January 30, 2024 | Scott Mazza

Twisted Medical Surprises

In this day and age, when people feel something is wrong with their bodies, they often turn to the internet first before they seek the expertise of a medical professional. While "Dr Google" can sometimes be a helpful resource, attempts to address one's own health issues without the guidance of a doctor can have dire consequences. 

1. Little Red Dots

When I hit 16, I began noticing small red spots popping up on my arm. My mom instantly thought it was psoriasis and recommended tanning. So I started tanning for a week—but that just made it SO much worse. The spots spread all over my body, even on my eyelids. Eventually, I decided to check with a doctor and he made the most disturbing discovery.

Turns out, I had ringworm. The worst part? I had been spreading them across my body by applying lotions and baking them under the tan.

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2. The Root Of The Problem

My hubby and I were goofing around and he chased me through the kitchen. Trying to dodge him, he slipped and hit the floor hard. Being a big guy, falling hurts him more. He knew straight away he was seriously hurt when he couldn't stand up. He managed to get to the couch and said he wasn't in too much pain.

That night, he slept on the couch to avoid going up the stairs. We booked an ER appointment for the morning so we didn't have to spend all day there, but they couldn't see us until 2 pm. He was in a constant pain but it didn't seem too bad. Once we reached the hospital, we got quite the shock.

Turns out, he'd broken his hip and the whole ball joint from the top of his thigh bone had snapped off. The nurses were stunned he managed to sleep on it and hinted we should have come the night before, maybe even in an ambulance. The solution was surgery with hefty bolts to fix it. 

What's weirder is that they said it's really rare for a fit 30-year-old to snap his thigh bone like this. There was actually a scarier cause behind it. Following some tests and an MRI, it appeared he was in the early stages of osteoporosis. What's even crazier? This was because of a benign tumor in his pituitary gland. 

So, we discovered this brain tumor all thanks to him wearing slippery socks.

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3. A Heavy Burden

I got sick and had to get a medical excuse to miss work. My doc gave me a strange look after examining my stomach and sent me for a scan—which I delayed for two months. The doctor later sent me a letter asking me to visit, and was pretty ticked that I didn't come back sooner.

He directed me to immediately pack up and go to Royal Brisbane because it might be cancer. After getting more scans, the results ruled out cancer, but found something else instead: a huge four-kilo cyst. All this time the only signs were my bloated belly and my mom's incessant fat shaming.

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4. Not One, But Two

My eldest kid, who's 11, needed a physical for his junior tackle football gig. Midway through baseball season, he'd been griping about an ankle ache, so the doc requested he take off his shoe. On seeing a weird lump on the side of his foot, she revealed the crazy truth—he had a broken foot.

I was skeptical though because he had a similar lump on his other foot. But after checking it, the doctor concluded he had not one, but TWO broken feet! We were then dispatched for X-rays at the hospital. All this while, I was secretly laughing inside, thinking it downright ludicrous. 

My boy, fresh from a baseball game and pool session, believed to have two broken feet. However, my amusement swiftly turned into disbelief when the X-rays vindicated the doc. This was my introduction to the world of flat feet, vulnerable to unnoticed stress fractures. 

As treatment, my son had to live life in a cast for two months and was prescribed special shoes and insoles. His feet are still wonky, but that has never kept him from being on his feet.

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5. Unorthodox Wincing

I recently switched OB-GYNs and had a check-up. I was prepared for the usual intense pain, but she stopped right away. Apparently, it's not normal to feel that much distress down there. But I'd seen three OB-GYNs before who didn't seem troubled by my tears during exams. She diagnosed me with vulvar vestibulitis, or as it's commonly called now, vulvodynia.

The cause isn't clear, but some docs think it could be because there are too many nerve endings in that area. I've seen some improvement with physical therapies and anesthetizing ointment I use before exams.

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6. A Quirky Defect

During med school, a patient came in with his brother for a post-surgery check-up. We found another big hernia in the patient, but that's not even the wildest part. His brother was rocking a hernia the size of a football—no exaggeration, it was bulging out of his shorts.

It seemed like a groin hernia, and he was even using it as a bloody armrest. When I asked if it bothered him, he was like, "My bro's hernias hurt, but this one doesn't, so I figured it was no biggie". I really hope he was just playing it cool, because he definitely needs to get that sorted.

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7. Tainted Smile

I work at a dental clinic. One day, a lady walked in, worried that she chipped her tooth. But when we checked, it wasn't a chipped tooth but a big chunk of tartar—the tough stuff that clings onto your teeth when you don't brush often. Sometimes it's tiny spots, but in this lady's case, it was like a whole bridge, covering her real teeth.

She mistook the tartar for parts of her tooth and was pretty surprised when we told her we couldn't even see her actual teeth underneath. So, we gave her teeth a good, thorough scrub to peel off the tartar.

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8. A Hairy Situation

This story goes back to my days as a med student, but it's definitely the oddest thing I've experienced. It was my final round in med school before moving on to residency. I'd done all my mandatory rotations and wanted to spend time seeing unusual things in my electives. So, I landed in dermatology at the VA.

The round was laid-back and intriguing. I was checking on my third last patient as a med student. This dude walked in and when asked about his issue, said, "I have hair sticking out of my hand". I assumed it was a hairy mole or something, but no. He was talking about hair originating from under the skin.

When asked about his job, he said he was a barber. It's kind of a minor hazard for people like him who cut men's hair, as it's sharp and can pierce skin like a splinter—but this was more than that.

He showed us his hand, balled into a fist, with several hairs sprouting from between his index and middle finger's knuckles. The resident doc managed to extract a few strands of hair using tweezers. But then he said, "I've already taken out around 50". That's when it got real.

Anaesthetizing the skin between his knuckles, we made a tiny incision. The volume of hair we found was astonishing. We began yanking out clumps of it. When we thought we were done, the doctor pulled out a magnifying glass only to find out, there was more. Upon probing how this happened, his reply was something I'll never forget.

He showed us an open wound on his palm. Turns out he had injured himself two years ago, and being a diabetic, it failed to heal properly. But that didn't stop him from carrying out his job of cutting hair, each day more strands embedding themselves in his hand.

In these two years, the hair had created a pathway through his hand, entering through the wound and exiting at the back. We spent half an hour extracting the hair and had to tell him to come back every two weeks for a few months to completely clean out the hair.

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9. The Denial Is Strong

While I was a teen, my best mate would moan about her harsh period pains. One day, she bit my head off, wondering why I wasn't bothered about her agony. I kinda said that it's a monthly ordeal we all deal with: "We all leak through tampons each hour. We all constantly hurt. We all have moments of pain so intense that it's hard to keep upright. We all do this for eight days".

She gave me a sideways look, telling me no, that's not the usual. We bickered, and I claimed this was my experience...it's crappy but it is what it is, right? She then gently pointed out that my period situation wasn't typical and that I should likely see a doctor.

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10. Wrong Self-Diagnosis

So, here's a story about a guy who had a foot rash. He looked it up online and figured it was something like eczema. So, he got a steroid cream and put it on. You know, those steroid creams work by cooling down your body's immune system, which is too active when you have skin issues like eczema.

Well, turns out the dude wasn't dealing with eczema—he actually had a fungus on his foot. By using the steroid cream, he was actually making his body less able to fight off the real problem. When he finally went to the doctor, it was too late—and they actually had to cut off his foot.

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11. The Family Jewels

My 13-year-old complained about it being super itchy down there. I thought he was just sweaty and told him to scrub up good and dry off properly. A few days later, he's still itchy and says it's getting larger. Larger? He said it didn't hurt, just itchy and puffed up. I brushed it off, thought it was still sweat-related and maybe needed some cream.

But at the doctors, they sent us for an ultrasound. And get this, the scan showed zero blood flow, which sent us straight to the emergency room. He had to undergo surgery where the doctor got a dead lump out of there. It had twisted somehow and passed a week before, which explained the swelling and itchiness—an infection was catching on.

Surprisingly, he felt no pain at all. The doctor was shocked. Usually, situations like these are really painful. It's like a constant kick to the groin. The doc said he should've been in tears. If we had waited any longer, he could have caught sepsis. He needed another surgery a month later—to put in a replacement and to stitch the other one in place so it doesn't happen again.

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12. A Little Too Late

I'm a seasoned nurse with a master's degree. This lady had an unhealing, big chest wound for half a year, and sore lumps under her arm that she'd had for six years before the wound. We automatically suspect cancer with any wound that doesn't heal, until we can prove it's not. 

Tragically, this lady had stage four cancer that couldn't be treated, all due to a heartbreaking reason. She simply wasn't aware that cancer is something we can treat. For sure, no one told her about how women who have sore lumps should see a doctor pronto because it's easiest to treat cancer when it's found early. 

She passed three weeks post-diagnosis. For around two weeks and five days after her diagnosis, she was sedated because she wanted her exit to be painless. Thankfully, she didn't experience any pain and was essentially asleep for most of it.

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13. Hearing Voices

Hey, I'm a shrink and one of my early patients was a girl in college who couldn't sleep because of voices in her head. She felt she had to answer them all the time. Her voices either warned her about people and stuff or they'd try to push her to do violent things.

She started hearing these voices when she was 16, and we met when she was 20. For four years, she thought hearing voices was normal since people talk to themselves. In a way, she wasn't wrong, but I had to tell her that when most people talk to themselves, they aren't actually hearing other identities.

What they're having is more like a private chat to sort out their personal issues. Later on, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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14. Not Quite A Baby...

Nurse speaking. I once attended to a 67-year-old lady who assumed she was pregnant. She definitely looked the part with her swollen belly, like those full-term moms you'd compare to someone carrying a basketball. But she was 67—pretty old to be expecting. Surprise, surprise, it was a massive 37-pound ovarian cyst—the biggest I've ever seen.

I was curious, so I got to observe the surgery. The cyst came out whole, and the sound... man, I won't forget that. This was ages ago, pre-HIPPA days, at a community hospital. The lab folks even invited everyone to have a good look at this monster before it was sent off for further tests.

You'd swear they were handing out free concert tickets from the queue at lunchtime.

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15. A Life Spared

My psychiatrist is a real-life hero for me. You see, I've always struggled with crazy, messed-up periods. So, when I got my period and it decided to overstay its, already unwelcomed, visit, I just rolled with the punches. One day, a doctor decided it was severe enough for a quick ER trip, the diagnosis? Endometriosis. 

So for 5 months, I'm dealing with a never-ending period and being simply brushed off by doctors. One morning, I pass out in the shower. Roomie calls an ambulance, they run tests, turns out I need a blood transfusion. Cool tidbit: turns out you can actually feel hella sick from blood transfusions. 

Even better, I found out I’m allergic to the medicine that's supposed to keep the sick feeling away. Fast forward a few weeks, around six months in, I'm heading to my psychiatrist’s office for my regular check-up. Immediately, he freaks out. Tells me to hightail it to the ER. I follow instructions, and land myself in the ICU with a two-sided lung blood clot. 

Plot twist, the endless birth control pills the docs were feeding me to shut me up were forming killer clots. The genius doctor who picked up on this and saved my life wrote a medical paper about how it's bonkers to dismiss a mid-20s woman who's never been pregnant and is dealing with crazy bad dysfunctional bleeding.

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16. How Incompetent

I started feeling really sick, even throwing up blood. It was so bad, I headed to the emergency room. They stuck a tube down my throat and I had to stay in the ICU overnight. The docs checked me out and found three small sores in my stomach, gave me some antacids and sent me home. I thought it was gonna be okay, but I felt like trash for weeks.

I was super tired and dizzy, but I blamed it on the sores. About two weeks after all this, my doc had me do a blood test. Turns out, my blood was super low, like dangerously low. After all this, I got checked again at a different hospital and they found a 2-inch tumor, right in my stomach. But here's the weird part.

It's the kind of tumor usually only folks over 40 get, and I'm only 33. A few days later, I had an operation that removed five tumors and half my stomach. First doc found sores right where the big tumor was, but he totally missed it. Not sure how he missed something that big, but he did.

All I know is, I'm not about to shell out the $7,200 the first hospital is asking for. They totally missed a 2-inch lump, which blows my mind. Still waiting on the bill from the second hospital where I actually got fixed.

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17. Never Ignore The Symptoms

My pregnancy was tough, man. Apart from my mom, I'm the only other woman in my family who's gone through this. I thought having to hug the porcelain throne day after day, losing all sense of time, was just par for the course. I struggled to even stand up straight, constantly needing the loo a few steps away.

My partner was super worried and kept urging me to go to the hospital. Turns out, I had a really terrible UTI that was about to mess up my kidneys. The doctors said if I had waited any longer, I would've lost my baby. I'm not gonna lie, the idea scares the life out of me and I hug my baby closer.

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18. A Downhill Spiral

So, here's the deal. Back in April 2017, I had a surgery called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. After the surgery, I was supposed to stick to liquids for a week and then gradually get back to soft foods and so on. I even used an app to keep tabs on how I felt. Unfortunately, things got messy. 

Two weeks later, and I couldn't even stomach a protein shake. My then-husband got frustrated, thinking I was just being stubborn. But one night, when he was off in a different city, I got super sick. My mom rushed me to the hospital where I spent half the day getting all sorts of tests.

What the doctor found was nasty. Apparently, my intestine had come apart at the joined part right after my surgery. Everything I tried to eat just ended up in my stomach lining. I ended up with a serious infection and four big abscesses. They had to do emergency surgery and I spent another 10 days in ICU.

The doc told my mom, if we'd come a day later, I'd be history. Oh, and by the way, less than two months later, hubby was out the door. That's my story.

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19. That's A Good Call

So, I once had a really nasty bout of food poisoning. I had never experienced anything like that before, but thankfully, my boss, who I was away at a conference with, had. In no time, I was totally out of it and told her I'd probably have to duck out for the rest of the event. 

She asked how she could help, and I was like, "Oh, I'm just trying to drink some water, but it's a no-go. I've been camping out in the bathroom with all my pillows". In an attempt to help, she brought me some ginger tea and suggested a hospital trip might be in order. I wasn't keen, so I tried the tea—which didn't stay down for long. 

Eventually, I was so weak and still retching that I caved and let her and another colleague drive me to the ER. I felt super dumb though, like, who goes to the ER for food poisoning right? They sorted me out after a few hours and ran some tests.

Then they were like, "You can head home now, or you can stay overnight if you want". Normally, I'm chill about my health; I typically think things will just sort themselves out. But something just told me to stay. I felt absolutely awful when they carted me over to the ward and I let them know. 

Next thing I know, I'm lying in a hospital bed with medical staff buzzing all around me. I'd had a serious seizure.

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20. More Than Just A Headache

I've always been a headache case, nearly every day. But about 10 years back, I began seeing these weird lights cover my entire sight, followed by a killer headache, which always made me feel like checking out. Happened pretty much once a year. Then, three years ago, we got this great insurance.

After experiencing a bunch of these crazy lights, I started thinking it might be something serious, like a detached retina. I decided to see an eye doctor. Guy shined a light into my eyes, then suggested I head to a brain doc, maybe even get a brain scan. 

Around that time, I also had a persistent stomach-ache, pretty strange for me. It even woke me up one night, when I got to see another light-show, sans headache though. Met the brain guy a week later, and man, did he obsess over my weight. 

I mean, I had three kids in three years, which obviously made me pudgy—not exactly unhealthily fat—but yeah, moving around was a struggle. So what, right? They slotted me in for a brain scan that day itself, and even though I'm scared of tight spots, it didn't suck.

I was at the parking lot when they phoned me to come back. They told me I'd had a stroke and needed immediate ER attention. The clinic was within the hospital, so they simply guided me through a couple of doors and bam, I was in the ER. I spent three days getting jabbed and prodded.

Anyway, I never saw what the fuss was about, it was just a tummy-ache and funky lights. I'm a lot better now.

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21. Painless Yet Severe

When I was 14, I began feeling sick one night. It wasn't your run-of-the-mill stomachache, kinda intense, but I managed to sleep through it. The next day, my folks scheduled a doctor's appointment for me. We waited a long time, and it was pretty annoying.

I was like, "Mom, let's bail. It's probably nothing..." But shoot, next thing you know, I needed surgery. The doc told me my appendix had popped and was surprised I slept through the stabbing pain. He even said I had an iron gut. He also mentioned that if I hadn't got the surgery, I'd be in deep trouble. 

Makes you see why being a tough guy isn't always a good thing.

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22. One Exam Is All It Took

I've been dealing with severe pain since I was 14, particularly bad during periods but always told it was "normal". At 18, I began actively seeking answers because the pain was escalating. Despite visiting seven different doctors over six years, my agony was constantly written off as just typical period cramps.

One doctor even tried to label it as 'irritable bladder syndrome,' which I knew wasn't accurate. I was put on so many different birth controls and painkillers, but none were effective. At 23, I finally consulted with a specialist in pelvic pain. She instantly diagnosed me with endometriosis before we even started a physical examination.

I had my first laparoscopic surgery this January, and they found not just severe endometriosis but also some large and dangerous cysts which had avoided detection. The doctor was surprised at my pain tolerance after seeing the severity of my condition.

Funny enough, I had gone through three ultrasounds and numerous other tests prior and none targeted or even suspected endometriosis or PCOS. It was that simple pelvic exam by the specialist that was a lifesaver.

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23. Simply Counterproductive

Hey guys, I'm a nurse. You wouldn't believe this crazy thing that happened at this wild party I was at. My buddy, completely out of it, burned himself while trying to make pizza in the oven. As if that wasn't bonkers enough, he then tried to cauterize his burn with a lighter. Just for clarity, cauterizing is for wounds, not burns. 

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24. Quack Medicine

I work as a kid's nurse. One couple brought in their little one who was feeling super low. While chatting, I found out they're into all-natural remedies. Their baby started having tummy troubles, so they gave her honey water, thinking it'd help. Turns out, the poor girl got botulism.

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25. Elastic Heart

A guy strolled into the ER with intense chest pain, fainting often, like every day. He chalked it up to his extra pounds. We had to tell him constant fainting isn't regular, and he should've mentioned it to his doctor. The issue was kind of come and go, so at first, we were clueless because his basic health signs were okay.

When all the medications we gave him didn't do any good, we had to ship him off to the hospital. His heartbeat was shooting through the roof for about 45 to 60 minutes straight, causing him to faint from oxygen shortage. Turns out, he was having small heart attacks and didn't realize how critical they were—but that's not even the worst part.

This episode had been on replay since his teenage years or maybe even younger, and his folks never thought of seeing a doctor about it.

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26. A Nasty Fall

I fell off my bike after the wheel got stuck in a gutter. Even though I was going slow, I fell hard. Right away, my right wrist started to swell, so I thought it might be a pretty serious fracture. I had to walk all the way back to the office, nearly a mile, in my stiff cycling shoes, while also struggling to push my bike.

Because the pain was intense, I decided to go to the hospital. The nurse thought I was right about the fracture and gave me an ice pack while I waited for the doctor to review my X-rays. I was in so much pain I was crying, which is rare for me.

Once the doctor saw my X-rays, it became clear that I had fractured both radial heads and my left wrist was broken. The swelling in my right forearm was actually a reaction to the broken radial head. I ended up having to use slings for eight weeks and went through three months of therapy to help my arms bend again. 

Now, my joints are only at 90% strength.

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27. And Just Like That...

When helping my dad out of bed one day, he felt a sharp pop. He thought maybe he'd just pulled a muscle, but the pain stuck around for weeks. Finally, I had to haul him off to the doctor, and then to a hospital for a scan. That "pop?" It was his rib fracturing—but not from age or an accident. The culprit was cancer.

Years of bad habits from his youth had resulted in lung cancer. It had spread from his lung, right into his ribs and spine. Not great news. After that, he only received care to make him comfortable. But he did get a sweet hospital visit from his cat, Tilly—I brought her in and she cozied up on his chest one last time.

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28. Will It Ever End?

My bestie was the one going in for surgery. She had a hernia, but it wasn't so bad that she needed a rush job. She was set for surgery a year later. Fed up with her shabby treatment in the US, she decided to get herself fixed in her home country. A basic check-up was in order before the surgery which was two weeks out.

Nope, things didn't go as planned. They led her to the operating table, no anesthesia. She was freaking out seeing everything happening. Then, they found the real issue—a birth defect that caused a huge cyst. It was a close call. She could hardly walk and had to fly back the next day.

Now, she's doing much better, but guess what? They found another hernia on the other side.

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29. Secondary Complication

During my first year in college, I caught a really nasty sore throat. I shrugged it off and popped Tylenol until it passed. A month later, my finger joints were so sore I could hardly make a fist. Soon, it extended to my wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, and so on. It even affected my muscles.

Even something as basic as lifting my eyebrows or touching my scalp hurt. Turning over in bed was impossible. I spent days in tears, stuck in bed. Eventually, my mom drove four hours to get me and took me to the doctor. The diagnosis floored me. Apparently, I had post-streptococcal arthritis. 

I had untreated strep throat a month before and it spread, sparking arthritis in practically all my joints. The doctor gave me a steroid, pain meds, and a "good luck". I've had my share of health issues but this tops the list. I was back to normal after three months and fully recovered after a year. 

Now, I'm prone to strep throat and get it four to five times a year. If I don't get treated within two days, the arthritis kicks in again.

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30. Get It Off My Chest

A 40-year-old boss lady, completely covered by insurance, was rushed to the emergency room by her sister due to chest pain. They made her change into a hospital gown to run an EKG. Her skin resembled a moldy burger. Unfortunately, she'd held off getting help because she was too ashamed about the way she looked and smelled.

I tried to keep track of her treatment process. She had both breasts removed, went through a series of radiation and chemo treatments. Even after all that, she only made it another three months before she passed.

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31. Beyond A Burp

For a couple of months, I'd been feeling chest pains, mainly in my left lung. If I moved too quickly or breathed deeply, I'd often need to burp and the pain would go away. I thought it was some minor issue, like swallowing air wrong or something. But the pain continued to get worse.

Soon, I'd constantly burp and experience sharp pains weekly that wouldn't let me lie on my left side. Sleep became a rare commodity. After 23 hours of enduring the pain, I finally conceded, telling my mom, "We might need to hit up the ER".

Turned out, my left lung had collapsed—completely, not just partially. It was even disrupting my heart rhythm due to the pressure. After two surgeries, I was back to normal. Thankfully, my hospital bill was only $25 because of my healthcare coverage.

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32. A Hero's Weakness

I've got this thing called Haglund's deformities, happening in both my feet. It's like I've got extra bone growing from the back of my heels right into my Achilles' tendons. Every step or run I take tears it a little more, and it forms a scar tissue, a bursa. The pain kicks in after I finish running, which mostly happens when I'm playing rugby.

I've had this thing for nearly 20 years, and honestly, I thought it was normal 'cause who really pays that much attention to anyone else's feet, right? When I injured all the ligaments in my knee, my doctor noticed these weird lumps and said the only option to remove them is to cut my Achilles, whittle the bone down, and then sew my Achilles back. 

But as I'd have to relearn walking, I just decided to give up rugby...

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33. Necrotic Neglect

My mom, who's a nurse, once told us about this super overweight diabetic woman she met at the ER. The woman was so heavy she couldn't leave her bed and had called 9-1-1 because of a weird smell coming from her lower body. She was too big to even bend over and check it out herself.

A doctor took a look—and couldn't believe it. Her feet were totally black. She was on the verge of losing them. The doc asked why no one had been checking on her condition. The lady said she'd never mentioned it to her children because she figured the numbness and pain from her diabetes was normal.

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34. Aging Too Fast

I remember joking back in college—"If my hands hurt this much now, I'm done for when arthritis hits". Turns out, I already had it. I've been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and hypermobility recently. The hypermobility isn't as bad as EDS, but it's there. Just in this year alone, I've popped a few fingers, my wrist a handful of times, and both kneecaps.

One was such a bad dislocation I had to hobble around on crutches for weeks. My subs were constantly acting up. My doc thinks this inflammation is a recent thing, but that I've been dislocating joints for years now. I seriously thought everyone was in the same boat of constant pain as me and that they were just better at handling it.

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35. Forget About It

I can handle pain like a champ. I mean, I could probably lose an arm and not realize until later. I started feeling some minor pain in my lower tummy and back. I figured it was just a little stomach issue. I popped some paracetamol and forgot about it after a few days. But then later that week, out of nowhere I felt super sick. 

I was having cold sweats, chills, and even fainted. I wondered if I'd mixed up my meds or something. In the ER, they only needed a few tests to find out I had a bad kidney infection. They figured it'd been going on for about a month, given how bad it was. Funny thing is, I only noticed minor discomfort in the last few days.

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36. One Wild Night

So, last October, after a crazy night, I ate it into some bushes next to the road. Not being sober probably played a role, even though I can't shake the feeling I was pushed—that's a different story though. The thing is, the sidewalk was raised about half a meter above the bushes' base level. 

Just my luck, I landed right on my right shoulder on a concrete manhole cover. Despite the pain, I could move my hand, fingers, and bend my elbow. Lifting my arm was tough and hurt a bit, but I brushed it off and carried on with life. For the next couple of days, lifting my arm was kinda rough, but it improved over time. I just thought I strained a muscle or something.

Fast forward to ten days in, I was holding my daughter and out of nowhere experienced a sharp pain in my same shoulder. The pain wasn't unbearable, but the fact it wasn't fading made me decide to get an X-ray. I saw a doctor who suggested the same thing, but I completely forgot about it until I couldn't ignore the pain anymore. 

So, off to the X-ray scan I went—and what no one wants to hear, I heard. The technician let out a shocked "Oh!" after the scan. Following a hushed phone call with the doctor I saw earlier, the X-ray guy seemed surprised about me walking around like nothing was up for nearly two weeks. 

Turns out, my clavicle and collarbone were broken. The bone on my right side was tilted upwards and totally detached from the left. By the time I got surgery to fix my collarbone, about a month had passed since the accident. 

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37. Eye Spy

For about three months, I got treated for a sinus infection six times, and then was wrongly diagnosed with migraines, which run in my family. My headaches would start at my face and run down to the back of my skull. It was only after I was sent to an eye doctor to check if my headaches were eye-related, did I realize something was seriously wrong.

During a regular eye test, the doc found that my optic nerves were swollen. She finished the checkup, and then gently told me what it could mean. She immediately arranged an MRI appointment for me. It was then found that I have intracranial hypertension—a condition where I generate too much spinal fluid and if it doesn't have anywhere to go, it can accumulate in my skull.

Within a week, I underwent a spinal tap process to drain the surplus fluid. A couple of neurologists were shocked when they discovered my pressure level was at 33. The optic nerves swell-up was fierce, to the extent that by the time I met the doctor who diagnosed my condition, my vision was so skewed that I couldn't read a book.

Because my vision was affected so severely, my mom had to fill out the paperwork for me.

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38. The Childbirth Equivalent

I found out I had acid reflux, and it's tough to handle. Fast forward, one day I couldn't stop throwing up, even water. So I hit up the ER. They thought it was my gallbladder acting up and gave me meds, but they didn't do much.

After getting an X-ray and a CT scan, turns out it was acute pancreatitis. They tell me it's as painful as giving birth. Once the pancreatitis cleared up, the doc wanted me to head home and have my gallbladder removed later. But I wasn't about to leave without the surgery. 

Sure enough, they took out my gallbladder the next day—it was starting to rot away. Scary to think what could've happened if I'd gone home.

Doctors not normalShutterstock

39. Luck Of The Draw

Here's the deal, I'm not a petite girl. I've been on the heavier side since my childhood. I'm always super tired and folks around me brand me as lazy. If I miss meals, I feel so drowsy, I could literally fall asleep standing up. I was always accused of attention-seeking and being overweight by people growing up. But they had it all wrong.

I got multiple blood tests and found that my red blood cells were slightly bigger than normal, but that didn't explain my fatigue. Spots started appearing all over my body years later, from feet to neck, and I began to swell so bad, like a balloon. Everyone said it was just scabies, and I even started shedding layers of my skin, right down to the fat layer.

Ultimately, the hospital realized it was much worse. After three weeks of agony, I discovered I had various auto-immune diseases. One of these is a vitamin B12 disorder where my antibodies block B12 absorption in the stomach, leading to pernicious anemia. This is why I'm always pooped out, as my blood cells can't carry enough oxygen around my body.

On top of this, I discovered I'm slightly allergic to gluten, which is now leading to lactose sensitivity. All my doctors found my case extremely unusual. "You’re in your 30s; why wasn't this diagnosed during your childhood?" Good question. As for the spots, doctors are still clueless as to what kick-started it, they just reckon it’s sort of a common skin condition.

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40. Letting It Fester

So my mom works as a medical assistant at a kid's clinic, right? A couple years back, this lady shows up with a nasty cut on her heel. She's all worried about some weird tingling and figures she better have it checked out. Only thing is, the cut's been there for weeks already. 

So, mom takes off the bandage—and there are actual maggots chowing down inside this woman's foot. Mom and another assistant had to do all the nasty work to get them outta there. When she told me this story, I was mind-blown. I mean, how can someone be so clueless not to see a doctor the moment they get injured? 

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41. Saving Money At What Cost?

I traveled abroad and my stomach went crazy. I put it down to my IBS acting up because of the change in food. I thought about seeing a doctor but I was scared of a massive bill for probably nothing. Suffered through a few more days of misery and managed two long flights and a car ride back home.

Thank god I was on the aisle for those flights—bathroom trips were frequent. Got home on a Sunday night, and following day was a holiday, so there was no doctor available. Insurance stings when it comes to urgent care, so I figured it was best to wait a day and see my doctor. Kept thinking this could be IBS or bad food.

Went to the doctor, got handed some power-packed antibiotics and anti-throw ups. Tests rolled in a few days later—turns out I had E Coli and a food virus, campylobacter. I was better by then but wish I knew how bad it was—would have gladly paid extra to see the doctor sooner.

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42. Love The Skin You're In

So, as an ER doc, there's a patient story that's totally unforgettable. One time a woman came in to have her cast removed—which she'd kept on for several crazy long years because she figured why bother taking it off. The skin on her leg was even growing over and down the cast itself. When we finally got the thing off, surprise, surprise—no skin underneath...

Instead, about 300 little maggots were busy doing the clean-up job on the tissue covering her muscles and bones. I could tell from the stink that something was off under there, but I wasn't expecting this. Weirdly enough, the patient was totally unfazed by it all. Go figure.

Doctors not normalShutterstock

43. Seeing Black

In high school, I had a scary experience on my way to the bathroom. Outta nowhere, I felt weird. Things got blurry, my ears got all fuzzy, and I lost my balance. I wouldn't have thought twice about it if it wasn't the umpteenth time it happened. Unfortunately, this time I was walking and couldn't stop my face from meeting the floor.

I ended up in ER getting stitches where the doctors started worrying about my frequent 'blacking out' episodes. To be honest, I never really blacked out—all my senses were always on. They hooked me up with a heart monitor for a week and slipped me anti-seizure meds. After a few tests, they saw that my issue was low blood pressure, like 90 or lower, almost all the time.

So basically, every time I stand up, my blood pressure takes a nose dive. 

Doctors not normalPexels

44. When Dayquil/Nyquil Fails

At 19, I thought I just had a nasty cold for a week. Living alone, I took a few days off work, popped Dayquil and Nyquil hoping to shake it off. Mom returned a car I had lent her and freaked when she saw me and how long I'd been down with the "cold". She made me see a doctor.

Next thing I remember, I'm waking up from a blackout, several hours later. Turns out, I passed out midway, and got whisked off to an ER. The diagnosis? Pneumonia. A couple days more, the doctor says I was pretty much knocking on death's door. Though, I didn't feel that ill.

Doctors not normalPexels

45. Bump On The Backside

So, I've got a wonky tailbone that's led to a weird bump just above my backside. It's a real pain, literally, to sit and do loads of stuff. As a kid, I thought it was normal because I got the injury young in an inflatable slide incident. My folks didn't really stress about it so I assumed it was no biggie.

But my doctor didn't see it that way. He never got around to fixing my tailbone. I reckon there wasn't much he could actually do. Sure, removing my tailbone is an option, but really it's beyond awful. I'm stumped for other solutions... but yeah. Having a bump above the rear end isn't normal.

Doctors not normalUnsplash

46. Tooth Fairy Goldmine

I work at a dentist's place. What we usually see are folks popping aspirin on their gums when they've got a toothache. But, it just scorches the gums and ramps up the pain. Over time, I've seen some who've tried to yank out their own teeth with pliers. 

Remember a guy who had a troublesome tooth, tried to take it out, but ended up pulling the wrong one. He tried again, this time got the right one. However, he ended up busting the bone around the tooth and had to rush to a mouth surgery expert pronto.

Doctors not normalPexels

47. Glitches In Time

I ended up in the ER after blackouts and feeling constantly tired. Working a physically demanding job and studying made me shrug it off. I had these blackouts usually during my long commutes. Thinking back, it was crazy risky.

One minute I'd be on the highway, next minute I was at my destination with no memory of the 45 minutes in between. My girlfriend told me something was off, but being 19 and a bit naive, I brushed her worries aside. It didn't hit me until one day at work. I blanked out while stacking chairs, completing the task with no recollection of doing it.

Suddenly seeing the full cart was like a wake-up call. I was hit with exhaustion, like I hadn't slept for days. Looking so pale caught my co-worker's attention, leading the boss to make me go to the hospital despite my protests. There, brain scans revealed I was experiencing mild seizures due to sleep deprivation.

The doctor looked shaken when I told him about the commuting blackouts. He was surprised I hadn't crashed yet. His advice was simple—get a different job and catch up on sleep.

Doctors not normalPexels

48. A Tickle Under The Rib

Came across a patient with this super weird issue. She was curious why her ribs hurt a lot. I couldn't believe it when he started fiddling with her own rib underneath. Turns out, she could do a bunch of stuff normal people can't. I figured it's probably a type of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which messes up the connective tissues.

I was so sucked into watching her make her rib pop in and out, I almost missed how freaky it was that she could slip her hand under her rib cage.

Doctors not normalShutterstock

49. I'm Not Crying Wolf

When I was 16, I had intense pain on my right side one night. Not being allowed to bother my mom at night, I toughed it out for a bit before giving in and knocked on her door. She was less than pleased to see me but when I told her about the pain, she just said it was heartburn and made me drink milk and go back to bed.

I managed to eventually fall asleep and for the next day and weeks, no pain. A couple of months later, the pain came back. It was the same cycle—my mom said it was heartburn, and I went back to bed, tired out. I stopped telling my mom about the pain since it repeated. This continued till I was 18. 

Once when my parents were away, the pain was unbearable. After suffering for hours, I left a voicemail for my mom. I thought I was dying. I managed to sleep eventually, and got taken to see a doctor by my uncle who found me. I got an ultrasound referred and an appointment with a surgeon at the end of the week. However, I wasn't concerned as the pain disappeared yet again.

My mom reluctantly took me to the surgeon's appointment, thinking that I was making things up as I seemed perfectly healthy that week. Met with the surgeon, while waiting for the ultrasound results. His serious reaction when he finally saw the results was unforgettable.

He was surprised about my lack of pain meds and antibiotic prescription. Told his assistant to reschedule his next appointment because I needed emergency surgery. Apparently my gallbladder was producing gall stones since I was 16. He commented that it was the worst he's seen.

I just think, had my mom paid attention to my complaints back when I was 16, this could've been avoided.

Doctors not normalPexels

50. Ignoring The Pain

This guy thought it was normal to feel mind-blowing pain when peeing every now and then. He'd also get massive backaches for a day or so, which he blamed on getting old and his super physical job. Not totally crazy thinking, but definitely something to look into.

A few days after the backaches, he's peeing fire, then everything's back to normal. Weird, right? Well, it was from constant kidney stone production. He mentioned never noticing the stones 'cause he never looked down while peeing. I just can't wrap my head around it. I had kidney stones too, and it definitely feels like something solid is coming out. Just insane.

Doctors not normalUnsplash

Sources: Reddit,



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