June 28, 2019 | Christine Tran

Doctors Share the Weirdest Things A Patient Wouldn’t Admit

Doctors swear an oath to “first, do no harm.” Secretive patients make this a hard duty to uphold. These doctors took the chance to vent about the not-so-little things patients refused to spill about their medical history. When it comes to health vs. reputation, some people will stay mum…at great risk to themselves. Whisper a symptom to these shocking tales of the weirdest things that patients have ever refused to admit to their doctors.

1. Just a Little Prick

Not a doctor but a nurse. Had a patient come in with a toothpick in his penis. Refused to tell me how it got in there, insisting he was picking his teeth and it fell in.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsFlickr, Gerwin Sturm

2. The Water on this Story Broke

Not a doctor, but my husband. He had a 17-year-old girl with abdominal pains come into the ER with her Mum, turns out she’s in full-blown labor. Assures them she can’t be pregnant, she’s a virgin. The baby is literally crowning right there in ER (no maternity ward in their hospital and she was in advanced labor when she arrived) and she still insists she’s a virgin.

Secrets Not Supposed to Know factsPixabay

3. Let It Snow

I admitted a guy for chest pain. As part of the workup, I did a urine drug screen which came back positive for cocaine. After the rest of his cardiac workup was negative, I said to him, "Good news, you didn't have a heart attack. It's likely that your chest pain was caused by cocaine." His answer: "I didn't use cocaine. See, I was at a party and people had some lines of cocaine out on a table. As I was walking by, an oscillating fan blew the cocaine into my face, which is why my urine was positive."

Mmmhmm. Got it.

Doctor holding urine sample cup.Getty Images

4. The Real Pain Would Be Keeping a Secret

Guy denied ever having chest pain, ever. Told us he was able to chop wood and work on his land without any issues. He didn’t meet any criteria for additional workup prior to surgery. During his major surgery, he had a huge heart attack. A cardiac cath showed that he basically had one very narrow coronary artery that was the only thing getting blood to his heart.

His daughters, who were nurses, all swore up and down that he was healthy as a horse and never complained of heart issues. Then his black sheep other daughter arrived and said he actually had told her that he terrible exertional chest pain every time he did anything, but that he didn’t want his other daughters to know because they would worry.

He died a few days later. If we had known about his symptoms, he would have likely had his cardiac disease diagnosed and treated prior to surgery.

Anna May Wong FactsShutterstock

5. Not a Job for a Full Stomach

I'm a pediatric dentist, so maybe not the type of doctor you were looking for, but this one throws me for a loop every time, so I'll share it. When I sedate kids, they have to be NPO for eight hours before, so I always ask if they had anything to eat or drink in the morning. Parents NEVER want to admit their kid ate or drank, even when I remind them it's very important because if they vomit and aspirate, they could die.

Often, they try to minimize it and say it was just a few bites, but one kid walked in eating a bag of Cheetos at reception and then the parent insisted to me that they hadn't eaten. Yeah, I'm 100% not sedating your child today.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

6. Swiggity Swag, Don’t Look in the Bag

When I was a medical student, we had a patient on one of my rotations that was getting oral pain meds but insisting that we switch them to a stronger IV pain medicine because they had been getting nauseous and vomiting up all their meds. When our team rounded on the patient to check on them, we walked into the room and were quickly greeted by an eager patient that had been waiting to show us their vomit bag.

Turns out that it was filled with a lovely mixture of piss and poop and topped off with a handful of pills the patient had thrown in there to make it look like they couldn’t keep the meds down. When we called them out, the patient was in total denial and tried to reason with us that it must be vomit since it’s in the vomit bag.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

7. Be Safe About Self-Care

Had a woman on my OBGYN rotation during med school that had pelvic inflammatory disease with bilateral abscesses around the fallopian tubes requiring drainage and IV antibiotics. The cause? Well she never admitted to it, but we believe that she was repetitively using unwashed sex toys to pleasure herself for weeks based on the culture that grew and her story not adding up.

Coma Survivors FactsShutterstock

8. A Need for Speed

Had a patient in hospital, I forget what for. The point is that he disappeared for a few hours. When he came back, he was tachycardic to 160bpm, massive pupils, couldn't sit still. We asked him what he'd taken while he was out. Nothing, he swears, he went to the pub and just drank lemonade. Ok, we say, we’re gonna take some blood and find out what you've taken.

He then pipes up that the friends he was with would think it was funny to spike his drink. What, we asked, did he think they might have spiked his drink with? Speed, he says. What do you know, bloods confirmed that he had taken speed. But he insists he didn't take it; his drink was spiked. OK pal, not so sure about that one...

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsPxHere

9. Give Him the Bedroom Eyes

I guess it's not super weird that this patient wouldn't admit this, but it's weird in the sense that it was super obvious what happened so he might as well just admit it. I used to do patient registration in the ER. Two of us were wheeling around our computers and registering patients off of ambulances and getting patient information in rooms.

A middle-aged guy arrives in an ambulance and my coworker takes it. So, I'm finishing up some paperwork and I go to our front office and pull up the patient tracker board so I can see what still needs to be done. As I'm doing that, a new patient pops up on the board all of a sudden...Chief complaint: eyeliner pens stuck in penis.

My coworkers walks into the office looking scarred. She explained, "The nurse asked him what happened and he said he slipped. She told him that doesn't seem likely. So, he said he had an itch and thought it would help." We later found out from the nurse that he finally admitted that he "saw it on tv and thought it would feel good.”

His 20-something-year-old daughter was with him, but she clearly had some form of developmental disability. It was all around a sad situation and I hope someone told him about sounding and he did some research on safe practices for kinks/fetishes. Apparently, they were both lodged in there pretty badly.

Dumbest Patient FactsShutterstock

10. A Bump in the Road Can Be a Real Headache

This one is sad, from my old roommate: Girl had a very large lump on her breast that she didn't tell the doctors about. She actually went to the hospital for migraines, saying they were getting increasingly bad. When they found the lump, they asked why she didn't say she had that. She said she knew it was going to kill her eventually, but she just wanted to get rid of the migraines because they giving her a lot of pain in her last months.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

11. The Most Transparent Alibi

I'm a nurse. I had a kid once who I needed to get a urine sample from. He was eight. I gave him a cup and pointed him to the bathroom. I went to check on my other patients and came back, kid was still in the bathroom. I go knock on the door, "Hey buddy, you ok in there?" Sink on full blast. "UH...YEP! EVERYTHING'S FINE!"

I go back to his room a few minutes later and he hands me a bag full of water with a cup inside that also appears to be water. I pour the water out of the bag. "Hey buddy, are you sure this is urine in this cup?“ "Yea! My pee is ALWAYS clear." Patient is wheeled off the x-ray. I check the temperature of the so-called urine in the cup. It was ironically the same temperature as the water from the faucet.

Come on little homie, you gotta do better than that.

Water FactsFlickr

12. I Haven’t Got the Words, I Swear

That they don’t know how to read. I’ve been taught the trick of handing a paper upside down to them to see if they can read. It’s good to know if they don’t, so you can make EXTRA sure they have a full understanding of their instructions instead of saying to read the details on the sheet.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

13. Quit Screwing Around on Yourself

Obligatory not a doctor. Used to work PR and Marketing in an inner-city hospital. Was once hanging out with the ER folks when a regular came in. He was into self-harm. This would have been in 2000/2001 or so and I was young, so I had never even heard of this. This guy had spent hours burying a Phillips head screwdriver in his abdomen, carefully working it around major organs.

He was a Vietnam medic and had some training, so he could feasibly do it. He straight up said, "What screwdriver? You all are crazy." The attending was staring right at the X-ray and the handle of the screwdriver sticking out of his abdomen. The screwdriver must have been four inches long. I still shudder when I think about it!!

Juiciest Gossip factsShutterstock

14. Justice is Blind

That she could actually see. We had this lady that came into the ER at least once per month, usually chest pain (she was 30s, morbidly obese). She had seen multiple specialists. Had her heart/lungs/GI system examined in almost every conceivable way. One night, she comes in with sudden onset blindness. Not her first time with this complaint, nor the last time she got a trip to the retina specialist.

When I examine her, I walk around her bed and she tells her friend to get her feet off the chair so I can get by. She plays it off supercool by adding, “If you have your feet up like you always do.” Then the neuro exam. I have her touch her nose, then touch my finger. Her idea of how a blind person would perform this exam is to touch her nose then wobble her hand from side to side as she touched the end of my finger.

Not to mention the near-constant eye contact as we talked. I would ask a question and start moving while she talked and her, she would follow my eye perfectly. She was extremely relieved to find out that she had just conversion disorder and that her sight would be back before too long. Maybe it was factitious disorder.

I tend to believe all her chest pains and crazy complaints were real feelings she was having due to a number of her social/psych issues. In the ER at midnight, it’s a lot easier to tell her it is a symptom of dealing with whatever social drama was happening in her life and that her eyes worked fine instead of telling her she was lying to me for some gain. Either way, she was sick and needed reassurance. She was genuinely relieved though.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

15. A Most Inconvenient Conception

I'm a CT tech and I was to scan a woman's abdomen for belly pain. She and her girlfriend were there. I have to give her a pregnancy test. I have to have one done. I can't radiate a fetus. I even ask nuns, so no exceptions. She denies up and down she's pregnant, and then, after the test I did, it said she was. She denied it and demanded a blood test, since she was a lesbian and never has sex with men.

Well, the blood test came back positive also (surprise!) and the argument that ensued was biblical. She was arguing with her girlfriend and the nurses and the doctor. I never ended up scanning her and they chalked up her pain to her being pregnant. The look on her girlfriend's face when I said it came back positive was one I will never forget.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

16. But the Bottle Said, “No Split Ends”!

It’s well known in the ER that a patient with something stuck up his/her/etc. butt has “no idea how it got there.” Or they “fell” on it. The weirdest thing I saw was a patient who came into the ED with a shampoo bottle up his butt. “So, what brings you into the emergency room tonight?” “I shoved a shampoo bottle up my butt, now it’s stuck there. “

No shame.

Self-Diagnosing Patients FactsShutterstock

17. A Seed of Doubt is Sown Deep Down

There was a woman sent in by her family doctor for urinating some blood. We put a camera into her bladder with her awake, looking to exclude a tumor. We found her bladder full of citrus seeds/pits. So many of them. When asked why she put them there she said, "Well I eat a lot of fruit"  and wouldn’t accept any responsibility for them being there.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsPxHere

18. Holding It for A Friend

Had an elderly lady from a nursing home come in super altered. She would wake up briefly to answer questions, but then would be out like a light seconds later. Usually, in this case, we assume it’s from infection, stroke, etc. but we still ask about drug use (legal and illicit) since it can cause that kind of thing. Lady denied several times she didn’t take anything other than prescribed meds.

Finally, as we’re about to intubate her (put her on a ventilator) since she was getting worse, we cut off her bra and out pops a little baggy with some white powder and a baby straw. We gave her some Narcan and she gasps herself awake. Even after that still took her a long time before she said, “Well maybe I did take some drugs from a friend...”

Since then I’ve trusted no one when it comes to denying drug use.

Not Paid Enough FactsShutterstock

19. Biting the Part the Feeds You

I'm an internal medicine resident. Had a patient with sepsis that was being seen by the urology department. When I first read his clinical history, it stated something along the lines of: "Infected wound in the penis, patient claims he doesn't know how he got it." So, I begin my assessment and ask him about his wound. Indeed, he claimed he didn't know how it happened. I decided that the priority was to stabilize the patient and I made some adjustments to antibiotics and other meds.

Well, the guy went downhill; the sepsis became severe even though he was with the strongest antibiotics we had and two different vasopressors. His blood pressure was through the floor and eventually he needed intubation and went to the ICU. He managed to survive after a complete penectomy. And about two weeks later, I saw him again.

Turns out the dude was trying to get his dog to lick his penis and put on some peanut butter on it. Naturally, the dog bit him. He didn't seek medical help for about 10 days before the pain and fever were too much. If we knew from the beginning that the wound was inflicted that way the antibiotic would have been different, probably would have made a difference.

I still feel sorry for that guy, but with a wound like that, he is lucky to be alive.

Edit: I should've said that a total penectomy is the total removal of the penis. Sorry for all of you that went to Google images.

Memorable Patient Experiences factsShutterstock

20. Case of the Wandering Womb

All the symptoms of pregnancy and two positive pregnancy tests. “There’s 0% chance I can be pregnant. I’m not married.” To be fair. The patient’s mother was there, and this was in a very conservative country. She ended up “admitting” she was pregnant when we separated her from the mom.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsFlickr

21. No Need to See Red

This one happened just the other day. Had a patient come in looking pretty sick. Labs and vitals said the guy was in sepsis and most likely had a bad infection. The question was where...after some prodding and letting him know the seriousness of his situation he finally admitted to the source of his infection. He didn’t want to say it, so he just pointed between his legs. Looking underneath his underwear revealed a smelly, red, swollen, pus draining scrotum.

Some of it was even black and necrotic. Not a pleasant site and it looked horribly painful. He went on to explain that he had a painful lump on one of his testicles a few weeks back. He was told it was an infection and given antibiotics. The problem didn’t go away and by then he had decided to take matters into his own hands...literally. He tied a string tight around one testicle and proceeded to cut it out himself!

Needless to say, it became horribly infected and was going to require surgical intervention. Guy ended up doing ok.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

22. Having a Ball Is No Fun Alone

He came in with blood pressure of 60/30. Pale as a ghost. Tons of free fluid in his abdomen on ultrasound. Turned out he had metastatic testicular cancer that had eroded into his aorta and was bleeding into his belly. Come to find out later he had testicle lumps and was too scared to tell anyone. For those asking, we resuscitated him with blood and fluids and transferred him to the nearest Peds ICU. He was treated, lived a few months, and passed away.

It was incredibly sad. I think of him often.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

23. Alcohol is No Catch and Release Sport

I had a guy come to the hospital who told me he had seizures every Tuesday like clockwork. This is highly, highly unusual for somebody with a seizure disorder. It wasn't until I asked him about his social history that he told me he's a heavy drinker. I investigated further, and it turns out he binge drinks Thursday Friday Saturday every week, then stops cold turkey.

He was having withdrawal seizures.

Patients Wouldn't Admit Facts

24. Not Everything Should Stay Between Us Gals

Medical Intern here, had a woman come to ER complaining about "stomach pain," took her full history did the exam and vitals, she seemed fine, mild fever. Made a preliminary diagnosis of gastroenteritis and presented to my doctor. My doctor (who is female) goes to her and asks why she came to ER for something so mild. She says because she noticed blood in her stool.

The doc comes out and asks me if I asked about her stool, I did, she said it was fine, and I asked specifically about blood. She goes back in and asks the patient why she didn't mention that to me, her response? "Didn't think it was appropriate to say it to a male intern." Turns out she had ulcerative colitis, needed a colonoscopy, long-term medical therapy, and possibly surgery.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

25. Why Get Red in Your Ledger?

I had a patient whose main complaint was a wrist sprain. Asked how he fell, and he said he felt lightheaded and fell down the stairs. After about 15 min of questions about his heart and other stuff, I ask him if he’s had any vomiting. He said he vomits every day. I ask if it’s red and he said it’s bright red every time.

The kicker is this was his usual yearly appointment. Dude was vomiting blood every day and not only did not go to the ER, and he didn’t feel it was worth mentioning at his checkup.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

26. Proof is in the Plastic

I had a patient who needed a small sterile procedure done but had a latex allergy; it was in bright red all over her chart (we used paper charts back then). We had tun ran out of latex-free sterile gloves. I went in to tell her she needed to come back in a week when we got them back, then I decided to ask what happened when she came in contact with latex.

Her response: “I get chlamydia.”

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

27. Fallen for Her Own BS

My patient presented over several months with recurrent huge abscesses that we couldn’t explain. She was in horrible pain. Had to stop working. We tested for everything. Eventually, her husband called me that he found syringes in her medicine cabinet. We think she was injecting herself with fecal matter. When the syringes were found she stopped coming to her appointments.

To those asking why: I think she has Münchausen syndrome. She wanted the attention from being sick. I started getting suspicious when she always would get a new abscess before any court dates (CPS problems) and need a doctor’s note to get out of it. She denies everything and it’s very hard to have someone committed unless they are acutely suicidal.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsGetty Images

28. No Way This Story Holds Air

So, in my story, I’m actually the patient not telling the doctor something, but I felt like it was good enough and relevant enough to share. When I was like 13 or so, I ended up with a urinary tract infection, which was odd because I’m a guy. I ended up having to go to the children’s hospital and had to go through all this stuff to try and look at it and fix it and whatever doctors do for a UTI.

What I didn't tell them—and still haven’t told anyone except my wife—was that all of this happened because I was curious what it would feel like to shoot water up my dong with a hotel shampoo bottle. Not a great moment for me. But, if you pump air up there it makes a mini fart sound when it comes out, so I guess that’s a plus.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

29. She Hadn’t the Heart to Tel You

I'm a med student and on my family medicine rotation, I was sent to see this woman before the doctor and get a history and physical. She was saying she was having heartburn and just wanted us to give her "something to throw up" so she will feel better. I thought it was odd and so I went through some more review questions and she said her reflux pain was extending up to the left side of her neck and down her left arm.

Also, she mentioned that she had been sweating for hours. I cut off the interview short there and went to my teaching doctor to tell him everything and what I thought. Got an EKG. Yeah...she was having a heart attack, had to call an ambulance and get her to the ER.

Gut Feeling FactsShutterstock

30. I’ve Got Secrets by The Truckload

Had a guy who was sent in because his family was "concerned" about him because he was getting into a lot of physical altercations. Appointment with the patient was normal, he was able to talk himself out of most issues that his family stated were occurring. Then, as we were ending, he said he "had to pick up his other truck from the shop."

I then asked, "Oh, you own two trucks?" He replied, "I own five trucks...." The guy was military, and only made $60-70k a year. Come to find out he had Bipolar disorder...and in his manic episodes he would take out a large loan to buy a new truck. He had almost $120k in debt in just trucks! If it wasn't for that last part of him mentioning he was getting his truck, this whole thing could have gone differently.

I would have sent him home and probably never known he had a psychiatric issue...

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31. Not “Up” for Telling the Truth

I'm a doctor. These stories are from a few years ago when I saw patients. I’m a medical intern, working the ED. Dude comes in with a heart attack. That part's clear as day. Gonna be medically managed, procedure in the morning. I'm about to queue up some nitropaste—it's a cream you put on skin that helps get blood flow to the heart—as my resident had seen him first and said it was ok, and I went through the contraindications as it was just habit at this point...one of them is recent Viagra use.

Patient had said no to recent Viagra to my resident when his wife was there. He said yes to me when I asked when his wife wasn't there...he wasn't using it with his wife. Nitropaste was avoided, blood pressure stayed ok, coronary got stented in the morning, discharged the next day. Protip: while you toss the family out to do the rectal exam, ask all the questions they won't answer honestly.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

32. We’ve Struck Oil (and A Dietary Hazzard)

Not a doctor, but many years ago I was working as an assistant to an occupational therapist. We got a call out to help mobilize a woman who had been morbidly obese and was told to lose weight. We learned from the daughter she had GAINED weight, but her mother would refuse to come clean on what she was eating. All the daughter knew was that her mother may have been eating deep-fried food due to the vast amounts of cooking oil she found in the pantry.

When we arrived, she had gained an extra six kilos but insisted she had lost weight. She did not look it. Before we began mobilizing her and check her living room for trip hazards (she also had horrendous knees), we took a look at the pantry. Olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, any kind of common cooking oil you can find off a supermarket shelf, she had it.

A vast stockpile of oil. We asked what she was frying with the oil. She insisted that she wasn't frying anything and that she was eating healthy since the oils she used were "healthy." We had to explain to her that oils are still fatty and will still contribute to weight gain. After a bit of poking around the pantry, I noticed that for the amount of oil she had, she had very little in food that could be traditionally fried. She also had little in other foodstuffs that could explain the obesity.

I brought it up with the therapist and the therapist then demanded the truth. We couldn't provide complete healthcare until we knew everything. She admitted that she thought healthy oils would help her lose weight and suppress the appetite, so she had taken to drinking the bottles of oil instead of food whenever she got hungry.

Needless to say, we disposed of most of the bottle of oil and set her up for a home visit with a dietitian.

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33. Maybe He’s Born With It, Maybe It’s Severe Organ Failure

Admitted a baby my intern year that had transferred to our facility for persistent vomiting following a surgery on a part of the intestinal tract. The transferring facility had wanted us to start the baby on a form of intravenous nutrition and offhandedly mentioned some low-grade laboratory abnormalities that they had attributed to the baby just having had surgery.

I go into the room in the middle of the night, the first representative of our medical team to meet the family, and in the process of gathering the history, ask the family what color the baby’s poop was. The family replied that it was white or gray and had been since birth and that they just thought that was how it should be. Record scratch. Big red flag.

We ultimately diagnosed the baby with a rare genetic disorder that required an organ transplant. I’ve kept up with this family, if only peripherally, over the years and the child is doing well. I’m reasonably well past my residency training and this was early on in my first year of training.

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34. Don’t Go Soft On Yourself

If you are a middle-aged+ gentleman and you have cardiac risk factors (diabetes, overweight etc.) and you develop erectile dysfunction, you should tell your doctor as there is some evidence that it is an early symptom of heart disease, possibly preceding a heart attack or stroke by three to five years. Far better to get on statins and blood pressure medication than just ignoring it or taking Viagra by yourself.

You can tell if it’s a circulatory cause as opposed to psychological if you stop getting morning erections and have difficulty maintaining/achieving an erection in your "alone fun time." A GP told me this during my primary care rotation (med student here). I assume she told me this for my learning and not that she thought I was likely an impotent chubby dude...

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35. Where There’s Smoke, There’s BS

I can literally smell the smoke on your clothes and breath, see the nicotine stains on your fingers, and you're trying to tell me you quit smoking 10 years ago?

Quit-smoking.Getty Images

36. A Do It Yourself Baby

Being pregnant and also a virgin. People actually believe women can get inseminated in a public pool or after someone else had sex in a jacuzzi, so they think they can get away with saying they've never had sex.

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37. Don’t Open This Pickle Jar

One of my lecturers told us a story of when he worked in ED, there was a man who refused to acknowledge or tell them how a jar got stuck in his rectum. They were taking him to the OR as it has created a vacuum seal and couldn’t be removed without shattering but realised his BSL (blood sugar level) was off the charts. Really, really high.

They were considering postponing the surgery to work out wtf was going on. When he ended up talking, he told them the jar was full of honey before it got lodged, and was rapidly absorbed by the rectum, causing the insane levels. What.

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38. Not a Follicle of Truth to This Story

Obligatory not a doctor, I’m a nurse. We had a patient come into the operating room for brain surgery. Probably a mid-50s guy with a nice head of light brown hair. Before a patient comes into the actual OR we ask them a series of questions, including whether they have any implants, jewelry, non-hospital clothes on, etc. Guy says no to all the questions.

After the patient gets put to sleep, the surgeon grabbed his hair to start shaving it off (because you know, brain surgery) and ALL HIS HAIR PEELED OFF BECAUSE HE WAS WEARING A WIG AND DIDN’T TELL US. We almost shaved his hairpiece because he wouldn’t admit to anyone that he wore it.

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39. Problems Run More Than Skin-Deep

Saw a patient during follow up for gynecological cancer. She said she felt great; exam was normal. She was relieved, but she was so anxious that it set off my medical spider-sense, so to speak. I decided to push a bit further, which led to this conversation.

Me: So, you said you felt good? Absolutely nothing else bothering you?

Her: Oh, you know, some small things, nothing having anything to do with this.

Me: Well, why don't you tell me anyway?

Her: Well...I kind of have this weird lump on my belly, a sweat gland or a greasy nodule or something. Doesn't really bother me, but I might get a dermatologist to have a look at it if it ever needs to be removed.

Me: Ah...I see. Could you show it to me?

She showed me, and I saw a skin metastasis, clear as day. Don't know how the story ended because I moved to different service immediately after, but if I had to guess, her life expectancy was probably measured in months.

Memorable Patient Experiences factsShutterstock

40. No Worming Your Way Out of This Excuse

Nurse here. Had parents bring their three-year-old son to the emergency department for one month of abdominal pain that kept getting worse. I ask all the routine questions for this complaint, lots of questions about his poop....is it bloody? Diarrhea? Mucous? When was his last bowel movement? Any changes in the stool? They deny any other concerning symptoms but abdominal pain.

We do bloodwork, ultrasound, X-ray. Everything comes back completely normal but the kid is intermittently screaming in pain, curled in a ball. Over the next five hours I continue to repeat the same questions, I asked repeatedly if there was anything else going on that they could think of...nope. The kid just doesn’t seem well, but we have no reason to keep him. We decide to watch him a little longer, let him eat. The kid eats a bunch, a PBJ, apple juice, crackers, popsicle, no pain so we decide to send them home.

I bring in the discharge paperwork and I’m about to start going over instructions and they dad goes, “You know...for the past three months he’s had A LOT of worms in his poop.” WORMS. Freaking worms. You spent 6+ hours denying worms. I literally just turned around and walked out of the room without saying a word. I was laughing almost to the point of tears.

Could not wait to tell my resident. Deworming medications, a load of wasted time, and they were on their way.

“I Called It” Moment FactsShutterstock

41. A Below-the-Deck Passenger

Did my Sub-I in a Level 1 Trauma ED a few years ago as a fourth year Med student. Homeless Guy with HepB, HepC, and HIV came in talking about a rash on his shoulder, how it hurt, had been pretty hot out and that was where he was slinging his bag on. Looked OK, figured it for a sweat rash (he was really in there for food), so was going to give him some cream and a sandwich and send him out the door.

Was about to leave when I looked at his chief complaint again and it also had “testicular pain,” so I asked him what was going on with his testicles. Lifts up the gown, and he has a tracking abscess through his scrotal skin and through one of his testicles. It was like a worm burrowing through his balls like it was an apple. “Oh, it’s ok I guess.”

Ended up calling urology and infectious disease, and the guy ended up leaving against medical advice because we were making him NPO (without food) in anticipation of surgery.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

42. Surely, There Are Cleaner Ways to Land a Date

On my surgery rotation as a med student, warning this is gross as heck.

Had a patient recovering from having parts of their bowel removed. As part of the recovery, their intestines weren’t completely connected, to let them heal better, so the intestines were connected to a little hole in the skin with a bag attached for the poop to go into, known as a colostomy bag. For reference, this woman was in her late 60s and over 230lbs.

I had to round on her every day. And every single day I’d walk into her lying in bed, absolutely covered in toxic gasoline smelling diarrhea (she also had C. Diff, a nasty bacteria that anyone in the hospital can identify by smell). And she would flirt with the residents and make casual conversation while we would clean the poop off of her and fix her ostomy bag.

One day, we walked up to the room and the chief resident walked in the room, immediately walked back out and closed the door behind him. Looked up to all of us following him and went, “she’s pleasuring herself covered in poop...” I really, really wish I was making this up. So yeah, she never admitted it, but obviously she was freaking tearing at all the tape covering her ostomy all night until she broke the seal and could get herself covered in poop again to get attention from the doctors.

I’ll answer some questions here:

At what hospitals do doctors have to deal with ostomies? Bad ones. What happened to the patient: no idea, after having her for around two weeks my rotation ended, and I was relieved of my duty. I can’t think of any more poop puns. I did not witness the pleasuring, but I believe that the exact term that was used was “freaking flicking her bean.”

She was not mentally disabled in any way and was completely alert and oriented. She wanted attention from the doctors (one resident in particular was her favorite) and figured out how to get it. Why didn’t the nurses deal with it? I have no idea; I was a brand new third-year student on my first rotation and just figured that’s the way things were. After the first week, the attending was even coming to the room to secure the ostomy since it kept “coming undone.” Dunno where this is coming from that people are saying only nurses deal with ostomies.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

Sources: ,

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