I’m Not Faking It: Medical Nightmares

January 9, 2023 | A.V. Land

I’m Not Faking It: Medical Nightmares

10/10 medical professionals would probably agree with Kurt Cobain when he said, "The worst crime is faking it", but these Redditors are singing a very different tune. Despite various ailments—including sliced arteries, busted bones, and cysts gone wild—these patients were dismissed, demeaned, and accused of malingering—often with alarming consequences. Read ’em and weep…

1. The Patient’s Always Wrong

My friend’s dad went to the ER and after a quick examination, the doctor said he was fine. That turned out to be a horrible mistake. Her dad was insistent that something was wrong and wouldn’t leave until they ran some tests. As he was being removed from the building by security, he had a brain aneurysm and passed. Her family was awarded a pretty massive malpractice settlement.

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2. CT You In The Morning!

When I was 22, my sister and my then-boyfriend took me to the ER only to be told that I was freaking out from taking some sort of illicit substance. It was only after they pulled my sister and ex aside that they started to believe me. They begrudgingly ordered me a CT in the morning—lo and behold, I had a brain tumor.

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3. The Best GF

One time, I fell down a flight of stairs while at work. I ripped my forearm open on the way down and was bleeding a good bit. Adrenaline kept me going long enough for my girlfriend, who was a nurse at a different hospital, to drive me to emergency. I had a bloody paper towel on my arm and all the security guards and nurses assumed I was a junkie who blew a vein.

After all of the excitement wound down, I finally passed out. When I woke up, I was in a wheelchair in an exam room and I had no idea what happened, but I could see my girlfriend was flipping out on the workers. She said half of them assumed I was on something and the other half thought I was faking it to skip the line.

I knew I wasn’t going to bleed out, I just got woozy when I was suddenly able to see the meat in my arm for the first time. All the staff just stood and watched as I proceeded to faint and bust my head on the floor. Even then they didn’t do anything. My girlfriend who’s less than half my size had to drag me into a wheelchair. Screw that place.

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4. Mother Knows Best

I was in labor and because it was my first child, the hospital staff acted like I had no idea what was happening. They kept denying what I was insisting. I guess because I was more than two months early and could handle the pain so well, they thought it was all in my head. They made me stand at the counter filling out paperwork, while I insisted I needed to push.

They decided to lay me down to check if I had "even started dilating"…As soon as I was down, I promptly pushed out my son. I was so furious at how I was treated by that hospital. I still am.

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5. Trust Issues

My mother had a stroke at age 32. Because she was so young and healthy, the doctors didn’t diagnose it properly for over 24 hours. They were 100% convinced that her symptoms were related to illicit substances. Even though my dad repeatedly tried to tell them that she has no history of substance use, they didn’t believe him.

Now my mother is permanently disabled because of how long it took for her to receive proper treatment.

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6. So Many Levels Of Wrong

I hit puberty at the age of 10, and it turned my life into a complete nightmare. For six years, I was told that my two-week-long irregular periods and crippling menstrual cramps, as well as cramps in that area while not on my period, and FACIAL HAIR were all because I was overweight. Part of my weight issue came from the fact that I was mistreated and often starved for days, so I would binge when I did get food.

Finally, at nearly 17 years old, after years of being told I was suffering because I was overweight, I was referred to a gynecologist and diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

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7. Wisdom For Everyone

My great-grandmother passed in the hospital parking lot because, according to medical staff, "Women don’t have heart attacks". Screw that. Never let someone tell you that you don’t know your body.

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8. Hi, Dr. Nick!

When I was 12 years old, I started to get heart palpitations and arrhythmia whenever I would overexert myself. I was taken to the cardiologist who accused me of faking it to get out of chores and soccer practice. By the time I was 15, my heart was absolutely unreliable throughout the day. Sometimes during an attack, I would lose my sight and pass out.

The same cardiologist claimed that I was still faking it since "kids just don’t have heart conditions". At 16 years old, my heart finally stopped. Luckily, I was already with the school nurse because of an earlier episode. I woke up in the hospital where they discovered that I had a heart deformation that required surgery.

My mother blew her lid and accused my cardiologist of having it in for me. She even went to his office and started screaming and ripping his degrees off the wall and throwing them at him in a rage. The only reason she didn’t sue was to prevent assault charges against her.

A simple echocardiograph showed that I had a deformation that was causing the electricity that pumped my heart to go in circles. It was really not fun having heart attack simulations nearly every day for four years. If anyone is wondering, we were poor and that cardiologist was the only one available on my mother’s insurance.

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9. Call The Party Planner

In February 2016, I started getting side cramps. I went to the ER and they said I had a tiny ovarian cyst. OK, that’s fine, I’ve had those before. In March 2016, I started my period and it continued until June. Between March and May, I made at least seven visits to various doctor’s offices and ERs. I had several ultrasounds as well.

Despite the fact that I had about five or six cysts on my ovaries, they told me I was too young to have them removed. "You’re only 23", they said. "We don’t want to take the cysts out cause it could damage your ovaries or you could lose them if something goes wrong. What if you want to have kids one day?" That was bad, but what happened next really blew my mind.

After still insisting on surgery, they said, "It’s a Saturday and we don’t feel like calling a surgeon in". It got to the point where I had to call off work or leave early at least once a week. I always had a portable heating pad on and was taking pretty heavy pain pills. In May 2016, I finally found a doctor who would do exploratory surgery on me. He opened me up, exclaimed "Holy cow!" and closed me back up.

He told me that I had to have major surgery because my left ovary had "eaten" the cysts and was attaching itself to my colon and an artery in my leg. Needless to say, I ended up losing my ovary anyway. However, I did throw a "See You Later Ovulater" party before my big surgery, which was a big hit.

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10. It Pays To Rage

When my brother was 11, he suddenly started getting really tired and lethargic. It caused him to miss a lot of school and he actually hated missing school. My mom kept taking him to the doctor and they’d say that it was the flu or puberty or mono, but it would never get better. After a few weeks of this, my mom brought him to the hospital again.

This time she screamed at the doctors that something was seriously wrong with her son and they needed to do their jobs and figure out what it was. They put him through a bunch of tests and told us to go home. Then, they called us in the middle of the night and said, "The tests came back. Your son needs to come in now—not in the morning. Right now".

It ended up that my brother had leukemia. I can’t imagine how a parent feels in that moment when you know it’s bad because they’re calling you at 2:00 am, but you don’t know why. He was in treatment for just over a year and was re-diagnosed on his birthday. A few months later, he had a bone marrow transplant and was able to come home pretty quickly.

There were complications from the transplant, which caused him some stiffness and put him in some dangerous situations. In October, it will have been eight years since the transplant, and he’s now cancer free. That boy loves to use the cancer card now, but he definitely earned the right. Best wishes to everyone, especially those who are going through some hard times.

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11. Second Opinion FTW

A doctor didn’t believe me when I had a kidney stone that was too big to pass. He only changed his mind after another doctor checked me and started freaking out because I was getting super sick from the stuck stone.

The first doctor ended up getting fired from the hospital and my parents sued him.

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12. Surprise!

I had a stroke last year at the age of 32. I didn’t have any symptoms, but when I had an MRI for an unrelated issue, they sent me directly to the ER. When the ER doc looked at me, he rolled his eyes and said, "You’re not having a stroke!" I told him I was sent by his colleagues and didn’t just walk into the ER on a whim. I just had an MRI that clearly showed a recent stroke.

I guess he thought it was OK to say that because I was young (and female!) and didn’t show any typical signs. He made me feel like I needed to defend myself and that I was wrong to be there—especially since I skipped everyone waiting and was sent directly into a bed. But come on, dude, really?

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13. A Real Pain

I woke up with nausea and stabbing pain in my back. I knew what it was because I have had a long history of kidney stones. As the pain got worse, I called my fiancé to come home from work so we could go to the ER. We got there and I was put in a room and asked for a urine sample—it was nothing but blood. That's when I knew it was way worse than I thought.

As I was trying to find a comfortable position (Spoiler! There isn’t one), the doctor came in and said, "Well, it’s a kidney stone alright". He told me to drink lots of fluids and gave me a prescription for acetaminophen with codeine. I left the ER in as much pain as I was when I got there. The prescription had enough pills for two days.

After 36 hours of excruciating pain, we went BACK to the ER. The pain was so strong that I couldn’t keep down medication or even water. I was taken back immediately and given hydromorphone and a CT scan. It showed that a 6 mm kidney stone was stuck high up near my kidney, causing it to swell and get infected. They scheduled me for laser lithotripsy that night.

I get so mad when I think that I had to go through all of that pain and suffering because some idiot thought I was after pain meds—even though I told him that I’ve suffered through kidney stones on my own at home regularly, and this was a worse, different pain. Eff that guy.

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14. The Nerve!

I was stuck in bed for about five hours with my head pressed into my shoulder. I wasn’t able to move my head at all. When my mom got home from work, she called an ambulance for me. They carried me out in a sitting position and off to the hospital we went. When we got there, it took about a half hour trying to position me into a bed.

They ended up just giving up and leaving me sitting there awkwardly. It turned out that I had a pinched nerve but the doctor pulled my mom out of the room and asked if I had a history of faking injuries in order to get pain meds. His reasoning was that I was pressing into the pain instead of leaning my head away from it.

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15. Walk It Off

When I was in the fourth grade, I was not feeling well but the school nurse sent me back to class because my fever was only 37.2 C (99 F). By the end of the school day, I made it home on the bus, but I had to be rushed to the emergency room because I couldn’t breathe.

Apparently, I had a case of bronchitis that had turned into pneumonia and my lungs were full of fluid. I was out of school for two weeks I think.

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16. Hello, Dr. Gaslight

When I was 16, I was in a really dark place mentally. I decided to confide to my doctor that I might be depressed and see what he would recommend. The dude straight up laughed in my face and said, "You’re not depressed, you’re just a teenager".

After that, I told my mom I wanted to change doctors. It took another year and tons of self-destructive behavior before I had the courage to seek help again.

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17. From Bad To Worse

This incident still manages to raise my blood pressure even though it happened years ago. When I was about seven years old, I would often get this terrible stomach pain, which my pediatrician diagnosed as attention-seeking behavior. He even told my parents that they should punish me whenever I complained of stomach problems. Naturally, things only went further downhill from there.

My parents, who love yelling, jumped at a new reason to scream at me on a nearly daily basis. When I went to college, I was finally diagnosed as having a hiatal hernia, just like my grandparents, father, and aunt. When I was a kid they even commented that I had the same symptoms they did. To my pediatrician, that meant that I was just mimicking their complaints.

To top it all off, because my hiatal hernia had been left untreated for so long, I now have to worry about Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. Lucky me!

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18. Playing By Ear

I had a new hearing doctor who didn’t believe that I needed hypo-allergenic hearing aids and ended up giving me regular ones to "try them out". But that only led to a world of pain. Within a few days, my left ear was sore. Both my doctor and the ear specialist thought that it was just a little bit of irritation and that it would clear up quickly on its own.

Nope. It ended up being a major middle- and inner-ear infection that ruptured my eardrum and leaked pus and blood all over my pillow. I had to endure a month of agony, a lot of medication, and a lot of specialists in the hospital.

I was already very hard of hearing, but that whole disaster made me lose another 10 decibels permanently.


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19. A Surprising Solution

When I was nine, I would get stomach aches when I went to school. My doctor insisted that I was faking, but my mom insisted that he take it seriously. Finally, they gave me a barium X-ray and saw I had a stomach ulcer. I had to take Maalox and drink milk at every meal and snack. I even had to get special permission to get milk from the cafeteria during morning recess.

I had a horrible and abusive teacher that ridiculed me for needing milk. While I never received any of her physical punishment, there were two other boys in my class who were hit by her on a regular basis. This would have been 1980, so it wasn’t normal for teachers to be pulling hair or knocking a kid’s face into a desk.

Anyway, my stomach aches did not get better and the doctor accused me of some combination of faking, exaggerating, and non-compliance. We even had to save all of the empty Maalox bottles to prove to him that I was actually taking my daily doses. Today, we know that having me drink milk seven times a day was exacerbating things.

Also, in retrospect, my mom never really understood how stressful it was being in that class. It wasn’t until the last few months of fourth grade, when they finally transferred me to another classroom, that I got well again. Sometime later, my mom told me that she thought I’d been exaggerating when I talked about how mean the teacher was.

Because I’d left the honors class and moved down a level, my former teacher still ridiculed me pretty frequently when we crossed paths, but at least it didn’t tie my stomach up in knots.

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20. Hope He Felt Guilty

My mother had been very sick and tired for quite a while. She said it felt like a cold but 100 times worse. The doctor she saw multiple times basically kept blowing it off and saying that she just needed some rest. She kept getting worse and worse. One day, I was home with her. She was in bed sleeping and I was watching TV in the living room.

For some reason, she decided to walk into the living room and sit in the chair across from the couch. She looked like a zombie, and when she sat down she could barely hold her head up. That's when I knew things had taken a turn for the worst, so I immediately called an ambulance. It turned out she had pneumonia and one of her lungs was entirely full of fluid, while the other was more than halfway full.

She spent a few days in the hospital and eventually she fully recovered. I don’t know what made her decide to walk into the living room, but if she hadn’t done that, she likely would have not lived past that day. The whole ordeal could have been avoided if the doctor she saw would have just paid closer attention to what was going on.

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21. Just A Little SNAFU

During basic training, going to sick call meant you were a lazy jerk who was probably trying to get out of training. Even the doctors would give people the brush-off because they saw quite a few who were faking it. So, when I went in with bad back pain, the medic clearing me brushed me off, and told me to go back to my company. It turned out my kidney was severely infected.

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22. Gee, Thanks Mom

I only have partial hearing in my left ear due to an idiot pediatrician. I was fifteen and I had an ear infection. Between my dumb, always inebriated mom swearing up and down that everything I did was "for attention" and this idiot doctor who must have printed his diploma using MS Paint, I got no treatment.

The doctor didn’t even look in my ear. Later that night, it ruptured sending blood and pus everywhere. The emergency room doctor said that I had the worst ear infection he’d ever seen.

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23. Mental Health Nightmare

Several years ago I walked into traffic in a sort of vague "ending my life would be nice" kind of way. When I told my psychologist about this, he rightly had me carted off to the ER to be admitted into inpatient care. They shuffled me from room to room and eventually stuck me in with a teenage girl who appeared to be having severe pregnancy complications.

In the hall, I could hear a woman screaming and vomiting violently. We sat there for hours before the doctor came. By this point, I was completely numb. She asked me if I had any plans for self-harm and I said, "I’m not really the planning type". After more questions, she finally said, "Well, you look fine to me" and sent me home. I took the bus to my apartment and lay face down on my couch for several hours.

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24. One Stressful Test

My mom’s first cardiologist told her she was too young to have a heart attack and proceeded to screw around for a month before finally scheduling a heart stress test for her. She ended up having a heart attack on the treadmill during the test and was rushed into emergency surgery. She’s fine now, but I’d really like to slug that doctor.

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25. Breathtakingly Cruel

I had an asthma attack when I was in middle school and the nurse didn’t believe me. She told me to get up and go back to class. I took five steps out the door and passed out. I woke up in a hospital with tubes being jammed in my nose and a mask over my face. From then on, never was a claim about asthma not taken seriously in that school district.

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26. Sickly When Wet

I discovered the hard way that hot tubs and I just don’t get along. I realized this after my husband and I left a party where we had spent some time in a hot tub. When we got to our hotel room, I suddenly became horribly sick and, over the next few hours, I just kept feeling worse and worse. I finally told my husband that I really needed to go to the hospital.

I was sobbing and nearly unintelligible. He wanted to drive me there, but I was too far gone and had him call an ambulance. The paramedics were convinced I was on something and kept asking what I had taken. I managed to slur out, "Nothing. I had like two drinks six hours ago and spent a long time in a hot tub, but I drank a lot of water".

They got me to the hospital and eventually into a bed. My nurse was immediately convinced that I was a lying, high, substance-seeker. It was awful. He was genuinely rude, short, and outright mean to me. I mean, I know this is a big problem in ERs but my god dude, not everyone is a junkie.

I spent over an hour in nothing but a flimsy hospital gown on the bed begging for a blanket. The nurse yelled at me for accidentally crimping the IV line, and he also forced me to get out of bed and walk myself and my IV pole to the bathroom to give a urine sample. I was crying and writhing in discomfort and he just sneered, "What IS IT?"

The nurse started acting civilly toward me after my pee test finally came back totally clean. I got a huge infusion of liquids, electrolytes, and anti-nausea meds. We figured out later that I became severely dehydrated because I’m chronically low on magnesium and potassium. So, yeah, thanks for drawing out my suffering and making me feel so much worse, dude.

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27. An Emotional Roller-Coaster

One time, my dad had a severe headache that kept him from going to work. He was a tradesman in a factory and NEVER missed work. Ever. And that’s saying something because he was even electrocuted at work once. Electricity went in one finger and blew out the side of another, but he went back to work after they bandaged him up.

We didn’t even know anything about the electrocution until the end of his shift. So the fact that he was missing work for a headache was a big deal. My mom made him go to the hospital, but all they did was tell him that it was stress and he needed to work less. The next day he went to our family doctor who told him the same thing.

When he collapsed on the bathroom floor, my mom called an ambulance and insisted they take him out of town. It turned out that he had suffered from two brain aneurysms—one of which had ruptured—but he survived! Years later, he went to the same hospital thinking he had kidney stones but he actually had an aortic aneurism.

The hospital in our little town is really just a first-aid station, so they aren’t equipped to handle serious cases like his. They tried to airlift him to a different hospital, but the aneurysm ruptured and he passed.

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28. Yowza!

When I was 14, I kept bleeding from my anus and would throw up everything I ate and drank. The hospitals (yes, more than one) told me it was hemorrhoids. Well, this cycle went on for two years before I blacked out in the bathroom. I was living with my grandparents at the time and they had to drive me to the hospital.

When we arrived, I was unable to walk or talk. It turns out my colon had detached and my veins had collapsed. After six months in the ICU and two more months in the hospital, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I got down to 40 kilograms (90 pounds) after being a pretty decent-sized girl my whole life. I’m 30 now, and I don’t have my colon, but I have been diagnosed with PTSD.

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29. Healthcare Heroes and Zeroes

I went to emergency one Friday night with horrendous stomach cramps. I knew something was horribly wrong, but the nurse on duty made it painfully clear that he couldn’t care less about me. He was sighing, rolling his eyes, and treating me as if I was exaggerating. He finally stormed off when he was unable to take blood from me because I was shaking so uncontrollably.

I can’t imagine that they are trained to roughly grab a patient’s arm and hold it down by the wrist while tightening the tourniquet with one hand. I couldn’t physically stay still. I really couldn’t! He ripped the tourniquet off and slammed all the blood-taking equipment back on his trolley and marched out.

I was frightened, alone, and only 18. He left me on the bed, shaking and crying and occasionally vomiting into a rapidly overfilling cardboard bowl. When the next nurse came on duty and saw the state of me, she did a couple of simple tests, which took all of three minutes, and then she gave me some morphine.

Apparently, my appendix had burst. I was able to have immediate surgery to remove the bits of appendix, and spent a week on strong antibiotics. The second nurse was so kind and sweet. She even waited with me until my parents arrived.

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30. Even The Antibiotics?

I once had a bad infection in a wisdom tooth that needed removing. The pain was so unbearable that one day I went to the ER where a doctor prescribed me codeine and antibiotics. However, things didn’t go as planned because I used to have a drinking problem of sorts and may have experimented with a pill or two in the past.

While I was at the ER, another doctor recognized me from those days. He came over, looked in my mouth, said he couldn’t see any abscesses, and cut me off from both the pain meds and the antibiotic. Not only did I have to endure intense pain, but my gums had also turned blackish green by the time I was able to see the oral surgeon. Screw that doctor.

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31. Kick Me While I’m Down, Why Don’t Ya?

I attempted to end my life but my method of choice was less lethal than I had thought, so I wasn’t really taken seriously at the hospital. To make matters worse, one EMT even told me that he wished he didn’t go into the field because he was tired of being a taxi service for people like me who just wanted attention.

If anyone had bothered to treat me like a patient, they’d have seen that my legs were covered almost entirely in self-harm cuts. I was also experiencing psychosis, severe panic attacks, and parental maltreatment. As I lay there in despair, I was already contemplating jumping in front of a train near my residence after leaving the hospital.

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32. Dear Old Dad

My father is a doctor. I have been accused of faking a broken foot, faking appendicitis, and faking having asthma. None of these things were faked and, in fact, my appendix ruptured and I very nearly croaked! Thanks, Dad.

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33. Persistence Paid Off

When I was 12, I kept a secret that nearly cost me my life. Because I was 12, I didn’t want to show my nutsack to my parents so even though I knew something was wrong, I hid it for almost a year. My brother saw me changing in the dressing room at hockey and started calling me "Big Nut". When our parents overheard him calling me Big Nut, they made me show them.

My mom brought me to three doctors. The first one said that I was just going through puberty. The second one told my mom that she was giving me a complex and that she was a horrible mother. The third doctor told us I had a hernia and operated on me the same afternoon he saw me. He told us that if it hadn’t been caught, I would have had less than six months to live.

After that, my mom was relentless in trying to get the first two doctors fired.

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34. Oh, Brother!

When I was 13, over a three-month period, my family had to take me to the family doctor and/or the ER almost every day because I had such intense headaches. They were so bad that I would often scream from the pain. One of the times, my father came with me to the family doctor and was told to wait outside. While I was in there, they interrogated me and told me that I was just doing this for attention.

They even asked me if I was being mistreated, in love, or having my period. Unfortunately, part of the problem was that I did not have any other symptoms of brain issues, and usually people will get nauseous and vomit. I only had INTENSE headaches. Because of this, no one ever bothered to take a scan and actually check me out. Finally, my brother stepped in.

He had had enough. My brother was so angry at how much I was suffering that he told the ER staff he would burn the place down if they didn’t fully check me over this time. When they—finally—did the scans, they saw I had a brain abscess and scheduled an emergency operation for the next morning. I ended up staying in the hospital for three months.

I was told that if I had been diagnosed any later, the abscess would have grown to the point where I could have been paralyzed. My family doctor came to visit me twice with flowers but my mom kicked him out. Some might say she was harsh, but imagine going to the doctor or ER almost every single day for months, just to be told that your daughter is lying.

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35. Suspicious Minds

I was drinking and playing volleyball while on vacation and when I sobered up the next day, I realized that my arm was swollen and in intense pain. The doctor treated me like a junkie who was only seeking pain pills because I "happened to be a pharmacist". He also pressed my arm really hard, and when I screamed, he gave me the dirtiest look ever.

I left in tears. Luckily, I found another place that had an awesome doctor who took me seriously. It turned out that I fractured my arm.

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36. Now There’s A Visual

My mom thought she had cellulitis and went to our family doctor for medication. He told her she didn’t have it despite the fact she had already had it once before and knew what it felt like. He then told her it was just a rash and sent her off for tests. My mom was so mad when she came home from that appointment.

Within four hours, she had bags of skin full of water growing from her leg. They got so big that they combined to look like a giant slug on her leg. They were bursting and regrowing every other hour. When she went back to the doctor he said, "Congrats, you don’t have a rash. Let’s see what is going on".

She took the wrapping off her leg and water went all over the floor. After he picked his jaw from the floor, he gave my mom her meds.

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37. Hospital Heartbreak

When my brother went to the ER, the doctor was a jerk who assumed he was making everything up. That was a grave mistake. The doctor didn’t do a single check on my brother. Even though my brother was slurring, the doctor just told him that if he had any kind of brain damage he wouldn’t be right here talking about it. I pleaded with the doctor, but he just sent us on our way.

About three months later, my brother succumbed to a stroke. We never truly figured out what was wrong with him, but I’m pretty sure that if that doctor had run some tests that day and diagnosed and treated him, he’d still be here today.

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38. Sounds Horrifying

This one time, I had a moth fly into my ear and get stuck there. I tried to flush it out myself with a squirt bottle, but that just got it lodged in deeper. I could feel it buzzing randomly trying to escape my ear canal and it was the WORST sensation imaginable. To make matters worse, my parents didn’t even believe me.

Eventually, I was able to convince them to take me to the doctor. The nurse couldn’t see anything in there and even made a joke that the doctor would "buzz right in". The doctor flushed out my ear and a one-inch-long moth came out. The room went completely silent until I started yelling at everyone for not believing me.

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39. That Took A Turn

When I was 23, I went to the doctor to get help about a weird back pain I’d been having for years. Some days, I couldn’t even stand up straight because of it. Although I had no other symptoms, on a hunch, my doctor decided to check me for blood clots. I ended up having two in my lungs! The back pain, which was totally unrelated, was caused by the weight of my large chest.

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40. Pulled A Fakie

I was snowboarding in Colorado when I flipped and landed on my chest. Thus began the worst day of my life. Part of my problem was that, as every snowboarder knows, when you fall, you pull your arms in so you don’t break any bones. Well, when I was doing this, my elbow got squished under my ribs and shattered my kidney. They rushed me to a small hospital nearby.

The doctor gave me some basic pain pills that didn’t help at all. Because he thought I was a junkie who was faking my injuries to get more pain meds, he just said, "You will be OK". The pain was so bad that I threw up right then and there. They finally did an MRI and saw that I had a shattered kidney. By then, the pain was so extreme because of all of the pressure from the internal bleeding.

At that point, I watched the doctor’s face turn completely white when he realized his colossal mistake. I was then loaded onto a plane and sent to a larger hospital where I was rushed into surgery because of the internal bleeding. Afterward, the doctor told me that I am lucky to be alive. I spent about a month in the hospital.

Woke Up In A HospitalWikimedia Commons

41. A Purr-fect PSA

My dad had to wait in the ER for hours because the staff refused to believe that his cat bite was a big deal. They even treated a teenager with a broken pinky toe before my dad! The cat bite was so bad that my dad needed to have surgery to open up and drain the tendon sheaths and was hospitalized for a week. Cat bites are serious business and can become infected in less than an hour.

Dumb PatientsPixabay

42. Listen To Your Body

When I was young, I had chronic ear infections from swimming. The doctor would put sets of grommets in my ears, which would let them breathe and stay healthy. These grommets would naturally fall out after about six months or so. The last set was put in when I was 16. A few years later, I started having trouble with earwax buildup.

I saw a doctor who prescribed some earwax solvent to drip in there and clear it out. I had my girlfriend help me put the drops in my left ear and it was uncomfortable with loud crackling and popping but no problem. She then dropped some into my right ear and that was fine, at least at first…

After the fluid cleared out the wax that was in the grommet that was supposed to have fallen out two years earlier, the negative pressure sucked that solvent into the other side of my eardrum. It went to town on all of the goodies on the inside, and landed me in a world of pain. Now, I have been a hard-working laborer and have broken bones and crushed fingers flat but NOTHING can compare to this!

The sound was nightmarish—I couldn’t even hear myself scream. I writhed on the floor for 20 mins before the pain started to calm down. My girlfriend and mom took me to the tiny country hospital near where we lived and we spent four hours waiting to see a doctor who took one quick look into my ear and told me there was too much wax in there.

He wouldn’t listen to anything we said. He just told me to go home and use those drops again. I couldn’t believe it,  but I had no choice. For months, I had no feeling in the right side of my tongue and jaw. I was drooling and biting my tongue all the time.

These days, hearing in that ear is hard. I’ve had it tested and for one frequency range, the operator turned the volume up so loud that it hurt but I couldn’t really hear it at all. Talking in a noisy environment is hard and trying to listen is just plain confusing.

Karma's a Witch FactsShutterstock

43. A Real Trucking Mess

One time, I decided to see if I could lift the back of my pickup truck. I could but—surprise!—I hurt my back doing it. I drove myself to urgent care, but the receptionist wouldn’t even let me see a nurse. The pain was so excruciating that I couldn’t even sit upright in the waiting room. I stayed there until the pain lessened enough for me to go home.

I ended up missing five days of work and then losing my job. Sometime later, I was told that addicts like to fake back injuries to get pills. Darn, I’m pretty sure an X-ray would have shown something but I was never even treated for the injury. I guess I was too young and didn’t understand the system. It still aches sometimes.

Memorable Patient Experiences factsShutterstock

44. Nice Bedside Manner

I was in a bad accident and messed my face up pretty badly—think knocked out teeth, split lip, black eyes, and lacerations. The doctor was absolutely useless. He gave me a few Vicodin but it didn’t even make a dent in the pain. When I called and asked the doctor for something else, she accused me of being a drug addict and told me not to call her anymore.

I later found out that Vicodin can have interactions with the antidepressant I was on, essentially negating the whole pain-relieving function. My doctor didn’t even ask me what else I was on, she just assumed I was looking for meds. Since then, I’ve had incredible anxiety asking for pain medication. I had to have an episiotomy for the birth of my son and I was terrified to even ask for Tylenol 3.

Embarrassing Doctor’s Visits factsShutterstock

45. And Just Like That…

I spent eight hours at the hospital because half my face was numb. They even gave me an MRI but didn’t find anything and didn’t even give me a note for school. The next day, I went to the chiropractor and he could see that my jaw was out of alignment and was pinching a nerve. He popped it back in place and I was fine.

I’m Not Faking It: Medical NightmaresPexels

46. Plot Twist

My friend suffered an injury to his abdomen during mixed martial arts training. Over the years, his body began to stiffen and it would hurt to stand still or sit in a chair. This affected his driving, his work, everything. The doctors didn’t know what to do and his parents didn’t entirely believe him because he generally seemed fine.

My friend tried everything from specialists to chiropractors. He finally found a doctor who decided to prescribe him a high dose of anti-inflammatory pills for two weeks—and it worked! It turns out that he had bad inflammation. I don’t know if this is a hard thing for a doctor to detect, but let’s just say my friend was pretty upset with his family doctor.

Dumb PatientsShutterstock

47. Time For A New Doc

My mom started to suffer from chest pain and breathlessness but our family doctor was very dismissive. He didn’t give her any tests or send her to the hospital. He just told her that her menopause had come early and doubled the hormone medication she had been taking. To make things worse, he told my dad it was all in her head.

The doctor even went so far as to say that her breathlessness was basically just panic attacks because she was worried that she was ill. When it got to the point where she couldn’t even walk from the car to the cinema, my dad decided enough was enough. He took her to the hospital where they discovered she had a pulmonary embolism.

They told my dad that if he hadn’t taken her in that day, she likely would have perished from the blood clot and the internal bleeding.

Dumb PatientsShutterstock

48. The Truth Hurts

I knew something was wrong when I started vomiting and hallucinating and hadn’t had a bowel movement in over a week. I kept going back to the hospital but they didn’t believe that anything was wrong with me. During my last visit, I got lucky, though. The shift had just changed and the new staff didn’t know that I was a "lying troublemaker".

The new staff actually checked me over and found that I had a really bad infection. They said that it was spreading so quickly that if I had come in an hour later I would probably not be alive.

Deranged Doings UnleashedWikimedia Commons, SELF Magazine

49. Apologies Are In Order

I had a minor surgery but afterward, it hurt a lot—like really bad. I told the doctors and nurses but they kept telling me it wasn’t any worse than the first time and that I really should eat, which I ended up doing. But that only made things so much worse. They finally decided to check on me but because I was screaming in pain the nurse couldn’t do it properly and because I just had eaten I couldn’t be sedated.

A little later, I again called for help because I felt like I was lying in a pool of my own blood. They gave me some new gauze but by the time the nurse had finished recording her documentation, I had already bled through. The last thing I remember clearly was her saying that I needed an operation immediately.

It turns out they had punctured one of my arteries and I had been bleeding internally for hours. It took them seven stitches to close it up. I nearly perished from all the blood loss all because they thought I was a sissy and basically forced me to eat instead of realizing that I had a punctured artery.

HOW Did They SurvivePexels

50. That’s What Friends Are For

When I was 20, I went to the doctor because I was constantly feeling really tired and hungry. He said, "You’re probably just lazy. Eat less and exercise—there’s no magic solution to adulthood". When things didn’t improve, I went back and insisted something wasn’t right. He then changed his tune to: "Have you had your mental health checked?"

Two weeks later, I was rushed to the ER because I was convinced I was having a heart attack. I was actually having a thyroid storm. I had a fever of 39.5C (103F), was put on a heart monitor, and had to take heart medication. I was also diagnosed with fatty liver disease and I almost met my maker.

I get so angry when I think about how, in five different appointments, my doctor went out of his way to make me feel stupid. It was my friend who saved me. She was in her second year of a nursing program and had just learned about thyroid symptoms. She immediately recognized what was wrong and insisted I go right to the ER.

Dumb PatientsShutterstock


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