1. Little Red Spots
When I was about 16, I started having these little red irritated spots show up on my arm. When my mom saw me, she immediately said, "You have psoriasis, just go tanning." So I tanned for about a week, and they just got worse. Soon, they covered my entire body.
There were even spots on my eyelids. I went to the doctor finally, and he made a gruesome discovery. It turned out I had ringworm. You want to know something even worse? By tanning, I was basically rubbing lotion all over them and incubating them while tanning.
2. The Root Cause
My husband chased me through the kitchen while we were teasing each other. When I took a hard left turn, he lost his footing and fell. Considering he's a big guy, falling is more traumatic for him. Immediately, he knew that he was badly hurt because he couldn't put pressure on it. He was able to crawl up to the couch, and once he was settled in, he was not in too much pain.That night, he decided to sleep on the couch so that he wouldn't have to go upstairs. We scheduled an ER appointment in the morning so we wouldn't have to wait around all day, but it wasn't until 2 pm that they had an opening, so we just hung around the house. He was in some pain, but it didn't seem to be an urgent matter. However, once we got to the hospital, we learned the shocking truth.During the fall, he broke his hip, tearing off the entire ball joint from his femur. The nurses said they couldn't believe he was able to sit up and sleep on it, which suggested that we should have come the night before -- and probably by ambulance. It required surgery with some hefty bolts to put it back into place. However, the most bizarre part is that apparently a healthy 30-year-old man breaking his femur standing is extremely rare.That’s when we found out that there was an even more terrifying cause behind it. Several tests and an MRI revealed he was suffering from osteoporosis in the early stages. Even craziest? It was due to a pituitary tumor in his brain. A benign brain tumor was found simply because he was wearing slippery socks.
3. Quite A Burden
I went to the doctor to get a note for a day off because I wasn't feeling well. When the doctor poked me in the stomach, he said, "That's not normal." He told me to have a scan, which took me two months to schedule. Two weeks later, I received a letter from the doctor inviting me to come in. As soon as I walked in, the doctor was mad at me for not coming in sooner...My doctor told me to go home, pack a bag, and head to Royal Brisbane Hospital as soon as possible since it might be cancer. After some more scans, it was determined to not be cancer, but rather a four-kilos cyst. My only symptom was an enlarged stomach and the “You’re getting fat” comments from my mother.
4. Not Just One, But Two
My oldest son was 11 years old and he needed a physical for youth tackle football. In the middle of baseball season, he complained that his ankle hurt, so she asked if he could take off his shoe. When he did, she immediately pointed to a strange bump on his foot and told us he had a broken foot.I didn’t believe her because he had the same thing on his other foot as well. She then looked at the other foot and said, "Oh, he has TWO broken feet." She then sent us to the hospital to get X-rays taken. I was laughing in my head, thinking it was so absurd that my son, who had just played baseball in a tournament and jumped in the pool an hour before, had two broken feet.When the X-rays were finished, I quickly lost that smile, realizing that the doctor was right. That's when we learned of the risk of completely flat feet suffering stress fractures that go undetected. He was put into a cast for eight weeks and was made to wear special shoes and insoles for the rest of his life. Although he still has deformed feet, it has never held him back.
5. Bedside Manner
Medical school could not have prepared me for the first time I had to tell someone their loved one had died. I wasn't ready. While they covered the basics, no one really explained how to break the bad news to someone. No one warned us of how ineffective we would feel doing it, or the fact that we would not be able to answer their panicked questions...or what it would be like to know that there was nothing we could say to family members that would bring them comfort.There’s also nothing on how shocked or even angry you’ll be when some people don’t really care about their mom going downhill, or how ashamed you might feel when you look back and realize that you’re becoming numb to it all yourself. You probably had to click through some presentation on the five stages of grieving at some point and listen to a generic lecture on what NOT to say, but until you've stumbled through it a few times, you're probably doing it poorly.
6. An Unusual Defect
When I was a medical student, a patient and his brother walked into my clinic together. The patient was just there for a post-op visit after undergoing a hernia repair. After a closer inspection, it turned out he had another baseball-sized hernia. Somehow, that’s not the craziest part. His brother, on the other hand, had a hernia the size of a football protruding from the left leg of his shorts.It looked like an inguinal hernia, and he was able to use it as an armrest. I asked him if that bothered him at all, and he just straight up said: “My brother’s hernias were painful but this isn’t, so I thought it was just a quirky defect.” I hope he was lying to save face, but we recommended he get it taken care of.
7. A Little Bit Too Late
I'm a nurse with twenty years' experience and a master's degree. This lady had a non-healing, large wound on her left chest area for six months and painful axillary nodules that she had for six years prior to the wound. Any wound that does not heal is immediately assumed to be cancerous. Sadly, this woman had stage four, incurable cancer - all for a heartbreaking reason.She just wasn’t taught that cancer was treatable. The patient told us, “I wish they could do something for breast cancer, and cancer in general.” It was obvious that she was not aware that most women with painful nodules should see their doctor as soon as possible as breast cancer is most treatable at an early stage. Three weeks after her diagnosis, she died. She was sedated for about two weeks and five days after diagnosis because that’s how she wanted to go. At least she wasn’t in pain, and was pretty much asleep for all of it.
8. Hearing Voices
Psychiatrist here. One of my first patients was a female college student who had trouble sleeping because of voices that kept talking to her. She felt compelled to answer them at all times. Based on what she said, I gathered that depending on the particular voice she was either being cautioned about individuals or situations, or outright pushed towards violent acts.The voices began when she was 16 if I recall correctly, and we met when she was 20. Four years of her life, she thought it was normal having such voices in one's head, since many people talk to themselves, according to her. It was true to a certain extent, but I had to explain to her that most people actually talk with themselves, and they do not have any other identities. In other words, there's just an internal dialogue to clarify or resolve issues that bother them in their own privacy. She was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.
9. I Don't Think Its A Baby...
Nurse here. We had a 67-year-old woman who believed she was pregnant. I’ve got to say, she did look pregnant since her abdomen was full; similar to those pregnant women who look like they’re carrying a basketball when they are at the end. However, she was 67 years old. It turned out to be a 37-pound ovarian cyst, and it was the largest one I had ever seen in my career.I asked if I could observe the surgery. It came out all intact, and the sound it made will never be forgotten. This was at a community hospital many years ago before HIPAA, so naturally the lab invited anyone who wished to see this incredible thing before it was dissected by pathology to come down to the lab. The lunchtime line was so long, you'd think they were giving away free concert tickets.
10. A Life Saved
My psychiatrist saved my life! I have always had heavy and irregular periods, so when I had bleeding that didn't stop for a month, I just kept on going. My doctor eventually referred me to the emergency department due to the constant blood loss, and all I was told was, "You have endometriosis." So I had a heavy period for five months, and doctors just dismissed it.Eventually, my roommate called an ambulance after I collapsed in the shower. The doctors did a blood test and I was admitted overnight for a blood transfusion. Fun fact: blood transfusions make some people nauseous. It's not fun to find out you're allergic to antiemetics! After about six months, I drove for an hour to see my psychiatrist for my regular appointment.He took one look at me and freaked out. He told me to go to the emergency room immediately. As a result, I was immediately admitted to the ICU with a bilateral pulmonary embolism. I was hours away from suffocating to my end. It turned out all the birth control my original doctor gave me to get rid of me had caused massive blood clots. The doctor that looked after me and ultimately saved my life wrote a paper on why it’s stupid to ignore a nulligravida (never pregnant) woman in her mid-20s with severe dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
11. A Good Call
One time, I got food poisoning. I had never experienced serious food poisoning before, but my boss who was at the conference with me had. After I cleared myself completely within a short period of time, I told her I would probably miss the next day. She asked if I needed anything and I said, “No-no… I’m just trying to drink water but I can’t keep it down…I’ve put all my pillows on the bathroom floor so I can stay close to the toilet.”She offered me ginger tea and asked if they could take me to the hospital. I declined and tried the tea which also came back up. Eventually, I was still heaving and couldn't get up, so she and a co-worker drove me to the hospital. I felt so stupid--who goes to the ER for food poisoning? After a few hours in the ER, they stabilized me and ran some tests.Then they told me I could go home or stay at the hospital if I preferred. I am not the type to worry about my health and always assume everything will be fine, but some instinct told me to stay. I told them how terrible I felt when they wheeled me into the hospital. The next thing I knew, I was lying in a hospital bed surrounded by medical personnel. I had a life-threatening seizure.
12. Painless But Severe
At the age of 14, I started to have stomach aches that weren't just regular bellyaches. Although it was perhaps a little more intense, I was able to sleep through most of it. Next morning, my parents made an appointment for me to see the doctor to see if I was okay. We got through it all, but we had to wait at one point, and it was taking quite a long time.I told my mom, “We should just go home, it’s probably nothing…” and then the next thing I knew, I needed surgery. Prior to the surgery, my doctor told me that my appendix had burst, and he said I just have a very high tolerance for pain. In fact, he was surprised that I was able to sleep through it. He also explained that if I hadn't had surgery as soon as I did, I wouldn't have survived. I understand now why many people think that having a high tolerance for pain isn't necessarily a good thing.
13. Poker Face
A lot of times, sonographers have to maintain their poker face when something alarming or sad appears on the screen. Fortunately, most people have no idea what they're looking at, but they can't tell patients what they've found since doctors deliver the bad news. They simply have to stay neutral. A couple of months ago, I had an ultrasound done and was talking with the sonographer about how happy I was to be having a baby.I have lost many people this year, and I needed some good to come my way. Then I saw her face, and my blood ran cold. It wasn’t super obvious, but I knew. My baby’s heart wasn’t beating, and I didn’t see any movement. She pulled away and said a doctor would call me that day. It was awful for me. During that day, I called my doctor a few times because I wanted to know the results as soon as possible. When I finally got it, I broke down. But I still feel really awful for her. She didn't say much, but I could see her heartbreak too. Their job is harder than most people think.
14. Unholy Terror
I had a 60-year-old female patient show up for a same-day appointment to establish care from out of state. She had no medical records and denied ever taking any medication. She never smoked, drank, or did anything else. During the exam, she began telling me she was seeing "evil lines" all over her house at all hours.According to her, she was unable to cross the lines and could not access parts of her house, such as her bathroom. She claimed to hear voices coming through the walls and to feel shadows at night. She also thought her neighbors were hexing her all the time. At some point, she talked about the occult and how freemasons rule the world. Suddenly, she stopped mid-sentence, stared at me without blinking, and asked if I could perform an exorcism. Err… Sorry. I missed that section in medical school.
15. Mr. Rectal Pain
The complaint in the man’s file was rectal pain. The first thing I thought about was hemorrhoids, abscesses, or fissures. I visited Mr. Rectal Pain, and he told me he had pain in that area, but no other symptoms. When I examined him, everything looked normal. At that point, I decided to conduct a rectal examination. The result made my jaw drop.I digitally examined him and he instantly said, “Ow, there’s something sharp in there.” Out came a fishbone. It was quite large, about two to three centimeters long. I asked the patient about it and he was like, “Oh, I had red snapper a few nights ago.” I put the fishbone into a specimen cup and started parading through the emergency department showing everyone what I just “fished” out of some guy’s butt. Oh, and there’s a coda to this tale.When I told my colleague this story, he told me how in his residency they performed rectal exams on all trauma patients. One time, one of his fellow residents went to perform one and the patient said the exact same phrase: “Ow, there’s something sharp in there.” But instead of a fishbone, it was a hypodermic needle. You can’t make this stuff up.
16. Look Out Below
As a student nurse, I witnessed a cesarean section when the mother had preeclampsia. Despite having an epidural in place, the mother was awake and had a screen in front of her. Things went well at first. Her uterus was sewn back up and I was starting to relax…until the surgeon asked the medical student at the foot of the bed to step aside. That’s when I witnessed an absolute horror.As the doctor pumped her uterus twice and hard, all of the extra products were forced out of her body. The wall wasn't far from the foot of the bed, so the student was definitely in the line of fire. The patient nor the husband didn’t seem to notice, but when the medical student and I looked at each other, she just said, “Whoa.”
17. Don't Panic
My mom was always exhausted. She would take a bath and get so worn out that she would sleep on her bath mat afterward. She went to her doctor and he told her, “Oh, you're just depressed. You should get a haircut.””” She did. but she was still exhausted. After that, she went back to the doctor, but he just told her she was just depressed.He advised her to get a hobby; that it was all in her head. He never sent her for blood tests or referred her to any specialist. Months later, she went back. That’s when everything changed. Her regular doctor was on vacation, and the doctor filling in for her took one look at her eyes and nearly gasped. He said, “It’s your liver. Get these blood tests now.”A few blood tests and a liver biopsy later, she was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis and was three months from death. After she improved with medications, she went back to the original doctor and said, “I didn’t need a haircut.” 27 years later she still suffers from lingering effects; though, all things told, she was super lucky.
18. A New Lease Of Life
I’m a lawyer. One of my clients received a devastating diagnosis of an extremely rare heart condition. His doctor told him that he would live only six weeks. He contacted me to prepare a will and arrange his affairs. Luckily, he sought a second opinion from an extremely well-known cardiologist who was intrigued by the rare nature of the condition.THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH HIM. HE WAS FINE. This poor guy and his family were so tortured over this; so devastated and terrified FOR NOTHING. While he called me to let me know all of this, he seemed to still be in a happy mood, but I imagine anger will come when you take stock of what you went through. There's no way a doctor could mess up that badly or if someone else's results were mixed up with my client's. Hopefully, it’s just the former.
19. A Huge Mistake
I once saw a young student from, I think, Pakistan. He complained that his neck was stiff. He had been to the doctor a few days earlier and was told that he was experiencing "joint pains" that would pass with anti-inflammatory medication. During my visit, I saw that many of the lymph nodes in his neck were swollen, which probably caused his stiffness.Nevertheless, I had a terrifying suspicion. He told me they were not painful, which is not a good sign in this case. I sent him right away for a chest X-ray. The results came back and showed a huge mediastinal mass, suggestive of lymphoma. Unfortunately, I am not aware of what happened to him at the end. I hope everything went well for him and that whoever took him in after me handled the situation with care.
20. Eyes Never Lie
Once, when I was a medical student on surgery rotation, in trauma, we had a patient come in after he fell on the street and bonked his head. As it turns out, he had fallen earlier that day and was discharged after the trauma workup at the other hospital turned up no injuries. As we examined him, we noticed his eyes were kind of yellow.Since he couldn't tell a great story and we couldn't be sure what happened, we CT scanned his abdomen as part of our trauma workup and discovered a gruesome discovery. Upon examination, we found his common bile duct to be three times the normal size. You could drive a truck through it. At that point, we checked his next set of vitals. He had a temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit. The guy was floridly septic from ascending cholangitis, which is why he was falling down. Big miss and that is an emergency.
21. Not What You Want To Hear
Doctor here. One time, someone came to me overnight in the hospital after being admitted by someone else the previous evening. The patient was clearly involved in an out-of-hospital cardiac incident at a local casino. They used a defibrillator on him after it happened, which restored spontaneous circulation.The history was clearly described by the admitting doctor, however they called it “syncope” or passing out. They had ordered a cardiac stress test for the morning. I caught it early that morning. The patient ended up needing to go emergently to the cardiac catheterization lab and getting a stent to heart artery procedure, which was the cause of their heart stopping.In the event that this patient had actually undergone a stress test, the patient would have died. And I have dozens of stories like this. I feel like half of the doctors I work with are morons and don't care about their patients. You shouldn't go into medicine if you can't handle the challenges the profession faces on a daily basis.
22. An Inexplicable Decision
The two-year-old patient and their dad were out gallavanting in the fields near a small town that is several hours away from the nearest big city—which is where I work. The dad takes the child to the small town's ER with an obvious snake bite, and the doctor there says, "Eh, it's okay, she probably didn't get envenomated.".He didn’t even give the patient antivenin, which they had at that hospital. Instead of sending the child to us by helicopter, he sent her by ambulance. Several hours later, the patient arrived at our hospital coding - and the worst happened. The child ended up dying. “Probably didn’t get envenomated?!?” What the heck kind of stupid nonsense idea is that?? If a tiny child gets bitten by a rattlesnake, you assume they’ve been envenomated and you treat them as though that had been. That means antivenin, physiological support, etc. It was all so ridiculous.
23. Falling Asleep At Work
The hospital where I work had a story a few months ago about a cardiologist who was working the nightshift in the ER and started feeling lightheaded, dizzy, and tired. Those shifts are pretty exhausting. They can sometimes last more than 26 hours, sometimes multiple times a week. Because of that, nobody thought much of it when this doctor said he wasn’t feeling well.In the staff room, the doctor in question took a quick nap. He was passing by people in the staff room every now and then, but they just assumed the poor guy was exhausted and let him rest. They all saw him lying there, but did nothing about it. Later, they realized the disturbing truth. Despite being surrounded by all those doctors, the poor guy was dead for several hours before anyone realized there was a problem.
24. Eyeing The Problem
During my childhood, my eyes were hurting and my dad kept taking me to the same eye doctor who said that the problem was that I wasn't cleaning my contacts correctly. Despite my requests, he kept on giving me harsher and harsher chemicals to wash them in. It got to the point where I couldn't open my eyes fully in a room with the lights on, even though I hadn't worn contacts in months.Finally, after a year, my mom forced my dad to take me to a different doctor. This doctor literally met me in the waiting room, looked at me with his naked eye, and said: “You have a raging eye infection.” After a month of medicine, the infection was gone, but there was so much scarring and damage that it took me about 20 years to wear contacts. This was more than two decades ago and it still bugs me to think about.
25. Pee Troubles
I was the patient. In college, I went to the doctor because I kept peeing razors. The condition progressed rapidly and by the end of the week, I couldn't even walk. When I went in for a consultation, the doctor asked me about my bedroom life. I told him the truth: That my girlfriend and I had only been with each other, and we had been together for many years.He kind of scoffed at that and told me it was probably chlamydia that was bothering me. He had a long, condescending speech about safe intimacy with me and sent me home. That was that. My urine tests came back a week later. It turned out I had the worst bladder infection they had ever seen. A camera was shoved up there, multiple antibiotics were administered, and to this day I still have trouble urinating due to irreversible damage caused by the infection. Thanks a lot, doc.
26. Neck Pain
Gymnastics was my sport in college. In my senior year, I had an accident in practice and landed on my neck. I went to the hospital for X-rays, but the doctors said I was fine. This could not be further from the truth. I walked around in excruciating pain for a long time.
The pain continued for weeks, so I saw another doctor and had a new set of images taken. Guess what? My neck was broken in three places and heavily dislocated. Several days later, I underwent a multi-level fusion surgery-but the story isn't over. My initial X-rays were swapped with someone else's in the ER and I was initially diagnosed using somebody else's images.
I discovered this when I went to get my records for insurance purposes long after my surgery. My files had someone else’s medical records and images in them. Because I was walking around with my neck injury for so long, I had to have a posterior surgery instead of an anterior surgery, which is much more invasive. I have major issues with it even now.
27. More Than Skin Deep
One day, I went to see a dermatologist because I had a nasty rash on my hands and face. The doctor insisted it was eczema even though I’d never had eczema in my entire life. In addition, he refused to perform any testing or take a biopsy, and just prescribed me steroid cream for eczema. My rash spread and became much worse. It was all up my arms and all over my face.It was itchy and painful, so I went to a different dermatologist and explained the situation. A biopsy was finally performed. Yes, it was a bacterial infection, and the doctor's steroid treatment made it ten times worse. I was a minor at the time, and I do not know why my parents did not take the doctor to court.
28. Home Sweet Home
My husband had a situation where he almost completely kicked the bucket because of a misdiagnosis. TAt the time, we were young-in our mid-20s-and living in a college town. My husband was in a lot of pain, and was on his hands and knees and everything. I took him to the ER, but the doctor barely looked at him.His only advice was to stop drinking. So we went home, but the pain was still getting worse. At one point, he started vomiting all over the place. We decided to seek a second opinion from our primary care physician in our hometown, 1.5 hours away. After walking into the office, my husband was rushed to emergency surgery within 15 minutes. Apparently, his gallbladder had ruptured and he had become septic. It was an absolute mess and he almost died due to a lazy misdiagnosis.
29. Baby On Board
My sister was about two weeks away from giving birth when she suddenly began feeling excruciating pain and vomiting. I called her midwife in a state of panic. The phone call made my blood run cold. She wouldn't speak with me, even though my sister was clearly incapable of speaking as she sat crying and puking beside the toilet.Eventually, she called her midwife who told her it probably was just a virus. What did she suggest? “Eat a popsicle.” Eventually, I was able to convince her to go to the ER. She was immediately rushed to the operating room for an emergency C-section. As a result, the placenta had erupted and my niece was not breathing when she was delivered. The poor baby suffered several seizures and even died for a moment before she was revived. As a result of not getting oxygen for such a long time, she is now 15 years old and has cerebral palsy.
30. A Poorly Qualified Intern
On my way to work I got what I thought was whiplash after being involved in a multi-vehicle accident. Because I have a high pain threshold, the interning doctor in the ER told me that if I wasn't screaming, I wasn't hurt. When I told him I was in pain, he did the "Can you feel this" prick test. When I couldn’t feel anything, his expression changed. A few minutes later, my ex walked into the room and screamed that I was bleeding.I had a white shirt on, so it might have stood out, but this intern was so convinced I could feel something that he repeatedly stabbed me with a syringe needle until I looked like I was in a horror movie. A nurse dragged him out and later when my attorney reviewed the medical notes, it said that I had a violent nosebleed. My C5, C6, C7 vertebrae were damaged as well as my spinal nerve bulged. I had significant damage and the guy thought I was just making it up.
31. Fourth Of July Horror
My wife was a psychiatric nurse at a hospital. I was called by one of her co-workers on the Fourth of July about her being injured by a patient while she was working on the floor. After receiving a pretty strong punch, she ended up in the ER to get checked out. I went to the hospital to see how she was doing.I was sitting with her as she was laying in one of the beds when I heard this awful wailing. I turned around and my jaw dropped. There was a kid in his mid-teens with blood running down his arm staining his clothes and the gurney.
He had blown his hand to pieces playing with fireworks. His screaming was extremely unnerving. My wife was okay, but that poor kid was not.
32. Coming In Handy
A patient was getting anxious about numbness in his hand. He said: “It’s getting more frequent and I don’t want to live like this. It gets me freaked out, like my hand’s not there.” They assumed the person was mentally ill and experiencing panic attacks, such as elevated breathing rates and tingling.I requested a CT scan, so they performed one. There was a lesion. They blew it off. The MRI revealed that it was glioblastoma multiforme, an extremely serious form of cancer. This was completely missed by the ER physician assistant. I was never spoken to by the MD supervising them. I don't know whether they reviewed the case.
33. Twist & Shout
Medical student here. I'll be a doctor in May. I was working an ED shift when we discovered a missed testicular torsion. The patient had been told he probably had cancer by the previous doctor. When he showed up at our ED, what he had was probably a dead testis missed at initial presentation weeks prior.If you have sudden, excruciating pain in your testes, especially if you are young, you need to go to the emergency room right away. It's one of the few things that would make a weekend-lounging urologist jump off his couch and drive full speed to the hospital. My patient experience was with a male, but indeed ovarian torsion is a similar emergency!
34. Blame It On The Growing Pains...
When I was in grade school, I started having terrible ankle pain while walking, which my doctor blamed on growing pains. Since I knew that this was not the case, I kept bugging him about it. After multiple attempts at diagnosing everything from knock knees to pigeon toes to just being weak, I finally saw a specialist.He asks me to flex my ankle, and so I do. “No, all the way” he said, even though I was flexing as hard as I could. I could only flex my foot maybe an inch from its resting position. It turned out that I had incredibly limited mobility of that joint due to shortened tendons. Having been brushed off by doctors for years, he diagnosed me within five minutes. After physiotherapy and a shoe insert, my pain gradually decreased.
35. Implant Troubles
I’m a dentist in the United Kingdom. While I was working as a locum in an emergency clinic, I encountered a man with an infection in his mouth. The man had gone to a private UK dentist and requested implants, but the dentist refused to do them because of the patient's heavy smoking and poor oral hygiene, which made it unlikely that the procedure would succeed and heal properly.The patient didn’t accept this—so he went an alternate (horrifying) route. Having looked online, he found that he could get the implants done in Hungary for half the price and take a holiday at the same time. Within a few weeks, most of the implants were infected and he is sitting in my chair. We gave him antibiotics to treat the infection.As a result, we had to inform him that the implants would need to be removed, and he would need to find a dentist with the right equipment to perform the surgery. He was not happy. All that money was spent only to have to pay again for them to be removed. No better off and at least ten-thousand down. He should have listened to the first person who told him this!
36. The Signs Were There
My mother-in-law showed all the signs of a stroke. An intense headache, vomiting, vertigo, vision problems, partial paralysis, etc. She was sent home from the ER after being told that it was an inner ear condition that would resolve on its own. When it did not improve, she saw her GP, who upon looking at her asked when she had had the stroke.When he realized it wasn't being treated, he immediately sent her back to the hospital. They discovered she had suffered a major stroke! She could easily have passed and was in rehab for weeks. Their reaction was absolutely unbelievable. Then, they said it must have happened after she was there the first time. According to them, her chart from that visit said she hadn't had a stroke...and so, she couldn't have had one. So much wrong with that statement that I don’t even know where to begin…
37. More Than He Bargained For
In my role as a dental assistant, I once had a patient whose color was off. His jaw hurt, and he had a toothache. He'd just been to the doctor, who had told him to come in. I was suspicious of a heart attack. I put the pulse oximeter on him and almost fainted. As soon as I grabbed our emergency high flow, I yelled for an AED and someone to call an ambulance.The guy was having a heart attack. He survived and brought me a huge box of chocolates on Valentine's Day. I've never been so scared or angry. The dentist called the MD and said, "My 25 year old assistant just saved your patient's life."
38. Elastic Heart
An ER patient came into the office complaining of grave heart pain that caused him to pass out quite frequently, sometimes even throughout the day. Apparently, he thought it was just due to his overweight condition. We had to explain to him that passing out for no apparent reason is not normal and that he should have told his doctor about it. The symptoms were on and off, so at first, we had no idea what was up.The meds we gave to him did not help, so we ended up bringing him to the hospital. His heart rate remained dangerously high for an extended period of time (about 45-60 minutes). Because of the lack of oxygen, he passed out. It turns out that he had been having minor heart attacks without realizing how serious they were-but that's not the worst part. He's had these episodes since he was a teen, if not younger, and his parents never brought him to a doctor.
39. Just Like That...
After helping my father out of bed, he felt a loud pop. This was not unusual and I assumed he just pulled something. However, the pain didn't subside for weeks. I dragged him to the GP, and then to the hospital for a scan. The "pop" was actually the back of his rib totally separating, with most of the bone in powder-and the reason why was awful.From his bad habits as a young adult, he developed lung cancer which had grown through the back of his lung and into his ribs and spine. He underwent palliative care for the remainder of his life. At least he had one last chance to say goodbye to his cat Tilly. I brought her to the hospital and he let her slobber on his chest with her bum in his face.
40. Will It Ever End?
Several years ago, my best friend was diagnosed with a hernia. She was scheduled for surgery a year later because it wasn't so bad that she needed emergency surgery. She decided to return to her country after feeling mistreated by the health care workers in her US town. She was scheduled to have a pre-surgery check-up, followed by the surgery two weeks later.Her check-up took place without anesthesia, so while she was being operated on, she could see what was happening, which was frightening enough. It turned out she had a birth defect which resulted in a massive cyst growing. She was in great danger. She was unable to walk and had to take a flight home the next day. She is doing much better now, but she recently got diagnosed with another hernia on the other side.
41. The Girl And The Machine
In my childhood, I was hospitalized a lot due to heart problems. One day, I was waiting for the playroom to open when I was about eight. A girl on my floor walked around with a huge machine pumping her heart for her. She was also walking around with what looked like her mom or older sister.Suddenly, the scariest thing happened
—her machine started beeping, and the nurses rushed in. They were speaking German since this was at a hospital in Berlin, however, I didn’t speak German; only Russian. The look on her face before she collapsed was horrific. Her eyes went almost blank and her lips started going blue. I still remember it.
42. A Disturbing Sight
Our father had terminal cancer. Towards the end of his life, we had to take him to the emergency room. He was checked in and while we waited for him to be seen, we heard several ambulances. When we realized what had happened, our blood ran cold.During a fight, three teenage boys all shot each other. There was so much blood. I had never seen anything like that in such close proximity. All I thought about was that these boys had mothers, fathers, and siblings. They were rushing them all in for surgery. It was a disturbing sight.
43. Tonsillectomy Terror
As a toddler, I got strep every month, so when I was four, I needed my tonsils removed. I remember being separated from my mother for what seemed like FOREVER while I was being prepared for surgery. I was yelling the whole time. It was the first time I had ever seen an operating room, or doctors and nurses dressed in full protective gear.I thought I was being abducted by aliens. I awoke alone and was stunned to realize I couldn't speak. In my hospital bed, I cried and whimpered until a nurse wheeled me to see my mom in the recovery room. I was so relieved to see her that I puked as soon as I saw her.
44. Contemplating The Possibilities
On a night out drinking, I blacked out. I didn't drink much alcohol, so either I was given something or I had a bad reaction to hops. I still don't know who was responsible. The next day, I vomited nonstop for 14 hours. It got worse than that-when every muscle in my body was cramping so badly I could barely move and my heart started acting funny, I called for an ambulance and took myself to the ER.We were sitting in the room when the doctor walked in and said, "We got some tests back. Your white blood cell count is a little high. It could be leukemia," and then walked out without further explanation. That moment, when we were sitting there contemplating the fact I may have leukemia, was terrifying. Luckily, it turned out that I don’t have it.
45. A Fatal Accident
My mom and I were involved in a car accident. A large van ran a red light at a four-way intersection and T-boned us. The accident was so bad that we were taken by ambulance to the emergency room. The people who hit my mom and me were sitting in the room next to us. The woman was heavily pregnant when she was involved in the accident. She told the doctors something felt off for weeks before the accident, but that her doctor said the baby was fine.They did an ultrasound and were shocked to find that the baby had died, apparently not because of the accident. I will never forget the woman's screams. It was heartbreaking.. It was heartbreaking. She kept screaming, “Get it out of me, get it out of me.” I’ll never forget that moment.
46. Am I Going To Look Like Him?As a child, I had emergency abdominal surgery for a blockage. The scariest part was seeing my parents as they stood at the double doors while I was being rushed into the surgical area. I looked over to see my mom crying on my dad's shoulder, and he looked very concerned. To top it off, there was a doctor being prepped for surgery next to me. There were no curtains between patients, at least not at this hospital.But what really traumatized me was what came next. The guy next to me was an elderly man, unconscious with tape all over his face. Initially, I didn't understand what the tape was for-probably just to hold an intubation tube or something, but in my mind, the tape looked like they had carved his face up and put it back together with tape. I was terrified! I didn't know what they would do to me. I thought I would end up looking like that guy.
47. A Game Of Inches
This one guy was brought to the hospital in an ambulance with upper airway obstruction. We suspected advanced throat cancer and performed a tracheostomy. We checked his neck x-ray after the operation. Then this junior asked him when had broken his neck. Well, as it turns out, he had a brand new, unstable neck fracture.
After checking the patient's x-ray, we found that it had been there prior to surgery, but everyone had missed it. When we questioned the patient, he said that on his way to the hospital, the ambulance had been in a car accident. No one had mentioned it to us when he finally arrived at the hospital. He only thought he had whiplash, but he was actually just a few millimeters away from permanent paraplegia. Unfortunately, he passed on about two weeks later, due to the cancer.
48. It's Hard To Stomach This One
I am not a doctor, but I have a story to share. I have experienced abdominal pain since I was a child. I have had countless ultrasounds, doctor's appointments, and ER visits. I was told it was in my head. Recently, I underwent surgery for something unrelated. During the surgery, they had to free my appendix that was stuck to my abdomen wall. Just the tip is healthy at this point.Apparently, I suffered from appendicitis for years, and my body had been absorbing my appendix. I will have to undergo a second surgery to remove it, as it was so stuck that all they could do was free it. And they didn’t want to risk it at that point because it was going to cause more pain. So, that was cool to find out…
49. Missing A Key Detail
I’m not a doctor, but actually the patient. My doctor prescribed me birth control. As I waited in line to pay for it, I read the paperwork that came with it, and I learned that another medication I am on, permanently and every day, completely cancels out any effect the birth control has. I went back to the pharmacist and asked about interactions.He informed me that I may have side effects. I asked which ones, and he said: “Pregnancy.” Pregnancy is not a side effect. It is a lifelong commitment. Then, I called the doctor and asked why she would prescribe something to me that she knew
wouldn’t work. And her response was: “But you asked for birth control!” Like, yeah I did, but I wanted some that would actually work!
Silly me for not specifying that…
50. Too Anxious To Find Out
I suffer from anxiety that gets pretty bad when left untreated. I went to see my general doctor about it and explained my symptoms to him. She told me it was heartburn. After I explained that I thought it might be anxiety, she yelled at me. She got upset and told me how “everyone is stressed” and how “these are stressful times, it’s normal.”I was experiencing heart attack symptoms, but I'm far too young with no heart problems to have a heart attack. I went to a new doctor and, before I could even finish explaining, she cut me off and said “Yeah, you’ve got anxiety.” I was out on meds and within the week I was feeling better. I don't know what the first doctor's problem was...
51. Oxygen Deprived
There was this man who had been skiing, he ended up in a skii accident after an avalanche caused the snow to fall on top of him and trapped him there for hours. Thankfully, he was rescued in time to survive but of course, he suffered a lot of injuries and he had been deprived of oxygen which had affected his brain.It wasn't really clear in what ways his brain would be be affected. It was only a few weeks later when he started doing word puzzles that he suffered from a series of seizures. it turnes out that this part of the brain was damaged when he was deprived of oxygen. This is also the part fo the brain triggered when doing word puzzles. Bizzarely, he has to avoid them now.(Image Source/ blogspot.com)
52. Teeth in the Brain
This young little boy had a head that was growing too fast. It was concerning doctors and so when they did a scan it revealed that there was indeed something wrong. They could see a mass in his brain, which looked like a tumour.But, scans showed something kind of bony as well. It turns out, that inside the tumour were several teeth. Tumours have uncontrollabe cells and so strangely it is a phenomenon where things can grow out of them. Thankfully in this case, the tumour and the teeth were successfully removed from the boy's head.(Image Source/ bluecourtdental.com)
53. Tumour Growing Limbs
This leads us on to another horrifying story regarding a tumour. It is the same phenomenon of the previous case. It's actual name is called craniopharyngioma, where the tumour grows things out of it because of it's uncontrollable and multiplying cells.Like the little boy from the last case, this lady also had teeth growing from her tumour. But there was more...way more. It was discovered that she actually also had eyeballs and whole limbs and even a HEAD growing inside of her tumour. Now that's a very disturbing idea.(Image Source/ freeimages.com)
54. Pea Lung
This one caused a whole medical raucous at the time and it became massive in the media. And we can understand why. This man had been experiencing pain. Everyone feared the worst and thought it may be a tumour in his lung after they had done several tests. It all pointed to this conclusion. The man was told that it was infact a tumour, and that he would have to have an operation to remove it.So, the operation came and the surgeons opened him up. But they did not find a tumour, instead they found a pea that was growing into a tree. It had formed not only shoots but was growing in his lung. Somehow it had made its way into his lung rather than his stomach and had managed to grow.(Image Source/ blogspot.com)
55. Potato Roots
I was working in Colombia in a hospital, volunteering because in poorer countries they do not have access to the same sophisticated medical knowledge or equipment. This girl came into hospital after she was suffering from stomach complaints. It didn't take long to realise why.There were potato roots growing inside of her vagina. Her mother had told her that placing a potato there would successfully act as a contraceptive. It's a sad story because it highlighted the need for medical education. Thankfully, we removed it and the girl was fine. But, it showed us that there needs to be accessible education for everyone.(Image Source/ cropsvegetables.com)
56. Ghost Chillies
Ghost chilles are the hottest in the world. They score over one million on the spice scale. As little as one seed can cause damage. In fact, they are so powerful that they are sometimes used as weapons. But, unfortunetely this one man was dared to eat a burger with ghost chilli puree on. And, instead of refusing he agreed.He ate it and ended up tearing his assophagus and tearing his lung from the extreme vomitting that happened as a result. That's not to mention the acute stomach pains. Thankfully after a few weeks in hospital he was sent home. But it could have been much worse, especially untreated.(Image Source/ blogspot.com)
57. 70 Years Old and Pregnant
This lady had been trying for a very very long time to get pregnant. It had never happened naturally for her. But, nowadays infertility can be helped by new science discoveries and methods so that people longing to be parents can be. It was pretty much everything she'd ever wanted and it had never happened for her.But, there's this thing called in vitro fertilization where all the fertilisation happens in the lab. So a lot of the process relies on science. After 3 tries of this process she finally became pregnant. The catch of the story - she's 70 years old. And, her husband is 79 years old.(Image Source/ steadyhealth.com)
58. One Day He Couldn't Read
I knew this man, he was an author and that had been his job his whole life. Anyway there was this one morning and he woke up and as usual took his newspaper to the table to sit down and read. But, he couldn't read a thing. The words were totally indecipherable to him. He was an older man so many might think that this was natural, but the day before he had sight and the following day there was nothing.It turns out that there had been a stroke in his brain which had affected the ability to read. He could still write, but he could not read what he had written. That part of his brain was no longer functioning. Thaknfully, over some time he managed to regain the function again and continue to do what he loved.(Image Source/ fineartamerica.com)
59. Green Skin
We all know that skin turning yellow/ green can often be associated with the liver. And in this case it was no different. However, the cause was very different to the usual associations which affect the liver. At first it was very unclear what was causing the issue.It turns out that he had been eating a plate of snails everyday, and he had a parasite in his body which was spreading and eventually blocking his liver from being able to function correctly. The parasite had come from the snails themselves. Thankfully, he was treated. But I think his appetite for snails was never the same again.
(Image Source/ WBUR.com)
60. Third Degree Burns
I knew this lady, she was American. She had a problem with her thyroid I'm not exactly sure what was wrong with it, but she needed surgery. So, she was admitted to hospital and went for the operation. But, when she woke up some of her flesh on her face had melted away and she looked almost unrecognisable on that side of her face.It turns out that during the operation she has suffered second and third degree burns to parts of her face. When the doctors were using instruments during the operation an accident had occured where she had been burned in the process.(Image Source/ wired.com)
61. Frostbite from an Air Duster
Unfortunatley, inhaling the fumes of aerosols does happen despite the fact that is extremely dangerous and is known to kill people. This one man that I knew about from a friend of a friend had sniffed around 4 in an hour.Of course, he ended up having to be rushed to hospital because of the effects it caused. It was cans of air duster that he had been inhaling. He gave hismelf frostbite as a result. He managed to get treated but it is suprising that it wasn't worse and that he actually managed to survive.(Image Source/ developinsight.com)
62. A Strange Case of Worms
I worl at the ER and i had a very strange case one day. This girl came in complaining that she had worms, she said they were evrywhere in her stools and in her mouth and that they had been getting worse and worse for a few months now. She then said she had brought some in a kind of test tube to show me. She showed me and I instantly knew it wasn't worms, it looked like normal spit.Her parents arrived in a frenzy thinking that their daughter was dying from parasites. I then had to try and explain that their daughter was physically fine, but she had Delusional Parasitosis and had convinced herself of the problem. This was a tricker diagnosis indeed. Instead of treating worms I had to refer her to a psychiatrist.(Image Source/ kantar.com)
63. Cat Voices in Her Head
I had this patient once who didn't have anything that was easy to treat. She said she had voices in her head. But, it was even worse because these weren't even normal voices- she said they were the voices of cats.When she came to see me she suddenly started shouting at me telling me that I wasn't letting the cats come inside. She said they were freezing out there. It was one of my more surreal moments as a doctor, and I've never had an experience quite like it since either.(Image Source/ readersdigest.com)
64. Self Made Silicon Implants
I had a patient come in to the emergency room. She wanted some implants out. This girl had a record of putting silicone implants in herself, all for cosmetic reasons this one had been annoying her and she wanted it out. I had to refer her, this was not my area of expertise.But my colleague told me that when they opened up her hutt to remove the implant, there were hundreds of silicone pads in there. She'd literally put dozens of silicone implants in her butt as well as in other areas of her body. Of course, they all had to be removed.(Image Source/ blogspot.com)
65. Parasitic Eye Worm
I knew about this woman who lived in California. She was on her daily run in the evening and she ran through this swarm of flies. It didn't concern her it was just rather unpleasant because some of them landed in her eye as she had ran straight through them.Anyway, she got back and her eyes felt irritated and it was turning quite red. She looked in the mirror and she saw something wriggle. A worm started to emerge from her eye. She had to go straight to hopsital and it turns out that it was a parasitic eye worm that usually affects cows.(Image Source/ about.com)
66. A Nasty Cat Scratch
I knew this lady, she was lovely. She was quite old and she loved animals, she had two cats of her own. She'd been to the shops and was on the way back walking and there was this cat on the wall.She stopped to see it and went to give it a stroke and it scratched her quite deeply along her arm. It doesn't sound that serious but it led to a whole bunch of serious illnesses which could have been fatal: sepsis, septic shock and flesh eating bacteria. It was really awful.(Image Source/ fetchfind.com)
67. Tripe Palm
I heard about this woman who lived in Brazil, she was old she was in her seventies at the time. She had a very strange condition and the reason they even discovered it in the first place was also for a very strange reason. She had extremely soft hands, like the texture of velvet or something.The appearance of the skin turns to that of tripe, like the lining of a cow stomach for example. And, it's an actual condition called tripe palms and it's associated with a disease which can be fatal. Its medical name is pachydermatoglyphia.(Image Source/ healthjade.net)
68. A Very long Tapeworm
This man in China had a taste for raw beef, apparently it was one of his favourites. Anyway, he had gone to the doctors becayse he had been having stomach pain and he had lost his appetitie. Plus, the biggest giveaway is he had even found something in his stool, which he had collected and taken along with him to the doctors.After some investigation, a 20 inch tapeworm was found inside his intestine. He of course had it removed and was given antibiotics to treat it. After just a couple of months he was fine again thankfully.(Image Source/ blogspot.com)
69. Pilates Causing a Brain Leak
I had a friend of a friend who used to attend Pilates. She started having quite regular headaches, which were especially bad after eher Pilates class. After going to the doctors it was doscovered that she had brain fluid leaking which was causing the headaches.And, the most suprising of all - they were triggered by the Pilated class. This usually only happens after head trauma, but in this case it was the Pilates. She was given natural treatments for example, told to rest in bed and take ibuprofen for a while. But, her love of Pilates subsided too.(Image Source/ balancemoves.com)
70. Earring Disaster
This woman in Australia accidentally inhaled an eaaring while she went to use her inhaler. Somehow (she still doesn't know) a loose earring from her bag got inside the inhaler which she then used during an asthma attack.The earring then ended up inside of her. It ended up getting stuck in her bronchus and she was coughing up blood. Of course, she started to think something was drastically wrong. Thankfully, it was just an earring that was removed upon its discovery.(Image Source/ blogspot.com)