“I Think I Have Just Been Violated”
“As a student, I spent a day observing (and trying to be helpful) in the recovery ward for a GI clinic (think colonoscopy). I was bringing a gentleman’s wife to see him and went over to see if he was fully awake. Now, this was a proper gentleman, who came in in a three-piece suit and seemed embarrassed about the whole process.
So, he looked up at me, farted, then said, ‘Nurse, I think I have just been violated’ before falling back asleep. His wife just sorta stood there. I booked it out of the room, spent five minutes laughing hysterically in the cleaning room, surrounded by all manner of equipment designed to go into people.”
She Ended Up Being The “Nightmare” Patient
“I had a procedure several years ago, and when I came out of anesthesia I immediately punched my nurse in the face and started screaming and trying to get up and get away. It didn’t go well. I don’t remember them getting me out of the surgery center, but I remember on the way home I was screaming and cursing and just generally freaking out in an insane way, all while my mother attempted to keep me from hurting myself. I guess I thought I was in a captive situation and everyone was trying to kill me or take my organs to sell on the black market. I have no idea.
When we got home, she instantly handed me two of my prescribed Percocet and left me to drool and watch TV. I went back a week later and apologized to the nurse, gave her a gift certificate to a day spa, and gave the staff a bunch of baked goods. I felt awful about it.
I work in the medical field, and I was the nightmare patient.”
The Boy Who Cried Hitler
“When I was a medical student, I was on an attachment with a stomach specialist (gastroenterologist).
We had a 13-year-old kid come in for a colonoscopy because he had been having blood in his diarrhea. My friend and I joined in to watch.
He brought up the fact before that the kid was a fan of WW2 documentaries and said the father told him that the child spent lots of time on the computer reading up on WW2.
Anyways, trying to reassure the kid, the doctor tried to tell him it was fine. The kid calmed slightly, and agreed to lie on his side and ‘open wide.’
So we began. The kid was sedated, became drowsy, then IN WE GO! What I saw on the screen can only be compared to the scene in Star Wars when they come out of hyperspace in the remains of Alderaan. The child, writhing in pain, started mumbling. My friend and I swear he said Lufte-something and other strange words. And then, as my friend went to comfort him, he screamed: ‘Don’t touch me ho!’ I was in no state to help because I was biting on my fist trying to stop laughing.
It took about 10-20 minutes and we were finished. As we wheeled the kid out, he raised his left arm and said: ‘Heil Hitler’ before going back to sleep.
“I Want What I Want. Don’t Judge Me”
“I had a pretty funny run-in with a patient when I was still in my residency. I went to see the patient in pre-op. She was 17 and very uptight. She made it clear from the get-go that she was a valedictorian, ahead of her peers academically, and was pretty bossy. I thought to myself: ‘What an arrogant little witch.’
This girl was to have a procedure which for the anesthesia required sedation with some local analgesia. Patients – and I guess everyone – have various means to deal with stress in an acute situation, especially when they are looking at the relinquishment of control that being subjected to anesthesia entails. So, when I brought her back to the OR, she couldn’t stop talking about her academic achievements, how far ahead she was from her peers, and what not. She already has started receiving medication and was getting quite chatty, in a very self-aggrandizing way. We got her on the OR table, and after the monitors were put in place, she was laying it on pretty thick. I couldn’t care less; whatever helps her get through the procedure because she was, after all, a 17-year-old in a scary situation.
Then the following dialog happened:
Patient: ‘I’m graduating early, you know. Still going to be valedictorian.’
Me: ‘Ok, that’s a big accomplishment, congratulations!’
Patient: ‘I’m going to travel. Travel to New Zeland.’
Me: ‘That’s great. I know a few people who have been there, they did some really fun things.’
About now the procedure was about to start and they were about to inject the local, so I deepened the plane of anesthesia.
Patient: ‘I just can’t wait to travel. You know how much pressure I’m under? I can’t wait until I can get away from everyone who knows me and I can do what I want because everyone loves a girl with big knockers.’
The whole room just pauses and looks at each other over the drapes, like ‘Did I just hear that?’ looks on their faces.
And she continued on: ‘Because I’ve got a big set, you know? And there are a lot of cute guys in New Zealand. And I’m going to get with a lot of them. No one there knows me, I can do whatever I want. And I’ll come back for graduation like nothing happened.’
By this point, I was pushing more propofol in, and she was drifting deeper. I was barely able to contain my laughter, and the surgeon was laughing his butt off behind the drapes. She did, however, have one last gem before she does.
Patient: ‘I want what I want. Don’t judge me.’
Hands down the funniest patient story I have ever experienced.”
That Must Have Been One Great Joke
“My dental surgeon told me a knock-knock joke while I was being put under for my wisdom teeth removal.
Afterward, he told me that I laughed so hard at the joke that I threw up and urinated myself. He said no one had ever laughed that much at one of his jokes before.
I don’t remember any of it, but my pants were definitely moist while I was in the recovery room. It was pretty embarrassing for a 23 year-old me.”
And He Thought The “$4,000 Fart” Would Be The Worst Thing To Happen
“My 15-year-old son had a fever, stomach ache, and pain in his side. We went to the doctor, who sent us straight to the hospital fearing appendicitis.
The ER doctor told us the same thing. They started an IV and sedated him then ran tests to confirm the diagnosis. It turns out he had the stomach flu, and the pain in his side was just gas. Or as we call it now, the $4,000 fart.
As we were leaving the hospital, my son was freaking out. He was yelling at me: ‘You are a huge idiot, and getting ripped off. You didn’t even ask the doctors to shrink my head back to normal size. How am I going to fit this giant head in the car. There is no way I am going to school like this. What if my head just floats off my body. Do you even love me? Why didn’t you ask them how to shrink my head?’
I was laughing so hard and trying to console my son who was concerned about his giant head floating off of his shoulders. A positive side effect of his outburst was he got so riled up yelling, he let out a huge fart then let us know he felt better, and only occasionally asked us about his giant head for the next hour.”
He Really Wanted Some Wendy’s
“When I went in to have my appendix removed after it rudely burst, the doctors were trying to keep me in good spirits. So they asked me before I went under for surgery after not feeling well or eating for about 48 hours.
Dr: ‘What is the first thing you want to eat?’
Dr: ‘What are you going to get at Wendy’s’
Then I went under for surgery and woke up like two hours later and it felt like a cactus had violated my throat, so I obviously asked what happened. The nurse told me that I had woken up in the middle of surgery. I guess I slipped my arm out of the wrist holder restraint and reached over and ripped my breathing tube out and advised ‘I’m starving’ and they apparently freaked out and told me they weren’t done to which I replied: ‘Oh I’m sorry, continue’ and passed back out.
I remember nothing, but my throat does, as well as the orderly that was laughing about it with me in the morning.”
Maybe Try Something Not So Intense Next Time
“During my paramedic clinicals in the ER, an 8-year-old kid came in with a laceration to his finger that needed about 10 sutures. The attending decided that conscious sedation was the best route and elected to use a heavy painkiller. I was pretty excited to see this stuff used in kids as I had only seen it used in animals during my time as a vet tech. So, we found a quiet place and dim the lights (to help lessen hallucinations) and gave the kid his medication. His reaction was just like that of so many cats before him: his eyes went wide and his limbs went out as if the world was spinning underneath him. Unlike cats, however, he began bargaining:
‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, let’s talk about this.’
‘Talk about what, Timmy?’
‘This and this stuff here. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.’
‘Timmy, we are going to fix your finger.’
‘Are you sure that’s a good idea? I mean, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, come on.’
‘Timmy, it’ll be over in just a minute.’
‘Doc, have you done this before? I mean, really done this?’
A couple more cc’s of the medication and the bargaining stopped, the finger was fixed, and we continued to laugh so hard we cried from the stuff this 8-year-old kid had been saying.”
He Regretted This One Later On
“The last time I was in the hospital for a stab wound, I had to get stitches. Something went wrong and the gash got ripped open a little more.
I was told that they had to put me under. While going down, I apparently grabbed an old lady nurse’s chest and told her I like my milk spoiled.
I was 16 at the time.”
His Pile Of Treasure
“My dentist kept a big basket of little toys and prizes to reward the youngest patients, you know, mini yo-yos and stickers and stuff.
When I got my wisdom teeth out, I remember stumbling over to it and deciding I really wanted a treat, but I was too clumsy from the meds to pick anything up. So I thought, ‘Whatever, I was so brave, I deserve all of it!’ and I swept it all into my sweatshirt pocket.
Woke up to my sister and her boyfriend laughing at me, sleeping next to my pile of treasures. Temporary tattoos, stick-on earrings, little whistles and pinwheels, pencils, bouncy balls, I got them all. I couldn’t laugh, so I just made a sound like, ‘Hoo hoo hoo’ and went back to sleep.
I feel a little bad about it now.”
You’ll Be Hungry After This One
“I’m a nurse who administers ‘twilight sedation’ for endoscopy procedures. My patients come in thirsty, starving, and usually scared out of their wits.
In general, I’d say the whole sedation process makes them less rather than more weird. It’s very rewarding when a highly anxious patient awakens to find it’s all over, they don’t remember a thing, and the news is good.
That said, there are entertaining moments! Sometimes, relief and a Versed buzz translate into deep affection. One guy woke up to learn he didn’t need invasive surgery, told me he loved me, went back to sleep, and repeated that process every five minutes for an hour, even after I brought his wife back.
Far and away, the most common post-sedation topic is food. My patients have fasted at least six hours, sometimes more than 12. They wake up with two hours to go fantasizing about food. One guy went through the whole process of going to the river, catching some fish, and frying them up while his wife fixed slaw and cornbread. He had the whole lab salivating.
I can give directions to a dozen good restaurants near the hospital for when they’re allowed to eat. By far the most requested is a local fried chicken dive with national creds. So much for heart health.
The problem is, I’m a lowly RN. I can only give as much sedation as the MD orders. Most trust me to titrate it within reason, but some are stingy.
One of the biggest downsides to my job is knowing someone isn’t adequately sedated and not being able to do anything but talk them through it.”
The Mysterious Third Hand
“I split my head open on a basketball post and was rushed to the hospital, where they glued as opposed to stitched my head back together, and I was put on gas and air.
I was 14 at the time, my mom was with me, and due to my age, I was still in the children’s ward. There were foxes on the wallpaper, and all of a sudden they started dancing and singing. At this point, the doctors were still patching my head back together. Then the most trippy stuff happened – my mum was holding my hand whilst the operation was ongoing, and she had one hand by her side. Except now she had two hands out on the bed, and still one by her side. In my altered state, I managed to say:
Me: ‘Mum, you have two hands?!’
Mum: ‘Yes, Joe, that’s right.’
Me: ‘No, you really do have two hands.’
Mum: ‘When have I had any less?’
At which point I gave up; 15 minutes later the procedure was finished.
This was in 2004. In 2010, my mum asked me if I remembered our conversation about the ‘third arm:’
Mum: ‘Still remember the ‘third arm’ thing from when you hurt your head?’
Me: ‘Sure, but like you said, I was seeing things.’
Mum: ‘Well, I thought I’d tell you now seeing as you might be able to laugh about it – it was a prosthetic limb, I was just trying to trip you out.’
It turns out there was a prosthetic limb in the treatment room, and for some reason, my mum thought it would be a funny idea to pick it up mid-operation and troll me. The most amazing part is not the troll itself, it’s the length of time she kept it up for.”
He Was A (Three) Day Tripper
“I had an emergency appendectomy. The first doctors I went to see didn’t immediately recognize that I had a ruptured appendix so it went untreated for four days. By the fifth day, I was in the hospital after blacking out from pain and was given high doses of Tylenol 3 with codeine. Before I was knocked out I asked the doctor if he had ever seen the television show ‘House,’ he replied with: ‘Yes, you are on it.’ That completely blew my mind.
I spent the next week in the hospital due to complications from me being allergic to codeine and the staff was unaware for three days. Here are some of the things that I hallucinated.
Keep in mind I had a huge gash in my abdomen not stapled at this point, only held with some sort of adhesive and some degradable stitches.
I didn’t sleep much at night due to being so high, I would imagine some crazy things.
One night I imagined for some reason that because I was unable to shower and was smelly that I was going to be arrested in exactly 10 minutes due to a new law against smelling bad. I watched the clock tick down until with 30 seconds or so left I heard an ambulance pull into the hospital and I thought it was the police coming to get me so I began to cry my eyes out.
Another night I woke up to my wound tearing open and I could see inside my guts, and I just sat there freaking out at it.
I also convinced myself that the guy on the other side of the room was spying on me so I walked around like a ninja in the room watching him to make a move.
I would not wish what happened to me on my worst enemy. Worst feelings I have ever had.”
Quite The Vacation Plans
“ER nurse here. I put people out like once or twice a day to set bones, reduce dislocations, or sometimes drain really bad abscesses. Funniest one I can remember is this dude in with a dislocated shoulder, kinda a meek guy and his wife was in the room – usually we make family leave, but not always. Anyway, start talking to him while we start to give him the meds to relax him and at first he’s totally with it, saying stuff like, ‘Oh well, my wife and I are going to Hawaii… (words getting more slurred) thiss wieek and (eyes droopy) Imunna NAIL ‘ER SO HAURD. (almost out)… that dirty girlll.’ His wife was SO RED. We all tried not to smile and she excused herself.”
From Gang Member To Pop Star
“I am an anesthesiologist and my favorite story revolves around a patient I took care of in Saint Louis. I was doing an all-night call shift when suddenly we received a page about a shooting. I went to the emergency department to see the patient and he was this 6-foot-4-inch 250-pound black guy. Pretty tough looking for sure. He was involved in a gang ‘altercation’ and was shot in the abdomen a few times.
We needed to do emergency exploratory surgery so we pre-treated him with some medication and just before going into the operating room I gave him some Versed (midazolam) – a medication that we commonly use to alleviate anxiety, as he was somewhat nervous to have surgery and afraid he would die. As we rolled into the operating room he was pretty loopy from the medications and he, the big bad dude who just got shot, overheard the OR music playing in the background and started singing along to Miley Cyrus – ‘Party in the USA’ At the top of his lungs. He then went on to say ‘This song is MY JAM!!!!!’
He didn’t seem too nervous after that. He did fine in surgery.”