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 Apparently, the smell was so horrible, and the extraction in our theatre so outdated that it had somehow pumped the smell into the vents around the hospital.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.