Going to visit your doctor, no matter the circumstance, is never an exciting time for most people. Depending on the situation, it may even feel embarrassing to discuss certain things with a doctor. The exams can be uncomfortable, whether physically or mentally, even in a professional setting. It’s nothing they haven’t dealt with before, right? You shouldn’t have to worry about visiting the doctor; they know what they are doing and dealing with. You are there to seek help, and that’s what they are there to do.
However, there are moments that doctors have become caught off guard and have “what on Earth?” moments themselves. They’re humans, but they have to stay professional. Doctors shouldn’t embarrass their patients, even in the craziest ER moments. In this article, though, you can read times a doctor shared OMG moments at the hospital or in the office. So read on to see what they have to say, because your experience probably won’t be this outrageous. Are you a doctor or nurse yourself? You can probably relate and have stories even worse then these!
20. This doctor had a patient with a bone sticking out, but that’s not the worst part.
“Well, I’m not a doctor yet – but here is a story from one of my professors: This was in rural Alabama. This middle-aged married couple had presented to the ER after they had been drinking for almost the entirety of the evening and got into a heated argument. The woman eventually fell off the porch of their trailer into the shrubs a few feet below. The husband, in his drunken state, suddenly dropped the argument and came to his wife’s aid. She didn’t suffer anything too serious, just a couple of scratches here and there. Except for what the man said looked like a piece of glass or pipe or something that became lodged in the woman’s arm when she hit the ground.”
Caduceus continues with the doctor story, “He decided not to come to the hospital because he could remove this object himself. He got his largest pair of pliers and gripped onto this glass/pipe-looking thing lodged in his helpless wife’s arm. He clamped down and pulled and pulled. It cranked and cranked. Trying to remove this object, and it wouldn’t budge. After his masculinity was defeated and the alcohol was wearing off on both of them, they decided it sensible to finally come to the ER. Upon arriving at the ER, the doctor immediately realized this poor woman had a compound fracture of her humerus, and this “pipe or piece of glass thing” was her bone sticking through her skin that her husband was trying to pry out with a pair of pliers. True story.”
19. A doctor had to cut a lock off of a patient, in a strange spot.
“Paramedic here while working in the ER one night we had a guy come in complaining of groin pain. So we bring him back, and it turns out he has a master lock (the kind with the spinning dial that you use to secure your locker at school) locked around his pens. Essentially blood could flow in but could not flow back out, so this thing was hugely swollen. He had panicked after he realized he could not remember the code (dealing with a real genius here), and he took a screwdriver to the dial and snapped it off,” says Plays_in_traffic.
“So we consulted with urology, and the urologist wanted to take him to surgery, cut his ween lengthwise, slide the top out then the bottom, and then suture it back. Needless to say, the patient wasn’t thrilled with option A. So option B was for this big nurse; we’ll call him Tom to go in with bolt cutters and cut it off. Option B selected, the curtain closes Tom gives a 1. 2. 3. A loud scream at three a pop noise, Tom exits with a broken lock, and the man was sent to the floor to recover. That’s just one of so so many, but I always tell that one.” Keep reading for more over-the-top doctor stories that will make your jaw drop!
18. When a routine doctor finds a hazardous situation.
“Woman about 35 years old comes in for a Pap smear. OK, no problem. Put the speculum in and maneuver it around a little bit to find the cervix, and I see something dark brown in the right lateral fornix. My first thought was, “Oh crap! Cancer.” You see, when I was an intern, I had a patient on whom I found very dark, friable tissue on the posterior wall of the upper vagina, which eventually turned out to be rectal cancer that had spread into the vaginal wall and was quite advanced. You know, one of those patients you kind of never forget. Anyway, I try and gently scrape at this dark brown area to get a feel of what it was when the smell hit me. I imagine if death itself died and rotted for a few weeks, that is what it would smell like. My medical assistant scooted away to the edge of the room; poor thing couldn’t leave the room as she was my chaperon.” shares BetelguesePDX.
“I stopped breathing through my nose and started to breathe only a couple of times a minute from my mouth, of course turning my head away from the source of the smell to take a breath. Anyway, maneuvering the speculum a bit more and scraping a bit at the brown area some more revealed an answer to the mystery. It was a thick cylindrical wad of something… an old tampon! The patient had no idea that it was there, and her period had ended over a week ago. So this thing had been there for over a week, and the lady was walking around living life as usual. Thankfully she did not get TSS. Retrieval of the tampon was uneventful, and the lady was sent home with advice on being more careful with remembering to take out tampons or perhaps consider switching to pads instead.
“My mum is a nurse and has seen some pretty messed up things. The one story that sticks in my mind involved an elderly man who came into the hospital three times a week to have a growth on his face washed and redressed. The growth had slowly taken over the left-hand side of his face, so much so that his left eye (his only working eye) had closed over. He was effectively blind. This meant that his wife, whom he had been looking after for years due to her frailty, was now tasked with looking after him instead. Furthermore, this bloke was old enough that the hospital didn’t want to operate on him. So the hospital visits stopped. He could no longer get there, so instead, a nurse would visit him three times a week. Now, this growth was unsightly, wept constantly, and smelled bad. Really bad. The whole house stank of it. The nurses said it smelt like death and thought he was going to die any day.”
“During one of these visits by my mum, she was cleaning his face over the sink and noticed a flap of loose skin. She went to clean it with the sponge and SQQULPCH! The growth fell off into the sink, and it was CRAWLING with maggots. The sink was now filled with dead flesh and maggots. And the smell. Oh goodness, the smell. It turns out a fly had laid some eggs on it at some point, and they’d hatched and started eating all the dead flesh in the growth until it fell off. And the man? He was fine: there was new, pink skin where the growth had been, and he could see again out of his left eye. It gave him a new lease on life. Heart-warming story? Yes. Most disgusting my mum has ever told me? Heck yes.”
16. A doctor had a silly patient, who was full of tricks.
“I was working as a scribe when we went to see an 8-year-old girl that had a fever. Nothing too remarkable until we started the physical exam. We examined her head… normal. We examined her upper extremities… normal. Then we pulled up the blanket to examine the lower extremities. Her feet were the size of an infant’s. You should have seen the look on the doctor’s face as he was trying to figure out how the girl’s feet got so small.”
“The mother looked up at the doctor, saw the look of confusion on his face, and said, “Those aren’t her feet.” She pulled up the blanket a little further, revealing a pair of perfectly healthy feet nestled next to the feet of a doll that she put under the blanket. We saw the doll’s feet and thought they were the girl’s. Edit: For those wondering, she had the flu. She turned out fine.” This user was deleted, but keep reading to learn more crazy OMG moments from doctors.
15. This doctor story is so outrageous that it takes two parts to reveal.
Draydz begins their story with “Surgical registrar here. I was working in a smallish hospital in a rural town in Australia. We were asked by the medical team to see a patient that had been admitted under their care by the emergency department overnight (happens quite often in that hospital…) with a CT demonstrating a very distended bladder. They apparently had trouble with a catheter, so they called me to have a look. With much hesitation, I went up to see her on the ward. So I manage to put the catheter in with A LOT of trouble (this lady was faecally incontinent).”
“A little bit of urine drains out, and I just keep thinking… somethings not right. I go back and look at the CT scan, and the IDC placed in the emergency department looks like it’s appropriately positioned (subsequently pulled out). Behind it was one big f**er of a uterus, absolutely full of what appeared to be a fluid density. The report read – along these lines – (I kid you not) as follows: Conclusion – there is a very distended bladder. The catheter balloon is situated in the PROSTATIC URETHRA. Moderate to severe hydronephrosis is noted. Long story short, I speak to the consultant. We get her to the theatre.”
Draydz continues, “With great difficulty, we manage to dissect our way around this HUGE uterus, and we call the O&G guys to come and help get it out. Unfortunately, during this process, the uterus bursts, and there is a boatload of pus that just streams out. It smells SO dang horrible. There are people gagging around us at this yellow-green, sulfuric-smelling goo. The scrub nurse can no longer take it and vomits in her mask. The consultant is looking at me like, F*** YOU FOR BRINGING THIS TO THEATRE. We finish this case, and I am SO glad.”
“I get home, and I keep thinking, I can still smell this awful thing. I have another hour-long shower. All night I can still smell this thing. Morning comes. I can’t have breakfast cos I can still smell it. I get to the hospital, and EVERYONE is wearing masks. Apparently, the smell was so horrible, and the extraction in our theatre so outdated that it had somehow pumped the smell into the vents around the hospital. All night, small amounts were leaking out into the atmosphere, causing this horrendous smell. Silver lining: lady lived for another three years.”
Ladotelli shares a couple of stories, “med student here. I’ve seen some pretty nasty stuff, but the best stories come courtesy of my parents, who are both doctors. Early in my mum’s training, an old man presented to the ED on examination. His feet were incredibly gangrenous. My mum sets out to manage his various issues and decides that soaking the man’s rotten feet before dressing them is the best course of action. So she gets a basin of warm water and leaves them to soak while she goes about her other work as a junior doctor. She returns half an hour later to find ten little piggies floating around in the basin.”
“My dad’s story occurred while we were living in Scotland in the early ’90s. It was a particularly sunny day by Scottish standards and one of the rare days you might be able to get a tan. The Scots are not known for their ability to tan, and the typical Celtic Scots less so (wiry red hair and pale white skin). However, one such Celt was rather overzealous and decided he would really go for it on this day in question. He cracked out several sheets of tin foil and basted himself in cooking oil. Needless to say, he pitched up to the ED a few hours later. 3rd degree burns all over his body.”
12. Please, stop doing this! — says all doctors everywhere.
“So this young female comes in complaining of acute abdominal pain and fever. We run through all the normal procedures and come up with nothing. So we push ahead and give her a quick vaginal exam. As soon as she spread her legs, I almost threw up. No joke, I’ve been around some stinky folks and some smelly wounds, but this was horrendous (we wound up evacuating half the clinic because the smell of death that emanated from her vag was causing people to gag in the hallways and waiting room),” says ArrowInTheMyst.
“Anyway, long story short, she left a tampon in, forgot it was there, shoved another one in, burying the first one. That tampon sat for (we guess at least two months) decaying, and then, of course, the area around was extremely infected. When she came to us, she was in the early stages of septic shock.” Needless to say about this story, ladies, try your very hardest not to forget you have a tampon in there. If you don’t have a great memory, maybe pads are a better way to go for you.
“I’m not a doctor, but a couple of years ago, I was talking to my dentist. She was complimenting me on my “sparkly white teeth and healthy gums” I mentioned something along the lines of “I could never be a dentist, I couldn’t deal with those who have bad breath or rotting teeth,” then I made the mistake of asking what the worst case was for her. She told me about a time that a woman came in with pretty much all of her teeth completely rotten and an abscess on the back of her mouth.” shares Alexandra_762.
“The dentist apparently started working on the back of the mouth and popped the thing. She described the smell like that of a dead animal. Apparently, the smell was so bad that it permeated the thin mouth cover, and the abscess had popped with such force that some of the pus landed on her shirt. I think of that story every time someone tells me I should do interpreting at hospitals.” Now, could you imagine not only the smell for everyone else around but the taste inside that person’s mouth who had the abscess, to begin with?
10. That man should have handled the situation differently from the beginning.
“There was a patient who came in, well-known history of diabetes. When I saw him, the worst of it was already over, but he still had legs like sausages, and the smell in the room was like a garbage dump. There were these strange bands around his ankles that were indented to over a centimeter deep. Apparently, he had developed an ulcer on his foot, so instead of cleaning it and bandaging it, he decided to just put a sock over it. Eventually, the ulcer developed into gangrene, and the pus began to soak through the sock. The smell became overwhelming even for him, so he decided to seek medical attention as a responsible adult would do. Just kidding, he put a plastic bag over it.” shares clessa.
“Eventually, the pus seeped around the edges of the bag and started leaking again, giving rise again to the horrific smell. So now things were getting out of control, so now he decided to get it properly looked at. Got you again! He put another plastic bag over it. This process is repeated about 9-10 times. In the ER, they had been peeling off this giant mass of plastic, and dead tissue glued together with pus and held on with elastic bands around the ankles (that’s what the indents were). It was like his foot turned into a giant pus onion, with each layer smelling worse than the previous one. Two or three nurses apparently threw up, and they had to rotate people in to do the next layer. He wasn’t even in much pain because he had long-standing neuropathy in his feet which was why he was able to ignore the problem for so long.”
“My father-in-law was an ER doctor for 20 years. Twice he’s been really surprised. We’ll call him Dr. J. This first time was a patient that came holding his stomach, with the front of his jacket bloody. He looked very out of it, and it was obvious he was under the influence of some drug. Dr. J asked him what the problem was, and the guy calmly said, “My stomach hurts.” “Well, let’s have a look.” Smack! As he pulls the guy’s coat away, his intestines spill onto the floor! It turns out he and a friend were doing some drugs. One of them pulled out a loaded shotgun and accidentally shot the other guy in the stomach. He explained it very matter-of-factly, ‘Oh man, I need to go to the hospital.'” shares Sideshow87.
“The story was years later. Dr. J had a male patient come in complaining of abdominal pain. He decides after an examination that they need to do a scope. So there he is, minding his own business, navigating through this guy’s bowels with a camera when suddenly a light facing the opposite way blinds the camera. It turns out the guy was giving himself the old in and out with a flashlight and lost track of it. I have no idea why it was on. Dr. J had told the man he had to consult with another physician, then left the room and collapsed from laughing so hard. He said it was like watching a cartoon where somebody runs down a tunnel and meets a train head-on, except the tunnel was a butt, and the train was a flashlight.”
“Group of intoxicated teens driving around town. One passenger in the back opens the window and projects his upper body out of the car while other people hold his belt. The stoned, drunk driver sees this and decides to scare his friend, bypassing close to a street sign. Moments later, people kick in the ER door, screaming. I jump there; they grab my coat and drag me to the car, where a body without a head and most of the arms rest hanging out the window. The freaked-out dude tries to give me the head while screaming, ‘do something!'”
“Drunk girl riding a motorcycle, forgets the helmet in the bar and decides to turn the wrong way in a one-way street. Hits car, flies headfirst into a street pole. Massive brain injury, making cerebral tissue swell, which would be the cause of a rather early death. But she was saved by neurosurgery AND a basal skull fracture, making her brain insinuate out to the nose and helping relieve pressure inside the skull. Huge amounts of brain tissue came out of her nose for days, and the nurses did a great job in wiping it constantly, so the family never had to see it. She survived with major sequelae.”
7. Some nursing homes should not even be in existence.
BrotherSporter shares, “Not a doctor, but when I was a paramedic student, we used to do rotations in the ED. A guy was brought in from what I assume must have been a horrendous nursing home. He looked fine at first, but once they took his pants off, the issue became apparent. His testicles were about the size of a football and necrotic. It’s called Fournier gangrene. He must have had it for quite some time as well, judging by the size, color, and smell. He had a stroke in the past and was now much less alert than his normal.”
“It looked painful, but the worst part was the smell. It smelled like rotten crab meat. One of the residents that came in to evaluate him looked as if he was going to vomit and left the room within 20 seconds. I felt terrible for the guy; he had no clue what was going on. And he clearly must have become used to the smell. When I went home that night, my roommates and friends decided to make appetizers. One of them brought mini crab cakes. The smell gave me an image of that guy’s testicles immediately; it was the cruelest irony I could think of.”
“This was back in med school when I was following an anesthetist to clerk this 60-70-year-old gent with penile cancer who had come in for a penectomy. Simply put, to have his entire penis chopped off. We go into this room with the patient and his son (in his thirties) to see if the guy was fit for his op. He was decently kempt but smelled like he hadn’t showered in a year. As we started taking his history, he shoved his right hand into his pants and started moving it vigorously, moaning as he went at it.” shares poogks.
“Just so you know, the anesthetist and I are female. And his son was clearly having the Most Embarrassing Day Of His Life. A very painful ten min went by, our clerking interjected with moments of OOooohhhhh…..A few hours later, in theatre, after sedation, we removed his gown, and voila! A 15x15cm black necrosed male part with ulceration and oozing pus stares us in the face. And the smell… THE SMELL. I couldn’t eat lunch after. At that point in time, I was glad I was still a student because I just said I had a tutorial to go to and fled the hell out of there.”
“As a medical student in a urology office, we had a young, healthy male come in with problems urinating. He said he had hesitancy and a decreased stream, pretty odd for a young male. So the doctor went through all the standard questions, and it was a benign physical exam. I did a prostate exam, and nothing was out of the ordinary there either, so after a couple of visits, a cystoscopy was done (a little black tube with a camera on end is shoved up your pee hole to look at your bladder). Well, this guy had strictures all over the place, extremely odd.” says Yont283.
“So more questions like have you ever had a catheter? Nonchalantly “oh yeah, hundreds of times.” For what? Well…. When my partner and I host parties, I take a catheter and drain my bladder. We both thought that was strange and thought maybe he doesn’t want to miss any of the parties by having to pee? We were clueless. So then he states, and then I fill my bladder up with red or white wine. OK, it doesn’t work like that, butt-chugging sure, but not the bladder. So here comes the kicker, this guy would go around and pee in people’s mouths to give them a drink of wine! It was a big gay orgy come to find out!”
4. Doctors and nurses have to deal with death, but not in this way!
“I just recently caught up with an old friend who is now an OR nurse, and she told me this gem: She was preparing a morbidly obese woman for surgery, scrubbing her down and cleaning the areas up underneath fat rolls that haven’t seen the light of day in God knows how many years. When she picked up one particularly hefty roll around the side of this lady, near the lower back, she stopped suddenly. Is that… a bone? She mustered her courage and continued to investigate. A moment later, she uncovered the skeleton of a small kitten.” shares _meetmeinmontauk_, told by her friend.
“The bones were fused with the still-rotting flesh of the sad little creature. Holding back tears and vomit, she walked around to face the large woman. “Ma’am, I don’t want to alarm you, but I’ve just found the remains of a small cat in one of your fat rolls.” Lady’s response, seemingly unfazed: “Oh! I’ve been looking for him!” Apparently, people this huge develop rather thick callouses in their fat rolls from all the friction. This cat could have been clawing for life in there, and she might not have felt a thing. Poor little guy died trying to claw his way out of hell.”
“This was during residency. I had a husband bring his wife in for an ingrown nail. Every nurse avoiding that room due to the smell was my first clue. I looked at her and pondered what to do with this foot that was wrapped in a big black garbage bag. Underneath said bag was layers and layers of newspapers. Unwrapping their homemade dressing invoked the worst odor I’ve ever experienced. I got to the point of gagging (and I have a very strong stomach) and had to leave the room, put a surgical mask on, chew gum, and breath through my mouth. (All the while thinking I’m tasting this stuff most likely.).”
Legumes and beans continues, “Finally got the “dressing” unwrapped, and this great toe had wet gangrene and is auto amputating due to the layers of rubber bands the woman had wrapped on the base of her toe. The couple lived in an RV, driving from place to place/state to state. The lady thought by wrapping the toe with rubber bands. She’d prevent the ingrown nail from “spreading.” The odor started, and she wrapped newspapers and finally garbage bags. The husband admitted that he brought her to the clinic because he couldn’t stand the smell anymore. She ended up getting a transmetatarsal amputation.”
“I live next door to a hospital, and one of my neighbors is a nurse, and this is her story: One day, she was working the emergency room, and it was just one of those bloody days. She had seen more nosebleeds that wouldn’t stop on that faithful day to the point where a person freaking out and getting woozy from the blood pouring out of their nostrils with no end in sight had become routine. Then this guy walks in. He enters the room holding a bloody rag tightly to his face. She takes one look at him and thinks to herself, Oh, another nosebleed. “Lower the rag, sir.” she says to him so that she can take a look at how bad it is,” says HoochCow.
“The man lowers the rag, and his jaw just drops, literally drops from his face, and swings about dangling from a tendril of bloody flesh. Shocked and unsure how to respond by the sudden surprise, she can only say, “Please, put the rag back, sir.” Which he does and is then escorted to the trauma center for help. She looks into the guy’s case, curious to what in the hell happened to him, and finds out that he was cleaning a shotgun upstairs in his house, and when he was done, he was walking downstairs with the gun to put it away when he tripped and discovered in the most unfortunate way possible that his gun was still loaded when he accidentally set the gun off in his fall and shot himself in the face at close range thus blasting his jaw almost completely off.”
1. Being a doctor or nurse is not for those with a weak stomach.
Laurenp_rn shares a story told by their classmate. “When I was in nursing school, my classmate had this amazing story: Her patient has gangrenous toes on both feet, and he’s in isolation for C. diff. She does his head-to-toe assessment, and then he wants to take a shower. She gets him in there and is passing him a washcloth, soap, etc. And it smells worse and worse like a steamy turd-bath. He’s ready to get out of the shower, so she opens the curtain, and there is a mound of orange, lumpy C. diff. diarrhea on the shower floor.”
“She gets the patient back to bed and is cleaning and drying his feet when she realizes…his toe is missing. The one that she’d just seen during her head-to-toe. Gone. She looks back toward the bathroom. And she realizes that the toe is now buried in a pile of crap. She was about to cry when she asked our instructor, ‘So…do I have to go find it?'” Do these OMG doctor moments make you cringe? Wait until you read about the times patients received the worst misdagnosis.