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 yourlastnames asked: 'what missing persons case is the most confusing / doesn’t add up?'
Content warning: suicide.
There are truly some strange unsolved cases out there, but there's nothing quite like hearing of a person who has vanished as if out of thin air.
While some of these cases have been explained away or even solved, there are some that remain a mystery that truly does not add up, no matter how the puzzle pieces fall.
Curious about these cases, in particular, Redditor yourlastnames asked:
"What missing persons case is the most confusing [to you] or just doesn't add up?"
The Last Ride of Terrance Williams
"Terrance Williams disappeared in 2004. He's the subject of a fascinating podcast called 'The Last Ride.'"
"The short version is that he was taken into custody in Naples, Florida, after being pulled over in the early hours for traffic violations. He was never seen again."
"The deputy that pulled him over tried to conceal the traffic stop even from his own organization, but staff opening a local business saw the whole thing."
"When the sheriff's department finally looked into it, they discovered the deputy was involved in a similar disappearance of a man named Felipe Santos in 2003. To this day the deputy claims no knowledge of Williams's whereabouts, despite being caught out in a series of lies."
Paddy Moriarty and Kellie
"Paddy Moriarty and his dog, Kellie. They went missing in an outback town in Australia with a population of 12 people."
"They were last seen leaving the pub riding his quad bike the one-kilometer distance to his house. He or his dog have never been found and no one has been charged in relation to his disappearance."
Susan Powell and Family
"Susan Powell went missing from her home in West Valley, Utah, on December 6, 2009."
"She is presumably dead. Her husband, Josh, was the main suspect and just a real piece of work. No one knows what really happened to her."
"Sadly in 2012, Josh murdered their kids and committed suicide after Susan’s parents gained custody of the kids."
"This case is so frustrating since his brother and father are both dead too. We’ll never know what happened to Susan, but I’m positive she’s in an old mine shaft somewhere. F**k Josh Powell."
The Last Call from Brandon Swanson
"Brandon Swanson. He drove into a ditch and called his parents for help. They stayed on the phone with him for 47 minutes while they drove around looking for him."
"They heard him say, 'Oh s**t,' and then the phone went silent. They eventually found his car far away from where he said he was but he was never found."
"Reading this was absolutely chilling. It seems at first glance that it's most likely he drowned, but that really doesn't make sense because the water was only 10 feet deep and they would have found the body."
"He just suddenly said, 'OH S**T!' and the phone went silent, but he did not hang up. The phone call continued with total silence from his end. What the f**k happened to him?"
Babysitter Mar Lou Bostwick
"Mary Lou Bostwick. She disappeared July 18, 1972, from Waverly, New York. She was dropped off by her dad to babysit at a friend's house. This was also her 16th birthday. Her mom stopped by later with a cake and presents."
"The people in the apartment told her that Mary never showed up. However, her bag was in the residence. Nothing else was ever found."
"There was another girl around the same age, Sharon Coston, who was abducted and murdered in a nearby town about a year later. October 1983 in Sayre, Pennsylvania."
"There was a man convicted of that, but he always denied doing anything to Mary. One of the people who testified against him and was given immunity was a suspect in Mary's case. Mary's mom thinks there's a connection, but nothing was ever really found."
"I've sadly never seen anyone cover her disappearance on any of the podcasts or YouTube shows."
Derek Seehausen of San Diego
"Derek Seehausen. My friend was dating him at the time of his disappearance, and he was actively planning his future in medicine, and was last seen in San Diego."
"I saw him about two months before he disappeared. Please send any tips."
The Beaumont Children
"The Beaumont Children. Three kids go to the beach, are seen with a mystery man, and never make it back home."
"Never found out who the man was or where they went. Their parents just recently died without ever getting any closure."
Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes
"Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes. The whole family (parents and four kids) went missing overnight in 2011."
"Employers, schools, and the extended family received weird letters informing of their absence or departure (one of them saying they are going into a witness protection program). Two weeks later they found the corpses of the mother, the kids, and the dog hidden behind the house."
"They investigated and retraced the father’s whereabouts in the south of France. He was last seen leaving a hotel a few days before. The region was thoroughly searched, but he was never to be found."
Branson Perry of Skidmore
"Branson Perry, aged 20, disappeared from Skidmore, Missouri in April 2001."
"He was working on his house with a friend, went to the shed to grab some power cords, and was never seen again."
The Incomplete Story of Marshall Iwassa
"Marshall Iwassa. Good guy."
"He came back to his hometown to visit his family and friends, and everything by all accounts was good. He left to take the two-hour drive to where he was living and never made it. Instead, it was recorded he spent the entire night trying to get into his storage unit and then nothing."
"A week or maybe more, his truck was found 12 hours away on a back road in the middle of the woods burnt to a crisp with belongings thrown about everywhere, no sign of Marshal."
"From what I remember, the family was adamant that some of the things inside the truck, burnt or not, were missing, things they knew he had. The truck was even missing parts."
"It's been four years and there's never been answers. It makes me sad and fearful of long travels. From what I know of him, he was a fantastic friend; I hope they get closure one day."
Out Shopping Asha Degree
"She went missing at the age of nine from Shelby, North Carolina, United States. In the early morning hours of February 14, 2000, for reasons unknown, she packed her bookbag, left her family home north of the city, and began walking along nearby North Carolina Highway 18 despite heavy rain and wind."
"Several passing motorists saw her; when one turned around at a point 1.3 miles (2.1 km) from her home and began to approach her, she left the roadside and ran into a wooded area."
"In the morning, her parents discovered her missing from her bedroom. No one has seen her since."
The Vanishing Marion Barter
"Marion Barter here in Australia."
"She boarded a plane overseas in 1997 and changed her name beforehand (didn't tell family). She apparently came back to Australia for a few days (according to passenger records) and completely disappeared."
"It's an ongoing investigation at the moment, there is a podcast about it called, 'The Lady Vanishes,' featuring her daughter."
"It's so tragically fascinating."
The Grieving Bryce Laspisa
"He was driving to his parents' house (three hours) after an argument with his girlfriend, apparently due to his alcohol and video game addiction and abuse of prescription medication."
"Partway through the drive, he pulled off the highway and just sat there… from 9:00 AM to 3:'00 PM."
"A roadside assistance guy checked on him twice and said he seemed fine and coherent, and Bryce told him he would be carrying on back to his parents shortly."
"Sometime later, his car was found only a few miles away, driven off the embankment, and he was nowhere to be found. They never found him."
News Anchor Jodi Huisentruit
"Jodi Huisentruit was a news anchor who disappeared in the early morning in Mason City, Iowa."
"There were signs that she was abducted and the investigation is still ongoing with new leads nearly 30 years later."
Three-Year-Old William Tyrrell
"William Tyrrell. In 2014, the three-year-old boy went missing from his foster grandmother's yard whilst playing with his sister. His foster mother and foster grandmother were apparently watching them play outside, and the foster mother went inside to make a cup of tea."
"They then noticed they hadn’t seen or heard him in a while and searched the house and yard."
"In 2021, police began searching national parkland near the grandmother's home for human remains. They also revealed that the foster mother and grandmother were persons of interest in his presumed death."
"Earlier today, the foster mother pled not guilty to assaulting another foster child that was in her care (a 10-year-old girl). She has also been charged with intimidating and stalking a minor. Her husband has also been charged with the same crimes, but plead not guilty to all counts. The foster grandmother is now dead."
"Basically, police believe that William died whilst in the care of the foster family, and they disposed of his body to cover it up. Police are recommending that the foster parents be charged with perverting the course of justice and interfering with a corpse."
"His photos went viral at the time of the 'disappearance,' and he went missing whilst in a Spiderman costume, and the photo that was distributed was taken minutes before."
These stories are truly haunting, and it's no wonder that Redditors have worried themselves with what might have happened to these missing people.
We can only hope that answers come for at least some of these cases and that their closest loved ones achieve some sense of closure eventually.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
The realization you're getting older can smack you in the face at any given time, and boy-howdy is it fun!
It can be in the morning when you get up out of bed, and your body makes crackling noises, or when you can't seem to keep up at the gym and you cut short your running time on the treadmill.
That's just the physical.
When you suddenly have the epiphany that you're suddenly the oldest one in a group setting, it's humbling.
Curious to hear from strangers online who are no longer the young whipper-snappers they imagined themselves to eternally be, Redditor redmambo_no6 asked:
"Redditors with younger coworkers, what was your 'I’m officially old' moment?"
These moments of realization never get old. But people do.
"My childhood cat lived to 21.5 so teaching (freshman biology lab, so students were ~18) became very weird when I realized my cat was older than my students."
Aging In Reverse
"I'm a preschool teacher. It's been a TRIP to watch parents go from Soooo much older than me, to the same age as me, and now they're younger than me!?!?"
The Shook Pediatrician
"My kids pediatrician was also my husband's pediatrician when he was a kid. He was the first kid she had to come back as a parent and she was SHOOK."
"See, that's what really kinda drives it home for me."
"I'm not bothered that I'm 48. But that means my school friends are 48, and that's weird for some reason. Like, I went to school with a guy who was wild and crazy. That guy is 48 now, and has a new grandbaby. Somehow, he's old, and I'm just 'getting up there '."
Relics of the past don't just pertain to humans.
Dialing It In
"Had a co-worker ask me, 'Back before cell phones, did you just have to wait around at your house for a call?' Uh, yeah, pretty much."
"Reminds me of having to explain the concept of collect calls to my kids. The whole speed speaking where you were for pick up during the recording so your Mama never accepted the collect call."
"Various colleagues were debating whether the Concorde had been real. They couldn’t fathom that supersonic civilian aircraft used to exist and now they don’t anymore."
"The Concorde last flew in 2003, when these colleagues were toddlers."
"We were talking about where we were on 9/11, and my coworker went quiet. He wasn’t even born."
"We also had a band that was famous in the 90s stay at the hotel, and he had no idea who they were, meanwhile I was so star struck as they were my entire childhood!"
Gravity is not our friend, and not just because of its effect on our faces.
The Day It Went Downhill
"When i fell down the last couple of steps on a stairway. No one pointed and laughed like I expected, instead they helped me up and asked me if I was okay. That’s when I knew."
It's About The Recovery
"F'k. That has to be a bummer."
"You fall. You know you're fine. You feel like an idiot. You get ready to wave to the crowd as they laugh and clap. But then... a hand is placed on your arm and you hear 'that was a big fall, are you ok?' You stay in shock for a moment. Of course, you're fine. Everyone is looking at you. They all have concerned faces. Sh*t. Two weeks later, the soreness finally subsides."
Ice Slip, You Slip, We All Slip
"This happened to me as well....walking my dog the day after a huge snowstorm. There were some rowdy teenage boys having a snowball fight across the street (schools were closed that day, of course). I slipped on the ice, my feet flew over my head and I landed solidly on my backside. As I struggled to get up I braced myself for the laughter and catcalls, but all I heard was "Are you OK Ma'am??' 'Do you need help??' I was in my early 50s and had never felt 'old' until that moment."
Conversations with younger coworkers can be fun.
You can quote lines from your favorite TV shows and talk about the latest CD you bought at Target and brag about your new digital camera that takes better pictures than a smartphone.
And then you can watch the blank expressions on your coworkers' faces because they haven't a clue about what you speak.
Yeah. This has never happened to me...
The art of tattooing has been practiced across the globe since at least Neolithic times, as evidenced by mummified skin, art and the archaeological artifacts.
The oldest tattooed human skin was found on the body of Ötzi the Iceman from between 3370 and 3100 BC.
Tattooed mummies were recovered in almost 50 archaeological digs across the Earth with locations in Greenland, Alaska, Siberia, Mongolia, western China, Egypt, Sudan, the Philippines and the Andes.
But while advancements in tools and inks have opened up endless possibilities for body art, some designs have garnered a bad reputation.
A Redditor asked:
"What tattoo is a red flag?"
Names Are For Relatives Only!
"Your girlfriend’s name tattooed after only 4 weeks of the relationship."
"My younger sister got 'Mrs *boyfriend’s name*' tattooed on her wrist when she was 16 or 17. I think she made a fake birth certificate to get it."
"The boyfriend later broke up with her when she was in rehab."
"Hooked up with a guy who had his own name tattooed on his ribs.
"His own full name. He ended up being a psychopath."
"I've met 3 dudes so far that have their last names tatted on them."
"Two were in the exact same Gothic font (I met them years and thousands of miles apart). One had est.[birth year] underneath it..."
"Both were huge too, one across the chest, the other across his back. Both dudes were massive tools."
"The 3rd guy had it small on his bicep and doesn't like it anymore."
Red Flag, Literally
"My ex husband literally got a red flag tattooed on his wrist."
"I had no idea he did it until I saw it one day. I asked why he got it and he said it was a 'reminder' to himself to not make impulsive, rash decisions."
"He filed for divorce and moved in with his mistress two months later."
"The red flag tattoo was apt as f'k, apparently."
"My daughter's ex had:"
"A ring of thorns on his forehead, like he was trying to look like Jesus"
"A 'not Nazi eagle' that looked exactly like a Nazi eagle on his abdomen"
Sealed With A 💋
"lipstick kiss on the neck"
"My old neighbor had this. One night SWAT showed up..."
"My buddy had this too, he went to prison for [drug] related crimes."
"My old coworker had this too, he got fired for getting high in the freezer."
"Also had a coworker of this ilk, proudly showed videos of him shooting a teddy bear on his couch. In his apartment. Just a grade A bozo."
"I’m sensing a theme here."
Cell Block Special
"I saw a woman at a water park with her toddler."
"She had a tattoo that said 'Trust no b*tches, love no hoes'."
"In my bones, I feel there is no way you could have that tattoo if you haven’t been to prison at least once."
"Chester Cheetah having sex with a Smurf."
"But which Smurf?"
Probably Not a Tribute to Her Father
"I met a lady with a 'Daddy' tattoo on her forehead. My gut told me right away that she was trouble."
"She went on a camping trip with us and mixed alcohol and drugs and went into an abusive rage."
"We ended up having to have the sheriff escort her out of our camp. Total sh*tshow."
It's All About Location, Location, Location
"I mean, come on, if the first warning sign about a forehead tattoo isn't that it's a FOREHEAD TATTOO, there's bigger issues at play here."
"Especially if it literally says 'POOR IMPULSE CONTROL'."
Why So Glum, Chum?
"Joker's smile on the back of the hand."
Take a Bow 🎀
"I’ve never met a girl I liked with bows tattooed on the back of her thighs."
Anti-Heroes, We Hope
"Tattoos of very questionable people….like Eichmann or Jeffrey Dahmer."
"Or a giant back tattoo of Richard Nixon."
"That's oddly specific."
"They're referring to Roger Stone, who, in fact, has a giant back tattoo of Richard Nixon."
~ The-Beer-BaronRichard Nixon GIF by GIPHY NewsGiphy
Why Not a Brand?
"When a girl has a 'Property of (guy's name)'."
"I know a dude that has an odd assortment of Adult Swim characters tattooed on their back, mostly from Aqua Teen."
"They're bad in general, but the worst part is that they're just kinda placed randomly, not in a cohesive group or anything."
"Similar to how you might expect a kid to place stickers on their bedroom door because they weren't sure where else to put them."
~ LolYouFkingLoseraqua teen hunger force GIFGiphy
"That joke is so old, Jesus told it at the Last Supper."
Red Flag, Literally—Part 2
"A Chinese flag tattoo is definitely a red flag."
"A Swiss flag is also a big plus."
"An Austrian flag is a minus though."
"A German flag is a big… um… three colored stripes?"
"This is hard...."
~ Poorly-Drawn-BeagleFlowing China GIFGiphy
Art—including body art—is subjective.
But before you get that ink, you might want to make sure it sends the message you want.
When it comes to making a point, the stronger language you use, the better.
Sometimes, this is true of insults too. If you use strong language, the insult may hurt more. This language may include curse words. A lot of times, cursing while insulting someone is a surefire way to make sure the insult lands the way it was intended.
However, this is not always true.
Redditors know it's completely possible to deliver savage insults without using curse words, and are eager to share their favorites.
It all started when Redditor ILikeExistingLol asked:
"What's an absolutely devastating insult without any cuss words?"
""First of all, brush your teeth...""
"I literally just brushed my teeth because of this comment. I was gonna put it off for a little later, but I couldn't after reading that."
"A coworker who never showers, washes his clothes, or brushes his teeth was trying to intimidate me once and I told him the scariest thing about him was his breath. He hasn’t spoken to me since."
"“Well, at least you have more teeth than IQ points.”"
"About the same in his case, really."
Yikes! That Face!
""I never forget a face. But in your case, I'll be glad to make an exception.""
"– Groucho Marx"
""You have the face for a career in radio.""
""...and a voice for print.""
If Only We Never Met
"I miss the feeling of not knowing you."
"I think Shakespeare once said something along the lines of "I wish we were better strangers.""
Crime Against Humanity
"Have you ever considered that perhaps your low self-esteem is just good common sense?"
"I'd say shots fired but damn that's a nuclear warhead."
"“He’s a humble man with much to be humble about.”"
"Another Winston favorite: “Madam, I may be drunk, but you are ugly. Tomorrow, I will be sober.”"
"Some lady: “If you were my husband, I’d poison your drink.”"
"Churchill: “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”"
"May be slightly different wording."
"Lady Astor! She was an interesting person."
""I could agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.""
""You're entitled to your opinion. It's wrong, but you're entitled to it.""
"A teacher called my son success-avoidant 3 years ago and he still thinks about that every day. But it did motivate him to get an A in that class, and all his other classes too!"
"Damn, a harsh truth can be very motivating."
What I Like About You
"“Do you know what I like about you?”"
"When they say “what?”, you reply, “See? You can’t think of anything either.”"
"These are always the most devastating ones, when you set them up to expect a compliment."
"It's risky though. If they actually give an answer, like some cocky "that i'm hot?" or whatever, then you'll have to think fast."
""No, that's definitely not it. I'll keep thinking, I'm sure something will come to me.""
Rumor Has It
""I had to see for myself, but people are absolutely right about you.""
"No cussing, no meanness, but they'll get paranoid about who's talking about them and their reputation."
Intelligence Called Out
"Your grades say marry rich, but your face says study harder."
"Please donate your brain to science, at least that way someone will actually use it."
"You are impossible to underestimate."
"You never fail to meet my expectations."
"You couldn't guess which way an elevator is going if you had three guesses."
"I love this insult because you have a moment of silence afterward as the insultee pieces it together."
I love that one; it's brilliant. I'm using this as soon as I get an opportunity!