Sleep is a human necessity.
So much so that without it, we die. To make sure we don't do that, our bodies will force us to sleep whether we want to and are comfortable or not.
Every now and then that means having a less-than-five-star sleeping experience.
One Reddit user asked:
We expected some interesting answers from more adventurous users who travel, hike, etc. Everybody loves a good seedy hotel story.
What we weren't expecting was a comment section full of bonkers stories about private islands, failed drug smuggling, surviving disasters and unintentionally doing permanent ear damage over some snoring.
Yeah. It's a lot.
Canada Didn't Have Hard Feelings
A bus terminal park bench after being turned away at the Canadian border.
I was on a Greyhound and stupidly tried to bring weed across the border to avoid paying expensive prices in Toronto. I was also pretty drunk as it makes bus rides tolerable.
They found it and charged me $100 to take me back to the bus station in Burlington, VT. I slept on a bench there until the next bus left in the morning.
It's one of the safer bus stations for sure, but cold hard benches suck no matter where they are
Canada didn't have hard feelings and let me in that time.
After A Rafting Accident
IN A TREE!
Had a rafting accident and the three of us ended up spending 18 hours (overnight) hanging on to tree branches in the middle of an over flowing river until we were rescued the next morning by the swift water rescue team.
We took turns sleeping as the other two grabbed on so we would not fall in.
Picture us in no shoes, shorts and t-shirts as the temp dropped down below 50 degrees that night. Made the front page of the local newspaper, our 15 minutes of fame I guess.
The Psych Ward
The psych ward.
Especially when they have to come in every 10 minutes and shine a light into your eyes to make sure you're alive. Or when there are people screaming down the hall all night.
Spent two months in one in 2018. I don't know how they expect you to get better when they keep you from getting good sleep, good food, fresh air, or any social connections whatsoever.
Alabama In July With No AC
Used to live with a guy up in Hayden Alabama. I actually loved it, it was peaceful and we had very few neighbors, I took care of the dogs.
Mid July and the a/c goes out, it was supposed to rain all week with about 80% humidity coupled with 95+ temperature outside. The house turned into a swamp, we opened all the windows and doors, turned on every fan we could find and still it was just awful.
The bedroom was so hot we couldn't use it so we slept on the couches which were so soaked by the end of the day that you could press your hand into it and your hand would come up wet.
It was so bad, we walked around stark naked in a last ditch attempt to beat the heat before we broke down and called a repair service.
With Wet Toilet Paper In My Ears
I slept in a hotel bathroom with wet toilet paper in my ears once when I was a stupid kid.
I was sharing a room with my dad and my brother, both of whom were terrible snorers (my dad at least has a CPAP now and my brother's estranged, so two problems solved). I couldn't sleep, couldn't handle the snoring... so I went in the bathroom, wadded up some toilet paper, wet it, jammed it in my ears, and tried my best to get some sleep.
Wouldn't recommend, did some long-term damage to one eardrum from a bit of toilet paper that was stuck on there for years afterward.
My mom had a heart attack in one of the highest 'criminals per capita' cities in India, Etawah.
Some relatives took her to a hospital. I arrived the same night.
They showed me to the room she was in, and I don't think I've seen a more depressing room in my life - and I grew up here in India, in not a rich family.
The walls had spits EVERYWHERE.
The bedsheet had stains older than me.
The medical equipment was outdated.
Rats and mosquitos everywhere.
The walls had cracking paint.
The floor was filthy.
The bathroom was so bad, I took one look and I went outside to piss on some bushes.
When I asked where could I sleep, they flung a thin @ss dirty AF mattress on the floor, no pillow, and told me that's my bed. There was on fluorescent lightbulb giving off a feeble, 'vibrating' light that cast most of the room in shadows. The paint on the bedrails was chipped and stained, the small cupboard beside the bed was greasy with accumulated dirt so thick you could write in it.
I was quite stressed over the medical emergency for my mother and depressed because of the room, but I sucked it up and stayed for the night since we were to transfer to Delhi and a much better hospital in the morning. You know; one where you couldn't get infections just from touching the bed rails.
I fell asleep around 4 am, tired as f*ck. I could hear the rats scratching in the bathroom and see cockroaches on the walls from what little light came through under the door once the lights were out in mother's room. It's so vivid in my memory I can recall every single silly disgusting detail of the room.
And that is the story of the worst place I ever had to spend the night in, a "hOsPiTaL".
A Chartered Boat To A Private Island
I had a boat chartered to drop me off on a small island, and was scheduled to pick us up the next day.
As it turns out, we weren't able to get off the beach onto the actual island because of a razor sharp barnacle wall surrounding the whole area, so we were trapped on a sand bar until the next morning.
So unfortunately, as night fell, the tide started rising, and only a tiny sliver of the sand bar stayed above sea level. The ground was soaking wet and sopped through the tent we were sleeping in, but to add insult to injury, turns out the sand bar was also a huge horseshoe crab mating ground, so the entire island was swarmed by horny horseshoe crabs.
So the rest of the night we basically were wet, cold, and being swarmed by horseshoe crabs f*cking against our tent.
Truly one of my worst nights
The Doll Room80s horror GIF by absurdnoise Giphy
My aunties house. She collects dolls. Antique, creepy @ss dolls. Her guest room doubled up as one of her doll storage rooms.
Imagine being in a room with hundreds of creepy dolls on shelves all around the room, all staring at you. Didn't help that her house is Victorian and weirdly laid out. Her living room was ground floor, and then you'd go down a steep set of stairs into the basement (which is where the guest room was..) this led out to her back yard, weird house built on a weird slope.
I couldn't move from fear, I literally lay there all night terrified to move incase one of the dolls moved. 😂 Branches hitting against the window and the rattling of her heating pipes helped make it a very horrific night.
I refused to ever sleep there again, so she introduced me to the other guest room (that I didn't know existed) and this room was first floor, zero dolls, pretty pleasant place to sleep. Wtf did she torture me with the doll room 😂😂
Triple Locked Doors
Some crummy motel in Montana.
We had started a road trip and I couple tell I was the only person of color to come through that place for years probably. The maintenance guy followed me into my room and gave me some story about checking to see if the cable was working. Other staff and guests were sizing me up.
I triple locked my door and the window, and I slept with my pocket knife under my pillow that night
Maybe Max Knew
Llano State Park in Junction, TX.
I was five months pregnant and enormous (twas a 12+ lb baby boy) ... it was Memorial Day weekend and we decided to go camping. We had the one baby in the oven, an 18 month old "Max", and a ten year old "Jake".
Why we thought this was a good idea, I'll never know. Chalk it up to rose tinted glasses. We live in the Houston area. The drive alone was arduous enough.
We get there though, and it's lovely and wind blown and wild. We set up camp and the balmy ninety degree temps take a nose dive. We had sleeping bags but this cold was relentless. Plus it was windy.
Max kept crying and crying, something he never did. He was always a chill child. But from the moment we set up camp he had become clingy and fussy and now that night had fallen he was full on wailing.
We didn't know how to handle a crying child. Hand to God, he had never cried like this before. We never had to comfort him. We had no clue what to do besides hold him close and rock him gently.
He didn't seem to be sick. No fever. He wasn't prone to ear infections and his ears didn't seem to be bothering him. He was dressed warmly, unlike the rest of us.
It was full on dark, just past nine, when a park ranger rolled into our campsite. He said he was going to have to ask us to leave if Max didn't settle down because we were disrupting quiet time.
So we gathered our things and bundled into our truck. As soon as we were in the truck Max stopped crying.
He began baby talking and leaned into me and snap! fell asleep. We waited a beat and then moved back to the tent, which we hadn't dismantled yet.
We had just begun to settle down when he woke and began to cry again, this time with renewed vigor. We went back to the truck.
I told my husband he and Jake should go ahead and sleep in the tent and I would stay in the truck with Max, the screamer. Quietly, they did just that. A couple of minutes later Max woke up screaming again. He didn't settle down until my husband and Jake got back into the truck.
We resigned ourselves to a long, uncomfortable night cramped in the truck. I needed to pee, but didn't dare leave because I thought Max would wake up crying again. Max slept through the night.
As soon as dawn broke we packed up the rest of our stuff and in the midst of doing that my husband saw fresh, large piles of animal scat behind the area where our tent had been pitched.
Now there haven't been bears, wolves or mountain lions in Texas in decades. But that was one big pile of sh*t.
Maybe Max knew something we didn't know. In any case... that was THE most uncomfortable, long night ever.
On a drive to Florida, my dad pulled into a Super 8 in Tifton, Georgia. I had misgivings from the get-go, as the place didn't look great, but it was only one night. Only one night, you can live through anything, right?
For some reason, my father was adamant that no one but himself enter the lobby to check in. We absolutely had to stay inside the car at all costs. This was the first clue that perhaps something wasn't quite right, as this rule was not so strictly maintained elsewhere.
Upon opening our room door, a moldy smell immediately hit our nostrils. Stepping into the room gave a strange sensation on our feet, which quickly revealed itself to be caused by the stickiness of the carpet. Oddly, the carpet had also been cut up and laid back down repeatedly. A quilt carpet. One does so wonder why.
The entire room was covered with a layer of dust - some surfaces moreso than others. The nightstands, for example, only had a light, but visible coating; the beer cans crumpled and stashed behind the television, on the other hand, boasted a good quarter- to half-inch. The walls had a odd sickly yellow tone, as though they'd been plastered with successive layers of smoke, dirt, and general bodily fluids.
My emotions ran so high that I felt as though I simply was too overwhelmed to respond. My mother, God bless her, did that for us, by throwing a protest, but my father pointed out that this place was cheap, and it's not like we could stay anywhere else on such short notice if we abandoned this place. Further protests were met with a firm refusal to allow us to stay elsewhere. It was only one night, after all...
We attempted to make the best of it. I went to brush my teeth, but found myself unable to do so when the water from the sink faucet was brown. Attempting to procure water from the bathtub produced the same result. At this point, I realized I had few options outside of simply going to bed and hoping to fall asleep and wake up and get the hell away from this horrible, horrible place.
I pulled back the bed sheets, which had the texture of laundered sandpaper, and immediately noticed an odd type of circular hole I'd never seen before. "Cigarette burn," my mother said. She also warned me not to look at the underside of the bedspread, or inside the nightstand drawers, or behind or underneath the bed, with the implication that this had been done during my fruitless attempt to procure clean water in the bathroom.
I didn't sleep. We arrived in Florida the next day. My father sent off a lengthy, angry email of complaints to the Super 8's management, and in return, received a tepid apology and 10% his next stay in response. "Screw that," we responded in unison.
Or so we thought.
A week later, guess what parking lot we pulled into in Tifton, Georgia?
While my mother screeched and I fought tears, my father shouted about how they'd given him 10% off.
The Astrodome during hurricane Rita. I got to take a shit in a trash can with an audience of dozens and that was one of the nicer parts of that week.
The smell in that place must have been dense.
Wow, that's just miserable sounding. Glad you survived it.
An Italian Cave
Ironically in Italy's beautiful Cinque Terre.
But we were sleeping in a cave by the beach that we didn't know was preoccupied.
Me and my brother were travelling with basically no money and decided it would be super fun to sleep on the streets instead of spending money on a hostel.
Our Mother had gifted us this trip for our birthdays and paid and planned the whole trip. Most nights she had booked us a place to stay but some nights she planned for us to find our own accommodation. She didn't know this but we had no spending money as we were broke as hell. One night we decided to spend the money we did have on booze instead of a hostel.
We searched the day for good spots to sleep and found a couple of good options. We stumbled across a cave by the touristy part of one of the beaches. There are five famous beaches that are extremely crowded during the day but at night everybody returns to the hotels and restaurants leaving the area clear. The cave we found was out of the way slightly enough and nobody goes there at night time.
Once it got late enough we headed over to the cave with different bits of cardboard we found in a dumpster. We set up two cardboard beds are drank Italian wine while watching the beautiful night sky over the sea with waves crashing. We thought we were in heaven.
The first hour was fine but soon enough the novelty and wine were wearing off. We realized the genius cardboard idea wasn't so comfortable after only an hour. Restlessness I can handle. What came next though still has me itching.
Once we had settled, stopped talking and started trying to go to sleep we started to hear little noises coming from within the cave. Squicky little noise letting us know we weren't alone.
I don't have any phobias and am really not scared of much but it's at this stage I should mention my childhood fear of rats. When I was little my father, who was a history teacher, would tell me stories including the history of the Black Plague. The tales of disease caused by rats haunted my young dreams and to this day I can't handle the sight of a rat.
So here we are trying to get to sleep when we start to hear the little noises and footsteps getting closer and closer.
We ended up making it through the night without any serious rat interactions. We were so creeped out by the rats that we resorted to setting up a rat barrier. We had plastic bags that we set up a perimeter around our sleeping area. It wouldn't keep the rats out but if they walked over the plastic bags they would make a ruffling sound notifying us if a rat was getting too close.
All night long the plastic alarms were going off making us jump up screaming and yelling trying scare off the rats. The cave itself also had little tiny rocks falling from the ceiling at random times. These little rocks also started tripping our plastic security alarm.
What we thought was going to be a night to remember ended up being a night to remember.
Not Even My Worst Tinder Hookup
BDSM themed love hotel in Tokyo after I missed the last train home. 3AM. Drunk off my ass with a tinder date.
Neither of us are good at Japanese. Call first place that pops up on Google maps as taking reservations at 3am. Go.
Oh lawd, there is a cage in this motherf*cker, it is in a basement of a very dubious looking building. The "bed" is a hard rubberized block. There are no sheets. There are no pillows. Reception gave us 3 towels to lie down on the bed.
There is the scariest shower room I've ever seen (don't worry, I did not take a shower in there), and no toilet - so if you have to pee, you have to walk down past reception to the shared toilets.
I can hear a lady screaming in another room. I am with a guy I met 4 hours ago and if he wants to murder me, i reckon nobody will come to find out till at least morning. On the other hand, dude didn't live here like I do and was probably thinking I was going to murder him or at least mug him.
In good news, I didn't get murdered. Had an alright time, made fun of badly censored porn that was on the TV, slept on a puddle of towels on a rubberized bed with a stranger as both of us hoped not to wake up with the other one absconding with our valuables, and train-of-shamed home in the morning.
Was my first Tinder hookup. It was not my last one or my worst one (dude was a cool guy, it wasn't his fault, and he took it all in stride and wasn't an a**hole. Also, he is probably on Reddit, I wonder if he will see this?).
Moral of the story: If you are going to hoe, know where to go so you aren't caught out and have to sleep in a cold ass dungeon without a single pillow. Also know when the fck the last train runs if you aren't ready to pay for a room and you don't look like a freaking idiot.
The Death Of Innocence
I went to an all girls boarding school in Africa that was known as a farmers daughter school.
During a time where farmers were being killed to take their land, there was a riot outside of the school. We listened to the mob outside the fence (maybe 100 feet from our room) chanting about the different ways they were going to r*pe and torture us if they got in.
I was 12. I have never been so terrified in my life.
They finally dispersed at about 5AM... and we were required to get up and 6 to go to class. Definitely the day any innocence I had died.
Camping In South Florida
Went camping in South Florida in the summer when I was about 10. My older brother insisted on setting up the tent, and all was great until a massive thunderstorm in the middle of the night.
That's when our tent flooded because he had picked a nice concave spot to set up. Good job, brother!
Commence three kids whining about being soaked, so we all went to go sleep in the car. After the rain stopped it got super hot in the car so we opened the windows...But it being summer in Florida, within about five minutes we were swarmed with mosquitoes and spent the rest of the night wide awake smacking them and itching (and probably bickering and complaining, if I recall correctly, as we were little shits when in close quarters).
The inside of my mom's car the next morning looked like an insane tiny massacre had happened, with bloody mosquito splats everywhere.
The spots were still there years later, and a great way to piss my mom off REAL quick was to dare to mention them, lol.
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Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
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One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!