so I respond, “...Okay. Were you intentionally trying to hurt yourself”? And the patient indignantly answers, “No, of course not”. Exasperated now, I pressed, “But you know you’re allergic, right”?
And she goes, “Yeah. I just have a cold and thought it would help me breathe better”. I couldn’t believe it. Incredulously, I then summarized the situation back to her: “So you took horse sulfa—which you’re allergic to—because you had a cold and thought it would help your breathing”? “I took half a horse sulfa”, the patient corrected me. Good Lord.
I just responded, “Sorry, half. Gotchya. Let’s go to the hospital”.
This Patient Was In A Jamopened white and orange travel trailerPhoto by Muhammed Abiodun Mustapha on Unsplash
I’m a paramedic and was called out for a stroke. The man was having a stroke; upon doing a stroke screen, it looked like the patient had something large in his mouth. Thinking maybe this guy had some sort of oropharyngeal cancer or mass, I asked his wife if this was indeed the case, and she looked at me with a very puzzled look.
She said no, and then I asked, “What is in his mouth”? His wife then says it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that she shoved in there. When her husband’s symptoms started, she thought it was just that his blood glucose was low, so she tried to force-feed this poor man an entire sandwich before she called 9-1-1. Ah, job security.
It Was An Oxidant Waiting To Happen
There was a 24-year-old patient who was brought in from a prison in a rural county. He was working roadside cleanup when he found a bottle in a ditch that he thought contained booze, and he quickly chugged it down. To be fair, it did look like booze. It wasn’t. It turned out it was a substance that contained sulfuric acid. Its pH was less than 2.5...It just ate up the litmus paper. So shortly afterward, he gets to the ICU, and he is in excruciating pain and vomiting blood.
The gastroenterologist took him to do an EGD (basically a procedure where they can look at the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum with a camera attached to a flexible tube), and the pictures were horrendous. You could see his stomach and esophageal mucosa eroding. He had to be sent off to another hospital where they had an esophageal surgeon who could repair the mess.
He, of course, needed multiple surgeries and had a very long hospital stay. I saw him a few months later when he was admitted for another issue. He was down to 90 lbs (from about 150) and was getting fed through a PEG tube. He was very lucky to be young and otherwise healthy (but not very smart).
A Rash Decision
I’m a pharmacist. This story comes to mind, although I’m sure there are plenty more I’m not remembering. A woman came in, claiming that her medication was making her vomit. She said she couldn’t remember what it was called. So, I looked up her profile, but there was nothing recent, just some one-off antibiotics and an anti-fungal from almost a year ago.
I asked her if her medication was over the counter, and she said that it was and pointed me to the Monistat cream. I thought it was incredibly strange that a cream meant for “lady parts” had made her vomit, so I asked her how she had been using it. That’s when I learned the disgusting truth—much to my surprise, she’d been taking it by mouth.
She explained that she would fill the plunger with the cream, shoot it to the back of her throat, and swallow it so she wouldn’t taste it as much as putting it directly on her tongue and swallowing.
What A Meathead
I’m a rural ER doctor. A 35-year-old female walked in with right-sided jaw/neck swelling. She says, “I think it happened because I ate some meat yesterday that my body is reacting to…” Then suddenly, 10 minutes later: “Oh yeah, and I accidentally swallowed a bee, and it stung me in my mouth right before this happened. Sorry, I forgot to mention that”.
When Urine Need Of Some Whizdom
I had an adult male patient who needed a Foley catheter. His mother was in the room, and they both lived together in the backwoods of Tenessee. I informed them both of the order for a catheter, how it worked, and why it was needed. His mother stated, “Well, he’s still a virgin, and I’m not sure I’m comfortable with his virginity being taken in a hospital”.
Reddit user WaterWalsh asked: 'What product no matter how innovative it is do you refuse to buy?'
With the latest advancements in technology, consumers are faced with the challenge of narrowing their list of products to buy.
The anxiety is only fueled by FOMO–fear of missing out–when they see their friends on social media bragging about the latest gadget that supposedly makes life easier.
But some people can't be bothered with all the fancy gadgets that are at the top of consumer reports as the best product so far in whatever year we're in.
They just prefer sticking to the basics and doing things the old-school way–like clicking on the TV with a remote instead of dictating to it what you want it to do after fumbling around for that elusive mic button to activate the function.
Curious to hear from consumers, Redditor WaterWalsh asked:
"What product no matter how innovative it is do you refuse to buy?"
Some people could do without all the bells and whistles of tried and true basic appliances.
"Smart' Refrigerator. I just need something that keeps my food cold. I don't need it to show me advertisements or what foods I might be out of. I can look for myself."
"Unless it can remind me of the box of fresh spinach that I stacked the yogurt in front of and, therefore, forgot existed, I wouldn't even consider it."
Things Get Heated
"A stove also shouldn’t be connected to the internet and should just be a normal stove."
"My stove has an app so you can set the oven temperature from your phone, when I got it I thought 'ok this might be useful if I want to preheat the oven on my way home or something,' but alas, it proved itself useless, you have to touch your phone to the oven to give it the command, like wft?? I'm already here I might as well just turn on the damn oven."
Get The Picture?
"If I could, I wouldn’t even buy a smart tv. That’s what my Apple TV is for. I just need something to turn on and make a nice picture."
"I intentionally locked out my smart TV because I have a secondary device. It doesn't need to be connected to the mothership. My TCL television probably has zero security, and who knows how many backdoors to circumvent my router."
"All these IoT devices are just great "dumb" tools to use for DDOS attacks by unsavory nation states. Blackberry said this years ago."
Just because products are under a famous person's name doesn't necessarily make them top quality.
Clever Marketing, Poor Product
"I’m Irish and Conor McGregor’s whiskey isn’t really drank over here. It’s very average whiskey with a premium price tag. You could buy far superior whiskey for less. His branding is amazing though."
"It’s the same with his stout. No one in Ireland touches it... Again his branding is amazing and people all over the world are buying in to this sh*t."
Refusing The Socialite Family Brand
"Anything promoted by any kardashian… my curling iron broke so I stopped at target on the way home (This was years ago)… all they had were curling irons with Kardashians on the box - I refused."
These consumers just don't get the hype over these smart devices.
"Folding smartphones. They're expensive as all get out, and I've seen a lot of them develop weird screen issues just through normal use, that are prohibitively expensive to repair. I'll stick to my slab phone."
Personal Home Assistant
"My roommate has one and I f'king hate it."
"My girlfriend has an Alexa in our bedroom and it's the most annoying thing in the world. She uses it to set a morning alarm and it always start spouting the weather and playing sh**ty music that we both hate. She refuses to get rid of it because she comes from a third world country and always dreamed of having 'American-life tech.' Of course, I overlook it because I don't want to be an a**hole, but nevertheless I dread waking up in the morning and hearing the Bezos bot."
Undesirable Communication Partner
"As a general rule, I don't like talking to inanimate objects."
"We got one as a gift, put it in the kitchen."
"1. The little kitchen TV was on and had an Alexa commercial and then our Alexa started talking to the commercial because the woman on TV said "Alexa" and it kinda went back and forth."
"I thought some people broke into the house. Our Alexa (don't ask me how) was playing our neighbors having a fight next door through their Alexa."
"The device lasted about a week before it was donated."
People were getting nowhere fast with these cars of the future.
Out Of Touch
"Cars with touch screens."
"I could stand a touch-screen, so long as it was supplemented with buttons. A car with only a touch screen? Terrible."
"Have one of those at work. Just changing the heat while driving is a risk of traffic accident."
Some Drivers Musk Need This
"I rented a Tesla on my last trip. I have the electric Volvo as a company car, so I was curious what Teslas were like. What a piece of sh*t. Materials are cheap, fit and finish was like my 95 Saturn, and it took forever to figure out how to control everything. Almost every damned thing has to be controlled by the software. Even the wipers, which is really distracting while you're driving. The key card recognizes when you walk up and unlocks the door, however in order to actually drive you have to tap the card on the arm rest. It's so stupid. Oh, and the 'shifter' is where the wipers should be, on the steering column. It's like they went out of their way to make the whole car as different as they could just to do it. I was happy to get back to the Volvo as it's a normal car that happens to have a battery, and a much better product."
Maybe it's because I'm not a gamer, but I personally don't see the need for an iPad.
I love using my iPhone and MacBook Pro to get all my business and social needs in order. Introducing a third option for going about my daily tasks and interacting with social media will only make my head spin.
I've also seen people walking around with their iPads and taking photos with them, which looks ridiculous in my opinion.
I remember thinking to myself after witnessing the bizarre practice, "I will not be that person."
But hey, that's just me.
We all love our pets.
And be it a dog, cat, parrot, or turtle, we all like to think our pet is cuter and smarter than everyone else's.
Most of the time, that is purely owing to our unending love for them.
But every now and again, we might witness our pet do something truly extraordinary, leading us to believe that our pet truly is the smartest animal on earth.
Redditor CoreyMatthews was curious to hear about the times people were truly blown away by the intelligence of their pets, leading them to ask:
"Pet owners of Reddit, what are some examples of your pet doing something that made your realize how intelligent they are?"
Talk About Coordination!
"I watched both my cats sit in the hallway and roll a ball back and forth between them gently and on purpose."
"They both know how to open doors."- TurbulentStep4399
The Real Truth About Cats And Dogs
"I had a cat that learned to turn on my radio so I would think the alarm was going off and get up to feed him."
"He and my dog would also team up on me in various ways."
"The most memorable was when I had gotten a little water pistol to squirt the cat when he got on the kitchen counter."
"I always kept the water pistol in the very back corner of the kitchen counter."
"I got home one day, and the water pistol was chewed to pieces on the floor."
"It was too far back on the counter for the dog to have reached it by herself (and it’s not the sort of thing she would normally have liked to chew on), so the only explanation is that the cat climbed onto the counter, pushed the water pistol across the counter until it fell on the floor, and then convinced the dog to chew it up."- TheBat3
More Than Most People Can Say About Their Children!
"My 6 month old kitten will alternate bringing his mylar ball to me or my husband to throw--taking turns."
"He plays fetch better than my dog did."
"He puts his toys away at bedtime."
"I have a small basket that we keep his toys in."
"At bedtime, I'll tell him, 'Let's pick up your toys' and he will get any toys that hasn't been eaten by the couch and drop them in his basket."
"No hard balls/toys as he can't pick those up with his mouth."
"I pick up those."- Danivellecat playing GIFGiphy
The Female Of The Species...
"I had two Shelties and one large dog bed."
"The female Sheltie did not want to share the bed with her brother, so whenever he was lying on it she would go to the door and start barking like crazy at … nothing."
"He would leap up barking and race to the door to guard the house alongside her and as soon as he got out of the dog bed, she would run back and curl up in the middle of it."
"He never caught on."- NoNefariousness104
Always On The Lookout
"My dog greeted me at the garage door when I got home."
"He then had me follow him to my daughters room, then my sons room, then the front door."
"My mother in law had picked up the kids."
"He was telling me that 'this one and this one are gone and went that way'."
"Let’s go get them!'”- YourFriendInSpokane
Asking Permission Never Goes Unnoticed
"I had a blue heeled mix that was crazy smart."
"Two of many examples:"
"He was occasionally allowed to eat table scraps off of a plate but was never allowed to beg."
"He had to wait until the plate was put on the floor."
"One day I was caught up working on my laptop and had put the scraps from my dinner on the couch on a plate next to me."
"An hour or so went by and I saw him pick up the plate off the couch and put it on the floor so he was allowed to eat it."
"He slept in my room and was getting up in years."
"One night after I was settled in bed he let me know he needed to go outside, thinking an older bladder, I got up to take him out."
"Instead he went to the kitchen and turned to look at me."
"Curious I followed him."
"Same thing , he went to the family room and waited for me."
"When I turned on the light, he went to an end table near the TV where one of my teenagers had left an uneaten piece of fried chicken."
"He stood and stared and it and then turned to me and I swear he asked if he could have it."
"I laughed and took the meat off the bones and put it in the floor for him, after which we both went back to bed."
"How he knew that chicken had been left there is beyond me!"
"I could share dozens of stories like this."
"He was as smart as most humans I know."
"I will miss him forever."- JCKligmanndog human eating GIFGiphy
Peeing With Purpose
"My mom's cat had a urinary infection."
"So he peed a tiny bit in the bathroom sink and waited by it for my mom to see it."- HyliaSerket
Everyone Wants A Little Attention Every Now And Then...
"A small thing, but my cat will paw at my hand when he wants to be petted."
"The first couple times it happened, I didn't think anything of it, until I realized one day that he basically had me trained/conditioned to pet him whenever he nudged or pawed at my hand."- Square-Raspberry560
And You Thought All They Could Do Was Change Colors
"My chameleon will look me square with both eyes and make a chomping movement with his mouth when he’s hungry."
"He’ll also pat at the glass if he wants to come out."
"He’ll hold a grudge, calculate ways to go or get what he wants."
"One of my Boas will only look at me when hungry."
"She had a go at caudal luring whilst doing it the other day."
"Like 'look, dude, I know you bring the food'."
"I’m hungry, look I’m even trying to lure you to give me some food'."
"It worked."- UgglugGiphy
A Kind Gesture Is Never Forgotten
"My brother’s cat, Coconut."
"We live 2,600 miles apart."
"The first time I met her, I gave her a little pink fuzzy kitty toy."
"2-3 years later was the next time I was able to visit her again for the 2nd time ever."
"She immediately disappeared & came back with this filthy, dusty, brown toy that had obviously been hidden away somewhere."
"We dusted it off & it was the toy I had gifted her years before."
"She remembered me."
"My brother said he had never seen the toy again until that day."
"She’s also very precious with her toys & will leave them outside his bedroom door as bribes."- emilyyancey
"When she was a baby I said, 'Go get your toy!' in the same pitch I always do."
"Never trained her with that phrase."
"She went a grabbed her toy and came back."
"I tested her again the next day and the next day."
"She went to her toy pile and brought back a toy each time."
"She picked up the phrase by herself."
"She's also the first dog I've had that looks at planes in the sky when they fly overhead and recognizes dogs on TV even on mute."- Spare-Bread8416
Get The Tissue Ready...
"I have two cats and a dog."
"A little backstory about my dog:"
" I don't know anything about dog training."
"I wasn't even thinking about adopting a dog but it seems like it was one of those things that 'meant to be'."
"My sister found him on the street at a winter night."
"We thought he was lost and there is an owner looking for him."
"Because where I live we have so many strays and you wouldn't see many 'specific breeds', they are just strays and specific breeds have an owner 99% of the time."
"So we took him home and start to search for the owner but it was obvious that poor dog went through some sh*t."
"And we learned about his story from an animal society; that he had a few owners but all of them left him to the streets because he was barking a lot (we haven't heard him barking even once during that time), he was peeing everywhere (he did it once and that was probably because he was nervous of being in a new environment and that was it), he wasn't listening at all (we had 3 cats at that time and I said no one time when he tried to run at them and that was it, never did it again)."
"And we learned that he has been in the shelter twice with big wounds."
"And I said I'm not going to let him go through more, he stays with us."
"He learned how to let me know he needs to go out all by himself."
"He learned to pee on the pads all by himself on the days that I can't take him for a walk."
"He learned to give me my slippers when I come home all by himself because I wear slippers when I get home."
" He learned how to clean his face by watching cats doing it."
" I still don't know how to train a dog other than a few basic stuff."
"He just learns."
"That's been a really long comment."
"So I'm going to leave that how I know my cats are clever for another time."
"Thank you for reading my sweet dogs story."
"I'm glad to have him and I don't know who was lucky about all those; me or him."- LittleBitOff2Daydog pies GIFGiphy
Never underestimate your pets.
As sometimes you have no idea of the things they might see or notice.
Making it all the more important to give them the love and attention they deserve.
Aging is a reminder that the end is near.
But life is constantly finding ways to expedite the aging process.
So many variables contribute to our looks... it's almost shocking.
Redditor sabletoothtiger_ wanted to hear about the things that can cause us to age rapidly, so they asked:
"What instantly ages someone?"
My flipping and flopping with my weight has aged me.
It never gets easier to lose too.
Lack of SleepWide Awake Insomnia GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"Lack of sleep."
"Can confirm. I have an aunt who looks older than my grandmother because she regularly gets 3 hours of sleep a night while my grandmother will fall asleep anywhere."
"Grief, nothing ages you like Grief."
"My brother died 2 years ago, I aged so much since and now look older than some friends of mine who are 15 years older than me. On top of not sleeping well due to autoimmune issues, I notice new grey hairs every day. Grief, lack of sleep, stress. I have the trio and it's just awful. Losing a sibling is a nightmare, especially at a young age. My deepest sympathies."
"Back pain. You can't move like a young person if your back hurts."
"I went from being active and spry to barely able to move and in constant pain. It changed so much about my personality as being active and sporty was a huge part of who I was. I also gained some weight."
"I’m way better now and not in constant pain, but there is always a risk of flare-ups now so while I can exercise and be active, it’s always in the back of my mind and I can’t do it with the carefree attitude I once did."
"I also believe it makes me susceptible to other aches and pains as the nerves all connect so sometimes a flare-up sends pains to other extremities such as my hips or shoulders. If there was one thing I could go back and change in my life, it would be to prevent the back injury."
"F**king cancer. Have watched my brother-in-law age 30 years in a month."
"I have been a witness to this many times. '30 years in a month' is an accurate measurement."
"This hits close to home. My (seemingly healthy) uncle was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two weeks ago. Within the last two weeks, his body has completely broken down. So sorry for everyone here who has had to see loved ones go through this."
"My mom had breast cancer (in her 50’s) like 7 years ago. All her hair turned gray and she looked frail and old for a couple of years through treatment. After the cancer was gone, her hair all grew back brown again and she looked like she did before. It was really weird."
From the TopAmerican Horror Story Fx GIF by AHSGiphy
"Hair loss. Not me personally but I used to work with a guy who I swore was like 35, and he was 19. Poor kid."
"When I have an interview, I let my baldness show a little bit. I look older, and I'm taken more seriously by recruiters that way."
Keep ItNft Child GIF by Pudgy PenguinsGiphy
"Buccal fat removal."
"Surprised this wasn't higher up. People with baby cheeks don't realize how well they will serve them thirty years down the line when their buddies who teased them for it look like Skeletor."
"When I was younger and first entered the real world I remember working with a white-haired woman that had an always tired look about her. She had a picture of her daughter on her desk, young, blonde, that looked so incredibly much like her I mentioned it once. Turned out that wasn’t her daughter, but was her prior to her going through the FBI academy."
Work of the Devil
"Troubleshooting printer problems. I swear these devilish machines only exist to trigger me to smithereens."
"A couple years ago I decided to officially give up on having a personal printer and only use the one at the library because when it f**ks up, it's someone else's problem. I still have my old printer and I've considered dropping it off my roof for fun."
"Had the opportunity to throw one out of a third-story window. The absolute joy I felt watching that a**hole machine soar through the air and smash to smithereens was the best kind of natural high. It's been 15 years, and I still get goosebumps thinking about it."
Bad RelationsMy Big Fat Fabulous Life Kiss GIF by TLCGiphy
"Having a spouse that contributes nothing to your relationship and allows your family to slip further and further into debt without caring that you're all only a couple of bills away from bankruptcy."
Life is just an endless well of aging.
No cream is coming to save us.
There's an old saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes in order to understand them. It's an accurate sentiment as there are things in life one simply won't grasp unless experienced personally.
For example, I've been very open about my autism in my writing.
My fellow autistic adults often share how similar our experiences are and how well we can relate to each other.
However no matter how descriptive I am, it's difficult for someone neurotypical to fully understand what it’s like to have a brain that's wired differently.
But on the flip side, my autism means there are things I'll never understand.
Like what hunger feels like or how people usually feel pain or easily recognize faces or eat spicy foods or visualize things in their mind or don't get physically ill because of noises.
Reddit user Slow_Inflation8701 asked:
"What's something people don't understand until they've been through it themselves?"
"I pinched L3/4, L4/5, and L5/S1at the same time. It's unreal the pain, numbness and weakness that comes with it. Also really hard to explain to someone else."
"I herniated L5/S1 and didn't sleep for 6 days, barely slept for a month. I didn't understand nerve pain. You can't understand it until it happens to you."
"My experience was and is so minor compared to what could be. I had nerve damage that lasted for about a year before it began to heal—it’s mostly okay now, but I still don’t trust that limb."
"It looks fine, so you always feel like everyone thinks you’re faking. It’s inconsistent, so sometimes it feels fine, and then YOU start to wonder if you’re faking—then something little happens and it’s hot lightning bolts again."
"That something could be lifting a few pounds the wrong way."
"Or you could feel fine one day and lift something heavy without thinking and be fine. Or it might just be horrible pain for literally no goddamned reason."
"You look the same regardless."
"It’s maddening and f*cking horrible. Take care of your bodies, people."
"Losing a parent at a young age."
"You’re not sad because you miss them. You’re sad because you were robbed of ever knowing them."
"The last times (aside from now) that I cried about her was because a cousin sent me photos and another cousin posted a family video and she was in it."
"The photos triggered a dream where I actually touched her. I was 3 when she passed, so I have zero memories."
"I lost my mom at 16 and it’s been 33 years."
"I just started seeing a new therapist and when I was describing my childhood, I started crying talking about my mom."
"She was sick for a long time and I don’t really have strong memories of what our relationship was like."
"There’s just a mom shaped hole in my life."
"My wife Alyssa died in my arms on May 13th 2023, at 6:28 pm. She was 33. I heard her last breath, saw her eyes empty, felt her go limp."
"I didn't dream at all the first 4 months after. No nightmares, no dreams. I had to call her family and friends to let them know she had died that evening."
"From September of last year to May this year, she had lost 70 pounds. She looked like a skeleton, but not to my eyes. She was beautiful and I told her every single day."
"She started Agonal Breathing at 1 am on Saturday the 13th. I administered morphine and Ativan every hour so she wouldn't suffer too much.
"I played all of her favorite movies (50 First Dates, Deadpool, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and read her our wedding vows. Her last words were 'I love you too'. She died 6 hours later."
"When the funeral home employees came to pick her up that night, they asked me if I wanted to spend some time with her before they took her, I couldn't speak. I just shook my head no."
"She wasn't there anymore, her mortal cage had opened its door, and she had flown away. Her eyes......I'll never forget her eyes after she had gone."
"Please, everyone. If something doesn't feel right, and the doctor says it's nothing, GET A SECOND OPINION. C student's get degrees, and Aly's primary care doctor absolutely murdered her through misdiagnosis."
"Chronic illness and disability."
"…'but you don’t look sick'…"
"Have you tried this diet? This essential oil? Losing weight? This drink concoction? Exercise?"
"Standing on your head with your hands on your hips like a down-pointing arrow? NO‽‽"
"You don't want to get healthy."
"You're doing it all for attention."
"You’re exaggerating. Etc... Etc... Etc..."
"My husband has epilepsy and his brother told him he just needs to drink more water—like dehydration is the reason for his brain misfiring."
"Chronic debilitating illness and disability. How quickly life can change permanently without you doing anything wrong."
"Most people don’t realize that having a body that doesn’t hurt and isn’t sick is a luxury they should appreciate as much as they can while they still can. Illness and disability can happen to anyone at any time."
"I'm paraphrasing, but I once read 'The healthy have hundreds of desires. The chronically ill have one'."
"Somehow that quote was what got me in gear to finally pay attention to my health."
"I want to add being too disabled to work."
"Living in deep poverty because what the government gives you to live on is barely half of what a person needs to survive."
"And when you’re not living in complete poverty people say it would be 'so nice to sit at home and just do nothing'. No it’s not, I sit at home because I can’t do anything."
"Remember covid lockdowns when everyone was getting stir crazy after a week? That’s your life now."
"They really think we can just go out or something—have fun outside."
"No, I’m just working on surviving while not going insane from my limitations thank you.
"I’d be overjoyed if I could reliably work, my life would be so much better and less isolated."
"It’s not a vacation it’s forever!"
No Safety Net
"Struggling without anyone or anything to fall back on."
"Knowing that if one thing goes wrong, I'm completely f*cked. That there is no safety net.
"Then watching prices climb and mentally running scenarios of what I'm gonna do in any given situation."
"All while acting like everything is ok so I don't pass 'adult' problems on to my son."
"Not having enough money due to unforeseen circumstances."
"Not every poor person is poor because of their own decisions."
"Finances are like traffic, you can do everything right on the road, and have your life completely flipped by some other a**hole driver."
"My Dad's family had money until his brother was diagnosed with a rare heart disease that needed surgery. They sold everything to pay for it."
"It hit them so hard my Dad didn't go to high school so he could work for food."
"I grew up dirt poor because my Dad didn't have an education and struggled with everything. I finally clawed my way out of poverty."
"One hit took three generations to correct."
"What it really means to go through cancer treatment."
"I'm 4 years NED but still have regular interventions which terrify me—monitoring CT last December showed random liver growth, so liver MRI in February which thankfully showed it was harmless but so scary."
"Then colonoscopy last week to check for polyp growths (had bowel cancer) as part of my surveillance. One harmless dude found and removed but still the whole process was exhausting and frightening."
"I'm so so grateful for my treatment (was a stage 4 recurrence and treatment seems to have been curative) but I wish I could erase all the memories I have of diagnosis, treatment (which included psychosis due to steroids used to treat radiotherapy side effects and emergency admissions for chemo toxicity), recurrence, fear."
"I think that's what's difficult for someone to get their head round when they've not experienced it themselves."
"I was literally in a minor crash, 20mph I was going when someone crashed into the side of me."
"I now hesitate driving by junctions where a car is waiting to exit, I freak out thinking they'll get me. It's honestly so f*king horrible."
"I was rear ended twice in 2 years. Both times, I was stopped with my left turn signal on waiting for oncoming traffic to pass."
"The first one was relatively minor—her car was totaled but we were both fine. Second time, the person who hit me was injured badly but I was okay."
"I didn’t even notice (?) I was hit—I felt the car vibrate, thought 'oh, someone just hit me' and pulled over—did not realize my car had been pushed up like, 25 feet."
"I don’t remember the actual impact at all. Also did not even realize it was considered a 'serious accident' until the police and the doctor at urgent care and the insurance agent who totaled my car kept all calling it that."
"I swear I have PTSD-like issues from those accidents now."
"I hate left turns and I dislike being in the passenger seat, and I just imagine getting hit in some catastrophic accident now when I drive. When I was driving shortly after the second accident, my Apple Watch kept dinging at me to 'breathe'."
"'Can't you just wake up and not be depressed?'."
“'Why are you depressed? You have nothing to be depressed about'."
"No, I do not have trauma. I had a perfectly healthy childhood. I have a healthy marriage. I love my job. We aren’t rich by any means, but we are financially stable. I have 2 wonderful children. I have a great relationship with my family. I have friends. I have hobbies."
"My brain just sucks."
"It has since I was in middle school. Like how a diabetic’s pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, my brain doesn’t produce sufficient levels of serotonin."
"No amount of therapy or lifestyle modification is going to fix that. I need drugs to function normally."
"This is truly the thing that people don’t understand. There are literally people in this [Reddit] thread trying to argue that it’s all just your mindset and you need to change the way you think and everything will get better. Just take control of your life."
"I think most people in this world experience depression at some point in their life. But it’s situational, it’s because of something that happened, a breakup, losing a loved one, job loss, bullying, etc..."
"Because they go through that they think they understand what it’s like to suffer through more severe mental illness. When you suffer from a true life long mental illness it is a disability, it’s like having a permanent injury to your knee that causes you to walk with a limp. You can’t just stretch and drink water and walk normal again."
"Sure diet and exercise and positive thinking can help, but it’s not a cure. It doesn’t matter how well things are going in your life—sometimes it’s just excruciating to be alive. Like it just hurts to be awake."
"It’s impossible to explain to someone how awful it feels."
"It sucks because no matter what you do you’ll always be broken. But there’s always going to be someone there to tell you that it’s your fault, that if you just did X you would feel better."
"Someone commented on another Reddit thread that they completely understand people who have a psychotic episode after they stopped taking their mental health medications because 'people don't want to become dependent on those drugs'."
"It's a perfect illustration of how people don't get what clinical mental illness is."
"Who applauds an insulin dependent diabetic who skips their insulin and ends up in a coma?"
"Or an epileptic who skips their medication and has a seizure?"
"My medication is viewed as a weakness and a choice I'm making to be dependent, but stopping it can kill me just as well as the diabetic or epileptic who skip their meds."
"Massive F*CK YOU to people who have this attitude about mental health medications."
"The medical gaslighting and downplay."
"I watched my girlfriend go through it trying to get her fibro diagnosis and I will never forgive certain doctors—both male and female—who ignored obvious symptoms just because of her gender."
"YES. This was my experience, also. All because I am a woman."
"Took me well over 10 years for a correct diagnosis for ONE of my ailments, by which time my affected internal organs were literally nothing more than scar tissue, and I was bleeding internally."
"Had to have emergency surgery."
"Doctors had previously insisted that there was nothing wrong with me, and I was just being hysterical or over dramatic."
"They all told me the pain was nothing to worry about."
"Discrimination. Of any type."
"Disability, religion, sexism, racism, fatphobia, homophobia, anything."
"When you experience it the rage and the fact that it is systematic crushes your soul in a way no one can explain to you."
"There are lots of facets to this that I think aren't spoken about enough. When loneliness or isolation is mentioned, particularly on TV/posters it often focuses on the immediate obvious aspect of it (such as sitting alone in a quiet room)."
"That part is unpleasant but I think it's far from being the worst part of it. I've spent a long time with 0 support system & there are so many tiny things going on buzzing about like a thousand cuts."
"Have a question about something? No one to ask. Have a funny/philosophical/stupid thought? No one to share it with."
"Need someone to hold up a shelf while you nail it in? No one there. Need someone to witness you signing a will or other important document? Good luck."
"Read a book & want to discuss it with someone? Nah. Need a character witness for something? Proverbial lol."
"Break your leg & need a lift home from hospital? Yeah right. In an abusive relationship getting gaslit by your partner? No one is there to tell you that's what's happening."
"Want advice on your first tattoo? How about a blank wall. Want to watch a film with someone? No. The joy of shared experience is not something you can access."
"Want to play that board game you saw? Better get a single-player. Want to swap funny stories with people? Better just keep them to yourself."
"Get sick & can't get to the post office to send important documents? No one will believe you when you say you've no one to do it for you."
"Regarding the last one I know that people don't understand what isolation is like because I've tried in very plain language to say 'I do not have anyone who can do this for me' & they always act as if I'm just not looking hard enough & if I just looked again I'd find 3 people hidden under the carpet."
"Having 0 outside perspectives is actually quite serious too. Maybe living in a bubble with no one to challenge anything sounds good on paper but in reality it's horrible. Perspective & relativity keeps us grounded, keeps us in check, keeps us healthy."
"For example if you experience something but have no one to talk to about it, it can be hard to know if you're under-reacting or overreacting which can have all sorts of different ramifications on a spectrum where one end is being taken advantage of & the other end is radicalisation."
"Being isolated warps everything. Enough of it can affect you in the same way physical pain does. Your tolerance for dealing with tough situations will diminish because the only energy you have is yours."
"Having a support system is like an exchange of energy & we have a lot more energy when we have people to trade it with. We can do more things, see different avenues we'd not have noticed, deal with more obstacles & people don't even notice how much this silent exchange is carrying them through life until they don't have it anymore."
"It's not simply sitting alone in a room feeling sad, it's thousands & thousands of tiny things that wear you down over time."
"There is a reason 'exile/shunning' is akin to capital punishment in some cultures."
"Pretty much anything."
"If you have a modicum of empathy, you can imagine, probably inaccurately, but I don't think you can truly grasp what it's like to experience anything until you have."
Some experiences really can'tbe adequately explained to others.
But with empathy and compassion full understanding isn't necessary.