People Share The Worst Case Of “I Know Better Than My Doctor” They’ve Ever Witnessed
In the age of the Internet, it seems as though everyone is an expert. Apparently, the fact that a person can conduct a Google search, or ask Siri an inquiry, or perform a quick Wikipedia scan-through immediately makes that person fully knowledgeable about a particular subject, even if they never formally studied or worked as a professional in such field. Add their egos into the mix and you’ve got know-it-alls who put themselves or others in danger because they refuse to believe they are in the wrong. People from around the world took the internet to share the worst case of “I know better than my doctor” that they’ve ever witnessed, and their stories will definitely have you shaking your head in disbelief. Just keep reading and you’ll see what we mean:
#1 Bad Friends
A young, bubbly mother I know was diagnosed with breast cancer. She tried alternative medications as promoted by her flaky girlfriends. Eventually, she returned to the doctor who told her it was too late to do anything. She passed away leaving a little boy for her husband and extended family to care for. I still believe her friends contributed to her premature passing.
#2 Failing The Almighty
A very religious woman diagnosed with bowel cancer. Instead of chemotherapy, she went home and prayed. We admitted her about two years after her initial diagnosis with end-stage bowel cancer. At that point, there wasn’t anything they could do for her. She was fairly young; like, in her late 40s with a family and everything. The worst part is that she likely thought that she failed her God because he didn’t cure her cancer. She probably passed away feeling like she was a bad person. Ugh. I get angry every time I tell this story.
#3 Home Remedy
A child got bitten by a timber rattlesnake… The mother said 911 wasn’t necessary because she had a home remedy that her grandmother had passed down and all the kid needed to do was drink the remedy, take some ibuprofen, and lay down a few hours. The child nearly lost its life. Soon after, the mother lost all three of her children and was charged with felony neglect and endangering a child.
#4 Dunning-Kruger Effect
My mom insisted she had Asperger’s syndrome and when the doctor explained it’s now the autism spectrum, she called him a quack. She got really irritated after he diagnosed her with the Dunning-Kruger effect instead. For those who don’t know: “In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein people of low ability have illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is.”
#5 No Trust In Doctors
My dad had a heart attack and went to the emergency room. While he was there, he coded EIGHT TIMES (his heart stopped and he had to be revived). He survived and they admitted him. He had a lot of damage. After a couple of weeks, he checked himself out because apparently, the doctors didn’t know what the heck they were doing. He was found lifeless due to heart failure about three weeks later.
#6 Foot Problems
My dad went to the hospital earlier this year for foot problems. He had diabetes that he refuses to manage. He doesn’t take care of his feet and he’ll probably lose them soon. When he went to the hospital, his blood sugar level was over 300 mg/dL. After he came home, he ate a bowl of ice cream and drank soda.
#7 The Dangers Of Tanning Beds
My mom tans in tanning beds constantly to the point where she looks like the outside of a baked potato. I told her one day she should stop because she could get skin cancer, and she told me that it’s not possible with tanning beds.
#8 DIY Tumorectomy
This old man I knew always had a bandaid on his nose. He had a cancerous growth on it and he said he would cut it off himself. He’d always say, “All the doctor will do is cut it off, I can do that myself and save $200.” Guess who passed away when cancer spread elsewhere?
#9 Fruitarian Diet
Not just holistic, but literally a fruitarian diet… The singular most wrong type of diet any could be on… Ashton Kutcher adopted this diet for a while when he was filming his Jobs movie… His pancreas almost shut down on him. Some people are just very stubborn and passionate about their beliefs despite all evidence and testimony to the contrary. Look at people denying climate change, anti-evolutionists, flat earthers, etc. It doesn’t matter what you tell them or who says it, they think they know better for some reason.
#10 Disconnected Knowledge
I’m a nurse. My patient’s family member was telling everyone that the doctor was an idiot because, and I quote, “What the heck do the kidneys have to do with the bladder?” I had some other parents trip out when their kid with a sore throat was later found to also have an ear infection. “How did he come in with one infection and end up with another?” They went on and on about the terrible food we serve and how dirty the hospital must be… all while not realizing an infection in the throat has a direct pathway to reach the ear.
#11 Quack Doctor
My mom got Lyme disease and saw a so-called specialist who convinced her the infection was now chronic. She took antibiotics for like, three years. After the first year, her symptoms changed and she asked the doctor what was going on. He said, “Oh, I guess you must have a co-infection.” He then put her on more antibiotics.
After three years of this, she was hospitalized for a pulmonary embolism and it turned out she actually had stage 4 lung cancer. She passed away nine months later. Before her passing, the doctor had the audacity to try and convince her that the entire family also got Lyme disease. I took the stupid pills for almost six months before I realized it was all a lie. I’m still angry that my dad refused to sue him for malpractice.
#12 What Dad Would Want
Dad was sick for a very long time and in a lot of pain. Prostate cancer runs in his family and he wanted the doctor to check it. The doctor straight up refused because he “wasn’t comfortable with doing something so unnecessary.” He put my dad on antibiotics so he would stop complaining about how sick he was. By the time my dad got a second opinion, he was already suffering from stage 4 prostate cancer,m which had spread to his bones and brain.
He lasted for about seven months. My mom attempted to file a malpractice suit but the doctor had recently been accused of assault against several minors, so he fled the country and went back home to Pakistan. For the longest time, I wanted to go there just to find him and serve justice, but I know my dad would just want me to let it go, so eventually, I did.
#13 Creating Antibiotic Resistance 101
My ex-mother-in-law would always have mixed leftover prescriptions of antibiotics in the medicine cabinet. She would only use medication until she started to feel better, then she would shelve the rest. When she or someone in her family got sick, she would administer what she considered to be a good dose. I tried to explain to her that an antibiotic prescription only works if you follow the directions and take the whole bottle in the correct intervals. She replied, “They only say that to get more money.” She will be 70 soon and seems to get diagnosed with a new life-threatening disease every couple of years, but still going strong.
#14 Mom Doesn’t Always Know Best
I have a few permanently crooked toes. My mom didn’t think they were broken for over a week, then said there was no reason to see a doctor for broken toes. I played sports on them and ended up just straightening them out every day to get the swelling down after each game before my shoes would come off. A few years later, a doctor saw them and was shocked. Apparently, they had tiny splints in them. But there’s a silver lining—I really grossed out a coach one practice when I took my shoe and sock off. I clicked the bottom half of a toe back into place after it had gone sideways. Her face will live in my brain forever.
#15 Can’t Argue With God
I worked for an ophthalmologist and encountered two idiots. The first one claimed she no longer had glaucoma since she had prayed it away. Her doctor begged to differ. The other was scheduled for cataract surgery and he came in for his pre-op appointment, only to tell us he had spoken with God, and God told him he didn’t need surgery. I told the doctor and she said: “Sure, cancel it, I don’t feel like arguing with God today.”
#16 God’s Plan
I work for an optometrist. The doctor wanted to check a patient’s retinas for something, I can’t remember what, but he did ask me to take some fundus photos. I sat the woman down to tell her what we’d be doing and she told says something along the lines of, “I’m not paying for this. I don’t care if I have something wrong with me. If there’s something wrong with me, that’s what the Lord has planned and I’m not fighting him.” Okay, ma’am… Have fun losing your eyesight.
#17 Take Her Keys Away
My great-grandma used only drove during the day because she didn’t like driving in the dark anymore. So Thanksgiving of my senior year, we were all at my aunt’s house and had to help grandma get home after dark. Mom drove back grandma’s car. I drove mom’s car and grandma rode with me. We stopped at a red light and grandma said she couldn’t read the license plate of the car stopped in front of us. I was horrified and kept thinking, “Oh God, grandma drove herself out this morning!” After we dropped grandma off I told mom it was time to take her keys away.
#18 Saline Solution
I had a teen patient who had lost her speech for a couple of days. She got better, and when I saw her again with her mom, I went over the tests we had done and started discussing some of the possible causes. The mom interrupted me and said, “Don’t say anything else. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t tell someone their diagnosis, they can just heal on their own.”
Literally, she didn’t want me to tell her anything because she thought saying words out loud would give her kid diseases. Oh, and on the same day, I had a lady tell me that she was refusing treatment because she read a “study” where a guy treated “hundreds and hundreds of patients” with normal saline and had a 100% success rate. Yeah, okay lady.
#19 Educated But Irrational
I know someone with a Master’s degree who believes her friend the massage therapist “cures people with AIDS!” Seriously—massages, teas, enemas, and crystals—”No more AIDS!” I facepalmed so hard I nearly broke my nose.
#20 Knowing More Than The Doc
A couple who had a malnourished seven-month-old decided that their kid was gluten intolerant and so they never gave him anything besides stuff like quinoa milk. They owned a health food store and were crazy health nuts. Anyone who came in and saw the sickly child commented on it, but they brushed it off and didn’t seek help.
They eventually drove to a homeopathic doctor across the country who sent them to a hospital, but they apparently decided to drive back home first, not thinking much of the baby’s condition. The baby ended up passing away before they got to the hospital. The autopsy revealed the child was severely dehydrated and the stomach had been empty for days. It weighed about 9 lbs ATOD, which is just slightly higher than a newborn. They knew so much more than a doctor that they decided not to go to a doctor.
#21 Twisted Priorities
My sister refused a surgery that would’ve removed her uterus, cervix, and part of her bowel or bladder in order to get rid of her cervical cancer. She argued, “What man would love me this way?” She left behind four kids under the age of eighteen, the youngest being four.
#22 Everything From Scratch
My mother believes that if you make food from scratch, then it’s healthier for you. For instance, she thinks that making a chocolate cake from scratch (including milling her own flour) is a healthier alternative to a store-bought cake with identical ingredients. She is diabetic. Her doctors have said in as many ways as they can think of that she has to reduce her carb intake and what my mother thinks is: “Gosh, maybe I should grow the sugarcane myself instead of buying sugar at the store and my bloodwork will finally be in the normal range.”
Her liver and pancreas have failed multiple times. Each time, the doctors manage to restore organ function by restricting her carb intake. They explain that she has to continue to follow a low carb diet at home. She does not, because she’s convinced that she’s already on a healthy diet. Rinse and repeat.
#23 Why Won’t You Listen?
I teach people how to use urinary catheters on a daily basis. You aren’t supposed to reuse them—just use it once, throw it away, and when you need to catheterize again, open a new one. That’s because using a non-sterile catheter can cause urinary tract infections and a host of all kinds of other problems. The doctor will send us a script for how many per day the patients need to use, and every single day, without fail, I’ll have at least one or two tell me that their doctor is wrong and they only need one per day. They say they’ll just wash it off and reuse it. No. It literally says on the packaging not to do that. Your doctor said not to do that. I’m telling you not to do that. Why do you still think it’s okay to do that?
#24 Vegetarian Logic
About 15 years ago, before the whole gluten-free trend, I worked with a guy who was a vegetarian. We worked side by side just the two of us and got along really well. One day, I got curious and asked what lead to his vegetarianism. He told me he had been having some health problems and went to see the doctor. The doctor ran some tests and told my friend that he should cut wheat out of his diet. This guy said, “Well, that doesn’t sound right. He must have meant meat instead of wheat. ”
#25 Live And Let Die
I met someone who insists that insulin makes their blood sugar get higher, so they don’t take it. They also don’t take to having all their toes or apparently the whole left foot, but hey, live and let die.
#26 Stubborn Diabetic
My dad is diabetic. He takes pills. The doctor has told him repeatedly over the years to eat better and exercise. My dad eats like a trucker and avoids exercise like the plague. He refuses to eat healthily or even take a stroll around the neighborhood. He’s losing feeling in his fingers and his feet from diabetes.
“I take a pill for that!”
Okay, well when you lose a limb, do not come crying to me. We’ve told you for 15 years to live a healthier life to avoid this very thing.
#27 The Enabler
My stepmom totally enables my dad’s poor health habits. She’ll make him a big plate of bacon and eggs (fried in bacon grease) or say stuff like, “You don’t need to exercise, I think you look fine.” He’s been told for literally 20 years what will happen if he doesn’t change. But because it hasn’t happened yet he thinks he’ll be fine.
He won’t exercise because gyms are expensive. Fair enough, but walking around the block a few times is free. Riding your bike is free. My mom tried cooking healthier meals when they were married but he’d douse them in salt or butter or gravy. Eventually, my mom gave up. She stopped purchasing healthier options because he never ate them.
Example: she tossed out all the sweets and replaced them with fruit. He’d just buy cookies anyway. You can only help someone so much if they’re unwilling to help themselves.
#28 An Ounce Of Milk
A friend of mine sees way too many of these cases on a daily basis, but the worst one so far has to be this lady whose child was born prematurely. The doctors did their usual thing: they gave her advice on childcare and everything, and she came in a week later saying her kid was suddenly sick. My friend was appalled to find out that her baby had barely put on any weight since birth, and immediately asked her what in the world had she been feeding the kid.
The woman said, “Oh I figured since he was so tiny, he didn’t need to eat that much, so I’ve been sticking to about an ounce of milk per meal.” Seriously, woman. I don’t know how the child’s doing now, but I can only hope he is well.
#29 That’s Messed Up
I was in my mom’s womb when a neighborhood kid developed German Measles. My mom got sick. She got the virus but was able to fight it off because of vaccine soldiers. But her magic soldiers did not travel to me. Guess who was born with messed up stuff. My heart and lungs received the biggest damage. I’m deaf and I have Celiac disease. I have scoliosis. Seizures happened a lot when I was a wee child. I have alopecia areata. But my brain is normal, I can walk, glasses are cute now, and I’ve never had a cavity!
#30 Moral: Get A Flu Shot
I might be a horrible person, but whenever someone brings up not getting the flu shot for whatever reason, I talk about my brother who was in his thirties. He was healthy as a horse, but he didn’t get his flu shot and ended up in a coma. Years later, he is still not the same. I mean, I really go into it about what it’s like to be in a coma such as his… Did you know sometimes the person’s eyes are open? It tends to shut down their side of the conversation a bit to be that open and uh, morbid about it, but if I change at least one mind then that’s a win in my book.
#31 Vitamin B17
I was working at a supplement store and I had a woman come in asking about Vitamin B17. She said her daughter had cancer but she was taking her off of chemotherapy despite her doctors pleading with her not to. Some friend of hers claimed B17 wad a miracle vitamin that nobody wanted you to know about. I told her she should listen to her doctors. She told me to screw right off.
#32 Breaking The Law
A doctor gave my former manager some antihistamines, but she didn’t take them because she didn’t believe they would work. Instead, she got opiates because they made her feel better, so the doctor didn’t know what they were talking about. Then, she started to complain that her symptoms were getting worse. That woman is now working for the city I used to live in.
#33 The Wrath Of Anti-Vaxxers
I manage social media for a public health agency. All our immunization and vaccine-related posts have been getting swarmed by anti-vaxxers lately. No medical training, anecdotal evidence, or cherry-picked data—we know better than science. They’ve now branched out to hit some of our other posts too (breastfeeding promotion, cancer, HPV, etc.) and it’s getting to the point where I just want to give up. Which I guess is their goal, because they certainly aren’t going to sway anyone with their dozens of long-winded comments on a single post.
#34 A Good Second Opinion
I had severe swimmers ear in eight grade and it got so bad to the point where I was crying constantly. I went to the doctor and she gave me this horrible medicine. One week later, the pain got worse and I couldn’t hear out of the ear. I kept telling my mom that it wasn’t working and she ignored me until I finally stopped hearing out of it.
I saw a different doctor and he was like, “What the heck did that other doctor do?!” He got me on the strongest ear drops he could find and said that one more day of waiting and I might have had to get a wick put in my ear. He also told me that the medicine that other doctor gave me was for something completely different in the ear. The infection went away but I still have slight hearing problems in that ear to this day.
#35 Proved Wrong By X-Ray
Someone I know fractured their pelvis in a fall. He went to the doctor and was told his sciatica was acting up. After two months of treating sciatica to no avail, the doctor ordered X-rays. Turns out, he never ever had sciatica the entire time he was suffering from his injury.
#36 Refusing Treatment
This one patient who refused dialysis—GFR of 5, A1c of 16, creatinine was terrible. Her solution? She planned to head to Honduras to partake in some “healing springs.” This was a woman in her 30s who had a small child. She also refused insulin and her blood pressure meds because she thought the doctors were trying to steal her money.
When she was recently hospitalized, her four-year-old daughter cried and begged her to take the dialysis (the daughter was in the hospital room while the nephrologist was talking to the patient about her chance of surviving without treatment).
#37 Ignoring All The Signs
There was this one couple that was super into fitness. The husband got pneumonia, so they decided the best treatment was some specially-formulated meal plans and vitamin shots. He passed away in his wife’s arms during the middle of the night. Pneumonia is a NASTY way to go. He should have gotten to the point where he simply wasn’t breathing right; or, in other words OBVIOUSLY DYING. How did she ignore that and not call an ambulance?
#38 Split Personality
A person with bipolar disorder had a “system” where they split part of their personality into a sort of “kin” character. In this character, he’d whine that their therapist didn’t approve of this and told them this was dangerous. And before you ask: That kid was the kind who would harass others, then not claim responsibility for it. Ugh.
#39 Relying On Google Skills
My sister in law fed both of her children homemade goat milk formula from a recipe she found on the Internet. I begged her to run it past their pediatrician but apparently, her Google skills are better than a doctor’s decade of formal schooling.
#40 Wrong Time For Dessert
As a pedestrian, I got hit by a car and busted my knee open. A friend of a friend very seriously said, “Hold on, I’ll be right back” and bolted off. I thought he went to get like first aid or chase the driver who drove off. He returned with some Asian rice dessert that was apparently some home remedy for all ailments. “Eat this,” he said. I was on the ground bleeding and in tears… like, “What the heck is that, get me help!” It was so long ago though that at least I can laugh about it now
#41 Gotta Love Coach Dads
When I was in seventh grade, I hurt my pinky finger playing softball. My dad, being the assistant coach that he was, told me I just jammed it. I told him it was more serious than that since my finger was completely numb and in excruciating pain. He disregarded everything I was telling him, even when I was fully sobbing to him. He then got fed up with me and decided to pull my finger since it was “jammed.”
For the next couple of months, I continued to play softball (thank God for IcyHot and Advil). Eventually, my finger also developed a very solid bump on the side of my joint and the pain never really went away. When the softball season ended we finally went to the doctor and had X-rays taken. When the doctor saw them, he was amazed I still played since my bone was completely shattered into at least six pieces.
He said he couldn’t give an exact number because of the healing and the angle of the x-rays. The bump on my finger was a calcium buildup from the healing which could have been avoided if I had gone to the doctors when it happened. The only good thing was that I didn’t need to have my finger rebroken to fix the placement of any of the fragments since my dad pulled it initially.
#42 A Good Father
My brother’s buddy at birth needed a blood transfusion. Without it, he would have lost his life. His religious mother refused on religious grounds. (I can’t recall exactly what denomination it was but transfusions were a no go). Luckily, his dad was around to nip that nonsense in the bud and he grew up to be an excellent RN. His mom also divorced his dad and took custody…
#43 Raising Siblings
There was a family with seven kids. The oldest was barely 18 and the youngest was two years old. Their father passed of cancer—he didn’t do chemo or anything. Then, their mother got cancer and decided essential oils would cure it. They left all of the kids behind to basically be raised by their sister.
#44 Keep Calm And Carry On
I remember watching a bunch of people on A&E complain about a doctor, in earshot of the poor guy, because he didn’t break out into a sprint when a woman in a wheelchair slowly slipped onto the floor (fainting, presumably) about five feet away from him. Instead he, uh, approached her at a normal pace and addressed her in a clear and calm voice.
My sister has literally said, “When you think about it, we’re actually smarter than the doctors because we’re open to alternative medicine and they automatically dismiss it.”