These Patients Were Misdiagnosed in the Worst Ways

7. Kids can know things, too. Bob4apples shares, “To make a long story short, when I was 12, the front wheel came off my bike at high… Trista - April 30, 2021

7. Kids can know things, too.

Bob4apples shares, “To make a long story short, when I was 12, the front wheel came off my bike at high speed. I arrived at the hospital with two broken teeth and substantial lacerations on my chin and the knuckle of one finger, in addition to the other relatively inconsequential effects of sliding down the road on one’s face. The finger hurt so much that I was basically unaware of the other injuries. After a half-hour or so, I’m attended by the one person in the world I did not want to encounter in an emergency room…my family doctor. As he’s putting 14 stitches in my chin and 6 in my finger, I say, “aren’t you going to x-ray the finger?” He says, “No, it’s fine.””

“Fast forward a few weeks. The finger is bent at the knuckle and won’t straighten. Now he decides that an x-ray might not be a bad idea. After looking at the x-ray, he concludes that the tendon over top of the knuckle had gotten damaged and that I would need surgery to shorten it. So I go in for surgery. When I’m sufficiently recovered, they tell me that the surgery was a failure because when they opened my finger, they discovered that the bone had gotten crushed in the accident and, since it had been allowed to mend that way, the only way to fix it would be to re-break the finger (a procedure that I have chosen to forego).”


6. Sometimes, you got to go with your gut.

Some of these misdiagnosis stories are insane, including this one! DestroyerTZ shares their story, saying, “I had this happen to me when I was young as well (like 10-12yo). They told me it may be signs of appendicitis and said they were going to send me to a specialist to check it out. When my parents took me there, the nurse said I was scheduled for surgery. My parents and I freak out a bit and opt to find another doctor for a second opinion.”

“I end going to the ER of a different hospital having all sorts of tests done, all coming up negative until they did a spinal tap. It turns out I had Spinal Meningitis. A nurse from the other doctor kept calling our house, telling my parents I’d die if I didn’t have the surgery, when in reality, the ER doctor told me that surgery would have killed me. Fun times.” As a child, to think about that would have been quite scary, and for the parents as well. Thank goodness they didn’t listen to that nurse. 


5. Good thing they went somewhere else.

“I was playing hockey and was part of a fairly harmless check against the boards, nothing significant, other than having my elbow push a rib into my spleen and lacerate it. I immediately knew something was wrong and started sweating badly as well as going pale. Upon going to the emergency room, I was put ahead of others because of the symptoms. I had low blood pressure and felt a bit dizzy. The doctor diagnosed me with a “contusion” and said x-rays shouldn’t be needed because after feeling the exterior of the area that hurt, he detected nothing broken. I was sent home,” says i_am_ericc.

“The next day, I could barely stand up. If I was up too long on my feet, I would blackout and fall over. Using the bathroom was a serious hassle, and also, performing the act was pretty painful. We decided to follow up with a local doctor since the game I played was out of town. After some x-rays, I was immediately rushed to a larger hospital upon the discovery of my actual injury. They told me I had lost a ton of blood internally and had a 50/50 chance of removing my spleen. Basically, I could have died overnight if I had kept on bleeding out. What was odd is there were no signs of any of this externally, such as bruising or anything. I ended up staying 3 nights there and keeping it. My hockey season ended early, though.”


4. Luckily, this misdiagnosis got figured out in time.

“My senior year of college, I appeared to have contracted a case of pink eye. I stopped by the college med center. No one argued with my assumed diagnosis. They gave me pink eye drops of some sort to get rid of it within a week, supposedly. Two weeks go by, and it does not seem to be getting any better, so I manage to get an appointment with an actual eye doctor. He continues to not necessarily argue with the diagnosis and gives me something (stronger?) else that should clear it up. After another month goes by (due to tricking myself into thinking it was getting better)” shares badchecker.

“I get another check-up from the eye doctor pointing out that I thought things were getting better, but they seem to be getting worse now. They seem secretly worried and surprised to see such a thing. Two weeks later (or so…the timeline on all this is sketchy at best), I finally receive a phone call. It starts with the question, “Have you ever heard of chlamydia?” I’ve never looked up anything on google as fast as the words “chlamydia std permanent?” in all my life. By the end of said google search, I have the knowledge that Chlamydia of the eye is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the United States…(luckily?) it only took him 3 months to figure it out. So yup, there’s that.”


3. Patients know their bodies.

“My fiance had issues with recurring infections regarding her tonsils. As the daughter of two cardiologists, she wasn’t exactly an idiot regarding her own body and health and told the fellow about her issues and her desire to get her tonsils removed. He, of course, scoffed and disregarded her. Imagine that the contempt doctors have for web MD was amplified for people with MDs in the family. She pointed out that her tonsils were so bad she could produce tonsil stones (that foul-smelling white stuff) on demand.” 

Trodamus goes on to say, “He still didn’t want to hear it and didn’t want her to show him. At this point, a veteran physician that knew her parents came by and heard some of the stories. So they gave her a tongue depressor, and he told her to show them. And she did: a quick press on one of her tonsils sprayed the mirror with the stuff. The sage advice the doctor gave the fellow: If they say they can show you, let them!” Keep reading for another misdiagnosis story.


2. Even veterinarians can give a misdiagnosis.

“My cat was outside when I heard him wheezing. I brought him in, and he continued for a while. He was kind of unresponsive and didn’t move very much. We brought him to the only vet open, 45-minute drive. The vet wanted to do an x-ray/test for cancer. It could cost up to the thousands. My dad, after learning this, immediately asked how much it would cost to put him down. The vet’s reaction was priceless (upon later rumination). He also asked if it could be asthma.” says Ha_window.

“The vet said it was “VERY rare” for a cat his age to suddenly start showing signs of asthma. My dad insisted that as well as keep him in the oxygen tank, they give him a steroid shot. It turns out we avoided a butt-load of medical bills because my dad is a heartless cheapskate (not really because we were spending a lot on our dying dog at the time). We still have a report the vet wrote for our visit on our fridge. It makes my dad sound like a heartless cat-eating jerk.”


1. This is why doing tests accurately is important to prevent a misdiagnosis.

“My “growing pains” turned out to be maltracking knees and scoliosis. When I felt like my heart was skipping beats and was told it was my anxiety. I found out later it was a Mitral Valve Prolapse. Not an inaccurate diagnosis, but I’ve also gotten: “I see no visible break, but it’s definitely broken.” Uh…thanks, doc? I think. Also, there was the time I went to the emergency room for what turned out to be an easy treatable bladder infection but got treated for STDs. Not any specific STD, they just pretty much instead of cutting off a branch burnt the whole forest down.” 

Owlshark continues with their story to say, “Two big shots, and lots of pills that caused a lot of stomach issues later on. They did a pap smear but didn’t do any sort of urinary tract analysis on me and didn’t do an ultrasound. I was 3 hours away from my Primary Care Doctor. When I got back a few days later, he called the hospital I was at to get my results. Apparently, the lube they used when they did the test botched the results. I raged pretty hard that day.” That was the last misdiagnosis. Can’t get enough? Keep reading about the craziest nights at the ER.