"If Another Nurse Had Been Taking Care Of Him, He'd Be Alive"—People Share The Most Hurtful Thing They've Overheard About Themselves
I once overheard my dad call me fat. It sucked. He wasn't being mean, he was attempting to describe me to a stranger because he had lost me in a crowd. Since I stopped growing in 4th grade, it happens a lot and for whatever reason people almost never think to just turn in a circle and look down. I'm often right there, just lower than your normal line of sight - so I've heard people describe me about a zillion times. I'm a big girl, so I've heard about 150 million totally unoriginal people attempt to use my size to insult me like it was going to be some huge revelation and I didn't wake up in the morning with all this. I had just never heard it from my father before.
Overall it's not the worst thing in the world. It wasn't even meant as an insult in the way he said it. He described me as "short, fat, curly hair, big eyes, cute as sh!t." Tons of people have called me worse - and heard others say worse about them. One Reddit user asked:
Here are some of the best (worst?) responses we found, edited for language or clarity where needed. If you're a sensitive type, now might be a good time to grab some comfort food or hug a dog or something. Brace yourselves, folks. It's about to get REALLY harsh in here.
Like, this level harsh.:
With Friends Like This...
My wife had a falling out with some friends of mine that she met through me. We had known them a long time but I had known them for much longer. I was upset with her one night, because they were always asking why she never came around anymore, but she absolutely refused to see them. I always thought it was because of this little side business project they went into together that didn't work out.
So I'm driving my wife somewhere, and I just start getting upset with her that she won't make up with them and move past it like they did, and it sucks that she never comes with when I go over there. So she finally broke and told me the truth.
Every time she went over there without me, they would talk sh!t about me, putting down my personality, my humor, and much more. I guess they thought she would be ok with it, like a joking "haha my husband can be such a [insert something], right?" But she wasn't ok with it. She's not a confrontational person, so she never really spoke up, but she was disgusted by the way they spoke about me behind my back, and refused to have anything to do with them. She had been letting me think it was all her fault and she took it because she knew the truth would hurt my feelings. And it did.
It boggles my mind to still be thinking about this nearly three decades later. At a goodbye sleepover for my best friend who was moving out of the country, I overheard her saying to another girl, "ugh, she is being SO annoying tonight. I can't wait to leave." The other girl agreed enthusiastically. They thought I was asleep. I cried silently for an hour.
Never Been Loved
Went out to a bar with some friends for a birthday party for my ex-girlfriend. She really messed me up when she left me, like really bad, but I was trying to be nice since she invited me so I figured I'd go out and be there for a drink or two.
A mutual friend who had gotten dumped a few days before and was there, so as I made the rounds I talked to her and tried to do whatever I could to let her know it would be ok. I'm no therapist, but I did my best ya know? I knew what a bad breakup felt like, as I was also going through one, so I tried to help.
Anyways, after I left the table I overheard her talking to my ex at the bar about me trying to give her advice and she said, "Well nobody has ever loved him so what does he know about any of this?" And they started laughing. Don't think they know I heard, but I grabbed my coat immediately and took a long walk home.
I don't need people like that in my life, haven't willingly seen either of them since.
No Laughing MatterGiphy
When I was in middle school art class something funny happened and I let out a loud laugh. I then overheard one of my childhood best friends whisper to another person "God I hate their laugh." I immediately looked at him and said "What?" And he just looked down at the table like he didn't hear me.
This actually made me change my laugh. It's completely different from what it used to be.
The Wrong Sister Died
When my oldest sister died, my other sister was crying to my mother about how she felt alone. My mother was trying to reassure her and said, "You still have [my name] though." But my sister said, "Who cares about her? I want [oldest sister] back."
I kinda get it... but this was around the same time my mother told me to my face that it should have been me who died instead because I don't have a husband or kids like my oldest sister did. It seemed like absolutely no one wanted me in my family and they all wished I could have switched places with the one we lost.
People wonder why I'm depressed now...
Christmas Eve Confessions
Background: I'm 12 years younger than my older sisters and I was unplanned. At age 7, I overheard my mom crying and saying I was the reason she didn't love my dad anymore/we were poor/why she isn't happy and that she didn't want to be a mom anymore. She said she 'didn't know how to love someone who ruined her entire life'.
It was Christmas eve and she was drunk talking to her best friend on the phone. It broke my heart/spirit and that was only the beginning of my awful childhood. Side note: I'm 29 now and moved out when I was 15 to protect myself. I have no contact with my parents & I'm fully aware it wasn't my fault I was born.... But damn, this memory still f*cks me up...
Roaches And Lice
I was 7 and basically poor trailer trash, but I asked my friend if I could stay the night. He called his mom to ask and I over heard her say "Tell him no, I don't want roaches and lice."
Really cut me deep. To this day I have extreme anxiety about keeping my house clean. I couldn't help it I was poor, and our roaches didn't pay rent!
Do You Even Lift, Bro?
I had just finished a phone call and was walking back into the room with a couple of friends. Before I hit the doorway, one of friends asked my then-best-friend why we weren't dating yet. He responded with "I only date girls I can pick up when I'm making out with them." I'm not fat, but I'm not stick thin either, and it has really f*cked me up; I struggle with body image issues to this day.
I later confronted him about it and he told me I shouldn't have eavesdropped. A bunch of other sh!t happened and we aren't close friends anymore, but damn that hurt to hear. Especially from someone I cared about so much.
'If another nurse had been taking care of him, he'd be alive right now.'
I spent the entire night running around trying to stabilize a patient, and my b!tch of a coworker sat there talking sh!t with my other bitch of a coworker. Those two sat loudly talking about how incompetent I was the entire time. Neither of them lifted a finger to help.
When the patient crashed, both of them magically disappeared and it was nurses from the other side of the hallway who came to help with the code. They came after all was said and done and then I overheard one of them spit out that little gem. When they were asked what happened, they proceeded to tell the unit manager that I was incompetent and crying at the bedside. Thankfully neither of them work on the unit anymore.
At my first internship, I overheard one of my supervisors ask the others if I was genuinely mentally handicapped. That hurt.
Yes, she 100% meant what she said, but not in a compassionate way. She not only insulted me, but insulted the undergrad program I came from for sending her someone so "incompetent." Nothing I did or didn't do justified her behavior.
For example, she'd ask my opinion, then laugh in my face when I gave it. Or tell me a meeting was in one room, when it was in another, and snap at me for not being in the right place.
That was 10 years ago. Now I have a few degrees and am happily employed in the same field at a company that values me.
Hideous Thrift Store Clothes
I remember in 7th grade our class did one of those BS award ceremonies (ie. Best hair, best smile, most sociable, etc.) Well I was a wallflower pretty much all the way through high school, never had that many friends or anything. Anyways, to my surprise I had won the award for "Most unique sense of style." I was a bit embarrassed, but hey, at least I had gotten one of the awards! FF to homeroom class after the ceremony, and I overhear a group of kids laughing, saying how funny it was that "the emo b*tch won for her hideous thrift store clothes." What's worse is that I had considered more than one of those people my friends.
Math Is Hard
Having my ex wife (married at the time) tell her friends how stupid I was because I couldn't figure out a math problem while going back to try and get my GED (she has a masters degree). It almost caused me to quit the program. But I stuck with it and eventually got it. Wouldn't have bothered me so much except for the fact growing up my teachers always told me I wouldn't amount to anything and would just flip burgers. Well now I'm 2nd in command at my firehouse (Deputy Fire Chief) run a successful side business building decks, and am a lead carpenter for a big construction company.
Painting For The Ex
My ex-boyfriend had an old BMW that he absolutely adored, so, for his birthday I decided I would do a painting of it for him. I spent days carefully drawing it, painting, bought a nice frame for it. When I was finished I sent a picture of it to a group chat with my friends because I was proud of my efforts, without realizing someone had added my boyfriend to the chat earlier. He saw the photo and replied something along the lines of 'hahaha wtf is that retarded thing'....I threw the painting in the trash and never told him.
Shame About Her Face
When I was 12 years old a boy at school, a few years above said: "she has a nice body but it is a shame about her face". It really hurt my confidence at that age.
This was years ago but we were in Las Vegas for the weekend. I was in the bathroom getting ready to go out with my boyfriend and his family, mostly cousins. My way of getting ready is shaving my legs, some blush, mascara and eye liner - pretty simple . Maybe if I'm feeling fancy I will even curl my hair a bit. I heard them talking about how they knew I was almost done getting ready because I'm so plain. My boyfriend agreed and added that yes I'm very simple and low maintenance .
I know it doesn't sound like a big stab but it hurt me in the deepest chunk of my heart and soul because he could've elevated the 'plain' or something, but he didn't. He agreed with it. The rest of the night was a blur because I drank so much so I wouldn't keep thinking of the way my boyfriend thought of me as such a plain bagel. We're still together and I've at least added color to my hair and lipstick to my face.
School Shooter Jokes
I once heard my only friends in middle school talking about which kid would shoot up the school. They said that I would be the most likely. They made a lot of school shooter jokes about me after that. I still have paranoia that my friends are just tolerating me.
Once in 7th grade I had a crush on a guy in my class and my then-best-friend told this to a group of girls she wanted to be friends with. The group hated me for some whatever middle-school-reason. They all started coming up to me here and there and saying things like "He's totally in love with you too, he wants to ask you out tomorrow. He's just too shy;"
I was so happy about it. The next day I was so thrilled and giddy just waiting for it to happen. During the break I overheard a girl from the clique mimicking me how happy I looked and saying that it won't be for long. It turned out that the group was pressuring the guy I liked into faking a relationship with me. He never had a crush on me, the group just wanted to see me embarrassed and heartbroken. Luckily, the guy was honest and told me everything.
Let Him Do It
In the 9th grade, my suicide attempt had gotten around to pretty much everyone. I overheard a girl saying to one of my friends, "Who cares if he kills himself. If he wants to die, let him do it."
The thing was, I didn't WANT to kill myself. I just wanted the thoughts in my head and my crappy feelings to stop. At the time, I thought I had tried everything to help myself and failed.
I moved in to a new place. I was incredibly shy but was always trying to make conversation with my roommates. I was very timid.
I heard two of them talking together in the kitchen. They thought I was out of the house so they were discussing what they thought of me.
It hurt so bad when I heard one of them say "She's so f*cking weird. And she's more boring than a funeral director."
Fat Girl's Personality
I've struggled with my weight all my life and finally found a routine I can keep up with without losing faith which has caused me to lose a ton of weight - I overheard my crush tell his friends that even though I've lost the weight, I've still got a "fat girls personality" and he wouldn't date someone with "saggy weight-loss-tits" and they all laughed and nodded in agreement - that hurt
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
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One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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