Medical Professionals Describe The Most Difficult Patients They've Ever Treated
Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

While doctors know what they're signing up for when they choose the profession, there are some incidents that one simply cannot possibly prepare for.

And as a recent Reddit thread illustrated, sometimes those same incidents are just as difficult to forget about. The fluids, the stressful dynamics, the stenches and the sights are all tattooed on the brain.

Redditor ColoringTheRainbow asked:

"Nurses, Doctors, and other hospital workers of Reddit, what are some of your crazy patient stories?"

Many people discussed the elephant in the room: all those medical emergencies having some connection to the sex organs.

Let's face it, we love to gossip.

As Seen On TV

"Guy had the fabled 'erection lasting longer than 4 hours,' came into the ER at hour 9, we had to decompress it with a needle and syringe...about 6 times."

-- pause_and_consider

The End of Future Him

"I have a great story from the urology department. Guy comes in for genital pain and an erection that won't go away. Turns out he was having a threesome with two women and wanted to stay erect. Instead of getting viagra, which would have required finding the meds. He just put epoxy glue down his urethra."

"Needless to say they had to amputate. =("

-- zeroskie

Making an Absolute Scene

"I was an EMT in south Seattle, we had a 911 call for a '30somethingYO F c/o AMS' (altered mental status) on the intersection of 1st and Central (not really, but it was a major intersection). She was a younger (30s) obese woman wearing panties and a bra, and 911 was called by a passerby who reported that she was solicitating herself."

"Patient was on PCP (or bad heroin, we guess), and was extremely combative. It took 2 myself, 2 paramedics, and 2 cops to get in her the stretcher. We had to spider-strap AND 4 point restrain her, and furthermore, we had to wrap a blanket around her head to prevent her from banging her head on the side of the ambulance."

"We also had to place an oxygen mask (en lieu of a cannula) because she was activley spitting on us. DURING this process she was hypersexual. She was a Jane Doe, we had no info on her. I'm no longer an EMT."

-- whoisauntbeast

Others shared stories of patients who were, unfortunately, not in control of their own behavior. Some mental health struggle took over and they became a force to be reckoned with.

All He Needed

"I work in an OR and had a teenage patient that weighed 150 kg (330ish lbs) and was a clinical psychotic. He was know to be violent on wake up from anesthesia, so we were prepared with 4 burly (inc. me) guys surrounding the OR table at the end of the case. When he opened his eyes they got really wide and then... He started crying."

"Not just whimpering, but full on lip quivering and tears, it broke my heart. So, as I was standing near the head of the table, I leaned down (probably not the smartest thing) and asked him, 'Dude, what do you need?' "

"To which he responded through those shudders you get when you cry-talk, 'I JUST WANT A HUUUUUUUG!' I reached down, gave him a big ole bear hug and he quieted right down and relaxed. Got a bunch of awwwws from all the nurses in the room too ;)"

-- Scrub-in

A Cast of Characters

"My mother is a nurse in elderly mental health and always tells me stories of the ward. My favourite was the 'Princess of russia' who called the nurses by country names (I suppose comparing the nurses to the countries) and my mother was always 'You GERMAN.' because she took no sh** from this woman when she got aggressive. She apparently didnt mind 'Frenchie' cause she never caused any trouble.."

"Another good one was the 'Man of steel'. He apparently was the loveliest gent in the world, but genuinely believed he was made of metal. He would tell them very kindly that he wouldnt put up such a fuss about going in the MRI scanner if he wasnt so worried he would break their very expensive machine, and that if they liked he could punch a hole through the wall to show them how metal his hands were."

-- Lottia

A Passing Episode

"Awww shucks I'm too late for this one...but whatever."

"A PTSD Dementia patient broke my arm. I was one a 1:1 watch with this man, who was sundowning, and kept trying to pull off his oxygen mask. So I was there next to him and every few minutes for hours I would have to say "Mr soandso, it's me, Diana. I'm going to fix your oxygen mask, okay?' "

"Well, what felt like the 100th time I said/did that, he freaked, and grabbed my wrist with incredible strength considering his age and size. Then he looked me in the eyes and said 'I'm going to break your fu**ing arm.' And he did."

"After getting treated, I was back with him and his family came. He was lucid then and had no idea what he had done, and went on and on about what a wonderful girl I am and how helpful I've been."

-- superdillin

And some shared experiences that don't quite fit in any category. These are the miscellaneous, insane moments of a long career in the medical profession.

An Unlikely Source

"Okay this is my mom's story. She was working one night and a lady came in that was well over 400 lbs. The lady was a high risk pregnancy and had gone into labor way to early and needed to stop the contractions."

"They stopped them but kept her for a few days, as I understand it. Being such a big lady, she had a lot of rolls that were hard for her to clean in between. The very dedicated staff, however, felt the need to lift each one up individually to clean in between, being that there was an unbearable smell coming from her."

"While cleaning in between her rolls, the came to the source of them smell. It was a raw, infected oozing sore. Long story short, they ended up cutting into the sore to find a TUNA CAN. Apparently it had made its way in between her rolls while and she hasn't realized it, rubbed the skin raw, and grew back over it."

-- caitlinrb


"Not really medically related. However, my friend who is a Vet and works ER got a dog who was hurt with something which I can't recall. The man who brought in the dog was fairly large, and a bikie (Australian for motorcycle gang man). The man left and returned back with money to operate on his dog saying he sold his bike simply to save the dog."

"Sorry if this is off topic but I thought it fitted in here somehow."

-- swetchilyphilly

The Last Can He Ever Had

"Not mine. My boyfriend is a paramedic is a shifty neighborhood. He ran a call on a middle aged man who had apparently drank himself unconscious. The garage was littered with beer cans, he smelled strongly of beer, so it seemed pretty cut and dry."

"Turns out this man was a landscaper who was either too poor or too lazy to properly store his round-up, so he did the responsible thing and stored it in empty beer cans. He got maybe 20 beers deep and then chugs a whole can of round up. Died on the scene."

"I've amassed quite a collecting of unfortunate stories over the years."

-- brodypagody

It's a list that is sure to make us all feel a little bit more empathetic about what that doctor may have just been through before calling our name.

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