People who work in healthcare have a tough job. But what makes that even worse is when a patient—for whatever reason—tries to hide what is truly going on. From denial to blatant lies, these medical professionals share their bizarre experiences with patients who tried to skirt the truth about their conditions.
1. An Apple A Day Didn’t Keep The Doctor Away
There was a man who had come into the ER complaining of severe abdominal pain. He was admitted, and while he was chatting with the doctor, the man was visibly uncomfortable. So, the doctor ordered an X-ray to be done. Once the results were out, the doctor was standing at the X-ray machine, just staring at it, until my friend, who was a nurse, walked by.
The doctor beckoned her forward and said, "Come here". My friend was confused but did as he asked. However, once she saw the X-ray, she understood completely. The doctor asked her, "Doesn't that look like an apple to you"? My friend nodded while holding back her laughter and said, "Yup, certainly does". The doctor turned to the man and asked if he had anything to tell him.
The man stuttered, and it took a while to drag the info out of him. In the end, the man had to get surgery to remove the apple from his rear. However, when a person has an object removed from their body, a complete breakdown of the item has to be done. So, my friend got to look at this ridiculously long report of what the apple was made out of. At the end, it said, "looks like a golden delicious".
2. This Guy Was Dy-no-mite!
When I was working as a medical technician in the ER, we had a male patient about 75 years old come in with extraordinarily low blood pressure and a ton of facial and upper body bruising. He was brought in via EMS after the nurses at his nursing home found him on the floor in his room, where there was some blood on the wall.
The guy wouldn't talk to us about why he was there but was very talkative about pretty much anything else—sports, the news, etc. We couldn't for the life of us figure out what happened since we couldn't find any bleeding internally, his fluid levels were fine, and he had not left the nursing home, so there was nothing available for a high mechanism of injury. When he revealed what he'd done, I couldn't believe it.
After four hours, we eventually got him talking, and he confessed that he had wanted to take his life and had taken the remaining amount of his prescribed nitroglycerin that was used for chest pain and lowers blood pressure rather quickly. Nitro is also the active ingredient in TNT. However, the amount in the pills is minuscule compared to what's in dynamite. The man had tried to make himself explode by running into the wall repeatedly. He was a really nice guy that sent a card to us after everything; he was just extremely lonely.
3. The Lung And Short Of It
I admitted a guy for pneumonia, which was odd because he was young and strapping and had no other medical issues. I could quickly tell something was...off about him. The X-ray didn't look quite right. The pieces just didn't add up, so I started questioning him more closely. I asked him if he used any dope, to which the patient replied, "That's disgusting. I'm no druggie! I've never touched [it] in my life".
I moved on to other questions when, suddenly, the patient said, "Look, doc, I just want you to know I may have used coke once or twice years and years ago. I just snorted it though. That wouldn't cause this, right"? I asked, "How long ago"? The patient replied, "Like ten years, maybe longer". I told him, "It shouldn't be affecting you after this long".
Then, the patient said, "More like five". I inquired, "Years"? The patient said, "Uh, like five months ago". This exchange went on forever until he admitted that he had just got off a massive bender the day before, where he had spent the past three days in a hotel with some "loose women" toking non-stop. He finished with, "But I don't want you to think I'm one of those". I just looked at him and facepalmed.
I didn’t think he was "one of those". I thought he was an idiot who lied and was getting treated for pneumonia instead of getting the proper treatment for crack lung, which is what he had. I genuinely didn’t care. I wasn’t his mother, spouse, or priest. I just didn’t want him to waste my time and endanger his health by spewing lies. Whatever horrible twisted thing you think is too shameful to talk about, I promise you, I've seen worse.
4. Not So Sharp
I was a paramedic and got a call for someone who was unresponsive and not breathing. I found a kid in his boxers in his dad's bathroom, blue in the face, with a tourniquet and needle on the floor. He was also all wet because everyone in this town would throw cold water on unresponsive addicts. We ventilated him, gave him Narcan, and he came to.
I said to him, "Hey buddy, welcome back. Now, tell me what you took tonight so that we can help you out". He replied, "Nothing". I said, "Are you sure? Because I'm pretty sure that's completely false unless that syringe over there belongs to your dad". He insisted, "It's not mine. I didn't take anything".
5. Test Case
I tested a patient who should have tested positive for opiates as I prescribed them. Their urine looked totally normal, but the test came back bizarre. It had an insanely high specific gravity, which meant there was a lot of stuff dissolved in it. The sample was positive for opiates but had zero confirmatory metabolites in it, which is what your body turns the stuff into.
Otherwise, the test was totally normal. It took me a couple of minutes to figure out how this was possible. Then it finally hit me: The patient was selling their pills instead of taking them and didn’t want to get caught. They crushed up the pill and put it into the urine. This made the test "positive" for opiates, but because it had never gone through their body, the testing machine found no metabolites. I use the case now to find the smart med student in a group.
6. Out Of Nowhere?
When I interned in the OB/GYN department, we had a lady sent to the ER due to vaginal bleeding. When she was examined, the doctor couldn't believe her eyes. She had a massive tumor, the size of a football, growing between her legs. Her husband was with her, and both said that it had just appeared and they had never noticed it before. There was absolutely no doubt that thing had been growing for months. Sometimes when in shock, people can be in denial of the most absurd things.
7. She Was Poking Around
A 60-year-old female came in after "falling asleep and rolling on a pin cushion". The X-ray showed that she had three two-inch-long needles lodged in her left shoulder. We later found out that she had been trying to perform acupuncture on herself.
8. She Didn’t Have A Glue
My cousin told me about a patient who complained about her teat falling off all of the time. She said that she had tried to glue it back on or use skincare creams to have it stick to her bosom. It turned out she had pretty advanced cancer. The tumor got so big that the skin on her chest was stretched quite a bit. Somehow that, plus friction led to an open and oozing wound that extended to her bosom and wasn’t healing.
Nobody understood how she hadn’t gone to a doctor or a hospital earlier. This happened in Germany; the woman had a job, health insurance, and everything.
9. Hook, Line, And Sinker
I was a nurse. One time, we had a patient come in with insane intestinal trauma and had to have his colon stitched up. He said he was fishing and fell and his rear just happened to fall perfectly on the fishing pole. It must have been a wild night to be "fishing" without any clothes on.
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10. All Choked Up
I was a medic in the army. I worked for a while at a clinic that only saw trainees. There was a spectrum that all trainees who came to our clinic fell on—malingerers and "I'm fine, but they forced me to come". We saw much more of the former, but I'll never forget this one patient who was part of the latter group. He was forced to come in after an injury.
He didn't want to miss any training, but as we were listening to him tell us about his ankle pain, the PA I was working with interrupted him. They asked him if his throat hurt because he sounded like his throat was obstructed. He admitted it did but was adamant he didn't want to miss training for a sore throat. We realized after looking at his throat he had an abscessed tonsil.
11. Let It All Hang Out
I used to be the overnight answering service for a large doctor group, covering various specialists. We were not allowed to give medical advice; we could only contact the doctor on call. A woman called one night at around 2 AM, and she was talking very quietly. I asked her to speak up as I was having trouble hearing her.
She started her story over again, stating that she was in the garage because she didn’t want her family to worry. She went on to tell me that her intestines were hanging out of her behind and asked if she should go to the ER. Against my training, I advised her she should definitely go to the ER and that I would contact her doctor ASAP. I was baffled that someone would call for advice on whether intestines that are no longer inside of the body was an emergency.
12. The Missing Piece
In 1983, I was a medical resident in New England. We had a patient admitted for better control of end-stage renal disease related to diabetes. The patient had already undergone above-the-knee amputation of a leg six months prior at another hospital due to vascular disease. The patient was married, and they had a 19-year-old child.
The patient's wife related that one month prior, it had been discovered that her husband, who had been a construction worker and truck driver, was actually a woman, masquerading as a man for decades. I participated in the interview of the wife by a psychiatrist, and she swore she had no idea that her husband was actually a woman.
She was already pregnant when they met, and when asked about intercourse, she said, "I don't know, but he managed". The patient had undergone an ABOVE-the-knee amputation, for which they had to prep and disinfect their skin. I don’t know how nobody noticed that something was missing from this "man".
13. The Cupboard Was Not Bare
There was a patient who was supposed to have their poop checked for possible whatever. The patient claimed not to be able to poop for a week. The patient was under observation and was given things to help them poop, but still, there was nothing. The healthcare aide came in to check on the room. In the process of making sure everything was in order, he noticed that the room smelled a little more like poop than normal.
He checked the bedpan, but there was nothing. He asked the patient, "Did you have a poop"? The patient replied, "No, I can't poop". The health aide was confused but continued to take care of the room—until he found the source of the smell. Opening one of the cabinets, he discovered a few days’ worth of poo. The patient was going into her hand and hiding it in the cabinet.
14. Self-Inflicted Lies
I was a paramedic. We had a woman who had been shot. We arrived on the scene, and she had a single slug wound in her right thigh, with minimal bleeding. She was standing up and limping while talking to the authorities. She was very polite and nice and thanked us for coming to help her. She said that she was walking in the parking lot of a restaurant when she saw a blue car drive by.
Then, someone leaned out and started firing, then she felt something hit her leg. We helped her to the truck and I bandaged her wound. I gave her some pain medicine and away to the hospital we went. She joked about she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was having an unlucky day. She answered our questions with, "Yes sir/no sir", even though I told her she didn’t have to.
We arrived at the ER and I was giving my report to the trauma team when an officer on the scene quietly came into the room. I was telling the patient’s story to the doctors when the officer got this huge grin on his face, then nodded at me to come outside. He told me that a blue car pulled up just when we left the scene and told them to go check the restaurant cameras.
The officers checked the camera to find my patient inside the restaurant suddenly starting to yell at the other person who was the driver of the blue car. The other person left the restaurant trying to get away, and my patient was chasing her. The video from the parking lot then showed my patient going to her vehicle and getting a pistol out. She then started to run after the other person. There was a flash on the camera and the patient started limping. She blasted herself in her leg.
15. Who’s The Baby Daddy?
When I was an intern, I was doing my ER rotation, and a woman in her late 30s or so came in complaining of nausea and lower abdominal discomfort for the last few days. I did the diligent history-taking and, of course, asked her about the possibility of her being pregnant. She lost her mind and went off on me. She said she was a lesbian and had not been with a man for 10-plus years.
She yelled at me to get my boss and let an "adult" treat her. I reported back to my attending and delineated the tests I wanted to be done. He said, "I didn't hear a plan for a pregnancy test". I told him, "I don't think that's needed. She's a lesbian and hasn't been with a man in 10 years". My attending smiled and said, "Humor me". The patient was very pregnant. When I went back to her room, two dudes were mean-mugging one another, about to rumble. x
16. Nailed It!
A patient came in with chest pain and said they had fallen and hit their chest on a table. An X-ray was performed to evaluate for a rib fracture or a collapsed lung. Instead, the X-ray showed a long metallic foreign body in the left chest, within the heart. When questioned further, the patient admitted to lying and said that they had actually blasted themselves in the chest with a nailer. The wound was not bleeding or really noticeable. They were taken to the operating room and did quite well after open heart surgery.
17. Her Story Was The Pits
There was a woman who presented with blood in her urine which can be a sign of cancer in the bladder. Scans are not very accurate so you put a camera through the urethra to look into the bladder. I was just a junior doctor and learning how to do the procedure, so I was supervised. I got the camera in and couldn’t figure out what I was seeing at first.
When I focused the camera, you could see her bladder was full of citrus pits. There were easily 50, likely more in there. So, I said to her, "Why are you putting fruit pits in your bladder? That’s a bad idea, we will need to take them out". She replied, "I haven’t done that. I wouldn’t....but I do eat a lot of fruit, that must be where they have come from". My boss stepped in at that point and got increasingly angry because she would not own up to inserting them. She stuck with her story that they came from her diet.
18. On The Right Tack
I was in medical school doing my radiology rotation with an interventional group. They did some super cool stuff. One day we were doing a procedure that involved sedation, so the patient had to wait to recover for a bit. Things went smoothly. I went back to the reading room with the doctor to get caught up on some films.
We sat down at the box. This was back when everything was on film, so we had a big auto rotator that would spin the next film at you. At the end of the procedure, they took a film of the whole abdomen to make sure nothing really bad had happened. Right then, the specials tech, who did the case with us, came back. The whole belly film showed up, and we all cocked our heads to the side, completely confused.
There were three bright white objects down in the pelvis, one shaped like a circle, one more of an oval, and one T-shaped object. They were all the same size and close together. The tech said, "What are those"? The radiologist was befuddled. Being new to medicine and having the mind of a child, I said, "I think those are push pins".
We went round and round at first, thinking, "no way, can't be", then arguing about where in the office do we even have push pins to have them fall on this guy’s back before we gowned him. Then, finally, I said, "They could be inside him". We didn't have a lateral wide image, unfortunately, so there was no way to know for sure. The radiologist then tried to figure out why anyone would be stupid enough to swallow push pins and wondered how long they had been in there.
After a couple of minutes of this with the tech, I finally came to a messed up conclusion: "You know, there's a much shorter distance to get to where they are at". There was a quiet pause. "You know, someone is going to have to tell him what we see. He can't leave until we figure out what that is". The radiologist and I looked at each other, then at the tech. He sighed and defeatedly walked out to the recovery room.
A couple of minutes later, he came back as white as a ghost. I asked, "What did he say"? He replied, "Well, I told him the procedure went well, no complications, stents in place, etc. Then, I mentioned we took the last picture to make sure we weren't missing anything, and when we went to look at it in the room, we noticed some metallic-like objects that seemed to be in the pelvis".
They aren't anything we typically use in the procedure, and we aren't sure if they were on top of or inside your pelvis. They looked like push pins, but we just wanted to see if you knew any", and the patient cut him off and said, "Yes, I know about those. Please don't tell my wife". The tech didn't say another word. We were too afraid to ask anything further. The radiologist dictated as best he could. I never heard anything more about it, but that film is burned into my memory. I can still draw it to this day.
19. Itchy And Scratchy
I once saw a high school-aged kid come in with a dinner candle stuck in his rear. He reportedly was using it to reach an itch. Apparently, the itch was in his spleen because that thing was deep. His mom told me the story and how she had previously asked him not to scratch himself with other things of hers. I didn't ask for any more details. I honestly think she believed that he was just really itchy.
20. He Wasn’t Kidding
I used to work in psych, and we had this regular patient who we all knew quite well. They had schizophrenia—the paranoid type. He was always complaining about spider eggs in his brains. One time, upon admission, he complained that his butt was hurting because he had sent a rat up there to retrieve a message. Of course, no one believed him, but we had to check anyway.
Sure enough, there was a rat tail hanging out of him. The patient's biggest concern was that he got the important message from the rat, who was deceased, of course, and also nonverbal regardless.
21. Hard To Swallow
When I was a fourth-year medical student doing a rotation at the Veteran’s Administration hospital, a patient came to the emergency room complaining of stomach pain. We did an X-ray, which showed two toothbrushes in his stomach. He explained to us that he had the sensation that there was something on the back of his throat, used his toothbrush to try to get rid of it, and accidentally swallowed the toothbrush.
The same thing happened with the second one. We consulted gastroenterology, and the toothbrushes were removed via endoscopy. He was admitted to the hospital for observation overnight. The next morning, he complained of stomach pain again. This is when we realized something else was definitely wrong. A follow-up X-ray revealed that he had swallowed his entire convenience kit from the hospital.
He ingested a small toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste, and even his plastic razor. Needless to say, we called psychiatry for consultation. It turned out this was not the first episode for this guy; he just liked to swallow things.
22. Hammer Time
A patient’s relatives came into my office to ask me if I could see this old guy because he had accidentally cut himself and wanted some stitches. I told them I couldn't do any stitching because there was a lack of sterile equipment, but I would be glad to apply some steri-strips if the wound allowed it, as long as they brought the man into the office.
My request was denied, and they kept insisting I see the man at home. So, I loaded up my bag to go check on the old fellow. I found him in his bed, conscious but refusing to talk, with various superficial cut wounds on his stomach and a gigantic hematoma in the process of swelling up on his forehead. I lost my marbles and finally got the relatives to talk.
They said the man had fought with his sister and decided to harm himself by repeatedly slamming a hammer onto his forehead and then trying to disembowel himself with a kitchen knife. They didn't call an ambulance because they "were ashamed" and didn't want to deal with assisting the man in a hospital that was far away. I gave them 15 minutes to get their priorities together and either call an ambulance or get the man to the hospital themselves.
23. Running From The Truth
I was a neurologist in Spain. We had a patient who had an acute stroke in the morning. When we asked him about how it happened, he said he had gone out for an early morning jog when he fell down and was unable to move the left part of his body. An hour later, a nurse asked him the same question, and he gave another different fake answer.
It turned out he had woken up early, left his house, and he was getting busy with a working girl when he suffered the stroke. It was this woman who called the ambulance. The tough part was meeting his family.
24. Reality Was His Kryptonite
I had my nose straightened and my septum shaved after I broke it. I woke up after the anesthesia feeling like "the man". After about a minute of being awake, I tore out my IV, stood up, and started walking out of my room, because I was going to walk home—about three miles—and finish my one mission in Heroes of Might And Magic 3.
I walked past a nurse, and she said, "You're bleeding"! I laughed and told her, "No, I feel amazing". I kept walking until I got to the elevator and saw my reflection in the metal. I took one look, and my stomach dropped. My face was bandaged up with blue/black bruising leaking out from under the white fabric, my eyes were bloodshot, and I generally looked terrible.
I woke up later, back in my bed with the IV inserted in my other arm, and I was strapped to the bed. It turned out I was on a morphine drip; that's why I felt like Superman. My parents started yelling, and I had no idea what they were talking about. Apparently, I had given myself a concussion when I collapsed while waiting for the elevator.
25. It Was Balls Out A Crazy Ride
I was 12 years old and had an infection in my scrotum. I tried to hide it, hoping it would just go away. I regret that decision to this day. I started walking funny, and it eventually turned purple. My parents got very worried and spoke to me about why I was walking funny. Finally, I had to show my mom my crazy swollen purple testicle, and we went to the doctor the next day.
While there, I explained the situation. They needed to do tests, so I was given morphine so they could ultrasound my nads. There was a super attractive nurse doing the ultrasound. She got clear jelly all over my nuts. It still hurt, but my body had a...different reaction. I was so weirded out by the whole situation—I can't imagine how she felt.
I tried desperately hard not to smirk because it felt good, but I was also ticklish. Every couple of seconds, I would giggle and smile, but then a quarter second later, it would hurt and be painful. It was a rollercoaster, especially for being so young. It went on like that for at least five minutes.
I had a bacterial infection, but it cleared up, and I was fine. The only lasting effect from that was that women with short hair are still very attractive to me.
26. Chainsaw Massacre
While in the ER, a guy walked to the back with a couple of towels on his shoulder, with what looked like blood starting to seep through. The nurse asked him what had happened and started to take the towel off. Her face turned from a smile to a very serious one. She called over the doctor and others. The guy said, "I was cutting some branches overhead with a chainsaw. It got caught on one of the branches and came back on my shoulder".
By then, there was a crowd around the man, and they were getting ready to take him back for surgery. He had basically cut into his chest with a chainsaw. It was not life-threateningly bad at that point since he walked in, but I was in awe. I always wondered how he shut that thing off before almost destroying himself.
27. His Actions Were Hardly Crystal Clear
I was a physical therapist who was treating a patient with a traumatic brain injury after a car accident. I was just getting him moving when I noticed he kept picking at his beard and then putting his fingers in his mouth. I couldn't see anything he was physically eating, so I figured it was some sort of tic after the brain injury.
I wrote it in my notes and sent it to his physician. I looked at the notes the next day before his visit and saw that they had discovered he had brain matter and cerebrospinal fluid leaking out of his nose, and he was eating it. It was clear so that I couldn't see it.
28. Basketball Diaries
A man came into the emergency department clutching his abdomen and complaining of severe abdominal pain. He was acting suspiciously and kept changing his story, symptoms, site of the pain, etc. My sister’s friend and a few other nurses suspected something wasn't right, and after maybe an hour or so, he confessed the true cause of his pain.
He had inserted a deflated full-size basketball into his rear and pumped it up. Amazingly, he somehow managed to pump the ball up to the point where it popped inside him. The popping is what had caused his pain, but the kicker was that he hadn't come to the ED to treat the pain. The basketball was still inside his body, and after the pop, a combination of pain, presumably swelling, and it still being semi-inflated, had meant he was unable to retrieve it himself.
29. Taking In The View
One night, two people came into the accident and emergency department. One had cuts around their lower back, upper thighs, and in and around their rear. The other had cuts and a shard of glass in their face. Upon admission, they didn't say what the cause of their wounds was. It wasn't until they found traces of fecal matter in the second patient’s wounds that they said what happened.
As it turned out, the first patient had been sitting on a glass table taking a poop while the other sat directly beneath to watch them doing so. The glass table gave way and broke during their adventure.
30. Packed To The Rim
We had a lady come in with severe stomach pain, diarrhea, and a fever for the last couple of days. So, I was asking her all the routine questions, like, "Where about was the pain located? Are you on any regular meds? Any other symptoms"? I asked the usual question, "When was your last solid bowel motion"? She thought about it for a while and came back with, "I think about a month".
I asked if this was usual for her, and she said, "No. I usually poop once every two months". She was saying this like it was a normal cycle. The doctor ordered an X-ray, and her bowel was packed with poop. I'd never seen anything like it. The diarrhea was like the overflow from the blockage in her bowel. After kindly giving the lady an education about normal pooping cycles, I had the lovely job of inserting three enemas and regularly checking on her until the lava of great Mount Fuji erupted from her backside.
31. Junk In The Trunk
My mom has worked in several hospitals processing charts, and one story sticks out in my mind. A man came into the ER, absolutely sobbing and covered in blood. Of course, the doctors and nurses were on top of it, asking what had happened. He said his nuts hurt. That explained the blood covering his pants; however, his testicles were GONE.
They asked, "Where are your balls, dude"? He kept saying he didn't know where his balls were and that they were just gone—magically disappeared. Finally, he relented and said they were in his car. So, they went to his car. They were in an empty but not cleaned-out mayonnaise jar in the trunk. I don't believe he got them back.
32. Stitched And Ditched
My mom did intake in an ER. A man came in with bloody, open wounds on his hand. He said he burned his hand on a radiator. After being stitched up, the dude disappeared. But that wasn't the last she heard of him. It turned out he found the staff cafeteria and took my mom's car keys out of her coat pocket. He then took my mom's car, went back to a house, and filled the car with a bunch of swiped goods.
He had taken out an old lady during a home invasion earlier that night. He cut his hand while jabbing her. The dude was caught that night, and my mom's car was impounded. When my mom picked up her car, the officers told her to keep the stuff in the trunk for her troubles. They told her to claim the goods on the official report as being already in the car.
She declined, but the authorities left one of those old-school sleds—the wood and metal ones— in the trunk anyway. She never took it out of the trunk. It was there until the day the car was no more. I remember going grocery shopping and always filling the trunk with stuff on top of the sled.
33. Her Bosom Buddies
When my mom was a resident, she was prepping a lady for weight loss surgery. She took all of her vitals, did all of the necessary pre-op questionings, and then started to hook up her monitor with a bunch of sticky pads on the chest. This lady had massive knockers that were physically in the way of where my mom needed to stick everything. The patient was actively trying to prevent my mom from accessing those places around her chest.
Finally, my mom just said, "Look. This has to happen or no surgery". My mom lifted the lady's bosom up and out of the way, and she found a whole pack of soggy Oreos, with a couple already missing. They had to postpone the weight-loss surgery because she had recently eaten them and no longer had the required empty stomach before the procedure. This lady had a cache of junk food stored under her knockers.
34. Pain In The Rear
A patient came into the ED with severe pain in her buttocks on both sides, as well as fevers and some other indications of infection. After further evaluation, she was diagnosed with a nasty deep-tissue infection that required inpatient hospitalization and IV antibiotics. However, the question still remained as to where the infection was coming from. As it turned out, she had read online that rubbing fish oil on your rear can make it more voluptuous.
She figured if it worked on the surface, it might work even better on the inside. So, she took her insulin syringes and withdrew the fish oil from an oral capsule, and injected herself with fish oil daily for two weeks until she inevitably became infected. Her rear was not more voluptuous; it was red, swollen, hard, and severely tender, and she was unable to lay on her back or sit down for weeks.
35. Full Of It
A few years ago, I had really terrible abdominal pain. I was shaking, had chills, and was running a 100-degree fever. So I went to my mother, a former pediatrician who had retrained and was now practicing allergy and immunology. She was obviously very concerned, so she did something called an obturator test to see if I had appendicitis. Sure enough, I writhed in pain, so she rushed me to the hospital.
Before they opened me up, they wanted to make sure that it was indeed appendicitis. So, they took me in and put colored dye in my blood, and gave me a scan. It turned out I was massively constipated. In the words of the attending, "I've never seen so much fecal matter in someone in my life". I was absolutely mortified.
They had me medicated to help with the pain, so I was even more constipated after that. I spent a few painful days on the porcelain throne and pooped myself for a week straight.
36. It Could Have Been Nipped In The Bud
I had a 57-year-old woman with a small 5mm nodule on her lower eyelid come in. It was most probably basal cell carcinoma, which is harmless and needs to be removed in a short office procedure that takes 15 minutes under local anesthesia. The woman refused but, strangely enough, came in every three months to re-refuse the operation.
The thing slowly grew. I saw her for five years. For the final three years, she hid the blossoming tumor with a folded-up sheet of Kleenex behind her glasses. In the end, she agreed to an operation. At that stage, it took seven hours, and her eye, muscles, and bones were removed. Afterward, she could have eaten and breathed through the gigantic hole where her eye used to be. By then, it was too late; it had spread.
37. In Chronic Denial
We had a chronic IV user come into the ward who needed IV antibiotics for a terrible infection in her legs from the constant injection of random dope. Of course, she constantly denied she had injected anything and would say it was "Because it was so hot lately, and I walked heaps. I got a rash that I ignored". However, funny enough, she had a huge opioid tolerance that she couldn't explain either.
Just to be safe, we made sure that she wasn't allowed to leave the ward unsupervised and had her close to the nurses' station to make sure that she didn't try anything. One day, we get a code blue and after all the buzz had piped down, we remembered to check on the girl. Sure enough, there she was unconscious on the bathroom floor, with a needle still hanging out of the IV line in her arm.
When she came to, she still vehemently denied she did it. She said that she fainted and someone must have poisoned her or something. It was at that stage the doctors were frank with her and told her that either she complies with the treatment orders or she could consider herself discharged for wasting public resources and being a danger to other patients. No one ever saw her again after that day. It was sad, really.
38. What A Screwball
I was a corrections officer and had an inmate complain of pain in his crotch. I took him to the facility hospital, and it was found that he had screws jammed in there—about 14 of them. They took the screws out and put him on some psych meds. About a week later, he cut it off and flushed it down the toilet. The organ was never recovered.
39. A Case Of Animal Magnetism
My sister was a nurse. She was working in the ER when this lady came in with a nasty rash on her legs. She was being cagey about what had happened, and the department was particularly busy that evening. So, my sister told the woman to tell her what was going on, or she would have to go help someone else. Apparently, the patient had been sleeping when she awoke and felt a strange bumping sensation on her leg.
She looked down and saw her pet chinchilla humping her. As the patient described it, this continued without interruption for a short while before the chinchilla "went". "Went?" my sister asked. The patient then made a splooshing motion with her hands and said, "You know, it...went". My sister nodded her head and said she'd go get the doctor. She barely made it to the hallway and shut the door before breaking down laughing.
Eventually, the doctor came by to see what was up. My sister filled him in, and they had a good laugh. The doctor then pointed out that in order for the patient to have a reaction, this had to be at least her second chinchilla sperm hit. After that, the doctor wrote a script for some topical cream and advised that the patient avoid chinchilla excretions in the future.
40. Faking It
I had a girl pretend to be unconscious so that we wouldn't discharge her after a short outpatient surgery. It was weird because it's really hard not to react to things like sternal rubs, so we knew she was awake and with it. She just wouldn't talk, open her eyes, move, etc. Eventually, we did enough painful things that she opened her eyes and moved but then went back to sleep.
We kept her in the hospital overnight, and in the morning, she went back to acting normal like nothing ever happened and went home. She was a weird girl, and rumor had it that she was a medical student as well.
41. As Fertile As A Turtle
An older woman came into the ER with a high fever, abdominal pain, dizziness, etc. She was showing signs of toxic shock syndrome. Since this often happens when tampons are left in too long, the doctor decided to check the woman to make sure nothing was stuck up there. Sure enough, she looked up there and was stunned when she saw two beady little eyes staring back at her!
The doctor began to pull it out, to which the old woman responded, "Put it back"! It turned out the old woman, who was well past menopause, had gone to a bad witch doctor to help her get pregnant. Her recommendation was to put a—now deceased—turtle up there for a few days, and she would regain the ability to get pregnant.
42. Mellon Baller
I was a med student doing a general surgery rotation. Usually, when someone has groin pain and says something like, "I think I have a hernia", you look and see nothing, then feel and don’t really feel anything, yet you do surgery anyway. This guy was a big guy, around 6' 4" and 400 lbs. He dropped his pants, and I expected to see nothing unusual. I got WAY more than I bargained for. His scrotum was around the size of a canteloupe.
I recoiled and went and got the surgeon. I didn’t prepare her; I just asked her to come and look at it. She walked in, took a look, and you could see the jolt go through her. Then she said, "It looks like Mickey Mouse" because his nuts were perched way up on top like Mickey's ears. Then she apologized but was a little shaken. We exited the room, and she said in the 20 years she had been practicing, she had never seen a hernia like that.
We did the repair, and 18" of intestine was in his sack, along with nine pounds of fat. I had to push the fat back up into his body; it wouldn’t stay. I would get his intestines back in and most of the fat, then the pressure would pop it all back out like a scrotal jack in the box. We finally had to tip the table upside down and let gravity assist me in getting his guts and fat back into his body.
43. She Was Trying To Sugar Coat It
I was a family practitioner. I had a new patient come into the office and asked her about her past medical history. She denied any long-term health problems. We finally got to the medications list. The first thing on there was insulin. When questioned, she stated that that was for her high blood sugar, but she didn’t remember ever being told that she had diabetes.
44. A Couple Of Slugs
A friend of mine was a surgeon who worked in proctology in a hospital in Switzerland. They had a patient who was a very athletic guy in his late 30s, solar-bench tanned, very well groomed and looked very anxious. He complained about an intense itching sensation in his backside area, and his GP couldn't find the cause. My friend first had a conversation with him, asking about any recent unusual activity in that area.
He denied any and said 20 times that he wasn’t gay. My friend insisted, saying that he was not there to judge and that it had nothing to do with being gay. The patient confirmed his first answer. After a deep check-up with the appropriate tools, my friend found very intense abnormal irritation, which could only have been caused by an external product. At that stage, he couldn't guess which product and needed to find out ASAP to be able to cure it.
So, he asked again, and the patient denied everything again, saying, "I told you already, I'm not gay"!!! My friend tried to scare him and said, "Sir, considering that you're 100% sure that [no] kind of substance, product, or object has recently been inserted in your [rear], what I found there is really not normal at all and looks like a severe mutation of some kind. We might need to cut it off to stop the progression".
That finally got him to reveal the truth. He said, "OK. I'll tell you, but you have to promise me that you'll never mention my name when you'll laugh about my story with your colleagues". My friend reassured him and said, "Sir, I'm not here to judge or laugh. I'm here to cure". The guy said, "OK, I'm very not gay, you know, but…you know, sometimes, when the excitement arises…[things] can happen".
He was having a foursome in his garden with his wife and another couple. They swapped wives. It was fun and all and then, "when the excitement arose", the women went together, and the men ended up together as well. So that guy was in the passive position and his partner of the moment was missing lubricant. They were in the garden and saw that there were a few slugs in the flowerbeds.
They were very excited and decided, "why not"? and tried using the slugs as a lubricant, which obviously didn't work out at all, but it was already too late. So, the slugs were stuck in there for a bit too long and began emitting an irritating substance as a self-defense mechanism. Of course, the guy was so embarrassed that he didn’t go to his doctor immediately. My friend never heard what happened to the other guy’s organ.
45. We Got A Leg Up On The Problem
A patient we had tried to play off a rampant staph infection as "just some leg swelling". It turned out what he meant by that was that he had a horrible infection in and around his privates, something known as "Fournier's gangrene". The swelling had gotten so bad that his willy had literally inverted. He later told us that he had to pee with a five-gallon bucket held up to his crotch because he no longer had any idea where the pee was going.
He went into emergency surgery within hours. The only way to get rid of an infection like that is debridement in the operating room, plus a ton of antibiotics. Somehow this guy had no systemic signs of infection, such as fever, low blood pressure, etc. Last I heard, he was likely to lose one of his testicles, but I don't believe they were going to have to remove his whole member. His life was definitely in danger had he waited any longer.
46. They Were Trying To Milk It
I was a nurse and had a family member of a patient ask me for some advice. She had a son about 12–13 years old, and she asked if it was normal for boys to squirt milk out of their teats. I said something like, "Huh"? She proceeded to relate the story of how her son and two of his friends had been "milking" themselves, and now they were actually producing something. She wanted to know if it was "normal".
47. White Lies
I was working at a teaching hospital as an agency nurse. As some of my fellow agency nurses can confirm, when the staff nurses find out an agency nurse is coming in, we get the patients that the other nurses "don't want to deal with"; in essence, the worst patients on the floor. I got my reports and was making walking rounds with the nurses going off-shift.
We walked by a patient's room, and he wasn't there. The outgoing nurse said, "He's always going down to smoke" and that he's "very demanding". He was a homeless patient there for an infected arm from IV dope use. I asked the nurse WHY he was being allowed to leave the floor regularly with an IV in his arm, and she just shrugged.
About an hour later, my patient finally reappeared and shuffled into his room. I made a mental note to go in that room next for my assessment after I finished giving another patient their meds.
I went to walk in, and the door was cracked open. I heard snoring, so I knocked as I opened the door. I said hello and introduced myself. He didn’t flinch.
I knew he was still alive because I could hear him breathing. I placed my hand on his arm and gently shook him. Biggest mistake I've ever made. The dude came out of it screaming like a wild bear, waving his arms, cursing, and flung the bag of white powder he was holding RIGHT in my face. I hit the code blue button because I was legit terrified. This dude was freaking out, and I looked like Frosty the Snowman with a yet-unidentified white powder in my hair, on my face, and on the shoulders of my scrubs.
The code team ran in with a crash cart, saw me, the freaking-out patient, and ground to a halt.
Someone ran out and called security, and a big fellow of a respiratory therapist pinned the dude down. Security then ran in and handcuffed him to the bed. The nursing floor manager started grilling him about the powder, and I heard him insist that it was "baby powder".
He said that I scared him while he was "cleaning up", and he threw it on me. That was the last coherent thought I had. I came to in the ER and got the story from the doctor. Security footage proved what he'd actually done: The patient was going downstairs, meeting his supplier, and bringing the goods back upstairs, cutting his supply with hospital-supplied baby powder that he had been requesting for "chafing".
Then, he would go back downstairs and have his customers meet him in the ER parking area. He had passed out after injecting into his IV in the parking lot; I came in and scared the bejesus out of him. He had thrown a baggie of smack and baby powder in my face. My husband had to come to get me, and I was given a note in case the agency tested me in the near future. I also had to give a statement to the authorities. It was simultaneously the best and worst day at work I ever had and, subsequently, the last hospital shift I ever worked.
48. It Was Two Too Late
My mother, who was the medical professional in our family, had a 13-year-old girl who was nine months pregnant, in the midst of labor, dilated to 10cm, and crowning in the emergency triage, swearing until she was black and blue that she was a virgin and that nobody knew what they were talking about. Her mother stood on the sidelines, causing a commotion and demanding that a real doctor make an appearance. It was pure chaos.
Let's just say when the twins made their arrival ten minutes later, they were all singing a different tune.
49. We Almost Threw In The Towel
I worked in the internal medicine ward outside of NYC. We had a 55-year-old lady who was mute come into the emergency department. She was severely constipated, had severe abdominal pain, and needed rectal disimpaction and more than just an acute workup. So, she reluctantly got admitted to surgery. The next morning on rounds, she was talking a mile a minute—in full detail—about her diet, symptoms, family, etc.
In the afternoon, she went back to being mute and back to having abdominal pain and constipation. Two days later, the same pattern continued. The medical team was stumped. She was astonished that we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her, and we felt the same way. The labs, imaging, and consulting teams were all coming up empty. When the bizarre truth came out, I could barely believe it.
There were strict ins and outs and strict dietary restrictions, and we were doing everything we could think of. The janitor came in by chance and was mad that he had to change the paper towels so many times in this one room. It seemed like the whole floor was taking them from this one patient. Sure enough, this patient had been consuming about 2,500 paper towels in 24 hours. The psych team came in for the obligatory consult, and, of course, she was mute. We finally got her to talk one paper towel at a time.
50. Hit Right Between The Eyes
When I was about ten, I lived in the backwoods of Louisiana. It wasn't uncommon for kids to do heavy chores. My neighbor, who was about the same age as me, was chopping wood with a double-bladed axe. Suddenly, the axe head came off during a mid-upward swing and lodged right between his eyes, smack in the forehead. He turned around and looked at me, all puzzled. I immediately started screaming.
Neither of our parents were around, but there was a fire station about two blocks away. I walked him there and we just sort of waltzed in, me holding this boy's hand while he stared around with a confused look and an axe head sticking out of his forehead. The firefighters just about lost it and ran him to the ER in a firetruck.
Since our parents weren't there, I got to ride with him and hung out in the ER with a fireman until both of our parents arrived. It turned out the axe wedged right between the two lobes of his brain, and he was a hair away from brain damage.