Doctors aren't perfect.

However, they have a job for a reason, and when they do it incorrectly, it can seriously emotionally or physically scar their patients. It's harrowing to hear about. Caution: Neglect, malpractice, gross imagery.

u/blue_eyed_bella asked Reddit:

Has a doctor ever misdiagnosed you, if so how did it affect you?

Here were some of the answers.

A Death Sentence

In high school my history teacher was misdiagnosed with cancer. I saw her go from depression to acceptance to anger in a span of six months. After she found out, I remember her asking the class if any of our parents were lawyers. I felt rly bad for her. She was already thinking how to say goodbye to her 7 yr old.

Impossible Conception

When I was 14 I was told I was pregnant after getting an ultrasound to check my kidneys due to high blood pressure. No pregnancy test, no questions, I was a young girl so I obviously was pregnant after they found an abnormal mass, ended up being a cyst. None of the doctors would listen to me when I said that I had never even kissed a boy before. The sad part of the story was that after the doctor told my dad and me that I was 10 weeks pregnant, and I adamantly denied that it was even possible, my dad actually stood up for me and took my side. Eventually I was sent to a women's hospital, and two hours later confirmed that I was not the Virgin Mary. Physically it didn't affect me, but I've been very wary of going to doctors since.

Money Games

Ohhh yes. I was exposed to loud noise exposure at work. I filed a work comp claim, and went to a total of 6 doctor appointments with their ear doctor.

I kept telling her that it felt like something snapped in my left ear, but she kept brushing me off and sending me back to work. I even asked for imaging and she said "work comp is picky about things, so no."

I later spent 2k of my own money I got a CT scan from another doc. It ends up I have a condition called superior canal dehiscence.

This means there is a hole deep in my inner ear probably caused from the loud noise exposure.

Only treatment is opening my skull, lifting my brain, and patching that hole.

I sometimes wonder if the work comp doctor was specifically playing stupid being in the pocket of the insurance company. I will never know.

Neglect Of Death

Grossish alert my grandmother went to the doctor for blood in her stool and he told her it was hemorrhoids. She asked him to perform some tests because she didn't believe it was just hemorrhoids. He refused and told her to come back if H medication didn't work. It didn't and it turns out she had colon cancer. It was so far along by that point that she passed ~6 months after her diagnosis.

23 Years

age 1: "You have nerve damage from Spina Bifida that affects your bladder, here take this medicine and learn how to pee through a straw."

age 12 "Oh the medicine isn't working? are you sure you're using it correctly?"

age 16: "here try ditropan again."

age 21: "here try bladder botox"

age 22: "oh hold up there's something weird about your bladder. You also have a second ureter on your left kidney."

Age 23: "Yeah, you have a hole in your bladder that's probably congenital (there since birth) wait six months and we'll get you in to get that fixed up."

I've had Multiple MRI's since birth and apparently the second ureter, and the hole in the bladder was somehow missed? Am still waiting for the surgery date.


I went to an ER after diving to twelve feet. I heard something like a crackle, and pool water drizzling down my throat through my ear, and immense pain. Upon describing this to the Dr at the ER, he diagnosed it as an ear infection. A 0 to full blown ear infection, which had nothing to do with the dive, the noise, or the fact that pool water has a very distinct taste when it runs down the back of your throat.

At my ear specialist who I saw as soon as possible, I was correctly diagnosed with barotrauma. The effect from the first doctor was unnecessary agony for 24 hrs because he apparently didn't get paid enough to listen to anything beyond the symptoms. At least in the end, it was a full recovery.

This Close To Death

Horrendous pain, vomiting . . . ER doc says that I "have a lot of stool". I told the doctor that he wasn't the first person to tell me that I was full of s***, but that there was something else wrong . . . Another doctor says the same thing - I am becoming belligerent because of this nonsense and the excruciating pain. . .Third opinion doctor orders CT - I had gangrene on my appendix and it was hours from rupturing. Midnight emergency surgery, 5 days in the hospital - if I went along with what they had initially said, I would be dead.


When I was 15 my GP told my mom that the crippling pain below my sternum (the very upper part of my abdomen) was heart burn and he prescribed antacids. Ignoring the fact that this pain would literally have me on the floor in the fetal position crying. Heart burn... So of course the medicine doesn't work and I deal with this pain several times a week for 4 years, until I'm 19 and deployed to Iraq. Thankfully my NCO wouldn't listen when I had an attack and told him it'd pass. He sent me to our clinic. They draw blood, it's pancreatitis, secondary to gall stones. They removed my gall bladder and it got much better. I still have rare acute pancreatitis that I believe is from the damage of 4 years worth of stones passing through my duct.

It Just Kept Going

Went to my pediatrician when I was 19 about pains I had been having in my back. They were in a specific location--a bit left of my spine, center height--and would come suddenly, be quite intense, and then go away for a while. It wasn't a new feeling, but they were getting worse. She chalked it up to my anterior pelvic tilt / poor posture / lack of exercise and prescribed me some workouts to do. It wasn't bad thinking on her part as I wasn't in great shape at the time, but it definitely felt like she didn't take my symptoms very seriously. Maybe I didn't do a good enough job conveying the intensity.

About a year later I was at my parents' house, made myself a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese and wound up in by far the most pain I've ever experienced. It's hard to describe the pain without sounding hyperbolic, but I'll say I was sat in a chair, trying not to breath, and thinking about how long I could last before jumping head-first over the balcony railing into the floor below. I can say with confidence I will never feel more physical pain, which is a strange thought. Fire dept. came to the house but were afraid to move me, thinking I had pinched a nerve. After a couple hours in the chair, the pain somewhat suddenly vanished, and I had my dad drive me to the ER.

Got to the ER, had an ultrasound (which was awesome), and the docs found that my gallbladder was *stuffed* with gallstones. Not just a couple, but dozens, and two of them were about the size of quarters, which is also about the width of a gallbladder. These two stones alone were actually filling my gallbladder side-to-side. My gallbladder was also completely infected and had been for some time. Lots of "wtf" faces on the doctors that day. Turns out the stones had been building for years (they estimated that it started in middle school) and I had just gotten used to the random pain somehow. Pretty weird looking back on it.

Anyway, they ripped it right out and life's been a lot better since.

Not A Virus, Just My Organs

I was misdiagnosed as having pneumonia. Pneumonia would have been preferable.

I left work early one day because there was an extremely sharp pain in my back just under my shoulder blade as well as just underneath my ribcage on the same side. I was also having difficulty breathing. I miraculously managed to drive to the ER (in hindsight I'm aware it was a dumb idea) and got checked in.

They gave me some non-narcotic pain killers, did some x rays and ran a few other tests. The doctor came in after a while and said I had pneumonia, gave me a prescription for a z pack or whatever it's called, and discharged me.

I had just driven out of the hospital and got a call from a number I didn't recognize. I answered and they said they were from the hospital. They requested for me to come back as quickly as I could; don't bother checking in, just go straight back to the room I just left.

I went back into the room and the doctor told me that they had looked at my x rays again. Turns out my lung had collapsed.

They rushed a specialist in immediately (like 10 minutes, maybe) and were getting me prepped for surgery. Everything went pretty smoothly and everyone was extraordinarily nice to me. I'm positive everyone was so nice because there were definitely grounds for a lawsuit. I wasn't looking to get rich off anyone though, I just wanted to breath again.

I had extremely good insurance with the company I was with at the time. I paid 100$ for the emergency room fee and the rest of the 17,000$ bill was covered. So that was nice.

While I was in there a shirt popped up on and I bought it immediately. It read: "Lifetime achievement award for breathing. Respiring since birth." I was in the hospital for almost not getting that very achievement; it was fate. I still have the shirt somewhere but I got fat and it doesn't fit now.

I've been told that quite a few people visited me while I was in the hospital. I don't remember most of them; I was on a bunch of dilaudid while I was awake. I do remember a buddy asking me how I peed with all the wires and monitors attached to me and responding simply "with my penis." He looked at my mom and said "he'll be fine, he's too much of an a**hole to die."

Overall, I would rate having a lung collapse as a terribly awful experience. You never really think about how much you breathe until you can't. It sucks. A lot.

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4

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

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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