People hide some truly bizarre things from their doctors.
Ten Minutes Later, The Truth Was There
“My mother (the medical professional of 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 pure and that nobody knew what they were talking about.
Her mother stood on the sidelines causing a commotion demanding a real doctor make an appearance. Let’s just say when the twins made an appearance 10 minutes later, they were all singing a different tune.”
A Trick To Test Positive On A Urine Test?
“I tested a patient who should test positive for a certain often-abused substance as I prescribe them. The urine looked totally normal but the test came back bizarre. He had an insanely high specific gravity (means there was a lot of stuff dissolved in it), the sample was positive for the substance but had zero confirmatory metabolites (what your body turns the substance into) in it.
Otherwise, the test was totally normal. It took me a couple minutes to figure out how this was possible. 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’ but because it had never gone through their body the testing machine found no metabolites.
I use the case to find the smart medical student in a group now.”
A Man Has A Terrible Infection In The Worst Place
“A patient we recently had tried to play off a rampant staph infection as ‘just some leg swelling.’
It turns out what he meant by that was that he had a horrible infection in and around his genitals (something known as ‘Fournier’s gangrene’). The swelling had gotten so bad that his junk 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 urine was going to go.
He went into emergent surgery within hours (which is likely to be the first of many). 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 (fever, low blood pressure, etc), so thankfully he should pull through.
Last I heard, he was likely to lose one of his friends down there, but I don’t believe they were going to have to remove his whole unit.
I know it’s fun to talk about how gross this stuff is, but it’s a very serious type of infection. This guy’s life was definitely in danger had he waited any longer.”
He Was Hiding Something From His Wife
“A patient very hesitant with what was actually wrong, so went for an x-ray. Unmistakable shape of a Barbie doll up his you-know-what. So, emergency surgery, and it’s removed.
He comes to and sees his wife at his bedside. He panics, and when she goes to the ladies room, asks the nurses not to tell her what’s happened.
She comes back in, and one of the nurses brings back the (poop smeared) Barbie doll, in a small, plastic bag. Wife glares at him. He mutters, ‘I fell on it.'”
The Family Members Are The Ones Hiding Something
“A patient’s idiot relatives came into my office to ask me to see this old guy because he had accidentally cut himself and wanted some stitches.
I told them I couldn’t do any stitching (lack of sterile equipment) but would’ve been glad to apply some sterile-strips if the wound allowed it, as long as they brought the man in the office. Request denied, they kept insisting I see the man at home.
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 knife wounds on his stomach and a gigantic hematoma in the process of swelling on his forehead.
I flipped out and got the relatives to finally talk. They said the man had fought with his sister and decided to self-harm by repeatedly slamming a hammer on his forehead, then had then tried 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 far away hospital.
I gave them 15 minutes to get their act together and either call an ambulance or get the man to the hospital themselves.”
He Always Knew How To Put On A Show
“I had a guy come into the emergency room after suffering a stroke. He was 30 years old. It was quite unusual to be that age and have a stroke.
It was about 1 am. When I arrived, it turned out to be a famous rock star. I was quite freaked out. However, after examining him, I decided it was not a real stroke. Plus, he smelled like he had too much to drink.
I refused to give him the clot-busting medication, and based on the exam, it looked like he was faking it. He was admitted overnight for observation, at which time he sobered up.
The next morning, the police showed up and arrested him for impersonating a famous person. This guy absolutely looked like the famous musician. It turns out, he had been going around from town to town, getting free limo rides, drinks, and favor for at least a year! He actually came to the hospital faking a stroke to avoid the police!”
She Walked In At The Wrong Time
“I was working at a teaching hospital in New Orleans as an agency nurse. 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 received 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 says he’s ‘always going down to smoke’ and that he’s ‘very demanding.’ He was a homeless patient there for an infected arm from substance abuse. I asked the nurse why was he being allowed to leave the floor regularly with an IV in his arm and she just shrugged.
About an hour later, my patient finally reappears and shuffles into his room. I make a mental note to go in that room next for my assessment after I finished giving another patient their meds.
I go to walk in, and the door is cracked. I hear snoring, so I’m knocking as I open the door. I say, ‘Hello, I’ll be your nurse today.’ He doesn’t flinch. I know he’s not dead because I could hear him breathing. I place my hand on his arm and gently shake him and the dude comes out of it screaming like a wild bear, waving his arms, cursing, and flings a bag of an illicit powder right in my face.
I hit the code blue button because I’m legitimately terrified. This dude is freaking out and I look like frosty the blow man with a yet-unidentified white powder in my hair, on my face and the shoulders of my scrubs. The code team runs in with a crash cart, sees me, sees the patient freaking out, and grinds to a halt.
Someone runs out and calls security, and a big fella of a respiratory therapist pins the dude down.
Security runs in and handcuffs him to the bed. Nursing floor manager starts grilling him about the powder, and I hear him start insisting that it’s ‘baby powder’ and I scared him while he was ‘cleaning up’ and he threw it on me.
I come to in the ER and get the story from the doc after all the security footage is reviewed. Dude was going downstairs, meeting his supplier, and bringing the goods back upstairs, cutting his supply more with hospital-supplied baby powder that he had been requesting for ‘chafing,’ going back downstairs, and having his customers meet him in the emergency room parking area.
He had passed out after partaking in the parking lot, and I came in and scared the heck out of him.
He had thrown a baggie of illegal substances and baby powder in my face.
My husband had to come 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 police.
It was simultaneously the best and worst day at work I ever had, and subsequently the last hospital shift I have ever worked.”
She Was Embarrassed To Admit How She Really Messed Up Her Face
“About seven years ago, just a few years into me being a pharmacist, our community pharmacy decided to put in one of those urgent clinics.
It was cheaper than an emergency room and more accessible than an urgent care. A young woman with a broken and misshapen face enters. My first ‘mother bear’ instinct was, ‘Oh god, her boyfriend beat her.’ I know, I know that is a really horrible conclusion to jump to and I felt bad as soon as I thought it but at the time what I saw in front of me was a young woman with blood streaked brown hair, holding a broken nose. Her eyes were puffy and purple.
I take her to the back room, snag the nurse, and have her start helping with cleanup. I wait to see if I should call for a dispatch. The nurse tells me a few minutes later not to bother.
The woman had not been in a fight.
She had not fallen.
There had been no car accident.
She wanted to slide down her staircase on a mattress and smacked into her front door.
It took four hours to find out because she refused to tell anyone and when the police threatened to put her in jail, she confessed.”
A Man Hides A Basketball Where The Sun Doesn’t Shine
“My sister’s friend is a nurse and told the story of a man who came to the emergency room clutching his abdomen and complaining of severe abdominal pain.
He was acting suspicious 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 (note – a VERY cheap one) into his rectum 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 this: he hadn’t come to the hospital to treat the pain.
The basketball was still inside his you-know-what and after the pop, a combination of pain, presumably swelling, and the fact that it was still being semi-inflated had meant he was unable to retrieve it himself.
She didn’t go into detail as to how the basketball was retrieved, but I can’t imagine it was pleasant.”
That’s Definitely Not Suppose To Go In There
“An old woman came into the emergency room with a high fever, abdominal pain, dizziness, etc.
She’s showing signs of toxic shock syndrome (like when you leave a tampon in too long) so the doctor decides to check the woman to make sure nothing got stuck up there. Sure enough, she looks up there and half poops her pants when she sees two beady little eyes staring back at her!
The doctor begins to pull it out to which the old woman responds, ‘Put it back!’
Turns out the old woman (well past menopause) had gone to a bad witch doctor to help her get pregnant. Her recommendation: put a (now dead) turtle up there for a few days and she’d regain the ability to get pregnant.”
It Was More Than Just A Tic
“I am a physical therapist and I was once treating a patient with a traumatic brain injury post 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, figured it was some sort of tic after the brain injury.
I wrote it in my note and sent it to his physician. Looked in the note 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 I couldn’t see.”
When They Removed His Sock, The…
“My aunt is a family doctor, so patients come to her with symptoms and she directs them towards a specialist based on her diagnosis.
One day, an elderly husband and wife came into her office and when asked why they had come in, the wife responded, ‘His foot has been smelling for a while and I finally convinced him to come have it looked at.’
My aunt, not hard of smelling, concurred that his foot stunk. She asked him to remove his shoe and sock. When he removed his sock, the bone from his big toe fell out of his toe and onto the ground. Turned out he had a very bad case of gangrene that had eaten away the flesh of his toe.
He knew something was wrong but was stubborn and didn’t get it checked sooner. And my big toe hurts now after typing this.”
These People Have Some Serious Issues
“People hide the strangest things, such as:
-Lady presented multiple times requiring admission for systemic infection found to be a weird amoebiasis. The infectious disease docs were very confused. This was in the middle of a suburban area. Turns out she was drinking her fish tank water to get sick.
-A morbidly obese lady came into the ED in an altered state saying she couldn’t feel anything. She kept responding to treatment then going numb again. Three strong pain patches were eventually found hidden on the undersides of her pendulous ‘twins.’
-A streetwalker was hiding a ‘murder kit’ including a large wire garrote, 4 knives and various poisons in her handbag.
-And of course, the guy who came in from jail in excited delirium with an uncomfortably large quantity of pills hidden up his buttock.”
She Had An… Interesting Diet
“This happened in the internal medicine ward at a hospital outside of New York City. A 55-year-old lady was completely mute in the emergency room and was severely constipated with severe abdominal pain. She needed rectal dis-impaction and more than just an acute work-up so she gets admitted reluctantly to surgery.
The next morning on rounds she is talking a mile a minute, full of detail about her diet and symptoms and family, etc. That afternoon, she was back to being mute and back to abdominal pain and constipation. Two more days go by with the same pattern. The team is stumped. She is blown away that we can’t figure out what is wrong with her and we feel the same way.
Labs, imaging, consultation teams – all coming up empty. Strict ins and outs, strict dietary restrictions, everything we can think of. The janitor comes in by chance and is angry he has to change the paper towels ‘so many times’ in this one room. He said it seemed like the whole floor was stealing them from her. Sure enough, the patient had been consuming about 2,500 paper towels per day.
Psych team comes for the obligatory consult, and of course, she is mute. How do we get her to talk? One paper towel at a time.
I think some poor intern got a paper out of that case. Hope she is doing well somewhere.”
Tough Guy Doesn’t Want To Fix Real Problem
“I was a medic in the Army.
I worked for awhile in a clinic that only saw trainees. There is a spectrum that all trainees that 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 on the other end.
He was forced to come in after an injury if I remember correctly. He didn’t want to miss any training but as we were listening to him tell us about his ankle pain, the physician’s assistant I was working with interrupted him and 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.”
A Man Tries To Hide His Real Problem
“When I was in the hospital, there was a homeless man that was anything but sober. This guy was next level nonsense. He had two doctors, three nurses, a cop, and an orderly trying to keep him restrained.
He thought he was forming coherent sentences but the words, ‘I’m sober’ came out several times. Along with ‘I DON’T EVEN DRINK. IT WAS RAINWATER.’
They kept telling him they would sedate him if he wouldn’t stop his wild behavior (they couldn’t because of his blood level). Every 20 minutes, he would get riled up again and do the same thing all over again.
Eventually, he finally admitted that he was not sober and the cop left the two doctors to look after the man.
Dude even ripped out his IV…”
A Man Gets Creative With His Suicide Attempt
“I was working as a medical technician in the emergency room. We had a male patient — about 75 years old — come in with an 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 notably there was some blood on the wall.
The guy wouldn’t talk to us regarding why he was there but was very talkative in terms of 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 (there was nothing available for a high mechanism of injury).
We eventually were able to get him talking (after four hours), and he confessed that he had wanted to commit suicide and had taken the remaining amount of his prescribed nitroglycerin (used for chest pain; lowers your blood pressure rather quickly). Nitro is also the active ingredient in dynamite, but the amount in the pills is minuscule compared to what’s in dynamite. He explained that he tried to blow himself up 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.”
Does This Count As Good Dental Hygiene?
“When I was a fourth-year medical student, doing a rotation at the veterans administration hospital, the 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, and 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. A follow-up x-ray revealed that he had swallowed his entire convenience kit at the hospital, including the small toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste, and even his plastic razor. Needless to say, we called psychiatry for consultation. it turns out this was not the first episode for this guy; he just liked to swallow things.”