1. Put collard greens into her vagina
I had a patient that got a pretty nasty infection and became septic after putting collard greens in her vagina for several days because she thought it would induce an abortion.
2. Thought she had menopause
Not a Doctor, but EMT.
Had a woman who was in active labor, despite insisting she couldn’t be pregnant. She said her last period was “like ten months ago” so she’d gone through menopause.
She was 25.
3. I don’t have diabetes…
“I don’t have diabetes, I take medicine for that.” – happens so often I cant put a face to that quote.
4. The oatmeal lady
A woman comes in after having a baby and tells us she’s having trouble breastfeeding. I book her an appointment at a breastfeeding clinic, give her some resources, etc. Her appointment was fine and she went on her merry way. A few weeks later, we get the fax that she went to the breastfeeding clinic and everything was fine. Awesome.
A year later she shows up for her doctor’s appointment, and she’s morbidly obese. She must have put 100lbs on an already obese frame. She’s developed many health problems related to her weight (that she refuses to acknowledge are due to her weight. Of course.) She tells us she’s never been more active after having a kid, her diet hasn’t changed, her work life hasn’t changed, nothing has changed, the weight gain just happened due to ~hormones. We ask if she’s breastfeeding, she says yes. We ask how she’s getting the extra calories for the breastfeeding, and she tells us the Clinic told her to eat 1-2 bowls of plain oatmeal a day. It worked, so she’s still doing it.
We figure this is how she gained so much weight (she’s probably eating 2 large bowls of oatmeal on top of her meals, with milk, sugar, butter, etc), but the woman insists she’s eating 1-2 packets of plain oatmeal a day. Nothing on it, nothing added to it. It says plain on the package, it tastes plain, it’s plain.
We send the doctor in to see her after briefing him on the whole story about the oatmeal. He’s in the room with her a long time — much longer than normal. When she comes out of the room, she keeps her head down and walks off, looking angry and embarrassed. The doctor walks up to the nursing table and fills out the chart.
“You never asked what brand of oatmeal she’s eating”.
Yeah. Turns out she didn’t know plain rolled oats were a thing. She thought the breastfeeding clinic meant plain oatmeal cookies. She was eating an entire package of Dad’s oatmeal cookies every single day for a year (basically a ‘bowl or two’ filled with cookies), and could not understand how that was different from oatmeal.
5. She was expecting to lose weight on this diet?
Had a patient who was coming back post lap band for a check up. What we usually do is revise the patient’s weight, etc and ‘tighten’ the band or ‘loosen’ it as needed.
Now the thing to remember is that getting lap band isn’t as easy as just throwing down some money. For six months, the patient must meet with a psychiatrist and a dietitian to understand what they’re getting into and if they can adjust their lifestyles and commit. A goal weight loss target (ex: lose ten pounds) is usually set for the end of the six months to ensure the patient is serious. So after all of this rigorous evaluation, a patient is deemed fit for an operation.
Enter my patient ‘Sylvia’. I checked her chart, BMI before surgery was 40, she was morbidly obese, and now had come in for her first follow up to ascertain if she’d lost any weight. Well, I put her on the scale, calculate, and what do I see? Her BMI was now 45. Perplexed, I asked her to explain her diet to me.
Sylvia- Well I’ve been doing a liquid diet just like you all said
Me- Very good! Can you maybe what you have?
Sylvia- I make smoothies and have them whenever I feel hungry.
Me- So what do you put in your smoothies?
Sylvia- Cake and ice cream.
Yup. She was serious. Somehow it didn’t occur to her that this wouldn’t be healthy. We reversed her band.
6. What was she feeding her baby?
A woman came in for a baby check with her 6-month-old and she had what looked like chocolate milk in the baby’s bottle. So he started explaining to her as kindly as he could that she shouldn’t be giving her baby chocolate milk. At which point she interrupts him and says, “Oh that isn’t chocolate milk. It’s coffee! He just loves it!”
7. Actually, she wasn’t dying at all
An older lady was brought into the ER barely conscious by her husband. In a very thick Italian accent she told the doctor she was dying. She had complained of feeling tingly and having a dry mouth prior to passing out.
The doctor sat the husband down and they did a history. No serious medical problems and she was very fit. In fact she spent the morning cleaning her sons bar, as she often did on a Sunday morning.
Considering her age they took these symptoms very seriously and begun running tests to find the source of her ailments.
The son came in to visit his mother, and on the way he bypassed his bar. He noticed that his mother had helped herself to some of the ‘treats’ prepared the night before.
The son, the apple of his parents eye, had to then explain to his father and the doctor that the treats she had enjoyed were space cakes. And apparently she really enjoyed them as she ate quite a few.
They then had to sit down and tell this elderly lady that she was not dying, and that she was in fact stoned!
Fortunately she was still high enough to see the humour.
8. Her son had a “skull fracture”
A secretary buzzes back to me that there’s a call on line two that needs medical advice. I pick it up and one of our patient’s mother is on the phone having a panic attack. She is hyperventilating into the phone. I asked her if she was alright, thinking maybe she needed an ambulance, and through her breaths and now tears, she starts telling me that she thinks her four year old son has a skull fracture.
I ask if he fell. No.
I ask if he’s conscious. Yes.
I ask if he’s breathing. Yes.
I ask if he is bleeding from his ears, eyes, nose, mouth, scalp. No.
I ask if there is any visible wound. No.
I ask why she thinks he fractured his skull. Because underneath his eyes is red and puffy and Google says that’s a skull fracture.
I tell her to go to the ER for proper assessment (we don’t do MRIs, X-rays, CT Scans). She doesn’t want to. She says she was supposed to take her kids to the beach. Mind you, she is still crying and breathing heavy at this point. I tell her to come right over then but warned her we would probably have to send her to the ER.
She shows up 15 minutes later, cradling the child and crying. The little boy was crying too and screaming “I don’t want to die Mommy!” She kept hushing him and saying “Mommy loves her strong boy, no matter what!” Which only made him cry harder.
I pull her back into the room and she just dissolves as she tells me how she looked at him in horror this morning and saw the guarantee signs of a skull fracture. She swears he must have hit his head yesterday at swim practice.
The little boy is crying hard but I can see the noticeable swelling and pinkness under the eyes that she was referring too. I went to get another doctor and told her what I thought. She went in, came out about ten minutes later shaking her head. She had the same diagnosis.
You know when you wipe your eyes after swimming, you usually wipe under your eye too? The kid must have wiped off his sunscreen around his eyes the day before. All the pinkness and puffiness was from a mild sunburn under his eyes.
9. People who go to the vet are stupid too
I don’t have to deal with people patients, but I helped out a vet for a while and there’s a lot of dumb pet owners. Had one lady who was really concerned about her obese lab getting hiccups. The vet let her know the dog was overweight and she told him he was wrong and then insisted we do diagnostic tests to “figure out” the hiccups.
10. He totally does this to himself
I don’t like speaking ill of my patients mainly because I think we all neglect our health to a certain extent volitionally, and that can be viewed as “dumb”.
But the winner is Aristotle*. Aristotle is a 35 year old highly functional corporate lawyer. Aristotle has G6PD deficiency and (in his case) he develops mild hemolysis when exposed to certain foods, including fava beans. Every year for his birthday, Aristotle goes to the fancy Greek restaurant and gets gigandes plaki, his favourite dish. Every year he develops mild hemolysis with mild jaundice and dark urine. Every year he comes to see me, his gastroenterologist, urgently and without an appointment on the day after his birthday — bull-in-china-shopping my clinic, yelling at the secretary and other patients if he could be seen first. Every year he repeats his highly anxious concerns that his liver is screwed up because he’s mildly jaundiced and has dark urine. Every year I tell him it’s from the gigandes plaki. Every year he resolves never to eat it again and is fine for the rest of the year on his G6PD diet.
And every year on his birthday, he forgets. And then the cycle continues.
11. Cure us with ur mind plz
A lot of patients come to the hospital because they are “sick” but refuse to do any tests or take any medicine. Do people expect healthcare workers to do a ritual dance and chant around them and magically heal their illnesses?
12. But seriously
Patient: “Well do I really NEED the chest x-ray and EKG?”
Me: “Well you came here for a cough and chest pain soooo…”
P: “Yes but do I NEED them?”
Me: (thinking) WHY THE FUCK DID YOU COME HERE?!
13. She drank acidic water (but said it wasn’t acidic!)
Dentist here. In school I had a 70yr old pt who was still in the dating game and looked like that old lady who just died who played the Jeanie. (I was thinking of Joan Rivers)
She’s got a ton of acid erosion on her teeth. Tells me she drinks on “3-O” water. Didn’t know what was in it. We look it up on Google. That’d be a pH of 3. All of her water. Plus, she likes to put lemons in her water. I tell her this is also acidic. She tells me I’m wrong, because her friend who took a few nutrition classes said that as soon as the lemon juice gets into the body, it turns basic.
I told her I had a biochemistry degree… And that was wrong.
Also, her blood pressure is super high every visit. She tells me that she stopped takin her BP Meds because she thought they were unhealthy. I tell her that he method is not working at all.
A few weeks later, she strokes out and never gets out of a wheel chair again.
I’m friends w/ her on Facebook now. It’s just sad.
14. Greasy hair = diabetes???
Was translating at a medical clinic once. A father brought in his 20-year old son convinced he had early signs of diabetes since his hair was greasy. After convincing the doctor that’s what he was actually there for, we told him to go take a shower and try different shampoo :( its sad how little some people know about diabetes
15. Wait, which hole is it?
Recently had a patients wife claim to be a retired nurse. While we were teaching her how to do an in and out catheter on her husband, she asked which hole the pee came out of and which hole the semen came out of.
16. Use the crystals instead
I’m a medical student but the number of patients I’ve seen who refuse to take medicine because they ‘don’t want chemicals’ inside them is staggering
17. Why do the good die young?
I had a woman call 911 once for a body who was supposedly murdered underneath a railroad bridge during a massive music festival. When we got there, it ended being a log with a jacket thrown over it, and a very drunk woman sobbing over said log.
18. She doesn’t want a “child’s disease”
Patient came in with a rash around her mouth; she was going on about how she had it 14 years ago and the dermatologist prescribed a certain antibiotic to cure it and diagnosed her with “perioral dermatitis.” She’s showing us pictures on Google. Okay.
Doctor diagnoses her with impetigo and prescribes her an antibiotic ointment. She leaves and fills the prescription and comes back flipping her shit. She googled impetigo and, with the help of WebMD, came to the conclusion that it was a children’s disorder on the arms and legs that can only be contracted from children and she wasn’t around children. Insists that what she believes she has (perioral dermatitis) is a “woman’s disorder” and she doesn’t have this “children’s disease”. Says that the antibiotic he prescribed isn’t on the list of treatments (thanks WebMD). (It’s on the top of the list actually, of you know, actual medical books, but whatever)
Whole time, she’s showing us these pics off google of “perioral dermatitis” saying it’s a woman’s disorder. Half the pictures were of men. Now one thing you should know, perioral dermatitis means rash around the mouth. That’s it. It doesn’t mean shit. It’s not a type of rash. It’s not only cured by a specific antibiotic. It’s just a rash that happens to be around the mouth. She was furious, shaking with rage and about to start throwing shit bc the doctor wouldn’t prescribe her this certain antibiotic. Doctor told us to call the cops if she came back. People are crazy.
19. He was stung by a bee and fine
I’m a student and my GP supervisor was involved in a scheme to reduce A&E waiting times by having a GP in A&E to take patients that weren’t actually in an accident or an emergency. As none of the patients were actually dangerously ill I was basically doing the consultations with the doctor supervising, double checking and signing prescriptions etc.
A guy in his late 20s walks in, looking very healthy, and sits down. “I was stung by a bee this morning”. OK. “Where?” “On my cheek” There’s no swelling or anything visible. “How long ago was this?” “Well it took me about half an hour to get here and then I’ve been waiting another three and a half hours” I wonder why. “Did it stop you swallowing or breathing?” “No.” “Are you allergic?” “No.” Umm… “What would you like us to do?” “Check I’m OK.”…
At this point I turn around to my supervisor attempting to say WTF do I do here? He says “You’re OK, go home.”
It was the most surreal consultation I’ve ever had.
20. That’s not how glasses work
Not a doctor but my dad is an opthamologist (eye doctor). He once told me that one of his patients came in utterly confused why the “medicine in his glasses no work anymore.”
21. Couldn’t feel the tiny tip of her pinkie
When I worked in a&e, had a patient with the complaint of “neurology” in minors. She tells me she cant feel the tip of her pinkie. A vague 0.2cmx0.2cm patch right at the top. No sensation there whatsoever. No other history or symptoms. I grabbed a needle, poked it and cured her.
22. What the actual fuck
I had a woman who refused to be discharged as she “couldn’t keep any food or drink down”. Her room was filled to the brink with sweets crisps and fizzy drinks.
I asked her to show me the vomit. She produced a sick bowl she had filled with spit. I pH tested this in front of her (contents of stomach are acidic). Of course pH was normal. She then stuck her fingers down her throat and physically forced herself to repeatedly gag and vomit. In front of me.
Next day I returned and said she had blood in her urine. She’d filled a sample pot with red juice. It literally smelled of fruit.
Boss discharged her that afternoon. She was back within a week I think
23. She wouldn’t turn off her zombie movies
Another patient was in the hospital to have her 9th baby and then give it up for adoption (she was 9 for 9 on adopting out babies). She was 34, had a BMI of 65, no teeth, a creepy partner (I think it was a feeding fetish type relationship) and NO pain tolerance. I was asked to do an epidural. As I’m going through the consent, she’s distracted by some zombie pseudo-documentary that she refused to turn off. She had brought the entire DVD set to watch during labor. At the end of the consent process, I asked if she had any questions.
She just wanted to know “when can I go smoke a cigarette?” I told her after the baby was out she could do whatever she wanted. The adoptive parents, who already had a few of her offspring, were there the ENTIRE time. I had to forcefully ask them to leave for the sterile epidural placement, which was remarkably easy given her size but a little more challenging given the distracting zombie show that she REFUSED to let us turn off. Baby slid out about 30 minutes later, and she was discharged before the end of the day. I think the OBs at least managed to get an IUD into her.
24. But will he still be a virgin?
I had a patient’s mom ask me if putting a catheter in her 6 year old son would break his hymen and would he still be a virgin.
Being a virgin was important to them because of religious reasons.
25. You can’t cure stupid
One was a lady wanting to know if our clinic would do a “virginity test” on her because her PCP told her they don’t do that. It took me way too long to explain it’s not a real thing.
Another lady needed to get tested for STDs, not weird, but she said she needed us to send the results to her prospective employer? Uh why?? We told her we wouldn’t do that but she could come get a copy of her results and do whatever she wanted with it. She does but comes back later the same day and says we gave her the wrong test results. We double check, nope, those are def her test results. Trying to sort this out with her, I asked her why her employers would want an STD test anyway. She says, they said it’s to make sure I don’t have “tubulars.”
Then it dawned on me. She meant Tuberculosis. She needed a TB test, not an STD test. She gets angry and yells that we’re just trying to trick her into taking more tests to charge her more and then stormed out…
26. “One more for the road”
This happened to a friend of mine when he was in training to become a paramedic. He was on a ride along, basically, and they had received a call where a woman fell down the stairs. They get to the address and knock on the door. The woman who called was inside folding clothes. Apparently she had been drinking on her medication. Twisted her ankle and called for an ambulance. So they asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital. She’s says yes, then proceeds to the fridge to pour “one more for the road.”
27. I told him to not do cocaine
Doc here. I had a guy with an ICD in place. For those who don’t know, it basically shocks your heart if it goes into a funny rhythm.
He would regularly come into the hospital to have it turned off because he would do a ton of cocaine and the thing would keep firing due to his high heart rate.
I told him not to do cocaine. He kept doing cocaine.