December 1, 2023 | Kaddy Gibson

These Patients Need A Cure For Idiocy

There’s a reason doctors spend so many years honing their skills in med school, but some people still think they know better than the pros. Whether they’re ignoring health issues or taking matters into their own hands, boneheaded patients always prove that human stupidity is endless. 

1. Sugar-Free Diet

A patient of mine, who is diagnosed with diabetes, had an unusually high blood glucose level of 1250. He told me, "I'm feeling hungry, is it possible for me to eat?" To which I carefully responded, "Actually sir, your sugar level is remarkably high, we need to handle that before we think about food". The patient then requested a drink. 

I proposed water—and his response threw me for a loop. He suggested something sugar-free "like juice". 

Nurses can't believePexels

2. Who’s Your Daddy?

A mom asked for a maternity test for her kid. You heard that right. No, not a paternity test, but a maternity test. She believed her spouse inserted another woman's egg into her while she was asleep.

Why Would You Say ThatWikimedia Commons

3. Waiting For The Tooth Fairy

I work as a dental nurse and I'll never forget this one patient, a woman in her 30s, who visited the affordable emergency dental clinic where I was stationed. Her teeth were in BIG trouble—cracked, nearly pitch black. Even the simple act of her tongue brushing against her vibrant red, swollen gums would cause them to bleed. 

She was in urgent need of multiple sessions with a hygienist for scaling and debridement. Our X-ray scan showed this woman had all of her wisdom teeth intact and that she had 10 fillings. She would need root canal treatments to salvage as many teeth as possible, and we'd need to pull at least three out. 

Honestly, given the state of her oral health, I wouldn't be shocked if she required even more work. So, I sat her down, walked her through the complete situation, and gave her the standard crash course in proper dental hygiene.

When I asked if she had any questions, she casually remarked, "It’s okay if I lose this set of teeth, my others will come through". The dentist and I exchanged a long glance, completely taken aback. We were speechless. I could not come up with a single response to her remark.

Weirdest House CallsUnsplash

4. Old Habits Die Hard

This woman was seriously overweight and had already lost one leg due to diabetes. In the general medical wards, she and her family would frequently eat a lot of fast food. She lacked the strength to lift her own chest high enough, which eventually led to her suffering from respiratory failure, and she was transferred to the ICU to be put on a ventilator.

Once we were finally able to take her off the ventilator and remove the tube, her very first words were jaw-dropping: "Can I get some fried chicken from the cafeteria?"

Awkward Moments FactsShutterstock


5. The Name Game

Here's a typical story from my experience. I work in a pediatric intensive care unit, and during my initial job phase, we had this little boy who had just undergone minor surgery. He was recovering well with the expectation of being shifted to a general unit the following day. However, his mom was insistent about sedating him with medication because she was convinced he was in pain.

The boy denied feeling any pain, and all of his vital signs, along with his behavior, didn't suggest that he was hiding any discomfort. He was on a regime of oral opiates and Tylenol, but his mom insisted on additional IV medication. 

When her efforts made no progress since the boy maintained that he wasn't in pain, she requested a medicine to make him sleep through the night. "Our best option might be some Benadryl," suggested the nurse. The mother was instantly outraged. 

She demanded to see a doctor, accusing the nurse of neglect and arguing that we were mistreating her son. All the while, the boy was playing his Xbox, exasperatingly assuring his mom that he was fine. The doctor on duty, a wonderfully skilled and patient man, was growing tired of the mom's behavior. 

He met her with a smile, patiently inquiring about her concerns. When she complained about the nurse's Benadryl suggestion, he simply nodded and proposed, "What about Diphenhydramine? Have you ever tried it? It's an effective sleep aid". For context, Benadryl is simply the brand name for Diphenhydramine—they're identical.

The mom's demeanor changed as she excitedly agreed to trying "Difanhymeen". Amid this, the nurse at the bedside was doing her best not to burst out laughing. She managed, "I'll fetch that for you," before escaping to the locked medication room to finally release her laughter. And so, the boy was given his Diphenhydramine.

Medical Practices factsPixabay

6. Contagion

A patient in their 20s shows up at the emergency room. The main reason for their visit is listed as "private". This sure is intriguing. On entering the room, it's clear he's upset. He shares his experience with me: He had an intimate encounter with a woman, and they didn't use any protection. 

Afterwards, he spotted a "plastic device on her body". She explained it was an insulin pump because she has diabetes, and he was horrified. Without delay, he came to us wanting to get tested for diabetes.

Unprofessional Doctors FactsPexels

7. Mr. Clean

Once, while I was at work, I thought I was having a heart attack. So, I decided to drive myself to the emergency room. They quickly hooked me up to an EEG/EKG machine right in the hallway, skipping the usual triage process. I was then escorted to a bed separated by curtains from five other patients.

One of these other patients was a 53-year-old man who kept complaining about a "burning feeling down below". Curiosity piqued, several people started asking him questions. He wasn't quiet about it either. The question everyone seemed to focus on was, "Did you use some sort of chemical on it?"

Each time he'd respond with a vague, "Well... I might have used something". Finally, after the fifth nurse and a doctor asked him, he confessed the shocking truth: he had used bleach! He confessed he had applied bleach DIRECTLY DOWN THERE as a bizarre method of STI prevention.

There was a stunned silence. The nurse then asked him why he did it and whether this was his routine every time he got intimate. His reply was even stranger. He said he did it to keep clean. But weirdly enough, he wasn't actually being intimate with anyone else. 

He had applied bleach after some self-indulgence, under the mistaken notion that he could give himself an infection. The nurse, maintaining her professionalism, had to explain that unless he was with another person, the chances of him getting an STI were virtually non-existent. 

She also recommended the good old method of soap and water for cleanliness in the future. I was lying there, making a horrified expression just like that in Edvard Munch's The Scream, and my wife's face echoed mine. Soon after, the man was moved to another area, probably to receive treatment.

Needless to say, the shock stayed with us. We weren't even able to discuss what we had overheard until we left the hospital four hours later.

Everyday mistakes FactsShutterstock

8. Jitterbug

A new Marine came to my battalion and informed my medical officer that she was allergic to epinephrine. I confronted her, quite surprised, asking her about the details of this allergy: "Staff Sergeant, your record shows an allergy to epinephrine, is this correct?" 

"Yes," she replied, "the dentist I previously saw administered epinephrine, after which I had a negative reaction". This sparked my curiosity, "Is that so? Could you please elaborate on the reaction?" She explained that it made her feel shaky. 

However, that's not the result of an allergy; thus I responded, "No. No, you aren't allergic to epi". She defended herself by saying her dentist diagnosed her allergic reaction. I sharply replied, "I find that hard to believe. Feeling shaky is a typical side effect of epinephrine. It's essentially adrenaline".

"So? It's documented in my record," she retorted. I answered, "Yes, but it shouldn't be". She questioned why. I pointedly responded, "Being allergic to adrenaline is impossible. You wouldn't survive in the womb. Your body produces it. Naturally".

Not In Medical School Not In Medical School Not In Medical SchoolShutterstock

9. Crossed Wires

I experienced a rather peculiar conversation with one of the patients after noticing that her medical chart indicated she had diabetes. I casually asked her if she was dealing with any health issues and she confidently said no. To reconfirm, I asked, "Really? So, you're saying no doctor has ever told you about any disease?" 

Again, she responded with a firm "No". Wondering, I posed another question, "So, what medications are you on?" She, quite nonchalantly, answered, "Insulin... for my diabetes".

Most Cringey Slip-Ups FactsShutterstock


Sign up to our newsletter.

History’s most fascinating stories and darkest secrets, delivered to your inbox daily. Making distraction rewarding since 2017.

Thank you!
Error, please try again.

10. A Sticky Situation

We were conducting a test, specifically an auditory brainstem response test, on a child with significant developmental delays. On the very top of the chart, in bright red letters, it was clearly identified as "ADHESIVE ALLERGY". Now, the test requires us to use adhesive electrodes, causing a bit of a dilemma. 

Moreover, this wasn't the kid's first test, hence my curiosity about how we'd handled this situation previously. I decided to have a conversation with the child's mother to understand her perspective. Her response made my eye twitch. It was, "I simply don't like the appearance of his skin once the tape is removed". 

After this, I made my decision to simply walk away.

Random factsPublic Domain Pictures


11. Time To Celebrate

During my pregnancy, I had to stop working and decided to sign up for vouchers at the WIC office. A woman was ahead of me in line and when asked if her newborn was exclusively breasting, she responded, "Yes. Except for cake and ice cream". The staff informed her that babies under six months should only consume breastmilk or formula.

You won't believe it, but her response was, "But it was her BIRTHDAY. She had to have cake and ice cream!" 

Wedding DramaPexels

12. The Undertaker

A medical professional shared this story. He noticed a strange pattern—every patient referred by a specific doctor seemed extremely anxious during their MRI procedures. Sure, some patients have a fear of enclosed spaces, but this was every single patient. That's definitely unusual. 

So, he decided to get in touch with the referring doctor and asked her about the way she was explaining the MRI process to her patients. Her response provided clarity. She said, "I let them know that an MRI could feel like being closed in a casket and underground".

Done For MomentsPexels

13. Playing Catch-Up

One of the folks I'm taking care of believed he was on the mend, so he stopped taking his prescribed pills last week. However, when he began to feel unwell once more, he decided to make up for lost time. He ended up taking an entire week's dosage—all at once.

Medical Blunders factsPexels

14. Three Snickers A Day Keeps The Doctors...Not Away

While working in an outpatient clinic, a regular patient of mine visited for a routine checkup. She struggled with obesity and shared with me that she's been eating three Snickers bars every day because she heard chocolate was good for the heart. Bless her.

During that same day, another patient told me she never got her vaccinations. I naturally asked her for her reasons. She explained that the last flu shot she got made her heart stop. Initially, I thought it could be an allergic reaction even though she was not hospitalized or received any medical attention. 

She also had a light swelling around her ankles, which could be a symptom of various conditions. But then I asked her how her heart was which she insisted it was still not beating.

Worst Teachers factsPixabay

15. Invincible

As long as I can recall, my grandpa has been living with diabetes, for about twenty years or so. Despite this, he hasn't altered his diet in the slightest. He's still a huge fan of caramel sweets, enjoys salty ham hocks with relish, and drinks excessively. So far, he's had half his right leg and left foot amputated. 

Bafflingly, my grandparents can't seem to connect the dots on the cause. No amount of reasoning can convince them that his eating regimen needs a radical makeover. While he was in the hospital for his latest surgery, grandma snuck in a saltshaker to season all his meals. 

His doctor had prescribed a low-sodium dietary plan, but grandpa responded, "I can't survive on that". Honestly, it's quite miraculous he's made it through all these years.

Ancient Civilizations FactsPixabay

16. Baby On Board!

"Wait a sec," my patient dismissively said, "Are you talking about second-hand smoke? Nah, that's not a real thing. The baby won't be affected". But that wasn't the worst part.

About sixty minutes later, he insists, "Nope, my fiancée and I don't plan on giving our little girl any vaccines, the Vitamin K shot, antibiotic eye ointment, or PKU testing. It's all dangerous stuff. The needle would cause her more harm than a simple cold would without such toxins".

After this, he took his newborn baby and future wife home—and honestly, I can only pray for them at this point.

From Crush To Disgust FactsShutterstock


17. The Repeat Offender

During my ER days, a man once came in with a bullet hole injury in his leg. It was relatively minor, having avoided the big arteries and nerves in his limb. We always have to report these kinds of wounds, so I asked him about the circumstances. I was shocked at his outrageous tale. 

He was angry at his neighbor for some petty issue, so he decided to pound on their door with a hammer. Answering the door was his neighbor, brandishing a rifle, and warning him to beat it or he'd pull the trigger. The man then informs me, "I didn't think he'd go through with it again!" Yes, "AGAIN". 

Apparently, this wasn't their initial conflict. They had a similar dispute last year resulting in the neighbor opening fire. I can only guess that the neighbor might have been in the right, as he hadn't been taken in by the authorities.

I found it unbelievable that this man dared return to the home of someone who had done this to him before, provoked him with a hammer, and was shocked that the same thing happened a second time. Remarkably, the neighbor even had the decency to call an ambulance for this reckless individual.

He was the most foolish person I've ever come across.

Nightmare RoommatesShutterstock

18. Freshening Up

One of my clients gave me a ring, sounding pretty concerned. They said, "You know those festive wall plug-in air fresheners? Are they harmful?" I responded with, "Harmful in what way?" They replied, "My toddler managed to open one up and drank some of its liquid. To see if it was dangerous, I tasted some as well. Now, my mouth is on fire". Mission achieved.

Dumbest Patient FactsShutterstock

19. It’s Taco Tuesday

The person was seriously ill, hooked up to a breathing machine, and had a tube in their throat. They were also receiving strong medicines to control their blood pressure. Their loved ones arrived with a load of tacos. 

When I told them that the patient was being fed through a tube connected to a life support machine and therefore couldn't eat, they hesitated before asking the dumbest question imaginable, "But can we slide the tacos down that tube?"

They gestured towards the breathing tube. In the area where I live, people often believe food is a sign of love and has the power to heal.

Disaster Dinners FactsUnsplash

20. Sniff Test

My stepdad is a pulmonologist, and once a man visited his clinic having breathing issues. After taking an x-ray, the doctors found what looked like a buildup of calcium. Whilst waiting to see the doctors again, they saw him inhale a substance. 

When asked, he shared that it was a homemade remedy he bought online for his cough, which cost him $200. He was skeptical of doctors, insinuating that they usually overprescribe medication to earn more money, and he believed that this could result in harm. The only reason he showed up at the clinic was under his wife's insistence. 

Tracing the element, they suspected it could be mixed with illicit substances, so they decided to test it. Turns out, it was Plaster of Paris, which his wife confessed he'd been using as a treatment for his cough for the past three months. The seller had told him he could obtain relief from his cough by mixing the plaster into his water.

However, this patient thought he could get faster results by directly inhaling it.

Strangest thing patient saidShutterstock

21. Suitable Living Arrangements

One evening while I was working as a paramedic, we got an emergency call about someone having trouble breathing. When we got there, we made a disturbing discovery.

We saw a woman sitting on her lounge floor with no clothes on, panting heavily. Apparently, she had asthma triggered by heat and thought that undressing would give her some relief. 

Adding to the chaos, her home was filled with 15 wandering cats, and to top it all off, she had been neglecting to refresh her asthma inhaler medication for quite a while.

Water FactsFlickr

22. The Patient Is Always Right

There is one patient who particularly comes to mind. This guy stubbornly insisted, "I can light up while using oxygen. I inhale smoke from my mouth and take in oxygen through my nose. I know what I'm doing". Alright then, pal.

Disturbing homesShutterstock


23. Good Intentions

We received a distress call about an incident with a blade. Not the type of call we ever hope for, but our response usually depends on the weapon used and where the injury occurred. This particular call was related to a dicey transaction that had taken a dark turn, resulting in a fellow being surreptitiously slashed in the leg. 

The wounded man removed the balde, but his friend had read or been told not to take out a knife after being stabbed, so he reinserted it back into the unfortunate man's leg.

Disturbing studentsPexels

24. Sunkissed

The most astonishing thing I've encountered was a story about a young man, between 20 to 22 years from a disadvantaged, uneducated background. The young man was suffering from severe tonsillitis, but stubbornly declined to take any medication. He strongly believed he could cure it by "biting the sun". 

Simply put, around noon each day, he would gaze at the sun, open his mouth wide open and "bite" it, hoping the sun's rays would "burn" off his inflamed tonsils. He was confident that this routine, practiced over a few weeks, would bring him back to health. If this strange method failed, plan B was to repeat the whole process under a full moon at night.

Tennessee WilliamsShutterstock

25. Ignorance Is Bliss

Hey, let's talk about a recent experience I had. I work as an optician, and we recently had a patient who was not keen on letting us use our tonometer. Now, a tonometer is crucial for testing the interior pressure of the eyes to detect any signs of glaucoma. You know it as the "puff machine".

But our patient was adamant that the machine itself causes glaucoma. He told us his father had gone for an eye exam, used the machine, and later ended up with glaucoma. Not just that, his uncle and brother faced the same circumstances. No indications of glaucoma before using the machine, but diagnosed with it afterwards.

Here is something crucial to remember: Glaucoma doesn't show any symptoms until your vision starts deteriorating. But our patient, who clearly has a strong family history of glaucoma, refused to get tested.

Doctors Knew Lying FactsShutterstock

26. For External Use Only

I used to work at a clinic that managed pain. In our fight against addiction, we often recommended a medicinal cream to many patients. It really resembled your typical sunscreen. The nurse would take time to demonstrate to patients the correct way to apply it to their skin. She used straightforward, simple words and performed the cream application process repeatedly.

But, interestingly enough, we'd occasionally have patients grumble about their cream having a "bad taste".

Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

27. A New Scientific Discovery

I'm an Emergency Room doctor. One night, a 20-something guy and his girlfriend rushed into my ER at 2 am, in a sheer panic, exclaiming, "Something ripped his throat open!" To my surprise, he seemed okay. No bleeding, normal breathing. To reassure him, I had him open his mouth wide. Saw nothing unusual. 

To not lose his trust, I examined him once more—something must have startled them. Despite my scrutiny, nothing seemed amiss with the guy’s throat. Eventually, I reassured him, “Everything looks standard. Can you describe what you're seeing or feeling?” He retorts, "I can't feel anything, but LOOK, IT'S RIGHT THERE!" 

Now, I was baffled. I kept searching. Then it suddenly dawned on me: It was his uvula. This young man, till 20, had never noticed his uvula before. His girlfriend shared his shock. Though initially skeptical when I explained it was perfectly normal, they were in awe after I showed the young woman's uvula was the same. It was priceless. 

Just another day on the job, another life "saved" in the ER.

Awkward Visits To The Doctor factsPikrepo

28. The Handyman

It appears that using cement as a homemade solution for a leg cast isn't the wisest choice. Surprise, surprise, the chemicals in the cement can actually harm and erode your skin. One individual found this out the hard way, sadly turning septic and coming perilously close to losing his life before he thought to seek professional medical help.

Quite often, it's emergency medicine that saves the day, helping those who might have made less than brilliant decisions.

Historical Artifacts FactsPixabay

29. Double Dipping

"My patient came in, demanding an STI test," he told me. "I've been with two different partners without cleaning myself up in between". I wanted to know if he knew about any STIs, either in him or his partners. His response? "No, they're clean. But isn't that how you contract them?" 

Unsure, I asked, "Pardon?" He continued, saying, "Isn't that how you catch STIs, by not freshening up between partners?" I had to stop myself from reacting negatively. "Actually, no. They'd need to be already infected...You should always use protection...That's not exactly good hygiene," I told him.

Weird House Rules FactsPiqsels

30. Recipe For Disaster

In the middle of a scorching July heatwave, one patient showed up at the emergency room. He was suffering from intense vomiting, so I had to get him on an IV drip for hydration. When I inquired about his recent meals, nothing seemed unusual. Several hours later, he flagged me down to add: "Actually, Doctor, I did eat some chicken and rice earlier".

He continued to explain, "My girlfriend whipped it up yesterday and we left it in the pan on our stove until this afternoon. Could that be making me sick?" With a sigh, I responded, "I believe so". We ended up having a brief discussion about the importance of proper food safety.

Rude WaiterWikimedia Commons

31. You Are What You Eat

Back when I was studying medicine, I came across a patient who confessed to drinking more than 10 cups of tea daily. He would load each cup with six spoons of sugar because he was "thirsty". Likewise, he consumed six heavily-buttered bacon sandwiches throughout the day, justifying it with the need "for energy". This was his daily routine, nothing more, nothing less.

This same guy couldn't fathom why his heart condition wasn't improving, why he was gaining weight, and why his blood sugar levels were sky high, almost to the point of diabetes.

saucer and teacupPixabay

32. Squeaky Clean

There was a young lady who ended up in the ER after someone spilled drinks on her during a party. She slipped away to the restroom with the intention of freshening up, but unfortunately, there weren't any traditional cleaning items, such as sponges. Left with no other choices, she decided to use the only available tool—steel wool—and carefully cleaned her chest with it.

Smart People Stupid FactsShutterstock

33. Traffic Jam

I cared for an elderly gentleman who, despite being super nice, was evidently suffering from his long-term addiction to drinking. When he came to me, his main issue was, "Every time I drink, I end up throwing it up within minutes". 

As it turned out, he hadn't been eating actual food in months, surviving solely on liquids, and hadn't had a bowel movement in over two weeks. But it only became a significant problem for him when he couldn't drink anymore. It turned out he had a large tumor blocking the end of his left colon, causing a build-up all the way to his stomach—the worst I'd ever seen. 

This was why he couldn't keep down any drinks, there simply wasn't any room left. I resolved this by performing a colostomy, and he improved enough to leave the hospital. Shockingly, he declined chemotherapy. I assumed he would return home to eventually succumb to his illness, yet about a year later, he returned with an almost identical problem. 

This time, however, his condition shocked me to my core. His ostomy had retracted into his abdomen and his skin was nearly closed over it entirely. He had a minuscule opening that he was using for bowel movements. I was completely at a loss, as were my more experienced colleagues, yet our patient was unperturbed. 

He merely requested we fix it so he could continue to drink at home. And, we did just that. I haven't seen him since, but there's a part of me that hopes he's still somehow out there, fighting off his cancer with his favorite drink, just ignoring the inevitability of his condition.

Sat next to in a planePixabay

34. All The Colors Of The Rainbow

A woman came in with a toenail fungus that made her nails dark and caused them to come loose. Despite the doctor's advice, she didn't want any treatment. "I'm using essential oils to deal with this," she said. "No need for chemicals or removing my nails. I just came here because my husband insisted".

Her husband mentioned that she had been dealing with this issue for a year. During that time, her nails had transformed into various colors, ranging from yellow to black.

Janis Joplin FactsPixabay

35. A Bright Idea

Just a little while back, this lady turned up complaining about having dry eyes. I was curious about what she was doing to treat it because I could catch a whiff of Vick's Vaporub from the hallway and her eyes were incredibly red. It turns out, she was using Vick's Vaporub. 

I wanted to know the amount she was using and her method of application. What she did next astounded me—she took the jar and started smearing the rub directly into her eyes.

Strange Historical Beauty Practices factsPexels

36. The Smell Of Defeat

During my internship at the emergency room, I encountered my fair share of unusual cases—it was a small town, after all. Once, the ER was filled with an unbearable and indescribable stench. Wondering about the source, I asked a nearby nurse, and he guessed someone might have had an accident.

The main event took me by surprise though. As a doctor got ready to enter one room, I didn't anticipate what would happen next. On opening the room's door, the sickening smell hit me hard. It was a struggle to maintain my professional demeanor. I noticed a patient with his leg heavily bandaged. 

The doctor asked him to remove the bandage, revealing a severe case of gangrene from the man's foot halfway up his thigh. This, unfortunately, was the source of the smell—decaying flesh. And the cause of such an extreme condition? "My ATV caught fire six months ago," said the patient.

Dodged a bulletPxfuel

37. Haunted

There was this one time when I was working as an ER nurse, and I encountered a pregnant woman complaining about some stomach pain. We examined her but couldn't detect any serious conditions, nor pinpoint the exact problem. I suggested it might just be indigestion, but she disagreed. 

"I think I've found the cause," she told me, having looked at her ultrasound image. Curious, I asked her what she thought it was. I wasn't ready for her reply. She confidently pointed to a portion of the ultrasound, asserting , "Look at this part! There's clearly a demon-face here! That's what's giving me this pain". 

I had to press my lips together hard to keep from laughing out loud for the rest of our chat. Sorry, ma'am, we don't make diagnoses of "demon-face" here at the ER.

Doctor's Second OpinionShutterstock

38. Sweet Tooth

I once spent a shift at the emergency room, and a woman in her thirties walked in close to midnight. She was gripped by stomach pain. After answering a barrage of questions from the doctor, she let slip that she'd devoured half a bottle of gummy vitamins. 

When the doctor inquired why she did it, she responded that she craved something sweet upon waking and couldn't locate any desserts around. But guess what? She even carried the vitamin bottle to the ER and kept munching them down until a nurse had to take them away. 

As part of standard procedure, Poison Control needed to be informed. They were utterly surprised, finding it hard to imagine that the report concerned an adult patient.

Medical MistakesShutterstock

39. Monkey See, Monkey Do

Let me tell you about a surgeon friend of mine, Dan, who works at my local hospital, mainly handling emergency cases and surgeries. One beautifully sunny day in July, Dan got a call about an incoming ambulance. The patient had severe cuts on his left hand and several missing fingers.

They rushed the patient into the operating room, but sadly, they couldn't save his fingers. The index, middle, and ring fingers were severed right at the knuckle. All Dan could do was clean the wounds and stitch them up. Once the patient woke up, Dan began working out what had happened.

As it turns out, the man was doing some gardening and thought he could level the top of his hedge by lifting his lawnmower above it. It seemed like a clever plan, for a moment, until the weight shifted, and the poor man's fingers got trapped in the blades. As striking as this story is, it doesn't stop there...

Fast forward around three hours, and Dan got news of another ambulance enroute. The incoming patient also had severe wounds on the hand and missing fingers. It was an uncannily similar case to the previous one. Same fingers were gone and beyond repair. After patching this patient up, Dan found out the backstory.

The second patient was on his way home from work when he noticed someone using a lawn mower to trim their hedges. Thinking it was a fantastic idea, he thought he'd give it a go as well. And, well, I bet you can guess what happened. The takeaway from these tales is simple: Never try to cut your hedges with a lawn mower.

Smart People Stupid FactsFlickr

40. Anatomy Lesson

Back when I worked as a medical assistant, we had a patient walk in with a big toe suffering from gangrene. As the doctor examined him, he mentioned that amputation seemed the most likely course of action. The doctor then briefly stepped out of the room.

Meanwhile, the patient, confused yet hopeful, approached the nurse's station and asked us, genuinely curious, "So, my toe will regrow, similar to a liver, right?" I responded gently, "Um, that's not typically how it works". He paused, lost in thought for a moment before making his way back to his room.

Workplace Suck-Ups FactsShutterstock

41. Fun In The Sun

A patient of my stepdad coordinated a run for asthma sufferers, covering a span of three kilometers (or two miles). They frequently left informational leaflets both in the clinic's restroom and waiting space, plus they made a post on the clinic's Facebook page. The event fell during an intensely hot and sticky period in August, yet the attendance was still impressive.

Among the 30 asthmatic participants that turned up, one third of them—the event planner included—landed in the Emergency Room less than sixty minutes into the run.

Woke Up In A HospitalPexels

42. A Family Affair

I'm a registered nurse, and I distinctly remember this unique case where I had to admit this large gentleman to the hospital. His weight was around 181 kg (400 lbs), and he dealt with a host of health issues—diabetes, heart disease, and a few others. 

He had an entourage of 10 family members crammed into his hospital room as I reviewed some admissions queries with him on the computer. Soon enough, he said he was experiencing thirst and urgently needed a drink. I promptly dialed the nurse assistant for some iced water. 

However, as I was relaying the request, his entire family interjected with a resounding, "NO! HE CAN’T HAVE WATER! HE'S ALLERGIC TO IT!" Now, that was certainly an unexpected complication. As it turns out, the man had forsaken water for Sprite and sweet tea for years on account of his alleged "water allergy". 

Moreover, his wife had an intriguing question—"Where will we all sleep?" For you see, all ten family members had plans to lodge at the hospital with him. Stories like these are just too unique to make up.

True Medical Plot TwistsPexels

43. Home Remedies

My buddy works as a pediatrician in a countryside hospital. One day, a couple brought their kid in, plagued with lice. It was bad enough that you could actually see the tiny insects scuttling about on the child's clothes as well. As the medical team inspected the kid and decided the next best steps, they stumbled upon a grim find.

The little one was dusted in a white substance and gave off a strong chemical odor. Curious about the puzzling smell and powder, they asked the parents. Almost nonchalantly, Mom and Dad revealed it was Sevin Powder mixed with bug repellent they use for their farm dogs. Pretty shocked, they sent a call through to child protection services.

Bizarre Medical Practices factsGetty Images

44. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

I assist at an optician's office, and an event happened just before the school season kicked in. A woman came in with her son for his initial eye check-up. It's routine for parents, even though her son was slightly older for a first-time check-up, but it's never too late. The mom had a good command of language and seemed pretty smart.

Everything ran smoothly. The optometrist carried out the examination and found the boy needed glasses. The optometrist tried to help the mother understand that her son is nearsighted, meaning he can't see anything clearly beyond five feet. Hence, he emphasized the importance of glasses especially for school.

However, for some reason, this set off the mom. She erupted at the optometrist. She was insistent that her son didn't need glasses and accused the doctor of being more interested in selling glasses. She defended her decision, mentioning she only came for an eye check-up because a school document needed completion.

She concluded her rant by accusing doctors of being fraudsters pushing needless treatments and meds. The doctor attempted to pacify her. He reassured her he wanted to help her son and suggested she could always seek a second opinion. He handed her the prescription and bid them goodbye.

Four months on, she asked for a repeat of her son's prescription. The lady admitted her son flunked all his midterm exams because he was unable to read the blackboard in his classes due to his vision and needed his glasses.

People SuckWikimedia Commons

45. Harder Than Stone

A person popped in, sharing they couldn't flex their knee. My first step was to request they take off their pants for me to check the leg. As soon as the pants came off, it was crystal clear why their knee wasn't moving—it was encased in plaster cast. 

Glancing at the paper trail, it was clear we had written multiple letters, coaxing them to make an appointment to get this cast taken off. However, they never swung by any of our outpatient clinics, so hospital staff guessed that they must have handled the cast removal on their own. I'm puzzled why he didn't get rid of it sooner.

Doctors not normalShutterstock

46. Welcome To The Twilight Zone

As an authorized nurse in the emergency department, a young man comes in displaying several abscesses scattered throughout his body. He shares with us his recent attempt to conceive by injecting his partner's sperm. He regrets not following his initial idea.

His initial idea? He thought about testing the procedure on his dog. After psychiatric evaluation, he is deemed stable. Later, he's moved to our ward to begin treatment with intravenous antibiotics. It's a perplexing situation, but that's a typical day for us.

Medical Blunders factsShutterstock

47. Fumbling In The Dark

We once had a cataract patient who claimed our eye doctor was not up to the mark. She denied having cataracts, reasoning she didn't own any cats. Additionally, another patient refused to accept our diagnosis of severe blindness. He accused us of deception, just to sell him eyewear. However, that was far from the truth.

The eye test he underwent was obligated by the government, and we had no authority to use it to push sales. The patient's train of thought went like this: He hadn't taken a vision test in 17 long years, so there was no way he would need glasses now. After hearing this, the man hopped back into his car and drove away. 

Sending our paperwork off to the authorities never felt more urgent.

Ruined Court Cases FactsShutterstock

48. Dr. Google

One day, a gentleman came into the office with heaps of paperwork he'd printed from the web. He rather forcefully presented the papers, saying, “This is my diagnosis". His symptoms included a bloated abdomen, a nauseous feeling, episodes of vomiting, diarrhea, and even blood in his stool, topped off with a fever. 

It was a real shopping list of issues. He was adamant that he was suffering from Schistosomiasis and was pretty irritable about the fact, as if our efforts to help were pointless because he'd already diagnosed himself. So, to clarify, I asked him, “Did you recently return from Africa?" His response was unexpected.

“Africa? I haven’t stepped foot in Africa. Why on earth would I be in Africa?” To this, I explained that Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection usually picked up while swimming in the Nile River, or other rivers located in other developing areas, such as Southeast Asia.

Clearly, this revelation ruffled his feathers. He was upset, thinking I was trying to mock him. Eventually, he was examined and his diagnosis was gastroenteritis, commonly referred to as stomach flu. As for the bloody stools, they were due to hemorrhoids.

Issa Rae FactsShutterstock

49. Have You Seen The Gingerbread Man?

A client walked into the room, drawing breaths through his wide-open mouth. His breaths were heard, much like someone hungrily slurping up the last few drops of a drink through a straw. It appeared that the youngster had accepted a dare from his mother's boyfriend to snort a substantial amount of cinnamon—250 grams, to be precise.

In an effort to clear up the mess, he attempted to inhale water. As a result, his nasal mucus took on the consistency of dough. His symptoms were further complicated by a cold he had caught. As a doctor, I managed to refrain from making any offensive comments about their collective intelligence.

Viral Trends And Challenges factsShutterstock

50. Charity Is A Virtue

Within the initial three weeks of my first year in dental school, our cohort had the opportunity to participate in a Mission of Mercy trip. This meant that dental professionals all over the state generously offered their services free of charge. 

The services provided vary from basic cleanings to more complex services like root canals and flippers. But keep in mind, I only had a minimal dental knowledge at that point. During this event, I was aiding a particular patient alongside a dentist. 

The patient was rather boastful about never brushing or flossing his teeth, and somehow still maintaining a good oral health. Truth be told, their dental hygiene was anything but good. Their breath had an unpleasant odor that reminded me of decayed meat and singed hair. 

When discussing his daily dietary habits, he mentioned a menu filled with McDonald's food and a lot of PBR. When we finally started looking into his dental issue, it was clear that his teeth were either decayed or on the threshold of decay. 

As we tried to explain his situation, he went into a denial mode, eventually accusing the dentist of making up the diagnosis. His argument was that he was in need of nothing more than a basic cleaning. Despite our efforts to convince him about the reality of his oral health, he remained adamant.

In the end, he left the place in a huff, accusing the whole company of being a corporate moneymaking scheme, even though absolutely no fee was involved for him.

Brontë Sisters FactsFlickr,Omgdilara

51. Out Of Whack In The Outback

I'm a nurse in a primary healthcare setting. The patients that frustrate me the most are the ones who come in for simple procedures, such as a blood test or bandage change, and just as they are about to leave, throw in an additional request. 

They might ask, "Could you take a look at this?", "I need a refill on my prescription," or "I've been experiencing chest pain since early this morning". We once had this tenacious elderly gentleman who lived by himself in the woods and would barely come for check-ups. 

He was a typical Aussie with his laid back "No worries, mate" outlook. So, one day, he drops by for some prescriptions, and on his way out nonchalantly mentions, "By the way, there's something on my back. Could you check it out?" Well, alright then. The doctor sent him to me in the treatment room. I had no clue what I was in for.

He lifts his shirt to reveal what was, without a doubt, the largest fungating cancer I've seen. If you want to see what that looks like, you can Google it—if you're up for it. This mass was protruding, leaking, and appeared similar to a rotten cauliflower. 

It was approximately the size of two clenched fists together and was haphazardly covered with some Band-Aids and toilet paper. The doctor and I exchanged looks of absolute distress. We immediately referred him to a specialist. 

It was necessary to conduct a series of operations to remove the cancer because it was just too extensive to be taken out at once. It baffles me how he managed to live with this for what must have been quite a while. The stench and the continuous leakage were unbearable. 

I could only imagine what his bedding and clothes must have been like.

Doctor Visits Took A Horrible Turn factsShutterstock

52. Equal Division of Labor

A young woman walked into the pharmacy intending to return her contraceptive pills. Curious, I asked for the reason and she informed me she was pregnant. I followed up asking if she took her pills daily. She told me, "Not really. On the days I didn't feel like taking it, I let my boyfriend have it instead". 

I was truly taken aback by their misunderstanding. Following this, I got them to answer several questions which made them realize their mistake.

True Medical Plot TwistsWikimedia Commons

53. Don’t Forget Your Vegetables

I work as a mouth specialist, carrying out surgeries. When the surgery is done, I advise my patients to apply ice packs on their face to lessen any puffiness. If they don't own one, I suggest using a bag of frozen corn or peas instead. 

Just the other day, a patient rang up our office towards the end of the day. They told me, "We can't find an ice pack and the PEE just won't freeze. What's our next move?”

Phone Calls Gone WrongShutterstock

54. Hunger Pains

My patient was a three-year-old who needed a tonsil and adenoid removal operation. I instructed her dad ahead of time, "After midnight, she should not eat or drink anything". However, during the process of placing a breathing tube the next day, the little girl threw up her breakfast of scrambled eggs. 

Unfortunately, she breathed some of it into her lungs which caused her heart to stop. I had to perform CPR on her for roughly 25 minutes. We managed to revive her, cancelled the operation, and sent the child to the pediatric intensive care unit, where she was placed on a ventilator. 

To my frustration, her dad said, "She was hungry, I figured you were being overly strict with her. It must have been something you did". As if it was my fault for his neglect towards a simple instruction. It's irritating.

Rude WaiterPxhere

55. Don’t Put The Blame On Me

A mom rushes into the ER with her little six-year-old daughter. The mom's in distress, sobbing, "My daughter's tooth came out! I blame myself". Curious, I ask her, "Why do you think it's your fault? Did she have an accident?" 

She replies, "No. I am to blame because I didn't give her the right juice, the kind with concentrate. Now all her teeth are going to fall out!" Taken aback, I ask, "Concentrate?" 

She adds, "If kids aren't given juice with Concentrate, you understand...the kind that has the giant "C" on the label, they'll lose all their teeth!" 

Trying to reassure her, I say, "Ma'am, your child is six. It's normal for her to lose her baby teeth now and grow her permanent teeth. She doesn't have scurvy".

Pregnancy factsShutterstock

Sources: Reddit, , , , ,

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.