Parents are supposed to have our best interests at heart but that is definitely not always the case. From poison ivy sandwiches and forced play dates, to ignoring allergies and forcing kids to watch loved ones suffer, some parents really get it wrong.
burneraccount1000000 asked: What was the genuinely worst experience that you were ever forced into by parents or friends?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
My mother would read Rodale Press organic living type magazines in the 1960's. And decided that she would try to make her children immune to poison ivy. This involves having us eat poison ivy sandwiches.
"Don't chew it, just swallow."
My 5 year old sister almost died from a swollen throat. Hospital, shots, IV's. The doctor was aghast that anyone could be that insane. Dad was so angry he could not speak.
My older sister and I are still allergic to poison ivy.
I'm glad your sister survived, what a nightmare... Did one of the magazines suggest this idea or was it your own mother's invention?
Magazine article. This sort of bullsh*t was not invented by the new agey yoga moms of the 21st century.
When kids are forced to be friends with you and vice versa.
My mom was more insecure about me not having friends than I was myself. If I didn't have playdate lined up each weekend, she would force me to call kids in my class who I didn't get along with and 9/10 they'd say they were busy. Some would even confront me at school on Monday and say "Why the hell did you call me?"
Being forced into social situations never turn out good.
I was friends with a girl throughout middle and high school whose crazy mother made her "Friend Business Cards" and made her pass them out in 8th grade.
I guess she was struggling to make friends and the business cards had her phone number and a little bio on them. She passed them out because her mom would count them to make sure she gave some away. You could tell she was humiliated to do it.
My stepmother became friends with her mother through church and tried to start the same sh*t. I was new at the school and the first friend I made, my stepmom immediately got on Facebook, found out the girl lived with her grandmother and started asking her unprompted personal questions about my friend, including sh!t like asking why her parents weren't in the picture. I hadn't even added the girl yet and my stepmom Facebook stalked her and harassed her grandmother.
The next day the girl told me I was weird and I got angry at my stepmom who got angry at the grandmother because, "What senior aged adult tells their 8th grade granddaughter about their adult conversations?"
I don't know, probably one that doesn't want her grandchild hanging out with a kid whose parent is a f*cking creep?
Kitties are smart and snakes are awesome.
Parents wanted me to get over my fear of snakes so they made me hold a giant python at an interactive aquatic show in Silver Springs, Florida. Nightmares!
As an adult, my cat Pinky would bring me live garden snakes and gently put them in my hand. That worked.
My husband (boyfriend at the time) thought he could get me over my fear of heights by taking me to a heights themed amusement park. I handled the first ride with only moderate shakes/sweats.
But then I got stuck at the top of a child's rock wall shaking and crying. The seventeen year old park attendant had to climb up and yank me off the wall, the whole time apologizing "I'm so sorry ma'am but it's policy I have to pull you down" (MA'AM. This was recent. I was 29. I still am 29).
He finally understood what I meant when I said "I'm afraid of heights."
Watching a loved one not be allowed to die with dignity.
My grandmother died over the course of a single summer of cancer. By the time the end came it was in her lungs, bones and brain. She was completely bald and was legitimately nothing but skin and bones. She weighed 80 lbs. She was also nearly paralyzed by the pain her body was in and couldn't move on her own. Since there was nothing that could be done for her but keep her on pain-killers, a bed was put in my grandparents living room. Since the cancer was in her brain she gradually lost the ability to effectively communicate and would scream and cry like a newborn when she needing something. Sometimes, she would forget who she was and where she was and she would just scream incoherently because she was scared.
My mother and aunts volunteered to try and care for her as best they could. Instead of finding someone else to watch me over the summer, I spent every day, all day in the living room watching my grandmother die and turn into a shell of a human being. She didn't know who we were most of the time and she started calling me 'the one that wouldn't shut up' whenever she was cognitive enough to speak. I was there when she breathed her last breath at 2 am in the morning and when the funeral director rolled up to take her body out of the house. I was 7. I'd even go so far as to say I am traumatized by that entire experience. Every time I mention that to my parents I get shrugged off. It's one of the reasons I personally agree with physician assisted death - I never want my family to witness me go out like that. That was the worst experience my family ever forced me to endure.
Man, I recently went to visit my grandmother who was a couple days away from dying and was in not much of a better state than what you described. I walked into the room and was so shocked that my heart skipped a beat. I've never seen a person in that kind of condition and it was so difficult to look at her. I turned right around and told my teenage daughter to wait in the other room while I said goodbye to grandma. I didn't want her to see. It was extremely difficult for me to see her like that and I didn't want my daughter having that image in her mind. I can't imagine making my seven year old experience that day after day.
Euthanasia is humane. F*ck anybody who disagrees with me on that one.
I am terrified of heights. I can't hardly get up on a chair to change a light without shaking. When I was maybe 10 my friend invited me to 6 flags, which if you haven't heard of it is mostly roller coasters.
I declined but my friend was being taken by her dad who insisted she take a friend and wouldn't take no for an answer. Her parents were divorced and her dad was ultra wealthy so he was one of those "I'll buy my kids from that b!tch of an ex wife" kinda parents.
After a few hours of them going on rides together I guess the dad got fed up that I wasn't having a good time (I never said that) because I wouldn't ride the rides so he forces me into line for some unreasonable roller coaster, where your feet dangle and you flip upside down and all that. And I'm trying to tell him no I don't want to but he just ignores me.
After a while I broke down and just started to cry because I was so scared and upset. I kept yelling I don't wanna go, please don't make me go and he was indifferent to my pleas. Luckily some probably seriously underpaid teenage line attendant in an orange vest stood me against the "you must be this tall to ride" board and decided I was too short. I was tall enough, but the guy knew I was freaking out and did me a solid. Threatened to remove all 3 of us from the park if he didn't leave.
Tldr; friends dad tried to force me on a roller coaster and I cried because I was so scared, so the ride attendant refused to let me on.
Roller coaster attendant was a bro.
Kids are not free labor.
Mom made me hang out with her friends kid that was autistic to hell and back. She said that she would babysit him while her friend went to work, but my mom would just make me watch him. I had to change and feed him even though he was an extremely picky eater, I was 10 and he was 14. She would yell at me if he made a mess or had a meltdown, like I could control it. She was paid $250 a week and I didn't get sh*t but head aches and bruises.
Don't feel bad if you eventually put her in an elderly care home and then can't visit for whatever reason. Sounds like she's cool with outsourcing the care of loved ones.
Well, not me, but my sister. Our parents were getting divorced, and we were over at his place for visitation on Sunday. After we went to church, we went amd bought what we thought was a chocolate cake. Now, my little sister has a severe, life threatening peanut allergy. After a few bites of the cake, she said that her throat was itching/swelling. My brother and I immediately told her to stop eating it, but my Dad ACTIVELY ENCOURAGED her to continue eating it. After we had finally convinced her to stop, she should have been taken to the ER immediately. Instead, he gives her Benadryl, and makes her wait for a good 10-15 minutes.
All while she is swelling and itching, and its getting harder to breathe. He finally takes her to the hospital after she throws up (which is a sign of internal swelling,? I think) She almost died, and my Mom was so mad when she came to the hospital. All I remember about that car ride to the hospital was thinking that my little sister was going to die, and basically watching her suffocate in front of me. He also did something similar to my brother, but it wasn't life threatening.
What is it with parents in this thread forcing their kids to eat things that'll kill them? How could anyone think that this kind of ghetto desensibilization with no medical supervision is a good idea?
So much for "Dr. Mom."
Mother acted out her resentment at Dad's allergies by exposing me to all of his allergens after they split up. When I complained about symptoms similar to what he had been going to an allergist to treat, she bellowed You don't have any allergies! I couldn't really protest more because she had never taken me to a doctor to get tested.
Fast forward: the separation turned into divorce, I moved in with Dad, finally got medical treatment and (no surprise) needed prescription medication and allergy shots. Then in my late teens the allergies turn life threatening. I'm stuck for life on a restricted diet because there's no clinical research for treatment of these specific allergies.
There's no way to prove direct cause and effect, but allergies are known to worsen with repeated uncontrolled exposures so it's definitely possible that Mom's decisions are why things got this bad. Incidentally she used to slip allergens into Dad's stuff without his knowledge behind his back and I'm 99% sure she did the same to me whenever I visited her even after Dad got me proper medical treatment. It's an ugly rabbit hole what motivates her to do that, but the bottom line is she can't be trusted. It's one of the reasons I stopped talking to her. If there's a silver lining, it's the experience taught me to stand up for myself whenever ignorant people try to second guess properly trained doctors.
Damn, what are you allergic to to be on a restricted diet for the rest of your life?
I have anaphylactic Oral Allergy Syndrome. It's a rare life threatening manifestation of a type of allergy that's mild in most cases. It's as serious as a peanut allergy except in my case it's caused by a wide variety of fresh fruit.
This isn't covered under federal food labeling law and the FDA chooses not to regulate it (they could require specifying my allergens by name in the fine print but they've chosen not to). So any food that reads natural flavors or natural colorson the label could contain my allergens and cause a medical emergency. My allergens aren't covered in food service allergy safety training either. So I have to make nearly everything I eat from scratch and at home.
It's been a real problem when I check into hospitals for unrelated reasons (sports injury etc.) because this diagnosis isn't taught outside of medical schools: the M.D.s recognize the diganosis and write up appropriate orders, which the kitchen staff and the nurses ignore because their training doesn't cover this and they mistake me for a picky eater. It's resulted in close calls after major surgery when they roll in an off-limits meal while I'm recovering from anesthesia and on morphine.
When you're constantly forced to babysit.
Honestly, it was a series of things my parents did. Any time we went to a function or party I was stuck babysitting not only my little sister but all of my parents' friend group's kids. If I took my eye off them to do something boom pressure point and talk about being responsible. This happened for literally every party they dragged me too. I hate going to parties when small children are there because it feels like I have to always keep an eye on them or else.
This is even more awful, when there is gender stereotyping going on. Like you are the oldest girl cousin, and so you have to watch all the younger ones while the male cousins older than you can enjoy the party.
What a waste of time.
It would have to be the three day 8 hour long church convention while wearing a suit....thankfully my parents soon gave up on trying to make me a Jehovah's Witnesse
Yeah... those were very tiring. All the same information every day, every year. I eventually stopped going.
Oh geez, the three day circuit assemblies. I remember these. So painfully boring... sitting there taking notes and pretending like I wasn't dat dreaming like all the other thousands of people.
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
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One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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