Some people still haven’t figured out how the human body works. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need to start conversations like:
“Dear Doctors of Reddit, what was your dumbest patient experience?”
But, we also wouldn’t get to laugh (or cry) at all the incredulous answers they come up with!
Here are 60 of the most outrageous patient stories doctors experienced with patients.
She Broke Her Water – And Her Vajayjay
Half Diet, All Nonsense
Sorry mate, adding diet soda doesn’t actually cancel out all the calories.Here’s how @Frishypharma reacted to this girl’s poor math skills:
“Was working at a clinic. I was speaking with a non-controlled diabetic patient about her sugar intake and she said she drinks a 32 oz soda every day. I ask her if it’s regular or diet and she replies with “It’s half-regular. I let the ice melt first so there isn’t as much sugar in it”. Sorry but that isn’t how it works.”
That’s Not What Smucker’s Jelly Is For
She has jelly for brains.@rawrthesaurus:
“Had a young woman with recurring UTIs that began after a recent partner and with no STDs; went through the standard questions trying to figure out what could be causing them and eventually found out she had been lubricating with jelly. Not KY jelly. The mixup had literally been a joke on House. It took me some effort to keep a straight face, but we eventually resolved the problem and she stopped getting UTIs.”
Bad Case Of The Fart-Attacks
It hurt so much, everyone thought she was a goner.In this thread, an anonymous Reddit user said:
“A lady comes screaming into the ER, Now she’s all dressed up, so are her 2 grown daughters. All of them screaming hysterically that their mother is going to die. I go by them and nearly get tackled by the SIL, husband of one of the daughters.”
The family had just come from a wedding, where mom had apparently eaten one too many potatoes. After a shot of pantoprazole, her fart embolism went away.
Dehydration Therapy Hack
Yeah, it turns out that dehydration therapy doesn’t actually work.
“I had a patient who was a completely non-compliant diabetic, smoker, morbidly, who had his first heart attack at 45. His blood pressure was also super high. And instead of taking his anti-hypertensive medications, he went to the gym. In the gym: he would sit in the sauna for a very long time, and sweat a lot, and lower his blood pressure by becoming dehydrated.”
High Blood Pressure Trick
If they keep at it, they won’t have to worry about blood pressure at all.@aberdine_8 said:
“So – the patient had low blood pressure – so their self treatment: eating more fatty foods in order to decrease the size of their blood vessels in order to increase the blood pressure within their system…”
Fancy Bacon Foot Wrap
A diabetic treated his little piggies to a bacon foot wrap.@Rdthedo explains why this isn’t a good idea.
“We had a diabetic foot patient a couple weeks ago who thought that wrapping his foot in raw bacon would help get rid of bacteria not too long ago. Not too long ago was also about 4 toes ago….”
Mom Doesn’t Know Best
Sometimes mother nature doesn’t always know what’s best, either. Otherwise, she wouldn’t let scary people like this mom exist.
“Had a pregnant woman who’s ultrasound showed the baby had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (Half a heart, 100% fatal without surgery) who stopped seeing her OB so she could have the baby in the forest and bathe it is breast milk to cure him. SMDH”
Battery Shoved Up His Nose
Mom should have known better than to argue with the doctor!@TableWallFurance remembers this story well:
“The kid had cruddy green/bloody stuff coming out of his left nostril, and a lot of redness and swelling of only the left side of his nose and the adjacent cheek. Mom was sure he caught a sinus infection and just wanted some antibiotics…Mom was insistent that he NEVER puts things in his nose.”
He found a button battery from a watch stuffed up in there. In another couple of days, it would have started burning a hole through the boy’s nose.
Worst Diet For Pregnancy
After she miscarried, this woman’s pregnancy hormones remained alarmingly high. She forgot to clue her doctor in on an important piece of diet information.From @KaylaChinga:
“Docs are worried because she might have some retained placenta or pituitary disorder and this could be super bad for future fertility. We call her in for a conversation about the hormone levels not going away. After talking together about what might be wrong, they are going to go home and think about further tests. She says “I need to go. I have an appointment at the weight-loss center for an HCG shot. Turns out that she is on the HCG diet. HCG IS the pregnancy hormone.”
Effective Family Planning Method
related this scary medical office tale:
“Patient inquiring about birth control was adamant she wanted an IED.”
Studies have shown that “improvised explosive devices” will prevent pregnancies 100% of the time.
Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em
Wishful thinking won’t make the warning labels on packs of cigarettes go away.@5123 says:
“I’m a corpsman, not a doctor, but I once had a patient tell me that there was no credible research that smoking was bad for one’s health.”
He Just Couldn’t See The Truth
He thought the glaucoma machine was responsible for making his family go blind.
CaptainTheGabe, an optician, had this to say:
“He said that puff machine gives you glaucoma and we weren’t going to pull that on him. He told us his father got an exam, and had glaucoma after using that machine. His uncle and brother also had no signs of glaucoma, and after getting the puff test, both people had been diagnosed with the disease. Glaucoma doesn’t have any outward symptoms before you start going blind…he has a very strong familial disposition to glaucoma, and refused to be tested for it.”
Doctors Don’t Heal, But Books Do
If the book was a popular bestseller, then it probably has even more healing power.This particular incident stuck out like a sore ulcer for @jdubs33:
“80+ y.o. patient who was declining with multiple diagnoses and about 3 decubitus ulcers. Daughter was adamant that her father be kept on his strict “paleo” diet because that would “supercharge” his healing. She had a stack of diet books. He simply wasn’t getting enough nutrition to heal the ulcers. He didn’t like the diet at all btw. At some point you kind of have to stop being polite and just tell patients/ family members bluntly that you don’t have time for this shit and what you recommend and they can do what they want and just document everything. It happens a lot but she sticks out.”
Could He Hear Any Better?
If you can’t see well enough to know what you’re putting into your eyes, then it’s probably time to get a new pair of glasses.This optician, who shall remain anonymous, said:
“Had a patient put EAR DROPS in one eye. White part of eye (conjunctiva) scarred over entire cornea and was left with no light perception. Asked me if he should have come in sooner. It had been 4 months. He needs a cornea transplant…
Paging Dr. Liar, Your Pants Are On Fire
The little boy who cried wolf grew up to be a pathological liar who likes to go to the dentist.Dental student @Macabalony hears baloney all the time from patients:
“One patient in particular is pathological liar. During one visit, they claimed to have gone to medical school. Next visit was that they did dental Army. Last visit was that they had a PhD. The patient will say things like “Hey doc do you need me to move my head mesial or distal?” No. I need you to move your head right. “Hey doc, are these cavities being cause by the anaerobic pathology microbes?” No. They are cause by you eating snacks all day and not brushing.”
They Made It All Up
Some doctors are big meanies who have nothing better to do than pick on their patients, just because they can.@Gastro_dude said:
“Not my story, rather my collegues. A patient was admitted for anemia and a localized cancer was found, she was refered to surgery so she can get cured from her localize cancer and she started telling everyone that it was the doctors who caused the cancer and that she was doing just fine before coming to the hospital. She lectured the surgeon and my collegue, who pleaded her to get her surgery (so that the cancer doesn’t advance), and yet she refused, saying she knew better and probably didn’t even have cancer…”
That’ll Show ‘Em
This man insisted on getting a second opinion for the heart attack he was having. Because, what if it wasn’t really a heart attack?@Dyspaereunia didn’t treat this patient, but witnessed what happens when dumb gets dumber:
“I didn’t treat this patient but I was on shift when this guy came in with tombstones on his ekg in the setting of chest pain. He told the ED doc, “I want a second opinion before going to the cath lab.” This ekg is unmistakable. The interventionalist had to come down to the emergency department to tell him he was having a heart attack.”
This Doc Couldn’t See Straight
He was a doctor alright, but not the right kind.@smokesmagoats was a young optician in her mid-twenties when this crazy thing happened:
“I had a guy come in saying he was a doctor and he wrote himself an RX for glasses and he brought frames. A few days later his lenses come back, he puts on his glasses, and he can’t see. So I check the lenses and the RX match what he wrote. I try to explain that there’s only two options, either they need to sit differently on his face or the RX isn’t good.”
Turns out that he wasn’t even an eye doctor – he was a lung specialist!
Overcome By Hysteria
This is what happens when hysteria takes over all common sense.@xxsheaxx loves her job for crazy reasons like this:
“Had a mom in hysterics because she was convinced that her neighbor’s, friend’s, step son’s, teacher’s dog has MRSA so her baby was going to die. It took everything within me to not tell her that most of the hospital staff have MRSA. But it took 3 hours for me to finally calm her down after I called: infectious control, her pediatrician, gynecologist, and family doctor. Yes I had to call all these people; yes they laughed at me; yes she was beside me the whole time questioning their judgement.”
Hospital food may be bad, but it’s still better than fast food!
@xxsheaxx also had this story to share:
“Patient was a young child who came in with an extremely high Blood Glucose level. Once she was stable we did some teaching and kept her for a few days for observation. For some reason every-time I checked her, her levels would be extremely high although we were appropriately treating her. Turns out her family would bring her fast food for every meal and hide it in the side table. More teaching and resources were put into place.”
He Never Knew It Was Missing
Here’s a birds and the bees anatomy lesson from @markko79:
“Nurse here. The number of American 20-something males who don’t know what circumcision is is ridiculously high. They think that boys are “born circumcised.” Evidence: New fathers (and mothers) asking me what’s wrong with their newborn son’s penis. “Ummm… He still has his foreskin. Many parents choose to have it removed when the baby is a couple days old. It’s called circumcision.” Often followed by a parent’s question: “What’s circumcision?” That’s when I face palm.”
Hammer Trick Doesn’t Always Work
After reading all the crazy shenanigans that happen at doctor’s offices, Reddit user @Tkcat jumped into the conversation with a story from the patient’s point of view!
“Im ashamed to say I have a story that fits here. I have a ganglion cyst on the inside of my wrist, when it starts getting large I smash my wrist down on a hard table and it goes away. I developed a similar bump on the top of my foot. I couldn’t smash it down like my wrist so I tried hitting it with a hammer. Didn’t do anything and it was getting bigger and interfering with my shoes so I got it investigated. Not a cyst, but arthritis in the joint. No wonder my hammer trick didn’t work. The radiologist did find my treatment method amusing, but advised me to get any more lumps checked out rather than randomly hitting things with a hammer.”
She Chose Nerves
The auntie of @SomeYorkTown knew why exactly her veins were blue.
“My aunt (who has varicose veins, pretty obvious to anyone who sees it) once asked me why her legs hurt and what those bluish lines under her skin were. I almost went on to explain to her about dilated veins when she interrupts and decides for herself that those are her nerves. Dying nerves. And the blue stuff was blood clots inside the nerves. I’m a med student.”
He Couldn’t Just Quit
People were relying on him for their livelihood.Another story from @SomeYorkTown:
“I was doing a respiratory system examination on this guy who frequently(about once a month) gets admitted in the general ward with complaints of breathlessness. He’s had COPD for a couple of years. Quite bad. And he tells me that he isn’t going to quit smoking because ‘God’ told him not to. When asked why, he tells me that the people who are relying on him for their daily livelihood won’t survive if he stopped. I went on to ask him if he meant the people at the cigarette factory or the health industry. He didn’t get the sarcasm though.”
He Took The Blue Pill…
…when he should have taken the red one.@SomeYorkTown says:
“Patient comes to the surgery clinic with complaints of mass per rectum. (Now I wasn’t there the first time he came). But the surgeon wanted to do a couple of investigations and advised him to get admitted. The guy decided he doesn’t want to. Couple of months later, he comes back to the clinic. Apparently he went to one of these alternative medicine places or whatever and they had tied this metal wire(not exactly sure why) around the mass. By then, this mass has eroded through it and was bleeding and had gotten much bigger. Turned out to be a cancerous growth.”