When Dumb Patients Say “I Know Better Than My Doctor”

September 23, 2022 | Alicia B.

When Dumb Patients Say “I Know Better Than My Doctor”


Thanks to the Internet, we’re so lucky to have access to an unbelievable amount of information at our fingertips. But not all of it is true! These Redditors share their most facepalm-worthy experiences with know-it-all graduates from the Google School of Medicine. They thought they knew better than healthcare professionals and found out the hard way just how wrong they were. Prepare to laugh, cry, cringe, and lose faith in humanity: these stories are crazy. Buckle in, here we go!


1. He’s Allergic To What?!

So, I'm checking this hefty, 400-pound dude into the hospital. He's got diabetes, heart disease - you know, the works. After a few, he starts whining about being parched, saying he needs a drink stat. I call over the nurse's assistant and ask her to bring in some iced water. No sooner than I finish my sentence, his whole family goes ballistic, shouting, "NOOOO! NO WATER! HE'S ALLERGIC TO WATER!"

Apparently, the guy's been chugging nothing but Sprite and sweet tea for years, blaming it on a supposed "water allergy.”

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2. The Doctor Was Too Stunned To Speak

You won't believe what I heard from this young guy, maybe 20 or so. His family was super poor, and they didn't know much about anything, really. The kid was suffering from a nasty bout of tonsillitis, but he wouldn't take any meds. He reckoned all he had to do was "bite the sun."

I was like, "Okay, break that down for me" — but his explanation didn't help. Essentially, his idea was to wait until noon, look straight up at the sun, open his mouth real wide, and pretend to take a bite several times. Supposedly, this would "burn" away his tonsils, healing him over a fortnight.

If the sun didn't do the trick, his backup plan involved repeating the same routine under a full moon at night. Wild, right?

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3. Seriously Serious Seafood

I had a patient that kept coming in every couple of months with severe shellfish allergy. She knew she was allergic, but the attacks were getting crazy frequent. So, my team and I hung around with her in the ER to chat about why this keeps happening. She was usually pretty tight-lipped about it, but what she shared blew our minds.

She revealed her dad’s a major patriarch, who makes a killer seafood soup. If she didn't eat it, or at least pretend her body was fine with it, she'd be in trouble. Her dad could take away her car, phone, anything—his rules. We pushed her to tell him how risky this was and always have her Epi-Pens on hand.

A few years later, after switching to nursing, guess who walked into my ER? Yep, same girl, all puffed-up from an allergic reaction. She had been off studying in another state but came home for holidays and, you guessed it, had the soup. Even after jamming herself with an Epi-Pen at the first sign of tightening throat, the allergy progressed. Her mom, who I was meeting for the first time, told me she ate it quick and then ran off to the bathroom. That’s where they found her collapsed.

The paramedics weren't able to put a breathing tube in her out in the field, so they had to manage her symptoms until getting her to us. The doc did a tracheotomy on the spot and she was taken to the ICU. After a week in there, the nurses told me her dad finally understood this wasn't a joke—it was serious medical business.

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4. Silence Is Golden

Alright, so this one time, I had this teenage patient who straight up couldn't talk for a couple days, but then they got good again. Next time I saw them, they showed up with their mom. So we're going through the tests, yeah? Starting to piece together what might've been the issue. But then, mom cuts me off, right?

She says, "Don't say another word. I swear by this - if you don't tell someone what's wrong with them, they'll get better all by themselves." She didn't want me saying anything! Like in her head, if I put a name to what might be happening, her kid would catch some fresh symptoms or something.

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5. Dad Vs. Dentist

Hey, I'm a dentist and I have to share this nutty encounter. Once, a dad hauled his 16-year-old daughter from New Hampshire's backcountry into my office. He insisted I pull out all of her perfectly healthy teeth to gift her dentures as a whacky wedding gift. He figured it'd save her hubby-to-be from footing dental bills for the next half-century.

I was speechless, but I tried to explain why this was bonkers. I shared how valuable natural teeth are, why dentures aren't as great as he thinks, and how her teeth were practically flawless. I even said that going along with his bizarre request would be hugely irresponsible on my part. But, all I got were blank looks and stubborn demands. I warned him I'd alert the child protection services if he didn't quit it, and that's when he stormed off dragging his confused daughter along.

It's been two decades and the episode still makes me slap my forehead in disbelief.

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6. Good Luck! You Need It

A gal came into the ER thinking she had more than a common cold and kept asking for antibiotics. Tried my best to explain that those wouldn't do anything for her viral symptoms. So, I ended up giving her a crash course on what separates bacteria and viruses, and the difference between antibiotics and antivirals. Here's hoping it gave her the edge she needed for her med school finals the following week!

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7. Denial Isn’t Just A River In Egypt

Recently, a married couple visited us. The wife was in the advanced stages of Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), which had gone undiagnosed for a while. My boss broke the news to both of them. However, her husband raised a big stink because he was convinced, thanks to the web, that she had Lyme Disease, not ALS. He wasn't looking to accept any other diagnosis.

Funny thing is, this wasn't their first diagnosis consultation. They'd been to the top-notch Mayo Clinic, which had already told them, "Yup, it's ALS." But the husband made a scene there too. So, here's this woman, slowly succumbing to a disease she staunchly denies having.

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8. Dad Doesn’t Know Best

Back in seventh grade, I busted my pinky playing softball. My dad, the assistant coach, thought I'd just jammed it. But it was numb and hurting like crazy, and I couldn't even feel my finger when I picked up the ball.

Despite me bawling my eyes out, he gave my finger a tug, thinking it was a simple sprain. The next few months of softball were a bearable mix of Icy Hot and Advil. Dad started thinking it was a bruise on the bone as the pain hung about. Plus, a hard bump formed on my joint—still there, never stopped hurting.

When the season was done, we got it checked out. The doc was shocked at the X-rays—my bone was in at least six bits. The exact number's unclear because of the healing and X-ray angle. The bump? That was from healing a fracture that we should've sorted out sooner. Silver lining, though: at least my dad's initial pull meant no need for an extra break to fix the placements. Gotta admit, there's something about coach dads!

Told you soFlickr

9. Double The Trouble

My boss found out he has stage 2 cancer when a lump popped up on his neck, like something from a film. His doc suggested chemo and radiation right away, but the boss ain't buying it. He's going the natural route, drinking fresh juice and soaking his feet to get rid of toxins. But, a second lump is now sprouting on his neck.

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10. Half-Baked Health Hack

My mom is under the impression that homemade food, even snagging your own flour for a chocolate cake, is healthier than buying a similar cake from the store. She's a diabetic and her doctors have been begging her to eat fewer carbs.

She seems to think, "well, if I just grow my own sugar, I'll be golden on my bloodwork." She's had her liver and pancreas go belly-up a few times, but her docs get her back by having her cut back on carbs. They tell her to keep the low-carb train going after she's home, but she doesn't. She thinks her diet's already healthy. It's a vicious cycle, right?

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11. I Didn’t Get It From My Papa

My dad was a pretty tough nut, always choosing his own way over any advice. He enjoyed his cigarettes and drinks for many years. Remember that time he got that troublesome mole removed? The one in his sensitive parts? Yeah, the test results were fine, no cancer. That good news went downhill real fast when he didn't heed the doc's post-procedure instructions.

The result? Gangrene. They had to chop it off. Didn’t hear about this crazy story till my late teens. My mom and elder sis decided to finally spill the beans. Talk about a shocking revelation!

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12. That’ll Show Them!

This lady was undergoing treatment for diabetes. She'd always struggled to follow her diet and medication schedule. We've exhausted all possible means but she just wasn't taking action to manage her condition. Our doc, losing patience, laid it out straight - she'd suffer if she didn't start loving herself better. Her response was total bonkers.

She got pissed off at the doc, dashed to the store, and came back with a sack of chocolate bars. To spite the doctor, she sat in our waiting room and started munching on her candy.

Anything And Everything FactsShutterstock

13. You’re Missing The Key Ingredient

The patient walked in super confident, claiming he knew his own diagnosis since he'd been in healthcare for over ten years. They were only at the clinic because their company needed proof of illness for benefits like unemployment or sick leave.

The patient was dead sure they had sickle-cell anemia and was even able to list the symptoms precisely. But when my sister diagnosed dehydration and a potential inner ear issue instead, the patient was taken aback and blew a fuse.

My sister asked how they were so sure about having sickle cell anemia. The patient repeated their healthcare experience story, but my sister just told them to consult the specialist. She also advised them to use symptom checkers like WebMD more thoroughly before jumping to conclusions. Especially since a key detail about sickle-cell anemia was overlooked, the fact that it primarily occurs in people of African descent, and the patient was white.

These Poor Idiots Take Stupid To The Next Level

14. There’s No Cure For Stupidity

I've bumped into some real knuckleheads over time. A few weeks back, a patient's relative blew a gasket at me, convinced I was trying to turn his mom into an ice cube. He kept pointing at the thermostat, showing a temperature of 23 degrees Celsius. I tried to reassure him gently that 23 Celsius isn't chilly, but he wasn't having it. He just kept yelling "You don't think 23 degrees is cold?! It's 23 FREAKING DEGREES IN HERE!" and going bonkers.

We bent over backwards trying to explain to him about Celsius and Fahrenheit—the charge nurse, the floor leader, even security. But it was like talking to a brick wall. In the end, we threw in the towel and showed him the door. The guy was no spring chicken, into his late 30s, graduated high school and had never heard about Celsius or Fahrenheit. He was completely convinced we concocted the whole thing in a devious plan to ice his seriously sick mom who was on life support. Nuts, right!?

Canada FactsShutterstock

15. It Is What It Is

I'm a doc at our emergency department. Friday, an old man came in with his family, maskless. They had minor COVID symptoms, but he was gasping for air. We pushed for COVID tests, but he and his wife said no, convinced COVID was a hoax and he just had a bacterial infection.

He got real worked up the more we spoke, his face turning cherry-red. We said he needed to get admitted for his own good, but they said we were making a mountain out of a molehill and accused us of wanting to steal his knee fluid. The couple let loose a string of curses, demanding to go to another hospital for antibiotics.

I had a bad feeling about this whole thing, and my heart sank when what I feared came true. The next day, another hospital rang up - they put tubes down our stubborn patient who ended up struggling to breathe, and now they needed to send him back for better gear. We took him back on Sunday and scans showed that a whopping 90% of his lungs were already kaput. He didn’t make it to Tuesday.

When the family came to pick his body up, I handed his wife the death certificate. But instead of taking it and leaving, she waved it around, shouting at me, "See! COVID's not on here! It says the cause was 'pulmonary pneumonia because of SARS-CoV-2!'. I knew it was a bacteria!” I tried to explain, "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am.”

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16. Just Vampire Things

I'd pricked a diabetic's finger and offered a tissue to clean the tiny blood spot. He gave me an 'are-you-dumb' look and said, "You're kinda clueless, huh?" Then he bizarrely licks the blood off his finger. But what he said next takes the cake – he went on a five-minute lecture claiming that he, being a diabetic, couldn't afford to lose blood on a tissue. And by swallowing it, he believed it would somehow return back to his bloodstream.

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17. Allergic To Common Sense

So, a person who's allergic to seafood rocks up to the ER with puffy lips, itchy hives, and a scratchy throat. Doctor starts the standard 20-question routine - you know, about food, where they've eaten, the whole shebang. They've got enough symptoms to suggest they've eaten seafood, but they're totally denying it.

The medical team is scratching their heads, trying to figure out what's causing this serious reaction. Eventually, after the patient gets a bit miffed, they fess up. Yeah, they did have a shrimp pasta dish, but they thought they were good because they had two big spoonfuls of honey before eating. Apparently, they reckon that the honey creates some kind of impenetrable shield to stop the shrimp doing its thing.

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18. Kids Are The New Dogs

These folks came in with their kid who had lice, so bad you could see them on the kid's clothes. The doc's team checked out the kid and found this weird white powder over him, smelling really strong of chemicals.

When the team asked the parents what that stuff was, they said, in a very straightforward manner, it's Sevin Powder and dog flea and tick spray they use on their dogs at their farm. Obviously, this led to the social workers getting involved in this case.

Shocking Things Next DoorPexels

19. You’re Not Helping!

So there I was, working on a super nervous little four-year-old. The kid's jitters and my patience had finally reached an understanding when suddenly, her mom decided to snap out of her phone world. She realized, "Oh, hey, this dentist is drilling teeth."

I mean, she's known. We've gone over it, talked about it. This kid had cavities that needed fixing. Instead of questioning or discussing, she starts mumbling some uncalled-for nonsense like "Seriously? Drilling holes in my kid's teeth? You guys must be ripping people off."

I kept it cool, though. I even managed a polite "If you've got questions, I'll answer them after I'm done." Inside, I was fuming. This woman had already shown up 20 minutes late. I was bending over backwards here trying to ensure her kid leaves without a new found fear of dentists.

The check-up wraps up, and the brave little patient jumps off, giving me a high five and a tight hug. I then ask the mom, "Just curious, how did you imagine we'd be treating cavities?" Her response? “You don't drill, my mom’s a dental assistant." Sure, okay then!

I take a deep breath and start explaining in painstaking detail about how removing decay works. And still, she's not convinced, says it's lies. I suggested she could verify it with her mom, Google, or even dental school if she felt the urge.

Let it be known, though, I won't be treating her kid's teeth anymore. What a piece of work, that lady.

Childhood Lies factsShutterstock

20. Sometimes Sharing Is Not Caring

This one time at the drugstore, a girl asked for a top-up on her birth control. Dialing up her account, we noticed that her previous refill, meant to last for 28 days, was barely two weeks old. Puzzled, we asked her what happened to the remaining medication. Turned out, both she and her boyfriend had been popping a pill every day. They were sure that this was their way to keep away from an unplanned pregnancy.

Adolescence FactsWikipedia

21. Adding Fuel To The Fire

So, my buddy told me about the nastiest sight he's ever encountered as a paramedic - a burn patient. This kid staggered up to him, covered in some whitish, sticky mess. When I got the details, I couldn't believe it. Seems like this dude was out in the countryside, aiming to start a massive bonfire. His brilliant strategy? Soak the pile in gas before flicking a match at it. The result, predictably, was an instant inferno and the guy getting deep flash burns all over.

His mom, once a "licensed nurse", had the bright idea to slather him in mayo, believing it would soothe the burns. That was a big mistake. She just crammed his body full of potential infections, and made it far more painful when my mate had to clean him up, bandage his burns, and hustle him off to the hospital.

Water FactsShutterstock

22. There’s A Time And A Place

My buddy's kid was born with several health issues. Despite the odds, the little one lived longer than predicted. Numerous heart operations kept him going, but he sadly didn't make it past his second birthday. At the kid's funeral, the heartbroken mom had to listen to her sister-in-law claim that if she'd given the kid more carrot juice and used healing crystals, he would've been okay.

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23. Well If You Insist

So, my mom had this lady patient who was dead set on getting a pregnancy test. Even though she'd taken a bunch of at-home tests that were all negative, she was totally convinced she was pregnant. She thought this might have happened about half a year ago, when she didn't use protection during her vacation in El Salvador.

Mom tried to tell her she didn't need a test at the clinic. There was no sign of her being six months pregnant and plus, tests at the clinic could get pretty pricey. But the lady wouldn't budge. At last, to make her feel better, mom took some of her saliva, fake-sent it to the lab and all.

The lady was super relieved the next day when mom reported back with her "results", confirming she wasn’t pregnant. Oh, did I forget to mention? The woman was 90 years old.

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24. Poor Little Rich Girl

Some of the toughest cases we get are parents thinking they know more about their kid's dental health than us. We had a 12-year-old girl come in who needed braces real bad. Her mom had taken her all over town for "second opinions". Total warning sign.

This was probably the fifth or sixth dental opinion they'd sought out. Trust me, this girl's teeth were a mess. Her lower jaw stuck out far, her teeth were all wonky, and she had difficulty with basic stuff like chewing and speaking. She even had issues with bad breath and with drooling a lot.

We were situated in a pricey part of Boston, the Back Bay. Our patients usually had money. They either paid in cash or had great insurance. The mom was obviously wealthy, dressed head-to-toe in designer, rocking a fur shawl in the dead of summer.

After checking out the girl, we told her mom straight up that she needed braces immediately. The mom lost it, accusing us of trying to scam her and declaring her kid would never wear braces. She really ticked me off. We explained that braces weren't even the half of it - she'd need to see a surgeon to correct her underbite.

The poor kid was terrified, not by us, but by her mom's reaction and refusal to understand. She was sobbing, pleading with her mom to let her get her teeth fixed. But this mom wouldn't hear it, dragged her daughter out of there, screaming about a dentist conspiracy. I can't help but wonder if that girl ever got the help she needed.

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25. Don’t You Feel Silly?

This totally frustrated dude came in complaining his glasses were all scratched up when he'd even got the anti-scratch layer. Guess what though, first, we don't charge you extra for the anti-scratch, and it's not supposed to make them invincible or anything. Second, we hook you up with a year-long warranty that covers any scratch or break, for free! You can make use of it several times across the year.

The funniest part? His glasses were just smudged with dirt. Clean them and voila! Not a single scratch on them.

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26. We Told You So

In the NICU, there was this mom who'd always plant kisses directly on her preemie's mouth, which is a no-go for safety reasons. Multiple nurses tried to school her on it, even took notes on it all. What made it worse was this was during cold and flu season, and she'd show up looking like she had the sniffles yet was still puckering up for baby.

Her baby was almost good to go home, but then got super ill. The poor little one ended up needing a ventilator and had to stick around for a much longer time, with too many nerve-racking close calls.

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27. The DIY Doctor

So there's this dude who pops into the doctor's once a year or so. He had a foot op once and had to keep tabs on it. My old man was the doc who did the op. So this one time, the guy shows up, feeling off. He's convinced he caught the flu from his kiddos. Whatever, unrelated stuff happens, right?

Anyway, he chats with my dad before getting his shoes off. He was all grins, "Had a major fall, but I sorted it out myself! No hospital visit!" Then he shows us his foot and it's like a scene straight out of a slasher movie. He'd used copper wire to sew up the gash. It had been a week and his foot was a mess from infection...that's why he had flu symptoms.

If he’d waited just a couple more days, it would have been game over! My dad pulled out the wire and dressed the wound. The skin was too damaged to stitch. Dad gave him antibiotics and told him to go to the hospital for close watch. He ended up dropping $3,000 instead of the $200 he’d have spent on stitches right off the bat.

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28. More Than A Mouthful

A patient once came in through the ER and immediately had to undergo urgent radiation treatment. It's tough to forget how she looked. There was a huge, fast-growing tumor in her mouth, taking up half her head. When the radiation doctor tried to check her mouth, her leftover teeth just crumbled into his hand. The disease had gnawed through her facial bones, eye socket, and more.

The doc stated it was the nastiest mouth cancer he'd ever seen. From what her husband shared, she had started with a tiny sore on her hard palate which turned out to be an early stage squamous cell carcinoma. But she chose to use essentials oil and the like, such as frankincense for treatment, believing that chemo was a waste.

Her husband told us he tried to convince her to take medical treatment, but she was stubborn about her "natural" healing route. Tragically, she succumbed to the pain shortly after.

Science factsFlickr, Bernard Spragg

29. Breathe In, Breathe Out

So, my stepdad's a lung doc and had this dude come in because he was having trouble catching a breath. After peeping at an X-ray, they figured he had some calcium piled up in his lungs. While chilling in the waiting room, they caught this guy sniffing some mysterious substance which he confessed he caught off of Craigslist, thinking it would fix his cough for a neat 200 bucks! His explanation? "Docs are all liberal scam artists peddling their harmful agendas with ObamaCare cash". The only reason he was there was 'cause his wife dragged him in.

Thinking he might've indulged in some dodgy stuff, they ran some medical checks on the substance. Turns out, it wasn't any illegal item. Just plain old plaster. The wife broke down and admitted he'd been on the whole plaster gig for around three months. The reason? Some rando on Craigslist was selling this "magic" concept of mixing plaster in water to help shake off a cough. This particular guy, however, thought it'd work better if he just inhaled the stuff. Yup, you heard it right. Next level stuff right there.

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30. Thanks…For Nothing!

I was walking when a car hit me and my knee got ripped open. A friend's buddy who was with me said real earnestly, "Wait a sec, I'll be back," and then took off. I figured he was getting a first aid kit or was gonna run after the driver who bailed. But no, he comes back with a sweet Asian rice treat, saying it's supposed to fix everything. And he's all, "Here. Eat this." Meanwhile, I'm crying on the pavement with blood everywhere, thinking, "What the hell is this? Screw this guy!"

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31. Blinded By Reality

So, I'm an assistant at an eye doc's office and one time just before school started, this mom brought in her older kid to get his peepers checked for the first time. Already a bit late to the game, but hey, better late than never, right? She seemed pretty sharp, and everything was going smooth until the doctor prescribed glasses for the kid.

Turns out, junior's nearsighted, can't really see past his nose. Obviously, glasses are a must for school. But when the doc mentioned this, mom completely lost the plot. She started accusing the doc of trying to push glasses just to make a sale.

She even claimed the only reason they were there was to get a school form signed off, and called all docs con artists hawking needless meds and procedures. The doc played it cool though, just tried to reassure her and suggested she could always get a second opinion if she wasn't convinced.

Handing over a copy of junior's spectacle prescription, he sent them on their way. Then, about four months later, guess who showed up? Yup, the same lady, asking for another copy of the prescription. Looks like the kid's report card came in and he'd flunked big-time 'cause he couldn't see the darn school board. So now, he finally needs those glasses!

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32. When The Salt Tastes Bittersweet

So, there was this big guy, right? Just had a major heart operation, probably tipped the scales at around 300 pounds. He flat out refused to quit the salt. In our care unit, we don't even let salt-like items through the door. But his family kept smuggling in chips and even a salt shaker for him. One day, they showed up with a bucket of KFC for him. I figured this was my chance to have a serious chat. I was like, "Hey, quit it with the salt. You're gonna do him in."

Instead of taking my advice, they flipped out, accusing me of fat-shaming their dad and their husband. They threatened to complain about me to the hospital president and all that jazz. Eventually, the guy was sent home. But about a month later, guess who I spotted on my usual floor: Palliative care.

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33. Strong Independent Woman Who Needs A Man

A lady came in, utterly frustrated about not being able to get pregnant. She and her partner had been giving it their all for the past five years but with no success. There was a slip of the tongue when she said, "she and I..." That made my wife stop and ask her to rewind a bit. Turns out, she'd been with a guy before for a few years, wasn't on any birth control, but didn't have any luck conceiving.

Later, she got into a relationship with another woman. She still hoped to become pregnant, but it didn't happen, which made her think she couldn't have kids. When my wife gently explained that a baby needs an egg and sperm, the woman looked stunned. She retorted that she didn't "need a guy in her life" and didn't appreciate feeling judged.

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34. It’s What They Deserve

One of my buddies was battling stage four cancer and had been riding the chemo train for over a year. The docs thought about giving her a time-out from it, but when they dug into her situation, the nasty tumor wasn't backing down much. So, no break for her. Then she started blabbing on Facebook about some organic juice cleanse some rando messaged her about.

I was glued to her side, pleading with her to stick with chemo. I told her, "Sure, do the cleanse if you think it'll help, but don't ditch chemo." Her reply was, "But the cleanse won't do its magic if I don't kick chemo! That's just junk in my body. I know what my body needs, it'll fix itself." Sadly, she ended up checking into hospice on her big 3-0 and left us about a month later. I'd love to find whoever sold her that bullshit juice cleanse idea and give 'em a good smack in the face.

Jeff Goldblum factsPixabay

35. The Kids Aren’t Alright

A young one had a serious case of meningitis which was so bad he could hardly sit in the car cause his back was just too stiff. His pops ran a business selling natural foods and they tried to soothe his illness with just those products and some stuff like horseradish, hoping he'd heal up. One of their friends, who happened to be a nurse, advised them to take the kid for a proper medical check-up but they ignored good advice. Sadly, the kid didn't pull through. They've still got three more kids.

Buzz Aldrin FactsMax Pixel

36. The Greatest Showman

This woman is pretty sure that magnets can fix health problems. She keeps some in her car and every now and then, she acts like she can't breathe–though she can–insisting no one call for help. She walks all the way to her car to get her cheap fridge magnets to bring back inside. Then, by massaging the magnets over her clothes on her chest, she feels better and doesn't need medical aid anymore.

Seriously, don't even bring up her belief that oranges and vitamins are the solution for autism. Trust me, you don't want to go there. I guarantee you a strong high-five to your hand.

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37. Are You For Real?

A pal of ours got hit with a pretty nasty case of uterine cancer at just 46. Now, she could've had surgery and chemo to maybe ease things a bit, if not cure her. But no, she and her hubby decided to try this natural healer who promised he'd get rid of the cancer by having her live only on tiny amounts of fruit and vegetable juices.

Predictably, she lost a load of weight in a month and got so weak that she was stuck in bed and hardly awake in her last week. On her last day, she was throwing up badly. The natural healer guy convinced her hubby that it was a good thing, saying "it's the cancer cells finally leaving her body.”

My mom went to her funeral and didn't even recognize her since she was just skin and bones. The worst bit? Her hubby is still stubbornly saying, "It's such a pity she died from something else after the cancer had gone" – and he totally means it.

Dieting FactsWikimedia Commons

38. Oh To Be So Confident, Yet So Wrong

Well, there's this lady I worked with who fell ill for some days due to sinus issues and a splitting headache. Initially, I thought it was a sinus infection, but she denied it flat out. You won't believe what she said next. Remember those airplanes that leave back a white trail? Yeah, those. She said, looking at me dead serious, "Those planes' white trails include deadly chemicals which they sprinkle upon us all. That's why I'm under the weather."

Turns out, she just had a cold and was back to herself in no time.

Plane Crashes factsShutterstock

39. If It Isn’t The Consequences Of My Actions

We had this lady in her late 20s who wanted a tooth implant. We advised a sinus lift first, to safely place the implant. Despite explaining the risks, she kept turning it down. Even after we threw in discounts, she was unbudging. I had a bad feeling about this.

We brought in our lawyer and dental association for help, and they suggested a liability waiver. After drafting it, we absolutely needed her to sign it before surgery. She was frustrated and refused initially but eventually gave in to signing and even snapped a picture of it.

The procedure went smoothly. We ensured there was no sinus damage, fitted a healing cap to keep her away from meddling, and prescribed antibiotics for two weeks coupled with good oral hygiene. Arrangements were made for a follow-up visit six months later for her abutment and crown.

A month later, she called us, distressed by a severe throbbing cheek pain. Usually, this is indicative of a nerve pinch or serious infection. Despite starting her on a strong antibiotic, which should have prevented this, it happened. Being overseas, we changed her prescription with hopes that it'd help.

But after two months, she called back with her implant fallen out, threatening to sue! She had greenish-yellow pus, a sign of peri-implantitis, which shouldn't have been the case considering the antibiotic we gave her. Involving the dental association, we offered free services on top of treating her infection, but she disappeared, only resurfacing after three months.

Absolutely distressed, she called us. She shared the shocking news from her ophthalmologist - she was at risk of losing her sight in one eye. Following her other doctors' diagnoses, she had a dangerous infection affecting the nerves on one side of her face, copious pus accumulation in her nasal and optical sinus, pus oozing from her eye corners, with probable infection reaching the brain's lower parts.

Finally admitting her folly of not buying the prescribed antibiotics due to cost-cutting and not returning for her treatment, she was highly regretful. As she sobbed uncontrollably at her predicament, we wanted to assure her help, but she hung up before we could address her further.

Hospital Horror Stories FactsShutterstock

40. Do You Know Who You’re Talking To?

I'm an ER doc. Had a patient a while back who was adamant about not wearing a mask. I patiently explained our hospital mask policy during the pandemic - we all wear 'em to keep each other safe. Dude grumbled about it making it hard for him to breathe but seemed okay-ish about it.

He then gets on his science soapbox, claiming masks can't block the virus. Gets all heated, tears his mask off, and starts yelling at me, pretty much spitting in my face, about how dumb I am for not knowing the "real facts". He even said, "Can't believe the hospital hires such sissies to be doctors. Grow a pair, it's not a big deal." Ended his rant with a coughing fit and a storm-off.

The Most Disturbing Medical CasesShutterstock

41. They Fumbled The Ball

I busted my finger while throwing a football around at the beach with my bros. Got a pretty gnarly bruise around it and it swelled up instantly. Both my brothers work as sports trainers, so they just teased me, saying I was too soft. My luck, I kept banging the same finger at work for a month. Finally couldn't take the pain anymore and saw a doctor. She pretty much called us all dumb because turns out, I had actually shattered my middle finger.

Cruelest ThingsUnsplash

42. Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes

My dad had a heart attack and was rushed to ER. There, his heart stopped whopping eight times. They managed to save him each time and he was admitted to the hospital. He suffered a lot of heart damage. But a few weeks later, he decided to leave because he felt the doctors didn't have a clue.

Just three weeks after leaving the hospital, we found him lifeless. His heart had given up.

Big legal bindsShutterstock

43. That Really Grinds His Gears

I tripped over a bag in the school hallway and really did a number on my wrist. Mom and Dad thought it was a sprain, but for two months, it wouldn't budge. Once it loosened up, it started making this gruesome grinding sound. Fast forward ten years, I'm gearing up for a big race, and BAM! My wrist totally freezes up.

So, I see a doc and get an MRI. He says, "Well, you fractured your wrist and tore up a couple tendons or ligaments." Nothing was done about it back then, so they just fell apart instead of healing. Now, I'm two tendons short and my wrist has this funky sideways play.

I had arthroscopy to clean out some bone fragments. Looks like that's going to be a regular gig every decade or so.

Here's the kicker...my parents still can't believe my wrist is stuffed, can you believe it!?

Worst Mistakes FactsNeedpix

44. Well That Didn’t End Well

My dad had a patient who was convinced that all hospitals are just a scam. The woman had been diagnosed with cancer and was going through chemotherapy. But not long after, she told my dad she was done with taking her medication cause she thought it was all a trick. She believed it was her medication was causing her cancer and not treating it, seeing it as a conspiracy hatched by the big pharmaceutical companies.

Making the decision to ditch her meds for a while, she felt better due to absence of any side effects from chemotherapy. In her mind, that was enough proof to believe her theory about hospitals being fraudsters. She even started blogging about her experience and assuring people she's a living testament of the hospitals' deceit and encouraging them to stop getting fooled by big pharmaceutical companies.

However, reality hit a little later when she was rushed back to my dad's hospital ward. The verdict was out – her cancer had progressed to stage four. And sadly, within a week, she passed away in the hospital.

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

45. Too Little, Too Late

I once looked after a young guy in our intensive care unit who was really sick with COVID-19 and severe diabetes. He didn't believe in using insulin or other meds for diabetes. Yes, that's right. Even though it's pretty cheap here, he tried to manage his Type Two diabetes with herbs. His test results were crazy high. He didn't get vaccinated even when he had the chance. He didn't wear a mask, stay away from others, or even believe COVID-19 existed.

Most of this info came from his 20-year-old daughter because he was too out of it when he arrived and we had to put him on life support quickly. His daughter was crying on the phone every day for a month and a half until he died. I would hold the phone up to his ear so he could hear her when he briefly woke up from sedation.

I really think he realized he goofed in his final clear moments when he was hooked up to all those machines and tubes.

Dark Secrets factsShutterstock

46. Why Am I Even Here?

Hey, I'm an EMT. A while ago, I got this shout at a church. This dude passed out and had some other stuff happening. I was the first on the scene, so I was the one to reach the patient first. He was kind of out of it and trembling a bit. But as I try to get in there, his wife puts her arm out, blocking me. She's like, "Hands off, Jesus is fixing him up."

Coma wake upPexels

47. Is It His Will Or Are You Witless?

So, there's been this story going around. A kid broke his arm while playing - not fun, right? But instead of going to a hospital, his mom took him to some local healer. I don't know exactly what was done to the kid's arm, maybe a misguided set or some herb sprinkling, but before long the kid's moaning in pain and his arm's taking on a nasty blue hue. Eventually, she took him to a legit doc, but by then it got so messed up that they had to lop off the arm.

Pretty nutty, right? But, here's where it gets real dark - the mom doesn't seem to feel an ounce of guilt, isn't even ragging on the healer. Nope. She's all like, "Well, I guess God decided my boy should be down one arm early in life."

Strangest Coincidences FactsFlickr

48. Thanks For The Lesson…Or Not

When I was studying medicine, this middle-aged dude from the country came in all convinced that I had zero clue about anything and that he was doing me a massive favor, sharing his wisdom and knowledge with me. He had wandered into the colorectal clinic for some other issue but started chatting about this "gland" on his neck that used to leak every now and then. When he saw my baffled face over this mystery "gland", he chuckled and began schooling me, the clueless med student, on this "gland."

According to him, everyone has this immune system gland that drains when you're feeling "stressed." No, man, I was just being polite, but you've got a gross abscess on your neck.

Annoying Roommates factsShutterstock

49. Take It Easy

I once had this guy who'd got his leg amputated below the knee. We handed him his new artificial limb not long after surgery, once the doc gave the nod. We repeatedly told him to be gentle. Yet, we could tell he was too stoked to heed our advice. To hammer the point, our boss and a few folks from the office who had been through similar experiences spoke to the guy. As a fresh amputee, his stump was still changing and needed to heal.

A few weeks went by after he headed home, and we didn't hear a peep from him, besides him bailing on his checkup by saying he was "doing awesome.” A week later, one of my colleagues comes in saying, she saw him in the surgeon's waiting room. His limb was crusted over with wounds and was abnormally colored.

Turns out, he was getting on so well with his new leg, he decided to smash out a marathon and obstacle course. Unfortunately, this earned him a gnarly infection—thanks to all the mud. Talk about dodging a bullet—he was super lucky he didn't end up needing a revision, which would've turned him into an above-knee amputee.

Unprofessional Doctors FactsShutterstock

50. Three’s Already A Crowd

My worst day was when a toddler got COVID. His mom brought him in with a fever and belly troubles and he was super dehydrated. We had to do a COVID test because we wanted to get him into a hospital bed. The test was positive, but his mom wouldn't believe it. We were ready to test him again and told his parents they should get tested too.

His mom said, "He never left the house. Only me and his dad go to work. His granny takes care of him when we're not home. How could he get COVID if he never goes out?" She rang her husband who showed up with a bunch of family in a car. They busted up some chairs and walked out with the kid.

Bad DoctorsShutterstock

51. If Only It Were That Simple

My mom is one of those eccentric folks who believes she can "pray the malignancy away." She had a significant abnormal growth in her lungs that needed surgery, but when the appointment day came, she refused to go, claiming, "God has already healed me, I saw it in a dream!" Her cough hasn't improved and her breathing is labored. She continues to smoke heavily. Yet, she insists on recounting the tale of how the "ignorant doctors" almost operated on her when the obvious solution was to seek divine healing.

Personally, I think she's just scared of surgery and has somehow convinced herself not to have it.

DIY Medical Hacks Gone WrongShutterstock

52. Living On A Prayer

I'm the head nurse in the COVID ward in Intensive Care. There was this woman who wanted to leave the ER despite testing positive for COVID and needing a lot of oxygen. Our doctor managed to convince her to stay, and she was brought up to my ward by my wife, who also happened to be her ER nurse. The lady was not very cooperative, she was shouting, refusing to wear her mask and accusing us of being 'fools,' all while struggling to breathe.

Our doctors warned her that her condition might worsen to the point where she'd need artificial help to breathe, but she just scoffed at the idea.

We tried to explain the situation to her husband, but it just resulted in him bad mouthing us and accusing us of keeping her captive as we weren't allowing any visitors in the ward. He also said that the whole thing wasn't real and we were just putting on a show to earn money.

Despite our best efforts, her condition got worse over the days, leading us to put her on a ventilator. Unfortunately, she didn't pull through. We tried everything; CPR, medication, defibrillation, but after an hour and a half, we had to declare her dead.

Having to inform the husband was tough, he blamed us saying we injected her with the virus for experimentation. Things got uglier when he was asked to leave the hospital for trying to visit the unit without a mask.

Most Cringey Slip-Ups FactsShutterstock

53. And The Worst Parents Award Goes To…

Two health freaks who ran a health food store started suspecting their seven-month-old was allergic to gluten. So, they got the bright idea to feed their kid nothing but quinoa milk. Before long, their baby looked sickly, and people started noticing. They shrugged it off though, paying no mind to the concerns.

Finally, they hit the road to meet a homeopath living way across the country. This guy, seeing their baby, sent them packing straight to a hospital. They figured they'd head home first. Tragically, their kid passed away before they could reach the hospital.

The post-mortem revealed the horrible truth. The poor baby was severely dehydrated, and his stomach had been empty for days. He weighed about nine pounds, no more than a newly born infant.

Counterculture FactsShutterstock

54. (Don’t) Do It Yourself

There was this elderly guy I knew who constantly had a plaster on his nose because of a cancerous bump. He'd cut it off himself, always insisting, "The doc's just gonna slice it off. I can do that and save $200." Well, guess who didn’t make it when the cancer moved to other parts of his body?

Blind Date Horror StoriesAdobe Stock

55. Mother And Grandmother Of The Year

So, there's this eight-year-old boy, his lips have gone blue, he's barely moving and he's mumbling strange things. His test results come back and the doctors find he's dangerously low on potassium, which could basically cause his heart to stop any minute. The poor kid's got other health problems too. The doctor arranges for an emergency ride to a children's hospital in Tampa. But here's the crazy part: his mom and grandma say, "Just hand over the meds, we'll pray and Jesus will make him well. We can't go to Tampa, we've got bingo later." At that moment, I seriously wanted to blow my top.

They unhook the kid's IV and just walked out. I told them they were making a really bad decision. This kid needs medical help ASAP or things could go south real fast. But they're like, "We've got a beauty salon appointment, Jesus will take care of him." We had no choice but to call child protective services, and the police had to bring them back.

Legendary Comebacks factsShutterstock

56. The Kid Isn’t Alright

I'm an ER doc and had one bizarre shift. This patient walks in, swearing she has worms. She claimed they were coming out of her mouth and showing up in her pee and poop. I had to keep a poker face. She'd been dealing with this for months, and it was getting worse. She even packed some of the 'worms' in a jar wrapped with plastic wrap.

When I checked it out, all I saw was spit with some phlegmy bits. While I'm explaining to her that it's normal spit, her parents turn up. They'd rushed there, thinking their little girl had a dangerous bug infestation.

They were miffed when I suggested it might be all in her mind. Something called Delusional Parasitosis. Well, they couldn't wrap their heads around their daughter being mentally ill. They wanted a second opinion to examine her 'infection.' So, I opened the jar, slipped on gloves, and pulled out the "worms."

Rubbing it between my fingers, I showed them what it was. Watching the dad's face flip from denial to shock to realization was priceless. The idea that it might just be spit dawned on him, and then he was floored by the fact that his daughter might be unhinged. I saw the penny drop, and the 'we need to chat' look he gave his wife. After leaving them to it, they collected their daughter and headed home 15 minutes later. I suggested a psych eval, but they settled on seeing her mom's shrink.

Source credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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