When your life hangs in the balance on the operating table, the last thing you want to hear – if you're conscious – from a surgeon is, "Oh, sh*t!"
At that moment, many scenarios may flash before your eyes.
Did the surgeon inadvertently nick a major artery?
Or did they discover you were incubating an alien egg along the gastrointestinal wall?
Whatever it is, all anyone in the OR can hope for is a smooth surgery without any surprises.
But that isn't always the case.
With many close calls that likely happen in the OR, those who are in the medical field – along with patients – responded to Redditor Potential_ganache_40's inquiry of:
Never Come To Surgery On A Full Stomach
"I was doing a corneal transplant when I had the 'oh sh*t' moment. During surgery, I cut off the patient's own cornea and replace it with a new donor cornea. During that moment when the host cornea was off but before I could get the new one on, there's literally nothing on the front of the eye except a tear film and aqueous humor. Anyway, the patient takes that moment to start vomiting."
"The reason we tell everyone to skip food and drink is so they don't aspirate in case they throw up. This patient lied about eating breakfast and started throwing up everything. The eye is still 'open sky' at this time. Everything inside of the eye can now become outside of the eye. And she's bucking and vomiting."
"Those not in the know will say this is not good. Those really in the know will say 'oh sh*t.'"
"Anyway, I had to grab the new cornea and start stitching as fast as I could on a patient actively throwing up. I use 10-0 nylon sutures which are thinner than an eyelash. It turned out okay but not great."
"Don't lie about eating breakfast before surgery, folks."
Baby Like A Cannonball
"Doing a C-Section for this poor Mum who'd been in labour for hours. Baby wouldn't come out of the hole we'd made, so more pressure was applied to the fundus (top of the uterus) and suddenly whoooooosh, baby zooms out like a torpedo, covered in lubricating vernix, zips over the surgical sheeting which has the texture of a slip n slide and almost rockets straight off the table. The baby's foot was caught by the Reg who whipped her up in the air upside down like in old cartoons, but almost dropped her again due to gloves + vernix. Thankfully the midwife was ready with the towel and caught the baby to wrap her up. Mum and Dad seemed to think this was normal practice and didn't notice but me and my colleague just stared at each other with a look of absolute horror. It still makes me shudder to think how close the baby was to hitting the floor head first. Never happened before or since."
"When I was a new RN working the ICU in a large teaching hospital, I came into work one morning to a patient that was admitted that night, intubated (breathing tube in), sedated, Foley catheter (tube in pee pee hole) and all. Long story short, he was extubated (breathing tube out) that same shift and was completely alert and oriented."
"He was an end stage renal patient meaning his kidneys didn't work and he needed dialysis, and was only in his late 30s. Said he neve made urine anymore and didn't need the Foley catheter so he wanted it out because it was hurting."
"Now the catheter bag had been empty my whole shift which is normal seeing as how he didn't make urine anymore, and this hospital had a nurse driven Foley removal policy, meaning while we needed a doctor's order to insert one, we could remove one at our discretion, unless a Dr specifically put in orders not to. This patient had no such dr order, so I went to remove the catheter. They are held in the bladder by a balloon on the end that is inflated with 10ml of saline. I deinflated the balloon removing 10ml of saline, and pulled it out."
"As soon as the cather left his penis, blood started pouring out in a heavy stream. Turns out the nurse who placed it on admission hadn't advanced it far enough since there was no urine production to indicate correct placement and had inflated the balloon while still in his urethra causing trauma."
"It would not stop bleeding. I had to hold this man's penis "shut" to put pressure on it while my coworker paged the resident who came and looked at me with pitty as he told me to just keep holding this 30 something year old man's penis In my hands to staunch the blood flow until urology could get there to assess. It just kept gushing blood everytime I eased up to check. For over an hour total I held this mans penis and tried to make polite conversation until the urologist arrived."
"Can I Still Have Anal Sex?"
"Surgeon here. I've dealt with loads of morbid stuff but one thing that made me stop and go 'oh sh*t' was a conversation with a young patient who had a perforated colon from diverticular disease, which is a common wear and tear of the colon. He was one of youngest patients I had seen with this condition and certainly the youngest with a perforation so bad as to require an operation. When I was counselling him on the operation, which involves removing the perforated part of the colon and giving him a colostomy, he told me his biggest concern was how he was going to have anal sex with his same-sex partner. He would only have a small stump of rectum left inside, which would be at risk of perforation with any force applied to it. It made me really think about the implications of the surgery we do. The operation is the easy part!"
Liver Transplant Accident
"I was the patient."
"I had a liver transplant and was having an ercp done to place a new bile duct stent. Well apparently my anatomy is different than normal, and my lungs go more down my sides. So he accidentally caused a nick, which caused a hemothorax. So when I woke up I couldn't breathe, they did an xray and had to do a chest tube. Eventually I was so exhausted I asked to be vented so he vented me. Apparently he cried he felt so bad about it all."
"But it wasn't him being malicious or negligent, it was simply an accident."
"Heard an 'oh sh*t' moment as a patient on the operating table. A couple of years ago I was in labor for 28 hours, pushing for six, when my child started showing signs of distress. He had slightly elevated heart rate and I had the makings of a fever. My midwife at the hospital told me the doctor was coming in to check to see if a vacuum assist could help. She checks me and immediately stands up with blood on her hand and says we're going to the OR now. At that time, I started feeling that zoomed out tunnel vision I know for me is shock. I had anxiety, but figured she knew what was best. She did. We got in the OR 8 minutes later and when they opened me up, I heard the surgeon say, "oh sh*t. Look at this.'"
"They say blood in my catheter bag and upon fully opening me up found my son was actually trying to come through my uterus. He had ruptured it. They got my son out. Those moments where he was stunned and not crying were an eternity. He cried and he was born a completely healthy baby. After I woke up and was back in my room the doctor came in and told me what happened. I knew a ruptured uterus sounded bad, but oh damn I googled and started having a massive anxiety attack. A ruptured uterus is extremely rare and so very dangerous and often fatal. I read from the time it happens you have about 15 minutes before you bleed out and baby is dead. When I went back for my post csection follow up my midwife let me know as a practice that's been around 35 years with over 30 midwives and doctors they had never once encountered that and it was such a big deal for them a few days after my birth they all got together to discuss my case. I was so incredibly fortunate I chose to labor in hospital, that the doctor just knew from my vitals and baby's that something was off. They just didn't know until they got me open. I can't even tell you how grateful I am for Dr. S. You saved my life and my son's life and our family with forever be grateful."
"Gastroenterologist here. Was removing a large polyp during a colonoscopy. I put the snare around then polyp (kinda of like a cowboy throwing a lasso) - it took an unusually long time to severe the base of the polyp - until, all of a sudden, blood started squirting from where the polyp was removed. The screen quickly turned red with blood. I couldn't see shit. The patients blood pressure started to drop. The patient, who was a dark skinned middle eastern man, turned pale white on the stretcher in front of me. Thats when I felt like i was gonna faint and empty my own bowels... the only thing i could think was 'Oh Sh*t.'"
It's Not A Toomah
"Not me but my uncle - he's a respirologist and was supervising/sitting in on lung surgery to remove a tumor. Turns out the tumor was a rootball - some type of seed had gotten into the patient's lungs and started to grow."
"Yeah imagine telling someone 'we found a tree inside you' and that being a much better outcome!"
"Not a surgeon, but I was observing a hand surgery about a year ago at a teaching hospital. The surgeon was removing one of the carpals (the bones near the base of the hand) to be used later. A nurse was given the carpal to hold until it needed to be used. She ended up dropping the patient's bone on the ground."
When You Refuse Medical Attention
"Just an RN here. I was working in the ER and had a patient brought in by her husband. Apparently the woman had a fall a week prior and injured her face but refused medical care. Her husband finally forced her to come in. As soon as I see the wound on her face (from across the room) I think, 'that does not look like any wound Ive seen.' I approached her and realized maggots had infested the wound and were eating the rotting skin. A really simple and quick fix but I cant imagine her living conditions."
"Dozen Hammers To The Jaw"
"As the patient, I hope if the oral surgeon is on Reddit they posted this story."
"Wisdom teeth removal, all 4 impacted, gotta break out the heavy hardware. I'm knocked out, don't even know the dentist entered the room. I wake up, but not able to move, just eyes open awake but my limbs won't react to my brain. I can feel the dentist hammering a chisel into my tooth to break it for extraction. My jaw is just coming undone on every hit. My eyes are wide open, jaw even wider with some evil metal contraption. I'm staring at the assistant begging for her to see me, and after about a dozen hammers to my jaw she glances over and drops the suction, jumps up and shrieks. The dentist stops to look at her, then looks at me and I see him say "oh sh*t".
"Next thing I know I'm waking up post surgery. Sh*t that nightmares are made of."
"Edit: lot of replies, so this was a military dentist, yes they put me under and no insurance involved, not sure what they used for anesthesia. Yes I could feel pain from the impact but not nerve pains in the actual tooth."
The Fainting Nurse
"My grandfather told a story about a clamp coming off an artery while he was pulling a kidney in rural Wyoming in the early 50's."
"The abdominal cavity was quickly filling with blood and the nurse fainted. He was able to push down with his elbow on the descending aorta and got the clamp back on. Patient lived, but I think he chose his surgical assistants little more carefully after that."
We really take just about everything for granted. Life is full of miracles, and we as humans can only seem to ever notice the big ones, but really it's the small ones that count the most.
There are so many tiny gifts that many of us have that a certain number of us would be kill to have.
A lot of that truth came into perspective during this pandemic. Just look how many people are now food dependent.
Ask yourself, what little thing do I have that may be a privilege to another and a luxury to many and it may not even have that much monetary value?
Redditor u/vianneyal wanted everyone to take a good hard look at just how good some of us have it, by asking:
What is something people don't realize is a privilege?
Paper. Pens. A computer and a job that consists of using all three. It may not sound like much, buy it's far less stressful than retail. I often overlook that fact. I try not to though. God bless customer service people.
Foodbinge grocery shopping GIFGiphy
"Buying groceries without having to carefully consider prices."
"Hot showers.... Holy crap, I was homeless for a year and a half, and there was a time I blew $50 on a motel room specifically to take a hot shower. I remember pulling off my cold wet socks and just collapsing into the hot water, sobbing. Felt like all my problems went away immediately."
"Having your own room/space. A lot of people and specially families around the world has to share living spaces. There was a thread on Reddit recently where a family couldn't give their teenage daughter a room of her own cause their house only had two rooms and they were poor."
"Everyone said the parent was a butthole cause the teen had a right to it and they should move to a bigger house/outside their area to amend that. Crap was freaking insane."
"Just having dependable, safe hot and cold running water on demand."
"This. I just got quite the rude awakening 30 minutes ago when my landlord texted asking me to severely limit my already very limited water use because the well that supplies our water is almost dry. I live in rural Canada where there's a drought and while I knew it was bad, my privileged self never thought we might actually run out of water before it rains next. Jokes on me I guess."
Money Issuessleeping beauty parody GIFGiphy
"Being able to quit a job without fear of losing financial stability."
And here we are all trying to be Kardashians. When tons of people just want stability regarding food and jobs. I don't know what is more sad, that fact or that we live in a world where facts like that exist.
Shhhh....secret smell GIFGiphy
"Being able to enjoy total silence. (Freaking tinnitus)"
For real. Mine started when I was 18 and I then realised how much I took everything being completely quiet for granted before that. I wish I could get it back."
"Having your parents to fall back onto for help or advice during adulthood. I've been estranged since I've been 16, life ain't easy navigating the world alone."
"I hear ya. I was emancipated when I was a teen. I am grateful for the mentors and chosen family who supported me through to this point (I'm almost 30) but I wish that I had the solid nurture, example, and support that I truly needed growing up. I probably wouldn't have needed to spend so much money on therapy after high school."
"Sewers. A literal city of tunnels you never see, draining and moving water in and out of your town/city, completely hidden from view. It's a freakin' luxury and you'd be surprised how much of the world doesn't have that while the rest of the world never even thinks about it."
"Decent mental health. While some people seem to breeze through their life goals, a lot of people suffer in ways that prevent them or slow them down. It's a privilege to have most of your emotional needs met and have the stability needed to focus on developing your artistry/skills."
Knowledge is PowerHappy School GIFGiphy
"Going to school."
The basics of life and survival shouldn't be considered luxuries. We really have a lot of society fixing ahead of us. Be grateful for every meal, and good slumber.
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When we go to sleep, we slip into one of the most vulnerable positions we can possibly embody. And we do that every single day.
So it's hardly surprising that, at least a few times throughout our lives--maybe more than a few--we find ourselves snatched from slumber, and left sitting started and defenseless against a threat we can barely make out in those first few seconds.
But for all the vagueness of those first few sensations, we sure do remember those horrible awakenings rather vividly.
And recently, some folks on the internet shared their most memorable experiences.
Redditor ScoopySnacks829 asked:
"What's the worst thing you woke up to?"
Many Redditors encountered animals in the dead of night. The creepy crawling hands and mouths were enough to make their skin crawl.
"My grandmother had a filthy house and made me and my brother sleep on the floor whenever we were over."
"Once I woke up with a rat tangled in my waist length hair. I was 8"
"Another time I woke up to see a giant roach crawl. Out of my brother's mouth as he was sleeping. (I never told him as I figured he would rather live in blissful ignorance.) I was 9."
"To this day have a fear of Rats, roaches, and sleeping on floors."
"A dog's paw in my mouth and getting stepped on the balls at the same time" -- Lower_Environment774
Only Thin Nylon Between You and It
"The sound of a bear outside my tent. Got my heart racing." -- SingLikeTinaTurner
"Oh fu** okay, so I once was woken up by a bear paw to the head. It was just fu**ing around with our tarp but I'm tall so the top of my head stuck out just a tad. It felt like being brained with a sandbag."
"It was a black bear and ran off when we made a bunch of noise, but I'll never forget the few moments of sheer terror, head reeling and seeing that bear paw slide next to my face." -- Cthulhu_sneeze
"Blood all over the bed that I was in. Then I saw the flyscreen had been torn open. Then I heard a crunching noise. And then I saw the cat with the remains of a magpie."
Others shared the times they encountered a personal tragedy immediately upon waking up in the morning.
"woke up to the news one of my best friends family had been murdered in an arson attack and that he had tried to save them and had 3rd degree burns over 70% of his body..."
"I woke up to my dad telling me my mom had a brain tumor."
"It was during a sleepover with my best friend at the time. I knew they were going to get her an MRI because she had been having really bad chronic headaches, but none of us expected brain cancer."
"When they removed the tumor two weeks later they removed a baseball and a half sized mass of tumor from her right frontal lobe. She's alive and well now 15 years later, thank god, but that was an awful time for everyone in our family."
The Worst Reason to Get Up and Go
"My uncle calling me in the middle of the night to tell me my mom was in the hospital, and that I should fly out as soon as possible if I wanted to be able to say goodbye."
Finally, some people discussed the times they felt threatened by other human beings that clearly did not have their best interests at heart.
Just What Did They Want
"Someone jiggling the handle on my door, trying to get in to my apartment. Scary as fu**. I don't know if he was drunk and thought it was a different apartment, or if he was just going door to door, seeing if any were unlocked."
"My ex-girlfriend pointing an unloaded gun (I thought it was loaded) at me. She pulled the trigger and she wanted to scare me, she thought I was cheating on her with a friend of mine (a female)."
It Gets Worse and Worse
"When I was like 16, the landlord and a couple of other men (LEOs of some sort, presumably, but I didn't get a good look at them) came in to physically evict my mother and I from the duplex we lived in at the time, something I had no idea was in at all."
"Like, we apparently went through the entire eviction process without me getting even a slight sniff of it. I slept naked even back then, so basically, I was awakened by two or three strange men coming into my bedroom."
"I threw on a cream-colored dress and got the fu** out of there, having no other option obviously, and went to my mother's workplace in a panic...where one of her coworkers gently pointed out that I had started my period, which was obvious from a distance, apparently."
Here's hoping this list won't give you trouble falling to sleep tonight.
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Simply put, the line between needs and desires becomes blurry without us even realizing it.
That is, until we look at our bank statement at the end of the month, suppressing the tears and horrified shrieks that want to leap out of us.
But with the help of a recent Reddit thread, perhaps there is hope. Maybe taking stock of exactly which unnecessary places that money is going can help us dial it in.
Redditor Rice_Liar asked:
"What is the biggest waste of money?"
Of course, many people mentioned the common vices that have long been dubbed the easiest way to throw your earnings right down the tubes.
The Next One Will Hit, I Know It
"Scratch off lottery tickets. I visited my uncle, and he asked me to help him sort the scratch tickets he had bought that year (I guess if you collected enough non-winning ones you could turn them in for a small prize?). He had stacks and stacks of tickets. Took us forever to sort them."
"He was proudly telling me about the times he'd won 50 or 100 bucks, but it clearly didn't even begin to break even with the total amount he paid for them."
"I still buy one every once in a while for fun, and know that a lot of people enjoy the thrill of them and don't mind spending a few dollars for it, but seeing how many he had with no worthwhile return except a rare win has definitely stuck with me."
"I just quit smoking and I have to say tobacco, in the Netherlands the pack of tobacco I used to smoke (John player special) costs 14,40 euros or $16.95 dollars according to google u pay that much multiple times a week for something that kills you."
"Any smokers here wanting to quit but can't, just buy a vape pen it makes it so much easier."
Designed to Fail
"Gambling. Most of the time it goes tits up and has ramifications for other people in your life." -- Mgreengo
"Worked at a casino. I saw behind the curtain. You will lose. The only way to win is to accidentally win a jackpot (that you somehow didn't spend over the jackpot amount to win) and walk away never to return." -- Femmefatele
Others discussed those unneeded luxuries that we get lulled into thinking we absolutely need.
For Olympians Only
"buying a house with a swimming pool. Unless you're an avid swimmer, you'll only use it irregularly 2-3 months a year. Requires constant maintenance that cost up to 5k a year."
"If you build the swimming pool after you've bought the house, that's around 30k for a 600 sq2 ft pool. And it most likely will not increase your house' price at all."
"Stupidly expensive weddings" -- FairySpice12
"Napkins - $1"
"Baby Napkins -$5"
"Wedding Napkins- $20" -- OntarioIsPain
How Did They Do That?
"Starbucks. $6 for an iced coffee that usually isn't that great." -- kdub1523
"The $6 'coffees' are usually a drink with a million things added so it doesn't taste like a coffee" -- Main-Argument-5898
And many people took notice of all the money they spend on transactions surrounding our online lives and our relationships to all the new gadgets that make our heads spin.
Monthly Black Holes
"Subscriptions to stuff you don't use anymore." -- StructureMoist
"I feel like you don't need all the streaming services. For me, I have netflix, prime, Disney and Spotify. I pay for prime and Spotify and my boyfriend has Disney and netflix. We share the accounts. I use all of them about about same amount, Spotify the least but I miss it a ton when I don't have it." -- Zanki
Money From An Unseen Source
"Donating to popular streamers they have so much money and they are most likely to not read your donation" -- fiskars12345
"I much prefer to give my money to smaller streamers because they're always so sweet and I like supporting them" -- mintmoonstone
Give It a Few Years
"Latest mobile phones every year with allegedly 'revolutionary' must have new features!" -- MarcDarcy
"I generally skip 3 or 4 generations. Then buy a new phone after I've wrung every last ounce of life out of the old one." -- Majik_Sheff
But It Seemed So Fun For Those Few Seconds...
"buying video games that you'll never play" -- Zack4044
"But it was 75% off, how could I pass up those savings" -- 98raider
"There goes my angry upvote of the day." -- Nidrew
So maybe it's time to face the harsh realities of the monthly statement and see where the big omissions can be.
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You've probably stayed up late watching some television special about a criminal in your area and seen the announcement near the end: "If you have any information, call our tipline." The authorities might even offer a reward of some kind. But what are the chances that you might actually know of the person they're looking for?
People shared their stories after Redditor Renzot56 asked the online community,
"Has anyone here ever actually called into one of the FBI rewards for information on criminals and won the money?"
"My neighbor down the road..."
"My neighbor down the road growing up was always getting into trouble. One day someone robbed a gas station with a gun, and accidentally shot the clerk (so he claimed), and the police didn't know who did it. After about a month, they offered up a small reward for information. The guy arranged to have his wife turn him in to collect the reward, because she would need it since he knew he was going away for a long time."
A likely story!
"I felt pretty good..."
"Ten years ago I'm working front desk at this third rate motel and I'm the only employee on property until 7am.
So I get this report of an unruly guest and check it out. Dudes whacked out on something, threatening other guests and I call the cops to remove him. On their way out they tell me he's got active warrants in another state.
I don't think anything of until three months later I got a check sent to me at work from a sheriff's office two states over. Turns out the guy was wanted for a double murder and I got the reward when he was convicted. I felt pretty good about that."
"My sister has a pretty weird hobby - she solves cold cases by helping match descriptions of bodies that have never been positively ID'd to missing persons matching the body's description. She's solved several cases and submits them to the FBI tip line. Twice now, she's gotten phone calls from law enforcement as a result, one from the FBI and one from a local police department. One had reward money tied to it from long, long ago. She turned it down.
Both times, she's informed the agency calling that the missing person disappeared before she was 10 years old (that's her limit, she doesn't look at recent cases to avoid potential problems), and they just kinda shrug and move on. That's all."
I think I'd be pretty proud if I had Nancy Drew as a sister. Well done!
"I made an anonymous tip..."
"I made an anonymous tip to a local library about someone posting online about wanting to do something sexual in the bathroom of the library.
Local police and FBI gave me a call on my actual number (not the one I used to call in the tip) and asked me a few questions.
Turns out they set up a raid and caught some 19-year old who was trying to meet kids online. Got $500 and they offered to pay me to go on apps/websites like Craigslist and such to find the same kind of people. Was pretty cool."
I'm sure that child's parents were rermarkably grateful.
"In college, we had a drive-by shooting on my block. The police showed up and asked all the neighbors if they had any information. I had just heard the shots from my house and wasn't able to help.
A few days later I was walking home from class and I found a shell casing the in the grass near where the shooting was. I didn't want to touch it so I got home and called the police. I was very very specific about exactly where the shell casing was, and that I DO NOT want the police to come to my door. The neighbors were pretty sketchy people and I just didn't want to be seen being involved.
Well, these cops walked right to my door and asked for me. I told them exactly where to find it (again), they walked to the general area, looked for maybe a minute, then walked back to my front door and asked if I could show where it was. Goddamit. So I led them to shell casing while the sketchy neighbors stood on their porch and watched (looking very displeased).
Apparently, the fingerprints on the casing matched one of their suspects and he was arrested and went to jail. The cops stopped by a few months later with a $20 gift card to a sub shop."
All that for $20?
"When living in Minneapolis..."
"When living in Minneapolis, I saw a Craigslist ad looking for a roommate that specifically worked at Minneapolis-St. Paul international airport and had a badge that allowed them to access beyond security.
I alerted the FBI and Minneapolis police through their tip line. Never heard from either of them."
"I'm sure a bunch of people..."
"I called CrimeStoppers once. The local news released a video of someone violently robbing a store. They beat up the cashier pretty badly.
I knew it the second the video started who it was—a guy I used to party with and had spent the night with a few times.
The CrimeStopper folks gave me a number to write down to claim the money if he was convicted. I wrote it on my hand then washed it off accidentally like an idiot. It was on the smaller side, I think around $1k, but it would have made a big difference at the time. And the guy did end up getting convicted and is still in prison now.
I'm sure a bunch of people called in, though, so I don't know how much I would have gotten. Anyone who grew up in my area who was around my age would have known the guy."
A long time ago..."
"A long time ago, 20+ years, a nearby bank was robbed at gunpoint. The article had a very good photo of the guy. Turns out, he was my sketchy neighbor. Saw him that morning, he was still wearing what was shown in the photo.
Long story short, cops bust him, he goes away for a long hitch, they said a small reward is available. Told them to donate it to a nearby animal shelter. Everyone wins! Well, almost everyone."
The animals certainly won this one! Good for them.
"I've sent a few..."
"I've sent a few tips to the FBI over Internet fraud over the years and have never gotten anything other than an automated response and certainly no rewards."
The FBI might want to do something more than just leaving automated messages for their tip line. Who knows? The answer to some long-unsolved cases might be out there... just a phone call away.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!