Doctors do the best they can to keep the people in their communities as healthy as possible. It doesn't really help, though, if those patients don't even know the most basic facts about human biology. Even some of the basic things, like drinking water, seem to be a challenge to some people.
Everyone knows there are some really nutty people out there, but these folks take the cake! We found a collection of hilarious and ridiculous stories from doctors that will leave you to wonder how some of these people remember to breathe.
"When I was an Internal Medicine resident I came across a very nice 50-year-old Dominican lady, she was well mannered but one could tell she was not the sharpest tool in the shed. As I was prepping her chart for our first visit, I noticed that she'd been seen by every single digestive disease MD in our hospital system.
Not only that, she'd had EVERY SINGLE PROCEDURE IN THE BOOK. Ranging from endoscopies up both holes and culminating in an exploratory laparotomy (you're opened up to basically look inside you when we have no clue what's going on). All of this because for years she had one single complaint, she reported severe gnawing pain in her stomach.
At this point, I should mention that she only spoke Spanish. Not only that, she had a very heavy Dominican accent, and I was the first Hispanic doctor to ever see her. My first language is Spanish and even I had difficulty understanding her.
So she comes in and after exchanging some first-time pleasantries I politely ask her how she's doing. Sure enough, although she was smiling and said she felt well she pointed at her belly and said 'it' was biting again, and asked for the cream to kill 'it.' At this point, I got intrigued. Her medication list only mentioned a cream used for herpes breakouts. The previous doctor only mentioned in his note that in every single visit she only asked for the cream and nothing else.
When I asked what she meant by the biting and what she intended to do with the cream, she very calmly tells me she intended to stick the cream up her bottom in order to kill the bird living inside her. After delving more deeply into her story, it turns out she didn't have a medical condition. Ever since she was a little girl, she believed that after eating a whole quail egg, the bird had spawned inside her and gnawed away her insides whenever it was very hungry.
After a short visit to psych, she was diagnosed with a somatic-type delusional disorder. No amount of medication or psychotherapy will cure her, but she was still a fully functional mother of 2 who paid her taxes and had two part-time jobs. I reached out to every digestive disease doctor in our hospital system once more, to make sure she never receives an inappropriate invasive intervention. I've been following her now for three years and she's happy as one can be, considering she has a bird living inside her."
"I got placed doing a rotation in the orthopedic floor of a big hospital in a rural area of Southern California.
I was doing my rounds and saw a patient out of bed and walking around the floor following a knee replacement. She had a cane in her hand which she was carrying like a soldier would carry a weapon. I asked what she was doing and what she thought the cane was for. She replied she thought the cane was for pushing people out of her way since she's now 'handicapped,' not that it was to help her walk on her post-operative knee."
"I did my residency in a clinic. A very pleasant 50 something lady came in for a physical.
Everything was going fine when she casually asked if there are any new vaccines out. She was up to date with everything, so I asked if she had any specific concerns. She was asking to see if she could vaccinate her gay, adult son against homosexuality.
Very nice, always had a smile on her face, even when I broke the 'bad' news to her."
"I work in mental health.
The amount of times parents will leave out super important information when we ask them a question is shocking. For example: 'Has little Timmy had any significant life events in the last few years that might have had an effect on his mental health?' 'No.' An hour later they tell us they've been abused, bullied, lost close family members and a whole bunch of really life-changing traumatic stuff recently. They didn't tell us that when we asked the question because they didn't think it was important.
Honestly, the amount of times you have to explain to a grown adult why really obviously terrible/abusive behavior on their part might be the reason their child is acutely unwell is staggering. The amount of people who are really not fit to be parents is shocking, holy smokes. Parenting and healthy relationships need to be taught in schools for real."
"My mom was the head nurse at a clinic in Houston in the '80s. She worked for an old WWII doctor who had gone into private practice when he returned back to the States. Well, one afternoon they had a patient come in who was running a high fever and complaining of pain in her pelvic area. There was a stench coming from the woman's lap that could only be described as, 'enough to gag a maggot off a meat wagon.'
She began to interview the patient, who told her that she and her boyfriend had been intimate and that she has been in pain ever since. She thought the woman may have contracted an STD and asked her to undress and wait for the doctor to examine her. The doctor arrived and closed the door, only to re-open it a few seconds later, mentioning the need for fresh air.
The doctor noticed something upon examination, and what happened next was something straight out of a magic show.