The Most Well-Written Female Characters In Film And TV
As a girl who tended to watch shows geared towards boys (and therefore had very few female characters), I always paid special attention to the female characters.
The male characters always did amazing things. Ash from Pokemon did some stupid but brave things in order to protect others. Superman saved Metropolis on a daily basis. The Doctors from Doctor Who saved entire universes!
I wanted to see a female character have her moment in the sun, too. She didn’t even need to save the world. Just do something amazing in the name of protecting someone or be the most capable person in the room.
Luckily, there are some extremely well-written female characters in TV shows and movies. They are intelligent, tough, and general badasses. Kate Beckett from Castle comes to mind. The most recent Doctor was a woman too!
Reddit was ready to identify more of these female characters.
It all started when Redditor Connie_Lingus6969 asked:
“Who is a well written strong female character in a movie or TV show?”
Ohana Means Family
"Nani from Lilo & Stitch. A (semi) realistic portrayal of an orphaned 19 year older sister, trying make ends meet and provide the best life she can for her younger sister and herself. Trying to balance her social/romantic, work and personal life and being forced to grow up and take responsibility fighting CPS to keep her only family left, together…all the while facing alien shenanigans that occurs."
"“broken but still good. Yeah still good” -Stitch"
"Awesome that a Disney movie finally showed a woman succeeding without becoming a princess."
I Believe In Her!
"Dana Scully in the X files"
"And increased real-world uptake in STEM among women - The Scully Effect"
"Surprised that this isn’t higher. Scully was THE strong female character of the 90s. Intelligent, educated, confident, and well-spoken. Held her own in male-dominated fields (law enforcement and medicine). Able to get herself and Mulder out of scrapes time and again. And all while wearing heels and sharp suits."
Distinctly Female, Completely Awesome
"Clarise Starling from Silence of the Lambs."
"What makes her such a good character is that despite being highly intelligent and competent she's desperately scared and vulnerable and mostly alone. The scene where she encounters Buffalo Bill and he's trying to bluff her, and the camera pans back and you see his revolver on top of the cooker behind him you just think "Oh no, how's she going to survive this?" Great character and a great performance from Jodie Foster."
"Second this. She isn't "female version of male character", she is distinctly feminine and has to deal with the real world problems of being a woman in a male-dominated field, and all of it is handled in a realistic, grounded way."
"Kim Possible, because she has so many different layers! Yes she saves the world with her best friend on the regular but she doesn’t use that as an excuse to complain about girly things or flat out say that they’re stupid like most “strong female characters” you see. She’s really into cheerleading and incorporates it into what she does, she dates Ron despite every other girl telling her that she’s stupid for liking him and doesn’t care what they think for the most part. She also has believable flaws and has to admit that she’s wrong a number of times, maybe I just really like Kim Possible."
"I came here to say this! What I loved about Kim is that she was the popular, successful girl, but she was extremely down to earth and normal. She didn’t follow the typical trope of the “strong woman who hates other women”, and she actually loved her parents and siblings."
Look No Further
"Olivia from Fringe."
"Such truthful words has rarely been spoken."
"Aa a guy, I was absolutely mesmerized by Olivia growing up. Such a strong woman who went through so much but never gave up, and always came out stronger on the other side."
They Can Always Be Both
"Suki in ATLA"
""I AM a warrior. I'm a girl, too." Love Suki!"
""You're my prisoner now""
"What a badass""
No Need To Be A Man
"The fighter in her"
"I'm The Slayer"
"The scooby gang faces a large collection of vampires"
"Angel: We need you to distract the vampires."
"Xander: What are you gonna do?"
"Buffy: I'm gonna kill them all. That oughta distract them."
"Was my first thought. Slayer at 16. Had to kill the love of her life. Always saved the world. Put everyone's needs above her own always."
Guilty Of Being Amazing
"Elle Woods from Legally blonde. Being a strong woman does not mean giving up femininity"
"Yes her priorities were misled at the start, but Realising she needed to prioritise herself over any relationship is the main reason she’s a strong woman. Strong women aren’t faultless, and a character that grows is way more inspirational to women and girls in my opinion"
"Yes! This was my favorite movie growing up and it shaped me into who I am today - an engineer that still embraces her femininity"
"Seat Belts, Everyone!"
"Especially when you take a look at what she gets away with."
- "Taking students on field trips without permission slips countless times"
- "Taking students into deep space in an unfit craft, 3 counts."
- "Shrinking students countess times."
- "Feeding students to another student."
- "Exposing students to dangerous environments, including"
- "the inside of a running engine"
- "the late cretaceous period"
- "the magma chamber of a volcano"
"I want her lawyer."
100% agree! I always wanted to be in Ms. Frizzle’s class!
Everyone has heard the stories of hardships and struggles, but sometimes in life, things can be surprisingly easy. Whether an unexpected life hack, trade secret, or just through pure luck, these stories encompass the little victories of everyday people.
I lived in New Jersey, and a friend of mine invited me to a commercial audition at a New York City bar. I went because of the bar and only auditioned after two drinks. I left thinking it was a waste of time. I had no idea what was coming.
A month later, I get a call that they want to use me for the commercial. Plus, it turns out the director was the guy who directed the original Space Jam. I got lines and ended up in two of their commercials. I then got a 40k payday, where I thought someone made a clerical error. This kick-started my acting career.
Staying Linked In
On LinkedIn, I always have my status set to “looking for work” even when I have a job. One day, a recruiter asked me if I wanted a job. I found the position and applied with the company directly, and apparently, they had been looking for someone with my qualifications.
Just like that, I made $20k more and got a super laid-back job with flexible hours where I never had to commute to work. I also have a really nice title now and actually just interviewed for another job that’s a higher title with higher pay. I’ve only been at my current job for seven months.
Not So Common Knowledge
My small victory was overcoming a lifelong speech impediment at 22 years old. A lot of the "common knowledge" around speech impediments is that if you can't beat the thing by the time you're 10 or so, that's pretty much it for you.
The idea is that your speaking patterns have become so ingrained at this point that you basically have to accept that you're stuck with it for the rest of your life. This was the explanation given when I was cut from speech therapy in third grade.
It was a big part of why it took me until I was 22 to return to speech therapy as an adult. I assumed this issue was stuck in stone, and that I was kidding myself by thinking it was something that could be fixed. But someone had made a big mistake. Turns out that common wisdom was all incorrect.
There actually is no deadline for when you can fix a speech impediment; you just need to be given competent speech therapy. So, my lifelong lateral lisp was gone within two sessions, and my lifelong rhotacism (can't pronounce 'r's) was gone within a month.
It was awesome! But also, really? It was that easy? I could've had a happy, normal childhood this whole time but I just...didn't? Because the adults in my life thought the issue couldn't be fixed back when I was only eight years old? Well, that sucks.
I achieved a small victory fixing clogged drains. It started out because my sink drain plug wouldn't stay up. I poked around under the sink and found the pop-up rod had rusted completely through and broken.
It cost me five dollars for a new one at the plumbing supply store next to where I worked at the time. It took five minutes to figure out how to swap, and now I know how sink and shower drains come apart, which makes unclogging them simple.
Maybe it's just me, but in my brain, it seemed like that was something I'd have to call a plumber to come to unclog, but it's all remarkably simple.
Small Victory At Small Claimsman in black shirt sitting beside woman in white shirtPhoto by Saúl Bucio on Unsplash
My small victory was suing someone in Small Claims. It was surprisingly easy because my case was rock solid and I had a professionally printed document of evidence, witness statements, and precise records sent over to the court.
Meanwhile, the defendant did literally nothing but send unlabeled loose printouts of my Facebook page as her so-called evidence. It was a very quick judgment for the plaintiff.
Best Job Ever
I've hated every job I've ever had. Then at 18 years old, I joined the forces for six years. That sucked the whole time, then I went into customer service at Walmart, and the staff was mean to everyone. I tried security and the staff was just degrading.
I had job after job doing what I thought was the "right" thing. One day, my life changed. I decided to apply for a local HVAC company and worked at a call center. Nothing big, I think there were a total of nine of us on the phones. Honestly, it's the best job I've ever had.
We all get along, spend hours a day on our group chat sharing memes, and our management has one-on-one meetings every two weeks with the goal of "this meeting is not work-related but we want to know just how you're doing, how's is life treating you, what do you need".
There's constant communication about expectations and how we can better meet them and how they can help us perform better. The majority of the company's profits are used to better employee lives (I get monthly commission and residuals, and $30 a month in healthcare) along with monthly potlucks, paid lunches, and competitive pay starting at $17 an hour.
I haven't seen any turnover...none! My position was only hiring because too many people got promoted.
Too Good To Be True
For months, I had been applying for tons of jobs on every platform I could find. I was also talking to friends to get critiques on my resume/cover letter. Updating my online portfolio, et cetera.
Then one day a recruiter messaged me out of the blue on LinkedIn and basically handed me a dream job. It was one interview and then a call to say “Hey you're hired”. I legitimately thought it was a joke right up until my first day of work.
How I Doubled My Salary
I got a salary request when applying for a job, and accidentally wrote double what I meant to write since the number keys were right next to each other. They accepted anyway.
The 20-Dollar Flat Screen
I found a 60-inch TV by the dumpster. Plugged it in but it didn’t turn on. Looked up common problems with the model number, bought a part on eBay for $20, replaced the part, and had a huge TV for $20.
Sleep Hackedperson holding white medication pillPhoto by Mariana Rascão on Unsplash
I never slept well. Then one day, there’s an over-the-counter magnesium supplement called “calm”. I drink a cup every night and sleep like a hibernating bear. It was that easy.
No One Else Applied
This is how I got the Erasmus scholarship. We had only two places each term for the 300+ people in my university program. I always thought of applying, but I thought my chance was too small to get into one of the places, so I didn't really push myself to apply.
Until I did. Turns out I was the only one applying, and I spent the next half a year in the lovely city of North Sweden completely financed by the European Union.
When In Doubt, Try Amazon
I had a loose hinge on my door. It kind of drove me crazy for three years, but I had no idea how to fix the wood that had been stripped. Then I found a product on Amazon for $10 where you shove on a sleeve, break it off and then screw in the new screws.
I bought two new hinges that don’t squeak. It took about 10 minutes and cost $20 and it’s no longer a problem.
A Cheaper Fix
The power steering failed on my Acura. My local Acura dealership wanted to charge me well over $1,000 to fix it. But I had a better idea. I bought a power steering pump off Amazon for $70 and found a YouTube video that explained how to fit it.
I don't have any car maintenance experience but it only took a couple of hours to do the job myself and it worked like a charm.
Thank God I’m Fired
I had accepted a new job but was anxious about giving my notice at my old job. I had been there for 8 years and really loved my team. I had also been stressed out that I was taking a week off between jobs because it was a stretch financially.
I finally set up a meeting with my boss. I couldn't even sleep the night before. An hour before I was going to give my notice, my boss's boss called me into a meeting with HR. I was being laid off along with a large number of other employees.
They were so sorry, and my boss's boss was in tears. She promised they would "take care of me". Anyway, I got 20 weeks of severance and a full three weeks off between jobs. Definitely, the best thing that's ever happened to me.
I was so shocked that I almost started laughing during the meeting and had to pretend I was trying not to cry.
The Miracle Cureclear drinking glass on white tablePhoto by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash
My small victory was drinking water. I went from having sleeping issues to waking up fully rested. Water has changed my life! I thought it would be super difficult to kick soda, but once I tried, the benefits certainly outweighed the lack of taste.
Lying On The Job
I got a job that required full-time fieldwork for minimal pay. On my first day, they asked about my other skills. I saw other people using AutoCAD so I said I used it in college but I was rusty. This was a lie. I had only ever used it once to draw some circles.
The company was excited and got me a 4-day refresher class. I learned AutoCAD and haven't been in the field in over a year. I later asked for more pay since I wasn't a field tech anymore.
They said “no”, so I got another job using AutoCAD for double the salary. Pro tip: learn AutoCAD C3D, it's not that hard, and people will think you're a tech genius.
“DJ's Got Us Falling In Love”
In my sophomore year of college, my buddies were throwing a party at their house. One of them was a moderately successful DJ in the local college scene. We were having a good time and the DJ was doing his thing when he had to use the washroom. That's when something beautiful happened.
As he's leaving, he taps me on the shoulder and asks me to just stand at his turntables to make sure no one messes with them. He had songs queued up so I just had to stand there and wait.
About 30 seconds later, two women walk up to me and say how much they love the music. I tell them it’s just a playlist and I’m only keeping it running. But they are still super impressed.
A few minutes later the actual DJ comes back and I give up my post. Then one of the girls comes up and asks me to dance with her. One thing leads to another and we ended up having a great time.
At one point I told my friend about this girl I’d met while covering him at the DJ booth. He laughed and said, “Yeah sometimes it’s that easy”.
Worth A Try
My small victory was getting a job working for the US Department of Defense. I'd always thought that those kinds of jobs required prior government service, and a whole host of various degrees or such to get a job with them.
Then I saw a job opening for one site near where I lived and thought to try it. So I applied. I honestly didn't expect to even get a callback or anything. I not only got the callback, but also got hired for the job.
The requirements were far more lenient than I expected. All the job required was a clean criminal record and a willingness to learn. I ended up working as a wastewater treatment tech for them, and eventually got an environmental engineering degree with their help.
Never Too Late
My small victory was going back to school. I've been toying with the idea for years, but telling myself it was too far, too expensive, too time-consuming, et cetera. Because I had a home, job, and child to maintain, I couldn't do it.
Something in me finally cracked recently and I thought to try it and made a call to a tech school nearby. Three days later I'm on a tour. The tour is maybe an hour or two in total. The papers were all done online, and I start Monday!
They also threw a ton of financial aid at me. I'm only going to pay about $50 a month until I've graduated, and then those payments go up to about $95. Still very manageable. My classes are only four hours long and are at night, and I only have to be in class two days a week.
The rest of my studies are done at home with a tablet they provide me, so I didn't even have to buy a computer or anything. I couldn't believe how easy and affordable it actually was.
Up, Up, And Awaywoman in white knit sweater inside aircraftPhoto by Jon Ly on Unsplash
I got my pilot license. To be fair, I did study a lot but it was one of those things I wasn't sure I was going to do well on. My instructor said I'm ready, but I still wasn't sure.
Day of the check-ride, I answered every question correctly without hesitation, and did every maneuver correctly. We parked and my examiner said "So how's it feel to be a private pilot". I thou.ght in my head "There's no way" even though I did everything right with relative ease.
A Little Research Goes A Long Way
I'm a 24-year-old female who knows absolutely nothing about cars. Well, I bought myself a nice front/rear dash cam without considering how to safely wire it and found out I would have to remove parts of my car to wire it behind airbags and stuff so it wouldn't prevent an airbag from deploying properly.
I thought I was going to have to pay someone to install it for me, but then I found an amazing solution. It turns out a simple YouTube video walked me through the whole thing! Now my dashcams look professionally installed. I also learned how to change a blown fuse on the same day because my USB adapter wasn't working.
I was high on the achievement of something new and had a brief hyper-fixation on learning to mod my car but thankfully got over it.
Learning To Love
My small victory was breaking up with someone who wasn't good for me. I stayed way too long in relationships that I didn't want to be in. Once I learned to like myself, I realized I don't have to settle.
I didn't mind being alone in between, and because I liked myself, I started to draw the type of people I actually wanted to be around. The type of people who made me want to keep challenging myself to be better.
If you're in a relationship where your heart aches all the time, where you're accepting less than love and respect and kindness, and if you're in a position to leave and still be safe, just do it.
Even if you don't like yourself yet, you will. This is true for all relationships, not just romantic ones. Surround yourself with people you like to be around, and who like to be around you. Time is all we have, so invest wisely.
The Broken Fridge
Some previous owners left a "broken" fridge in the kitchen when we moved in. They put it in the paperwork that the fridge was broken and that they weren't going to dispose of it. So I made plans to get a new one the week we moved in, but just for fun, I decided to plug the old one in to see what was wrong.
Four years later and we're still using it without issue. We did find that the push-to-connect plastic water line for the ice maker was leaking a bit so we replaced that for about two dollars.
All Little Action
When I was working overseas for a US company, many of my co-workers and I all developed a similar chronic health problem due to our employer's ongoing violation of several workplace health and safety laws.
I repeatedly urged my co-workers to file SPOT reports, because it was not the kind of health issue that goes away on its own. Not one of my co-workers could be bothered to file a report, even though everyone complained constantly about their resulting health issues.
So, I filed a SPOT report. They had no idea what they were missing. I ended up in two years of physical rehab back home, hauling in overseas money tax-free, while not having to work, and ended with a generous five-figure cash settlement.
My health issues, thanks to the medical attention I was able to get by holding my employer accountable, have been resolved. My former co-workers, I imagine, are still just complaining about theirs. There was no lawsuit and no attorney. One single report of injuries was all it took.
The Family Favoritewoman standing beside black and gray concrete buildingPhoto by ᕈ O W L Y on Unsplash
My parents and grandparents all had this really annoying habit of making anything and everything sound way harder or more demanding than it actually is.
Whenever I'd perform the feat and realize how insultingly easy it was, I'd be left a little offended while my family would cheer me on. I never could tell if I was offended because I expected a harder challenge or offended because my own family thought I couldn't handle something so simple.
Maybe it's an ego thing, maybe it's Maybelline. I don't know. But here's the twist. After I turned 18, I started treating everything like it was easier than it looks so I didn't let my mind get caught up thinking I couldn't do it at all. The result of this was that I became one of the handiest and most skilled people in my group.
A Little Upgrade
My small victory was learning to code. I’m no programmer by any means, but I was working a data management job that heavily utilized Excel to update a database via file drop. We were using formulas to check our work against the master file of the database after loading it.
I showed an affinity for working with data and my manager encouraged me to learn SQL and move into analytics. I was intimidated so I put that off for about two years.
Finally, I was so unsatisfied with the job that I knuckled down and got started learning SQL. I was so surprised at how much easier it was than I expected.
With just the basics I had a new job within three months. Now I use it every day. Not so much writing SQL, but using and tweaking existing code to suit my needs. Reading code to determine what it’s doing is a great way to learn as well. With any luck, this time next year I’ll be starting as an analyst.
One hot Summer night, we had a severe thunderstorm that hit my area hard. Power got knocked out everywhere around me. So the next morning, they were able to get the power back on, and all of my lights and appliances came to life...except for one big problem. The 65-inch TV that I bought two weeks prior still wasn't working.
Obviously, I tried to turn it on, unplug and plug it back in, et cetera. I tried every single thing I could think of, and after hours and hours of attempts and endless research online, I came to the conclusion that my TV was just donezo.
I figured even though I had the proper surge/power protection hooked up to it, it somehow must’ve gotten fried in the storm. I was devastated.
But after more hours of reading sites and forums about how to repair it, I find a post on a forum that describes the exact issue I’m having, and they said that all they did was get a hairdryer and aimed warm air into the back of the TV and all the internal junk inside.
I say to myself, “There’s no way that works, but what’ve I got to lose” so I grab a hairdryer and aim it into the back of the TV for about seven or eight minutes, and then plug the TV back in.
And boom! It comes back to life and turns back on. Crisis averted. Not too sure why it worked, but I was ecstatic, to say the least.
I got an email from Amazon that said I was being invited into their "Amazon Vine" program. I had never heard of it, but the email said that I can just request free stuff, and all I have to do is review it.
It sounded too good to be true. In fact, it sounded exactly like a joke. I was 90% sure it was one, especially since they needed me to sign up with my name, address, and social security information. You know, exactly the kind of information you should never give out on the internet.
But the email seemed to come from Amazon itself, so it made me curious. I did some looking into it just to see if it was a joke and how it worked. However, after looking into it more, it turned out to be completely legit.
In the last year, I've gotten about $45,000 worth of free stuff from Amazon, and all I had to do in exchange was write honest reviews about it. If I like it, I say so, and if I hate it, I say so.
I've gotten all sorts of stuff, like a large-screen HD TV, an ice machine, boxes of snacks like cookies and Doritos, furniture, dash cameras, tablets, tattoo machines, and more. My neighbors must think I have a serious spending addiction, and my poor delivery drivers think I've opened up a retail business or something.
I do owe the IRS a bit because it technically counts as income, but for my income bracket that ends up not being too much anyway. And because people always ask me how they can join, well, you can't. You either get an invite, or you don't.
Nobody knows how they choose whom to invite, but it's based somehow on reviews you've done in the past.
Knowing Your Worth
My small victory was negotiating a pay raise. Rumor got around work that I could use a computer. They tried me out on the CNC machine. Turns out my hobby of playing with computer programming for the past 20 years meant I was absolutely fantastic at it.
It also turns out that fixing the edge banding machine isn't that hard if you learn how it works. Suddenly I was the most valuable person in the place. I expected to just get a pay raise because I have the belief that people should get what they deserve.
No pay raise was forthcoming after 18 months. I am a fairly anxious person, but with some encouragement from my friends and family, I worked myself up to ask for the raise. The response made my stomach drop. The first time I asked, my boss just chuckled.
I don't think he was condescending, I just think the way I framed it sounded like a joke. The second time I asked, my boss said he'd think about it. I immediately started looking for a new job.
Turns out, I am a highly desirable employee. Within two weeks, I had three job offers. I resigned. Everyone was sad. My bosses panicked and asked me what it would take for me to stay. So, I demanded a fairly high wage for my trade to stay.
They didn't even hesitate to give it to me. Now I'm the highest-paid person in the place.
Dream Home Dealbrown and white concrete house near green trees under blue sky during daytimePhoto by Johnson Johnson on Unsplash
I got my place because it was sitting on the market for months. It was slightly more than I wanted to pay and it wasn't exactly my style, but it had "potential". It was only four years old and a 15-minute walk to the beach.
It was also on one of the larger blocks in the street. Anyway, I decided to buy it. The pest and building report came back confirming the house was pretty much immaculate. Two months later value had gone up $50,000.
Two years later, the place is worth $200,000 more than I paid. I think everyone overlooked it initially as it only has one bathroom and one small garage, but it does what I need.
I saved 18 years for a deposit and had a great credit score and savings history. I just found the one unicorn property and am so fortunate for it. I managed to even get a bank loan without having to rely on a broker. I absolutely love the place now.
I have a little garden and am putting in trees for the visiting wildlife. The street is quiet, and the neighbors are friendly. I was so lucky to come across it.
Just Another Lego Set
Building a PC is my small victory. With so many sophisticated videos on YouTube that didn't teach the trade well, I thought it would be hard to build a PC. Then I tried it once, and apparently, it was just an adult Lego set, but easier.
Carefree Car Troubles
I completely ruined the first (and last) brand-new car that I ever financed by being a sloppy driver and never changing the oil. Like, not only did I trash the interior of this car, I completely ruined the engine. But here's the kicker.
By some insane stroke of luck, I was granted a recall of my entire engine, due to some unrelated issue. They replaced my engine free of charge, and I drove the car for another 60,000 miles. I recently traded it in for a nice used car and am treating this one like my baby. I used my spare life already.
A Breezy Breakup
My small victory was divorce. Maybe this is an unexpected answer but I was dreading it. I worried it'd be this whole huge debacle. Once I mustered the courage and we got over the initial upset after an hour or two, we just began separating.
The divorce paperwork was simple, the court visit took less than an hour, and boom, we’re divorced. We both moved on amicably. I just feel like people always paint divorce as this incredibly difficult thing but it doesn't have to be and isn't always all that hard to get through.
I once was a temp at a tiny office on a construction site around 2003. I was only there for one day while the regular person was on some training.
They sat me down and told me that I just needed to copy all these numbers from one program to another. So, I selected them, hit ctrl c and ctrl v. They stared at me. Turns out about 60% of this woman's time had been spent manually typing numbers from one place to another.
Machine Takeoverblack flat screen computer monitorPhoto by Jake Walker on Unsplash
I used to process HSA claims around 10-plus years ago. One system we had to use back then was an old terminal program that took four line items per page. That's it. For a usual claim, no big deal, and not too hard to keep track of things over two or three pages for a longer claim.
Most fit on one. However, we also had the dreaded shoebox claims. This was the person who saved up every receipt all year in a metaphorical shoebox and sent everything in, once a year, to empty their account. We hated them.
Dozens or hundreds of line items totaling thousands of dollars. Just because you only have $500 in your HSA doesn't mean we get to stop there. If you sent in $4,000 in receipts, I've got to account for it all. Totally ruined my numbers for the day, and they tracked claims per hour religiously.
The main issue was double-checking that everything added up right when you were done entering it, and at four items a page it took forever to tally. But I came up with a genius plan. I made an Excel sheet.
It was laid out so I could enter every single line, then run a macro that would calculate the needed totals and dump all the text to a text file formatted exactly so I could select four items at a time, and paste them directly into the terminal window from the default starting cursor position, and every field would fill in automatically.
Copy, paste, next. Copy, paste, next. Copy, paste, next, et cetera, et cetera. This easily halved my entry times, with way less work. Finding any typos was much easier. I just had to look at a single organized sheet instead of scrolling through hundreds of pages of terminal text. It was great.
I showed it to my manager so the rest of my team could use it. Her reply made me see red. She was horrified I would use something like that, as no human was "double checking as they went along". This is despite demonstrable improvements to my error rates on large claims after I started using it.
She ordered me to stop using it and forbid anyone in her team from automating any part of their job at all. I kept using it for all of the two months I stayed there after that. I had some of the highest claims per hour numbers and lowest error rates on her team.
I never developed any more tools for them. She didn’t deserve them.
I used to have to make two contracts for every person I brought on a traveling training team. I said two contracts were unnecessary and made them into one, sent it to our lawyers, and they approved it.
Still, it took me a long time to update each contract with different names, pay rates, and dates. So I went on an Excel forum and found out how to make a mailer list, and hours of work suddenly took me 10 minutes. I didn’t tell anyone this though, so I just took my time.
Then I had to make floor maps for restaurants to send to the company that puts them into our scheduling program. Well, all of our restaurants are cookie cutter, so I just used Paint to piece them together rather than make all of them each time. I’m a Picasso with Microsoft Paint.
Then they wanted me to use Excel to keep track of training teams. One of my co-workers used Smartsheet and loves to teach people things. So, I jump on Smartsheet with her and she shows me around.
It's way easier to publish it so that people can see the teams but not mess up any information. I used forms to avoid asking them 30 questions that auto-populate my Smartsheet and shared it with payroll so they never have to reach out to me.
I had templates on Outlook and tons of stuff. I basically took a lot of my job and realized there has to be an easier way. So I would ask on Reddit or just look things up, and spend maybe an hour learning something that will save me many hours in the future.
I always tell people to just look things up. They say “I don’t know what to look up” and I say “Whatever your problem is just search it up the exact same way you’d say it to me”. Then when they look up “Excel thing that makes this do that” they are shocked that they find their answer.
A few years ago, my mom was tasked with fixing my grandparent's toilet while we were visiting for the holidays. The toilet reservoir was constantly filling and running, and thus flooding the bathroom, because the buoy arm wasn't lifting high enough from the water in the reservoir to switch off the water flow.
My mom (who is normally a very practical person) had been tackling the issue for hours. She was pretty distraught, thinking we would have to order a new buoy arm, maybe even a new sensor, or switch and pull the whole assembly apart to replace everything.
She was planning out a trip to the store and pricing things out when I walked in. The solution was so simple. I took one look at it and bent the metal arm the buoy was attached to down so the arm had a slight upwards curve.
The buoy still reached the same level in the reservoir but registered on the sensor as higher because of the curve in the arm. Problem solved.
I watched it dawn on her what I had done, and she just looked at me like I had a third eye. She said, “I've been struggling with this thing for four hours and you fixed it in four seconds". She was very happy I saved her from more work and spending more money.
She calls me her “little toilet engineer" from time to time. I work on Aircraft, so it's mildly demeaning.
A co-worker of my husband's got locked in their office. He was out on a Friday night for a few drinks. He walked past the office on the way to the taxi stand and decided to pop into the office to use the washroom.
When he tried to leave, the magnetic lock on the door wouldn't release. This was one of those buildings where the ground floor was a separate unit, a separate business was on the first floor, and their office was on the second floor.
The only other way out was a rolled-up emergency evacuation ladder he could toss out one of the larger windows, but he was drinking and scared of heights so instead he sleeps in the break room.
The next morning, when the co-worker is still unable to leave, he calls my husband who lived nearby. My husband talked him through where to find the management keys and contact numbers for the security company but they were no help.
So, I grabbed our tool kit and my husband and I drove to find him. We get there and the co-worker is chatting through the letter box. Now, these two men are highly educated. The co-worker is a senior software developer with the company.
The first thing I say is "Sure it's a magnetic lock, so do you not have access to the breakers to cut the electric"? They both just stared at me. The breaker box was right beside the door, and all the co-worker had to do to all night was open it up and cut power.
Suddenly the letterbox closes, we hear the snap of the breaker being flipped off, and the door is open. We all laughed at the situation as he only then told us he'd been there overnight.
Since they both worked with software and it seemed to be a software fault, that's where they focused. But I just thought "door doesn't open because of the magnet, and the magnet needs power, so remove power".
Funny thing is, this is the second time I'd had to come down to that office and release someone trapped inside.
Serious About Scholarships
My girlfriend didn't realize most scholarships aren't even applied for, so they give it to whoever applies to it by default. With her help, I wrote four essays that were tweaked for each scholarship application.
I did the writing because I'm a writer by trade. By the time she transferred to her new college, she had an excess of $1,500 to spend every month. Because of that, she could focus on her studies instead of trying to balance a job on top.
Suddenly Irishblack and brown electric guitarPhoto by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash
When I applied to college, I applied for an Irish American scholarship. Turns out they had so few applicants they just gave me $40k towards my tuition. I have a secret, though. I am not even remotely Irish.
Never Hurts To Ask
I was at a private concert with maybe 50 people for a band that used to sell out stadiums. My friend was a huge fan but too shy to talk to the band. So, I dragged him up to the edge of the stage after the show and explained the situation to the lead singer.
He dragged my friend onto the stage and took his picture with the whole band. My friend had a great time. Sometimes it is that easy.
Right Place, Right Time
I went to the bar one night with some friends and ran into a girl who had worked for me a few years earlier. I said “hi” and we chatted for a minute. Then she asks me where my girlfriend is, so I let her know that we broke up a couple of months earlier.
Suddenly, she replies "Oh cool, well I'm here with my friends and I'm going to go hang out with them, but if you want to hang out after the bar closes, I've always liked you". I blinked about 10 times in a row before finally saying "That sounds awesome". We ended up having a great time.
This One Weight-Loss Trick Doctors Hate
I lost 25 pounds...and all I had to do was stop eating before bed.
Seriously, Did You Try Turning It On?
I was given a TV because the audio didn't work on it. On the back was a "sound on/off" button.
Did Somebody Say Free Electronics?trash against wallPhoto by Kevin Butz on Unsplash
When I was a kid, I used to regularly dumpster dive for electronics. The vast majority of electronics are thrown away because some minor part was broken. Often, it's as simple as a fuse.
From Home Cook To Chef
Turns out it’s so easy to learn to cook with raw ingredients. Throwing in random things that taste good together usually works as long as you understand what you like.
All It Takes Is A Personal Touch
I was recently looking for an apartment. Rent in my city, like most cities currently, is outrageous. So after three days of looking, I found this 2-bedroom apartment with a price that normally would get you a roach-infested one-bedroom/studio in a bad part of town.
But these apartments look nice and are in a good part of town. The reviews online are all positive. I can't figure out the catch! Then I saw a disappointing detail. I see there is a year-long wait list for this place. As a result, I decided to go to the leasing office directly.
After talking to the property manager, I get bumped to the top of the list for an apartment that becomes available next month. I keep waiting for the bottom to drop out. Most people spend months looking for places in my city and they'd be paying a third more than I'm paying at a minimum for a similar place.
I looked for 3 days and found this place, but I think I just got lucky and it was just that easy.
Did You Try Turning It On?
I worked on an almost five-million-dollar lighting rig for a concert as a junior guy on the job. We get it all plugged in and patched, but it all went so wrong. None of it would turn on. All the guys were freaking out trying to figure out why.
The team collectively had about 150 years of experience...yet no one checked to see if the generators were turned on. I was like “No way this is why but I'll just go check if the generators are good”. Flipped stuff on and voila.
One Man’s Junk, Another Man’s Treasure
When I was a kid in the 80s, my family was broke. Like, we were two paychecks away from living in our car. We actually did have to live in our car for a few months before my mom landed her job.
Anyway, imagine a single mother of three, who works three jobs just to make ends meet. I was just attending 8th grade, and I was playing in the back of our house. I noticed something in the dumpster that I hadn’t seen before.
I fished it out and brought it home. It was a computer. A monitor, keyboard, and a tower thing. At that time monitors sat on top of the box. And they were huge! Not to mention expensive. I managed to set it up and it was already booting into Windows 3.1.
When my mom got home, she was livid! She thought I had taken it from someone. We couldn't afford anything close to that. No way! But once she saw the grass stains on the side, she knew.
We had that computer for four years. It helped me in ways I can’t even believe. Because of that computer, my love of electronics and my curiosity flourished. No, I am not a computer technician now, but I am the resident computer nerd for my family.
I make a living online, and I attribute most of my knowledge to what I can Google. So yeah! It “was” that easy!
Arcade Awakeningbeach under blue sky and white clouds during daytimePhoto by Roland Denes on Unsplash
I was at Carolina Beach last summer around Memorial Day. We got to the boardwalk one afternoon and there was an arcade there.
I found this skill game where you have to press a button that moves a fixture with a razor on it. When you let the button go, the device stops and the razor snaps through the middle. There's a small string close to the glass. If you time it right, the razor cuts the string, and this huge door opens, and you get all the prizes in the machine.
I swiped my card to play, pressed the button, and held it before releasing it. Suddenly, the rope cuts and the doors open. My son was losing his mind, and I'm just regretting the next two hours where I have to lug this giant bear and box of sand castle toys all over the boardwalk.
I still have not decided if I'm a savant at this game, or if it’s just really easy.
There are certain things that are bound to get you fired in just about every profession.
Being nasty to colleagues and clients/customers, misusing company money, and first and foremost, not showing up to work.
When it comes to teachers, however, there are even more rules that others might not think of that are guaranteed grounds for dismissal.
Or so we think.
As some teachers manage to get away with shocking, if not downright apalling behavior and still manage to stay in the classroom, and out of the rubber room.
Redditor stockstandardly was curious to hear some of the most outrageous things ever done by teachers who managed to hold on to their jobs, leading them to ask:
"What DIDNT your teacher get fired for?"
You Thought There Was Only One...
"Y4 teacher put gaffer tape over the mouth of talkative students."
"History Teacher invited me (16yo) over for beers and smokes."- stockstandardly
It Is Possible To Be TOO Close...
"Y5-7 gym teacher showered with us (the boys) because apparently there was chewing gum in the drain in the teacher's shower." - Runkepapir
Nobody Knew, Or Nobody Did Anything?
"I knew of two girls in my grade (age 16-17) that had inappropriate relationships with two separate teachers."
"Nobody was punished because nobody knew."
"Which makes me think this kind of thing probably happens all the time."- Green0livesAndHam
No Harm, No Foul?
"We had this little old lady for our all-male music class(16 years old) and she loved us and we all loved her."
"When we left the class she would slap our bottoms and we'd joke around trying to not get hit and dodging it and just goof off."
"We knew it was absurd and inappropriate and so did she but we all thought it was hilarious."
"I was always worried someone would narc or another teacher would see it and say something."
"She was the best. Hilarious woman and a good teacher."- SkinkaLei
How Much Proof Do They Need?
"Purposely slamming a student’s hand with the door."
"Happened a year after I graduated hs but there’s video footage of it out there somewhere."- lecstasy
Schools Should Be A Safe Haven...
"Telling the whole class to beat me up after school and defending them when I defended myself."- QuiescisMagna
'Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child"?... ABSOLUTELY NOT!
"I remember when I was in elementary school and my sister as well."
"My sister would always come home complaining of her bottom hurting and having trouble sitting."
"Back in school days during the 80s, they would give wooden paddle licks to kids for misbehaving, etc."
"My mother confronted my sister one day for all the complaining."
"She made my sister pull her pants down and saw multiple bruises on her bottom."
"My sister confessed that her teacher was giving paddles to her for however many multiplication problems she missed on her tests."
"Apparently, she was getting licks quite frequently."
"The next morning, when dropping us off at school, my mother was infuriated and stormed into the office and gave them a piece of her mind."
"Showed them the bruises on my sisters bottom."
"My mom fought hard to get the teacher fired, but they never did."
"The only thing they did was move my sister to another room, and the teacher stopped paddling kids."
"My sister never told my mom she got licks."
"I never did either.'
'Because you were scared of getting in trouble at home."
"Because getting licks at school meant you got in trouble at school."
"You didn't want your parents to find out."
"Can you imagine what would happen to the teacher in today's world?"- Safe-Block-7993
"8th grade science teacher was asked if putting hair in dry ice as an experiment would create a reaction."
"Teacher said 'let’s see'."
"And proceeds to grab scissors, walk to said student, and cut off a two inch chunk of hair, close to her face, halfway down her waist length hair."
"You could hear a pen drop as he wordlessly walks over and tosses the chunk of hair into the box of dry ice."
"No reaction but he was put on temporary leave a week later."- InternalDreadIncomin
Learning By Anything But Example
"11th grade, teacher was clearly not heard by even a single student to say during a bomb threat that she hopes they blow the whole place up."
"This is after her husband got fired for knocking up a student."
"Not a single person heard her loudly proclaim she wanted the school to go boom, so she wasn't fired."
"Loved by all is an understatement."
"Another teacher 9th grade year wasn't fired for backing my friend into a corner and looming over her with his hand on the wall above her head."
"F*ck you, Mr Hanks."- GreenOnionCrusader
Far too many students feel unsafe at school for a variety of reasons.
Their teachers should never, EVER, be one of them.
And one bad teacher has the ability to ruin it for all the extraordinary teachers out there.
Just because someone is an adult or a parent doesn't mean crazy things can't fall out of their mouths every so often.
Sometimes parents say the darndest things.
That's why we should always have a pen or a recording device at the ready.
I suggest the phone.
Just wear fitted tees with pockets and hit record.
You have know idea how much having receipts will pay off mentally later.
Redditor TheGasMove wanted to hear about what things parents have said to their kids that left kids SHOOKETH, so they asked:
"What has a parent said to you that made you go WTF?"
The amount of things my mother has said to me that has left me gobsmacked is endless.
I should've kept a journal.
The ProofJennifer Lawrence Reaction GIFGiphy
"After I told my mother that I didn't open up to her or my dad because I didn't trust them with my emotions, she started screaming that she hated me. Like, girl, this is exactly why I don't tell you things 😂."
"My mom told me that women pooped babies out of their butt. I believed this until I was 12 or 13. Boy, I got laughed at when I used this as my answer when asked in Sex Ed."
"I (27 F) have divorced parents and my mom always taught me the proper anatomy for things and that it's nothing shameful. On the other end, one day when I was at my dad's, a stray cat gave birth on his porch, and my stepsisters (same age) told my half-sister that it was coming out of the cat's butt, and I was like dude what? I questioned them, and they gave me scornful looks like I just said something offensive. LOL."
"A few months ago I had gone to do a surprise visit to my grandparents on my dad’s side. While I was driving up their property I saw them walking in their groceries and witnessed seeing my dad for the first time. I had never met my dad in my life but knew my grandparents."
"I walked up and greeted my grandmother and she ushered me over to talk to my father. As I went to greet him this dude threw his hood on and jumped in his truck and locked the doors and said no words to me. Never in my life have I witnessed a grown man run away like that."
"My father once told me that between my brother and I, I was his favorite. This caught me off guard because I thought parents weren’t supposed to have favorites."
"My dad once told me I’m not his favorite. So I told him he’s not my favorite either. Proceeded to get angry."
"It's problematic to share with your kids that you have a favorite."
Bald ChoicesRegret No GIF by Outside TVGiphy
"I shaved my head at 21 and kept that hairstyle for the last 28 years. My dad walked into my room when I was 26 and asked me for a comb! He looked at me, thought about it for a second, and laughed. RIP dad. I miss you."
It's my hair. I'll do what I want to.
That's the kid's motto.
Adults not so much.
At least that was my experience.
Why Bother?Ytho GIFGiphy
"When I called my mother to find out a good time of year to visit her she said, 'What for?'"
Sure Papa Joe!
"Wasn’t my parents but my Grandpa."
“'Josh can you take me to see Marge?' Marge was his long-time girlfriend who had Alzheimer’s. My GP was in his 70s at the time and we took away his car because he was a dangerous man behind the wheel, to say the least. 'Sure Papa Joe!' That or PJoe was his nickname."
"Drive him to the place Marge was cared for at. Stop at the front and ask 'How long until I come back?' He replied 'Give me an hour. That should be long enough for us to have sex.' I start crying laughing and he leaves with a giant smirk. I could never look at him again without thinking or saying 'Almost 80 and still getting after it, WTF!"
"Oof. I hadn’t talked to my dad in 15 years. I decided to reach out (for certain reasons and not to restart a relationship). He asked if he could ask me about my life. I let him. I told him, among other things, I was in a wonderful relationship with a terrific gal."
“'Is this a real relationship or like the girlfriends I had when I was with your mother.'”
"I was equally glad I disowned him 15 years ago, disappointed a man and a father would speak like that to his estranged son, and angry that he was the father I was born to. He is just one big joke to me."
Chop ChopSteve Harvey Reaction GIFGiphy
"I would often visit the kitchen to watch how my mother cooks. One day when my father saw me coming out of the kitchen, he said 'You keep visiting the kitchen, your penis and testicles are gonna fall off. That’s how girls are made.” Context: I was 7 when he said that to me and we are a Korean family."
Learning to cook, is a great survival skill.
More dads need to get onboard with that.
For some doctors, the most difficult part of their job is bedside manner. These Redditors came together to share stories of the moments their doctors opened their mouths and put their feet right in ‘em. Sure, I wouldn’t say that medicine is a customer service job, but there was no reason for these doctors to be so cruel, insensitive, and in some cases, downright weird.
Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number
I once had a doctor say to me “You’re too young for that sort of pain, so I don't think you really have pain, do you”?
I went to another doctor and they also said: “It’s growing pains”.
I was 23, and by the time I was 28 my liver was so damaged that I almost died from an autoimmune disease.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
At 30 I was rushed to the hospital out of the blue with a heart infection, and needing a valve replacement. The professor who did my surgery was absolutely brilliant—but she told me something off the record that made my blood run cold.
A few days before surgery, she said: "You may want to get any close family to come and visit, and sort out any important paperwork as it's not guaranteed that you'll wake up again". I obviously pulled through, but her honesty was reassuring and even after ten years we still send the odd handwritten letter to each other.
We also had these stupid personal televisions at each bed which cost about £2 an hour to watch. The money would seriously rack up as I was in there for weeks but she blagged me a code so that I could watch it for free.
That’s Your Opinion
I would constantly complain to my doctor that I couldn’t breathe when I would walk and I would get shortness of breath, I was always tired and fatigue, I would get dizzy if I walked too long. She always brushed it off and told me to get more sleep or drink more water even though I was getting plenty of both.
Finally I made an appointment to talk to her face to face and she flat out just told me I was lazy and needed to exercise more. I was so embarrassed because I went with my husband and she made me feel like I was just this lazy couch potato. It took so much for me not to cry.
I switched doctors and my new doc decided to do blood work, which is something that other lady should have done in the first place. They found out I was severely anemic to the point of needing blood transfusions. I felt so much better after I got my infusions. Some people just shouldn’t be practicing medicine!
I’m 33, had a yearly check-up, and all that. I told her I was having to pee frequently and my stomach hurt, she interrupted me and said it was normal. She did a pap that day and made a joke about my cervix being closed…I bled during the pap which I don’t usually do. I started having pains a few days later and I’m thinking UTI. I called the office they had me go pee in a cup, didn’t hear back for a few days and called again to find out they destroyed the sample because I wasn’t scheduled correctly?
They called in antibiotics and I was still having pain and the symptoms of a UTI so I went up there. They didn’t allow walk-in appointments but had me pee in a cup again. This time it was positive for a UTI so more antibiotics and the pain still didn’t go away.
I made myself an appt at an OB-GYN and had an ultrasound—and they made an incredible discovery. I was 6 months pregnant by that point. I found out I was pregnant and found out the gender on the same day. I genuinely had no idea and I didn’t really have any of the normal pregnancy symptoms.
If she had listened to her patient we could have caught the pregnancy at 3 months rather than 6. I was high risk because of her negligence. And the stress of having 3 months to prepare for a baby did not do me any favors either.
Not So Cuteman in white dress shirt wearing black framed eyeglassesPhoto by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash
I had HPV and CIN3 pre-cancerous lesions on my cervix, which was the last stage before actual cancer, when I was 25.
The doctor who did my LEEP surgery says, and I quote, “Well this sex disease you have will probably make it very hard for you to have cute little babies in the future. Do you understand what I’m saying”? I could have slapped her right there.
I was 25, had already completed a master’s degree, was well-traveled, educated, and spoken. I also knew nearly as much as the doctors about cervical cancer, as every woman on my mom’s side of the family had had it. In no way did she need to speak to me like was 5 years old. Nor did she have to refer to HPV that way.
She apparently did a decent job with the procedure, as the margins were clear and I went on to have 2 cute little babies. But seriously, her bedside manner needs A LOT of work.
Falling On Deaf Ears
I messed up my knee in a crash. I saw a physiotherapist who said it appears the muscle is in a dormant state and the joint is twisted. They gave me a few exercises but never made a follow-up appointment.
A few years later, my knee was in the same condition but I decided to play rugby—stupid, I know—where I did some more damage. I could barely walk 20 feet without it swelling and the muscle going into spasm. I saw a doctor who kept saying I'm a lazy couch potato and need to lose weight. I was over 200 pounds, so a little on the large side. He arranged an appointment a little over a month later, telling me to try to lose 6 pounds or more.
Fast forward to the following month and I was 12 pounds lighter than last time. The doctor’s reaction was devastating. He just looked at me in disgust and said he refused to help me if I'm not going to lose weight, opened the door, and shouted into the hallway that my elbow won't get any better if I won't lose weight. I told him I have not mentioned my elbow, I have lost weight, and if he wants to start shouting stuff like that into the hallway, he can eat me and I want a second opinion.
I was blacklisted from that surgery. I lodged a complaint and appealed it with it being overturned. I spoke to someone else who put me on a waiting list to see a physiotherapist again. It's been nearly 10 years and I have not heard anything more about it. I've asked about it and they said I needed to speak to the doctor who put me on the waiting list, but they've retired and when I spoke to someone else, they said there's nothing they can do but recommend I stop being a bloody couch potato.
That’s A Real Eye Opener
Three years ago I went for an eye test and the optician gave me a note and told me to go directly to an eye hospital. I wasn't too worried—but I had no clue what I was in for.
I gave the note to reception at the eye hospital, the lady said, "Oh, right, come this way". I was taken right through the waiting room and put in a CT scanner within 20 minutes of arrival.
Shortly after, a doctor came and told me there's something in the middle of my brain and that an ambulance was going to take me to a neurosurgery specialist hospital.
A few hours later I was having a drain put into my skull to get rid of built-up spinal fluid pooling behind my eyes.
An MRI scan revealed a golf ball-sized cyst in the middle of my head that was causing problems.
That was a pretty bad day.
I fell over and immediately knew something was terribly wrong with my knee. Then I waited for hours in A&E with it out straight propped up on a wheelchair. A doctor comes, takes a cursory look at an x-ray, and tells me: “Stop crying over a small scrape”—but then it got worse.
She then violently tries to bend my knee, which had totally seized up. They told my mum she had to make me walk on it.
A week or so later there's clearly some kind of review of X-rays, and I'm called in to see a specialist. It turns out I'd fractured my leg and chipped my kneecap, and the chip had damaged my cartilage. I pretty much had to learn to walk again with over a year of physio and hydrotherapy. The specialist asked if I could see what was wrong with the X-ray and even a child could spot the problems. I have no idea how the doctor missed it.
Creep Doesn’t Quite Cover It
When I was 19, my primary care doctor (male) told me he could do a pap smear for me at my physical. When I told him I already had a gynecologist he said: “I can do it professionally or personally”. Needless to say, I never saw him again and reported him.
Bait & Switchwoman sitting on sofa while using MacBook ProPhoto by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
I did a video chat service to talk to a doctor for 15 minutes. I told her my symptoms and thoughts since we were low on time. I had been very sick for weeks, possibly a urinary tract infection and respiratory infection. Also gave the other ideas I had, based on my symptoms. She told me I had valley fever and told me all about it over chat and we got cut off at 15 minutes.
I got her final email which should have a prescription in it. When I read it, I was shocked. It said she actually thought I had somatic symptom disorder aka that I was making all of this up and was perfectly fine. Her prescription was for a freaking psychologist!
She told me in detail about my possible valley fever even though I said I hadn't been to the areas she said it was prevalent. I made an appointment with my normal doctor and had a few tests ran. Had a respiratory infection and a freaking KIDNEY infection! 10 or so days of meds and I was fine.
My gosh I was so angry at that quack.
After my knee surgery, my doctor told me that I would still be able to practice my martial arts when I recovered. There was just one problem. I had never done martial arts before. I realized that he probably told me that because I'm Asian.
We both had a good laugh when I told him that I didn't do any martial arts. I was actually a tennis player, and he told me that my tennis days were over. I still play tennis to this day.
Three Strikes, You’re Saved
I went through treatment for acute myeloid leukemia 6 years ago. I went through chemotherapy and total body irradiation with an allogeneic stem cell transplant. My 28-day biopsy after my stem cell transplant results came in and my doctor literally came in stoic as could be with paperwork printed out. The news he had was devastating.
He just said the transplant didn’t work and I still had residual cancer cells in the flow cytometry of my marrow. I simply just accepted it and didn’t even look at the paper. My brain was just thinking of all the different scenarios. As the minutes went by I had a second attending come in and say that there were still other options which made me reassured.
But then I had a third doctor from the Middle East come in after her and told me I was still young and there were other treatments we could try so it lessened the shock at that point. I had always been pretty optimistic even with such a poor prognosis.
Fast forward another 14 days I had another bone marrow biopsy to see how much the cancer had progressed to see how we could attack it and there were no signs of any cancer cells. Ever since that day, I have been cancer free. My donor cells went after the residual cancer cells and saved me. I now have the DNA of a French woman that is 6 years old. Modern medicine can be amazing.
In middle school, I was seeing a psychiatrist for generalized anxiety and panic disorder. I had been struggling with my weight because I was too anxious to eat, and at one point I was about 15 pounds underweight. I started taking antidepressants, and I gained weight once my anxiety started improving.
One day, my psychiatrist brought me over to a scale so he could weigh me. He told me that I needed to watch what I was eating because I was “starting to get fat”. I was FINALLY at the low end of a healthy weight after struggling for months, and it was such a hit to my self-esteem after all the progress I had made. I broke out in tears as soon as he said it. It crushed me. My mom yelled at him, and we walked out of his office and never came back
I once told the wrong family member that her mother was coding. I have a decent excuse,but it was horrible.
It was late enough at night that I was the only doc on, with just a handful of nursing and tech staff. As we go into those quieter hours, one by one the other doctors sign out their patients to the overnight staff and leave.
I got called into a room to run a code. They had already worked on this woman for twenty minutes en route in the ambulance. It wasn't looking very hopeful for a meaningful recovery. A woman in her 40s appears in the doorway and says she's the daughter.
If I'm the only doc on, I have to do the intubation, run the code, and speak with the family, sometimes it's all at the same time. Since she turned up and appeared to recognize the patient, I failed to confirm the patient’s name with the daughter, and instead launched into the delicate questions—how long had she been ill, how did this start? But I was making a terrible mistake.
It turns out, the daughter was actually the daughter of the previous patient in that room, who had been moved out to accommodate the arrival of the coding patient. When she came in, she told the front desk that she didn't need any help finding her mom's room, so she brought herself back. This was very unusual but the code was monopolizing the staff. Her mom had the same hair color, and there's all kinds of tubes obscuring the face during these times. Her actual mom was just fine, two doors down.
Well, the daughter didn't have a heart attack, so that was nice. And never will I ever again gloss over confirmation of identity, no matter how obvious it seems.
Second Opinions Save Livesgrayscale photography of kid lying on bedPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
When I was 5, I woke my parents up in the middle of the night by yelling out to them. I woke up with my entire body hurting too much to even pull the covers off myself, never mind trying to walk, they came in and I was burning up, rushed me to the ER. The doctor looked at my mother and said: “He has a fever, haven’t you heard of a cool bath and a popsicle”? I've never seen my dad turn so red.
S as to not punch the doctor, my dad left the room and called my GP at home, who is a family friend. I was friends with his son, like sleepovers and all that, close.
My doctor called the ER. I have no memory of the next parts, but I was rushed by ambulance—the weather was too bad for an air ambulance—to the nearest capital city, 350km away, to a pediatric ICU. I had meningitis.
If It Looks Like A Duck And Quacks Like A Duck
My doctor immediately said my symptoms were from an STD. Then doubled down saying I was lying about my bedroom activity.
Like, dude, I'm a grown adult. If I thought I had an STD, I would have said so. I told him I thought I had a kidney infection, he said it didn't make sense.
They did all the blood work, all negative for STDs. What was it? A freaking kidney infection.
Although he asked me before I left how I knew it was a kidney infection. I knew just what to say to make him even angrier. I told him I had been watching House MD and the symptoms matched.
The Truth Hurts
After a horrific car accident, I was in unbearable pain. My doctor puts up my X-rays, looks down at me, and in the most condescending way said: "I hope you have a good attorney". He followed that up with: "You may never be the same again". I went from being in the best shape of my life to losing more than 50 pounds after the accident. I looked like a prisoner.
After months of painful physical therapy at a place I referred to as "Land of the misfit toys," I eventually made it back.
A couple years ago, I went to the doctor for headaches and stress. I run my own business. He sent for some tests and an MRI because of the headaches, since I never have had headaches before.
He told me to take a vacation and relax that I was probably just overworking myself and stressed from my business.
So I took the whole family—wife, kids, dog—on a nice getaway to the Smoky Mountains and rented us a nice private cabin and had five whole days to relax and take in the beauty of the smokies.
We got to our cabin around 4 pm, it was amazing, indoor pool, billiards table, indoor putt-putt golf, and an arcade room all to ourselves. I know it sounds extravagant and expensive but we actually paid like $1,000 for the whole week, I thought it was a great deal for everything that was included.
I woke up the next morning excited to check out pigeon forge and the kids wanted to go-kart and all that. Well, 8:30 am, I check my email against my wife’s advice. What I saw made my blood run cold. There’s an email from my doctor, with the results of my MRI.
It read like this: “Mr. Soandso, The results of your MRI have been reviewed by our medical team and we have found a large brain tumor on all of the scans. Please contact us IMMEDIATELY to schedule more testing, and to speak with a neurosurgeon”.
Try relaxing on vacation after reading that.
No Ibuprofen Is Going To Fix That
"Just take an ibuprofen". This was 3.5 months into what ended up as a 5-month stint with appendicitis. By the time they agreed to do surgery, my colon had fused to my abdominal wall from the scar tissue. It was such an intense layer of scar tissue that the surgeon bent the surgical tools trying to separate them during my first operation. Luckily the second operation was much more successful at actually removing my appendix and the lasting effects have been relatively minimal.
Lost And Foundmedication pillsPhoto by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash
The worst thing that a doctor said to me was that I had Bipolar Disorder. I was medicated for it, it didn't work, so he kept increasing the dose. Eventually, I was taking 800mg of Seroquel a day. I was so doped up I couldn't read. Dropped out of college. I couldn't sleep without it anymore, and when I tried I stood up for almost a week. Had to move back with my father, because I wasn't able to care for myself anymore. Ended up under observation. Doctor considered shock therapy.
After almost 10 years, 10 years lost, I had switched doctors, found a good therapist, and started the process to remove the meds.
It turns out I'm not bipolar, I'm autistic. I don't have mania, I have sensorial overload and hyperfocus. I act "weird" when put in chaotic situations because they overwhelm me. After 2 years of therapy, neurologist and psychiatrist appointments, and hundreds of pages of diaries and reports written, I finally got a proper diagnosis and I'm free from that.
But I'll never forgive my first doctor. I'm not getting those 10 years back. My mom passed on during that time, and I'm not getting her back either. I'm in college again, but the opportunities I lost are gone forever.
And the doctor? He's still out there.
Years back, I had surgery on my pinky finger to reattach a tendon I tore off the bone.
Surgeon gets in there finds no tendon to reattach and with permission from my wife takes a portion of the tendon from my wrist to replace the missing one and completes the op.
Being the klutz I am, I fall down some concrete steps and feel some pain in my arm, go to open the door to my house, and feel a POP in my forearm. Immediately know what it is and call the doctor’s office to see if there’s anything to be done.
I get the surgeon's assistant/trainee and tell them what happened and ask what to do as I have a lump in my forearm and pain. Her reaction was infuriating. She says they didn't operate on my wrist/forearm and basically, my pain medication is making me confused and no matter what I say keeps dismissing me.
So I call back and make a regular appointment for the same day and turn up. Guess who comes into the room with the hand surgeon but the assistant/trainee I fought with earlier.
She hears me retell my story and the whole time is looking at me like I'm wasting time and am what’s wrong with the world.
After I finish telling my side of things, I just say back and waited for karma to hit her. The surgeon says: "Well the lump, pop, and pain are probably the stitches in the tendon in your wrist coming undone". Making full eye contact, I just say "Oh really”? Very pointedly. The assistant didn't apologize but never met my eyes for the rest of the visit.
Unfortunately, I was the ultimate loser as there was nothing to be done to fix the "spare" tendon in my wrist, so I had to just let it shrivel up and be absorbed. It was really creepy having a lump slowly shrink up to my elbow and disappear.
Holier Than Thou
I asked for a professional opinion from my primary care doc about something regarding the neurological disorder I'd recently been diagnosed with, and I was told some garbage about prayer and God's plan. Not something you tell a 17-year-old who's trying to figure out if her career hopes are actually feasible. Spoiler, they weren't. We stopped going to that office.
I was 19 years old and 21 weeks pregnant. I’d just been told at my 20-week scan that my cervix was dilating so I needed to take it easy, but baby was perfectly fine and healthy.
Not even a week after the scan I was in hospital with bleeding and contractions. A “threatened miscarriage” they called it. It was April 1st and I wished I was being fooled.
The next day the OB in charge came in to discuss the situation and I asked him if there was any way to stop the contractions and keep my baby in until he was viable. What she said made my blood run cold.
“Miscarriage is just natures quality control”
I gave birth that afternoon and my son survived for an hour before passing.
I complained and received a written apology from the doctor and in my subsequent pregnancy I refused him for my care.
Dissed & Dismissed
When I was 19, I had a UTI. I knew it was a UTI. I went to urgent care to get antibiotics as I hadn’t established a new doctor where I was going to school. He asked me if I was sexually active, I said yes and explained I had one partner and we used protection. The doctor insisted I had an STD, not a UTI, told me again that I definitely had an STD and when he got the labs back he’d send a prescription for antibiotics. I never did a urine sample or anything.
I felt so mortified. Labs came back within the next day or two negative for any STDs and I never heard from them again. The UTI spread to my kidneys and I was in terrible pain but was so beyond mortified and anxious about what happened in the urgent care that I didn’t follow up with anyone else until over a month later when I ended up in the ER on the verge of sepsis. My right kidney still has degraded function almost a decade later.
Mind Your Mouthman in white crew neck t-shirtPhoto by engin akyurt on Unsplash
I had escaped a really bad relationship and found myself always on the edge of sudden anger. I had never been an angry person before. I was having uncontrollable outbursts at my children, who didn't deserve it. I tried everything to stop but couldn't, and finally went to a psychiatrist and what she said to me was infuriating. “Just be mindful”. I audibly rolled my eyes at her and never went back.
It turns out it was PTSD. You don't "mindful" that away. With actual, useful help, I managed to get past it before I destroyed my children. I still feel bad for having put them through it, and I learned a valuable lesson that psychiatrists are people too, and they don't always have the right answer. It's okay to quit that one and go to another.
Beating The Odds
I had a bad reaction to Covid, and the doctor came in and sat down. I was on a bi-pap, so I couldn't really hold a conversation. She talked about the weather and some things that didn't really matter. Finally, after about five minutes she took a deep breath and said, "This is such a messed up time, and so much is going on and I have had to tell families this for months now and you are the first I am telling that can still listen. You aren't doing well and are only getting worse. We expect you to die in the next day or so”.
Long story short, I made it through, but it seriously messed me up. I don't have a bad thing to say about her at all. Just the bad news I got. The medical team did a great job, and she was just human. She was probably getting tired of seeing people die. This was in the early stages before we even had a clue how to handle it. I couldn't imagine having to give this news to families daily.
Can’t Unhear That
I got a cyst removed from my tailbone. After removal, the area kept getting agitated/developed some inflammation and would reopen and leak from one spot. I swear to god every single time it happened it was on a Friday and I couldn’t see the doctor until Monday and by then it had healed.
After several Monday trips in with no real signs of my ailment, the dude tells me a horrifying story. A patient would sew excrement into hidden/unrelated parts of his body to force a reaction that required him to be hospitalized. I guess because he was mentally ill and liked that or wanted the attention?
I point blank asked the doc if he was insinuating I was making stuff up just to visit him or because I was mentally ill and he basically told me yes and he wasn’t counting it out as a possibility.
Unbelievable and an absolute headache to have a doctor that operated on you not believe you at your word. I’m a very stable person and this damaged my psyche intensely for several months as a result, but I’m better now. I still hate that jerk though and wish there was something I could do about it.
If At First You Don’t Succeed…
We spent 4.5 years trying to conceive and I had several miscarriages. The day after one such miscarriage, that ended my longest pregnancy to date (9 weeks), I had to go to my GP to have a thyroid panel done. The nurse came in to draw my blood, checked my chart, saw the note about the miscarriage and why I was there, and then cheerfully proceeded to tell me "Oh honey, don't worry that this baby didn’t make it. You can always just go get pregnant again”!
I complained as soon as my GP came in afterward. My GP didn't seem surprised and blew me off a bit. I complained to the practice manager though, and I never saw that nurse again.
More Than Puberty Blues
I was suffering from severe depression and anxiety and regularly had mental breakdowns. I booked a doctor's appointment to request medication or at least seek treatment because I truly felt like nothing I was doing was helping and I was spiraling. The doctor told me it was "just a phase" and that once I was done puberty, I would be fine. It was "just my hormones”. But the worst thing he ever said to me? He said it was "normal to be emotional on my period”.
Yes, puberty and periods raise hormone levels. Yes, people are more emotional and impulsive during these times. No, they shouldn't want to hurt themselves.
Anyway, several years of self-harm and an eating disorder later, it turns out it wasn't "just a phase”. I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and have been suffering from unprocessed childhood trauma and an environment full of triggers.
I wasn't being a stupid emotional teenage girl, I was genuinely hurting, and I needed help.
Trouble’s Brewingsmiling woman carrying babyPhoto by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash
After my fourth child, I was having some extremely sharp pains in my stomach. The OB said to call my primary.
The primary basically told me that they weren’t going to look at anything because I was probably still bleeding and that it would be gross. Her diagnosis was “Sometimes things hurt after you have a baby”.
It turns out I walked around with a bladder infection for six weeks until my post-partum appointment. It was not all that fun.
The same doctor who told me things hurt after babies told my husband he could fix his panic attacks by relaxing and having a beer. Spoiler: you can’t fix panic attacks that way.
All Fired Up
I'm a type 1 diabetic, had some sort of throwing-up virus, was 21, and glucose kept tanking. I went to the ER because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep it up and end up seizing/in a coma. The ER doc told me he thought I was lying because I wasn't old and overweight—a common misperception of not knowing the difference between type and type 2.
So, he ordered a psych evaluation.
I had a seizure right as the psychiatrist swung back the curtain. I spent a week in the ICU. But I still got revenge for what he did to me.
I got that doctor fired from that ER, and did my best to try and get his license pulled. They did remove his ER certification or whatever it's called. So he at least can't practice emergency medicine anymore.
“That’s not supposed to happen”. That’s what a doctor said after my vasectomy, when within two hours of having the procedure, the whole area down there had grown to roughly the size of a cantaloupe…it hurt like the dickens and I could no longer go to the bathroom, as was now a swollen mass.
I had to have surgery to drain what he said was around 12-16 liquid oz of blood and fluid.
Apparently, I was the “lucky” point 1% of people who experience complications of this nature…and with the extra bonus that the emergency surgery cost me another $4,000.
He intimated I had some form of hemophilia, but I literally cut myself at work like 3 times a week and have no issue with clotting, and it still hurts down there 5 months on.
Still better than having another kid though.
The Sound Of Silence
I got tinnitus at the end of high school and it was terrible for me. I could barely sleep at night it when started and I would just try to drown the noise with TV at night. I was so miserable. My parents didn’t understand why this was happening and they didn’t know what I meant by ringing but I was literally crying because I wanted it to be quiet again.
My dad has good insurance so he took me to an ENT who was just really straight up. But that didn’t make what he told me any less devastating. He told me it’s never going away and that millions of Americans have it. I waited for an hour to meet him and he only spent like 5 minutes with me. I was tearing up during it and I didn’t know how to cope with it.
My dad was nice enough to get me another appointment to meet another ENT (I’m so lucky and privileged for that). He was amazing. He said the same things but he definitely more compassionate. He said it just happens and it wasn’t something I did. He recommended a white noise machine to drown out the sound and to avoid loud noises and stuff. It still sucked to have it but I kind of felt better. The ringing doesn’t bother me anymore.
Let’s Get Physical
The doctor told me: “I saw you fall asleep in the waiting room. Excessive exhaustion is a sign of sleep apnea, so I’m going to have to fail you on your physical. If you lose weight I’ll reconsider”.
The jerk tried to take my job away all because I had to wake up at 4 am that day and nodded off—and then called me fat.
I had to get three other doctors to give me physicals and override her failing me just to keep my job.
Wake-Up Callshallow focus photography of people inside of passenger planePhoto by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash
As I’m packing to leave on a business trip across the country, my Doctor calls me and tells me to stop whatever I am doing and go to the ER, I’m gonna die. I had blood work done the day before and had an appointment with him next week, but he had received my results and my blood glucose was over 20 and my A1C in the mid-teens.
I felt fine and went on my trip instead. I learned to regret that decision.
I was a non-compliant diabetic for years culminating in the below-knee amputation of my right foot in 2018. That’s what it took for me to start taking my condition seriously.
Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
I have a cyst on my heel so I went to see a doctor. Also, on top of a cyst, I have a random ankle pain when I'm more active (playing basketball, jumping, volleyball, football). And I said this pain is reoccurring for the last two years. The doctor said that maybe it's better to stop playing these sports, because I'm too old for this. I was only 23!
Then, I went to a real professional, paid a lot of money, and he said that I have progressive flat feet and I get inflammation in my ankle.
Take A Long Walk Off A Short Pier
I was 16, and seeing a rheumatologist for a bunch of problems, but mainly fibromyalgia. I had lost 60-ish pounds and was finally at a healthy weight. But, my pain had gotten worse along with fatigue. He asked me what exercise I was doing, and I answered walking about 3 times a day (long effective walks). His reaction was brutal.
He looked me right in the eyes and said “walking isn’t exercise”. It wasn’t even that mean of a comment, but it broke something in me, and I felt so angry and discouraged and helpless. I stopped seeing him after that as I had other issues with him in the past and this was the final straw.
Less Than Zero
Doctor: You have high cholesterol so you should eat less meat.
Me: Well, I have been a vegetarian my entire life. There must be something else I can do.
Doctor: Meat is definitely the issue here. Just cut back on that and you should be fine.
Me: What should I cut back on? The current amount of meat I eat is 0, but I should eat less than that?
If He Only Had A Brain…
I was struggling to regulate my blood pressure due to Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), and I passed out while I was in the shower. I knew I had a concussion from hitting my head during the fall, and my girlfriend decided I should go to the emergency room. I had been fainting on and off every few hours for a few days and with the concussion, we were both worried. I passed out on the car ride and nearly collapsed inside the ER.
After checking in, a phlebotomist came to draw my blood and she was muttering under her breath. What she said was so vile, it’s unforgettable. It was all about how I was a waste of time, saying it was too busy to be taking care of someone healthy, saying I was just looking for painkillers, assuming I was faking everything, and proceeded to tell my girlfriend that she shouldn't have brought me in.
Then, after she left, someone else came in and looked between me and my girlfriend, and said, "This must be your sister, is your boyfriend on his way”? And I had to tell the lady that I am a lesbian and that my partner brought me in. She gave the typical, "Oh, I see” response and left.
I was taken back for a CT and I was told that everyone passes out, it's not a big deal, and concussions happen all of the time, so I shouldn't have even taken up their time. Low blood pressure isn't a big deal, and POTS is just something teenage girls make up for attention.
After the scan, a nurse came in to tell my girlfriend that the doctor would be in shortly, and my girlfriend had asked if there was something they could do because I was still struggling to stay conscious and I wasn't acting right. The nurse told her, "If you notice any changes in her behavior, we'll see what we can do, but there's nothing we can do right now”.
My girlfriend said that nothing about my behavior that day had been normal, and given the fact I don't remember the days prior to the ER visit, I'm going to make my best guess and say something was probably very wrong.
An hour or so later, the doctor came in and looked around the room. He said, "Oh, I thought surely your boyfriend would be here by now”. But then he made it so much worse. He said: “Well, when he gets here, let him know that the doctor says you do, in fact, have a brain. I have seen it firsthand. You must be a smart young lady”. Like...That was the most condescending thing that could've escaped his mouth at that moment. Then he said, "Looks like you have a concussion. There's nothing we can do for you tonight. It just takes time to heal. Go home and rest, and if you notice any changes in your behavior or mood, come on back”.
No. No, thank you. I will not come back, actually. I just spent $1,500 to be told I have a vital organ that he does not have. Cool. That was the most frustrating interaction with a healthcare staff I have ever had.
I Can Hear Clearly Nowgray sand with water dropletsPhoto by Dylann Hendricks | 딜란 on Unsplash
Every time I went to a doctor, they'd look in my ears and complain they couldn't see anything because of the wax build-up. My mom would tell me I need to clean them more. At one point, I was cleaning them with a Q-tip almost every day.
Finally saw a doctor who said she couldn't see anything, but decided to do something about it. I had said how often I cleaned them, and she warned me against Q-tips. We spent almost 2 hours cleaning my ears. What she found was twisted. My ears bled. She had it looked like I had had an ear infection in one ear for quite a while but it was hidden under the wax. I refuse to use Q-tips now and often have a doctor drain them for me. I had minor hearing loss in the ear that had the infection. It's amazing what having the right doctor can do for you.
Rhymes With Meadow
When I was 14 I was seeing a male dermatologist for bad acne. He told me he was going to write me a prescription for birth control to help clear it up. Then he told me: “Once your skin is all cleared up, then you will really need to be on the pill”! And winked. It made my skin crawl.
The same doctor on another visit was excising a small mole on my back. When he was numbing the area by injecting local anesthetic, I didn’t flinch at all because I had been having allergy shots for years and needles didn’t bother me. He chuckled and said: “Looks like you don’t mind a bit of pain” and slapped me on the back when he was all done.
Show & Tell
I now know I have hypermobility, but at the time I was having multiple knee dislocations for unknown reasons as an otherwise healthy 20-year-old lady with high pain tolerance.
The doctor decided that I wasn't having dislocations, despite documented evidence from other medical professionals. According to them, dislocations were too painful for me to imagine and I probably just had bursitis. This absolute reprobate lectured me for 20 minutes about how I couldn't possibly have dislocations while I sat there in sheer shock and horror. That’s when I snapped.
I got so mad I stood up and without a word twisted my right leg hard in just the right way to cause a complete dislocation of the patella. I maintained eye contact, didn't even whimper, and hit the deck like a bag of bricks. I usually have good pain tolerance but the sheer anger made me almost superhuman that day.
Worst Case Scenario
"Well, looks like you're probably going to go blind”!
While I have visions of myself walking about tapping a white cane in front of me, he blithely adds, "But don't worry about it. Corneal transplants are 99% effective, you'll be fine”.
I did have transplants later when my eyesight got bad enough to warrant it. They worked a miracle, but man, lead with the "you'll be fine" next time.
The Acid Test
When I was in middle school until 10th grade, I would get violent nausea anytime I got hungry. It felt like my stomach was on fire, and I would miss a lot of school from feeling like garbage, although I was a good student and wasn’t falling behind in any way. After a lot of fighting with my mother who accused me of exaggerating, she agrees to take me to a gastroenterologist to be checked out.
Before agreeing to do an endoscopy, the gastro accused me of exaggerating because I was a teen girl and that’s just apparently what young women do, he suggested I was just making up these symptoms for attention, and then asked me point blank if I was lying about my pain level to skip school and suggested I had a mental health issue I was trying to cover for. I had GERD and severe acid reflux, as confirmed by the endoscopy he reluctantly agreed to perform on me.
Instead of letting it go, the gastro made a point of angrily telling me that I had “the stomach of an 80-year-old man” and must have been intentionally eating in a way to mess up my stomach.
I have a family history of stomach problems and GERD. I don’t understand why it was so implausible that my brother could have acid reflux at a young age, but I must be a liar when I claim to have the same symptoms in my teens.
He Was Thinking Inkperson in red shirt with black leather strap watchPhoto by Daniel Eliashevskyi on Unsplash
I went to see my doctor about a pain I'd been having in my lower left abdomen for a couple days, and he asked me a few questions and waved his hand and said, "It's just a pulled muscle, don't worry about it. But I AM going to talk to you about that tattoo on your arm”. He proceeded to lecture me about the risks of tattoos and how unclean tattoo parlors are because they use the same needles over and over, the ink is synthetic and I have plastic in my skin, blah blah blah—all this outdated information they used to scare people in the 80s/90s.
I was 31 and he was talking down to me like I was a kid that gave myself an India ink tattoo with a stickpin. Years go by and it turns out the pain was diverticulitis.
Not Pulling Their Legs
I was 18 and had just had a baby, and my epidural was taking a long time to wear off. The nurse came in to transfer me to the recovery room and I told her I still didn't have any feeling in my legs. She said, "It should have worn off half an hour ago," and started trying to get me out of bed and into the wheelchair. I said I was going to need help so another nurse came in and they had to move my legs off the bed—which should have been the second clue—and then they hoisted me off.
I of course crumpled immediately. As they're trying to get me off the floor the first nurse yells at me, "You have to try to stand up”! I yelled back, "What part of ‘I can't feel my legs’ did you not hear"?!
When my mom heard about it she went and chewed them out. I didn't see that particular nurse again.
That’s More Than A Bad Day
In 2009 my fiancé of 36 hours passed on from a pulmonary embolism caused by birth control. A few days prior I took her to the doctor for shortness of breath. The doctor said it was an asthma-related issue and not to worry. I said that’s odd because she doesn’t have asthma.
After she passed and services were done, I made an appointment with that doctor. With a straight face, he said, “This is a medical practice and sometimes you have a good day at practice and sometimes a bad day at practice”.
Her father had to grab me before I choked the life out of the doctor. I’ve never heard something so bad come out of a doctor's mouth.
The Bearer Of Bad News
I woke up in the hospital and heard a nurse running out saying “He’s awake”. The doctor comes into the room and tells me to move my toes. I ask them where I am and what’s going on, he just gets more insistent that I move my toes. I asked again where I was and what was going on, and he almost yells at me “Move your toes”. I said I am moving my toes. What he said next was horrifying.
Immediately he tells me: “You will never walk again”. That’s how I found out I was a paraplegic at 21 years old. I had been in a single-car wreck and was thrown 70-80 feet from the car and my vertebrae was dislocated and lying next to another one. I don’t remember the car wreck but that exchange with the doctor is burned into my brain, and that was 31 years ago.
Haste Makes Waste
I heard this story repeated while I was working in a hospital. A guy was gravely injured due to being shot in the face. There was no chance of recovery and he was expected to die within a very short period of time. An intern walks inand, without realizing it, says the most horrible thing.
He asks: "Is this the guy we are going to harvest the kidneys from”? The doomed patient was reported to have reacted by briefly bolting up into a sitting position. I hope it’s not true…but I heard they did get the kidneys.
Automatic Fcouple dining outPhoto by Wiktor Karkocha on Unsplash
I have cystic fibrosis. And while the doctor who diagnosed me was cruel, honorable second place goes to someone who's not quite a doctor yet but well on the way to it.
I went on a Tinder date with a med student who had super liked me and about two sips into my cocktail, he calmly explained that he's not actually here to date me, he just has a medical ethics class he took with our university’s philosophy prof for extra credits. His exam was coming up and it would be on the ethics of pre-implantation genetic testing for cystic fibrosis. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
As a philosophy student and someone who has that, could I be a bro and explain to him why exactly some people say we should not throw embryos with this condition away? It’s horrible isn't it?! Why would I wish that on others? Really, shouldn't I be in favor of it?
Yep, he really thought he was gonna invite me on a DATE, buy me a drink, and then quiz me on why people with my chronic illness should or should not die before they're born. To pass a medical ethics class because he needs the points to improve his grade a little bit. But he didn't outright ask for that even through text—not that it'd be less rude.
He really made me get all dolled up to ask me about the pros and cons of currently being alive cause it's quicker than a textbook.