Woman Goes Traveling Only To Return And Discover Her Roommate's Taken Over Her Bedroom
Not today Satan!
Rents are high Heck... RENT! Is out of this world insane no matter where you reside. So often many of us have to find roommies to sustain. And that can be a great situation but it can also lead to immense trouble. Observe....
Redditor wheresmyroom posted about a dwelling situation fraught with drama...
Hi there. I'm writing this on a throwaway because to be honest I never thought I'd need to post here but what can you do.
So I moved into this flat about 8 months ago. I met "Lana" online on a roommate website, and we clicked well. She's a bit younger but seemed mature. We quickly agreed to be roommates (both of us were under time constraints to find a place to live) but have got on really well so far (up until this).
Our flat is a two bedroom, and to be frank, my room is clearly the better one. It's bigger and has built in wardrobes. When looking for the flat, I found the place first on my own and put down a deposit to take it off the market while I found another roommate. The flat was perfect, cheap rent and my aunt manages the property, so I was keen to snap it up before anyone else did. The area it's in is popular so I wasn't really worried about not finding someone to room with.
Because of the above and that I was there first, I took the bigger room naturally. When showing potential roommates (including Lana) round, I was sure to show the smaller room and say "this would be your room".
We moved in 8 months ago, and it's been happy families. Never heard Lana complain about her room. Because I have about 6x the wardrobe space that she does, I told her she's welcome to store her off season clothes in there, or whatever she wants to store, as long as she's not popping in every morning to get dressed. She was happy with this.
Just over a month ago, I went travelling. Now I'm not the biggest fan of having people in my room, but I told Lana if she had someone stay (her sister, friends from home) they could sleep in my bed. She said thanks, and as she's been such a great roommate and rarely has guests except her boyfriend, I didn't worry at all.
I came back yesterday. I was exhausted from the flight and traveling, and just wanted to shower and sleep. As I walked in Lana was in the living room with her boyfriend. We said hello and hugged, had a very quick catch up, blah blah. Then I dragged my suitcase to my room, opened the door and found it full of stuff that was not mine. I kind of yelled "what the hell?" and briefly thought I was so jet lagged I was confused, but opened the door to Lana's room and saw all my stuff.
I walked into the living room and asked Lana what was going on and she said "Oh sorry, I forgot to mention, we put my stuff in your room just because it's bigger and you weren't here and you said I could use it." I was honestly so tired I could have passed out then, so I probably wasn't in the best state, and told her to move it all back immediately. She said they were in the middle of making dinner and I looked tired so I should have a sleep. Her boyfriend then said "And anyway, you pay the same rent so isn't it fair that you both get the big room at some point." I was getting really frustrated and could feel tears welling up (hysterical from lack of sleep) so I just said "We'll deal with this tomorrow, and it's getting moved back" and then I went to sleep in not my room.
I've woken up now and I'm so pissed off. Lana's at work so I can't talk to her but what should I do when she's home? I feel like this is going to turn into an argument, I don't think it'll be as simple as "okay let's swap now you're home."
I went traveling for a month and told my roommate she could use my room for guests if needed. While I was gone she swapped all our stuff and moved into my much bigger and better bedroom. Never had a problem with her before but she doesn't seem like she's planning on swapping back. What do I do when I speak to her after work?
I'll be talking to her when she gets in because this is out of character for her, to the point of it being bizarre. She's never been anything but a model roommate, so I'm gonna give her a chance before we're donezo. If she wants to be reasonable and have a chat about rent portions I'm happy to do that. She's never had a problem with the rent before, and honestly I've never had uneven rent amounts in any place I've ever lived (whether I had a bigger room or smaller room) but a lot of people here are saying it's the norm so I'm open to talking about it if she's not ridiculous.
I texted Lana to tell her I moved my stuff back. She didn't reply to me, fine whatever, but she didn't kick off so I figured we were okay. I told my Aunt what had happened, who was as baffled as all of you, and I told her it was probably all sorted, just keeping her in the loop. I also told my boyfriend, who works about 5 mins down the road. He offered to come round, incase Lana's boyfriend came round, but I told him not to because then we're ganging up on Lana. He insisted on going for a "coffee" with his mate a couple roads away incase we needed backup. Which is a bit ridiculous but very cute of him.
So I did get myself a glass of wine while waiting for Lana, not because I was nervous I just like wine, and she came home. I was sat in the living room and gave her a very cold "hi" when she walked in. She sort of froze, bag in hand, and her eyes darted between me and my/not her/our bedroom door. She blurted "did you do it!?" and I said "what, move the rooms back? Yeah of course." and her eyes went all wide and she dropped her bag and ran into the bathroom. I could hear her talking on the phone so I was like yipeeeee I guess Tom's coming round fuuuuuun!
She moved your things out when you weren't there. You're off work now, just swap things back straight away. Start with stripping the beds and changing the linen over.
I wouldn't leave it till tomorrow, it normalizes the situation. If she comes home whilst you're in the middle of it, just keep going or ask her to help you. Her bf should keep out of it. I assume he's lived there full-time over the last month, and he's seeing it as 'their' flat now.
Get a lock for your door!
Where are his receipts?Giphy
Just to add, boyfriend has no say in this unless he is on the lease. If he tries to butt in, you tell him "unless you're paying me rent too, you don't contribute to this conversation."
The Lana / Tom Saga Continues
The original poster wasn't done, yet. Let's dive back in:
I heard the door unlock and I was about to go full hulk on how psycho she is, when she came out of the door and stood between our bedrooms. Their doors are adjacent and she just stared between them both, breathing heavily? It was really odd. Then I noticed she was crying and getting a bit panicky, so I asked what was going on.
She burst into tears and said "Omg he's going to kill me" and just sobbed so yeah it was the boyfriend's idea completely, as a lot of us suspected. She's honestly always been a perfect roommate, which is kind of why I came to this sub. If she was generally an a-hole, I would have known how to act, if you know what I mean? Anyway Lana has a bit of a breakdown, and it turns out POS Tom has always been a bit of a POS, very jealous (which I always saw hints of, but Lana never mentioned so I didn't), and has amped up his POSishness while I've been away. When I left he just finished school and basically moved in unannounced, and when she'd mention he hasn't been home in days, he'd give her the "what, don't you love me, I treat you so well, you're so selfish, blah blah" stuff and refused to move. She showed me the texts he send her, absolutely horrific stuff, things like "ring me in the next five minutes or we're over; send me a picture of you at your desk with something showing today's date so I know you're at work", just abusive stuff.
ON TO THE ROOM: As we guessed, he moved it. He did it while she was at work, which is actually a bit gross thinking of him going through my stuff, and I'm considering somehow implying I have crabs or something he could catch just to make him squirm a bit, but I'll work on it. Lana came home and said what are you doing, he made out it was just temporary and that I wouldn't mind (such a gentleman speaking on my behalf) and he would move it back, and he was doing ti for her and she was so selfish etc. When it got a few days before I came back, Lana suggested moving it back, and he completely denied he said that and told her it was her idea to move it and he only did what she told him but it's staying now or she'd be sorry.
So basically Tom is a prick and Lana sobbed and apologized and cried and I fed her wine. She didn't want to see Tom (who obviously assumed he lived there now) so I text him from her phone saying our Landlady (my aunt) was coming round for an inspection and staying for dinner after with my family and he couldn't come over tonight. He sent a lot of begging, whiney texts, and then went on the offensive and called Lana a liar, so I rang my aunt, explained everything and had her write us a fake landlord email mentioning the visit and how she was looking forward to fajitas (because she's an absolute babe and I make good packet fajitas), which we forwarded on to Tom. He left her alone for the rest of the night, apart from a few texts.
I'm not entirely sure what we do about Tom. Lana sounds like she wants to break up, judging from her crying and screaming "I hate him, I hate him, I hate him" into her wine. I think she's scared to though. I checked with her and he doesn't have a key, so that's a relief. I've told my aunt everything and she said she is happy to ban him from the flat, but Lana would need to break up with him first and get all that sorted. God knows what will happen. Thoughts?"
The daft room-moving antics may actually have been her boyfriend's idea. Him just having to make a point about you both paying the same rent - it's probably not the first time he's said that. I'd bear that in mind when talking to Lana - if she starts using a lot of "we's" instead of "I's," you can at minimum remind her you live with her, not her and her boyfriend, and you want decisions made in the flat that work for you and her, not her and her fella (diplomatically, of course).
Call Dr. Phil!Giphy
Move your stuff back. This isn't even a discussion - you found the place, you made it clear the smaller was her room. Put a lock on the door and say this isn't a discussion.
It sucks she screwed herself over, but that's her problem, not yours.
I've never had room mates so I don't know how these situations end up changing the dynamics.
But after a conflict like this.. how can you even maintain a roommate relationship with someone? Wouldn't it be awkward?
Who does this? You're much more calm about it than I would be. I would have screamed at her to get her stuff out if my room the second I saw it. When you talk with her have her repeat what you said she could do with the room when you left. Then remind her that at no point did you say she could move into your room. It's not often I request this, but for the love of everything please keep us updated. I'm deadly curious to hear what she has to say for herself.
Op I cannot stress how bad of an idea it is to talk to her about it first. There's no convincing her of anything, just do it. Your opening yourself up for repatriation if you relent by staying in the small room while trying to reason with her. What if she puts a lock on it before you? Or trashes the room? You need to seriously just do it while she's gone now, not later.
Follow her lead...
Just move it back yourself while she's out. Her boyfriend gets exactly no say. She agreed to live in the smaller room for the same rent. You are rightfully pissed.
That is other level crap!Giphy
Holy crap, this is a new different level of abusive POS.
OP, I recommend you call the cops and ask them what you should do regarding Tom given his behaviour is such that he might just turn up and demand entry or force his way in.
Also with regards to Lana, (1) suggest she go visit a therapist to talk through what happened (she needs it I think, she's been in an abusive relationship), (2) tell her to send Tom a message saying they're over, and that she's blocking him on everything (and then block him on everything and/or get a new number) and that if he comes near her, she's going to the cops (and then if he does, go to the cops).
Also get your aunt to officially say that he's not allowed in the apartment - that way if the police can't do anything before hand, you be able to at least try to get him on trespassing charges when he (eventually, given his boundary stomping behavior) turns up at the apartment.
Three seperate points here:
1) They shouldnt have touched your stuff or moved rooms. Reverse that while they are at work, just do it right now. Also get a lock.
2) An even rent split with uneven rooms isnt fair, even if she has no room to complain because she knew that going in. If you want good relations going forward (and to be the bigger person), perhaps decide what is a fair rent split and propose this to her when she gets back.
3) Boyfriend isn't supposed to live here and isn't paying anything. Does he now? Time to nip that crap in the bud.
I had a roommate secretly move her boyfriend into our house, then 6 months after the fact, send us all an email basically saying "so... [bf] is living with us... that's cool, right?"
Meanwhile, a couple of years later, when my boyfriend was in an awkward living situation (there was a death involved) and was staying with us a lot more often, which I was very upfront with them about and asked if it was okay with beforehand, I ended up getting so much stuff about it. I got confronted (after coming home from a night out with friends, so I was drunk. Yay, thanks) about him "living with us." I wanted to hit aforementioned roommate.
I've since moved.
2 can play this game!
She's established that it is okay to move things around when the other roommate is not present. Follow her rule. Then inform her that it is no longer a rule. Get a lock on your door.
Your remaining time together as roommates won't be pleasant. Understand your legal options.
That was extremely invasive and inappropriate of her. Move your stuff back and her stuff out.
Then talk to her:
- Remind her that she moved in under the understanding that she had the smaller room.
- Tell her that if she had a problem with the rooms, she should have spoken to you first, not just moved in. Talking is what adults do.
- Suggest she consider how she would have felt coming home after a long trip to find all her belongings have been moved.
- Remind her that while you have the larger room, she has a boyfriend who takes up space too. Couples often pay more rent than singles.
- Explain that you understand housemates need to communicate and negotiate, and tell her you're happy to do this, but it needs to be honest and upfront, not all cloak and daggers and wait till she's gone....
Of course, the reason this is an issue is because you know you're getting the better end of this deal. Are you happy to discuss this? Would you pay a slightly larger share of the rent? You say that you "naturally" took the bigger room, but that's not necessarily the default position. I pay more rent than my flatmate because I have a slightly better room (same size, but I have a better view), and because I store some of my stuff in my flatmates room. (Like you, I found the place.) So I'd be prepared to consider what is fair as well.
This is simple. You don't need to have a discussion with her. While she's at work, move your stuff back to your room, take her off season clothes out of your closet, and install a lock. If she had an issue about the price she's paying or the size of her room, she should've negotiated that during the contract signing. Also, do not allow a third party (her boyfriend) who does not live there, dictate or comment about anything to do with that apartment. To be honest, your roommate sounds like a shitty person and opportunist under that niceness...anyone who would move all of someone's stuff out of their room is not nice.
I'm sorry this happened to you.
I think you can insist that her boyfriend not be around when you two discuss what happened. He's not on the lease, he has no say, period. In fact why not be proactive and message her? That you two would be having a talk about the rooming issue today after she finishes work, and that it would just be a discussion between the two of you.
Don't give in to her on this. She knew what she signed up for, and she basically took advantage of you. And after she moves back to her old room, consider locking up your room all the time whenever you're not around. She has more than certainly lost the privilege of going into your room in your absence.
Stand your ground!Giphy
It seems unlikely that you two will be coming to an amicable solution to this. She just decided to move your stuff because she wanted to and it's unlikely that she's going to back off now.
Is her name on the lease, since you paid the deposit and all that? Did she pay you back for what you paid in the deposit?
I would suggest that you just try to talk to her, without her boyfriend present so they can't gang up on you, and explain to her that since you found the apartment and kept it off the market while searching for a roommate that the larger bedroom is yours. She agreed to the initial rent price when she moved in, knowing full well which bedroom would be hers. It doesn't matter if it's fair, it's what she agreed to do and she did not voice any concerns up front. If she wanted to renegotiate the terms of the deal she should have done that when she first moved in, rather than wait for you to leave and take matters into her own hands.
If her name isn't on the lease you can probably evict her yourself since she would be subletting from you. If she is on the leash it's probably unlikely that you'll be able to do much about it. I would go talk to your landlord immediately and inform him that since you reserved the apartment first, you intend to keep it at the end of the lease and your roommate will not be signing back on. You might be able to get "dibs" on keeping the place when your lease it up and essentially force her out at that time.
Take pictures of everything in each room (before and after, that way there are no accusations about you stealing anything), and move your things back while she is gone. I would not suggest this normally, but since this is exactly what she did to you I would feel comfortable reciprocating.
Reiterate to her when she comes home that you said she could have a friend or relative stay in your bed if they were over while you were away- NOT that she and her boyfriend could completely move into your room and commandeer it. If she argues, remind her that when she accepted the lease it was on the terms that the smaller room would be hers (and she should have brought up any issues or concerns about that at that point). Tell her that you have retracted the offer to let her keep her things in your wardrobe (there's no way I would continue allowing this after what she did), as you will be installing a lock on your door due to her inappropriate actions.
If you WAIT to move these things (and install a lock), you are opening yourself up to this situation becoming the norm. It will be a lot more difficult to get her to move her things when she is there versus you just doing it (like she did YOURS) when she's gone.
No room for trust!
I know she says he doesn't have a key, but that's not a chance you should take. You need to change your flat lock immediately. Neither of you have any idea if he "borrowed" it and made a copy. I don't want to be alarmist, but this guy sounds possibly dangerous.
No Permission Necessary!Giphy
I don't know why you're trying to be amicable and fair with her when she didn't give you the same - what a massive invasion of privacy. She literally touched all your personal stuff with NO PERMISSION in order to do this, I would be so disturbed. Call a big strong friend over as back up, text your roommate that you are moving stuff back (you don't even owe her a heads up but that's about as nice as you need to be), and get going.
Medicine is a difficult profession. Thanks to the wonder that is human nature, healthcare workers are subjected to incredible Darwin-award-winning scenarios daily, so it’s no wonder that many of them feel the need to go home and scream into their pillows at night. From self-inflicted injuries to dangerous prescription misuses, these Redditors revealed the most facepalm-worthy patients they’ve ever encountered.
But be warned: They’ll all leave you wondering how we’ve survived this long as a species.
There Is No Plan Cwhite and red cross signPhoto by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
I’m a pharmacist. One evening, I was working a relief shift (not at my usual pharmacy). A man comes in looking distressed. He tells me, “I had intimate relations with a woman I do not intend to pursue a long-term relationship with”. Yes, he said it just like that. I say, “Okay. I’m assuming there was an accident, or it was unprotected. How long ago did it happen”? He answers, “Last night, at 7 PM on the couch”.
Woah, TMI. I just needed to know the approximate time so I’d know if Plan B would work. I start to tell him, “We have this medication called Plan B, and since the incident happened within 72 hours—” but he interrupts me and I was thrown completely off guard: “Oh yes, I got that for her already yesterday, right after we finished. We want to know if there is anything we can do to know if she is pregnant now”.
I answer, “Unfortunately not. She’ll have to wait three weeks or so to see if she gets her period, and if she doesn’t, she can do a pregnancy test then. Theoretically, you could do a blood test for faster results, but that would also not be until a couple of weeks, at least”. He responds, “We’re just really anxious because she doesn’t want to be pregnant. Is there anything that she can take to prevent the pregnancy? Any multivitamin? Minerals? Food”?
I tell him, “She’s already taken it, which was the Plan B. There are some other options, but those are prescriptions. And no, there are no over-the-counter products she can take”. Then he asks, “What about me? Is there anything I can take now to prevent the pregnancy? Any multivitamins or minerals”? A little bemused, I just answer, “…No sir. There isn’t anything you can take now”.
Get A Load Of This Guy
I’m 73, and I’m a former clinical microbiologist from LONG ago. Still, I found myself all over the clinical lab at times, not just infectious diseases. So, one day, this 20-something guy (with his wife and mom in tow) walks in with a paper request for an analysis of his “swimmers”, pre-computer era. Okay, not the most comfortable encounter, but I’m a professional, and I’d done this drill many times.
It turned out he had not been briefed by the doctor and had no idea how establishing infertility in males was done. Well, okay—this would be a challenge, then. I took him aside and, using standard medical terminology, told him how a diagnosis is made and what he needed to do to provide a specimen. He couldn’t believe that I was asking him to “do it” into that container.
Astonished! Then he played dumb as if the concept was unfamiliar to him. We looped through the medical terms and procedure again, and I eventually resorted to every word I knew to describe the “act”. It was like a George Carlin bit! A half-hour later, he emerged from the toilet with two inches of urine in the cup. God almighty.
The report came back: “Patient provided improper specimen”.
This Is How The Elderly Get Their Wrinkles
I’m a paramedic. I had an elderly woman complain that her mouth was dry and she felt a bit dizzy climbing the stairs earlier. So I go through the whole rigamarole of getting a medical history, vitals, and more detail on her symptoms. Then I asked her what she’s had to drink today. Her answer? A cup of tea—ten hours ago. I asked, “Any water”? She says no.
Guess what fixed it within five minutes.
The Mother Got A Lot Of Heat For This
I was at the children’s hospital with my eldest when he was a toddler (ah, the day we found out he was allergic to penicillin) when a rushing team suddenly occupied the bed next to me with a limp, unresponsive infant. This happened on a hot day during the mid-summer. The baby was in a full Canadian winter-level snowsuit.
After they got the baby’s temperature down, I overheard the doctor losing his mind a little bit with the mother as she kept insisting she had to have her baby in the suit lest the baby risk feeling chilly. He explained that the minor discomfort of having to cry for a blanket did not trump the risk of it losing its life or the possibility of literally frying the kid’s brain.
He had to get quite nasty with his wording in that she had almost unalived her baby and might have given it brain damage.
Mr. Hot Shot
I had a buddy who was an EMT, and he was called out to a location for a GSW. What happened was a father was mowing his lawn when he accidentally touched a part of the mower near the engine and burned his hand. He got mad at the lawnmower, pulled out his pistol, and shot it. The shot ricocheted and hit his son in the leg.
Now, He’s Gonorrhea-Valuate All His Conditions…a woman holding a stethoscope in her right handPhoto by Eben Kassaye on Unsplash
I worked in ED for 10 years. Every day. Every day people come in, and it shocks you how they’ve managed to evade unaliving themselves for that long. One of the worst was when we had a guy come in. He was a twin. He told us he needed to get checked for STDs because his sister just got one. We, of course, had to ask if he’d had intimate relations with her, and he said no, but they were twins, so whatever she has, so does he.
After a collective sigh of relief that this wasn’t some weird Alabama, your-my-sister scenario, we had to educate him on how that’s not how it worked at all.
It Was An Arm of Intervention
I got told to go introduce myself to a patient to get vitals, history, and more info on their chief complaint, before starting an IV and drawing blood for labs. She came in for arm pain, and it looked like she had a nasty bug bite on her arm. So her story was she was an exotic dancer, and her Adderall prescription wasn’t doing the trick. So, she had an idea of how to make it more potent.
She heard from a friend that if you crush it up, suspend it in water, and then inject it, it would be more effective. Except she used tap water to dissolve the Adderall before she injected it. This ended up causing a huge abscess and infection at the site of injection. She ended up losing her arm at the elbow...So now she’s a one-armed exotic dancer.
They Must’ve Gone Ballistic
I had a patient who had a bullet lodged in her leg. We had the surgeon come and assess her. Based on its placement, he suggested leaving it because removing it could cause even more danger. We discharged her. She immediately walked to the ER in the same hospital to complain of leg pain. She had prescriptions and wound supplies in her hand.
Still, they brought her back, discovered her injury, and called for a surgical consult. The same surgeon was on-call and came to assess her. Guess what?! The surgeon made the same suggestion to leave it. Then we educated her EXTENSIVELY about never getting an MRI or the metal will fly out of her skin. Eventually, she left.
She returned a few months later to a sister hospital complaining of a headache. She got inpatient admission, and you guessed it: They did an MRI. The slug ripped out, and the MRI machine was down for almost a week!
She Just Couldn’t Seem To Grasp The Conception
I had an 18 or 19-year-old girl come into my ER with some complaint that required an X-ray. It’s standard that we do a urine pregnancy test before imaging on any female of childbearing years. She insisted she’d never “done it”, and there was zero possibility of pregnancy. We did the test anyway, and it resulted that she was pregnant. We then did a blood pregnancy test to confirm the result since she insisted she couldn’t possibly be pregnant because she’d never had intercourse.
That was positive too. We gave her a few minutes to herself to figure out what the heck happened, and when I returned to check on her a short time later, she asked me if she could get pregnant even though her boyfriend “didn’t go all the way in”. She 100% believed that as long as he wasn’t entirely inside her, it didn’t count as intercourse.
It took nearly a half hour of explaining reproduction for her to understand that, whether it’s halfway in or in, sperm travel.
It Ultimately Wasn’t Very Fun-Knee
I overheard a conversation between a nurse, a doctor, and a patient in the ER. They were trying to figure out whether the patient was very stupid or had a head injury. It was both hilarious and sad. He kept telling them that he was there for a hurt leg, but he couldn’t explain why his leg was hurt, how it was hurt, or how he got there—nearly anything.
I heard them talking in a hallway to each other. The nurse was convinced the patient hit his head. The doctor, without skipping a beat, dropped his unexpected diagnosis: “No, he is just an idiot.” It turned out the doctor was right. They got ahold of the guy’s wife. She told them in the hallway he’s always this dumb, and if she left him, he would get lost in his own house and starve.
It sounded like the patient’s leg was visibly injured or swollen. But when asked what happened or how it felt, he gave nonsensical idiot answers. He wasn’t slurring, but answering in a regular idiot voice, saying things like, “It feels hurt”, and “I was talking to Jimmy, and we were doing our usual work, and my leg hurts”.
The doctor would ask, “Did something happen? What is the work”? But the patient kept responding, “Something always happens; you know how it goes”, or “I just want my leg fixed”.
An Change Of Heartman in white dress shirt wearing black framed eyeglassesPhoto by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash
This one came from a colleague of mine. So, this 60-something-year-old suffered from an acute complication and got a pacemaker to solve the problem. Everything went normally, and as planned, he recovered. Every care and medication that he needed to take got prescribed and explained and his medical appointments with a cardiologist/arrhythmologist were scheduled so he could get the follow-ups he needed. The man then proceeded to never show up to any appointments and never answered any calls from the hospital to know of him and reschedule.
This went on for around three years. Then one day, he showed up without former warning and asked to talk with the doctor who did the procedure to put in his pacemaker. People were weirded out, but since the doctor was present that day and this patient was in clear distress, they talked to him and managed to find a couple of minutes to have the doctor check on him. Inside the appointment room, the doctor noticed that the man was wearing a bra inside his shirt.
The man explained he’d been wearing his daughter’s bra for three months after his “problem” got worse. So the doctor asked that he take off his shirt…and there he stood, this shirtless man wearing his daughter’s bra, showing off the pacemaker that should’ve remained inside his body. It was now dangling outside of it, being held by the left bra cup, with a big infected open wound above it with the pacemaker leads still inserted into his veins and connected to his heart.
Nobody had any idea how the man let that situation come to be or how he didn’t pass from sepsis or any other health problem that might’ve appeared, for that matter.
The Parents Were The Real Suckers
While working the midnight shift in the ER, a family brought in a four-year-old at 2am-ish. I asked them what was wrong. They said, “Ask him. He said he needed to see a doctor”. I further pressed, “Did he say anything was wrong”? They answered, “No. He said he needed to see a doctor, so we brought him”. A quick back and forth firmly established that they actually showed up to the ER at 2 AM, purely because the four-year-old said he needed to see a doctor and that they didn’t know why.
So I asked the child, “Why do you need to see a doctor”? His answer made me shake my head in disbelief: “The doctor has suckers”. To be clear, it was the parents who lacked sense and not the kid.
A Very Delicate Condition
I’m a social worker, and one of my clients kept getting pregnant over and over after having kids. I had a frank conversation with her about birth control or getting her tubes tied because she kept going through horrific births only to get her kids taken away, and she said to me that she didn’t know that birth control or safe intercourse would save her from getting pregnant.
She didn’t realize that intercourse = pregnant because she was mistreated as a child, and her father told her that she could only get pregnant when she fell in love, and she had never been in love, so she didn’t understand why she kept getting pregnant. Intercourse was only a pleasure for her, so she didn’t realize that was what was getting her pregnant.
The Answer Was At Hand
I am a dermatologist in India. As is the culture here, people eat with their hands, and almost all of our curries or even other dry side dishes have a lot of turmeric. It is common knowledge to anyone born and brought up in India that this means the nails of your dominant hand (statistically, the right hand) will be yellow-stained because we have seen this happen since our childhood.
Usually, this wears off in about a day and a half if you wash it a couple of times. Cut to the first patient in my OPD, a young girl in her early 20s, very anxious. I ask her, “What brings you here today”? The patient says, “Doc, my right-hand fingernails keep getting yellow-discolored”. I take a look and confirm, “Only your right hand”? She answers, “Yes, and only after meals”.
So I ask her, “Erm…do you eat with your hands”? The patient confirms, “Yes, always”. I then explain to her, “So...you know it’s just turmeric, right”? And she goes, “Yes, but can you make it stop happening”? Perplexed now, I just tell her, “For God’s sake, use a spoon”! But she’s still not quite getting it. Surprised, she asks, “So you mean there is no medicine to make it stop”?
I just stared at her while she looked at me expectantly. “NO”! This might hit home more with people of South Asian cultures or people who habitually eat turmeric-cooked food with their hands. Anyway, for a grown person to complain about this was just…well, surprising and a little ridiculous.
This Guy Wasn’t Very Treat Smart
I work in emergency medical services. I had a diabetic in his 30–40s who refused to take insulin since 2012. It was 2020 at the time. When I took his blood sugar, it only read as “HI”, meaning it had to be over 700 for the glucometer not to read it. Upon seeing this, he asked me if that was high and then went, “Is this because of all the ice cream I ate”?
He was playing a Facebook Messenger video with his girlfriend the entire time. I met him later on in the parking lot after he got discharged, and it took this man less than fifty paces from the ER door to rip off the bandage covering his IV and play with the IV wound until it started bleeding all over the place again.
He then knocked on our ambulance door and asked for a bandaid to fix it. We had to walk him back into the ER and bandage his entire arm with gauze so that, hopefully, by the time he got it off, it would’ve clotted enough for him not to end up exsanguinating himself.
Rubbing Salt In The Woundbrown and white shell on orange round platePhoto by Arnold Antoo on Unsplash
My sister told me a story of a woman with chronic blisters and lesions on her lips. They couldn’t figure out what it was for weeks. It would heal and come back, heal and come back. The truth was disturbing—it turned out she would jam out on like three bags of salt and vinegar chips a day for weeks at a time until the sores hurt too bad to continue, then she’d go to the doctor.
Details Make A Difference
This was one of the funniest yet cutest ones from when I was a student doing a shift in andrology/reproductive health. Doctor: “So, you’re trying to have kids but not managing to. Do you have any other kids”? Patient: “Yes, Doc. I have one”. Doctor: “Okay, so we need to do [this and this and that]”. Patient: “Okay, great”.
Then he proceeded to visit him and stuff, after which he went away. But after a couple of seconds, he knocked on the door again, saying: “Hello, Doc. My wife told me that it would be relevant to you that the son I have is adopted, but that makes no difference to me. I’ve always considered him my son”!
Do No Farm
I’m a physiotherapist. For those who don’t know, after a total knee replacement, you have a six-week window after the surgery to regain the range of motion. If you don’t regain the range in those first six weeks, it ain’t coming back. I had a patient who was a farmer who was very enthusiastic about regaining the range because he needed to be mobile for his work. I saw him for the first time about five days after his surgery.
I showed him all the basic exercises, told him not to do any farm work for at least six weeks, and told him to come back to see me once a week for the first six weeks. He disappeared and came back about eight weeks later. His range was non-existent, maybe 30 degrees of range in total. He was visibly mad at me as if it was my fault. He was shouting and calling me incompetent.
Our conversation went something like this: Me: “Have you been doing the exercises”? Him: “No”. Me: “How often are you doing farm work”? Him: “Every day”. Me: “Why haven’t you come back since the first appointment eight weeks ago”? Him: “Too busy with farm work”. Me: “So, to summarize here, you did absolutely nothing that I told you to, and this is somehow my fault”?
I never saw him again.
A Jaw-Dropping Encounter
As a pharmacist, I often encounter a lot of people who lack common sense; namely, everyone who comes in to buy homeopathic stuff, especially for serious things. Once, a lady came in with a prescription from the dentist for some heavy antibiotics and painkillers due to an infection that threatened to damage the jawbone.
When I asked if she knew how to take them, she went: “Oh, I’m not gonna take those; they’ll go right into the garbage. But I gotta buy them so that my dentist is happy. I’d rather stick with [insert name of homeopathic stuff here] instead of harming me with some devilish chemicals”!
Throughout the years, I’ve learned to just shrug and accept those Darwin-award candidates instead of arguing with them. It just infuriates me when I see that they’ve got children or/and pets…
That’s Never Gonna Heel Now
This was circa 1983, and I’m a nurse (retired). I had this one guy in his early 20s who went swimming hammered in a notoriously nasty lake in our area. It was a “don’t drink the water” kind of lake, and he went in without shoes, stepped on an old booze tab, and cut his foot open. He didn’t go to the hospital or try to clean it at all for about a week. His girlfriend said he kept saying, “It’s fine, it’s just a cut”, when she pressured him to get it seen, so of course, he showed up in the ER with a foot that blew up like a balloon.
Healing it took two and a half months in the hospital, with his foot completely laid open in surgery, doing debridement and packing, which I can honestly say after over 30 years in healthcare stands as one of the nastiest jobs I have ever had to do—and I had been dealing with things like bedsores and open wounds from radiation treatments and cancer for about seven years at that point.
It was bad, but that's not all—on top of this, he was obnoxious, disrespectful, and, when the opportunity presented itself, cruel. Other nurses, you know the type, they’re everywhere. Hopefully not as open about it these days, but yeah. I had a student nurse I was training come running out of the room in tears and refused to go back in and would not tell any of us what he said, but I can imagine.
Eventually, we finally got it cleaned out, and it’s responding well to antibiotics, and the tissue is granulating well. He gets sent home with antibiotics and strict instructions on how to care for it and to keep it clean and dry. THE DAY he left the hospital, he went back out to the same lake, got inebriated, put on some nasty tennis shoes, and went swimming.
He showed up on our floor again a week after being discharged. He lost the foot. His girlfriend left him.
Fortunately, They Caught Him Red-Handedman in blue scrub suit wearing blue stethoscopePhoto by Bruno Rodrigues on Unsplash
I don’t know if a cleaner in a hospital counts, but this one time, I got to work early on a Saturday morning, and we immediately received a request for help from the ER and got sent over by my boss. When I got there, the first thing I heard was yelling from this guy behind one of the curtains. He was shouting at the nurses, “Don’t touch my downstairs”, and “I didn’t use any substances”!
Then I smelled iron in the air, and then I found out there was blood all over the hallway, with hand prints in blood against the wall. Almost the entire floor was covered in blood, with actual puddles in some places. What happened? The guy pulled out his catheter, causing arterial bleeding, and he decided to run away from the nurses who were trying to help him.
It seems like he lived through that. I had never seen that much blood before that day, nor after.
Thinking Against The Grain
I am a medical professional, but I have two really good ones about my ex-fiancé. Laugh at me all you want; this relationship was not my proudest moment. For starters, at our baby shower for my son, he asked if we were going to pick “innie” or “outie”. I looked at him like he was insane, and he started getting angry and just repeated the question louder until I shushed him and took him aside to explain to him that we don’t choose how the belly button looks; it just happens.
Another time, he had really bad eczema and went to a doctor who suggested oatmeal baths during flare-ups. He bought a couple of boxes of Quaker Oats Maple & Brown Sugar and would dump the entire box packet by packet into the tub. It was a couple of weeks before I found the wrappers and questioned him about it.
He told me (angry again) that he wondered why he was so sticky after getting out and why the freaking literal brown sugar was making his open wounds fester. I explained that an oatmeal bath is not flavored oatmeal and that he had to buy either plain oats or actual oatmeal bath packets. He was furious that I expected him to just know better.
When I asked him why he picked maple and brown sugar, he said he didn’t want to smell like strawberries or peaches after his bath. After our son was born (and we had broken up, thank God), my son also had some occasional eczema, but not nearly to the same degree. The pediatrician recommended oatmeal baths, and GUESS WHAT THIS FREAKING GUY BOUGHT?
He said he only remembered what happened the last time when he picked my son out of the sink, and the towel stuck to him. When I started to scold him for being so stupid, he looked at me like I was an idiot and told me he only used one packet since we were still bathing the kid in the sink instead of in an entire tub.
The Patient Had A Med-ley Bag
I’m a pharmacist. I had a woman bring in a literal sandwich bag that she kept all her meds in, unseparated. She needed help seeing which meds she was low on or out of and was asking different questions about the medications. When she pointed to an Apoquel and stated it was her blood pressure medicine, I immediately became concerned as to why pet medicine was in her bag (and also why she was mixing all her meds in a bag in the first place).
It was then that I found out that she had been throwing her pet’s meds inside her bag of medicine, too. So Lord knows what she’d been giving her dog or taking herself. I immediately stressed how important it is to keep medicine in its original container to protect both the medicine and herself and to know the directions of how to take it.
I’ve seen her a few times since then, and I’m glad to see she has since taken my advice. But how any pharmacist or doctor hadn’t advised her on this before is beyond me.
They Didn’t Air On The Side Of Caution
I used to be a medical oxygen tech, mostly doing in-home work. One guy was on such a high concentration that he would have drawn nearly zero oxygen from breathing regular atmosphere. This required two heavy-duty machines hooked up in tandem just to keep him barely alive. This was explained ad nauseam to him and his wife with fully signed documentation of every conversation.
What they did was absolutely ridiculous—they’d shut one machine off because they decided it was too loud. He’d take his mask off because he decided it was too cold. She would unplug the hose if she decided it was in the way. So on and so on. They did everything you could think of that would restrict or cut off his oxygen intake. Then they would panic and call our emergency service when he started to react to no oxygen intake.
I lived not even five minutes away, right beside our EMS station, and calls would always come for me to “fix” the machines at random times of the day and night, 3–7 days a week. They refused to call 9-1-1 because they “didn’t want to make a scene”. This went on for ages, well over 18 months, until he was having trouble sleeping one night, and they shut the machines off before going back to bed.
It’s been years, and I still see the wife around town. She always glares at me as if I’m the one who unalived him.
She’ll Just See Herself Out, Now…
I’m an ophthalmology surgical technician. A glaucoma patient in her late 50s was going blind despite her drop therapies for the past six months. Her pressure was consistently in the 30s and 40s. I asked her if she was using her drops regularly (twice daily), and she said yes. I asked, as politely as I could, if she’d missed any doses in the past month. She said no. I asked if she was using them properly, and she got super offended.
She asked me very rudely, “Do I look like an idiot to you”? I said, “No, but I just need to be sure. Sometimes patients think they’re doing it right, but they can easily miss it. Can you show me how you use your drops”? So she took out her drop bottle, gave it a good shake (so far, so good), looked up at the ceiling (also a good sign), opened her MOUTH, and swallowed two drops.
I got in trouble, but my OD backed me up and told her that’s the stupidest thing he’s ever seen in 25 years. She cried and said we were being mean to her and that the drops burned her eyes, so she didn’t want to put them in there, and since the eyes, ears, nose, and throat are all connected, why did it matter where she put them?
That’s not how glaucoma therapy works. She needed a shunt implant, and we were able to save about 30% of her visual field. But yeah, she was drinking her drops and going blind.
That’s Ill-Adviseda woman in a white shirt holding a stethoscopePhoto by Alexandr Podvalny on Unsplash
I used to volunteer at a free medical clinic to take vitals and histories. A woman came in with pneumonia and wanted to know why her normal treatment of drinking half a bottle of Listerine and inhaling a pack of cancer sticks a day wasn’t working. I asked why she thought ciggies were a good treatment for a lung infection, and she said, “Indians used to purify the ground by burning all the weeds away before planting, so I’m puffing to purify my lungs”.
I left that one to the doctor.
I’m an optometrist. I had a patient booked in for an emergency appointment with a raging red eye. It was very painful. So I looked under the microscope, and the cornea was not happy: wobbly reflexes, haziness, the works. So I asked, “What happened”? The patient said, “It’s my niece’s wedding this Saturday, and I wanted to tint my eyelashes to match my hair, and the color scheme of the wedding is light blue, so I used the same dye for both to match the color”.
I inquired, “Does that hair dye contain ammonia, by any chance”? The patient answered, “I think so. Do you think my eye will be better by Saturday? Will it match the color scheme”? I just responded, “Unless you can convince them to change the color scheme to red, no”.
This Grave Mistake Takes The Biscuit
I heard this story from a sibling; I don’t think he’d mind me sharing it just on the off chance it prevents someone else from making this mistake. Lots of surgeons have a similar story, but thankfully this one doesn’t end in someone’s demise. According to my brother, these parents claimed that their child hadn’t eaten anything before surgery, as they were carefully directed. But it turned out they thought the surgical team was just being cruel to their child.
So when she said she was hungry that morning, they detoured on their way to the surgical center and got her a full Southern breakfast. The result was triggering—she dang near passed from aspirating biscuits and gravy. I’ve rarely seen my brother so angry and disgusted (somehow, biscuits and gravy look even more nauseating the second time around) as he recounted what had happened.
I do not doubt that he tore a strip off the parents once their five-year-old was stabilized, and they probably still felt justified and angry at the surgeon for telling them what they could and could not feed their child right before anesthesia. The parents did feel justified and hard-done-by, although, as far as I know, they didn’t express anger at my brother (knowing him, they didn’t get a word in edgewise).
There was no acknowledgment or realization that they could easily have unlived their own child or that they’d made a bad decision. I remember they were annoyed by her whining for food.
The Outcome Suited Them Just Fine
I’m a pharmacist. One time my coworker, another pharmacist, got served with a lawsuit while I was there. The patient suffered a fall resulting in a concussion, and she claimed it was because her Lisinopril (blood pressure medication) got increased from 10mg to 20mg and that she’d not been informed and passed out as a result. She was suing the pharmacist, the pharmacy, her doctor’s office, and the doctor.
It eventually came out in early discovery that she was at a rave and had a BAC of 0.18, THC, and MDMA in her system. The case against the doctor’s office, doctor, and pharmacy fell apart right away, so she decided to go all-in on trying to sue the individual pharmacist. The pharmacy’s POS system confirmed that she checked, “I decline pharmacist consultation at this time”. So the case was eventually dropped.
He Had To Take A Pregnant Pause
I work in the ER. I have so many stories. The one that left me dumbfounded was a woman who was brought in by her sister for pelvic cramps and amenorrhea for three months. Lo and behold, she’s pregnant. The sister informs me that she sleeps with the Brazilian construction workers building the condo complex next door. I ask if they have any questions.
The patient then asked me if her baby would come out speaking Spanish. After a long pause and her sister staring at the ceiling, I told her, “No, because they speak Portuguese in Brazil”. The patient seemed relieved, and the sister hustled her out of the ER before I could discharge her.
It Cost Them An Amen And A Legman in white dress shirt holding black tablet computerPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
I worked in cancer research/surgery a couple of years ago. There is a good amount of people who will refuse to have a small removal/surgery because they think holistic medicine or praying it away will work. They always come back, and we always have to remove so much more. One time a patient had melanoma on their calf, and the doctor wanted to do a simple wide excision, but they left because they wanted to pray it away.
They came back a couple of months later because it got bigger, and we had to amputate their leg. I’m pretty sure they had positive lymph nodes at that point too.
They Gave Her A Herbal Warning
A lady brought her baby into the ER with a rectal temp of 103. The kid had tachycardia (i.e. a fast heartbeat) and looked awful. The worst part? The lady refused all medications. She said she didn’t believe in them and wondered why her herbal tea (she brought a jug of it) wasn’t working. She wanted us to just check her out. She thought a children’s emergency room just checked them out. I tried to explain why the kid needed an NSIAD. She kept refusing. She said she didn’t know what was in it.
I brought up the fact she had her kid in a hospital and that she received medication herself (IV, epidural, etc). The lady didn’t budge. Only concerned for herself, I told her that when the kid has a seizure or goes unresponsive and she calls 9-1-1, she can expect the medics to give the kid everything it needs regardless of whether she likes it or not.
Desperate times called for desperate measures, so the doctor threatened to contact social services for child endangerment and mistreatment. Only then did she start to listen…for, like, five whole seconds. She then left against medical advice. People like this exist.
Words Cannot Expresso How Ridiculous This Call Was
I’ve been a firefighter for 18 years. People call 9-1-1 for the dumbest things ever. But the one that takes the cake? It was a guy who called 9-1-1 to say he was choking. He answered the door as high as a Georgia pine with a lit joint in his mouth. I asked him who was choking. He calmly said that he was. He said he swallowed an ice cube, and now he couldn’t breathe.
Just to be sure and partly out of morbid curiosity, I looked in his mouth and then asked him to take a few deep breaths...which he was able to do easily. He still insisted he couldn’t breathe. So I told him to make some hot coffee and then drink it. He asked me, “Why”? I told him that the coffee would melt the ice cube, and he’d be able to breathe again. “Oh, cool. Thanks, man”.
Then I left.
I work in clinical research at a hospital. Basically, for patients who have cancer but don’t have other standard-of-care options, clinical trials, or “experimental treatment”, are a viable option for many. Some people have a negative view of research, but it’s highly regulated and not as scary as it sounds. Anyway, we went through the consent form with this one patient who had a history of substance use.
We don’t know everything about this new medication, but one thing we DO know is that using coke while taking this drug will make your heart “explode”, in layman’s terms. This patient “promised” they were off the sauce and that they “totally wouldn’t do coke while they’re on the trial”. Two weeks later, they relapsed, and well…You can figure out the rest of the story.
Wrestling With Logic
My brother did a rotation in an ER before med school. Paramedics brought in a man with a lacerated neck. He was inebriated and fell into a fish tank. His equally inebriated buddies called 9-1-1. When the paramedics arrived, they realized his friends had put a very tight tourniquet around his neck to stop the bleeding. It turned out that the guy and his buddies had been playing a boozy game of WWE.
He had a two-inch glass shard stuck in his head in addition to the neck laceration, but the dude came into the ER with no idea the glass was there. Four different firefighters had to hold him down as he screamed prejudiced remarks at the female doctor. My brother said that when they removed the glass, blood shot out about 10 feet in the air.
My brother, at that point, silently “noped” the heck out of medicine. He went on to attend Berklee Music School and is living his best life as a musical producer and engineer, and is not arguing with rednecks about whether or not there is a glass shard in their head….
Shear Stupiditya close up of a person laying in a hospital bedPhoto by César Badilla Miranda on Unsplash
I’m an ER nurse with seven years of experience. The list of dumb things I’ve seen is nearly endless. People coming in with massive burns because they smoked in bed is not as rare as you’d think. But the one that got me the most was a guy who came in for chest pain and fatigue. An EKG revealed he was having a really bad heart attack.
We activated the cath lab for emergency stents to hopefully save the guy’s life. They almost always access the patient through the groin for the procedure, so one of our jobs in the ER is to shave the patient’s groin to prep them for the cath lab. We got the clippers out, as we don’t use actual razors anymore, and informed the guy we needed to shave him. This is when things got annoying.
He refused. No problem, we figured we woul adjust let the cath lab do it once he’s knocked out. Nope, the guy refuses to sign the consent for the stents because he doesn’t want his downstairs shaved.
After trying to educate him, pleading with him, and contacting every goddang lawyer the hospital had, the guy signed himself out of AMA and went home.
He would rather die than have his curlies shaved. We looked up his address, and we weren’t the closest hospital to him, so if he passed at home, the medics would have to take him to a different hospital. I doubt he survived the day.
Paws For Thought
I’m a vet. A few years ago, I had a client bring his young cat in complaining of lethargy. Besides being a bit underweight, the physical exam was unremarkable, so I asked more questions about the cat’s diet. I asked him, “What do you feed the cat”? The owner answered, “I feed him [online trendy raw food brand]”. I asked, “How is his appetite? Does he finish what you feed him”? The owner replied, “Yes, he always eats everything”.
Pressing further, I asked, “How much do you feed him”? The owner said, “Half a cup”. For clarification’s sake, I then asked, “Once or twice daily”? What he said next absolutely floored me. He answered, “Once every three or four days”. Shocked, I replied, “…You only feed your cat twice a week”? The owner explained, “I believe in a more natural feeding approach, and based on my research, that’s how often cats eat in the wild”.
This owner was slowly starving his cat into oblivion based on some cockamamie idea he’d made up while watching National Geographic. I had to explain to him that domestic cats are not tigers and that small wildcats eat 10–20 small meals daily. Surprise, surprise, the cat’s lethargy and weight improved with regular feeding.
I once heard a story about a particular patient receiving radiation therapy. It was impressed upon her that she couldn’t miss her fractions of radiotherapy, even if she were busy, so she needed to inform us if she really couldn’t make the appointment. Well, one day, she couldn’t make it. But instead of just informing us, she sent her twin sister to receive the radiation therapy in her place.
Of course, the twin answered yes to all the ID questions and had the same birthday, etc. She was only found out when the radiographers had trouble matching her to the CT. The CT was of a person who had undergone a mastectomy, while this “patient” still had both her mammaries. This story, many years later, is still told to new staff during training to reiterate the importance of ensuring correct identification.
You would be stunned by the number of people who try to skip the queue. The number isn’t high. But it isn’t zero.
It Took Some Arm Twisting
I work in orthopedic rehab. I had a patient with a common fracture of the wrist that a doctor sent over because she was inexplicably getting stiffer and stiffer. I spent 17 sessions with her one on one, 40ish minutes each. But nothing I did worked. For whatever reason, instead of just bending her wrist, she would contort her entire body.
She was married, raised kids, had a career, and was a seemingly functional adult. I tried everything to get her to actively use her muscles to move her wrist. I put her in front of a mirror, filmed videos of myself doing the exercise or her doing it, and tried to get her to spot the difference between moving your shoulder versus moving your wrist.
The last time I saw her, I even strapped her arm to a chair, and she still didn’t understand that she should’ve only been trying to move her wrist. I will never understand it.
There Was No Sugarcoating It
I work at a vet clinic. We get a lot of this sort of thing, oftentimes with diabetic patients. One of the worst I’ve seen was an older owner come in with an extremely overweight, diabetic dog. The owner says the dog has been slow, tires easily, and has been “flopping around”, which is odd for her. The doctor checks the dog’s blood glucose, and it is so high it is literally off the charts.
Normal blood glucose for a dog is around 100 or so. The dog's reading was shocking—it was beyond 1000. We asked the owner how it got so high. Was she eating? She was because she was obese. Were you giving her the insulin? The owner then proceeds to say that they think she’s probably fine without it since she’s a “strong and hardy dog”.
Ma’am, your nine-year-old 80-pound Dalmatian is currently half-alive on the floor because you don’t give her insulin. How they kept that poor dog alive for that long was astounding.
Are You Kidding Me!?a person is holding a picture of a babyPhoto by Amr Taha™ on Unsplash
When I was an intern posted in the obstetric department, I saw a 42-year-old pregnant woman who came for an antenatal checkup. This was her seventh pregnancy, and she had only one living child. So she had five pregnancies previously, which failed (three spontaneous abortions and two stillbirths). The sixth one had been high-risk too, and she’d needed to get a cervical cerclage done (they stitch the cervix because it is too weak to hold a baby in until term).
When the OBGYN asked her why she would put herself through pregnancy again instead of being content with her daughter, she replied, “My in-laws want us to have at least two children”. It was the biggest Pikachu-face moment of my life.
Jesus Took The Wheel Years Ago
I’m an optometrist. I had an elderly patient come in surrounded by concerned family members because the patient ran over one of those pop-up tents on the side of the road that the telephone engineers use to protect themselves from the rain. Luckily no one was hurt as the worker was on lunch. Worried as to how the elderly driver missed seeing a large, red, and white tent in the middle of the day, it was then that the elderly relative admitted to having spent the last three years driving from memory.
Trying Hard To Be Patient
I had a patient come to see me in the clinic on a Monday; everything was fine. By Tuesday morning, she’s on the hospital census with a pending consult for me. When I see her, she says she’s fine and doesn’t know why she was admitted. She then walked out of the clinic, called an ambulance from across the street, and got taken to a different hospital.
She reported her problems were uncontrolled, and nobody was taking her seriously. They transferred her back overnight because I don’t work at that other hospital. She then gets discharged Wednesday morning. On Friday morning, she is again back on the census with a pending consult. I go to see her, and once again, she says she’s fine, and she’s not sure why she’s there.
This time she had a friend pick her up from the hospital and drive her to a small outlying hospital without the services she needed. She walked into the ER and said she was in distress but that nobody was taking her seriously. Yet again, she gets admitted and transferred back to my hospital overnight. She gets discharged on Friday afternoon.
Sure as heck, she came back on Saturday morning. I asked her, “Why do you think you keep getting admitted to the hospital”? She has no clue. Completely baffled. I tell her it’s because she keeps going to hospitals and telling them she needs help. No lights come on. I ask her, “Why do you keep going to other hospitals”?
Finally, she tells me, “I didn’t know what else to do. My apartment is a complete mess. My caretaker won’t clean my apartment because I’m supposed to learn how to do it, and I just don’t want to do it”. Please note that she is not a ward of the state but still gets most of the services, like coaches, guardians, drivers, etc.
So, I follow up with, “But why do you keep telling them that I’m not taking you seriously”? What she said next is forever burnt into my brain. “If I don’t, they just send me home in a cab”.
I’m a dental nurse. My favorite story involved a 30-something-year-old woman who came in for a checkup at the low-cost emergency clinic I worked at. Her teeth were broken and almost black, and her gums were angry, swollen, bright red, and bleeding by just moving her tongue against them. She needed multiple scaling and hygienist appointments and a debridement.
An X-ray showed she needed work on all but her wisdom teeth, and the results made me raise my eyebrows—she needed 10 fillings. She also needed root canals to try and save some teeth and extractions for, I think, three teeth or possibly more if the root canal treatment didn’t work. I explained everything and did the usual explanation of proper oral hygiene.
I then asked her if she had any questions, to which she said, “It’s okay if I lose this set of teeth; my others will come through”. The dentist and I just looked at each other, probably a lot longer than we should have. No words. I couldn’t think of anything to reply to that comment. I had a lot of weird and disgusting things happen at that clinic. I miss working there.
When You Just Can’t Sulfa Fools
I’m a paramedic, and I had this call while working on a rural fire/EMS service. A call came in for an allergic reaction. I arrived at a rural farm and found the patient in the kitchen on the ground, wheezing. Her husband said she took sulfa, which she’s allergic to, and after grabbing her blood pressure, we hit her with epinephrine (which is the same as an EpiPen) and Benadryl.
Her breathing improved, and she started to be able to answer my questions. First, I confirmed her allergy by asking, “So, you’re allergic to sulfa”? The patient says, “Yeah”. I reply, “And you took sulfa”? Again, she goes, “Yeah”. So I asked, “Was it mislabeled or in the wrong bottle”? She answers me with a simple “No”. Okay…
Needing more information, I inquired, “Was it your husband’s prescription”? And unbelievably, she tells me, “No, it was for our horse”. Huh? Feeling a lot more confused, I respond, “Was...Wait, did you say a horse? You took sulfa prescribed for a horse”? She then clarifies, “Well, I only took half”. Sure, that makes it better.
Still trying to follow her logic, I guessed, “...You only took half because a horse is much larger than a person”? The patient confirms, “Yeah”. Uh-huh…I’m still not fully understanding, so I respond, “...Okay. Were you intentionally trying to hurt yourself”? And the patient indignantly answers, “No, of course not”. Exasperated now, I pressed, “But you know you’re allergic, right”?
And she goes, “Yeah. I just have a cold and thought it would help me breathe better”. I couldn’t believe it. Incredulously, I then summarized the situation back to her: “So you took horse sulfa—which you’re allergic to—because you had a cold and thought it would help your breathing”? “I took half a horse sulfa”, the patient corrected me. Good Lord.
I just responded, “Sorry, half. Gotchya. Let’s go to the hospital”.
This Patient Was In A Jamopened white and orange travel trailerPhoto by Muhammed Abiodun Mustapha on Unsplash
I’m a paramedic and was called out for a stroke. The man was having a stroke; upon doing a stroke screen, it looked like the patient had something large in his mouth. Thinking maybe this guy had some sort of oropharyngeal cancer or mass, I asked his wife if this was indeed the case, and she looked at me with a very puzzled look.
She said no, and then I asked, “What is in his mouth”? His wife then says it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that she shoved in there. When her husband’s symptoms started, she thought it was just that his blood glucose was low, so she tried to force-feed this poor man an entire sandwich before she called 9-1-1. Ah, job security.
It Was An Oxidant Waiting To Happen
There was a 24-year-old patient who was brought in from a prison in a rural county. He was working roadside cleanup when he found a bottle in a ditch that he thought contained booze, and he quickly chugged it down. To be fair, it did look like booze. It wasn’t. It turned out it was a substance that contained sulfuric acid. Its pH was less than 2.5...It just ate up the litmus paper. So shortly afterward, he gets to the ICU, and he is in excruciating pain and vomiting blood.
The gastroenterologist took him to do an EGD (basically a procedure where they can look at the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum with a camera attached to a flexible tube), and the pictures were horrendous. You could see his stomach and esophageal mucosa eroding. He had to be sent off to another hospital where they had an esophageal surgeon who could repair the mess.
He, of course, needed multiple surgeries and had a very long hospital stay. I saw him a few months later when he was admitted for another issue. He was down to 90 lbs (from about 150) and was getting fed through a PEG tube. He was very lucky to be young and otherwise healthy (but not very smart).
A Rash Decision
I’m a pharmacist. This story comes to mind, although I’m sure there are plenty more I’m not remembering. A woman came in, claiming that her medication was making her vomit. She said she couldn’t remember what it was called. So, I looked up her profile, but there was nothing recent, just some one-off antibiotics and an anti-fungal from almost a year ago.
I asked her if her medication was over the counter, and she said that it was and pointed me to the Monistat cream. I thought it was incredibly strange that a cream meant for “lady parts” had made her vomit, so I asked her how she had been using it. That’s when I learned the disgusting truth—much to my surprise, she’d been taking it by mouth.
She explained that she would fill the plunger with the cream, shoot it to the back of her throat, and swallow it so she wouldn’t taste it as much as putting it directly on her tongue and swallowing.
What A Meathead
I’m a rural ER doctor. A 35-year-old female walked in with right-sided jaw/neck swelling. She says, “I think it happened because I ate some meat yesterday that my body is reacting to…” Then suddenly, 10 minutes later: “Oh yeah, and I accidentally swallowed a bee, and it stung me in my mouth right before this happened. Sorry, I forgot to mention that”.
When Urine Need Of Some Whizdom
I had an adult male patient who needed a Foley catheter. His mother was in the room, and they both lived together in the backwoods of Tenessee. I informed them both of the order for a catheter, how it worked, and why it was needed. His mother stated, “Well, he’s still a virgin, and I’m not sure I’m comfortable with his virginity being taken in a hospital”.
In the United States, it's no secret that sex education for minors is inconsistent at best.
But some people learned very unexpected stories about how babies were made, and those stories had a way of making a lasting impression.
Curious about other's stories, Redditor ILoveYourCat asked:
"How did you think babies were made when you were little?"
One Time's the Charm
"I knew babies came from sex as a fairly young child. My parents never sugar-coated that. But for some reason, as a kid, I thought you only had to have sex once to have multiple pregnancies. I seriously didn't fix that misunderstanding until early middle school."
"At some point, when I finally accepted that you had to have sex to have a baby, I thought the only time people have sex was to make a baby, and it only took one time to get the job done."
"Then when I figured out teenagers were having sex, I thought you had to be married and have sex to make a baby, but then when my unmarried cousin got pregnant, I was just confused."
"But I was sure my parents only had sex four times, and then when my mom got pregnant with number five, I thought, 'Wow, they did it again.'"
"A stork delivered them, of course. What the f**k, lol (laughing out loud)."
"Storks... I thought people trained them to steal babies from a factory and you would leave special treats on your doorstep as payment and encouragement for the stork to steal one for you."
"I was scared to death of birds for the longest time and would have a tantrum at the zoo when I saw a flamingo."
Young Conspiracy Theorist
"The government. I used to think that we lived in a totalitarian society and that the government was in complete control of everything."
"I thought the President sent people their babies when asked by mail."
Scheduled Baby Delivery
"The women in my family explained to me at the age of six that a doctor calls you sometime after reaching adulthood at the age of 18 to schedule a baby delivery date."
"The husband either pays to schedule the appointment or the government does after verifying that you have been married and financially stable for quite some time."
"When two people kissed."
"I thought the same thing, but I understood that when my mom gave me a kiss, there was no risk. Being someone raised in a very Christian background, I assumed that when you got married, God made kissing a reproductive act."
"Since I made this assumption, I remember questioning why teenage pregnancy could possibly be an issue."
The Ultimate Christmas Gift
"I thought Santa was bringing them."
"He was. I mean, Christmas comes but once a year..."
"I MAY NEVER ENJOY CHRISTMAS AGAIN."
A New Meaning to 'Forest Friends'
"When I used to ask my dad where I came from, he'd say he found me under a rock in the forest. Of course, I would go look for babies under rocks, too, but all I ever saw was dirt and those rolly-polly pill bug thingies."
"It was so gross thinking babies were just found THERE that I was actually relieved to find out how they were actually made!"
Pregnant By Proximity
"I thought women got pregnant by just being around a man, and I was always confused about what would happen if a woman still lived with her parents or dad after she’s an adult."
Coming of Age Story
"I thought it was a 'just happens once you reach a certain age' sorta thing. As a woman, I was terrified because pregnancy sounds like the most awful thing, lol (laughing out loud)."
"(I know the end result is worth it but even as a 31-year-old, I'm like, nope.)"
"I thought they grew like a seed inside the mother's belly."
"Technically, that’s true."
"Well, not like that."
The Power of Marriage
"My mum told me you couldn't have a baby if you weren't married. Note that she said 'couldn't', not 'shouldn't'."
"When my unmarried cousin was sleeping a lot my mum told my aunt 'she's having a baby'. I thought 'she can't be having a baby, she isn't married.'"
"A couple of weeks later she had an engagement party, quickly followed by a registry office wedding. She had a baby a few months later."
"I thought they grew on trees. True story."
"Baby trees, lol (laughing out loud)."
"I was surprised when I learned how it really happened, lol. I was like, 'You mean there are no trees?' And Mom just shook her head."
They Were Just There
"I don't recall a time where I gave the matter any thought without knowing the reality of it."
"Like, literally, until the day I was first introduced to the concept of birth, I don't think I cared where babies came from."
"Right, the little guys just EXISTED."
Educated Is Best
"I asked my mom and she told me the truth."
"Educate your kids, folks. They can handle it."
"I didn’t... They just showed up, honestly."
"That’s what I thought. I was terrified as a little kid that I’d wind up being a teenage mother because I thought it just happened spontaneously."
"Exactly what I thought would happen. Like one day you were just, boom, six months pregnant."
While these responses might be funny, it's an important reminder of an area in the educational system that's often lacking.
But in the meantime, while the system's curriculum is getting sorted out, at least we can take comfort in the fact that we weren't alone in believing these tall tales.
One of life's many challenges to being successful and happy is to work hard and stay focused on our respective goals.
There are many obstacles that can discourage us, but persistence and a drive to overcome can be rewarding.
Unfortunately, there are some things that are simply beyond our control, and it has nothing to do with fate.
It's the qualities we're either born with or without that can impede us or prevent us from ever achieving what can only be seen as a pipe dream.
Curious to hear examples of one of life's cruelties, Redditor G00dR1ddance asked:
"How did your genetics f'k you over?"
These Redditors were unhappy with appearances.
"Lazy eye, and a total lack of depth perception."
"Same. Do you struggle with driving? I just moved to a big city and I can’t drive here bc navigating all the traffic is too hard with no depth perception. It’s so scary!"
The Worst Parts
"Moms Family: Perfect teeth, male baldness. Dad's family: Terrible teeth, perfect hairline."
"Me: Sh**ty teeth, bald before 25. My 2 brothers: Perfect Teeth, Perfect Hairline."
"Feels FN bad."
"They should all chip in for a trip for you to Turkey for a cheap hair transplant and dental work."
Made For Farming
"All 4 grandparents were farmers. I look like I was bred to farm and f**k to make more little farm workers. Broad shoulders, big boobs, no waist, no @ss worth mentioning, and thick legs. I just look like I was bred to work forever until I die. 120 years ago."
Stop With The Flattery
"I too am sturdily built. I am not tall but I am muscular and broad with the big boobs and the broad hips and sturdy legs. I could carry very heavy sacks of feed from when I was very small. My family nickname was 'the forklift truck', so that's.. nice."
Room For More
"My mother’s OB said she had a pelvis ‘you could drive a bus through’. I was a natural breach birth and share those genetics. You could host the last supper on my a** and have room for plus ones."
These Redditors are living on borrowed time.
"Bad heart. I'm the first male in at least 4 generations to make it to 40. And that's only because I was finally properly diagnosed and treated. I wouldn't have made it to 35 if I didn't find the right cardiologist."
"Bum ticker - dad’s aorta exploded when I was 11 and my brother died from the second heart at 41. Just hoping to see my 60s."
Being Kept At Bay
"I have a blood condition where I retain iron. It's slowly killing me. Destroyed my liver, pancreas, and led to a massive heart attack."
"Fortunately, I live in the 21st century where modern medicine can keep me going with...bleeding."
"Sad Aspect" Of A Family
"My oldest uncle married a woman who had Huntington's, but they were very young and she wasn't symptomatic yet. In the 70s so no genetic testing or much public awareness. They had 5 daughters. My aunt and their eldest have long since passed away, and the remaining 4 are in various stages of the disease. It's always been a sad aspect of our family. A truly cruel disease."
"I’m BRCA2 positive, giving me roughly 74% chances of developing an incurable genetic breast cancer in my life. It also gives me about 22% of having an ovarian cancer."
"On the other side, double mastectomy lowers my chances to about 3%, but it should ideally be done before I reach 30. I will also need a hysterectomy in my 40s."
"I had 50/50 chance of getting the BRCA2 gene mutation so well, genetics did f'k me over!"
Redditors share more of their crosses to bear in life after being blessed with these traits.
"I'm more attractive to mosquitoes than most people. If I'm out when mosquitoes are around, I end up covered in bites (which I'm also allergic to, so I end up with quarter sized welts that itch for daaaays after the fact)."
It's sobering to realize the ailments your parents struggled with are starting to become our own to bear.
High blood pressure, arthritis, and predisposition to atherosclerosis are some of the undesirable parts of my family's genetic makeup that I never really thought about until I noticed how fatigued and in pain I've become with age.
Although I have so much gratitude for surviving every year I get to celebrate my birthday, getting old still sucks.
Being let go from your job is never a pleasant experience.
Particularly if it comes out of nowhere, without any possible warning that this was a possibility.
Even if it isn't any more pleasant, generally speaking, most people have at least an inkling of why they were let go.
Budgetary reasons, dissolved departments, being told you weren't meeting company standards, or bad blood with the boss.
As well as some less common, highly unusual reasons which at least might make a good story down the line.
Redditor Sweetlo123 was curious to hear from people who were let go from their jobs, and why they were met with this fate, leaving them to ask:
"What did you get fired for?"
For Standing Up For What's Right.
"We were told we get OT for night work."
"The new 'company manager' let it slip that we don't actually get OT for night work, so when I was scheduled for five nights in a row working on a transmission line cell site I mentioned that I expect everyone working from our company on site get OT."
"Once it was said that we won't get OT and that it wasn't an actual policy (was written in employee handbook), I forwarded the email chain to the entire company and leadership at Verizon."
"I was canned, but now everyone gets OT for night work."
"My life is better now anyway and got my people what the deserve."- drklunk
This Was Never Going To End Well...
"Aggressively squeezing breakfast muffins lol."
"I was a few days into working at Mcds and someone complained I gave them a muffin that was too hard-they bake them at like 3 am and sit in a warmer all day."
"This was before they had the full bakery menu, I think muffins was the only thing baked and maybe cookies."
"So my manager told me to squeeze them before I hand them out."
"Me being a dumb teenager squeezed the s*it out of these muffins and got another complaint."
"They stopped scheduling me, haha."- eatmyknuts
You Have To Do The Work To Get Paid...
"I just stopped working and began only attending meetings."
"Lasted almost 9 months that way before they let me go."- frantictossingmartin freeman sleeping GIFGiphy
Wrong Time, Wrong Place
"I was fired after a month into my first job at a local pizza joint when I was 16."
"They called me during the Super Bowl and said I had to come in."
"I told them I was out of state without a car so no way I could make it."
"They said I should’ve known this was one of the busiest days of the year and I should’ve stayed in the area."
"I came in to work my next shift and they just gave me my paycheck and said they had to let me go for not being a team player."
"10 years later I was fired from a job in tech because I refused to move out of state."
"This one hurt a lot more."- seventyfive1989
Hard Not To Say They Had It Coming...
"The company's timeclock software ran off of the computers time, so when I was late I would just close the software, change the time back to before shift start and then clock in and change it back."
"The supervisor who showed me the trick fired me."
"A day or two later he saw me pulling in late, and when he went over the time info that day, it showed me clocked in on time."
"He knew why."- Grief-Inc
Nepotism Always Screws Someone Over...
"Worked at a gas station and was a sucker for the free soda."
"I would drink a few 24 oz glasses of Dr. Pepper (don’t judge) per shift and had to piss relatively frequently."
"I usually worked with the same lady every shift and every shift my drawer came up short even like $10-20 bucks."
"One day my usual co-worker was off and I worked with another lady who warned me to watch my drawer around the other and hers had been short when she was around."
"That got me to thinking."
"The next shift with the usual lady I stuck some receipt paper into the lip of the bottom of my drawer and hit the bead."
"When I came back the paper was on the floor."
"My drawer was short $20 at shift change and my boss fired me."
"I told her of my findings and asked her to review the security tape."
"She told me to f*ck right off the other lady had been there years."
"I left heart broken and rented some VHS tapes to indulge in and recover."
"One of the movies was Casino and man is that a good movie."
"Come to find out the usual lady was the boss lady’s cousin and they f*ckin told people I knew I got fired for stealing money."
"I though about calling a lawyer but also, I was in high school and was delusional I suppose."
"I got out of that town after high school and rarely return, especially considering all my family moved off."- woohhaaSnl Smiling GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
The Age Old Story Of Men In Power
"Caught the boss stealing."
"So he fired me."
"His word vs. mine and it didn't go my way."- freezingprocess
People Tend To Get What They Deserve
"Embezzled almost $500,000 from the doctor's office I worked at."
"Oh no, wait."
"That was my former supervisor who did that...26 years after she fired me for taking home a left over slice of pizza after a drug rep hosted a pizza party for the office staff."
"Karma can take a long time, but it always comes through."- YourFront
Late To The Game...
"Being the last hired when they instituted layoffs."- BubbhaJebus
Some Plans Can't Be Cancelled
"1970s YES 'Close to the Edge' tour."
"I had my tickets and had the request approved for time off, they changed their mind at the last minute and would not let me off."
"Left anyways and was genuinely surprised when I got back on Monday and they informed me that I was fired."-AmandaBRecondwith
Treat Others Like You Want To Be Treated
"My boss was talking sh*t about me to employees, and I confronted her with 'how would you expect the people below me to respect me when you show them that you don’t?'"
"She didn’t like it and literally went crying to the owners, who then fired me for 'causing problems'.”- Successful-Snow-562
For Literally Doing What They Were Supposed To
"I got fired for slacking off and underperforming at work by taking my legally required lunch."- 10leejHungry Lets Eat GIF by TRTGiphy
They Couldn't Have Waited One Day?
"Worked as a QA tester for an online game company."
"Found bug while on my personal account at home."
"Came in the next day and reported the bug."
"I was VERY clear I found the bug while playing at home on my personal account."
"It was a nasty bug that let you duplicate very expensive items."
"A few weeks later someone in customer service was checking the logs for people exploiting the bug."
"They found mine and the company decided to fire me on my birthday."
"That was around 15 years ago but it still upsets me every year, on my birthday."- PedanticCyborg
While most believe "ignorance is bliss", anyone handed a pink slip deserves to know why.
Even if sometimes the reason gives no closure whatsoever, and instead only results in even more questions.