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Emergency Room Workers Share The Strangest Things They’ve Ever Seen

Emergency Room Workers Share The Strangest Things They’ve Ever Seen

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Working in an emergency room, you never really know who will walk in those doors, or what they’ll be needing urgent care for. The brave men and women of the ER must remain cool, calm, and collected in order to tend to emergency situations at all hours of the day. Many patients who come into the emergency room have small, manageable cases, but others aren’t so simple…

Photo: creativecommons.org/Army Medicine

Workers have encountered everything from imaginary worms, to actual gorillas wheeled into the waiting room. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the lunacy that some ER workers have reported seeing. Some emergency room workers have taken the time to share some of their craziest stories about who and what came walking through their doors. You’ve been warned: some of these stories will leave you scratching your head…

The Worms

A patient came into the ER one night saying she was infected with worms. She told me she had been noticing worms in her mouth, as well as when she went to the bathroom. She said it had been happening for a few months and it was worsening. She actually brought a sample of these worms. She brought them in a glass, covered with saran wrap.

Photo: creativecommons.org/Groupon

I held it up to the light, and it looked like saliva. As I was trying to convince her that it was just normal spit, her parents arrived. They had driven down from out of state, in a panic that their daughter was dying of a parasitic infection. Mom and dad were livid with me when I suggested that it was in her head (there’s actually a delusional disorder named Delusional Parasitosis).

They asked for a GI consult so someone could look into her infection. I opened up the glass. I ran it around in my fingers and showed them. The dad’s reaction was something to behold. It went from “don’t be ridiculous, she’s sick,” to “what the hell are you doing?”, to “wait a second, that looks like spit,” to “holy crap, my daughter is crazy.” Reddit user: [Redacted]

Drinking Blood

Working as a phlebotomist at a hospital with a psych unit, I had the pleasure of running into some pretty interesting individuals. The best was this one patient who refused to have his blood drawn unless I brought him blood to replenish the sample I had taken. So with the help of the nursing staff, we got him V-8, warmed it up, and told him that it was fresh O+ blood.

Photo: Creative Commons/NIHClinicalCenter

He let me draw his blood, but he kept talking about how the devil could see what I was doing, and how he knew I was going to hell. When we gave him the V-8, he acted like it was actually bringing parts of him back to life. In situations like that, creativity is sometimes better than restraining someone. Reddit user: [Redacted]

Gangster Love

I had a patient who was a legit gangster with the name and all (for HIPAA, I won’t post his name, but it was like any over-the -top mobster name, like Jimmy The Ape). He was in because he got in a fight with another gangster who nearly cut his toe off. Instead of coming to the doctor, the patient attempted to “treat” his wound by himself.

Photo: creativecommons.org/klynslis

Surprise, surprise, it got severely infected and he had to come in for it to be treated with antibiotics. He saw my wedding ring and asked, “Oh, you’re married? Does your husband have life insurance? I can work something out.” I believe that was supposed to be flirty, but it was just the strangest way I’ve ever been come onto. Reddit user: [Redacted]

Ranting and Raving

I had a patient come in ranting and raving that they were going to sue the ambulance people for beating the patient to a pulp, and leaving them in a ditch on a mountain. We don’t do that, and we don’t have mountains. The patient demanded we pull up “the Skype footage” for their court case. The judge realized they were a little off, so they were advised to speak to their lawyer after releasing the records I was authorized to release.

Photo: creativecommons.org/Sheba_Also 43,000 photos

I also had a patient come in ranting and raving about the doctor being a liar, and falsifying their record because, as they said, “The doctor thinks I’m not actually sick.” They asked me to change it. I said no. The last ranting and raving patient said that they needed their test results now because they’d slept with a stripper, and needed to know if they caught a specific disease. Reddit user: FurTheGigs

All For Love

Football season had just started, which meant we would be getting a lot of players into the ER for the next couple of months. One night, an 18-year-old male comes in by ambulance with an open fracture in his tibia. We only had him in the main ER for about 15 minutes before he went up but he sure was a talker.

Photo: creativecommons.org/Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires

I went in there to get some information from him so we could admit him, and this is where it got funny (he was on a lot of pain medication, the good stuff). I walked in, and he immediately stopped talking, and just stared at me. He then asked me what I was doing later after work. Meanwhile, his dad was laughing hysterically, and his mother was yelling at him to be quiet.

Then he asked me if I would want to rent a “Redbox” movie and watch it later at his house, because his parents go to bed early, and we could have the couch all to ourselves. His dad could not stop laughing, and his mom looked very mad. All in all, the guy had a broken bone sticking out of his leg and he was still trying to hit on a girl. Reddit user: [Redacted]

Monkeying Around

I’ve seen some pretty crazy things in the ER–things the average person doesn’t believe–but this is by far the best. One time, someone brought in a real live gorilla. Not a man in a suit. There had been some sort of altercation at the zoo between the male gorillas, and one dropped the other on its head quite violently.

Photo: creativecommons.org/Nigel Swales – 2

The zoo had put in a breathing tube and knew the injury was bad. I called our neurosurgeons, and asked if they would look at him as a last resort. So they brought this massive beast in with IVs, a heart monitor, etc. They did a CT scan of it, and the docs said that it wasn’t going to survive. Zoo staff were crying. It was sad. Reddit user: Stamos

Ear Games

We had a patient coming in, complaining of “difficulty hearing.” Now, this doesn’t really merit an ER visit, so we didn’t really hurry to treat him. After some time, our ear nose and throat doc shows up, and finds the tip of a Q-Tip in his ear. And it was one that had obviously been stuck in there for quite some time.

Photo: Flickr.com/osseous

Another time, we had a patient who was already in the ER with “some bleeding.” It turns out he tried to put an IV on himself in the crook of his arm, mistakenly aiming for the artery. We’re not sure why he did that, since the doctor had already done it for him. Apparently, he hit it. He walked in, occluding it with his fingers. I really had no words. Reddit user: nordwind25

A Tango With Wasps

I was a frequent visitor to the ER when my mother and grandmother were taking turns being sick. I literally got to know the staff because I was there with either one of them on at least a weekly basis. The ER that I frequented was basically a great big room with a bunch of beds separated by curtains. Since there was nothing but curtains, there was also very little privacy.

Photo: Creative Commons/Hardo

One day, a guy came in who only spoke Portuguese, so he needed an interpreter. I couldn’t see him, but I could hear he was having trouble speaking. The interpreter had a very loud voice. Apparently, this guy found a beehive, and tried to open it to eat the honey. Great plan, except it wasn’t a beehive, it was a wasp’s nest.

He had been stung around the mouth and face many times. I wish I had been able to get a peek, but everyone who did get to see him audibly gasped when they walked in. Reddit user: stormydog

An Immaculate Conception

I had a woman and her 16-year-old daughter come in, with the daughter complaining of abdominal pain. The mom was carrying a bible. During the exam, the doctor asked if there was any chance she was pregnant. The mom went ballistic. “We are a good Christian family! How Dare you! I’ll see that you’re fired!” We get the labs back and, of course, she is pregnant.

Photo: Creative Commons/drewesque

We return to the exam room, and he asks the daughter again if there is any chance that she is pregnant. The mom responds as expected, demanding to see another doctor. The doctor looks at mom and says, “I’m not talking to you!” He asks the girl again if she could be pregnant, and she responds with the typical, “Oh goodness no, I’m a virgin.”

The doctor hands the lab results to the mother and says, “Congratulations. Another immaculate conception,” and walks out of the room. Reddit user: TurnTheTVOff

It Slipped Up There

I worked as a tech at the front desk of an ER. One morning, at about six am, as my shift started, a 75-year-old Asian man walked in and tried speaking with me. All I could make out was, “No fart, no poo-poo.” I called our translation line and had them get a Vietnamese translator. After about 10 minutes of him on the phone with the translator, I took the line.

Photo: Flickr/Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada

The translator explained that the man thinks something “slipped” up his bottom. I took him to the X-ray after seeing the doc, and we get the film back. He had a huge can of hair spray way up there. When the doctor asked him how it got there, all he could come up with was “I don’t know, someone must have pushed it up while I was sleeping.” Reddit user: Balognarye

Dates In The Hospital

A 72-year-old patient was admitted due to kidney stones, and eventually ended up with a catheter. Everyone noticed that he had tons of visitors, all of whom were blonde females under the age of 35. And I’m saying this with no bias whatsoever: they were all extremely gorgeous. In fact, most looked like they were either actresses or models.

Photo: creativecommons.org/mikecogh

One of the nurses made a comment about how nice it was that his granddaughters were visiting him, at which point he laughed and said, “Granddaughters? Those babes are from OkCupid!” Not sure why he thought that a date in the hospital watching him pee in a bag was particularly romantic, but I do hope that he landed a second date in the end. Reddit user: [Redacted]

Where Are You Going, Sir?

This happened on a 911 call I was responding to. We got a notification that a 20-year-old male had fallen in his home. Immediately, I knew something was up, because usually only older adults have serious indoor falls. We pull up to the scene, and head towards the nice two-story home. The front door was open and nobody was there.

Photo: Flickr/bobbsled

I looked around the corner, and a man with a ton of insulation and plaster around him was face down on the ground. Above him were two holes, 20+ feet up. This man fell through the attic floor, and the force of his body also caused the second story to collapse. We all thought he was dead, but when we tried to wake him, he stood straight up and ran out the door….

I have no clue why he did that, or where he was going, but even the cops couldn’t find him. Reddit user: Jordinr1

AIDS From A Sandwich

I had a patient come in once, and this is how the conversation went. I said, “What are we seeing you for today?” She said, and I kid you not, “I believe I got AIDS from a sandwich.” I asked her to explain what she meant. She said, “The sandwich had mayonnaise on it.” I immediately knew I must have misheard the first time, so I said, “Mayonnaise? Oh, did you say eggs?”

Photo: Creative Commons/beltzner

But she was adamant that it was not eggs. “No, AIDS. A. I. D. S.” Trying not to laugh, I asked her why she thought she has AIDS. Her response was, “My urine has a real foul smell to it.” It was the craziest thing I had ever heard. When you are checking a patient into the emergency room, you have to choose a description off of a list of possible complaints, like “chest pain,” or “shortness of breath.”

“AIDS from a sandwich” is not on that list. It took me a minute to figure out what to put, settling with “Other, Ask me.” I then excitedly hunted down a nurse to giddily inform them their next patient had supposedly contracted, not HIV, but full-blown AIDS, from a sandwich. Reddit user: [Redacted]

Extreme Stomach Pain

My sister is a registered nurse in an ER. On one of her shifts, she had a patient who came in, screaming in pain. This woman didn’t have a bowel movement for two months. My sister examined her, and her butt area was wide open. There was a huge hole that you could look into. While she was a bit surprised, she knew that constipation could do that to a person.

Photo: Flickr/Project IDEA

That area was open, because her impending bowel movement was huge and as hard as a rock, so it wouldn’t close. My sister gave her an enema, but it would not come out. Eventually, my sister had to pull it out. After it all came out, my sister looked down and saw a cockroach crawling around in it. She almost quit her job that day. Reddit user: [Redacted]

The Little Blue Pill

Once, we had a young guy come in who had taken a little blue pill before engaging in intimate acts. His girlfriend had rolled over right after, and passed out, and the guy was stuck there, needing to tend to his… member. After about five hours, he decided he wanted to try to fix it himself. So he went and tried to drain it.

Photo: Health.mil/Reese Brown

Obviously, that didn’t help, so now he’s stuck with two needles sticking out of it like little antennas. Long story short, he ended up driving himself to the ER, and waddling in with his pants down, crying. I’m a girl, but I had major sympathy pains for him. I’m getting them again right now just thinking about it. Ugh. Reddit user: [Redacted]

What Kind Of Bug Bit You?

It was around 10 pm one night, and earlier in the day, I had an accident and thought that I had broken my foot. So anyway I had been sitting in the ER waiting room for about 10 minutes, when they came out and called my name, which was odd because there were around 20 other people there before me, but she kept calling for me, so I got up and went.

Photo: Flickr/Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

She took me into a room and started asking me questions about my pain level, and what I was doing when I had the accident. I answered accordingly, and then she pulled out a gown and asks me to disrobe. Since it was just my foot, I asked if I really needed to, and she said, “Well how else are we supposed to see it?” So there I am, confused, and the doctor walks in and asks, “So, what kind of bug do you believe bit you?”

I told him I was just there for my foot, and he started looking over the charts again. It turned out there was another gentleman in the waiting room that had the exact same name as me, and he had passed out because of his bug bite. Reddit user: ascultone

Sinister Sausages

My ex was a nurse, and she once attended an emergency surgery of a guy who had been stabbed with a spork, and the utensil was still in his chest when he arrived at the hospital. For some reason, on the fork side of the spork, there was a little piece of Wiener Wurst attached. It was quite the sight to take in.

Photo: creativecommons.org/creativecommons.org/SIM USA

When he was wheeled into the OR, the surgeon’s hand trembled from laughter during the whole operation. Of course, he had to remove the dangling sausage before he could start, lest it fall onto the patient’s wounds. When asked during recovery about what happened, the guy said he’d slipped while eating dinner, and fell on the spork, but the authorities suspect there was something more sinister going on. Reddit user: EPIC_BOY_CHOLDE

Burning Sinner

I once had a patient that was a Catholic priest. He developed a skin rash. He was treating it with Clorox cleanup solution, which, of course, only made it worse. When asked about the rash, he said he caught it from his wife, and then pleaded with us not to report him to the head guy at his church, since he’s not supposed to be married.

Photo: Needpix.com

Obviously, we can’t report things like that due to privacy laws. But it turned out that his “wife” was a prostitute that was also one of our patients. Just for your information, Clorox spray, when applied liberally and directly to your private parts, will cause burns. Please don’t say I didn’t warn you. Reddit user: [Redacted]

Who Made Him Do It?

We had a man drive himself to the hospital because he was having delusions, and decided it would be a good idea to cut off his own ‘little man.” According to him, after said removal, he regretted the decision. To remedy the problem, he stuck a pencil through the severed member, stuck it back on the stump, and attempted to superglue the whole thing back together.

Photo: Creative Commons/Jaggery

He tried for a while, and when it didn’t work, he drove on over to the ER. He said that God had told him that if he removed his member as a sacrifice, he would stop global warming. I guess it was a noble reason for him to do it. And the next night, when I returned to work, he had been admitted to my unit, and was one of my patients. Yay.

They were able to, by some huge miracle, reattach it. They didn’t know if it would ever be fully functional again, but he could at least urinate. Reddit user: [Redacted]

Various Stories

I have so many stories, but these are my favorite. A guy who pulled his freshly splinted arm out of its sling while screaming in pain so he could put his jacket on to go home. A homeless man that peed himself as a way of life frequented our ER. One day, he sat in the waiting room, and would move from chair to chair peeing himself on different furniture every five minutes.

Photo: Creative Commons/kasio69

Once, I saw a man with stomach cancer wait patiently in the ER waiting room for 12 hours without ever complaining. He didn’t say why he was there, he just sat waiting for hours. Then there was the pregnant woman who accidentally locked herself in the family bathroom and gave birth. She and the baby were both fine, but she could’ve surely done with some help in there. Reddit user: Beartown9000

Red Hot

My cousin was training for her nurse diploma at a local hospital. There was this old guy (70-80) coming in the ER with a big wound on his leg, and he had to go for surgery. My cousin tried to prepare him for the surgery, and asked him to remove his boots and clothes, so he could change into proper clothing.

Photo: Pexels/Keiya Tasire

The old guy started yelling and screaming because he didn’t want to take his boots off. Several doctors came by to calm him, and he started to fight them too. After some time, when he calmed down, they injected him with some anesthetic in order to remove his boots. It turns out he was ashamed to take them off because he had his toenails painted red. Reddit user: SteliosTh

Glittery Body Wash

A nice fella taking a colonoscopy prep overdid it and started vomiting, just when the diarrhea kicked in. Eventually, exhausted and empty, but feeling better, he thought he’d try to get approved to go ahead with the colonoscopy instead of wasting the preparation. The GI said it was okay as long as he went and got checked out for dehydration and infection.

Photo: Pxfuel

He hopped into the shower, cleaned off in a hurry, and came to see me, having failed to notice that he used his teenage daughter’s silly glitter body wash. This big, macho, muscular, conservative-looking 50-year-old man, walked in glittering like Edward from Twilight. Once he heard the workup was okay, and he was clear for the scope, we all had a great laugh. Reddit user: procrast1natrix

Oranges And Insulin

My mom is a nurse, and, trust me, she has come home with many unbelievable stories. This is one of them. She had a newly-diagnosed diabetic man come in, and she had to explain how to inject insulin. My mom used an orange to demonstrate how to inject it, and the guy said he understood, and that was the end of it.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Melissa Wiese

The guy comes back a week later, and his diabetes has gotten worse. She was really confused, because she had shown him exactly how to do it. She asked him to tell her about how he had been injecting it. The guy had bought oranges and injected them with insulin, and then ate the oranges. I don’t understand people sometimes. Reddit user: helloworld508

Horsing Around

I’m not a nurse, but when I was a paramedic, we had a woman who was trampled by a horse. She was in really bad shape. Her husband assumed the doctors would need to see the horse for some reason. And that’s why he brought the horse in a trailer, and tried to trot the thing in through the ambulance bay. He even tied it to a gurney.

Photo: Creative Commons/safoocat

It was chaos, and the horse was panicking from all the commotion. Trying to get it out of the emergency room was a complete circus, and the whole thing wasn’t funny until the next day. Also, this was a major urban hospital, not the suburbs or a rural area, so it was that much weirder to see a man walking in with a horse. Reddit user: foreignqueso89

The Attempted Escape

My cousin is a nurse at a hospital that provides medical care for a major city’s inmate population. Her first week there, she was going to give a prisoner some kind of vaccination. The deputy guarding the door opened it for her, to find that the inmate was gone. After a little bit of sleuthing, they saw the drop ceiling tiles wiggling a little bit.

Photo: creativecommons.org/ Army Medicine

She said she stepped back, and two deputies and a police officer grabbed brooms and mops from the janitor’s closet, and started jabbing up into the ceiling until the escapee fell out head-first onto one of the deputies. She said they both ended up with a concussion, and both had to be admitted to the hospital (the inmate was readmitted). Reddit user: txman91

Not Nailing It

This is a story from when my aunt did a stint as an ER nurse, before being an orthopedic RN. These two construction workers walked in. One was wearing a baseball cap that was standing straight up in the air, but the cap’s peak was stuck to his head. The foreman on the job had sent the two of them in together.

Photo: creativecommons.org/CurrencyFair

Apparently, he and his buddy thought it would be hilarious to staple a baseball cap to his forehead using a nail gun. That’s right, these two men were clowning around on a construction site and saw nothing better to do than that. By some miracle, the penetrating nail went in just the right spot that the only damage done was a small hole in his head, fixed by about five stitches. Reddit user: Goombaw

Internal Bleeding Or External Shedding

We had a dad bring his kid in, cause she had weird red areas on her belly. He screamed at us, cursed, and made a big scene, claiming his kid would “fade into unconsciousness,” and we were just watching her die. The dad was totally crazy.

Photo: 59th Medical Wing/Staff Sgt. Robert Barnett

But the kid was dancing around the examination room, and had no signs of problems whatsoever, while we had actually-sick kids waiting. Well, dad insisted that we get an ultrasound for his kid, saying she had internal bleeding. When the ultrasound gel was applied, we wiped off the red color that she probably got from a new shirt or toy. He was embarrassed. Reddit user: bringmeagene

Allergic To Water

I see some crazy stuff, but one thing that stands out was the time I was admitting a guy to the hospital. I can’t really remember what for, but he was about 400 lbs, diabetic, with heart disease, and many other issues. Anyhow, I’m at the computer, going over some admission questions with him, and his 10 family members who are crowded in the room with him.

Photo: Creative Commons/jgbarah

A few minutes in, he starts complaining that he’s thirsty. He needs something to drink “right now,” So I get on my phone and call the nurse assistant, and ask her to bring in some ice water. As soon as the words come out of my mouth, the whole family screams “No! No water! He’s allergic to water!”

It turns out the guy had been drinking nothing but sprite and sweet tea for years because of his “water allergy.” The next question the wife had was, “Where are we all supposed to sleep?” The whole family, 10 people, were planning to stay at the hospital with him. Reddit user: jsellars8

Not You Again

I was walking into the hospital cafeteria, and saw a guy crouched down behind a trash can, wearing a gown, and holding his IV port. He was an interesting-looking fella, sorta weird-looking, and wearing only the gown, so he was quite noticeable. I see security running in, and watch him crouch down lower. One officer finally spots him, and yells at him to come with her.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/玄史生

He jumps up, screams “Not you again!”, Then pelts her in the face with an open carton of milk. A chase ensues. I go back to getting my breakfast. It turns out, he was trying to leave with his IV port attached for his not so healthy activities, but the security saw him. I believe she got him in the end. Reddit user: HaezieDaze

A Flesh-Eating Virus

I was working in the OR a couple of years back, and we had this one guy come in on the emergency list. His family jewels were rotten. That’s right, literally rotting away. Yes, that soft, squishy part of his anatomy that housed his future children was literally changing into a black and green goblin.

Photo: Creative Commons/chrisheuer

It turns out he got a bug bite on it that wouldn’t stop itching. While scratching to relieve the discomfort, he had broken the skin, and managed to get himself a case of necrotizing fasciitis. The surgeon had to cut part of it away, and swaddled his jewels in gauze while they fashioned a new one for him out of his thigh skin. Reddit user: melmite

On The Radiator, For Three Days

My uncle is a burn specialist at Rush Hospital in Chicago. He grafts skin when people get awful burns. So one time, I asked him what was the worst injury he’s ever seen. Obviously, he has a pretty strong stomach, so not much bothers him. However, there was one burn that really caught him off guard.

Photo: creativecommons.org/DFAT photo library

So, this guy was so messed up one night, that he fell asleep on the radiator…for three days. Some friend found him, and sent him to the ER. This guy’s leg was literally six times the size of normal, and all black and puffy. Then they just decided to cut the thing off. The guy woke up a week later with no knowledge of his leg being cut off. Reddit user: Fitanto

A Change Was Needed

A police officer picked up a person who was on the side of the road looking very ill. The officer brought her to the hospital because it was apparent she hadn’t showered in a really long time. While he didn’t think there was an emergency, he didn’t like that she looked so filthy. The doctors then confirmed that she needed medical treatment ASAP.

Photo: Pxhere

The nurses assisted in trying to get her out of her clothes, and into a hospital gown. They managed to get her shirt and pants off, but could not get her underwear off. Her underwear had virtually infused into her skin, because she never changed them, and constantly went both number one and two in them, without cleaning or changing. I will never forget this as long as I live. Reddit user: [Redacted]

An Unlucky Family

The worst thing I ever saw was a man come in who he was cutting logs with a chainsaw. He had the chainsaw still attached to his body when he got there; it was stuck in his foot, in his shin, and in his calf. He was so drunk, he was trying to get out of the wheelchair, and trying to do a little jig to the soft music he heard outside. But we saved everything, somehow.

Photo: Creative Commons/tamaki

A year later, his wife and her sister were in the hospital. They had tried to start a bonfire with gasoline. They had poured it on the pile of wood while smoking. They exploded themselves, and jumped into a stagnant pond. There were burns on 90% of their bodies, and extreme infections. One of them even lost a leg. Reddit user: MisterMetal

You’re Having A Heart Attack

I’m an emergency medicine doctor. I had a guy in his 60s come in. He had never been to a doctor before. He was clutching his chest, sweating, and breathing heavily. He said, “My constipation has gotten so bad it woke me up from sleep. It’s putting all this pressure on my chest!” I responded, “When was your last bowel movement?”

Photo: creativecommons.org/Army Medicine

He told me it was yesterday, then asked me what was causing the pressure. We got an EKG, and it showed he was having a heart attack. So I told him we had to bring him to another hospital for treatment. He said, “No way, just give me a laxative.” We argued back and forth for 10 min before he let me transfer him.

I called over to the other hospital and they said he argued with them for 45 min before he let them take him to the cath lab. He had nearly complete occlusion of two major vessels in his heart. Two stents and a brief ICU stay later, he was back on the streets, living his life. He probably still thinks I’m an idiot for making him go through all of that, just for his constipation. Reddit user: RZoroaster

Three Weeks Of Contacts

One time, a patient came in complaining of severe eye pain with visual disturbances in both eyes, which started about three weeks prior. The emergency doc asked if they wore contacts, and they said yes, and that they knew why their eyes started hurting. When I asked them to explain the reason why, I knew humanity had lost a few points.

Photo: creativecommons.org/Government of Prince Edward Island

They hadn’t been cleaning or removing their contacts before that initial three weeks. Then they kept wearing them for those three weeks, straight until they came to the ER. They were a couple days away from losing their vision, permanently. I seriously hope they switched back to wearing glasses after that. Some people just aren’t meant to use modern-day inventions. Reddit user: Violent Thespian

Cockroaches

An elderly lady came in with her medication bottles in an old carry-on suitcase with a floral decoration reminiscent of the 1960s. It smelled musty. We settled the patient into her room, and after a bit, decided to attend to the charting, and opened the old suitcase at the nurse’s station. A cascade of roaches emerged from the case, and scurried all over the counter.

Photo: Creative Commons/theloushe

That happened years ago, and I still remember it vividly. We admitted her into the hospital, and made sure a safety and health inspection was done at her home before she could leave. We ended up contacting her children, who were unaware that her ability to keep up with her housework had deteriorated. She was moved into a nursing home until her house was cleaned up. Reddit user: nellirn

The Daily Cracking

I got an ER call one night when I was a medical student. The chief complaint was nether-region pain. The guy was in his mid-forties, and seemed normal, with no obvious past medical or surgical history. I ask him about when it started, and he told me that it had been hurting ever since he “cracked it” that morning. I assumed I had misheard, or that he misspoke, so I asked for clarification.

Photo: creativecommons.org/lamontverdin

He proceeded to explain that, ever since he was a teenager, he would “crack” his man bits every morning to make it soft. He demonstrated cracking by placing his two closed hands together on top of each other, then quickly bending the top 90 degrees. I was stunned.

He was completely lost as to why it still hurt today, when it had been thirty years, and the pain always went away by mid-morning before. That poor wee-wee looked like a gnarled root. Reddit user: genuflect_before_zod

Barbecue Anyone?

I once had a woman come in for months complaining of random abdominal pain. Every time she came in, the pain was in a different location. We did X-rays and CT scans, but nothing showed up. One night, she was laying in bed, and felt a sharp pain in one spot. So she pressed down on that area and felt something hard and sharp poking through her skin.

Photo: creativecommons.org/subewl

She pinched it between her fingernails and pulled it out. It was a five-inch wire. It turned out to be part of a barbecue brush that was fraying about five months earlier when she last barbecued. It was the most bizarre thing I’d ever seen, and I learned a lesson. I hope she did too: replace your bbq brushes often. Reddit user: rachabe

Eyes Full Of Coffee

I remember a patient who came in with eye irritation. From the beginning, it was clear something unusual was going on, as there was an alarming amount of plant material packed under his eyelids. While rinsing it out for him, he explained he was vacuum sealing ground coffee beans, and opened the lid of the tube to look inside. I have no idea why he did it to begin with.

Photo: creativecommons.org/Physicians for Human Rights – Israel

The actual physics of how this happened from a vacuum sealer are not clear to me. In any case, he received a face full of pressurized coffee beans, most of which seemed to collect under his eyelids after pressurizing a container full of coffee beans, and promptly opening it inches from his face to look inside. I don’t get humans. Reddit user: leroy020

First Impressions

This was only a few months back. A man decided to impress a group of women by jumping from the first floor of a building onto a group of umbrellas set up for an alfresco dining area on the street below. He actually told us he intended to bounce from one to the next, to the next, like a cartoon or something.

Photo: creativecommons.org/m.ulbricht

He went straight through the first umbrella, and of course, shattered the bones in both his lower legs. This was a man in his 40s. I asked him, ”You’re in your 40s, and you’re still using silly playground tricks to impress chicks?” At least he looked embarrassed. I then asked him, ”So, what happened to the women?” He said, ”Oh, they just laughed at me while looking over the edge.” Reddit user: OkeyDoke4

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