One of my best friends from growing up is an emergency room doctor in California.
I don’t get to see him very often, but when I do, he tells me wild stories about some of the patients that he sees and some of the things they say and believe.
Leave the medical stuff up to the professionals, people! They know what they’re doing!
AskReddit users who work in the medical field open up about the weirdest misconceptions people have had about their own bodies.
“I offered a diabetic a tissue after doing a finger prick to mop the the 2 drops of blood on his finger.
He looked at me like I was an absolute idiot, said “you don’t know very much do you?” and sucked the blood off his finger. Then spend the next 5 min ‘educating’ me that because he was a diabetic, he needed all the blood he had.
Therefore he needed to ‘put it back into his body’ rather then wasting it by putting it on a tissue. He was under the impression that if he just drank his blood it would go straight back into circulation.”
2. Heart problems.
“I’m in the mental health field but I met with a client who was worried that if their relative had a heart transplant would the relative still love and remember them.
The logic being that the feeling of love lives in the heart.”
3. Now you know!
“Patient has blood work done showing some serious liver problems.
I was reading through the nurse’s notes on the patient who explained that when they asked the patient how much they drink alcohol the patient said they never drank alcohol. They only drink beer.
This 50-something year old lady went through her whole life not realizing alcohol was in beer.”
“Aregnant girl who was on the pill asked why she got pregnant.
We discovered that one day she takes it, the next day it’s her boyfriend and so on …
That’s not what we mean by “sharing cost”.”
5. I have a question…
“A patient who just had his left leg amputated, asked the doctor how long it would take for it to grow back.
I thought he was joking and chuckled, he shot an angry look at me and I realized he was serious.”
6. Don’t overdo it.
“I work in physical therapy and the thought of ” no pain no gain” or “if I don’t do it 100% I won’t get better”.
A lot of older people who have been healthy most of their lives don’t understand you can make something worse by over doing it. That why I am here to tell you how much you can do and when you need to rest.
I went to school for it, seriously.”
7. Listen very carefully.
“I had to explain to a couple 45+ that treating the wife’s yeast infection only but continuing to have s*x without treating the husband would result In them both having a yeast infection.”
8. Probably not…
“Working in an ER as a nurse practitioner.
I had a patient’s granddaughter, who was pregnant, ask me if she dyed her hair would it also dye her baby’s hair.
Made my day!”
“Can you email me my medications?”
“Sure. I can send them electronically to any pharmacy you want.”
“No. Skip the pharmacy. Ain’t there some fancy schmancy way now you can send an email of some kind, and I just print it out and eat it, or I scan it with my phone and listen to it with headphones or summinorother?”
“I’m afraid not, sir.”
“Most heartbreaking one for me.
I worked for a bit in a horrifically medically underserved community. I asked a patient about medical history, he of course said he had no illnesses. I asked if he had diabetes and he said “oh yeah, but everyone does. I didn’t think that counted.”
He had no idea he was literally dying from his poorly controlled diabetes. We started dialysis that very day.”
11. Stories for days.
“I had to explain that the human body is perfectly capable of cleansing itself internally. As in, there is no need to spend a fortune on “cleanses” and that both our upper and lower intestines do an extremely good job of if themselves.
I literally had to explain that Windex is not a replacement for topical astringents, since it’s active ingredient is ammonia.
I once had a patient that thought that sweat was literally sin leaving the body.
I had a diabetic patient that had to have his foot amputated and wasn’t worried because his friend said he’d donate his as a replacement.
Medication misconceptions. That somehow aspirin can be substituted for a patient that was taking half of what they need to extend the prescription.
I have about a hundred more.”
12. Morning After Pill.
“A patient called in a panic.
He insisted that he didn’t want an appointment, just a prescription; specifically, the “Morning After Pill”. Well, that’s an unusual request. So, okay, you have my attention. Now I need to ascertain why in the world he thinks he would need that.
I should mention here that part of my job was to save the provider’s time by ascertaining exactly what the patient is being seen for. A blurb goes on the schedule, and the provider knows what the complaint is before going into the exam room.
Also, no physician is going to prescribe medicine without having examined the patient. The physicians I worked for patently would not do that. It’s unethical.
After calming down a bit, the patient explained why he thought he needed that medicine. He was involved in a tense marital separation for several weeks already. For whatever reason, he’d hired an escort for a naughty romp all weekend.
On Monday, he began to worry that he’d contracted a VD from the escort, and wanted “a do-over”. Yes, he actually said that. Hoo boy.
I made him a tentative appointment for that afternoon, in case he needed to be looked over or have a draw for a screening. I then referred the call to one of the more diplomatic nurses for a callback to explain….things.”
13. That’s meat!
“I’ve had a few good ones, but the funniest actually happened during my first year of college studying PT.
Someone raised their hand in A&P early on in learning about muscles, their attachments, actions, and innervations…she asked why humans don’t have meat like cows, pigs, and other edible animals…
Prof stalled for a second holding it together, then asked if anyone else was wondering about this. Roughly a third of the class (perhaps 20 people?) raised their hands. She spent the next few minutes explaining/ convincing people that muscles are in fact “the meat.”
It was hilarious.”
Okay, now we want to hear from you.
Have you ever heard anyone say something really off-base or weird about their bodies?
Tell us your stories in the comments. Thanks a lot!