March 25, 2024 | Alicia B.

The Worst “I Know Better Than My Doctor” Moments

These graduates from the Google School of Medicine thought they knew better than their doctors. Spoiler alert: they didn't. 

1. He’s Allergic To What?!

I was admitting a guy to the hospital. He was about 400 pounds, diabetic, had heart disease, and more. You name it, he had it. A few minutes in, he starts complaining that he's thirsty. He needs something to drink RIGHT NOW. So I call the nurse assistant and as her to bring in some ice water. As soon as the words are out of my mouth the whole family screams: "NOOOO! NO WATER! HES ALLERGIC TO WATER!"

Turns out the guy had been drinking nothing but Sprite and sweet tea for years because of his "water allergy.”

Weirdest Rich People FactsNeedpix

2. The Doctor Was Too Stunned To Speak

The most outrageous thing I've heard was from a boy who was something like 20-22 years old. He came from a very poor, illiterate family. The boy had a bad case of tonsilitis and refused to take any medication because all he needed to do was "bite the sun.” I asked him to explain—but that didn't make it any better. Basically, at noon he had to look up to the sun, open his mouth as wide as possible and "bite" the sun several times.

This apparently would "burn" his tonsils and cure him over the course of a couple weeks. If that wouldn't work, Plan B was to do the same at night, but only under a full moon.

Queen Maria I of Portugal FactsGetty Images

3. Seriously Serious Seafood

I had a repeat patient as a medic that would always call for a severe allergic reaction to shellfish every other month or so. She always had the allergy and knew her reactions were getting worse. After a year of this silliness, my crew and I stayed behind in the emergency room with her. We talked at length about the situation since she'd always stay silent about how it kept happening. Her explanation was mind-boggling.

She told us she comes from a patriarchal culture. Her father made an amazing seafood soup. If she didn't eat it and "force her body not to reject his gift to the family," she would lose her car, phone, or whatever punishment her father deemed necessary. We pleaded with her to do whatever it took to show him it was dangerous and carry her Epi-Pens with her.

Fast forward a few years when I went into nursing and joined that emergency room, I saw a familiar bloated face. Turns out, she had gone off to college in another state and hadn't been home for a while until visiting her folks for a holiday. Of course, she had the soup. But despite hitting herself with the Epi-Pen when her throat started tightening, the reaction continued. Her mom, who I had never seen before, told me she tried to eat it fast and rushed to the bathroom. They found her on the floor.

Medics couldn't tube her in the field and tried medical management until they could drive her to our emergency room. The doctor performed a tracheotomy at the bedside and she went to the intensive care unit. It took a week for her to recover and I was told by the nurses that her father "finally got it" that her allergy was a real medical condition.

Vegas factsPixabay

4. Silence Is Golden

I had a teen patient who lost speech for a couple days and got better. When I saw them again with their mom, I went over the tests and started discussing the possible causes. Mom interrupted me and said "Don't say anything else. I'm a firm believer that if you don't tell someone their diagnosis they can just heal on their own."

She literally didn't want me to tell her anything because she thought saying words out loud would give her kid diseases.

Meet The Parents FactsShutterstock

5. Dad Vs. Dentist

Dentist here. A dad brought his 16-year-old daughter down out of the hills of New Hampshire and told me to take out all of her perfectly sound teeth and make her a set of dentures. After I picked up MY jaw, I asked him why–he explained that she was engaged, and he was giving them a wedding present. By getting rid of her teeth, her husband wouldn't have to pay for dental bills for the next 50 years.

All attempts at educating him about the importance of natural dentition, the shortcomings of dentures, the fact that his daughter's teeth were near-perfect, and that removing them would be gross malpractice on my part–all met with blank stares and continued insistence. I told him he was flirting with a call to social services if he kept trying this, whereupon he stormed out with daughter in tow.

That was 20 years ago and I still facepalm over it.

Bone-Chilling Medical MistakesShutterstock

6. Good Luck! You Need It

I had a patient come into the emergency department for what was essentially a cold. She kept requesting antibiotics. I kept explaining that they wouldn't help her viral symptoms. But I did then sit down and give her a basic tutorial on the differences between bacteria and viruses, and antibiotics and antivirals. Hopefully it was enough to help her in medical school finals the next week!

Bad FriendsPxhere

7. Denial Isn’t Just A River In Egypt

We recently had a married couple come in and the wife had late-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that had been undiagnosed for years. My boss diagnosed her and told her she had it. He told her husband, too. Her husband kicked up a major fuss because he was sure because the Internet said she had borreliosis. He refused to let himself or her accept the disease.

Turns out, before they came to us, they'd been to THE Mayo Clinic where they‘d also been told she had ALS. And he‘d kicked up a major fuss there, too. So this woman is dying of a disease she refuses to believe she has.

King Hussein of Jordan factsWikimedia Commons

8. Dad Doesn’t Know Best

When I was in seventh grade I hurt my pinky finger playing softball, but my dad being the assistant coach that he is told me I "just jammed it." I told him I think I did more than that since my finger was completely numb, yet in excruciating pain. I picked up the softball after it happened and it felt like there was a hole in the ball where my finger was supposed to be.

Disregarding everything I was sobbing to him, he decided to pull my finger since it was "jammed." For the next couple months I continued to play softball. Thank God for Icy Hot and Advil. My dad said “Maybe it wasn't jammed. Since it still hurts you probably just got a bone bruise.” Eventually, my finger also developed a very solid bump on the side of my joint—it’s still there—and the pain never really went away.

When softball season ended we finally went to the doctor and had X-rays taken. When the doctor saw them he was amazed I still played since my bone was completely shattered into at least six pieces. He said he couldn't give an exact number because of the healing and the angle of the X-rays. The bump on my finger was a calcium buildup from the healing which could have been avoided if I had gone to the doctors when it happened. The only good thing was that I didn't need to have my finger rebroken to fix the placement of any of the fragments since my dad pulled it initially. Gotta love coach dads!

Told you soFlickr

9. Double The Trouble

My boss was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer after a lump grew on the side of his neck, and it bloomed like something out of a movie. His doctor wanted to start chemotherapy and radiation immediately, but my boss decided against it. He wants to cure it naturally by drinking freshly squeezed juice and doing foot baths to cleanse his body of toxins. He now has a second lump growing on his neck.

DIY Medical Hacks Gone WrongPixabay

10. Half-Baked Health Hack

My mother believes that if you make food from scratch then it's healthier for you. For instance, she thinks that making a chocolate cake from scratch, including milling her own flour, is a healthier alternative to a store-bought cake with identical ingredients. She is diabetic. Her doctors have said in as many ways as they can think of that she has to reduce her carb intake.

What my mother thinks is, “gosh, maybe I should grow the sugarcane myself instead of buying sugar at the store and my bloodwork will finally be in the normal range.” Her liver and pancreas have failed multiple times. Each time, the doctors manage to restore organ function by restricting her carb intake. They explain that she has to continue to follow a low-carb diet at home. She does not, because she's convinced that she's already on a healthy diet. Rinse and repeat.

Worst birthdaysUnsplash

11. I Didn’t Get It From My Papa

My father was a stubborn idiot and was adamant about not following doctor's orders. He was a long-time smoker and drinker. So dear old father goes in and has a mole excised from his privates. Uh oh. Biopsy comes back and it's not malignant. Great, except he didn't follow the doctor's order on how to take care of it after the fact. Gangrene.

Yep. They lopped it off. I only found out about that in my late teens. It was a mind-shattering reveal from my mother and older sister.

Home Alone Creeped OutShutterstock

12. That’ll Show Them!

This patient was being treated for her diabetes. She had long been non-compliant with her diet and medications. We had tried everything and the patient was just not doing anything about her disease. The doctor being fed up basically told her what was going to happen to her if she doesn't start caring for herself. The patient's reaction was beyond nuts.

The patient got mad at the doctor and drove to the store and came back with a bag full of candy bars and decided to sit outside in the waiting room and eat her candy to spite the doctor.

Anything And Everything FactsShutterstock

13. You’re Missing The Key Ingredient

Patient came in speaking very arrogantly about how they knew exactly what was wrong and they’ve been “in the medical industry” for over a decade and weren’t going to be duped and duped by doctors. They were only there as a formality from her company to provide that they were sick so they could get unemployment, worker's compensation, leave, or whatever.

The patient was absolutely certain they suffered from sickle-cell anemia. They had claimed all the right symptoms and seemed to mimic them when asked. The patient was stunned when my sister diagnosed them with dehydration and suggested an inner ear disorder, and recommended her to a specialist. The patient was pretty frustrated with my sister and even became irate.

My sister stopped her and asked them why they were so certain they had sickle cell in the first place? Again patient said they were well versed in the medical field, blah blah... my sister said “Well just see the specialist." My sister told her to make sure she double-checks that selects all of the correct information when using the symptom checker on WebMD before self-diagnosing anything. Specifically, she was missing One Key Factor in why she could absolutely not have sickle-cell anemia…she was white.

These Poor Idiots Take Stupid To The Next Level

14. There’s No Cure For Stupidity

I've seen some really stupid people over the years. A few weeks ago a patient's family member got into a verbal altercation with me over the fact that I was trying to "freeze his mother." He kept pointing to the digital thermostat displaying a temperature of 23 degrees Celsius. When I gently explained to him that 23 Celsius is not at all cold, he just kept pointing to the display and shouting, "You don't think 23 degrees is cold?! It's 23 FREAKING DEGREES IN HERE!" and acting insane.

After multiple attempts to explain to him what Celsius is by myself, the charge nurse, house supervisor, and security, we finally gave up and had him escorted out. He was a man in at least his late-30s who graduated high school and had never heard of Celsius and Fahrenheit. He literally thought we were making it up in an attempt to conceal my efforts to freeze his intubated, critically ill mother.

Canada FactsShutterstock

15. It Is What It Is

I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman came in with his entire family, none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him. He had shortness of breath. We insisted on doing tests to look for COVID, but he and his wife refused. They said that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection.

The more we talked with him the more agitated he got, to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment. They accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees. They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics.

I knew what was coming, but it was still heartbreaking. 24 hours later, we get a call from a neighboring hospital next telling us they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% lung damage. He passed on Monday morning.

Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate. Before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!.” I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am.”

Bottled-Up SecretsShutterstock

16. Just Vampire Things

I offered a diabetic a tissue after doing a finger prick to mop the two drops of blood on his finger. He looked at me like I was an absolute idiot, said "you don't know very much do you" and sucked it off his finger. What he said next still blows my mind: Then he spend the next five minutes “educating” me that because he was a diabetic, he needed all the blood he had.

Therefore he needed to "put it back into his body" rather than wasting it by putting it on a tissue. He was under the impression that if he just swallowed, it would go straight back into circulation.

Entitled peopleShutterstock

17. Allergic To Common Sense

Patient with seafood allergy presents to the emergency room with swollen lips, hives, itchy throat. The provider takes a history asking if the patient could’ve been exposed to seafood or cross-contamination. Have they eaten new food or at a new establishment? The whole nine yards. While being treated, patient adamantly denies this.

They keep trying to figure out what the allergen could’ve been because it’s a pretty strong reaction. Eventually, the patient gets frustrated and admits they ate shrimp pasta, but it CAN’T be from that because he took two tablespoons of honey first and “it coats things in there.” As in, shrimp can somehow not penetrate the magical honey fortress.

History dark momentsPexels

18. Kids Are The New Dogs

These parents bring in their child whose hair is infested with lice. The lice was visible to the eye and could be seen crawling on the child's clothing. While the medical staff examined the child, in order to determine a course of action, they discovered the child was covered in a white powder and smelled heavily of chemicals.

They asked the parents what were the substances and the smells emanating from the child. The parents said, quite matter of fact, it was Sevin Powder and flea and tick spray they used on their dogs on the family's farm. Needless to say, social workers were notified about this case.

Shocking Things Next DoorPexels

19. You’re Not Helping!

I was treating cavities on a very nervous four-year-old. We had finally gotten into a cooperative groove when the genius mother looked up from her phone and noticed that I was drilling teeth. She was in the room the whole time. I had reviewed treatment with her, she knew we were fixing cavities. She proceeds to curse me out under her breath saying "You're drilling holes in her teeth! this is freaking ridiculous, you people are thieves making holes in people's teeth!"

I kept my calm and said "Ma'am if you have questions I will be happy to answer after I'm finished." I'm shaking with rage at this point. By the way, she was 20 minutes late to her appointment already. I’m bending over backward to make sure her kid has a good visit and doesn't end up scared of the dentist. Appointment is over, kid jumps down high fives and gives me a big hug.

I turn to mom and ask her how exactly she thought cavities were fixed? She said, “you don't drill, my mother is a dental assistant.” I then proceeded to explain in excruciating detail the scientific process of how we remove decay. She said, "that's not true." I then told her that she can go ask her mom, ask Google or go to dental school if she wants to know more. But I won't be treating her child anymore. What a nutbag.

Childhood Lies factsShutterstock

20. Sometimes Sharing Is Not Caring

One day in the pharmacy, a girl comes to the counter requesting a refill for her birth control. We pulled up her profile and realized we couldn't refill it because she just got a 28-day fill less than two weeks ago. When we asked what happened to the other one, she said she was out. Apparently, both her and her boyfriend were each taking a pill each. Both were adamant this was how they needed to prevent pregnancy.

Adolescence FactsWikipedia

21. Adding Fuel To The Fire

I'm a paramedic and my partner told me the worst he has ever seen was for a burn patient. He said that he saw a teenager hobbling towards him covered in a bunch of white gooey gunk. When I found out what it was, my jaw dropped. So apparently homeboy was out in the country trying to start a big bonfire and he first decided to douse his big bundle with some gasoline before tossing a match in. Well it caught on fire real fast and he got a big old flash burn across his whole body.

His mama apparently use to be a "certified nurse" and covered him in mayonnaise because that would help treat the burn. Yeah no. All she did was introduce a ton of infection into his body and make it much more excruciating for him when my partner had to wipe it off of him and place burn bandages on him while they transported him to the hospital.

Water FactsShutterstock

22. There’s A Time And A Place

My friend's baby was born with multiple birth defects. Baby lived longer than expected. Several heart surgeries prolonged his life, but he passed age two. At the funeral, her sister-in-law tells the grieving mother that baby would still be alive and healthy if mother had fed him more carrot juice and surrounded him with healing crystals.

Reason for Divorce FactsFlickr,Breville USA

23. Well If You Insist

My mom had a patient who wanted a pregnancy test done in the lab. She had taken multiple home tests, all of which came back negative, but she was very convinced she'd gotten pregnant after doing it unprotected while visiting her family in El Salvador six months earlier. My mother tried to convince her a test given at the clinic wasn't needed.

She was most certainly not pregnant because it occurred so long ago and she was clearly not six months pregnant. My mom pointed out the lab fees would be expensive. But the woman still persisted. So my mother collected some saliva and pretended to send it to the lab. The woman was very relieved when my mother called the next day to tell her she wasn't pregnant. The woman was 90 years old.

Unnerving Last WordsShutterstock

24. Poor Little Rich Girl

The worst ones are the parents of pediatric patients because they’re the parents who apparently know much more about their child’s oral health than we do. For example, we had an 11-12-year-old patient come in and this kid clearly needed braces. We had been forewarned about how this kid's mother had already brought her to almost every dental office in the area asking for a “second opinion”. That's a HUGE red flag.

So this consultation was probably their fifth or sixth opinion on the matter. When I say this poor girl had an underbite and some of the most crooked teeth I’ve ever seen on a pediatric patient, I’m not lying. This girl’s mandibular jaw protruded almost an inch further that the maxillary. She would complain about having trouble doing simple things like chewing her food, speaking correctly, halitosis, and containing saliva so she was unable to control herself from drooling... a lot.

This office was in the Back Bay of Boston, an expensive area. Most patients were more than well-off in the money department. A lot either paid out of pocket or had amazing insurance. The mother was decked head to toe in designer clothes, fur shawl draped on her shoulders in the middle of August. She was clearly wealthy.

Once we finished the exam we told the mom that her daughter absolutely 100% needed orthodontic intervention ASAP, that’s how bad the situation was. She FLIPPED, accused us of just wanting her money and how no child of hers would ever be caught wearing braces. I wanted to strangle her. We told her that it was going to take more than braces to fix the issue. She was going to require a referral to oral and maxillofacial surgeon to correct her severe underbite.

This poor little girl was horrified, not because of what we suggested, but because of her mother’s behavior and lack of understanding. The daughter was crying and begging her mother to let her get her teeth fixed. This crazy lady dragged her daughter out of the office, screaming that all of the dentists in the area were in cahoots. I still wonder if she ever got the help she needed.

Ungrateful People factsShutterstock

25. Don’t You Feel Silly?

I had a guy come in raging that his lenses were scratched and he bought the scratch resistance so this shouldn't happen! First off, we give you the scratch resistance for free, it isn't called "scratch impossible" for a reason. Second, we also give you a free warranty with purchase that covers scratches and breaks for an entire year. So it's pretty generous and can be used multiple times a year.

Turns out his glasses were just dirty. Not a single scratch beneath the filth.

Plot TwistsShutterstock

26. We Told You So

We had a mom in the NICU who would constantly kiss her premature baby on the mouth. Several nurses educated her about why that’s not safe for the baby, and thankfully documented their teachings. This was during cold and flu season, and became even more concerning when the mother was coming in with cold-like symptoms. She still continued to kiss the baby right on the mouth.

The baby was almost ready to go home by this time, but got extremely sick. The baby ended up on a ventilator and had quite the extended stay with many, many close calls.

Snake BFF factsShutterstock

27. The DIY Doctor

There was a guy who would go in once a year or so for checkups. He had surgery on his foot and needed it looked at regularly. My dad was the surgeon so. One day this guy comes in for his appointment. He says he isn't feeling well. He thinks he might have gotten the flu from his kids. No big deal. Unrelated illness happens, right?

Well, he was talking to my dad before he took his shoes off. He was beaming "yeah, I fell pretty hard, gashed my foot open. But I fixed it myself! Saved a trip to the hospital!" Then he showed me, and it looked like a horror movie. He had taken copper wire and “sutured” the gash shut. It had been a week and it was badly infected...that's where his flu-like symptoms came from.

If he waited a few more days it would've ended him! Dad took those out and dressed it. The skin had degraded too far to sew up properly. Dad prescribed him antibiotics and referred him to the hospital for observation. He ended up spending $3,000 on his care instead of the $200 for stitches in the first place.

The Biggest Mistakes quizShutterstock

28. More Than A Mouthful

We had a patient show up through the emergency room and was admitted for emergency radiation treatment. The sight of her still haunts me. She had a massive fungating mass in her mouth that had consumed half her head. When the radiation oncologist tried to examine her and open her mouth, her remaining teeth fell out into his hand. It had eaten through the bones of her face, invaded her eye socket, everything.

The doctor said it was the worst case of mouth cancer he'd seen. According to her husband, she had a small lesion on her hard palate, and upon receiving the diagnosis of an early-stage squamous cell carcinoma, she decided to treat with essential oils and things like frankincense because chemotherapy was garbage.

Her husband said he had tried to reason with her, but she was adamant about the “natural” treatment. She passed in agony shortly after.

Science factsFlickr, Bernard Spragg

29. Breathe In, Breathe Out

My stepdad is a lung doctor who had a guy come in with trouble breathing. They took an X-ray and saw what appeared to be calcium buildup. While he was in the waiting room they saw him snort something and he said it was an all-natural remedy he bought from someone on Craigslist to cure his cough for $200. He did this because "doctors are liberal fraudsters who think they know better with their harmful agendas, ObamaCare money, and he's only here because his wife is making him be here.”

Suspecting illicit substances they ran a test on it and found out it was not that. It was plaster. His wife confessed that he's been using it for at least three months now. He saw a Craigslist ad where a guy claimed you could mix it into your water to clear a cough. But this guy figured the best way to get it in was to breath it in.

A fist breaking through a wall.Getty Images

30. Thanks…For Nothing!

As a pedestrian I got hit by a car and busted my knee open. A friend of a friend with me very seriously was like “hold on, I’ll be right back” and bolted off. I thought he went to get like first aid or chase the driver who drove off. He returns with some Asian rice dessert that is apparently a home remedy to all ailments. He’s like “eat this.” I’m on the ground bleeding and in tears. I’m thinking “What the heck is this? Screw you!”

Ancient Persia factsWikimedia Commons

31. Blinded By Reality

I work for an optometrist and it was the month before school started and a woman brought in her son to have his eyes checked for the first time. Seems like a pretty reasonable thing for any parent, even if he was a little older than usual for a first eye exam. Better late than never I guess. The mom was well-spoken and appeared fairly intelligent. Everything went as normal. The doctor examined the boy and ended up prescribing glasses.

When the doctor was explaining to the mom that her son had to wear his glasses all the time since he's nearsighted and basically can't see clearly past five feet in front of him. He will definitely need glasses for school. For some reason this made her LOSE it. She freaked out on the doctor. She said her son doesn't need glasses and that the doctor is only saying that he does because he wants to sell glasses.

She says that she only brought her son in because there was some form for school that needed to be filled out and that doctors are all con artists trying to push unnecessary medications and interventions. The doctor tried to calm her down and explain that he's only trying to help them but that she was free to get a second opinion.

He gave her a copy of the kid's prescription and sent them on their way. About four months later the lady is back asking for another copy of her son's prescription. Apparently, the first semester midterm results were in and her son failed them all because he couldn't see the board in his classes and needs glasses!

Weird Family Habits factsShutterstock

32. When The Salt Tastes Bittersweet

A large man had just had a triple bypass and was probably around 300 pounds. He refused to cut his sodium intake. We don’t even allow salt or any semblance of it in that unit. Yet he had his family bring him in chips and even a salt shaker. One day when his family was visiting, they brought him KFC. I took this as my opportunity to sit them all down and tell them “Hey. Stop giving him salt. You’re going to end him.”

They took this as an opportunity to berate me for fat shaming their dad/husband and they were going to write to the president of the Hospital and more. He was discharged. Around a month later he popped up on my normal floor: Palliative care.

Delivery Experiences FactsShutterstock

33. Strong Independent Woman Who Needs A Man

A female patient came in complaining of infertility. She and her partner had been trying to conceive for five years and had "tried everything." At one point she let the pronoun slip, "she and I..." My wife said, "Wait, let's back up a minute." Turns out the woman had been in a hetero relationship for a few years and never got pregnant despite using no protection.

She then entered a relationship with a woman. Again never got pregnant even though she really wanted to, leading her to believe she was infertile. When my wife tried to explain that conception requires sperm as well as an egg, the patient was incredulous. She exclaimed that she "didn't need a man in my life" and didn't like being judged.

People messed upPexels

34. It’s What They Deserve

A friend of mine had stage four cancer. She went through chemo for over a year. Doctors told her that they would let her take a break. Well when they looked at the cancer, it hadn't shrunk as much as they'd have liked. So her doctor told her that she couldn't take a break. She started posting on Facebook about these organic green juice cleanses that someone messaged her about.

I was at her bedside begging her to keep doing the chemo. I told her that she could do the juice cleanses if she thought they'd help, but don’t stop the chemo. She responded, "But they won't work if I don't stop the chemo! That's garbage in your body. I know my body, and it's going to heal it." She wound up entering hospice on her 30th birthday and passing about a month later. I'd love to find who peddled that garbage to her and punch them right in their mouth.

Jeff Goldblum factsPixabay

35. The Kids Aren’t Alright

A kid had such severe meningitis he couldn't SIT in a car because his back was so stiff. His dad owned a naturopathic food company and they just gave him that garbage and like horseradish, hoping he would get better. A friend of theirs who was a nurse told them to get him actually checked out and they didn't. The kid didn’t make it. They have three more.

Buzz Aldrin FactsMax Pixel

36. The Greatest Showman

One lady is convinced that magnets cure body ailments. She has magnets in her car and occasionally she'll make a big show of being unable to breathe–she is fine–and demanding no one call an ambulance. She will walk all the way outside to her car, bring the chintzy fridge magnets back inside. Then by rubbing the magnets on her chest through all of clothes, she is cured and doesn't need the paramedics or medical help.

And don't get her started on how oranges and vitamins are the cure for autism. Really, don't. I will smack your hand so hard.

Worst Teachers FactsShutterstock

37. Are You For Real?

A family friend of ours was diagnosed with fairly advanced uterine cancer at the relatively young age of 46. Now, with surgery and chemo, she could have at least had a chance at a decently painless few months, if not a cure. Instead, she and her husband chose to go to a naturopath who claimed they could cure the cancer by putting her on a diet of exclusively fruit and vegetable juices, in very small quantities.

She obviously lost a ton of weight within a month and became so weak that she was bedridden and barely conscious for the last week of her life. The day she passed, she started having severe vomiting to which the naturopath told her husband that it was a good sign "because it means the cancer cells are finally coming out of the body.”

My mom attended her funeral and said she couldn't even recognize the body as her friend, because all that was left of her was skin stretched over bones. But want to hear the worst part? The husband still says, "It's a shame she passed from some other cause after the cancer left her body" completely seriously.

Dieting FactsWikimedia Commons

38. Oh To Be So Confident, Yet So Wrong

Not a doctor, but a woman I worked with. She was pretty sick for a few days with sinus problems and a headache. I told her it may have been a sinus infection, but she says no. Instead, she looks straight into my eyes and says "Have you ever seen those planes with the white trails that come out of them?" I reluctantly say yes. She said "they're harming us. Those are dangerous chemicals they're dropping onto all of us, that's why I'm so sick.”

She had a cold and was fine in a few days.

Plane Crashes factsShutterstock

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

We had a female patient in her late 20s who wanted to have a dental implant done on her. We told her she needed a sinus lift to accept the implant. We urged her to consider it since we can't perforate the sinus membrane with the implant, but she kept saying no to it, even after we explained everything to her. We even gave her discounts to convince her, but she insisted. I already knew this was going to be a disaster. 

We decided to get some help from our lawyer and dental association. They recommended using a waiver of responsibility. We had that done by the lawyer. On the day of surgery, we asked the patient to sign the document before we start. She got annoyed with us and said that she doesn't need to sign anything. But we said that we needed her to sign to perform this procedure against her best interests. Also if any problems arose in the future we would still help but are not liable in any way shape or form. After a bit she ended up signing the document and even took a picture of it.

We had the surgery done. It was a successful operation. Initial stability was achieved with no perforation of the sinus membrane, a healing cap was placed on it to prevent her from playing with it, and she was required to take antibiotics for two weeks as well as maintaining her dental hygiene. She had to return in six months for her abutment and crown.

A month later she called us up and said she was having a really sore throbbing pain on her cheek. This would either mean a pinched nerve or vein or a serious infection. We prescribed amoxicillin to her which is some strong stuff so this should have never happened. We decided to change the prescription and have it sent to her by email since she was abroad. Now, things were about to go REALLY wrong.

Two months later she called back and said that her implant fell off and she's intending to sue. Greenish yellow puss was oozing out of the failure site which indicated peri-implantitis as the cause. But the infection should have ceased by now. We started to get suspicious so we got the dental association involved. We offered to treat her infection, replace the implant, and rebuild the lost bone for free. But she didn't reply and instead of suing she went quiet and didn't reply until three months after her scheduled appointment.

She called back crying after she heard the news from her ophthalmologist. She was at risk of going blind in one eye. Other physicians say she had a major infection along all the major nerves on one side of her face, a massive amount of puss in her nasal and optical sinus, puss squirting out of the corners of her eye, and possibly even an infection at the lower parts of her brain.

She admitted that she never bought any of the prescriptions and didn't fly back because she was being too cheap. She regretted all of it. She couldn't stop crying over the phone. We wanted to help her, but she hung up and we couldn't call back.

Hospital Horror Stories FactsShutterstock

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

I'm an emergency doctor. A few months back, I had a patient who refused wear a mask. I calmly explained to him how it is hospital policy during the pandemic that everyone has to wear one to protect each other. He seemed to take it pretty well even though he kept trying to say that the mask makes it impossible for him to breathe.

At the same time he kept trying to tell me how he knows all the "science" and masks actually cannot stop the virus from transmission. He then gets super worked up, rips his mask off and starts screaming about two inches from my face about how freaking stupid I was for not knowing all the "facts". He literally said, "I can't believe the freaking hospital hires huge wimps like you to be a doctor. You need to man up it's not that big of a deal." He then stormed off coughing.

The Most Disturbing Medical CasesShutterstock

41. They Fumbled The Ball

I jammed my finger playing football on the beach with my brother. Instant bruise perfectly around my finger and started swelling. My brothers are athletic sports trainers, both tell me I'm weak and they see that every day at work. I go four weeks banging it on everything at work. I finally see a doctor, and she tells me that my brothers and I are idiots my middle finger is shattered.

Cruelest ThingsUnsplash

42. Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes

My dad had a heart attack and went to the emergency room. While he was there he coded EIGHT TIMES. His heart stopped and he had to be revived. He survived and they admitted him. He had a lot of damage. After a couple of weeks he checked himself out because “them freaking jerks don’t know what the heck they’re talking about.”

He was found lifeless from heart failure about three weeks later.

Big legal bindsShutterstock

43. That Really Grinds His Gears

I was walking through the hallway to the toilet mid-lesson, and tripped over some kid's bag who had left it in the middle of the corridor. Wrist locks up, can't move it at all. Parents say it's probably just a sprain—I can't move it for two months. When it does ease up, there is a horrible grinding noise. Ten years later, and on the morning of a car race, my wrist locks up completely. I can't move it.

I go to a doctor and get an MRI. He tells me that it fractured with two tendons or ligament tears. Since nothing was done back then, they have subsequently disintegrated rather than healed—so I only have ten of the 12 I should have. My wrist can "slide" sideways now. An arthroscopy to remove bone fragments later, and I’m now ten years further down the line heading for a second as more bone fragments get ground away every decade or so apparently!

Also...still comes as a surprise to my parents when I tell them my wrist is messed up.

Worst Mistakes FactsNeedpix

44. Well That Didn’t End Well

My father saw a patient who was convinced that hospitals were a sham. She had cancer. She winds up on chemo for a bit but very quickly tells my father she isn't going to be taking her medication anymore because "she knows when she's being duped" and the side effects of her medication were "proof". Apparently, the chemo my father was prescribing was a ploy by Big Pharma. Apparently, that was what was actually causing the "cancer" in the first place.

Well, she decides to go off her medication for a bit and starts feeling better since no chemo means no side effects. She takes this as further proof that hospitals are a sham and starts blogging about it. She posts online about how she's living proof that hospitals are fraudulent and telling people to stop buying Big Pharma's lies.

She was then sent back to my father, via ambulance, sometime later. The test results were back and, surprise surprise, stage four cancer. She passed in the hospital later that week.

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

45. Too Little, Too Late

I have treated a young male in our ICU with critical COVID19 with severe diabetic ketoacidosis. He did not believe in insulin or other antidiabetics. Yes, you are reading this right. Even though insulin is inexpensive in our country, he tried to treat his Type Two diabetes with herbs. His test results were off the roof. He did not vaccinate and he was offered. He did not wear a mask, did not social distance, and did not believe in coronavirus.

Most of this information was obtained from his 20-year-old daughter, as he was quite disoriented at presentation and was intubated urgently. She was sobbing through the phone every day for one-and-a-half months until he passed. I held the phone with his daughter on call to his ears multiple times when he was still intubated but his mind cleared up and his sedation was optimal.

I was quite convinced that he realized his mistake on the ventilator—with lines and tubes inserted into his body everywhere—in his last clear moments.

Dark Secrets factsShutterstock

46. Mother And Grandmother Of The Year

There was an eight-year-old boy whose lips were turning blue. He was hardly moving and babbling. His tests come back. The potassium levels are so low, this child's heart is about to fail. The kid also has other issues. The doctor calls for emergency medical transport to a children's hospital in Tampa. Both the mother and grandmother say, "Just give him the prescription we will pray to Jesus to save him it will be fine, we have bingo later and I'm not driving to no Tampa." I wanted to SCREAM.

They remove the child’s IV and head out the door. I inform them they are making a horrible choice. They must get the child treatment because he is near the end. They say “But we have a hair and nail appointment, Jesus will save him.” We call child protective services and with officers they are brought back.

Legendary Comebacks factsShutterstock

47. Is It His Will Or Are You Witless?

We had a case in the news here recently. A little boy broke his arm playing, his mother took him to a local healer instead of a hospital. I'm not sure exactly what he did to the arm, set it wrong maybe or just sprinkled some herbs on it, but after a while the boy complained that he was in pain and the limb was turning blue. Finally, the mom takes him to a real doctor. At this point, it got so bad that they had to amputate the arm.

The worst thing about it is that the mother didn't feel any remorse, didn't even blame the healer. No. She said that it must have been God's will for her son to become an amputee at such a young age

Strangest Coincidences FactsFlickr

48. Thanks For The Lesson…Or Not

When I was a medical student, this middle-aged male patient from a rural area got it in his head that I knew absolutely nothing and he was doing me a service, teaching and talking to me. He was in the colorectal clinic for something unrelated and started telling me about the "gland" on the back of his neck that would drain every so often. When he saw that I was unfamiliar with this particular "gland," he gave me this knowing look, laughed and started instructing me, the dumb little medical student, about this "gland."

Apparently, everybody has this gland for the immune system, but that his would drain when he was "stressed." No sir, I was being polite but you have a nasty abscess on the back of your neck.

Annoying Roommates factsShutterstock

49. (Don’t) Do It Yourself

An old man I knew always had a bandaid on his nose. He had a cancerous growth on it and he would cut it off himself. He would always say "All the doc will do is cut it off, I can do that myself and save $200." Guess who didn’t survive when the cancer spread elsewhere?

Blind Date Horror StoriesAdobe Stock

50. Three’s Already A Crowd

My worst experience was when a two-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother brought him with fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated. We had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised for the parents to get tested.

Her defense was "The child never left the house. It’s just I and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house?” She called her husband who came with 10-15 relatives in a car. They broke a few chairs and left with the baby.

Bad DoctorsShutterstock

51. If Only It Were That Simple

My mom is that loony "I prayed the disease away" person. She had a massive growth in her lungs that required surgery, but she refused to go on the day of the appointment because "God healed me already, I saw it in a dream!" She still coughs just as much and struggles to breathe. She still smokes so much. But she'll keep telling the story of how the "dumb doctors" nearly cut her open when the solution was obviously to ask God to be healed.

I think she's just afraid of surgery and deluded herself into not getting it.

DIY Medical Hacks Gone WrongShutterstock

52. Living On A Prayer

ICU/COVID ICU charge nurse here. I had a woman try leaving the emergency room against medical advice with COVID. She needed a ton of oxygen. Our doctor convinced her to get admitted. My wife was her ER nurse and brought her up to me. The patient was yelling and screaming, ripping off her mask, spitting and telling us we’re all sheep between gasping for breath. Our doctors told her she was close to needing to a breathing tube and she just scoffed.

We reached out to the husband who proceeded to swear and berate us. He told us we’re keeping her prisoner because no visitors in the COVID unit. He said we can do whatever we need because “none of this is real and it’s all for show so you guys can get paid.” She gets intubated, deteriorates over the next few days, and finally codes. We perform CPR, give medications, and defibrilate her for well over 1.5 hr before calling her time of passing.

The kicker was calling her husband and getting absolutely excoriated because “we injected her with COVID as an experiment.” He then had to be escorted out of the hospital when he came in to try getting up to the unit. Without a mask, of course.

Most Cringey Slip-Ups FactsShutterstock

53. Take It Easy

I had a patient who had just gotten a below-knee amputation. We gave him the prosthesis shortly after surgery, as soon as the surgeon signed off. We told him several times to take it easy. He was very excited and we knew he was not going to listen. To stress the issue, we had the owner of the company and several coworkers who are also amputees talk to the patient. Being a new amputee the limb goes through a lot of changes and is still healing.

After he took his new leg home we hadn't heard from him in a few weeks, he even canceled his follow-up appointment since he was "doing great". A week after that one of our coworkers calls us and tells us that he was at the surgeon's office. He saw said patient waiting to be seen since his limb was scabbed over, with several lesions and extremely discolored.

After asking what happened he told her that he was feeling so good with the prosthesis he decided to run a marathon and one of those Tough Mudder obstacle courses in the same weekend. He ended up getting a major infection due to the mud. He is extremely lucky that he did not need a revision making him an above-knee amputee.

Unprofessional Doctors FactsShutterstock

54. And The Worst Parents Award Goes To…

A couple had a malnourished seven-month-old and decided their kid was gluten intolerant. So they never gave him anything besides junk like quinoa milk. They also owned a health food store and were health nuts. Things went bad FAST. Anyone who came in and saw the sickly child commented. But they brushed it off and didn't seek help.

They drove to a homeopath across the country who sent them to a hospital. They decided to drive back home first. The baby passed before they got to the hospital. The autopsy revealed the child was severely dehydrated and their stomach had been empty for days. The baby was about nine pounds, which is just slightly higher than a newborn.

Counterculture FactsShutterstock

55. Why Am I Even Here?

Paramedic here. A few months back I got called to a church. Guy had an episode of fainting and had some other stuff going on. As I was working as a first responder, I was the first one to make patient contact. When I approached the patient who was semi-responsive and was shaking slightly, the wife put her arm out and blocked me from approaching any further. She said, “Don't touch him, Jesus is healing him.”

Coma wake upPexels

56. The Kid Isn’t Alright

I’m an emergency doctor and have a weird story. A patient came into the emergency room one night saying she was infected with worms. She told me she had been noticing worms in her mouth and in her urine and stool. I had to conceal my horror. She said it had been happening for a few months and it was worsening. She actually brought a sample of these worms. She brought them in a glass covered with saran wrap.

I held it up to the light...they looked like saliva with clumps of mucus in it. As I was trying to convince her that it was just normal saliva, her parents arrived. They had driven down from out of state, in a panic that their daughter was dying of a parasitic infection.

Mom and dad were livid with me when I suggested that it was in her head. There's actually a delusional disorder named Delusional Parasitosis. They couldn't accept the fact that her daughter was crazy. They asked for another consult so someone could look into her infection. So I opened up the glass, and with a gloved hand, I pulled out the "worms."

I ran it around in my fingers and showed them. The dad's reaction was something to behold. It went from "don't be ridiculous, she's sick" to "What the heck are you doing?" to "Wait a second, that looks like just saliva" to "Holy moly my daughter is freaking crazy." I saw it in dad's face, and then he turned to his wife and said "Honey, I think we need to talk." I left the room, and they took her home 15 minutes later. I offered a psychiatric evaluation but they said that they would go to her mother's psychiatrist.

World FactsPxHere


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