We really are a simple people. Aren't we? I mean, how difficulty is it to NOT insert various things into or body orifices? Especially our bums. At the very least we can learn to ease objects in and out. Use finesse friends. Lord help the medical teams out there. How they keep a straight face in certain situations is a miracle.
Redditor u/LordPurloin wanted to know if the surgeons out there would discuss surgery shocks they've come across by asking.... Surgeons of reddit, what's the weirdest object you've had to remove from someone's butt?
Not butt, but once my grandmother, a life long alcoholic, forgot she had a tampon in and inserted another, jamming the first one up incredibly far.
She tried to get my poor grandfather, a man with zero training, to remove it. Even with a flash light and tweezers, he couldn't do it.
They went to the ER. Doctor said my grandfather futzing around her area had caused extra, unnecessary trauma.
I know this because toward the end of her life, she had dementia and she told us all sorts of weird stuff. She told this particular story in a fancy restaurant in front of most of our family and a mortified waiter.
R.I.P., Grandma. I miss your insane stories.
Edit: Thanks for the train award! Happy holidays to everyone! entomofile
"We've found Ken!"Giphy
Not my story, my friend is a radiographer. A guy came into the hospital with Barbie dolls up his butt. After scans, One came out without too much issue, but the other was too far up. They were worried that if it was pulled out, it's arms would open and puncture the bowel. So they scheduled surgery, the x-ray staff waiting excitedly for news... The surgeon then returned and with a serious voice announced: "We've found Ken!"
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GO TO YOUR DOCTOR
Not a surgeon but, wowie wowie, do I know a LOT of cases involving "falling" on things and other such excuses. Here are just some of the things I know:
- A Buzz Lightyear action figure.
- A Barbie doll.
- Plaster of Paris (they wanted a mold of his colon. Instead, it had to be cut open as it was glued shut by the plaster)
- Glasses (the sight kind)
- Jewelry (mostly necklaces)
- A cucumber which, after proclaiming he fell over in the Garden naked and landed on his cucumber patch, STILL HAD THE TESCO WRAPPER ON IT.
- A light bulb.
Finally, on a rather dark note, if you're a fool who slipped something up their black hole (cos the butt sucks things in disturbingly well) they can't retrieve, please, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GO TO YOUR DOCTOR. People have died due to toxic shock due to this crap, a guy here died of it in two weeks due to having a dildo stuck up their and never went to his doc's. Your pride can recover, but you can't recover from death. wolfyfancylads
Somewhere out there in the world there is that one deeply unfortunate person who was ACTUALLY cooking while naked, who DID slip on the kitchen floor, and whose ass really DID slam down on the freshly peeled potato. One in a million chance.
Poor guy probably went to the ER figuring "No one will ever believe me," and just told the attending physician, "I'm into some weird kinky tuber sex-play." whyenn
Mr. Potato Head.Giphy
Son of a Doctor here. My dad removed an entire peeled sweet potato from someone's colon once. He swore that he had just slipped and fell on it. Salty_Knees
17 Barbie doll heads....
I was an RN at a busy Detroit emergency department. A homeless woman, frequent-flier and drug abuser came in to see us with abdominal pain. The x-ray revealed 17 oval-shaped objects in her vaginal space.
They were removed by a very diligent medical resident armed with a speculum and McGill forceps, with the aid of an ultra sound tech.
17 Barbie doll heads. Their removal was made a bit easier by their long hair.
EDIT: Former co-worker saw my post! Small world. Reminded me of the man with the small fluorescent bulb in his rectum. He insisted on the doctor in the ER just pulling it out, and sending him on his way. But those bulbs break very easily (lacerated colon) and are full of toxic chemicals (poisoning). Surgical removal was recommended, but he flatly refused, because hey, what would he tell his wife? He signed out AMA and we never saw him again. StreetBob2016
I've seen a small size Fanta orange soda (can) get pulled straight out of a man's rectum. Luffywara
We received a patient with horrible pain that felt like constipation. He couldn't poop and laxatives weren't helping. We soon found out that the blockage wasn't just constipation, it was a string of beads several meters long that had become tangled into an ugly ball inside. I had to snip it apart and carefully pull pieces of it out. When most of it was out his moron became a rocket engine with diarrhea as the propellant. Pyrrhape
I once had a flatmate who was a nurse. She had a patient who came in complaining of stomach pains, which was caused by the cucumber he'd shoved up his butt a couple of days earlier. Apparently the smell caused by pickling a cucumber in your colon is extremely nasty. scatteredloops
Not the butt, close to it! My sister worked in a Urology clinic and has some very crazy stories ranging from "at-home sex change" procedures to this case in particular. She had to remove almost 200 bb's from a guys bladder via his urethra one by one! As the guy had a fetish of shoving things down is urethra. highsociety121
Endo Tech here, had a guy come in with a capped section of PVC pipe filled with Mercury because he liked the "sloshing". Had to call in Hazmat and security had to be called when he became violent because they wouldn't give the Mercury laden pipe back. thadiator94
Don't Eat the Poop!
I'm a vet. Dog had eaten a whole roll of poop bags (the plastic baggies people use to clean up after their pets on walks). They unspooled in his gut and spread from stomach to colon. His owners realized what had happened when he started pooping out bags, and brought him in through ER. My coworker went in to cut him, and the scene she described was hilarious: he would intermittently strain a little, and poop out a little section of bags. Someone would tear them off, and he'd be ok for a bit then poop out some more. Like he was dispensing them for himself! He did great after surgery. PrettyButEmpty
Use it all Wisely....
ER Nurse. I've seen baseballs, loads of sex toys, cans of soda, vegetables. There should be a public service announcement about using thins in the bum. It needs to have some sort of base so it doesn't get lost up there. A doctor I worked with once told a man, "It's ok if you want to put things in your rectum. You just have to use the right things." amybpdx
I wasn't the surgeon, I was the patients family doc, and took care of him in the hospital for his short stay after. He had a cue ball get stuck. Not sure exactly what he thought would be the way to get it out. We had a lot of trouble getting it out.
The conversation of the surgeons trying to come up with a way to get it out was pretty hilarious. tadgie
Had to remove it in pieces.
A enormous silicone plug which broke off at its base inside the patient. It was shaped like a soft cone on a stalk, with the base at the bottom. Had to remove it in pieces.
Also, an Orangina bottle two years before this plug. breathofdawildebeest
Years ago my nurse wife told me a man had an apple removed from his butt but I never understood how this could be possible. I often think about this but have never asked her for more details. I'll ask her over the table at Christmas dinner tonight.
I didn't ask her at the Christmas dinner. There were small children around and everyone was having a nice time, it didn't seem cool to bring it up. Also no one else started any butt stuff related conversations providing an opening for my inquiry.
I asked her today but also told her about my post on here. She didn't feel comfortable sharing the details with you guys so I guess you'll just have to use your imagination.
Someone posted about a similar situation and suggested they had possibly worked with my wife. Based on the details in their post I am sure it was a separate apple/butt incident. lowly_worm_
Meth is a hell of a drug.
A friend of my mine is a surgery resident and during one of her trauma shifts a meth head walked in with an incandescent light bulb in his colon... it was shoved in with the wide part first. They were dilating the rectum in an attempt to remove it and the resident in charge of the procedure managed to accidentally separate the metal base from the glass globe; which immediately shattered under the pressure if the colon.
They had to perform a partial colectomy to resolve the complication. Meth is a hell of a drug.
A foreign body per rectum is a fairly common occurrence. In my time rotating in the ER the most common things have been yuca roots, avocados, shampoo bottles, etc. But that lightbulb story is still unmatched... I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen the xray. HeisenV
I suspect it is still on......
ER doc here, as previous posters suggest, it becomes hard to distinguish what is weird any more, so judge for yourselves
3 lemons About a foot of broom handle A lightbulb (which did not survive is adventure) So many toilet brushes (inserted brush and handle first) A series of toothpicks Any number of bottles, aerosol cans, etc
My favorite case was a simple sex toy. We xrayed it and the radiologists report read: "There is an approximately 15cm cylindrical foreign body in the large intestine extending proximally from the rectum. Judging by the indistinct outline of the foreign body, I suspect it is still on." Mnonni
"fell on it in the shower."
Back when I was an ER tech, we had this guy come in with a full size bottle of VO5 shampoo up his butt. Of course he said he "fell on it in the shower." You could clearly see it on the X-ray, it was pretty spectacular. The best part was he knew exactly what needed to be done to get it out, suggesting that this wasn't the first time... he asked for conscious sedation and for someone to pull it out... well the ED doctor tried that, then tried to manually get it out with forceps.
He had to go to the operating room to get it taken out. I bumped into the surgeon a few days later and asked him how it went... he joked to me that "after we knocked him out, I grabbed a plunger out of the bathroom and got it out that way." But then told me all he had to do was stick some suction up there till he felt it connect, and then slowly pulled it out.
According to the surgeon, this guy never presented any sort of identification or insurance card, and demanded to pay his entire bill before he left (usually takes some time for bills to get finalized). He paid it completely in cash, and then left via a taxi. Cramer19
Behold the Light!Giphy
When I worked in the ER we had a guy come in with a 6 battery Maglite stuck up Main Street. The funny part is that it was inserted bulb out and it was turned ON.
So we laid him down prone and the doc spread his cheeks; then the room lit up like he just cracked open Marcellus Wallace's briefcase. reuben515
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!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
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.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
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!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.