Surprised Doctors Share The Successful Times A Patient Diagnosed Themselves Online
It's usually not a good idea to self-diagnose, especially via the Internet, but occasionally people get it right. And although doctors never encourage this, successful patients do impress them from time to time. Also, WebMD is terrifying.
Impulse_you_html asked, Doctors of Reddit, what's the weirdest case of someone self-diagnosing, and it being correct?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
I knew I had ulcerative colitis when I first saw a gastroenterologist, but they didn't believe me.
I worked with an interventional radiologist/venous disease specialist and we had a self-referred patient who came to see us. She started off with "well, I've done lots of research on the internet" which is ALMOST ALWAYS A BAD START. However, this lady was a competitive cyclist and complained of unilateral leg weakness during her rides. She was otherwise very healthy. She had cycled miles and miles every day for many years. Suddenly she could barely finish a 5-mile ride. She had found online the diagnosis of external iliac artery endofibrosis which is very very rare, but more common in lifelong cyclists because they are bending over at such an angle for such long periods of times they are compressing their external iliac artery causing scar tissue to build up and limit blood flow. She asked my doctor to order her a CT scan because her other doctors would not (she was basically just complaining of being tired). But since we worked next door to a CT scanner we said SURE! Turns out she was right! She was then referred on to a vascular surgeon and I assume made a wonderful recovery. One of our shorter consults actually since it was so easy to rule in/out and she presented well researched, compelling evidence.
It's a good thing his wife was around, but chronic diarrhea is never normal, folks.
My attending had a patient with diarrhea and although he looked and insisted that he felt fine, his wife was insisting something was very wrong and she pleaded with us to do some blood work. So we did, not thinking we were going to find anything. Turns out the guy was in SEVERE kidney failure due to his dehydration from diarrhea (youngish healthy guy by the way). We would have never run that test and sent the guy to the ER if his wife didn't suspect that something terrible was wrong.
Trust your gut. Literally.
Not sure if this counts... when I was 25-28, my family and I were planning on going on a snow vacation in then still Czechoslovakia (before it split up) and woke up with a "weird" feeling in my stomach, no pain, just something being off. Went to my doctor, he felt around a bit, found nothing, and wanted to send me home. I refused and got a referral to the hospital (this was still all only because of my gut feeling) had bloodwork done, had an echo. All tests came back negative, the surgeon eventually came by, and we had a chat. Based on my words alone (not the results) he scheduled me for a laparoscopy to remove my appendix, stating "it will have to come out at one point, might as well do it early"
I went under, and woke up with a 15cm new scar on my belly, turns out my appendix was heavily inflamed and about to burst when they went in. Because I had no pain from it, I would likely only have found out my appendix burst on top of a snowy mountain, nowhere near any doctors, when my stomach would have gone septic, so good chance of dying.
The surgeon couldn't stop talking about how I probably saved my own life by being so adamant something was wrong.
Sesamoid bones, what an obscure diagnosis.
Medical student here, I was the patient and I diagnosed myself.
I had this gnawing, dull pain on the ball of my foot for almost 6 months but during my surgery rotation, it got progressively worse since I was standing for most of the day. I couldn't even walk barefoot anymore (had to wear padded flip-flops at home or custom orthotics insoles outside). My foot would hurt at the end of my runs (surprisingly, not during my runs), when stretching my foot, and when pushing on the ball of my foot.
I told my primary doctor that I thought I had a sesamoid fracture because of my symptoms, risk factors, and duration of the pain. She didn't think so and told me to do RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevate) even though this had been going on for months. I said okay but also asked for a sports medicine referral just in case I couldn't find time to come back to follow up with her if RICE didn't work.
The sports med Dr. took x-rays of both feet, saw that one of the sesamoid bones had completely fractured into two, now VERY separate pieces. In a walking boot now and they're thinking of surgery if the pain doesn't get better!
I've had this. It's HORRIBLE.
Not a doctor, but a friend showed up to my dorm room and asked to borrow some anti-itch cream for what he said was a spider bite.
I told him that it was definitely not a spider bite and he should go to the doctor. He laughed and refused. I told him it might be MRSA and he should get it checked out. he kind of rolled his eyes but agreed to let someone look at it.
It was MRSA.
Sometimes doctors just like being first to the diagnosis. But at least this person showed up!
I told my doctor that I thought that I had a sinus infection. He commented that he didn't approve of people diagnosing themselves and asked me why I thought this.
My answer was "I can feel my teeth when I walk." He then laughed, confirmed the diagnosis through the exam, and prescribed antibiotics.
This is a pretty impressive success story.
Medical student, here.
Had a patient in her 20's who felt a lump in her breast that she was concerned about. She had googled it and figured it was a benign fibroadenoma since it grew cyclically with her menstrual cycle but still wanted to check it out just to be safe.
She turned out to be right but she was wise to get it checked out, just in case she wasn't.
Another amazing catch by someone who really knows their body.
Finally something I can answer! I had, for my entire life since adolescence, a lymph node at the top of my tailbone area that would sometimes become swollen and painful and would have trouble sitting down. It would persist for a two to three days and then go back to normal.
I looked it up when I was a freshman in college and came across the term Pilonidal Dimple, which is a genetic abnormality present at birth, that along with my symptoms of being prone to infection, causes extra hair to grow out of it, which was also a problem I had. I was absolutely convinced.
I talked to my Mom, a nurse, about it, and then my GP who I had been with my entire life, and they didn't think that's what it was, mainly because it's a condition diagnosed at birth.
Fast forward to my sophomore year, the lymph node became swollen and the most painful it had ever been. I couldn't sleep. I went to the ER, because it was 4 in the morning, and told them I think this is the condition I have and the pain it's currently causing.
They take me back, the doctor comes in, confirms it, drains the infection, excises the node.
6 years later, have never had another problem with the lymph node pain. But I do still have a problem with hair growing out of it.
This is similar to when I got drug-resistant E. coli after colon surgery, and the ER initially said it was no big deal. Right.
Recently had surgery. Went for a follow up a week later and the doc says everything is fine. Wife says "that looks infected". Doc blows her off and says it's supposed to look like that. 2 days later I'm lying in a hospital bed with doctors debating to amputate my finger and possibly my hand. My finger was severely infected. 7 days in the hospital, lots of antibiotics later was released.
This surgeon should have known better.
Had arthroscopic knee surgery on a Wednesday morning. Felt great Thursday. Woke up Friday and had a little tightness in my chest but attributed it to having been intubated. Woke up Saturday and felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. Walking 30 feet to my bathroom winded me as if I'd run a mile.
I called the on-call surgeon and explained my symptoms. He brushed me off and said I shouldn't worry given my age and overall health (I was about 37 or 38). I hung up and immediately called my mom to come drive me to the hospital. I knew something was seriously wrong.
They immediately did blood work and a chest CT. Within 20 minutes of getting to the ER they diagnosed me with multiple bilateral pulmonary embolisms. Blood clots in both lungs. I could have died at a moments notice.
Wound up in the hospital for a week on a heparin drip and on Coumadin for 6 months after.
It's worth repeating: trust your gut. It's literally your second brain.
A month ago I was being treated for pneumonia for pain under my ribcage with coughing. After that didn't work they were just going to write it off as muscle pain until I suggested it was my gallbladder. There were no stones in the ultrasound but I fought for a function test and it was only functioning at %14. Got it removed 3 days later.
Gut symptoms, however, are often misleading. And they can have some strange manifestations.
This boggles my mind. My husband had severe chest pain, so bad he thought he was dying, made him vomit, and the only thing that helped was lidocaine in the emergency room. The surgeon who did his scope found he has a large haiatal hernia, and referred him to a gastroenterologist for surgery to "correct" it. When they do surgery for a haiatal hernia, you can't ever burp or vomit again. The gastro surgeon talked with my husband for a little bit, asked him about his symptoms, and told him he thought it was his gallbladder. One ultrasound later, super swollen gallbladder packed with stones. They scheduled his surgery and took that bad boy out. The doc said the stomach area is stupid for nerves, meaning that's why a doctor can't tell what's wrong with where it hurts, there have to be other symptoms or clues. His gall bladder never hurt him, but it caused excruciating pain in his sternum. The doc said he had a female patient whose gallbladder pain manifested on the other side under her ribs, opposite the side the gallbladder is on. Why don't they teach this to general doctors!
Thinking you have glass in your hand after an accident isn't crazy...
I had a patient come into one of my urgent care offices with a lump in her hand. She was in a car accident 7 years ago and said she has glass in her hand that was never removed and that she has lived with it for 7 years. She says she has seen multiple physicians including a dermatologist and they all told her that she was crazy.
I admit I thought she was crazy as well, but I had a student with me and I figure, "Oh well, let's open this lump up and see what we find." Normally I would not do this, but this patient was essentially begging me with tears in her eyes since no one believed her. At worst I figured I'd remove a cyst or lipoma. Sure enough, I make a small incision and squeeze and out pops a 3mm piece of glass. She just stared and me and I stared at her. Closed her up. She wrote a super kind review on our website. We normally get s*** reviews because we don't just hand out antibiotics for every cold that comes through the door.
How many times does pregnancy need to be eliminated as an option, honestly?
Not a doctor but I work in pathology. I started to have pain in my back and I got to the point I couldn't stand straight. One day at work and I was on the floor from the pain. Went to the ER and told them I think it's my gallbladder. They told me nope, pulled muscle. Sent me away. This kept happening and I started a diary on what I was doing prior to each episode. Classic gallbladder stone symptoms. Back pain that radiates up, happens after eating fatty food including meat, etc. I went to the ER and my personal doctor 6 times and each time, I was told I was pregnant even though the test was negative each time. I kept insisting it was my gallbladder. Finally, I was so sick and crying at work after being discharged from the ER again, telling me that I'm pregnant and to get over it. When my pathologist who specializes in gastric pathology saw me, he took me back to the ER and made them give me a CT scan. Bingo, the gallbladder was blocked. A month later, has surgery and had a lot of little gallstones. I still have my gallbladder in a jar on my desk as revenge.
When in doubt, see a specialist. Or demand one in the ER, it works. Autoimmune diseases are nasty things.
I told my internal medicine doctor for years I had Hashimoto's. I had all the symptoms, including the weird ones like hiccups, but nothing registered on blood tests. She basically called me an idiot and diagnosed me as bipolar. This went on for 10 years and bipolar medicine made me suicidal.
Finally got old enough to realize I could tell her to f off and find an endocrinologist. He took an ultrasound of my thyroid and it was almost completely dead. I had to get a biopsy to make sure I didn't have cancer. Years later and I'm still dealing with it since there really isn't a way to treat all the symptoms. Medicine helps, though. Bipolar medicine is out of my system, and that's probably the greatest win. My mental health vastly improved!
Last year my mother ran into my internal medicine doctor and she apologized to my mother. Turns out she didn't believe Hashimoto's was a real autoimmune disease...until she also was diagnosed with it.
Mercury poisoning from canned tuna is a real thing... what an astute catch.
Not a doctor but I work at a vet office. I can't remember the exact symptoms but an older lady had an older cat who was ADR (ain't doin right) and she was concerned it could possibly have Mercury poisoning. Major eyerolls by the docs and staff but we took blood and sent it off. She had been feeding this cat a can of tuna a day for the past ~15 years. We get the results and ding ding ding, slight mercury poisoning. I don't even remember the treatment but we were all stunned! One of the most memorable times Dr. Google was right.
Weird is an understatement. Whoa.
I come late to the party, but this has got to be one of the weirdest cases of self-diagnosis.
Long story short, in 1984 a previously healthy woman heard voices inside her head saying:
"Please don't be afraid. I know it must be shocking for you to hear me speaking to you like this, but this is the easiest way I could think of. My friend and I used to work at the Children's Hospital, Great Ormond Street, and we would like to help you."
She first went to a psychiatrist, but the voices only stopped for a while. Sometime later, the voices told her to have a brain scan, because she had a tumor in her brain. The woman once again had an appointment with the psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist (in order to reassure her) managed to request a brain scan. The brain scan revealed a meningioma. After consulting with the voices, the woman agreed to undergo surgery to remove the mass.
As soon as the woman regained consciousness after the surgery, the voices told her:
"We are pleased to have helped you. Goodbye."
That was the last time the woman heard the voices.
I knew I wasn't alone! Same!
I correctly self-diagnosed myself with ulcerative colitis when my doctor said it was IBS. Glad to see I am fit to be a pharmacist because that's what I'm studying.
When all else fails, do it yourself.
Not a doctor, but it took me four years to get a sleep disorder diagnosed (Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder).
Started being unable to sleep early and wake on time. Went through a million insomnia diagnoses and every management therapy possible. No improvement. I ask doctors if it could be a sleep disorder. Not possible - "too rare, don't exist, your fault", and so on.
Start checking out different sleep disorders. Based on my management therapies and symptoms list, I start ruling them out one by one. Researching your own murky disorder = stupid idea, I knew. But hey, if not a single doctor has been willing to take your case further, what are you to do?
After all, if you've had DSPD, you'd know that severe untreated DSPD can make it hard or impossible to study, work or have a social life at all. Life is kinda at stake here.
I come to the conclusion that it might be DSPD. Not trying to push anything. I've got a symptom history and a detailed sleep diary of over 24 months by this point.
Doctor 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in the UK = "You don't know what you're talking about. Go to bed on time."
Doctor 6 begrudgingly allowed me to see a sleep specialist in Oxford.
The sleep specialist takes one look at my sleep history, symptom history, and survey results. Curses the 5 previous doctors for being proud idiots and not allowing me to make an appointment with her earlier. Diagnoses me with DSPD within a single month of testing.
Feeling a blood clot in the brain is bizarre, but it saved this guy's life.
I used to work in a university ER as a medical scribe. One of my physicians would talk about this patient that came in with a headache and stated that felt like he had a clot "right here" and pointed to the side of his head. When the doctor asked why he felt that way, the patient said, "I dunno man, that's just the way I feel." He eventually ordered a rule out head CT for the pt's symptoms, and lo and behold, that mother trucker had a small clot in that region of his brain. He said it was one of the most bizarre things he'd ever seen, and it was a level 1 trauma center too.
Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide refer to, as defined by Medical News Today, as the "deliberate action taken with the intention of ending a life, in order to relieve persistent suffering." It's a controversial topic. As of 2021, active human euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Canada, and Spain. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, the Australian states of Victoria Northern Territory, and Western Australia.
But this issue has many passionate supporters who often know what it's like to care for someone who would have benefited from the practice. They told their stories after Redditor Random2328 asked the online community,
"What are your thoughts on medically assisted death?"
"She was able to go to a place in Switzerland..."
"My grandma was 89 and wasn't dying of anything in particular—she didn't have cancer or dementia or anything—but her memory was slowly failing and her body was generally falling apart from old age and a leg injury from fifty years prior. She had been a widow for fourteen years. She was lonely and in pain all the time and her family lived across the ocean so we couldn't see her as much as we'd want to.
There was nothing actively killing her, but she did NOT want to be alive anymore. She wasn't depressed, just old and in pain and ready to be done.
She was able to go to a place in Switzerland, with all four of her children, and take a pill to end her life while her children sang to her and she looked out at the mountains.
We all got to say goodbye to her and she got to be completely in control of the end of her life. I can only hope that if I am ever in that situation, then the world will be kind enough to let me close my own exit as beautifully and peacefully as my grandma did."
Your grandmother sounds like she was truly blessed. Being able to make that choice––and still have time with her family––no doubt meant the world to her.
"I don't know if I'd have the courage..."
"I just went through this with a good friend in Canada. He had glioblastoma and was given 3-6 months to live. Ultimately he lived for 15 months, but he wanted to be sure he could end his life when things got bad for him, so he made the necessary preparations. I'd long known he'd made these plans. I wasn't sure how I felt about it. But as I was caring for him for the last six weeks of his life I got to witness the process firsthand.
Long story a bit shorter: Towards the end, my friend could no longer walk or speak. He could understand everything you said to him, but he couldn't find the words to reply intelligently. In his frustration, he made it clear that he was ready. So we explicitly asked him if he was ready to die. He said yes.
The next day two nurses came to his home. They talked to him and confirmed that he wanted to end his life. So, while sitting in his favorite recliner, they put in an IV. His immediate family and I sat with him. The nurses administered medication that made him fall asleep. Then they administered a second medication that stopped his breathing. In less than 5 minutes he was gone.
I don't know if I'd have the courage to make the decision my friend did, but I didn't experience his suffering. Being present for him as he ended his life has convinced me that having the option to end your life on your own terms is the absolute right thing to do. There's no reason someone should have to continue to suffer when they know all they have to look forward to is more suffering. I'm very grateful that my friend had the option available to him. Had he been in my state in the U.S. that wouldn't have been possible. But it should be."
"She made the decision to have the procedure done..."
"My grandmother passed away last week with a medically assisted death.
She had cancer that had spread to her brain, and was given a few weeks to a few months to live. From what family members said, she was deteriorating fast.
She made the decision to have the procedure done as she wanted to end her time here with dignity. The appointment was made, doctors consulted, and paperwork drawn up. 10 days later two medical professionals came by her house where she was spending time with her children. It was done quickly and comfortably.
Nana left peacefully on her own accord, in the comfort of her own home, and while she was still more or less herself. It was very strange to have a time and a date looming, but it also allowed me to set aside that time to be alone and hold a small vigil of my own (I'm currently in another country, and couldn't get back)
She lived in Canada, where this service has recently been made more accessible, and I'm all for it. If it helped my Nana, it could help so many others."
It sounds like your Nana was able to have peace––and so do you.
"It should be a right..."
"It should be a right for every human to choose when terminal. We euthanize our pets but not our loved ones. We allow our loved ones to suffer miserably at the end of life. I was a hospice nurse and saw the suffering first hand. It is inhumane to allow that."
Why do we allow it for pets and not for humans? What makes an animal's life worth more than a human's? Shouldn't they both be held in equal regard?
"I have a degenerative brain disease..."
"I have a degenerative brain disease and would very much like to die with some dignity left, so I'm all for it."
No doubt. We're sorry to hear about your struggle.
"I longed for there to be a legal way..."
"We let people die in fear and pain, but not animals. The last 6 months of my mum's life were exactly how she didn't want to live - confused, incontinent, immobile. I longed for there to be a legal way to end her suffering. She made it very clear to me during her life that this was not the way she wanted to go. I'm an RN and should make it clear I've never assisted in ending anyone's life, but I've wanted to. Medically assisted death doesn't mean more death, just less suffering."
"As someone who has..."
"As someone who has stage 4 cancer, I am in favor of having the right to die gracefully."
"If it's good enough..."
"If it's good enough for my dog then it's good enough for me."
It's truly as simple as that. We'd be doing so many human beings a favor.
"If you're not legally allowed..."
"If you're not allowed to legally arrange the end of your own life, is it actually your own life?"
"It was such a blessing..."
"My grandpa had a medically assisted death in 2019. It was such a blessing to my family as we were able to say goodbye, and knew how much time we had left.
Also it was relief from great pain for him, and I'm so glad he was able to make that choice peacefully.
Will forever advocate for it."
It's truly shocking that euthanasia is illegal in many countries––and that it can even carry a jail sentence. It is a complicated issue that polarizes many people from different walks of life.
Where do you stand on this issue? Feel free to tell us 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.
Privilege is discussed quite a bit these days, and for good reason. So many people are able to live life longer, more peacefully, and freely than others thanks to factors they had no control over.
And yet, there is an element of popularity among the privileges discussed. People acknowledge their race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, and citizenship status a lot.
That makes sense. Those are massively significant social realities that we need to grapple with constantly.
But there are some other privileges that we don't always think about. There are some things even more basic that not everybody gets to enjoy.
Observing them can make us all feel a bit more grateful.
Redditor Mburns15 asked:
"What is something most people don't realize is a privilege?"
Many called attention to the fact that the physical ability to interact with a majority of public infrastructure isn't a sure thing.
Always Calling Ahead
"Spontaneity in your daily plans. If you're a wheelchair user that's virtually impossible."
"So few places have accessible restrooms, some public transport needs contact 24 hours in advance in order to accommodate you, the list goes on."
"I envy people who can just go with the flow."
"Being able-bodied. So many people are one accident away from being unemployed and don't realize that. Your job will ruin your body - be aware and fight it."
A Silent Struggle
"Not having chronic pain" -- Aggravating_Okra_00
"Having energy to do what you want with your life. Trying to explain to people how exhausting and draining chronic pain can be. Having to explain the concept of energy budgets to people - sure I could come out and do $funthing with you, but then I wouldn't have the energy to cook and clean the house and would be useless at work tomorrow." -- Fraerie
Others chose to point out the very basic necessities that are far from ensured across the world.
To Be Comfortable
"Feeling safe in your own home. Not worrying about rats, mice, roaches, bed bugs, bricks being thrown through windows, violence outside, break ins."
"Privacy. I don't mean digital privacy, I mean a room with solid walls and a door that closes. Lots of people don't have that."
"Having access to water and a sewage system. Also the abundance of food in western super markets is quite frankly insane. Every day I try and spend a moment to reflect on how lucky I am."
"Sanitary products for women! It's different in different parts of the world + economic backgrounds"
And finally, a few people from countries around the world discussed the unique, intense struggles of living in a place that isn't embedded in the affluence of the Western world.
"Going about your daily life without seriously worrying about your physical safety. Sleeping at night without worrying about whether a bomb is going to come through your roof."
Not a Given
"Having the ability to express an opinion. Free speech is very censored in a lot of the world." -- BananaLCG
"Criticizing your own government." -- ipf000
The Ability to Think About Other Things
"Living in a good country, not having to spend your youth worrying about how to immigrate to good countries."
But before you think of this list as a big long guilt trip, imagine a more positive spin on this. There are so many things to feel grateful for, even when it seems like everything is working against you.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
The law is a fickle mistress, and it varies from state to state and county to county sometimes. And then there is the blatant hypocrisy of it all.
There are some things that feel like they should be allowed to pass but you get scolded for, like jaywalking, and then there are things like actual robbery in broad daylight, like telemarketers and nothing happens to them.
Make it make sense. It's like taxes, the wealthy know loopholes and the poor go to jail. Shameful.
Redditor u/Xanduh wanted everyone to chat about legal life fails by asking:
What do you wish was illegal?
I try my best to follow the law. And Lord knows how well I'm doing. There are so many obscure laws for ridiculous things, yet, scamming people of their life savings is a free pass. I'm confused... apparently, so are many others...
Save a Lifedrag race drugs GIFGiphy
"Hiking up prices of life saving medications. (Insulin, epi-pens, etc.)".
The Hands of Time
"Advertisement like "anti-aging" is absolutely preposterous."
"I would love to see a massive class action lawsuit against any skincare that proposes "anti-aging". Watch a judge rule in the plaintiff's favor citing that the products did not actually turn back time."
"Your credit score goes down because you cancelled a credit card."
"You want to have multiple lines of credit that you're responsible with, preferably for a long period of time, because it proves you're a reliable borrower. If you have no debt, it's almost like you've not established credit at all. Your score goes up the more lines of credit you have. It's bonkers. Someone more financially literate than me could probably explain better, though."
The DevilKate Mckinnon Snl GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
"Hi, I'm X. We're trying to reach you regarding your car's extended warranty."
I'm at the end of my tether with these car warranty calls. I swear to God... nevermind. And advertisements needs to be more regulated. That is a start at better fixing justice.
Extra $$$Happy Credit Card GIF by HollyoaksGiphy
"Convenience fees for online ticket purchases. Why am I getting charged for saving on paper, ink, and everyone's time?"
"Companies making it really difficult to cancel things. Especially subscriptions. I think the process to subscribe to something to should be exactly the same as the process to cancel it. I'm looking at you spotify."
"Gyms in general. before they started popping up everywhere I was a member at LA fitness."
"Well I moved 2hrs away from the closest one and they wanted me to come in person to cancel, then they wanted me to send in a damn letter. I can signup online, why can't I cancel online?"
No muss, no fuss.
"Printer ink being ridiculously expensive for no reason."
"Buy a laser printer. Here's my oft-told tale of woe: School got out so my kids no longer had homework to print. A month or so later we needed to print a document. Our Kodak injket printer not only refused to print but said we needed to buy a new ($90) print head because the old one had gummed up, because we'd gone too long without printing."
"I went to the local office supply store and bought a Brother laser printer. It scans, it copies, it uses wifi, and most importantly it just works.About twice a year when we need to print something I go and get it out of my garage and bring it into the house, set it on the kitchen counter, plug it in, and print to it."
"It works great - even remembers my wifi settings (SSID and password) from the previous time. No muss, no fuss. If I really want to print something in color I'll use Kinkos. Turns out I literally never need to print in color."
"Using children to monetize your social media channels."
Bot ThievesTheatre GIF by StubHubGiphy
"Bots buying tickets and up-charging the crap out of the price."
Those ticket thieves need to be taken down. No Broadway show is worth $1000! Don't fall for it kids. That mess needs to be cleaned up. There is actual crime happening to the naked eye. Let's focus there.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
While the world is a dark and scary place, there would not be a world, or a human race, without inherent kindness.
Kindness always gives you a little thump to your heart that nothing else can truly provide. A rush of knowing you've made someone's day better. And you may change the trajectory of that person's life because of it.
To hear more of these kindnesses, for inspiration, Redditor slizsarbleh asked:
"What is something you've done purely out of the goodness of your heart, but have never told anyone?"
Here were some of those stories.
One Grieving Heart To Another
"I lost my mom earlier this year and am still working through the grief. The first week a came back my coworkers had gave me a check for several hundred dollars as a kind gesture. I was truly overwhelmed by the generosity."
"The following week I came into the break room to find one of the techs with a lost look on her face. She had just gotten a phone call that her brother had been murdered the night before."
"She had moved to our city just a year prior and didn't have any family close by. As I held her and listened to her cry, I booked her a flight home."
"It was several hundred dollars as she is from a small town and the flight was for later that day. I told her to go be with family and let me know when she was ready to come back. I had no doubt that is exactly what my mom would have wanted me to do."-thatgirlmocha
Taking It For The Team
"I was extremely stressed and took a mental health day, planning on going to mom's and crying myself to sleep. We ended up going to the mall, and even though money was really tight for her, she wanted to buy me lunch (we split the bill)."
"She realized that she lost a newer $50 bill while walking around. She was devastated."
"I traded my smaller bills to a cashier for a newer $50, folded it like she would, and tossed it under the seat of her car. The next day she called me, almost crying because she was excited to find it and said that without it, groceries would've been pretty tight that week."
"Taking me out that day prevented me from having a full breakdown. I think $50 was a small price to pay for what she did for me that day."-SleepsLikeACat
Services For The Poor
"I do IT work, usually small business and a lot of home repair. I have many wealthy clients and a few not so fortunate. It is not unusual for me to go to a home and it is obvious they are barely scraping by."
"So I either don't charge those people, or make it a nominal fee. I also refurb the old PC's and give them to people who have one that is not repairable."
"My best fee ever was a basket of home grown creole tomatoes, damn those things are delicious."-Disposable70
It really does cost nothing to be kind.
Just A Game, But More Than Just A Game
"This isn't as impressive as the comments I've read but this is just something I did recently."
"I'm a member of a Sims group on FB where people talk about the game, expansion packs etc. I noticed a comment by a teenager who said her favourite pack would be Pets but she can't afford it."
"I went onto her page and saw that she really loved horses. I could also tell from her pictures that her mum was disabled and money looked tight."
"I was fortunate enough when I was her age to always get the packs on the release dates and I used The Sims as a wind down from revising and school."
"I thought that this girl needed the escapism way more than I ever did so I bought every expansion pack, messaged her the activation codes, a link to a YouTube video on how to use them, and a short message saying I hope you enjoy playing and to keep smiling."
"I really do wish her the very best."-MariaOSullivan
Saving And Changing Lives
"Bought insulin for the child of a lady in front of me at the pharmacy. The woman (single mom) was in tears & didn't have the $200 copay for that month."
"I gave her my number & told her to call me within the next few days. That was a few years ago. She now manages the office at my practice, makes enough $ for anything she needs/wants, & is one of my closest friends."
"And now she has excellent insurance for herself & her son! Be kind—it can literally change lives! <3"-EJX713
A Simple Blanket
"There's a semi-secluded bus stop beside a store I used to work at, and a homeless guy started sleeping there on the bench halfway between the stop and the parking lot one winter."
"One day I got to work 15 mins early and saw him sleeping, wearing just a flannel and jeans. So I ram into the store, bought a blanket, and covered him up with it."
"He never woke up so he didn't know it was me. Every time I saw him sitting on the bench he had the blanket wrapped around him."-SeleneSlayer
Even In The Face Of A Feud
"I have an ongoing silent feud with one branch of my family (my dad's cousins and their kids, my second cousins), and we haven't spoken or really seen each other in over 10 years."
"I've pretty much written them off, and I don't really care if we live out the rest of our lives without patching things up."
"Two months ago, one of my cousins from that branch unexpectedly died at the age of 38. Their immediate family had always had financial troubles."
"So while I didn't fly across the country to attend the funeral, I quietly sent my sister a bunch of money and instructed her to pretend it was hers and pay off part of their funeral expenses."
"And then just last week, some of my other relatives started a GoFundMe for one of my aunts in that branch (she's my dad's oldest cousin)."
"She has Stage IV cervical cancer and wants to leave the hospital to pass away at home surrounded by her loved ones, but the hospital won't release her until her medical bills are paid in full (this is in another country)."
"I haven't told my dad or anyone else in the family, but I anonymously donated my last paycheck plus the money I had been saving for my upcoming birthday trip."
"I don't really consider it out of the goodness of my heart, though. It's just that the thought of an elderly, terminally ill person dying alone somewhere that isn't home eats away at me so much that I physically couldn't sit by and do nothing."-OrifielM
And these gestures are the kind where the kindness is its own reward.
To Instill Hope
"A lady was fleeing an abusive marriage without much more than her kids and the clothes on her back. Word went out within a whisper network requesting a few essentials she needed."
"Packed up several things from the request list and also one thing that wasn't requested. I make jewelry as a hobby. Put a pair of handmade earrings into a gift bag: silver and pearls."
"Added a handwritten note that every woman deserves something beautiful and sending good wishes her way."-doublestitch
"At the beginning of the pandemic, I was volunteering at a local pizza shop to distribute slices to kids who otherwise couldn't get fed because the schools were shutdown."
"There was a woman with 3 kids that came by every few days to get slices. Turns out the father had died unexpectedly right before the pandemic started and they lost their house because of the slumlord they were renting from."
"The mother lost her job because she had no one to watch the kids. They were living in their minivan and things were bad for them."
"They were so nice and grateful, but ashamed when they'd come by to get slices that I genuinely felt for them. I had lost my job and got a pretty decent windfall of 2 months worth of unemployment and the CARES Act at once."
"My landlord had a few properties open and is a close friend, so I got in touch with him and we worked out me paying their security deposit and the first 2 months of rent and he'd cover their utilities."
"I gave her his number and said he might be able to help and they moved in the next day. They've been there ever since and are doing extremely well now."-eyexxiii
A Little Birthday Surprise
"I was in my art class in high school and there was a girl who I didn't really know a few grades younger. I could tell she didn't have many friends but was really sweet."
"She was talking to me one day and told me her birthday was soon and that she was so excited. I decided to send her those balloons and whatnot you can get through the student store on her birthday, though she didn't know me very well so I didn't sign my name."
"It just so happened that the student store worker brought them in during our art class and I got to see her reaction. She lit up and kept telling us it had to have been her mom or her best friend who did it, and how she couldn't believe that someone got her something and she wouldn't stop smiling the whole rest of class."
"I never told her it was me, I was just happy she felt special. That was a pretty good day."-Rbbbb30
Humans, above all else, have the capacity to be unendingly kind. Despite all the darkness in the world, it is these little moments of light that define us as a species.
Hopefully this has given you some faith in humans today.