The human body is strange and complicated. Surgeons have the unenviable job of trying to fix us when something goes horribly wrong in the complex system of flesh and nerves and bone that makes up a human.
Reddit user u/A_Weeb_Named_Lightly asked:
*Content Warning: graphic descriptions of injury and surgery*
I'm currently in med school, and this happened a few years ago when I was attending surgery classes. One patient was up for a laparotomy for removal and investigation of an abdominal mass - probably cancer. Imaging tests were really not specific or of much help, as this was some atypical disease presentation - even specialists couldn't figure it out. To everyone's surprise, the patient's "cancer" was really a forgotten gauze from some previous surgery. The actual moment of realization went as the surgeon just stopped and said: "gauze!"; to which the nurse promptly gave him one, and he went: "No. There was a gauze inside of him!".
My dad caused an oh s**t moment for a surgeon. When he heard them say "ok he's out" before they were about to start slicing him open. He just had enough strength to move his head from side to side as in no, I'm not out yet.
My father is a physician, and although he's not a surgeon, he did some surgery while in med school. He told me a story about a patient he had once, who had necrotising fasciitis, or flesh-eating disease. The patient had gotten a cut during gardening and never cleaned the wound. My dad told us that he had to peel back layers just to get at it. First, he peeled off the bandages that the patient self-applied, then there was a layer of holy book pages that he also had to peel off... Following that, there was another layer of bandages and then a final layer of more holy book pages. Beneath that, there was the wound itself, which was covered in maggots...
Apparently, they were eating the dead-tissue generated by the disease. He said that once they removed the maggots, they were able to begin the surgery to remove the infected areas, but it was because of the maggots that they didn't have to amputate the limb. After this operation, my dad decided to not pursue surgery and focus on becoming a specialist.
I'm a med student. A surgeon once told me that his "oh s**t" moment was when a patient of his had a carotid artery blow out (very bloody, leads to death within minutes if not treated) due to a tumor growing into that artery. Problem was that the patient was in a small hospital in his hometown with no surgeon available who's specialized in this type of cases. Furthermore there was no way of getting the patient in time to our center as it was rush hour on a sunny friday afternoon. It was also not possible to transport the patient to our center by helicopter as the hospital in his hometown did not have a helipad.
Luckily our hospital did have a helipad with a helicopter available, so they took the surgeon by helicopter to the smaller hospital. Since there was no helipad at the hospital the pilot was forced to land the chopper in a park (and mind you it was a sunny friday afternoon, so it was full of people). As soon as the chopper landed a crowd formed around the helicopter. The surgeon told me that the moment he exited the chopper they all started clapping and cheering for him, making him feel like star. He ran to the hospital and into the operating room and immediately started operating on the patient. He was done around 2 AM but the patient made it.
Obligatory not a surgeon, but a student assisting in the operating room.
65yo guy with kidney problems (possibly cancerous) needed to have a chunk of his kidney removed. Ok, no big deal; we give him meds, knock him out, then prepare to operate. We removed his gown, and everyone in the room froze, one of the surgeons actually said "holy f*ckballs" which is relatively accurate...apparently our guy had some muscular disease that caused a massive abdominal hernia, and his intestines were herniating into his scrotum, the size of a deflated basketball
I am a nurse and the doctor was an anaesthetist, but still relevant.
Patient had her surgery (I can't remember what), all went well. She was awake and in recovery. We needed to give her a medication through her IV line so, as is standard practice, we flushed the line with 10 mls of saline. The patient immediately stopped breathing, we had no idea why. We called a code and the anaesthetist came running. He actually said 'oh s**t' when he realized what had happened.
During the surgery, the anaesthetist had given the patient rocuronium through that IV line, and he hadn't cleared the line afterwards. So when we flushed the line, the patient got a dose of rocuronium that had been sitting in the line.
Rocuronium is a muscle relaxant, used to inhibit the respiratory muscles to allow for intubation and ventilation during general anaesthetic. In layman's terms, it paralyzes the breathing muscles, so you can't take a breath no matter how hard you try. But it does not put you to sleep. This patient was wide awake but totally unable to breathe.
Luckily the anaesthetist worked out quickly what had happened, and it's easily reversed. The patient was physically fine, but understandably traumatized.
Husband broke his back at work. Because it was a Workers comp issue, the insurance made him go through everything BUT surgery first. Six gruelling months later, he was approved for surgery. He was in severe pain for months leading up to this, so we were really looking forward to this procedure.
Day of surgery, they wheel him in, and I go sit in the waiting area with about 20 others strangers waiting for their loved ones. I knew it would be about 5 hours. Approximately 40 min later, a nurse and the actual surgeon peek their head in the waiting room. He looks directly at me and says,"UHM, we have a problem. Can you step out here please?" My knees buckled.
I felt the air leave the room as all the others gasped. I somehow found my feet and felt like I floated out to the hallway. He says, "Hubby is fine, but right before I made my incision, I double checked the cage, (equipment they put in to stabilize the spine) and it's the wrong size. We have to wake him up, and reschedule. PHEWWWWWWW
Surgery ended up happening two days later, but my poor guy suffered a lot. Looking back, I'm really glad that surgeon double checked before cutting into him.
The hospital was extremely accommodating to us afterwards, to a fault. They were very nervous about a lawsuit. We just forgave and moved on. Mistakes happen.
Not a surgeon, but a student.
In the early days of this teaching hospital's high school volunteer program, they essentially used us as free tech labor, but when things were otherwise slow, they'd toss me some scrubs and send me to watch cases in the operating room with the med students. Since my mom worked there, there were sort of testing this out with me.
On the very first case I saw, the surgeon lost the needle from the end of the suture in the abdominal cavity and couldn't find it. They ended up wheeling in an x-ray machine to locate it.
During the next surgery I watched, the surgeon heard "student" and assumed I was a resident. He launched into an x-rated joke he claimed he found on the back page of penthouse. When he finally hit the punchline, no one laughed. Finally someone asked if he "remembered our visiting student." He turned and asked, "Yer a resident right? Not like you're some virgin." I clarified that I was a freshman, not a resident. He paused and whispered, "college?" I replied "high school."
When he realized I not quite 14, he started screaming at the anesthesiologist for setting him up and threw a tray of scalpels and forceps at him. It took a few minutes to get the correct count for the number of tools and their locations after that, and the anesthesiologist switched rooms with a buddy.
After this he was extremely professional and formal, but still didn't bother to ask my name. He did a great job on the patient.
The "oh shit" moment came when my mom met him in the call room a few hours later and said, "I heard you had some drama in your room today?" Happy to have someone to vent to, he launched into the story and embellished a bit about how bad it was to justify throwing scalpels.
That's when she said, "You know that's my daughter?"
You could hear him cursing the anesthesiologist all the way down in recovery.
Some years ago my wife went in for surgery and we asked to have her tubes tied at the same time. After the surgery, the doctor came out to talk with me. He told me the surgery went great and that she's just coming out of the anesthesia now. I asked about the tubes, and his eyes got really wide. He said, "I'll be back in a few minutes" and practically ran back to the OR. They had to put her back under and re-open the sutures. I'm glad I asked about that, or we might have had a much bigger surprise than that.
I'm a medical student going into surgery; I get my MD in a year. I haven't been at this long enough to have the wealth of stories that an actual surgeon would have, but I have a few that stand out from my time in the OR so far.
Most recently, I was assisting on a lung surgery called a decortication. This is done when a lung is trapped in place either by a complex infection, inflammatory tissue, etc. and needs to be freed up to work properly. This lady was middle-aged, but has a history of several bouts of pneumonia and a 30-pack year smoking history. Going into the procedure, we weren't sure exactly what we'd find, but were hoping it was just scar tissue from the untreated pneumonias.
As soon as we got inside her chest with the scope, it was obvious that this was not the result of infection. Her entire lung was essentially caked in cancer tissue, adhering it to her chest wall and her diaphragm.
We had discussed this possibility with her, and had her consent to do whatever was necessary once the surgery began.
At that point, all the minimally-invasive scopes and instruments went away, and my attending guided me through an open thoracotomy. This involves making a large incision between the ribs, snipping out two of the ribs, and using a rib-spreader to gain access to her chest. Once inside, my attending obviously did the work and I just assisted, but we removed her entire lung and some lymph nodes for testing. Her chemo started the next day and she's fighting now.
So, I guess it counts as "oh s**t" when you open up a chest and find a thicket of cancer staring back at you.
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The key to any successful relationship is communication.
The ability to be open and receptive to what a significant other has to say, as well as the ability to be able to convey something weighing on one's mind, can be healing.
But depending on the circumstance, some things are better left unsaid.
Curious to hear examples of what those might be, Redditor FamiliarFarmer8356 asked:
"What's something you wish you could tell your partner without upsetting them?"
If there is conflict, there is a way to discuss and address the issue in a civil and respectful manner.
Things Just Happen
"Every bad thing that happens doesn't require someone to be blamed for it. And that someone doesn't always have to be me."
A Cornerstone Of A Successful Union
"One of the cornerstones of a good marriage, is knowing how to argue. I’d actually say that before a couple get married, they should check how their potential partner behaves in an argument. What are they like when they get angry. It’s important because no two individuals are going to agree all the time. And on those occasions, it’s important to remember not to belittle the other. Deal with the issue at hand. And especially, don’t argue in front of the kids. You have no idea how much lasting damage this causes."
"All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest - never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership."
It's Not That Deep
"please stop complaining about everything."
"If you keep seeking out reasons to be miserable, you will find them."
"I'm tired of being dragged down with you."
There's no need to get defensive when there's something to discuss.
It's Not About You
"That some days I’m just tired from class and work and just want some me time, it’s not that I hate you my social battery is just running out."
"Her first reaction to something adverse doesn't have to be anger."
In The Words Of A Pirate
"In the wise words of captain Jack Sparrow sometimes:"
'the problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude toward the problem.'
It Takes Two To Tango
"That I wish she’d be more independent so she didn’t need my help for everything outside the house."
"That it’s a little disturbing how aggressively he drives when he’s grumpy… heavy on both gas and brakes, zooming in and out of traffic, swearing at people who make mistakes… very unlike him."
Sometimes the truth hurts when talking about members of the family.
A Real Assessment
"That her mother is not a good person."
"I told my husband that it's not that his family is nosy and overbearing, it's that I hate watching him cave and negotiate as if they have a right to behave like this, and I really hate when I'm the bad guy for wanting reasonable limits."
"It got worse, then it got better, FYI."
"His parents are greedy, selfish people and treat him like an atm."
There's definitely a fine line between withholding your thoughts to protect the person you love and being brutally honest.
If coming clean isn't going to resolve an issue, then it might be better to suck it up and deal with whatever frustrations you have about the other person.
It's up to you, but make sure the delivery doesn't come from a place of rage if you do decided to be totally transparent about your negative thoughts.
Every family has a black sheep or every family in its entirety are black sheep.
What is a "black sheep" anyway?
It used to mean a person who brought shame or embarrassment to a family, but it's more often used now to mean the member who is just very different from everyone else—sometimes in a good way.
Redditor Frozen_yoghurt123 asked:
"Who is the 'black sheep' of your family?"
I'm the black sheep or at least I'd like to think so.
"Probably my dad's cousin, who went to prison for murdering his lover's husband."
DW_555Oh My Wow GIFGiphy
"My Dad. He is the only one of 6 siblings who wasn't a huge f**k up. And yet, before my Grandma died she stated that he was her 'biggest disappointment.' He is estranged from his surviving siblings... not by his choice. It honestly blows my mind."
"Toxicity is often a group mindset thing; people don't want you to leave because they are dysfunctionally co-dependent on each other and need each other to justify their own shortcomings in life. A lot of the 'family loyalty' stuff is typically shouted loudest by those who are the least good idea to stay loyal towards."
"My great uncle who stole my great grandfathers identity, stole a couple million dollars, and ran off. No one even knew he was alive until my great grandfathers funeral in 2009. No one has seen him since. My grandma started to cry because she honestly thought he was dead."
"Everyone else just kind of nodded on his direction and went on with the rest of the funeral. I just remember being very confused because I was 9 and I had never met this guy who my dad pulled me aside and told me he was my great uncle. It was a few years later that I got the full story."
"According to my mean aunt, the 'matriarch' in her own mind, it's my twin brother because "he doesn't care about family now that he's a doctor." (He's a resident. Chief resident. He works ridiculous hours and spends the rest of the time recovering from work.)"
"According to my ex-MIL (who still counts because she's Son's grandma), it's me, for divorcing her son."
"According to everyone else, it's Mean Aunt. The rest of us are warm and caring and compassionate. We have our moments; all of us have been accidentally thoughtless or done something selfish once in a while, but we're not deliberately mean and snarky all the time."
"My immediate family are the black sheep of the entire family."
DarthDreganJohn Stamos Cheers GIF by GrandfatheredGiphy
Sounds like everyone has a little black sheep in them.
"By now, my brother for cutting off everyone because he prefers his rude, selfish, paranoid, narcissist wife over all of us."
"My wife is the black sheep of her family in the sense that she's the only one who isn't a rude, selfish, paranoid narcissist."
Lvcivs2311Joe Dirt Brother GIFGiphy
"Me. My granddaddy told me 'I’ve only had the sheriff knock on my door two times in my 80 years, and both times he was looking for you! 'I did some dumb sh*t, caused a little trouble, burned a few bridges but always managed to stay out of jail. Partly because my sister has kept an attorney on retainer for me since I was 16."
"My younger brother (2nd of 4) is a compulsive liar and it got him in a lot of little trouble as a teen, then he told his wife he graduated a big college when we're not even sure if he got his GED because he failed to graduate HS, went to some GED school and eventually just stopped going."
"IF he graduated college, he never mentioned he was going in the 4+ years it takes nor mention graduation or have a diploma. He's not a bad dude, but now family time is super awkward when he and his wife are talking about 'their' college team."
The NOT good girl...
"My aunt's daughter. She’s been in jail for drugs, stolen money from my aunt and other family members to use on drugs and physically abused my aunt. My aunt has tried getting her help, but nothing has worked. She’s just not a good person, and everyone in my family, except my aunt, doesn’t want anything to do with her. I haven’t seen her in 8 years now, and I’m happy about that."
"A former nun - my great aunt - left the religious life and got married. She called herself 'the black sheep of the family' because her habit was black."
Back2BachExcited Julie Andrews GIF by The Rodgers & Hammerstein OrganizationGiphy
Well the black sheep sound like the most interesting family members.
Sex is great, but there are more ways than one to accomplish that euphoric feeling without sex.
There are so many small, ordinary aspects of life that can just send a person and we come across them daily.
A good steak.
A home repair.
The things that make you say...
"I tingle all over."
Redditor OldAboba asked:
"What is the best non-sexual physical feeling you’ve ever felt?"
Adele. Adele live. She sends me.
FloatingRelaxed Exit Strategy GIF by Hannah Bronfman Giphy
"I got a professional full body (everything but my man parts) massage a few years back for the first and so far only time at a spa after the recommendation from a coworker. I felt like I was floating on a cloud for the next few days."
Through your nose...
"Sneezing when you're sick. Then you get that about 20 second feeling of breathing through your nose again and you like ahh that's what I aspire to at the moment."
"Or the very last sneeze of your illness. During a fire drill in high school, I was ambling out after fighting a head old for a few days. The alarm was killing my head which was already throbbing from the sinus pressure."
"I was nearing the field, well away from my classmates, when I cough/sneezed out a huge, green loogie - cleared it about three feet, no icky trail - and by the time I was walking back to the building I was feeling pretty much back to normal. No more head cold after that. Never had something like that ever happen again where there was such an abrupt end to the head cold."
"Right after a migraine goes away. It's almost a spiritual experience."
"This was going to be my answer. I was in the ER one time for a really bad migraine. They gave me what they called a 'migraine cocktail.' When they pushed it through the IV I could feel the cold liquid make its way through my body, up to my head. Once it hit my brain, the migraine was gone. It was pure ecstasy. Even better was that cocktail had Benadryl in it so I fell asleep not long after and slept so good."
"That stretch til you shake when you wake up."
"I once stretched too hard in the morning and got the worst calf cramp ever... it looked like a prune and I thought I would die from the pain. Couldn't stretch in bed for months afterwards out of fear it would happen again."
"When you move over 50, it turns into that stretch til you put your back into a muscle spasm that lasts days."
The ItchScratching Feel Good GIF by 60 Second DocsGiphy
"I had a cast and splint on both my legs for 2 months. When they cut it off, they scratched my legs for me and the itch was just top notch! Yeah."
Itching an itch can change a life.
YUM!Emma Stone High Quality GIFGiphy
"When you're starving all day and devour a bomb a** meal."
Sleep for Life
"When you’ve been up for 20 hours+ and finally get into bed and you just know it’ll be the best sleep of your life."
"But man, after 36+ hours, the body sort of aches and it's hard to fall asleep despite being completely exhausted. Then the restless legs kick in... ugh. I do agree that a 20hr-ish stint is amazing to cuddle into, especially if you don't have to get up at any specific time the next day."
"Makes it better when you’ve been sleep deprived for weeks and know you have NO PLANS tomorrow and can sleep as much as you need."
"When you're absolutely busting for a pee and you can finally go!"
"Apparently there’s a thing called a 'pee-gasm' that people (usually women) have that causes an orgasmic feeling when you pee after holding it for a while! I’ve definitely experienced this and I’ve intentionally waited a while so I could have that good feeling... lol."
I Can Hear!!
"The feeling of water leaving your ear after being there all day."
"I had some impacted earwax for a week in one ear, and when it finally got removed it was the best feeling in the world. Initially it was like having a tv or radio in my ear that only had static, but then I could hear. Good god, I could hear. It was amazing."
"Oh man, and it’s WARM from being in your head, and the warmth makes the sensation of leaving even better."
A Good Restdog puppy GIFGiphy
"Sleeping in a warm blanket in winters."
"Or sleeping in a cold blanket in summer."
I am enthralled by all of those things.
People need to stop throwing out unwanted advice.
And when it is requested, think before you speak.
People with mental disorders don't need everyone telling them they have a fix like "exercise" or "herbal supplements."
Redditor Gold-Ad-2827 asked:
"People with mental disorders: What do you hate being told the most?"
I hated being told to just smile. You smile and go away.
Duhseth meyers GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"It's all in your head. Where else would it?! My colon?"
"Everybody goes through that."
"This saying makes my blood boil. Or the 'I was that age once too ya know' yeah no sh*t you were that age once. And just because you were that age once doesn’t mean we have the same experience."
"They try to minimize it."
"You're worried? Just stop."
"You're sad? Just don't be."
"You're compulsively binge eating? Eat less."
"Thanks for that stellar advice."
"Or even better, 'Just do it!' As if ADHD paralysis can be stopped with a can-do attitude."
"I get so frustrated when people treat the idea of 'holistic medicine' as some kind of woo. How does it escape so many people that the body works holistically? Even a lot of doctors seem to ignore this. It's very frustrating when you have 2 or 3 or 4 illnesses that are all affecting each other, and your 'physical health' is held distinct from your mental health, and nothing anyone is doing to treat you works because no one's looking at the whole system."
"I just got a lecture from a psychiatrist I am seeing about nutrition, and he apologized to me for doing so but I told him, 'No, I appreciate it. Do it for all your patients.' because it told me he's trying to look at the whole picture and actually fix what's wrong. It gave me faith in him."
RelaxCalm Down Golden Girls GIF by TV LandGiphy
"You need to calm down."
"Never is the history of calm down has calm down ever caused anyone to calm down."
Calm down. I hate that one. You calm down.
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"When they try to give me tips on what to do, like bruh as if I didn't already try that."
"You don't look sad. No crap... that's so I can avoid having this conversation. Also depression isn't 'being sad' like people think."
"God, I hate this. It's because saying 'I'm depressed' has been standard for people expressing that they're slightly unhappy about something dumb like not getting enough croutons on their salad or some crap. Now that's just what everyone assumes you mean when you say you have depression."
"'Stop being lazy.'"
“'Lazy' is when you don’t want to do anything at all. 'Executive disfunction' is when you can do everything at all, but that one easy quick thing that you do want to do just makes you and your brain freeze completely days ahead. I’m tired of people not understand that even when I explain and look at me like I’m bullshitting instead."
Ways to Cope
"Maybe you should try praying harder. I did, He prescribed medication."
"Praying is a way to cope for a lot of people, I think. That's totally fine, but insisting on praying in lieu of getting real help or actually addressing the issue is when it is not only unhelpful, but dangerously detrimental."
"Religious people will bypass everyone’s cultures, identity, views, and feelings just to be right and make a point. it’s disgusting. I read somewhere that real so called Christianity is all wrong. The real faith is from the Aramaic history and all the meanings were misinterpreted and the stories and all were made up by Catholics wanting to control their people. Yuck."
'contamination'Disgusted Season 6 GIF by Brooklyn Nine-NineGiphy
"As someone with OCD with a lot of attention to 'contamination', having someone try to explain contradictions in why I'm doing something that is technically unclean when I wouldn't do something that is technically clean due to OCD. There are a few doorknobs that I will not touch no matter how much you clean them in front of me and I know it makes no sense, if it made sense I wouldn't have OCD i'd just be cleanly."
Stop trying to be an armchair therapist. Be empathetic to people first.