"I've had a patient claim that amputations run in his family.
He said that was the only reason he needed both legs taken off above the knee. He was adamant that it was not actually due to his uncontrolled diabetes, his enormous and continual sugar intake, his refusal to use insulin, or his refusal of treatment for the giant infected wounds on both feet."
"ER doctor here. I had a patient insist she had a fever once and when I pointed out that our thermometer did not record a fever she told me, 'I'm not sure they taught you this in medical school, but when Asians get a fever, their temperature doesn't go up.'
Yup, I missed that lecture."
"I worked in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. One night we were called to labor and delivery for a preterm delivery. This woman called 911 because her stomach hurt a lot and she thought she was dying. At the hospital ER, it was confirmed she was pregnant and in labor. The whole time we were there she kept saying she was dying and why wouldn't we help her. OB telling her she was in labor and to push each time she felt pain. She kept yelling 'It's just gas! I've had gas for a while, but it won't come out because I'm dying!' Fast-forward to baby coming out. OB hands the baby to the nurse who then shows NotAMom her baby. NotAMom says, 'That's not mine! I have gas!' The nurse places the baby on her chest and says, 'Well, here's your gas. It's a boy!'"
"Lady came to the clinic with her 8-month-old baby and she was pretty freaked out. Her baby had diarrhea for the last few weeks and it wasn't going away. She initially wasn't concerned but then her friend told her that diarrhea is the first sign of AIDS and now she was convinced her baby contracted AIDS.
We quickly ruled that out through their med records and assured her that her baby didn't contract AIDS randomly. As we finished examining the baby it started to cry so we handed it to her mother. Lo and behold she pulls out a baby bottle to get the baby to stop crying...only this baby bottle is red and is filled with Kool-Aid.
We had to explain to her that babies can't handle sugar at that age and that was the cause of diarrhea. She refused to believe what we said. 'I was raised on Kool-Aid and look at me I'm fine.'
Man the south side of Chicago is a completely different world."
"This happened in med school. I was taking the history of a guy in a clinic and I asked about his past medical problems, including if he had had any heart attacks.
He responded, 'Oh yeah, I've had about 20 of those.'
'...you've had 20 heart attacks??'
'Which doctor(s) did you see about them? Do you have a cardiologist?'
'Nah, I never went to a doctor. My wife is a massage therapist, and whenever a heart attack hits, she starts to massage some pressure points and it stops.'
'......Uhhhhh, ok......What does it feel like when you have a heart attack?'
'I don't ever remember them. My wife tells me that I fall onto the floor and my arms and legs start jerking. She says it takes about a minute of her massaging before it stops. I then get really confused and tired afterward, and I can't remember much of anything that happens to me until I take a nice long nap.'
The dude was having seizures and thought that they were heart attacks. They normally stop on their own after a few minutes (at the most), and his wife thought that her massages were curing him."
"I'm a veterinarian and I had a client come in several years ago with a dog suffering from flea allergy dermatitis. These dogs have an allergy to flea saliva that causes them to get insanely itchy - primarily around the rear end and base of the tail. This poor little guy had chewed his fur out to the point that his back half was just about completely naked. So there he sits scratching and biting at himself, covered in fleas, several of which I have combed off of him and showed his owner. 'Good news,' I say. 'We can fix this.' After explaining the diagnosis, his owner proceeded to tell me how foolish I was - the dog was not itchy because of fleas. He was chewing at himself as a psychological response to the disturbance caused by having his butt shaved by an unknown intruder who must have broken into the house while they were away.
I had no response to the owner other than to agree, that, yes, that must have been very traumatic for him. Ultimately we agreed to treat the fleas, just in case. Shockingly, the dog got better."
"Patient had a cold, convinced it was 'severe sinusitis' (a bit of a known hypochondriac). Saw the doctor, and got a script for an antibiotic. She was convinced she was allergic to every antibiotic she tried until all that was left was antibiotics which aren't usually used in URTIs at a sub-therapeutic dose (because she's 'very sensitive to medications'). The infection wasn't going away so she took antibiotics for a long amount of time. She somehow got her hands on a blood glucose machine and must have had a reading that was slightly low one day because all of a sudden she started buying bags and bags of jelly beans because 'the infection is making my blood sugar go dangerously low,' (we tested it, it wasn't). So she is taking more and more glucose (moved onto the straight glucose powder now) to control the 'dumping syndrome' (I don't think she even read the Wiki on that one...) that the infection caused. She is testing her blood glucose on average 20 times a day and taking about 250gm of pure glucose at least plus supplementing with lollies from the supermarket for some variety.
Nobody can convince her otherwise, we've all tried. She's put on ~15kg in the last month or so and will definitely end up with diabetes soon.
But it got worse. In exasperation, she said to her (in her 3rd appointment that month) 'You should count yourself lucky, there are people far worse than you that can't even get out of bed.' She now gets deliveries because she is so sick she can't get out of bed..."
"I had a patient come in once due to weight gain that she thought was due to being pregnant. Made sense, except she'd taken more than half a dozen pregnancy tests and they were all negative. She was convinced she was pregnant, though, and wanted me to check. I tell her ok, I'll do a blood test, since we can detect pregnancy earlier with that, and she refuses. Says that she just wants to pee on the stick in front of me and have me read it. So I say sure, and lo and behold, it's negative.
Little more questioning, and it turns out she'd been eating literally nothing but chicken wings for weeks. When I asked her why in the world she would do that, she replied that she just really liked chicken wings."
"Guy comes into my old ER one day with a nail in his hand from an accidental discharge of a nail shooter. A nurse is checking him in and asked him to rate his pain on a scale of 1-10. He replies that it's only about a 3. We all look at him like he's nuts because our pain is at a 5 and we're just looking at him bleeding. So, the triage nurse rolls her eyes and asks him how it could only be a '3.'
He responds by saying that one morning he was cooking his girlfriend breakfast. They were especially hungry that day because they had just been a bit 'frisky' when they woke up. Since they had just finished, he wasn't wearing any pants. Well, he says that when he bumped the pan and the hot bacon grease spilled onto his balls, that was certainly a 10/10. So, to him, a nail in the hand only rated a 3/10."
"As a 3rd-year medical student, I was rotating through a south side Chicago hospital (aka the hood), female patient in her 50s, intimately active with 1 partner, she thought she was pregnant and asked for a pregnancy test since she was not menstruating for the last couple months. Pregnancy test comes back negative, meantime we work up the history of her experiencing all the classic symptoms of menopause. Anyways, when we tried to explain to her that it was menopause, a natural physiological response to aging in females, she got extremely upset. Requested for a repeat pregnancy test, which we obliged to. Once again, results came back negative. Tried explaining to the patient once more what menopause was, however, she told us we were making 'crap' up to put it pleasantly. When asked what she thought was wrong, her explanation, in her words were as follows:
1) I am pregnant with baby Jesus.
2) I need to get a new boyfriend, this current one can't even get me wet in bed.
We tried one last time to explain the situation, however, she stormed out and never came back."
"Twice I have had people worried that their dog's abdomen was 'covered in ticks.' Turns out both times to be the nips. One of them stated someone told them to try to burn the 'ticks' off. Another one asked why their male dog had teats and why they had never seen them before.
Another one was a guy that brought his 3-year-old beautiful spaniel in because he saw 'tapeworms all over his rear end.' The dog comes in severely lethargic and with a diaper on (dog also had severe diarrhea). When I pulled back the diaper... maggots. Everywhere. He said he googled a picture of tapeworms and that's what it looked like. Uh, no. The dog apparently had a small wound near his rear that got infested with maggots and by putting the diaper on, it only exacerbated the problem. Dog ended up dying later that evening after spending hours removing the maggots, shaving hair, and administering every medication we could. We told the guy next time to not Google things and bring in his pets immediately if there is ever anything that seems off. I think he learned his lesson."
"Walked in the door to a young male with chest pain. As I walked up to him and introduced myself, he said, 'I have pericarditis, ' (a rare disease that involves swelling of the membrane around the heart). I felt like telling him, 'Umm not sure how you would know if you did, but we'll run some tests and see what we have.' Put an ECG on, took him to the hospital for more tests. We found out the final diagnosis by the hospital staff was, surprise surprise, pericarditis. So there you have it, the patient was right. I still have absolutely no idea how this kid knew that."
"I'm a dentist and one day, a 27-year-old patient comes in with his mother. Mother is on disability. Patient has large amounts of decay on every single tooth in his mouth. The kid absolutely will not even listen to having his teeth pulled and dentures placed (it's a public health office so most are uninsured/low financial status). Really should have most if not all of them pulled. Finally agree to do a root canal to start off. I ask what happened to his teeth to get that bad. Stupidest answer I've had yet: 'A dentist before told me to mix dollar store mouthwash with peroxide and rinse with it. It absolutely wrecked my teeth afterward.' Mother agrees and swears that same thing happened to her husband. Not surprising, the older brother is getting all of his pulled."
"Once had a patient come in who was convinced he had colon cancer. He was just constipated.
Had an overweight young woman come in saying that she was pregnant and the baby's foot was protruding out of her lady parts. We get her back quickly, start a set of vitals and she is terribly calm about the whole thing. Ended up she was not pregnant at all...just crazy.
An older gentleman came in complaining of headaches. During his history, he became agitated and kept insisting that the government had been experimenting on him by dusting his house, food, water, etc with anthrax. He was quite certain that there was anthrax in his brain because he could 'see it in the back of his throat.' Turns out he just had an upper respiratory infection. So...same thing I guess."
"My dad is a physician, and he's got a lot of great stories! This is from memory, but my favorite story from him was when a little old lady who didn't speak English came into the clinic with a live chicken. She claimed the chicken had the spirit of her dead husband in it, and it was giving her nightmares. She told the check-in desk she wanted to talk to the doctor about what to do. So my dad, the only guy who spoke Spanish at the moment in the clinic, listens to her and doesn't quite know what to do. He asks the lady if she has tried getting rid of the chicken, the lady says no she doesn't want to get rid of the chicken, she wants to keep it alive as it's a pet. She tells my dad she wants the doctor to cleanse the chicken of her husband's spirit so he can rest in peace and so she can stop having nightmares. My dad tells her he doesn't think he has anything to fix that particular problem, and asked if she'd tried anything already. She says yes but it didn't work, that's why she went to the clinic. She said thank you and left with her chicken."
"My dad worked as an ER doc for 30 years and started practicing in Alabama way back. He said he had a lot of illiterate and uneducated patients.
He was taking one woman's medical history on a visit and she told him she had 'Fireballs of the Eucharist.'
Translation: fibroids of the uterus."
"I once had a girl who said she had syphilis because she got like these ulcers in her mouth, which were coming and going and she said she had zits on the back of her tongue. I looked and it was her taste buds, no other lesions to be seen. I told her that primary lesions in syphilis almost always cure completely so if those ulcers were appearing and disappearing every once in a while it was very unlikely. By that point, she had gotten a lot more relaxed and the consult went great and she went home feeling a lot better. Still, I made her get an STD panel because she was intimately active, young and in doubt of her partner.
Next consult she shows up saying, 'Doc...I think I do have syphilis.' She did. I learned a valuable lesson that day. The cool thing was she wanted to do her treatment and follow up with me because she told me she had seen a lot of people before me but no one bothered to check."
"I'm a dentist and I had a patient come into my office, absolutely certain he only had gingivitis and needed a normal cleaning all because he had googled his symptoms and believed he could get a normal clean and go back home and do oil pulling after, which would somehow miraculously heal his gums. He would not allow me to take x-rays or deep clean his teeth, which he needed because plaque was formed well below his gums. He even told me his gums were bleeding from just smiling, moving his mouth, etc. He insisted on just a regular clean and then accused me of trying to make money off him when I basically put my foot down and said I wouldn't be working on his mouth unless he allowed me to do my job properly. I was glad when he decided to walk out and never come back!"
"I'm a vet student and I've had some dude come in with a super aggressive dog and diagnosed the poor thing with 'neural instability' (causing his aggression) from an online consultation with a homeopathic shaman. He then came into the clinic with instructions from the shaman that he wanted the vet to carry out (including rubbing the dog all over with a $200 'healing stone'), despite the fact that the vet had obviously the more reasonable explanation.
He didn't want to believe leaving a dog in the backyard without much human/animal interaction for most of its life could cause aggression. Go figure."
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