The mind is a dangerous (and hilarious) thing.
This Man Knows No Pain
“Guy comes into my old ER one day with a nail in his hand from an accidental discharge of a nail gun. Nurse is checking him in and asked him to rate his pain on a scale of 1-10. He replies that it’s only about a 3. We all look at him like he’s nuts because our pain is at a 5 and we’re just looking at him bleeding. (Plus, this is a charity hospital where 99% of the patients are sitting in bed, casually texting or chatting on the phone, but still rate their pains as 10/10. You get the picture.) So, the triage nurse rolls her eyes and asks him how it could only be a ‘3.’ He responds by saying that one morning he was cooking his girlfriend breakfast. They were especially hungry that day because they had just been a bit ‘frisky’ when they woke up. Since they had just finished, he wasn’t wearing any pants. Well, he says that when he bumped the pan and the hot bacon grease spilled onto his testicles, that was certainly a 10/10. So, to him, a nail in the hand only rated a 3/10.” (Source)
“Seizures from a parasite. He was actually psychotic and was self-treating what he thought was a parasite infestation by drinking household cleaning agents. When he started seizing afterwards, this reconfirmed his parasite diagnosis in his mind, so he drank more.” (Source)
At Least He Has A Good Sense Of Humor
“I work in physical therapy, and once had a guy with dementia say ‘I know I’m in pain…but I just can’t remember where.’ I felt bad for laughing about it later but I had never heard something like that.” (Source)
“Not a doctor, but I work in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. One night we were called to Labor and delivery for a preterm delivery. NotAMom called 911 because her stomach hurt a lot and she thought she was dying. At the hospital ER it was confirmed she was pregnant and in labor. The whole time we were there she kept saying she was dying and why wouldn’t we help her. OB key telling her she was in labor and to push each time she felt pain. She kept yelling “It’s just gas! I’ve had gas for a while, but it won’t come out because I’m dying!” Fast-forward to baby coming out. OB hands the baby to the nurse who then shows NotAMom her baby. NotAMom says “That’s not mine! I have gas!” Nurse places the baby on her chest and says ‘Well, here’s your gas. It’s a boy!'” (Source)
Who Doesn’t Like Chicken Wings?
“Had a patient come in once due to weight gain that she thought was due to being pregnant. Made sense, except she’d taken more than half a dozen pregnancy tests and they were all negative. She was convinced she was pregnant though, and wanted me to check. I tell her ok, I’ll do a blood test, since we can detect pregnancy earlier with that, and she refuses. Says that she just wants to pee on the stick in front of me and have me read it. So I say sure, and lo and behold, it’s negative. Little more questioning, and it turns out she’d been eating literally nothing but chicken wings for weeks. When I asked her why in the world she would do that, she replied that she just really liked chicken wings.” (Source)
“ER and family practice mid-level here. Had someone come in one day saying they had wires and fibers under their skin, including a little ziplock bag of (you guessed it) wires and fibers that he had apparently pulled out with a needle. Now, this is Morgellon’s, a well known psychological entity, but to see it so blatantly like you read about in the text books just blew me away. He actually believed it. Very unsettling. (Source)
Is A Healing Stone Not Reasonable?
“Vet student here. I’ve had some dude with a super aggressive dog diagnose the poor thing with “neural instability” (causing his aggression) from an online consultation with a homeopathic shaman. He then came into the clinic with instructions from the shaman that he wanted the vet to carry out (including rubbing the dog all over with a $200 “healing stone”), despite the fact that the vet had obviously the more reasonable explanation. He didn’t want to believe leaving a dog in the backyard without much human/animal interaction for most of its life could cause aggression. Go figure.” (Source)
Soda Is Poison
“Dentist here – 27 year old patient comes in with mother. Mother is on disability. Patient has large amounts of decay on every single tooth in his mouth. Kid absolutely will not even listen to having his teeth pulled and dentures placed (public health office so most are uninsured/low financial status). Really should have most if not all of them pulled. Agreed to do a mock-up treatment plan which came out to roughly $4500 (that’s with the sliding fee discount of (50% for the lowest financial level). They agree to pay, mom plunks $800 cash down for root canal to start off. I ask what happened for his teeth to get that bad. Stupidest answer I’ve had yet: ‘A dentist before told me to mix dollar store mouthwash with peroxide and rinse with it. It absolutely wrecked my teeth afterwards.’ Mother agrees and swears that same thing happened to her husband. This actually isn’t harmful for your teeth. What f*cked his teeth up was a lack of care and what looked to be a serious soda habit. Older brother is getting all of his pulled.”(Source)
“My elderly friend is the queen of self diagnosis. She tells the doctors her prognosis and rarely follows through with their treatment for her actual issues. My personal favorite is that she produces too much electricity. Because of this she has issues with anything electrical. Namely computers, cash registers, pin pads, and my personal favorite, gas pumps. She is afraid she will blow up the pump so I fill her tank for her. In reality she is confused by technology and never wears her glasses. She was recently put on Vitamin D pills because she rarely goes outside. Her house is basically a black box inside. I’m afraid to find her wrapped in foil one day.” (Source)
Who Needs A Dentist, Anyway?
Dentist here – I had a patient come into my office, absolutely certain he only had gingivitis and needed a normal cleaning. All because he had googled his symptoms and believed he could get a normal clean and go back home and do oil pulling after, which would somehow miraculously heal his gums. Would not allow me to take xrays or deep clean his teeth, which he needed because plaque was formed well below his gums. He even told me his gums were bleeding from just smiling, moving his mouth etc. He insisted on just a regular clean and then accused me of trying to make money off him when I basically put my foot down and said I wouldn’t be working on his mouth unless he allowed me to do my job properly. I was glad when he decided to walk out and never come back! (Source)
“I’m not a doctor, but I’ve been the crazy patient. Earlier this year I had a conversion disorder, which, for those who don’t know, is when a person ‘develops’ a disease and presents symptoms, but the whole thing is actually taking place in their heads and they’re fine. Within several weeks, I systematically lost my ability to walk and was terrified. I saw a series of doctors, and they theorized everything from MS to ALS, so I was pretty sure I was dying. I ended up in a hospital, but by this time I was starting to doubt myself. My reflexes, MRI, and other tests had all come back normal, and I could do things like jump, but not walk. Finally, my first night in the hospital, I spent several hours convincing myself that I was making it all up and that my family and loved ones would forgive me if I just made it all go away, and that it would be okay. So, I got up to go to the bathroom…and was fine. This experience still haunts me as the single most embarrassing and humiliating thing that I have ever done, even though I thought that it was real. Even though it was months and months ago, I feel terribly on a daily basis for scaring my family and friends, and for wasting so many doctors’ time. I’m glad that I discharged myself from the hospital before they had the opportunity to run anymore tests.” (Source)
Bad Trip! Bad Trip!
“I was coming off an all-night LSD experience and managed to convince myself, on next to no evidence, that I had anal cancer. I wound up calling my mother in a panic. It was 7AM and I was 25. And my girlfriend was there too. They talked me down, but I wasn’t satisfied until I’d had a colonoscopy and minor surgery. Turned out all I had was constipation, hemorrhoids, and a lipoma in my thigh.” (Source)
Well You Don’t Hear That Everyday
“‘I popped a pimple on his side and chicken bones fell out.'” Obese, uneducated lady with her small dog featuring a gnarly granulated abscess on the side of his lower abdomen. The kicker? She wasn’t lying. Hernia present that allowed chicken bones to perforate through small intestine directly into subcutaneous space.” (Source)
“Dated a doctor. She was a resident on her ob/gyn rotation. Woman comes in to ER. States is in early stage of pregnancy and concerned something is not right with the pregnancy. Spotting blood. Baby not moving anymore. Triage to top of list and assign a room and have her change into a gown for an exam. The doctor has the patient lay back and put feet in stirrups. Lifts gown for a look and sees an issue that certainly is a complication for the pregnancy. Two testicles and a penis. Exam then took a very different route.” (Source)
I Think We All Missed That Lecture
“ER doctor here. I had a patient insist she had a fever once and when I pointed out that our thermometer did not record a fever she told me ‘I’m not sure they taught you this in medical school but when Asians get a fever, their temperature doesn’t go up.’ Yup, I missed that lecture.” (Source)
Kittens, Atrial Fibrillation, Same Thing
“Psychotic patient tried to convince me he had ‘Kittens playing inside (his) chest.’ Not so much. The atrial fibrillation and palpitations were real, though”
One Confused Old Woman
“I had a patient a few weeks ago who was in her late 80’s come in worried about having a sexually transmitted disease. She goes on to tell me that she hasn’t had sex since her husband died. In 1994. I am an allergist.” (Source)