Going under the knife for any medical-or dental-procedure is nerve wracking, no matter how minor. So its always good to know that there is a relaxing agent to make the process much smoother. Anesthesia (or laughing gas in some circles) is a gift. It takes away all your worries and fills you with the fuzzies. But it does hinder one's ability to think clearly and often let's loose the lips. Oh the family secrets and wild chatter a patient spits out after surgery while high on the gas.... that's better than any sitcom.Redditor u/Ronin47dododo was wondering what secrets and wonders have fallen out of numb patient's mouths that medical people may have jotted down by asking.... Medical professionals of reddit, what's the funniest thing a patient has said under anesthesia?
It's Gone!excited freak out GIF Giphy
Yelling for his brother then whispering loudly to him "Check to see if I still have my penis... I think they took my penis!" then proceeded to flash the whole room.
Edit: for those asking the procedure was to remove a benign tumor in his cheek (face cheek not butt cheek).
Was recovering a patient after surgery who got ketamine which has a known side effect of making you super emotional. When she woke up she started cat calling me telling me how attractive I was. Then she got worked up because she was thirsty so I told her I could get her ice chips. As I am getting her ice chips she starts to go "I hate to see you leave but I love to see you go." As I disappear to get her some ice chips she starts crying real tears that she scared me off and how sorry she was.
I apparently can't handle my anesthesia.
The first time I "woke up" I asked the nurse if I was going to be able to "fight" by Monday. My wife properly translated that to "can he teach his wrestling class."
Before we went home, she wanted to drop off my prescriptions at CVS.
She left me locked in the running car. After she dropped off the prescription, she turned around to find me in the CVS standing in the frozen dairy section holding german chocolate ice cream. I told her I needed it "because my people made it".
Car was still running with the passenger door left open.
Its You!its you beyonce GIF Giphy
18-year-old girl "recognized" the (male) anesthesiologist from tinder last week and accused him multiple times of not showing up to their agreed date - while randomly falling half-asleep in between. As we put her back in bed she mumbled that she is not even mad, just generally disappointed in men and that she still thinks he's pretty.
Dry your tears....
When I "woke up" I was bawling my eyes out. When I actually came to, I asked why I was crying and everyone laughed at me and told me they had been asking me the same thing for almost an hour, which made me cry even more. We had to return a DVD and my mom stupidly asked me to remember before I went under so I wrote it on my arm.
On the car ride home, I reminded her every 30 seconds or so to take Sahara back and aren't you proud of me for remembering?! I also really wanted Jimmy John's and started crying again when my mom said there was no way I could eat it but that didn't make sense because I didn't need my wisdom teeth to eat. Good times.
In the early days of my surgical training, there was a day that I was assigned to a colonoscopy list. Standard practice is to pre-medicate patients in the anesthesia bay if required, particularly if they are a bit anxious about the procedure. I was clerking one of the patients in the anesthesia bay going through consent and the usual preop routine when I noticed that she was giving me these weird side-long glances and that her eyes would dart away everytime I tried to make eye contact with her. She was also extremely fidgety and was stammering a lot in her responses to my questions. I kind of shrugged it off as preoperative nervousness and let the anesthetist do his business.
Fast forward 10 minutes and I'm standing behind her; she, curled up into the fetal position with her butt hanging out and I, colonoscope in hand. As the propofol starts rushing through her veins, she turns right around, grips my forearm and stares up at me with a dreamy look on her face and goes: "You know what, Doc? I bet you kill it with the ladies."
A moment later she was asleep and I was checking her colon for polyps.
I just had a bowel resection and was hopped up on morphine. My divorced parents hadn't sat in a room that long together in forever. My sister uncomfortably quiet between them tells me my junk is hanging out of my hospital gown and I say,'if my balls are hanging out. That makes this a ball gown.' Really helped with the tension.
Ya Hear Private?Independence Day Reaction GIF by Broad City Giphy
Anesthesiologist here. During recovery from general anesthesia, I called one of my patients by his full name in a loud voice. He opened his eyes suddenly jumped upright and sit on the bed and he said something : Sir, yes sir! He was under military service at that time.
Not a doctor, but I was told by my dentist that when he was prepping me to remove my wisdom teeth, I asked him why he became a dentist. I vaguely remember him telling me a story about how when he was a preteen he was at a local pool, running around when he slipped and smashed his chin on concrete and shattered some of his teeth (ouch). He was amazed at how well they reconstructed his teeth that he decided to go into dentistry.
Apparently, I then looked this man in the eyes and said, "Well that's a stupid freakin' reason to become a dentist."
Sorry, Dr. J 😬.
Sounds like a Chocolate Latte....fart wtf GIF Giphy
Had a patient come into recovery after surgery.
She farted so long and loud the entire 20 bed unit heard her. Then she said "I was trying to clear my throat, excuse me. And I want a vanilla latte, I got a headache." As medical professionals, we had to hold in the laughter but that didn't stop patients from turning into hyenas.
Let me do it....
I'm a doctor and was getting a knee reconstruction, and asked one of my best friend's dad to do my anesthesia. He was head of department at the hospital I worked at at the time.
Apparently after he gave me the Midazolam (to chill time out and basically I forget everything from then on), he inserted a local anesthetic block into my leg.
The next day he told me what happened.
Apparently, I then told him it's not working and he should have done it higher up and over tried to grab the needle from him to show him, after I asked if he knew what he was doing. I also complained the bed was cold.
We still have a good laugh about it.
DAVID!david rose what GIF by Schitt's Creek Giphy
Woman woke up from surgery and said to her husband, "David! That alarm clock has a nose and it's running! Wipe it!"
"What time is it."
The very first time I was under I was in third grade and was relatively scared. What kept me brave was the promise of burger king breakfast afterwards. It was an early morning procedure that required fasting and I rarely got fast food. They ended up running behind that day so it was up in the air if I would wake up and get out in time to get my breakfast (which ended at 10).
The first words out of my mouth were "What time is it." When my mom informed me it was already about 9:30 I tried to get out of bed and nearly ripped out my IV in the process. When she tried to tell me that we would be late and I could get it another day I promptly burst into tears.
Edit: I did get my burger king a different day. Thank you all for your concern.
"What are you doing?!"
One of the times I had an endoscopy when I was around 10 years old I woke up pretty groggy and naturally with a dry and sore throat. I asked the nurse for water but she said I couldn't have any yet. She left the room so I started climbing over the raised sides of the bed to get some.
She walks back in with me almost at the point of no return (also the point immediately preceding the point of face planting the floor as I was in no state to be balancing or climbing), freaks out screaming "What are you doing?!" So I say something song the lines of 'getting some water' and she relents and goes and gets me some.
A Vegetable State
When I was a toddler, my mom fell off our roof and broke her back. Apparently she was terrified she was going to become a vegetable, because after her back surgery she asked the nurse, "Am I a broccoli, or a cauliflower?"
Ready Freddiefreddie mercury GIF Giphy
65 year old woman who had a wrist surgery. She was anxious so they gave her a good whack of propofol (the milk of amnesia).
Mid surgery she was having the time of her life. In a thick northern Irish accent she was like "Did you just fill me up to me head with vodka?" "gimme a wee bit more boy, I'm loving this stuff."
Then she said the anesthetist looked like Freddie Mercury and started singing "don't stop me now". The anesthetist looked nothing like Freddie.
Not a medical professional, but my mom was coming out from under anesthesia after a procedure a few years ago and I was trying to help her. She puckered her lips so I picked up her water cup and asked if she wanted some. She turned her face toward me and said, "Do I LOOK like an AIRPLANE?!"
The nurses and I completely lost it. I still tease her about it sometimes.
Well if it was good for Hitler....
I'm a consultant anesthetist (UK) and there are LOADS. Often declarations of love from the patient as the drugs are kicking in.
My all time favorite is a 40 something guy a few years ago - he needed a testicle removing for cancer. He'd never had an anesthetic before and was super nervous, to the point of barely saying anything to anyone.
As the drugs started to kick in, we realized someone was quietly singing. It was the patient.
"Hitler... has only got one testicle..."
I Love Elmoelmo GIF Giphy
I gave a kid methoxyflurane after he broke his arm.
When we got to the hospital he went into the pediatric section of the ED and there were stickers on the wall of sesame Street characters. He started talking about this unicorn on the wall (there wasn't one) and how it was trying to be friends with Elmo but Elmo didn't want to be friends with him. His mum and I had a chuckle and I had to pry the whistle out of his hands.
I dislocated my shoulder in a way that my arm ended up stuck up over my head. Apparently, while all hopped up on demarol, I was laughing hysterically while the doctor was standing on the table/gurney wrestling with my arm to get it back into the socket. I don't remember a thing.
Ummmm.... Ok.Parks And Recreation Nbc GIF by HULU Giphy
This woman undergoing C-section under spinal anesthesia + ketamine said 'Show my baby first to my brother-in-law, he deserves to see her first'. I sometimes wonder what happened to her marriage after that.
Speaking in Tongues....
After having my tonsils out at 24, something got crossed in my brain and I started answering the nurses in Welsh. Since I was definitely English (with an obvious Midlands accent) and we weren't even near the Welsh border at the time there was a reasonable amount of confusion until it cleared up about 15 minutes later and I began speaking my native tongue again.
I also sleep talk in Welsh occasionally.
Patient came into the ED as a trauma, got ketamine sedation for an emergency procedure: "I'm deaaaaaaaad" "No, you're ok, we're taking care of you" "I'm a ghoooooost. Whooooooo!" wavy arm motions Ok.
I was given Ketamine in the ED and was like comatose. I couldn't move and was having trippy hallucinations.
I felt like I was floating above myself and was thinking "oh I'm dead. Is this dead? This isn't so bad". I slowly came to and then like flipping a switch I full came back and immediately started sobbing uncontrollably about how as a vet tech I give ketamine to animals and how scary it must be since they don't understand they've been drugged.
Potato Fingersstarving french fries GIF by The Bachelorette Giphy
Anesthesiologist told me that as I was going down that I was describing my fingers feeling like French fries, but French fries after you take them home and put them in microwave so they're soggy and not as good.
The most memorable funny one was a guy who sat bolt upright, mime rolling a cigarette and tuck it behind his ear "saving it for 'ron" when I asked what he was doing.
Anesthesia can be a wild trip.
The kids will always scream when they wake up.
Not this Menu
A woman was absolutely distraught that she was going to be made to eat asparagus and was repeatedly telling us that she did not like asparagus, especially with eggs, and was politely rejecting the asparagus she thought we were constantly offering her.
To you and you and you....pending schitts creek GIF by CBC Giphy
Not anesthesia but delirium. Introduced the oncoming nurse to the patient. The patient gestured grandly around the room and said "(nurse's name), meet all my friends!!"
....to an empty room.
Delirium is so messed up.
I know somebody that was put into Residential Aged Care because of their advanced dementia, months into their stay it turns out they just had a UTI and once it was treated they regained all functions again.
When in Nam
My brother had top surgery and woke up from being put under. My step mom (whom I call "Mom") recorded him talking about how Abe Lincoln was a great guy. She asked him how he knew and he replied with: "I knew him back in 'Nam". And that's the story of how my brother fought side-by-side with Abe Lincoln back in Vietnam.
My dad (Italian) was waking up from anesthesia and kept looking at his asian nurse and saying he was so glad his daughter was with him. And that he loved his daughter. The nurses were confused, so they went out into the waiting to check for his daughter. I was the only one in the waiting area, and when they saw me and started hysterically laughing. I am Korean by birth, but what adopted by my lovely Italian family. :)
All the Gold
I was the patient, but right before Christmas a couple of years ago I had my gallbladder removed. In the recovery room as I was waking up I became obsessed with singing the 12 Days of Christmas song. I kept asking the nurses what order the verses were in. As they were wheeling me out of the room I heard a nurse belt out "Five golden rings!" Which was followed by everyone's laughter.
Turn it Up!dog salsa GIF Giphy
"I'm preparing to salsa dance."
"Stand back everybody. There's nothing you can do to stop me."
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
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!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
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.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
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!