Not all secrets are taken to the grave. In fact most secrets always find a way to be heard. Usually guilt is the key to unearthing confessions, it's often too much to bare.
I think it's because nobody wants to die guilty, just in case there is whole afterlife situation. It's best to start the next journey with a clean slate. That's why we hear so many tales about sudden deathbed confessions. Nurses, doctors, cops, witnesses have a plethora of memories and secrets they've been told. And I am here for all the tea.
People are scandalous! Shall we listen?
Redditor u/alyssaoftheeast wanted to hear all the dish health care workers have to serve, by asking:
Nurses of Reddit, what are some of the most memorable death bed confessions you've had a patient give?
I have no guilt. So I'll be taking it all to the grave. Unless of course my mind is rattled and I have no control over my senses. But if stay in control, my lips are sealed. Let's hear about the souls who felt the need to purge.
Be SureAnimated GIFGiphy
"I had a client (90 year old male) confess to his wife and children that while he was away on business, he obtained another family."
"He lived another two years. Wife and children kinda cast him off. He thought he was dying immediately of cancer, they were multimillionaires, he tried to spend as much as he could out of spite so his children wouldn't inherit any of it."
"Took care of a WW2 veteran with dementia. He would say the number "22" over and over and the family never knew the significance of it. The number didn't line up with any significant events or dates that they were aware of. The day before he died his mental state became incredibly clear and he started telling the staff "22 men. I killed 22 men over there." Poor guy. He lived with that anguish for 50+ years."
He knew this...
"Kind of similar I suppose. I'm a scrub nurse. My job is to assist the surgeon during surgeries. I was preparing an elderly patient for a pretty high risk surgery. There was a good chance he was going to be fine but there was also a decent chance things were going to go south. He knew this."
"While the CRNA is doing her thing getting the anesthesia ready I'm standing next to him going over his chart and signed releases and he says to me, "I need you to tell my wife I'm sorry for all the times I raised my voice at her. There weren't many times. But right now I wish there weren't any." That was the first time I ever got choked up at the bed side. Thank goodness for masks because it helped hide my expression."
"I so badly wanted to tell him everything was going to be okay but no one knew if it was going to be. I said back to him, "I'll do anything you need me to, but right now let's think about some happy memories before you go under." I asked him to tell me about he and his wife's first date. Once he was under I excused myself before scrubbing in to stop myself from crying. He made it through surgery and his wife was waiting for him after being transferred from the PACU."
"Kind of a confession. My grandmother was from Spain. At some point in my life I was like "Why don't I know how to speak Spanish?" So I asked my mom, as I've never heard her speak Spanish either. She said, "My mom came to America and was one of the 'we are in America now, so we speak English now' people."
"When we started pestering her to teach us Spanish, she claimed that she forgot how to speak it. We all kind of thought she was full of crap, but she was adamant about it. She was sharp as a tack until her mid 90s and lived alone. Finally, it was too much and we moved her to our house, and then to assisted living because she wanted to be closer to her friends."
"When she ended up in a nursing home because she was on her last legs, and her mind started to go, we caught her speaking Spanish to the mostly Hispanic staff. Basically, she had to go senile to forget that she told us that she couldn't speak Spanish. It was an unintentional confession that she always knew how to speak Spanish, but she just didn't want to because it wasn't the American thing to do."
Bye Now...sad miss you GIF by PBS KIDSGiphy
"Just the people who die alone. The next of kin is usually a distant niece or nephew. I hated those calls because I would inform them of the passing and they would just say, "Ok, thank you." And hang up."
Oof. See there? Now is why I say "lips are sealed." What if there is an eleventh hour miracle after I've confessed to some ludicrous sin? How embarrassing. No thank you. Who else spilled some tea?
I hear Toni...excited toni braxton GIF by Soul TrainGiphy
"My Grandfather lived into his 90s. According to my Grandma, his last lucid words the day before he passed was when he called out, "Unpoop my pants!" Not very profound, but very memorable, because that song was popular at the time, so now I always imagine that line sung in Toni Braxton's voice."
People Share The Most Selfless Thing They've Ever Secretly Done | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"Nurse here. An old lady gave me some questionable advice. She was this 90-something Italian Nonna, all dressed in black skirts and dripping with rosary beads and crucifixes, very Catholic. She told me "to be happy in life, you need 3 men. 1 for the money, 1 for the love, 1 for the boom-boom-boom" (sex). Can't say I agree with her, but it's certainly memorable."
"I recently cared for a woman who had multiple acute strokes in a short amount of time. A week before she had been independent, riding her horse every day, still teaching part time at the local school, despite being in her 80s. By the time she got to me she was completely nonverbal, incontinent, and unable to feed herself."
"I had a feeling that she was neurologically intact enough to understand what was going on, so I talked to her as much as I could when I was in the room. Talked to her about her daughters who had called every day, her husband (who hadn't called, but I left that part out), the weather, her horses, her students who had sent a card. On the last day of my workweek, her daughter from out of state had finally found a flight up. They sat in silence and held hands for hours."
"Visiting hours ended right at shift change, so I walked in to give report as the daughter was saying goodbye. The patient then spoke what I knew were going to be her last words- 'I'll always be looking after you." And pointed to her daughter, and then at me, and then she fell asleep. Two days later when I came back to work, I was informed she had passed away in the night."
"One of the most challenging moments I had with a patient that was passing was a woman in her 80's with advanced dementia and trying to recover from a severe bed sore that had gone septic (from a nursing home with a bad reputation). She often confused me with her second husband, her daughter told me I looked a lot like him. The patient would often talk about "our" sexual exploits including swinging and partner swapping as well as very wild "adventures."
"I had given up on trying to tell her I was not her husband because I just confused her and upset her so I learned to just play along. She talked to me often about "our" children and other family and many non-sexual adventures they had. It made her happy to talk about it and often left me with a smile."
"quite a few"alfred hitchcock noir GIF by Warner ArchiveGiphy
"My husband isn't a nurse, but he is a police officer. He has heard "quite a few" dying declarations at crime scenes. People confessing to crimes, witnesses to crimes or telling cops all the info about something. It is admissible and he had to write everything down. Crazy stuff."
"I was speaking with a nurse and she said that a lot of patients pass away alone because they don't feel right passing over with other people present. That is why you have a lot of people waiting bedside, then go home and 10 minutes later... the person passes away. Apparently happens all the time."
A Sliver Lining
"My dad loves small town auctions and over the years he collected all those boxes of stuff that would go for the lowest bid. He amassed quite a collection, filling the garage and a workshop out back. He always promised Mom he'd sell it all some day in some big garage sale or auction of his own."
"Then one day my mom's cancer returned and the doctors told us this time it wasn't a fair fight. Two weeks before she passed I was sitting with her in the hospital. We'd run out of things to say. She looked up at the ceiling, trying to ignore the pain, and said, "Thank God at least I won't have to deal with your dad's stuff." Me and mom burst out laughing. Don't tell my Dad."
See ya soon...
"The last conversation my grandma and i had before she died was when she was dozing off and i was watching Ghost Adventures. She asked if i really believed in that kind of stuff. I told her yes and when she died she can come back and haunt me to prove me right. She just said, "oh ok" and went back to napping. She died the next week."
"speeding up her pass"Love You Goodbye GIF by truTV’s At Home with Amy SedarisGiphy
"My aunt was a nurse and had some pretty strange stories about it. I think the worst of all was about another nurse that was brought after a car crash. She was terrified about someone "speeding up her pass" because of her injuries. She told my aunt that was a common practice and admitting doing it herself several times."'
"There was a gentleman on his deathbed at 56 years old. He was pissed off yelling that he started at an early age going to preschool-- to get into the right grade school --to get into the right high school-- to get in to the right Ivy league University and high paying job. That was the year he was to set up his family for life being able to fund their college and pay off the mortgage. This went on for about 4 hours before he passed. Truly tragic."
"My mom and I look very similar, the only difference is our hair color (she's got black hair and I'm blond). But when she was my age, she bleached her hair, so functionally I just look like my mother in her 20s. My grandfather went downhill in his last year and his Alzheimer's got worse, to the point where he didn't know a lot of people. But he could recognize me, not as his grandchild, but as his 20-something year old daughter. I played along, and got a lot of stories out of him. They're fun memories, but they hurt all the same."
"I'm an intern and I work with the elderly at a day centre. A 90something year old man (who was very loved by everyone) was committing euthanasia (which is legal in the Netherlands) that afternoon. He still wanted to come to us. All the nurses and social workers were pretty emotional for his last day. It can be weird to talk to someone in the morning, knowing they will end their lives that afternoon."
"I got to go on a walk with him. I was pushing his wheel chair and we just talked about life. That one hour he taught me so so so much about life. He told all about his trauma from WW2, about how it affected him and about how he overcame it. He never told anyone, not even his wife, about everything that happened. He gave me so many life lessons that day, and I will be always be thankful for that."
"Zoot Suit Riots"
"Worked in a nursing home for about a decade doing hospice, rehab, and all kinds of long-term care stuff. Anyway, I had a fellow who had worked at the Army Film Unit in LA during the war. As he was dying, when it looked like he wasn't going to make it through the night- I sat with him and just talked. He was remarkably lucid the entire time. He told me that he'd been present at the "Zoot Suit Riots" and had stabbed a man to death and was never prosecuted."
"I never could find any evidence of anyone having been killed during those 5 days in LA when the riots took place. Maybe he killed someone not related to the fray at all. Anyway... he also told me about getting a BJ from Rosemary Clooney in a bar on Sunset so, who knows."
Accept PeopleEpisode 9 Hug GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"Doctor here - working in the deep south I've heard a lot of patients regret disowning their gay/lesbian children and the relationship they could've had."
"Unfortunately rigid religious/political dogma tears apart more families than most people realize. Life is short. Accept people, especially the ones you love, for who they are and not who you would like them to be. That's always been the takeaway lesson I got from hearing these stories."
"My first year as a nurse I worked in palliative care. Had a 28yo dying of cancer. She moved here from Canada to be with her boyfriend who left her a year after moving. We weren't expecting her to deteriorate so fast. I held her hand as she died alone without her family or friends."
"But right before she died, she told me she wished she never left Canada and cried. Her family were overseas and couldn't make it in time. It's memorable to me because it reminds me to tell my family I love them regularly and to spend time with friends and to stop making excuses."
I hope the nurses and death crews out there are keeping journals. Some of this is tragic, but most of it is comedy gold. Oh my.
Growing up, at least in my family, a "doctor" was the most prestigious thing you could aspire to be when you grew up... and then I grew up.
So, if you're a new reader you may not know this but I have a MASSIVE family. Like my dad is one of a double-digit number of siblings. My grandmother on my moms side has even more. And most of them went on to have 5 or 6 children.
A "small family-only party" for us still means hundreds of people.
Obviously with that many people, we have more than a few "Dr." Whoevers - and as a kid I sort of assumed the Doc Squad hung out in mutual respect of their doctory-ness.
Turns out there's totally a doctor pecking order!
Reddit user TheDandy9 asked:
And basically, years worth of family beef just got turned into a Reddit thread. lol.
Don't expect to come out of this article with any real answers, though. This is one of those fights that will never end - so it's best to just enjoy the show.
BoutiquesProgressive Insurance Reaction GIF by ProgressiveGiphy
"My family doctor changed his practice so that you had to pay $1000 of dollars just to be in his practice, in addition to every visit. His thinking was his practice would be smaller and he could devote more time being proactive and preventative to those special patients."
"We left of course, but when I explained this to one of our specialists, they snorted in disgust and told us 'we call those boutique doctors.' "
"So a boutique doctor for those entitled who could afford it." - TimeTraveler3056
"Avoiding insurance companies is almost the singular reason to do concierge. Once you contract with an insurance company, they own you."
"They tell you how many patients to see, how you can treat them, what meds they can have. And on top of all that, you have to hire an entire staff to do your billing and fill out endless amounts of paperwork"
"AND you know the best part? That same insurance company will negotiate every reimbursement they pay to you and probably won't pay most of what it is billed."
"So more work, higher overhead, less time to spend with the patient and less reimbursement. Sounds like a great deal, right?"
"Doctors hate insurance companies as much as patients do." - Waderriffic
Not What You'd ExpectGeorge Clooney Nod GIFGiphy
"Actually from my experience it's not what you'd expect."
"A lot of specialists hate ER docs because they're jack of all trades so they don't have the in depth knowledge and also they 'create work' for everyone else (ask for consults a lot). It's super unfair. ER docs are just doing their job, treating what they can and getting help where needed. They're first step."
"Another one is orthopedic surgeons, they know a ton about bones and little about medicine outside of bones and are often the butt of jokes for always asking internal medicine to admit patients after procedures."
"From the general public, I'd say family practice often doesn't get much respect, and psych is often disparaged as a 'why the f*ck would you want to do that?' career despite having a LOT of perks for a medical career."
"Now granted, I'm just a medical student in pre-clinical years, so I may get to the hospital and be totally off lol" - rainbowlookingglass
It's Not The Field, It's The DocMr Bean Thumbs Up GIFGiphy
"Speaking as a person working in the medical field for 35 years, the amount of respect I have for the different physicians/different branches of medicine doesn't actually exist. See, it's not a particular branch of medicine that make a Doc great or a less respected. It is the personal character of the individual."
"I have and still do work with some docs that are brilliant, and other ones that I would not let treat my gerbil." - FreePainter9
"My mom was a surgical RN for over 40 years, 30 of which were in the same hospital. She respected the majority of doctors, nurses, various fields as a whole. Not once did she say one branch was better than another."
"However, when my brother, dad, herself or I needed any type of medical care or surgery, she would make sure who was never allowed near us due to reasons you stated; terrible character and a terrible person." - bitterherpes
Just For Insuranceoverdue relapse records GIF by Red FangGiphy
"When you're trying to get a test, procedure or drug covered by insurance, they sometimes go to clinician review, aka peer-to-peer. So some doctors work for an insurance company and reviews cases with other doctors."
"I'm not sure I can respect those guys. Does anyone ever become a doctor just so they can work for an insurance company?" - cerpintax33
"I don't think that's the end game for any doc, but these days it's the MCO's that dictate your practice and essentially your bottom line. It would be much easier to be the doc reviewing claims and approving or denying them for 200k a year than the struggling new doc trying to make a living and paying their student loan debt." - JohnBoy2978
A Parent's PerspectiveDoctor GIFGiphy
"My parents are doctors, I left that train a little late, but left it."
"They always said dermatologists are the least respected in terms of knowledge, complexity of field, and technical skill. In terms of just knowledge, many would say general surgeons."
"On the other hand, the most respected (in their opinion) in terms of intellect are general internists, gastroenterologists, nephrologists and endocrinologists. In terms of technical skill, plastic and brain/spinal surgeons and ERCP (therapeutic) capable gastroenterologists." - ahmadove
"Less" Is Not A ThingAretha Franklin GIF by Respect MovieGiphy
"Depends if you're thinking surgery or non surgery. Probably family practice doctors I would guess may get less, but that's not really a thing."
"I don't think 'least respected' is the right way to put it. I don't think any medical doctors are less respected, but they each are sort of picked on in their own specialty."
"Ortho surgeons are known for being big dumb jocks because they don't do a lot of what people would consider 'real medicine,' but they aren't less respected by any means. Family medicine is the least desirable because they don't have a specialty and see a little bit of everything. Desirable - not respected. They all get respect." - P-A-seaaaaaa
I Get The AnnoyanceStressed Season 3 GIF by Parks and RecreationGiphy
"Family doc here."
"God, it sure seems like we get sh*t on a lot! I mean, I can get the annoyance with some specialists when they get consults, because some family docs are lazy and just pass the buck (type 2 diabetic? Meh, consult to endocrine.)"
"Some either don't know, or care to do the work up necessary to prep for consult (sending to rheum with a vague complaint like arthralgia and not so much as an ANA), and some don't communicate appropriately in their documents what the consult is for (Assessment: Nausea. Plan: Consult to GI.)"
"Those things all bother the hell out of me when I see other family docs doing it, so I can't imagine how upset the specialists must feel."
"However, we have a LOT of goddamn things to juggle and hats to wear, and the specialists have the benefit of saying 'talk to your PCP' whenever it's a topic outside their scope." - Ssutanjoe
Definitely Doing Something ShadyBritish Tech GIF by Namaste CarGiphy
"Physician here. Out of actual medical doctors (MD/DO), I think we all pretty much hate the ones who are taking advantage of people."
"The pill pushers - pain management physicians, whose practice consists of a desk and an prescription pad, charging $300 per visit, and handing out monthly prescriptions for 180 dilaudid tablets like candy."
"The other ones are some providers who have what are known as 'risk contracts,' which are basically managed care plans where they are given an allotment of money for each patient in the plan, and the less they spend the more is left over for them to keep."
"These plans are supposedly promote responsible medical spending, but mostly promote greedy doctors doing everything they can to do the absolute bare minimum for their patients. If your specialty is Family Practice but you drive a Bentley, you are definitely doing something shady." - sailphish
Human SoupDavid Boreanaz Forensics GIF by BonesGiphy
"Nobody's mentioned the doctors who deal with the dead - those the doctors couldn't save."
"Pathologists. Nobody wants to think about them, but they're doctors all the same."
"My husband had worked with a few, and while they still get paid well, they definitely don't get paid like doctors who work on the living. I think they (and their assistants) should he paid triple during decomp season. Human soup season." - HappyHummingbird42
In School...Doctor Goodbye GIF by One ChicagoGiphy
"I'm a 3rd year medical student in the US. In my opinion, the least respected doctors are primary care."
"Hear me out. Family medicine and pediatrics are objectively the least competitive residencies to obtain. In general, the more competitive medical students pursue high paying, exciting fields."
"While many top students may still choose family med, I personally think that doctors in competitive specialties will always have a small downward gaze upon those who chose primary care."
"It's not blatant, but I think it exists. Family med and pediatric doctors probably get the least amount of credit and deserve much, much more." - HighYieldOrSTFU
"In medical school, the least desired specialty was psychiatry. Obviously, there are some very bright and helpful shrinks. But the saying in medical school is that you go into psychiatry to find out what is wrong with you." - ThrowawayRAcallister
Welp, it was nice talking trash about people who have done way more work than most of us ever will, wasn't it? lol.
Hospitals often see some of the most horrific moments of people's lives, including the end of their lives. When there is so much trauma and death in one place, you begin to see some unusual things.
Sometimes it's creepy things that bump in the night, sometimes it's just a marvel of the human body. Either case, it's quite scary to witness the often unexplainable.
We went to Ask Reddit to hear first hand accounts from the people who work in hospitals.
Redditor BlockWide said:
"Hospital workers of Reddit, what's the creepiest thing you've ever seen?"
Beware, some of these stories are gruesome. This is not for those with a light stomach.
"I'm on an on call victim support team, so I often end up at the hospital at odd hours. This was around 4:00am. I'd just finished doing my thing, and I was sitting in my car in the parking lot collecting myself and writing notes for my report when I see someone out of the corner of my eye. I clearly saw the blue of a hospital gown, but when I looked over, no one was there. I figure I'm just tired and riding out the adrenaline of the call, so I go back to doing my thing. After a few minutes, I once again spot something out of the corner of my eye. This time when I look up, someone is there."
"Standing on the curb in front of the hospital, I see a man in his mid to late 50s, thin hair up top, no facial hair. He's wearing a hospital gown and holding on to something metal, but from my angle, I couldn't tell if it was an IV pole or a crutch. He wasn't leaning on it. He had this expression on his face of wide-eyed shock with his mouth slightly open, like he was trying to think of something to say and had totally stalled out."
"At this point I start glancing around for staff or something, because this man doesn't look like he should be outside alone. His skin is a messed up pale color, and he's barefoot. I can't see his feet well with the shadows, but his hand and fingers look bruised. As I'm looking around for staff, our eyes meet, and I know he sees me. I start thinking, okay, this guy can't wander around alone, half-naked and unmasked. I have huge chills, but I turn to grab my mask and get out of my car to help guide him back inside. When I look up again, he's gone."
"I looked all over the parking lot for him, but he was gone. There's no way he could have vanished like that in the split second it took me to grab my mask."
"I don't know how to explain this without sounding dramatic, but my skin crawled when he looked at me. He looked like a guy who was slowly realizing he'd died and didn't know what to do now. I still think about it."
The body knows.
"After working as an RN for a few years, I learned to always trust a patient that expresses fears or a belief that they 'are going to die.' That feeling of doom usually precedes some sort of life-threatening emergency. Sudden cardiac arrest or a pulmonary embolism are usually the fatal culprits behind an ominous feeling of imminent death."
"Yup, like your body knows there's something bad and is trying to tell your brain but your brain can't interpret 'heart says it's not working right.'"
"Yeah, I experienced this when giving birth without pain meds (not by choice). The medical staff didn't believe that things proceeded as fast as they did, but after I told them that I feel like I'm going to die, I was taken seriously. I pushed my first-born out 15 mins later."
"Later, I talked to an older midwife who told me that those exact words are usually the sign that the baby is coming right now."
Cats predicting end of life.
"Also, when they are talking to or see someone in the corner that has previously passed away. They usually die soon after. It's really weird."
"My aunt worked in a small care home for the very elderly and disabled adults. They had this big grey cat that had the run of the place and would visit different residents to get scritches and treats."
"When the cat spent an entire day staying very near one person the resident frequently died that night or the following day."
"My MIL died in a home that had a cat like that in Alabama. My MIL had already had a stroke that left her brain-dead and this was hospice for her. If the cat stayed in someone's room, the staff notified relatives to come visit and got ready for the end. Weird."
"I worked in the kitchen, so I was the lowly peon delivering food trays. Delivered to one guy who had a horrendously infected foot. Most of the toes were necrotic and black and the rest of the foot wasn't doing much better. I wouldn't be surprised if he was waiting on amputation. His dietary requirements were Diabetic, so it was likely. The room smelled AWFUL."
"Anyway, these rooms are small, with typically two beds in them. Because of the smell from his infection, the other bed is empty. I still have to squeeze by the foot of his bed, and as I'm paying attention to the tray so I don't knock it into equipment, I accidentally brush my leg against his infected foot that he has sticking out of the covers and hanging off the bed. His big toenail comes off onto my leg. It's just, stuck to my leg. We look at each other in horror. I clear my throat, ask my usual questions, clear and adjust his table, give him his tray and wish him a good day. I leave calmly, and then run to the nurse's station and ask for help getting this dude's entire necrotic toenail (with bonus flesh) off my f*cking leg."
"The nurse who got it off soaked that portion of my pantleg in some disinfectant liquid that smelled like it could take the paint off a car."
"As an RN who has seen the exact kind of toes you are talking about I audibly GASPED. New worst fear acquired."
"As a type one diabetic I hate hearing about this stuff now excuse me as I further reduce my carb intake."
"[sips awful tasting zero sweetener drink]"
"I don't know why but seeing patients at the ER who have just committed/attempted suicide by hanging always give me a frightening sensation."
"I can't answer why I feel that way of hanging specifically. It makes me think about the dark thoughts the patient had that might have led to this. I'm a resident doctor in ENT so I basically only get in contact with this kind of suicide/suicide attempt so that's maybe why."
"I got called in one night to operate on a patient who tried to slit her own throat. I mean, it was a dramatic slash but she managed to miss her vital organs."
"I've operated on unsuccessful self inflicted gun shot wounds to the face."
"I didn't operate on him, but met a guy who tried to commit suicide by eviscerating himself with a samurai sword."
"A partner I work with got called in for a very mentally ill patient who cut one arm off with a chainsaw and 90% of the second arm."
"I've seen some sh*t."
Too calm in moments of severe trauma.
"I don't have a single event. But from working nights in the operating room of a level one trauma center you run into many awful things. Including the worst of society."
"But something that sticks with you is seeing a severely injured person in complete shock. Not like WOW my arm is off, but like body shock."
"They're barely aware of the world around them. Eerily calm. Pale, sluggish. Not at all bothered by the bustling room around them."
"I remember one person who had a ruptured aortic aneurysm, and due to a communication breakdown we had incised before the patient was asleep (surgeons get tunnel vision in moments like that) and the patient was like "hey that hurts" very chill, almost bored. It was wild."
How do you respect a patients wishes when something could be done?
"My grandmother went in to the hospital because she was feeling strange like something was wrong and they discovered an aortic aneurysm which hadn't ruptured yet (or was slowly leaking). Hospital staff started prepping for surgery and grandma got very angry at them because she was 87 and wanted to die. She already had high blood pressure and supposedly screamed at them wildly until it ruptured and she died."
"I wasn't present, but that's what my aunts say happened. Grandma was a very hot tempered person."
"I've seen similar things. It's a weird thing to experience, because you want to do what you can, and if you think there's a chance worth taking you should always take it right?"
"But at the same time how do you proceed while respecting a patients wishes. It's a tough one because a patient making it or not sometimes is a matter of moments, and isn't always a clear cut issue."
These creepy experiences are fairly common among hospital workers. It's hard to imagine seeing it so regularly that it becomes commonplace.
It gives a new perspective on what it means to be an "essential worker" in 2021.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
I use to to believe that I wanted to be a doctor. I really wanted to help save people's lives and I was fantastic at the game of Operation. So I thought that could be perfect. Then one day I fell off my bike and had a pretty hard crash to the ground. The outcome was nothing serious. When I looked down I noticed no skin on my knees, not a ton of blood, but no skin or mutilated skin. No bone or flesh hanging out, no reason to alert 911. I then puked and passed out. It was then I realized... I'm going to let the doctors... doctor and that ain't me.Redditor u/Master_Painis was hoping the medical people reading would share a bit about days in the trenches by asking... Surgeons of reddit, what was the most fucked up thing you've seen?
I have a feeling all of us should take a deep breath for what we're about to read. And maybe we should have a few shots of something. I get queasy at movies and television shows that take place in a hospital so this should be good.
Behind the EyesGiphy
The brother of this 60 year old guy tried to pull his eye off. Extraocular muscles were all torn, optic nerve stretched, sclera ruptured... he wasn't successful but it was half way done.
The guy was blind of his other eye.
The damage was unsalvable and we had to remove his previously good eye, due to the risk of infection.
So, he was left completely blind.
When we started to prepare for his discharge, social worker asked where was he going to live. "Back with my brother." "But he blinded you!". "Yeah... he was on drug withdrawal, he didn't mean it. And I have nowhere else to go".
The Sweet Lady
Surgical tech - not a surgeon - but this one still bothers me.
The sweetest, tiniest, elderly lady came in for (almost) total body skin grafts and multiple fractures all over her arms.
She was out for her daily walk in her neighborhood, was attacked by two dogs, and left for dead in a ditch for 4 hours. The people that found her drove by her once and thought she was a dead deer.
The dogs had ripped every article of clothing off of her. On their way back, they stopped because they had a bad feeling about it - thank goodness they did.
She was already so frail - it was like a nightmare. The whole OR was pretty much in tears working on her.
My friend is an EMT. He had a call one day about a man who needed transport. They show up to find a 500lb+ man who had not moved for months. His neighbors had been bring him food and he had been sitting in his own excrement. The smell was of death and rotting, to the point his partner had to leave and vomit. They called an additional team to assist with transport. He was complaining about some pain on his butt/legs.
When my friend and his partner moved him to check a horde of maggots emerged from his butt and legs. His tissue was necrotizing. They somehow moved this man to hospital with an extra team. He died of blood clotting a few days later.
Probably the worse case of depression my friend has ever seen.
Oh the Humanity
EMT here. I've seen a lot of messed up stuff, but this one was messed up ethically, not just gross. I got to the scene of a hit a run. Already that is messed up. Then we find out that the first people to get to the scene robbed the patient as he was lying on the ground. So this guy, almost dead, now has no shoes or wallet or anything. I was so disgusted by this. Not the patient himself, I've seen worse injuries and he survived, but by the way the people treated the situation. Very messed up.
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Obviously not a surgeon but the guy going in after me had crushed his hand in a hydraulic press.
He'd wrapped what was left up in a bandage and driven to hospital. Apparently the first nurse to see him in A&E did not appreciate the severity of the injury and had to go for a lie down when they took the bandage off.
I don't have the words. Are there words? I mean how can any of those situations end in survivals. That poor old woman and that eye thing? I can't...
My exes father was a surgeon. Worst he found was old surgical equipment. Inside a previously operated patient.
Was a workplace injury that I saw where a 19 year old kid ran over to help the boss because he drove over some 2 7/8 tubing we had on location (service rigs). The truck front tires were spinning on it because the tubing kept rolling with the tires In reverse kind of like a those log rider commercials from years back.
Anyways the kid ran over and put his foot on the tubing and the boss floored it in reverse. The kid was knocked over and the tubing rolled up the backside of his leg so his shin bones snapped in half. He made zero sounds until the tubing was lifted off his leg and the pressure was released. He was carried to the truck and taken to hospital.
To make matters worse the DR in the hospital set his leg before they saw the bones were shattered in multiple places so it had to be unset and then taken to another hospital to be surgically repaired. The worst part was his leg was hanging there like a wet sock.
Guys, booze and fireworks don't mix...
EMT. We had to pick up a guy from our main hospital, a level four trauma center, because said hospital wasn't equipped to handle the patient. We were all a little baffled, cuz, like... level four trauma center; they ought to be able to handle damn near anything. The hospital wanted us to take him to another hospital two hours away.
Patient got loaded up, and we found out why. While drunk off his butt on St. Paddy's, he thought Roman candles would be a great idea. He lit one about a foot from his face. As it turned out, the hospital we were transporting him to specialized in eye trauma,
Weirdest thing about this guy who had nearly blown half his face off was that, despite being on a LOT of heavy duty pain killers, he was completely with it and talkative. I rode in the back with him and speculated on theoretical physics for two hours.
Guys, booze and fireworks don't mix.
I had a doctor as my roommate for a year and there are two particular cases he told me about and even showed me pictures as proof.
- A guy came in as if nothing's wrong, not even panicked or a single care in the world. When the roommate asked what's wrong then he just pulled out his bloody severed finger from his picket and handed it to him. Just casually like it's everyday stuff.
2. One other guy was brought in and said the last thing he remembered was going into the woods with some pot. When he was brought in, his genitals were just gone. It just looked like he's a Ken doll down there. It was pretty much flat there and from the picture it looked like if you were to use a claw to rip at the skin and just rip off the skin, leaving everything else there. The wound itself didn't seem to go deep at all.
Apart from these he did tell me about gypsy people coming in claiming they fell on something when they were obviously stabbed and such. But those two above kinda stuck in my mind as they were accompanied with photos.
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The most screwed up things are tough to mention here because, while lots of bad things happen to people, some of the more truly awful stuff might be able to be identifiable.
I will say that in my career I have seen far too many intentional injuries to children that fill me with such anger that years later they still bother me.
Source: Trauma Surgeon.
I'm so glad I didn't follow my original childhood dream. Those are definitely situations I would not be helpful in. I'd be fainting, crying and swallowing tons of meds to get through a day. Bless you medical people... bless you.
The naming process of new life is an enormous responsibility and can be an emotionally exhausting decision. This person is going to be glued to this "title" forever, or until they're tired of being saddled to it so they change it; when they're free of their parent's constant gaze. Thankfully I will never have children but I do have to name pets. And that is taxing as well. Thankfully there are people around who can set us all straight when we're not thinking straight.Redditor u/Kubanochoerus wanted to hear about some of the bad ideas they were able to help avert by asking... Nurses and midwives of Reddit, have you ever tried to talk new parents out of a baby name? What was it?
The people on this chain had some bad ideas about naming humans. Like, for real not good ideas. And medical staff already has a tough enough job by delivering babies. Clearly they also have to be sound voices of reason. Especially when people are in their most emotional state... post birth.
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My boyfriend's grandmother wanted to name her daughter Sunshine. The midwife said that wasn't allowed because "it wasn't a real name" and his grandmother had no other backup baby names. So, a few minutes later when she heard someone down the hall screaming "Tina", she named her daughter Tina because she couldn't think of anything else on the spot.
Boss's friend named their kid Monster Galileo [last name]. Nurse tried to talk them out of it. Called in child services to talk them out of it. They insisted. Kid goes by Galileo. Honestly, I kind of like the sound of it for an adult or a performer's name but guy, being a kid named 'monster' has to be rough in school.
My classmates mother was a maternity nurse and she has a couple who wanted to name their son "Collin" but wanted to give him a "unique" spelling for it. (I do not understand why parents do this. It doesn't make a boring name more interesting all it does is set your child up for lifelong inconvenience.) They spelled it out for her to put on the birth certificate C-O-L-O-N.
They tried to name their son colon. As in, the organ attached to your anus. When my classmates mother explained this to them they were painfully embarrassed and asked her to write it down with the normal spelling instead. I don't think they'll ever live it down.
In France there used to be a list of names you had to choose from (mostly based on that day's name saint and 3-4 others). Which is why there were so many Jean / Marc / Louis /Phillipe / Marie / Anne / Valerie, etc in France.
Now it's a free choice.... but anyone can ask a judge to cancel a name-choice and force the parent(s) to suggest one the judge finds acceptable. So no names like Coca-Cola, Xerox, Nutella, Sex Fruit, Devil, Blue Murder... PLUS the rejected name gets added to a "banned" list to streamline the rejection in the future.
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Not a nurse, but as a med student a patient wanted to name her child Mudpiles. The nurses silently protested and waited a few days. Mom changed her mind.
You would think people were drunk when the baby arrives. You really should wait until after you sign a birth certificate. For example, it feels this next group of people may have imbibed on a few shots and thought... "hey that name sounds like fun."
I once had a student named Linoleum. Some midwife dropped the ball on that one. My brother wanted to name our soon to be younger brother Corn Peas and our parents almost went with it because they felt bad about asking for his input and then rejecting it. Fortunately, they got over that and passed on the name.
And here my mom was talked out of naming me Violet. "Sounds like an old lady" they said. I got one of the most common names of the 80's. When I went to college I lived in a hallway where there were literally 6 of us. My roommate had the same first name too.
I do like my name because it sounds good with my last name but I have only once met a Violet in 37 years and she's my friend's niece.
All the Dylans...
Not in the medical field, but a teacher. There are certain names that each teacher avoids because we've had a student (or seven) with that name who were difficult in one way or another.
One year, there were four Dylans in the same cohort and they were all hell on wheels. One of the teachers at that grade level had a baby with his wife that spring, and she named the kid Dylan. The rest of us were like, "didn't you vehemently veto that?"
He just shrugged and said it was important to her and he wasn't the superstitious type. Flash forward a few years, I saw a toddler tearing through the salad bar at the grocery store, spilling things, moving spoons from one container to another, reaching in with his hands... it was Dylan.
I had a coworker named Trina. When she was pregnant, she told me that she and her husband had decided to name the baby Latrine. I had to explain to her that she was naming her poor baby after the hole in the ground that soldiers defecate into. She was horrified and changed it to Katrina. Two days after the kid was born, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
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I have a false leg. My parents had to be talked out of calling me 'Peggy' by the midwife. I was born missing a leg. I was given my first physical false leg in a year, but it was always obvious the leg wasn't there!
I know Hollywood has made it seem glamorous to choose off the wall names (I'm talking to you Gwyneth Paltrow) but Hollywood is crazy. So think long and hard before you saddle a new human with some ridiculous moniker. Remember... they have to go through life with it. You don't.