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Doctors Reveal What Happened When They Told Patients 'I've Seen It Before' But Really Hadn't

Part of being a medical professional is seeing some of the worst things that can happen to a human being, and then trying to save them from it. This results in doctors and nurses having to develop top-tier poker faces, and the ability to downplay almost anything.

Sometimes they really have seen it before, and sometimes they're straight up lying to you to make you feel better.

Reddit user u/common_currency asked:

"Medical professionals of Reddit, when did you have to tell a patient 'I've seen it all before' to comfort them, but really you had never seen something so bad, or of that nature?"

Fair warning: some of these are definitely not for the faint-of-heart, or stomach.

50. The Dam Burst


Had a patient who needed a lower gi study to find/fix a bowel bleed. To get a study done you need to poop clear mucus. Three days we bowel prepped with heavy laxatives and enemas. He barely pooped anything. He puts on the call light at 6:45, 15 minutes before my shift ends. He calmly says, "I kinda want to try and poop." He said it so casually I figured he was going to toot out another gas bubble and walk back.

He stood from the bed, took one step, and the floodgates burst. It just wouldn't stop. He left a river of stool from the bed to the bathroom, coated the walls.

In my 9 years I have never seen that much come out of a person. He was not a large man.

He was so embarrassed but I just kept my face as solid as possible, grabbed half the linen closet and 3 packages of cavi wipes, and sopped it up. Told him this happens all the time.


49. The Dam Burst Again

Not the worst, but I had a patient once with a stomach bleed and a small bowel obstruction. We had to put in an NG tube (tube that goes in your nose and down to your stomach) to drain/decompress his stomach, which was pretty distended and hard. I'm inserting the tube and has soon as it hits this guy's gag reflex he projectile vomits and SPRAYS very dark, half digested blood all over himself, the bed, the wall, and the floor. It's basically a scene from the exorcist. I had to dive out of the way and somehow was unscathed. He couldn't stop for almost ten minutes as we're trying to get this thing down to where it needs to go.

Finally finish placement and it immediately suctions out ~3 liters of this black sludge that is old, digested blood. Pt was mortified and we had to play it off like "oh no no it's fine, it's really common to vomit during the procedure. We'll just go get some towels and clean you up!" My coworker and I left the room and just stared at each other in silent shock.


48. NBD, I'll Just Invite A Bunch Of Surgeons To Observe

I had to have my leg rebuilt after a car accident and was eventually sent to Duke university for my surgery. My surgeon was supposed to be like the best orthopedic surgeon in the country, I think he used to work for the Baltimore ravens. Anyway all the doctors from my hospital at home were very unsure if I would even have a functioning leg let alone walk normal again. The first appointment at Duke that dude told me it was really not a big deal and he would have me fixed almost good as new.

I honestly thought he was just trying to be nice and optimistic but he was very serious. 5 months later I was walking and learning how to run again. He said I was one of the most complicated surgeries he has had to do and a group of surgeons flew in to observe him do it.


47. Stare At It Until You Figure Out How To Respond

As a medical student doing my first placement in the emergency department, I was waiting outside the triage room to ask the nurse something. I was the lowest ranking, most clueless person in the department. I knew a lot about the Kreb cycle, not a whole lot about, you know, medicine.

A young man came up to me and said he was sorry to disturb me, he just wanted to check, it was just, well, not to queue-jump or anything, but he wanted to check, can this definitely wait for triage..?

He then unwrapped a towel from his hand and showed me his thumb, which he had dropped a loaded barbell onto. It was shattered, just flattened, with splinters of bone coming out. I stared at it. He stared at it. I stared at it.

Then I told him oh yes, no problem at all, he'd better take a seat and I'd make sure someone was with him right away.


46. He Actually Was Okay

Not my story but my SO was in training as a Nurse's Aide. On her first internship, she was assigned to the ER at a trauma center.

The first person, on her first shift, of her first internship (of 3), was an older homeless man, complaining of his foot hurting.

After the medical staff took a quick look at the foot, they didn't initially see anything wrong, so they tried to remove his pants to examine the leg. The pants didn't move. They were fused to his skin from the middle of the hip all the way down to his calf.

They had to surgically remove his jeans by basically cutting the skin around the point where it was fused, and the moment the scalpel made the first incision, she described it as "As if Slimer from Ghostbusters barfed out of his leg."

After getting over the initial shock, they managed to peel a good amount of the skin off with the pant leg, and revealed that his lower leg had basically rotted all the way to the bone.

Apparently that's the moment when she knew she was meant for the job. Even the surgeon was having a pretty hard time keeping his composure, but she was fine. More fascinated than anything, and apparently not affected by bad smells as most people are.

They had to tell him his leg was going to be OK - he was severely mentally ill and might have freaked the hell out - despite knowing he could die from the infection.

Apparently he survived and they managed to save the leg, which is beyond incredible.


45. Killer Gas

I used to do psychiatric evaluations in an emergency room setting. One time, I'm evaluating this 60 year old woman who is lying in the hospital bed. I'm asking her questions, and she stops me and says, "Excuse me, but I need to pass some gas." I let her know that this is a medical setting and that is a completely normal body function and not to be embarrassed. People pass gas all the time.

I was not prepared for what came next. She let it rip, and out came the loudest and longest sounding fart I have ever heard. I don't think Satan could have made a noise like that. It sounded so relieving, but then the smell hit me. It was bad enough that I started to gag and had to excuse myself from the room. When I came back I politely asked if she needed a nurse for anything in case she needed to be cleaned up after that, but she declined.

Obviously I've witnessed people farting before, but I've never heard or smelled anything like that before. That was something else.


44. That's Not Where That Goes

Nurse in corrections here. Had an inmate/patient come in with complaints about severe lower abdominal pain. He told me that he had something stuck in his... Before i could ask him what he stuck up his butt, he bends over and shows me a cord sticking out. I told him, "Don't trip, I'm sure the doctor can help you out with that. You'll be alright." Come to find out, the prong of the phone charger got caught up into something and it was stuck.

As i was trying to comfort him, I started to hear this vibrating sound. It wasn't just a regular flip phone, it was one of those samsung smart phones.


43. Collect Your Thoughts

Years ago my then 11 year old shattered both femurs and her hip. At the time, her Orthopaedic specialist was so reassuring and confident that we had no doubts about her recovery.

A year later, we went back for a review and he asked me if I'd like to see her trauma x-rays. Not having any idea of the reality I said yes. What I saw looked like her leg bones had exploded.

After my freaked out reaction I commented on how cool and calm he was, and how certain that she'd be fine. He said he'd actually had to go for a short walk around the hospital to collect his thoughts since he had no idea how he would put this child back together. He also told me had used the films as a teaching aid. He's one of my heroes.


42. Humming Is A Bad Sign

Lots of stories, many already covered by others. I will share this particular story with my legs crossed.

Motorcyclist came in after some one left turned without checking. He had gone over the hood, slid and somehow somersaulted landing on his butt sitting up. He slid across intersection, getting serious road rash. Luckily he was only a block from hospital and ambulance. They pack him and bring him to the ER.

We end up cutting off his chaps and jeans and begin the cleanup of gravel and sand embedded in his thighs when all of a sudden, his testicles fall out. He had basically sandpapered a hole

The attending pauses, grabs the saline, irrigates scrotum, fondles them back into place while humming. I handed him some gauze to pack the wound and smiled at the patient who was under a local.

Then I went on break, went fetal and dry heaved.


41. Do You Even Know Who She Is?

I had to drop my first nasogastric tube on a rather hysterical older teen. I was actually a very experienced nurse, but just had never had the opportunity to insert one.

I check the procedure manual, watch a YouTube video, and walk in the room. I'm not worried, this usually isn't that difficult and I'm in general a skilled nurse. Girl is sobbing, mom has to leave the room she's so upset, and angry dad tells me he's a paramedic and that "I better know my stuff."

Dad says aggressively "have you done this before?" I say "I can't even count the number of times I've done this." Girl says "Will this damage my vocal cords?" Curious question, but I laugh a little and say with a smile "not if you stay calm and follow my instructions!" Dad says "because she has studied under (name I didn't recognize) for years and has a full ride to (fancy arts school that I did recognize)."

That NG tube slid in like butter, no problem. Girl did just fine. I'm not going to lie, I was sweating just a bit.

Also one time some young 30 something pooed out the most blood I've ever seen someone sh*t out and live. He was lying passed out on the floor of the bathroom while our rapid response team assembled, trying to figure out how to get this massive young man out of a rather small space. He came to, saw all the blood, and just calmly looked at me and said "that's a lot of blood. Am I dying?" I said "nah, I used to work labor and delivery. I know it looks like a lot of blood, but I've seen way worse. You're going to be just fine." That was a lie. I had never seen so much blood, even in L&D, and I wasn't sure he was going to make it.

He lived.


40. How Would You Not Notice That?

In dental school, I had an emergency patient come in, complaining of sore gums. Upon examination, I found a massive calculus bridge (google it for pictures) behind her lower front teeth. She only had about 3 remaining lower teeth, but they were all connected with a whitish brown mineral deposit that was about the size of a golf ball. She had never had her teeth cleaned and she was probably 55 or so.

I basically performed an emergency cleaning. She could speak so much better afterwords. Of course I had to play it off like it was normal, but in my years of practice I still haven't seen a case that bad again. Get your teeth cleaned people. Even if you can't afford every 6 months, once a year, or every other year is a hell of a lot better than never.


39. It Really Wasn't The Worst

My aunt started her nursing career in a county hospital, which means you get all the homeless folks. A guy came in with the whole of the back of his leg and butt utterly and very deeply infested with maggots. He just "hadn't gotten around to" coming in earlier, he said.

The depressing thing is that while it was a first for my aunt, it was by no means the last. Apparently it's more common than you'd think.


38. Confidence Is Key

In 2011 I had a saddle pulmonary embolism two weeks before my scheduled wedding. My quite seasoned heart surgeon seemed pretty confident that I'd be okay, and he even said he'd get me to my wedding on time.

Long story short, I was in the hospital for about a month due to complications. Several weeks later, when I was visiting my heart surgeon for a follow-up, he told me he'd only ever seen two other people as sick as I was. Those two didn't survive.


37. It Most Certainly Does Grow That Big

Happened to me, not a medical professional. Friend of mine bought a house and I moved in with him to help fix it up, polish it and then maybe sell it. So we are in the backyard pulling weeds and cutting down vines and I see this 4 inch diameter vine with fuzzy roots attached to the brick, climbed all the way up the wall. I'm not a particularly country boy, more urban, but my friend had warned me of poison ivy in back of the house. I called him over and he said "oh don't worry, it doesn't grow that big".

He was wrong.

Less than a week later I'm covered, up and down both arms bad enough I look like a 3rd degree burn victim. It has gotten into my bloodstream and appeared on my legs, back, chest and even my feet (which all had been covered of course). I remember my GP looked at me with my shirt off and said in the most nonchalant voice "oh, that's not quite the WORST I've ever seen" with serious emphasis on the one word. It took me two weeks of steroids to even return to work and another two weeks to lose the last of the boils. I spent that time researching poison ivy and I have to brag, I'm an expert on how to track down and murder that plant. I hate poison ivy.


36. One Hell Of A Poker Face

I was the patient actually. I was sideswiped by a car, then ran over by the truck behind while cycling to work. I was essentially impaled by my right femur, which shattered my pelvis and shoved bone fragments into my guts.

Last thing I remember before I got knocked out for surgery, was the surgeon telling me everything was going to be fine, and it was all routine.

I didn't wake up for a month. When I did, I was missing the entire left leg, and most of the muscle tissue in the right. I was too weak to move much, couldn't talk because I had a tube through my neck, and I was very uncertain about reality due to what I went through in my coma.

Parades of doctors came to tell me how I should be dead, and it's crazy that I lived. I was told over and over that my survival was very much against all odds.

My surgeon on the other hand, never said anything like that. He always maintained that he was going to get me through. His attitude honestly helped when I had to go back to his table a few more times before I was done.

For 4 years, I kind of blew off the people who made a big deal about my survival. I adopted my orthopedic doctors attitude. Then I met a woman who's in the medical field. I fell in love, and eventually trusted her enough to let her read my medical records. I had never read them, because it's a massive pile of paperwork.

She broke down crying and couldn't read anymore. She told me that the beginning of my time in the hospital was full of the type of write-ups you find in the morgue. She told me that when they opened me up, bits of my pelvis fell out. I asked her to stop there. She won't read anymore, and I don't want to know anymore.

I now know my doctor has one hell of a pokerface.


35. Always Wash Your Hands!

Not a medical professional but my mom is an RN, and boy has she had some stories over the years. Yet, one in particular stands out. She had a male patient come in with an...ahem... extremely swollen penis. Like...the size of a Pringle can swollen. She said it was the biggest she ever encountered in her decades as a nurse. He claimed he broke it during sex.

She had to put a catheter in. The guy was freaking out and she had to reassure him that this was a walk in the park for her, but she was seriously questioning how to get the catheter in. She called in her coworker to help steady it (well, also so someone else could just WITNESS what she was seeing hahaha) while she gave him every painkiller she was legally able to give, and stuck the catheter in. Got it in the first try, thankfully. She still doesn't know how she managed to get it in but was thankful she did lol

34. Necrosis Is Never Good

I am a surgical tech. I got called in on a Saturday for a lady who had an infection from a component separation. Basically they put a giant piece of mesh in you for hernias. I wasn't prepared. When we lifted up her gown.... the smell wafted and I have never almost puked before until that moment. About 20 cm circle around her umbilicus was black and necrotic. It was absolutely awful. We basically removed the entirety of the necrotic tissue all the way down to the peritoneum. Just gray and black slimy mass of fat and skin.

The worst part is that I had to measure the necrotic tissue and it requires me to lean in a little close to it. The surgeon was laughing because I was green when I got back to the surgical field. Then during that surgery another person who had the same procedure had come to the ER with an infection. AND THEN A THIRD! We stopped using the mesh because that's what was getting infected.


33. Sweet Galactic Jesus

ER Tech here, a few months ago we had an elderly gentleman come in presenting with shortness of breath. As I was getting him into the gown and into hospital socks, I noticed very old, yellowing bandaging around his foot. I inquired to its purpose and he told me it was a large wound on the back of his heel that wasn't getting better.

I asked him if I could unwrap it to inspect it/possibly re-wrap it (basic wound care is one of my duties), and it was a literal hole in his heel about 4cm in diameter, skin necrotic around the edges, with a large flap of skin covering the middle. I wasn't terribly shocked...until I swore I saw the skin flap writhe a little bit. I got the patient's consent to look under the skin flap and sweet galactic Jesus, there were 3 sizable maggots just chilling. I've read about it before but I have never seen it in person.

My brain went fuzzy and despite my attempt at a poker face, the gentleman read my reaction and asked, "Is it that bad?" I was straight up with him and told him that the wound had maggots and needed immediate treatment and the poor guy started apologizing for "bringing something disgusting." I told him, "I see this more often than you think. Maggots are actually great at cleaning out dead tissue and are used as treatment sometimes." He seemed relieved by that but it was definitely my first time ever seeing a maggot infected wound.


32. This Was Definitely Not Part Of The Curriculum

As a new nurse, I worked on a nephrology unit, which meant that we dealt with mostly patients who had kidney failure and needed hemodialysis three times a week to clean their blood. A patient was admitted through the emergency room and told me that he hadn't been to dialysis in 4 weeks. He had HIV, kidney failure, had lost custody of his kids after a messy divorce, and had no will to live. He planned to just stay in his home until he died. He probably wasn't far from it, but a neighbor, who hadn't seen him for a few weeks, peeked in the window and saw him sitting, unresponsive on the couch. They called 911 and he was brought to my hospital.

Three weeks is an insanely long time to go without dialysis. Dialysis removes toxins and excess fluid from your blood. Missing a session can leave you feeling sick and swollen. Missing 12 sessions can kill you. This guy was SO swollen. I've never seen a person who was so full of fluid. He looked like that girl from Willy Wonka that turned into a blueberry. His feet and ankles were particularly massive. I wasn't sure that he'd live. Miraculously, after several dialysis sessions, he'd fully deflated. However, he was left with lots of loose skin afterwards, which had the fragile texture of an old balloon.

One night, he called me to his room and said, "I think my foot is bleeding". He was right. He'd slid down towards the bottom of his bed and used his legs to push himself back up towards the top. In doing so, the fragile skin on the bottoms of his feet and been totally sheared away, leaving only tissue and bone and so much blood.

I had no idea what to do, so I just called a Code Blue. The patient wasn't dead or dying, but no part of nursing school or practice had prepared me for an HIV+ patient who had ripped the soles of his feet off and was currently laying in a 3ft wide, rapidly expanding, puddle of blood. I just needed to get a whole bunch of people to the room as quickly as possible.

I threw on a waterproof gown and some gloves and held pressure on the bottoms of his feet with a towel until help arrived. They didn't know what to do either. We called in the general surgeon, who seemed to think we might be exaggerating the extent of the damage and blood loss. He told us he'd be there in an hour and just to hold pressure until it stopped bleeding. We soaked towel after towel until, finally, the surgeon shows up.

He breezes into the room, moves my towel away, and says, "hmph". In the next moments, several things happened all at once. I realized I was holding a big, coagulated mass of blood. I started dry heaving. I dropped it on the floor. It splattered. The surgeon exclaims, "OH", not in response to my gags or the fact that he was just splattered by the clot I dropped, but because the patient's foot is now profusely bleeding again. He darts off and tells us to get the patient down to the OR immediately. We get him down there and, on the way back, realize that he'd left a trail of blood down the hallways, into the elevator, and to the operating theater.

I saw the patient during my next shift and he jokes, "I thought you were going to pass out when the doctor handed you that mess!" to which I replied, "Sir, I was positive that you were about to bleed to death".


31. Comfort Your Patients

Worked in a heart procedure lab that helped try to get rid of bad heart rhythms. A prisoner came in for a last ditch effort to help his failing heart and had developed a condition called Ventricular Tachycardia. Setting the patient up and looking at his rhythm / heart, it looked pretty bad.

Before we got started he grabbed me on the arm and said "I'm scared. Is it going to be okay?"

"We have very talented physicians here sir, and they do this all the time."

The Ventricular Tachycardia was set off during the procedure and deteriorated into Ventricular Fibrillation. We were able to resuscitate him, but he never woke back up.

Comfort your patients folks.


30. Multiple Issues.


Probably too late to the party, but I had a lady come in to the ER listed as "Multiple Medical Problems." This usually means diabetes and the issues stemming from it or maybe bleeding issues from another disease or maybe odd blood tests results at a clinic. I hadn't seen the patient yet, but the Dr. came to the nurse's station asking who had room 15. I jumped up and followed him into the room.

I walked in and saw what I thought was a corpse. Then the patient's eye swiveled over to look at me. She truly looked like one of the people they found in a concentration camp. I could see every bone and her body was twisted in a decorticate position with her jaw locked open. Then the smell hit me: rotting flesh, death, and body fluids. I struggled to keep a neutral face and not gag.

I tried to place a blood pressure cuff on her arm and her skin just started flaking off in my hands. I gagged. The Dr. started removing her clothes to examine her. Her feet were black to the ankles. Her hip bones were poking through her skin and were black. The skin around her ribs was worn away to oozing muscle fibers. Her calves were incredibly swollen and the skin was splitting like ripped pants.

Then the dr. went to remove a large bandage on her lower back. Her entire sacrum was exposed and the bones were BLACK! It smelled like nothing I've ever smelled. I can't even describe it. The dr. Told her family I would clean up her ulcers and wounds in preparation for surgery (liar, no surgeon would operate on her).

I had no idea how to clean dead bone tissue and liquified skin (they don't cover that in nursing school).

Afterwards, I needed a moment in the supply closet to cry it out for a second. I had no idea the human body could breakdown so much without dying. I still think about that woman sometimes and what led to her living like that. It still breaks my heart. cohen14722

29. Naked from the Waist Down. 

I showed up to a house for a possible overdose. Three firefighters and a police officer were on top of a man who was prone and naked from the waist down. They immediately told my partner and I to restrain the patient to the gurney because the patient was combative.

During his trip he attempted to cut his penis off, but wasn't successful. As fate would have it, I knew the patient personally and tried to comfort him on the way to the hospital. During the ride he became somewhat cognizant and was ashamed of himself. Suspicious_Quarter

28. RAID!!

I'm a nurse and I work in a pediatric ER. A young woman brought her baby in to be seen for vomiting. I ask her to put the baby on the scale. While on the scale I notice a strong odor of bug spray so I asked about it.

Mom: "A roach crawled into her mouth so I sprayed a little Raid in there." She said it matter of factually like it was no big deal.

Que up calls to the police, CPS and a 1:1 sitter for the child and the mom.

When all was said and done the baby was fine and turned over to her grandmother so no worries there. I have no idea what happened to the mother.

I don't believe she was intending to hurt the child. I think she was just butt ignorant. TomTheNurse

27. Removed. 

I worked as a mental health tech to get through undergrad.

15F in the adolescent ward claims to have swallowed a staple. Eh, but whatever, as I'm taking her down to x-ray I tell her about the dime I swallowed when I was a kid. It happens.

Well, turns out she underestimated the number of staples by around a hundred. Every printout given by the therapists had been a swallowed staple. She had gotten staples from the other kids. The x-ray of her abdomen looked as if it were a weird staple-y snow globe.

And yet, somehow, she was back to trying to steal psych ward staples a week later. Never did figure out how they removed them all. UnfairCanary

26. Cavities are of the Devil. 

Not medical professionals, but we were the patients. My daughter, who was 3 at the time, had to have a cavity filled. As we were leaving, the dentist told me just to watch my daughter because sometimes kids chew their gums because it's numb and feels weird. So the drive home took 30 minutes and I had been talking to my daughter the entire time to keep her busy.

I park my car in my drive way, opened the passenger seat to get my daughter out, and her entire lower lip on the left side is gone. She had chewed it off down to her chin. She ended up in emergency surgery, but the surgeon kept telling us it would be fine and he sees this stuff all the time.

She ended up having multiple surgeries, and when she was finally healed, the surgeon told us that it was the worst injury like that he had ever seen. He wasn't sure how she would heal, but you can hardly tell it happened now. imcloudnine

25. From Crotch to Sternum. 

Not a medical professional, but a story about my father.

After years of a blood disease, his spleen had to be removed as it had swollen to a size that made breathing difficult. Apparently the surgeon had a photo taken, post extraction, where he is cradling my dad's ~22.0 lb spleen.

To top it off, one day into recovery, when doing on of those "gentle push on the abdomen" type exams on him, my dad's sutures catastrophically failed and he let loose a spray that coated the doctor, his nurse, and a good portion of the ceiling. Luckily for dad, the hospital staff was on point that day and kept him alive despite his body's best effort.

I heard all of this from the doctor while he was removing the line of staples (that went from crotch to sternum) some weeks later. Dad didn't like to share, apparently. CallousJack

24. Throb.

One guy had a penis inflammation. Was like 14 inches long and 6 wide. I could practically sense the pain. FalloutNVislife

23. Skin Tags.

Years ago (2000) I was playing soccer and noticed a little skin irritation underneath my arm. I thought it would go away but it developed into a weird thing. It was about 2 in in diameter and grew to be a collection of essentially looked like hundreds of skin tags grew together in a little circle. I went to the doctor who didn't have a clue and he sent me to a specialist. While there it seemed like he didn't know either.

This was further evidenced when 4 other doctors came in to take a look and were really interested. They took a ton of photos and told me they hadn't seen this before and couldn't really offer any medication and said they would monitor it. About a week later the 'skin tags' developed little circles on the top that turned into scabs within a couple days. Then, the thing just kinda dried up and fell off me. It was weird and to this day I have no idea what it was.

I was not comforted. negative_space_

22. The Uninsured. 

A huge subset of the population we treat are uninsured, blue collar, low educated people. A lot of smoking and diabetic noncompliance, that sort of thing. Therefore we end up seeing a lot of what happens with diseases if you never treat them and let them run their natural course to end stage. We've had so many diabetic foot and toe amputations I've lost count.

21. Oh Mother! 

Young man (18) apparently comes in about something else (trying to work up courage). Right before he should actually be leaving (this can be really annoying if there are people waiting), he says 'I need your advice. He was being assaulted and didn't know how to ask forhelp. But the thought that someone else had been in his position meant to him that he hadn't been judged, that he wasn't doomed or would go to hell, and that there was hope. But he didn't know what to do because the person to whom he should've looked for advice was actually his abuser. But the lie helped defuse the situation. dr_pr

20. No Dude.


Warts the size of grapes. Quoth he, "The ladies never complain."EmberingR

19. The Drop. 

I had to see an orthopedist oncologist because I had two sarcomas. One in my left thigh in the sciatic nerve and one in my left pelvic.

My surgeon said he would get both out and the most I would get would be a drop foot (where you can't lift up your foot on your own).

I went back two years later and my doctor told me he thought he would have to remove my leg because of how the sarcomas were enmeshed in my bones, muscle, and nerves. I honestly thought the whole time that it was an easy out. Though the two 10 hour surgeries may have been a clue that it wasn't so simple.

These days I have a limp as I'm missing half my left pelvic bone and most of my glute and thigh muscle- but I got to keep the leg! Resse811

18. From the Nose.

I'm an oncology nurse. The other day I had a patient who had a nose bleed that just wound not stop. I gave him an extra infusion of Platelets, vitamin K, and multiple doses of afrin (nasal spray which vasocontricts). It would stop for maybe 20 minutes before it would start bleeding like a facet again through the family's pinching fingers.

The whole time I was "nose bleeds are common, it is the dry air from the heater ect." I ended up personally holding his nose for over an hour while straight we waited from someone from ENT (ears nose throat) to show up to pack it. He lost so much blood he need a blood transfusion. My arm was so sore and the patient looked like he had be murdered twice over from all the blood on his clothes. nutmeg2299

17. Flushed Out. 

A patient with rectal cancer with an exposed colon and rectum. I could see her tailbone and and the head of the femur. And whenever she would poop, it had to be flushed out. Festigoer

16. Hearing the Beats...

When I was a med student on the trauma service, there was a gentleman who decided to attempt suicide using a shotgun aimed at his heart. Unfortunately, the first thing that comes out of a shotgun when it is fired is a gust of air... which changed where the gun barrel was pointed when the shot came out. The shot pellets ended up hitting everything but his heart - lungs, ribs, spleen, stomach, liver, pancreas, and large and small intestines.

In the OR, the attending surgeon told me to put my hand on his beating heart because that will likely be the only time in my medical career that I would touch a beating heart. I did. It was cool.

In case anyone reads this in a thread with 1500+ posts... he survived. Though, he was on the trauma service for the entire month I was there, and was in the hospital for a long time further. BananaFrappe

15. All the Soft Tissue...

4th year med student here. On my ER rotation a couple months back, I walked in to the ED and was immediately asked to help a nurse and resident put a catheter in a patient. Now a catheter placement is usually a one person job so I was pretty confused as to why they needed my help.

I walk into the patient room, and I'm immediately greeted by a disgusting rotting flesh smell. Worst thing I've smelled in my life.

We comforted the patient the whole time and kept telling him we had done it like this before. Total lie. No one in the ED had ever done or seen anything like it. Trisomy__21

14. Caught the Curve. 

Crowbar stuck in a patient's head sideways (curved end in brain and bar across his face). Elderly man who was attacked in his home during a robbery. He was "alive" on arrival in ER but died several days later despite an heroic effort by neurosurgery to remove the bar. Too much brain damage. Never encountered any relatives as my only contact was in ER. One of the most vivid and disturbing episodes in my career. This was about 25 yrs ago but the image is burned in my memory.

The assaulter was caught and charged with second degree murder (Canada). Pretty straight forward conviction. bobsuruncleandaunt

13. Rubbed Raw. 

Obligatory not a medical professional, but a first aider. I was doing a duty at the finish line of the London marathon as I have done for many years. I've seen enough chafing, dehydration and blisters galore. Someone always has the worst of the day but it happens so fast that you can hardly mentally tally who's nipples were the most raw.

Until I had a runner come in covered in blood complaining that her nipples had completely gone. She had chafed so bad that her nipples and areolas were rubbed to nothing... And the worst part was that she had her nipples pierced and the piercings had EMBEDDED THEMSELVES. I had to talk her through sterilizing the wounds while trying to assure her that 'it happens to everyone.' mostlyjosie

12. Abdominal Issues. 

I was the patient in this case. Had pain in the lower right part of my abdomen that grew more serious over a few days. Eventually got so bad I nearly passed out and was on my bathroom floor screaming on the third night. That morning I felt much better and went to work, but felt the pain coming on again that evening.

Also decided to go into work the next morning while running a fever that was getting steadily worse. Finally decided to go to the doctor, where they immediately referred me for a CT scan. My appendix had been ruptured for a day and a half at that point, and I had sepsis/gangrene/massive infection. I was in surgery within a few hours, but prior to that the nurse that was with me said, "Yeah, this will be no problem. You'll be fine." Surgery was ok, but was followed up with a bunch of time in the hospital on intravenous antibiotics.

My primary care doctor called me while I was recovering and told me the CT scan was one of the worst they had seen. The doctors I saw post recovery all had a *holy crap* look when they saw scans and read the surgeon's report. Kudos to that nurse who kept me calm before surgery. Don't screw around with lower abdominal pain. blownapp

11. Capitol L.

Doc here, currently working with accident victims.

I had a patient once hobble in (walking in is key later) a week after being hit by a car. He'd been to the ER, they discharged him and said just the usual bumps and bruises.

I did my round of X rays, and his femoral heads were broken on both sides. Think of the leg bone as a capital L, with the bottom of the L hooking into the hip- his were cleanly broken through the bottom sections on both sides.

Turns out he'd had occult fractures on both sides the X rays didn't initially see, and walking on them collapsed them. Never seen that before.

Another was a patient with shoulder injury, both sides. Got an MRI, and both shoulders were basically destroyed. Complete failure of the rotator cuff on both sides, with the humerus being drawn up and back on each side. Instant surgery. Flaxmoore

10. The CNA.


I was working as a CNA in a nursing home. There was a lady who had been neglected before she came in so she had stage 4 bed sores (all the way to the bone) and the treatment nurse wanted me because I am calming and really good with the residents that needed a little support. She has me roll her on her side and then carefully peels back the bandage.

I'm gawking hard and the nurse is showing me some neat procedure when I hear a small, frail voice, "Is it getting better?" I turn on my biggest, friendliest smile and reply, "It does! It looks SO much better. Does it feel better?" She smiles and nods; I change the subject to grand kids (she had a picture of them).

I haven't seen anything like it before or since. But she was such a lovely lady and I started looking forward to helping because she was such a nice lady to talk to. dotchianni


Not the doctor, but the patient. In 6th grade, i contracted so many different forms of dysentery that I was placed into CDC quarantine while they tried to figure out where I got it. I was barely conscious throughout the whole time but all I remember is my doctor in my room with me, having hooked up my Wii and playing Brawl as I recovered. I had no clue that my parents were being investigated for child abuse or that I was in quarantine until a few months later.

I ended up getting it from someone not washing their hands after handling a snake and then cooking dinner at my science camp. Wash your damn hands people! Dr4k399

8. Holes. 

I'm an RN who specializes in wound care. We see a lot of crazy things in my clinic. A common occurrence is a pilonidal cyst, which is an abnormal growth in you gluteal cleft (aka butt crack) that contains hair. It usually happens with younger ppl (say 13-20s) and is obviously very embarrassing to the patient. When we get them, they've already had the surgery to open and extract the cyst, so there's a few holes left that we have to heal.

One poor soul that came in had the worst post surgical "hole" I've ever seen. It was so big, it extended from the top of her crack about 12 centimeters. It was like the surgeon carved out most of her butt :( The patient was devastated, and I tried to comfort her by telling her she's not the worst I've ever seen. Poor girl. ldshimek

7. See a Dentist! 

Yep. Had a patient who was 62 and he had never seen a dentist before (I am a dentist). Had literally everything going on orally (especially the smell OMG, the smell). Me and the assistant were like: don't worry we see this kind of stuff all the time!... not a lie. Just never all at once. JRDR_RDH

6. Feel the Rib. 

Not a medical professional, but I have impressed a couple.

It's not super weird but just uncommon I guess. I was overweight but active when I was younger and broke my lowest rib while snowboarding, long story short, I did not know it was broken (honestly) so I never got it checked by a doctor. The rib traveled up over the next 2 ribs and has since fused to them. I now have a permanent tilt on my spine where this rib attaches to it and now that I have lost some weight a bump you can see/feel on my chest.

It is kinda weird when you tell a doctor about something on your body and their face lights up like a kid on Christmas and they ask for permission to feel it. ptsfn54a

5. Ozone Away. 

Had a patient who had a melanoma the size of a cauliflower head on the back of her ankle. Melanoma doesn't generally grow like that, maybe it was the "ozone injections" she'd gone to another country for? mom3coffee

4. Seek Help Friends. 

Had a guy that shot himself under the chin with a shotgun. He had actually done it like 16 hours prior to family finding him. He was still alive, conscious and alert to what was going on.

His jaw looked like predator. I had family freaking out of course. Had to tell them we see worse often. Which may be true, but they are usually dead. He lived for almost a day after shooting himself, then died in the back of my ambulance. pokemon-gangbang

3. The Mannequin. 

I'm a surgeon. A couple of years ago they send us this guy (52 yes old) that had shown up in the ER because he allegedly hadn't pooped in a week or so.

To make a long story short X-ray showed he had SOMETHING lodged in his rectum (and sigma, and descending colon... so way up there) that was a little over a foot long. He denied having put anything up there. Yeah, right. We try to go from the bottom up and nothing. We see something but we can't clamp onto it.

So. What now. Operating room.

Ended up opening him up, and inside the colon we see a hand. It ended up being a mannequin's arm. Like store mannequin. It was stuck up there up to the elbow.

That was an odd one. ilariaenne

2. Hell on Earth.


We had a patient in the ER who was sick of her visual hallucinations so she scooped her eyeballs out. She looked like something out of Hellraiser and unfortunately did not fix her hallucinations.


1. Check the rash. 

I'm a pediatric nurse, and triaged a young girl with a rash, mom had been to several doctors and they didn't know what it was. I recognized it right away called Stevens-Johnson syndrome, I remained calm, patient was flown to a burn center, but died. I had only seen it once before and it was fatal for that patient too. AdmiralMeeko


If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

The Absolute Weirdest Compliments People Have Ever Received

Reddit user callmejari asked: 'What's the weirdest compliment you have received?'

woman in black pants and red tank top
Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

Giving compliments is pretty easy, although most of us don't do it often enough.

Accepting compliments can be much harder.

Too many of us immediately shift into disclaimers to explain why we don't deserve the praise.

But we just need to say thank you—even if the compliment is a little odd.

Keep reading...Show less
Woman standing alone in the rain
Neal E. Johnson on Unsplash

We can all agree that, as fun as it's supposed to be, the dating scene can be really, really hard.

Here's the secret: as hard as the dating scene can be to navigate, some of the trouble lies with us. We may not to be able to find a long-term partner or a date at all because of something that we're doing.

But when a friend is in this situation, it can be really hard to tell them the brutal truth about their dating history.

Redditor teekzer asked:

"What is causing your friend to remain single that you don't have the heart to tell them?"

Chasing Deadends

"He keeps hanging on to the past and spending all his time hanging out with ex-girlfriends who are unavailable, or women who like him but he doesn’t romantically like."

- SqueakySnapdragon

Baby Talk

"I always wondered why she couldn't get a date because she is gorgeous until I saw her flirting with someone."

"The first night they met, flirted, and swapped numbers. Then, she was immediately clingy, talking in a baby voice to him, and making baby noises."

- robocop_robocop

Body Odor

"I can smell them. Everyone can smell them."

- not-read-gud

"You should find a way to tell them, it might hurt but they'll appreciate it."

- iciclesnbdayclothes

The Nice Guy Mindset

"He really is not as nice of a person as he thinks he is."

- Rusti3dp

"The ones who claim this rarely are."

- SummerOfMayhem

Impossible Standards

"The people they like aren’t real. They are idealized, cartoonish caricatures. Now my friend himself has a lot to offer in my opinion, but he is looking for a person who doesn’t exist. Hard to find something that’s not there."

- Sufficient-Spell9935

"I have a friend who started dating his flatmate after being really into her for a while, and then after a week or two said something like, 'Dating you doesn't feel as good as I thought it would,' TO HER."

"He basically torpedoed his own potential relationship because of his own ideal fantasy, and to be honest, I don't know if he actually realized he'd created an unrealistic standard in his own head."

"He's been single for the last decade, his mental health has only got worse in the time I've known him despite therapy, and I think he's probably so detached from 'appropriate dating behavior' at this point that he could be single for the rest of his life."

- fish993

Questionable Humor

"Brother-in-law, not friend. But he makes the same jokes about poop and farts all the time. Like, constantly."

"Yes, some women like potty humor, but they usually also want it to be funny."

"He is also very negative; finds insult or something wrong with any situation."

- EatYourCheckers

Living in Fantasy Land

"He lies to himself about almost everything. He lives in fantasy land."

"He thinks he's in the gym five days a week, eats great, climbs mountains, goes camping, and makes loads of money."

"In reality, he's at the pub five days a week, over eats like s??t, went on one hike in January, can't hold a job, and lives paycheck to paycheck..."

"If you were to confront him with this reality, it wouldn't even get through to him."

- Fit_Yogurtcloset_291

Mismatched Attraction

"The type of guys she claims she likes isn't what she's actually attracted to."

"She keeps saying how much she loves shy introverted sensitive guys but when she finds one and dates him suddenly, she's like, 'He's not outgoing enough, doesn't speak his mind enough, and is too shy!'"

"I kind of think she has this 'I can fix him' syndrome and doesn't really acknowledge it. Like, she's attracted to the idea of a typical shy guy but thinks once they're in a relationship they'll suddenly be more open and turn into the guy she actually wants. That's not how it works!"

- Disig

Poor Self-Esteem

"She is so lovely. So kind, so generous, and so beautiful. But her crippling lack of self-esteem is so huge, it's visible from space, and her anxiety (and I'm 99% sure her undiagnosed ADHD) means that when she's at all nervous, she talks at 100 miles an hour in several directions at once."

"It's like being handed eight happy Labrador puppies to try and hold in your arms. I so badly want her to be happy and feel fulfilled but even I find it tiring sometimes."

- butwhatsmyname

The Negative Attitude

"I have two of these."

"One is the most talented, smartest, wonderful person I know and I wish I could pull the gremlins out of their brain so they could be happy."

"The other is self-fulfilling proficiency f**king up their life. He's not unlovable, or ugly, or uncared for, but walking through the world expecting rejection at all turns and living in a fog of negativity is what makes him unattractive to be around."

"So-and-so isn't hotter than you, that's not the reason they're getting more friends and lovers, but they are more positive and interested than you, and people are attracted to that company."

- cool_username_iguess

Just Pure Arrogance

"For my husband’s friend, it’s the selfish arrogance. I want what I want, and the subtext was that he never cared about what his girlfriend wanted."

"He would only go places he wanted to go, which never included her friends or family. He wanted to spend all his money on 'collectibles' related to sci-fi movies, DVDs, figurines etc."

"Engagement rings were a waste of money, investing, or buying a house ditto, no compromises were possible, he said NO, and no discussions were entertained."

"His opinion on every topic was the correct one, and he was not interested in your opinion, or listening to extra facts he did not know that might change his mind."

"He was once young and good-looking, and he thought he could find someone else when she walked when he was 32. They had dated for close to a decade. During the relationship, he had started to stack on the weight and losing his hair and he was not able to find a replacement."

"Now he is 49 and hasn’t had a girlfriend since. He still has not bought a house and they cost double what they did when they were dating, and his rent has tripled. He does have a copy of all his favorite movies in every format: VHS, DVD, AND BlueRay, a whole bedroom is dedicated to storing them, if you can get in there. His house is a hoarder's paradise."

"He says the reason no one wants him is because he is fat and bald, and it does not help, but it’s not the major turnoff."

"As for his ex, I don't really know what happened to her. She left all of us behind when they broke up. I did hear she got married, but no updates after that. She is a sweetheart, I wish all the good things for her."

- vicki153

Impossible to Move Forward

"Summarizing two types of my single friends:"

"Super successful, smart, funny, and good-looking. They also tend to go for folks who leave them on read for days. Their insecurities are their worst enemies and I think are the biggest factor of them chasing after partners who don’t want to be partners."

"Other friends don’t know how to commit to anything, including a job. It almost feels like a 'it’ll happen when it happens' type of ideology and so they don’t even try to make things happen? They act like things will happen on their own? So they’ll meet a person and then that’s it. Meet cute dead in the water."

- thunderkitty_

Too Desperate

"Desperation. From laughing way too hard at mediocre jokes to bringing up marriage on the first date, she reeks of it."

"We have all tried talking to her about it to no avail. The sad thing is that if she was just her regular funny, smart, relaxed self, then men would be falling over themselves trying to get her number."

- Julia_Sugarbaker123

A Want List

"Her standards are excessively too high. She brings nothing to a relationship. She's a walking contradiction, all of which is why she is single."

"I think it's great to have standards and high standards but hers is just a checklist of wants."

- Theunpolitical

Height Insecurities

"He’s convinced women won’t like him because he’s short. I keep telling him I know plenty of guys just as short as him in great relationships, I’ve dated guys as short as him in the past. He just refuses to believe it."

- MichaSound

"I dated a guy who was four feet, nine inches, and I'm five feet, four inches. He had such an amazing strong personality that you never noticed his height."

"I did find kissing standing up weird; the motions are so different when it's swapped."

"The relationship ended for other reasons than his height."

- lonelyronin1

Alternatively, Open to Feedback

"I had a friend who finally did just ask. He came up to the girls in our group and just let us have an open conversation. I'm sure it was awkward and uncomfortable for him, but we gently laid out some issues. He cut his hair, got some new clothes, and (the big one) started therapy."

"A couple of years later, guess who's got a wife and a wonderful child?"

- Stars-in-the-night

It's so disheartening to see the people we care about unable to have something that they would find so fulfilling like a long-term relationship.

But it's even worse when the reasons behind it are things they could work on, if we only had the guts to tell them or if they were open to hearing it.

Every now and again, we might experience something that makes us stop dead in our tracks or gives us the shivers.

More often than not, there is a logical explanation for what happened, often resulting in our laughing about it down the line.

An electrical power surge caused the lights to flicker, that haunting noise we heard was just a nearby car radio, or that unexplained cold blast of air was simply owing to our standing too close to the air conditioning vent.

But sometimes, we experience something we simply cannot explain, and still lie awake at night trying to figure it out.

Redditor GifGuyRob was curious to hear people's mystifying experiences to which they still can't offer an explanation, leading them to ask:

"What is the weirdest thing you have seen that you can’t really explain?"

Card Tricks... Without The Cards.

"I was hanging out on the sidewalk in front of a drugstore when some dude walked by, stopped, looked at me, and asked me to think of a card, any card."

"Then he said 'you’re picturing the five of clubs!'"

"I was amazed."

"That’s the card I was thinking of."

”'Holy sh*t, that’s right!' I said."

"The dude just winked and walked away."

"That’s the best magic trick I’ve ever seen, and it was some rando on the street that I never saw again."

"I have no clue how he did it, other than some form of subliminal planting of the image in my mind, but that’s unreliable."

"It was a card trick that involved no cards at all."

"That was the most inexplicable thing I’ve ever seen."- I_Framed_OJ

Cosmic Injustice...

"In a hospital, the nicer the patient, the worse the prognosis."

"If they work charities and are really polite, definitely aggressive cancer."

"If they are rude a**holes, they will live long no matter how sick they are."- Koorsboom

The Knocks Hospital GIF by feierSunGiphy

Paranormal Activity

"I once saw a clipboard fly off of the hook it hung on and land around 3 feet away."

"The room was totally still beforehand, no breeze or earthquake or anything."

"Just hanging up where it always was, then flung across the room for no reason at all."

"Most boring poltergeist ever."- Reiseoftheginger

Lucky Pennies...

"I was living in my last apartment back in the 90s."

"I walked down the hall, turned to go to the bathroom, and got hit in the back with a penny."

"Nobody else was in the apartment."- kmsc84

Wrong Floor...

"Family was on holiday at a resort in Vietnam."

"My sister and I took an elevator in the hotel and it stopped and opened up on the top floor, where nothing was built."

"Just bricks laying about, a wheelbarrow, no fence or wall around the edge of the building, and there was a single small tree growing out of the ground in front of the elevator doors a few feet out."

"There was also this impenetrable fog that was floating around, obscuring the sight of what would be the rest of the resort below and it was quite windy."

"We both agreed it was weird and looked dangerous to be up here - we clearly weren't meant to have access to the top floor since it wasn't fully constructed."

"We went back down to the ground floor and noticed that it was actually a sunny and clear day all round."

"We wondered where that fog and wind went to."

"So we decided to go back to the unfinished rooftop level to check again, but when we did it was perfectly fine and fully built."

"We couldn't explain it and couldn't find that half-built top floor again afterwards."- lifesnotperfect

Going Up 13Th Floor GIF by Taylor SwiftGiphy

Not-So-Little Piggy

"My friends and I flashed a powerful light across a river and saw what appeared to be an absolutely massive boar."

"It then stood up on its hind legs and it simply did not compute."

"Immediate fear everyone ran."

"I was a kid but I have a very good memory and several friends that are positive they saw it as well."

"Idk."- 444jxrdan444

Unexplained Exit

"I went from driving on one highway to another highway in pouring rain."

"Still headed in the right direction, and about 10 miles in total displacement."

"But I consciously chose one and was on it until I saw road signs telling me I was one the other."

"I just went numb."

"No loss of time or any other abnormality."

"If I didn’t have to actually make a distinct effort to choose the route I wanted, I can see how it might have been a simple mistake."

"But I was on the road I chose (geography etc) until I wasn’t."

"Like something picked me up and put me down instantaneously and I didn’t notice until how long?"- Stayvein

Creature Of The Night

"Actually, one that was recently solved thanks to the internet!"

"We used to have parakeets in an outside aviary."

"One night I was woken up by the budgies screaming and there was... some odd animal attacking it."

"It had a pointed, cone shaped head, no visible ears and a long tail that was not foxlike."

"But it wasn't a possum."

"It was thin and moved like a cat -- it jumped and moved lithely."

"I tapped on the sliding glass door and it stopped, cocked its head, and came over to look at me."

"We were looking eye-to-eye and for the life of me I still couldn't figure out a face."

"Now I was really into nature in my area, really into reading books and sh*t because I wanted to be a forest ranger, and I still couldn't identify this animal."

"Everyone who I told said it was a bad dream but it was real."

"Anyway, years later it was still the weirdest thing that happened to me."

"The internet had come along and I finally had my answer: I saw a Fisher!"

"It's a super rare animal in my area -- like 500 left, max."

"Kind of like a weasel, but heavier."

"They do have ears, btw."

"I assume it was hidden by fur."- Z0ooool

Cabin In The Woods

"When I was about 13 or 14 years old myself and two friends found a house in the middle of the woods that just didn't make sense."

"We were all neighbors, and along all three of our houses was a very large wooded area."

"It runs a few miles back and becomes a state forest."

"We had run around these woods plenty of times and even had areas we'd recognize as we went."

"This particular day we followed this ravine that was sometimes a stream, but was dry at this time."

"That part is important, because we followed that same ravine several times after that and never could find the house again."

"When I say the house didn't make sense, I mean it. It was a white trailer."

"I'd say a double-wide."

"There was white underpinning along the bottom."

"It was a poor country area, so that's not uncommon."

"But it was unusually clean."

"Like, brand new, perfectly white."

"But that's still not the weird part."

"It didn't have doors."

"Or windows."

"Or a driveway."

"We were in the middle of the woods."

"The entire walk through the woods is full of bushes, thorns, spiderwebs, bugs, vines, logs."

"Woods stuff."

"But this was a clearing of flat grass like someone mowed this area."

"We weren't afraid or anything while we were there."

"There really wasn't anything remarkable about it, and that's honestly what makes it so weird to think about to this day."

"We just walked around it for a bit, said it was kinda weird, and we went back on our adventure."

"Eventually we all just went home."

"I'm still friends with both of the other kids."

"We're in our 30s and I'm even going to a wedding for one of them this weekend."

"We've talked about it since, and the story still just doesn't add up."

"My parents still live in that house, and we spent years after that day exploring the woods all the time."

"Never found it again."- Lemonbeeee

Horror Home GIF by Knock At The CabinGiphy

Sometimes our eyes might be playing tricks on us.

Other times, we know for certain what we're seeing is real, but simply can't explain what we're seeing.

Either way, there is little more disconcerting in this world than uncertainty.