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People Share Their “I Can’t Believe I Had To Explain This To An Adult” Moment

People Share Their “I Can’t Believe I Had To Explain This To An Adult” Moment

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There are just some things that you would think would be common sense, but as the saying goes, common sense isn’t so common after all. Sure, sometimes you miss out on a seemingly obvious piece of information growing up, but usually, that’s easy to fix once you’re an adult. Some people apparently just didn’t get the memo about a couple very obvious things. Some adults still don’t understand where babies come from….

Photo: creativecommons.org/NIHClinicalCenter

From taking care of animals to learning the steps required for having a baby, some adults find themselves completely clueless about information that the majority of people take for granted. Luckily, that usually results in some pretty comical stories of misunderstandings and big surprises. The people of the internet were eager to share the hilarious and startling times they couldn’t believe what someone didn’t know.

Educating Them About Birth Control 

I work as a pharmacy tech. We’ve had some pretty interesting people in and out of the pharmacy, and what goes through their minds is something I’ll never understand. My favorite story was one about birth control. We had someone call in about a refill for her oral birth control, Microgestin, or some other tablet one. She was calling two weeks early….

Photo: creativecommons.org/JeepersMedia

Because she was calling two weeks before her fill time, the insurance didn’t want to pay for the medication that they normally would have. We asked her the obvious questions, such as if she had lost it or it had gotten wet, so that we could inform the insurance company. It turns out, she and her boyfriend/husband/whatever were both taking one tablet daily. Reddit User: Dramatdude

Thanks to the Medication

I’m a firefighter/EMT. So, just because you’re taking medication for something doesn’t mean it’s gone away or is ever going to go away. Here’s a real conversation that happens about once or twice per shift at a minimum. I say to the person in distress, “Do you have any medical history, diseases, sicknesses, and/or conditions I should be aware of?”

Photo: creativecommons.org/creativecommons.org/NIHClinicalCenter

The patient then replies, “No.” Just to make sure, I ask them, “Are you currently taking or supposed to be taking any medications?” The patient says, “Yeah, I’m on [insert 12 different medications here].” I say, “Ah, I see one of your medications is metformin, are you a diabetic?” The patient says, “Not anymore, I just told you I take meds for it.” All I can do is sign. Reddit User: Edward_Scout

You Aren’t Cured Yet 

I used to work as an EMT and have lots of stories about explaining things to people that they really should have been aware of. My favorites were the people who would stop taking their anti-seizure meds, and then have a seizure. They would say to me, “Well, I hadn’t had one for two years; I thought maybe I was cured….”

Photo: creativecommons.org/COM SALUD Agencia de comunicación

I would ask them how long they had been on the meds for seizures. They would tell me for two years or so. Then I would say you didn’t have any seizures for those two years because you were on medication for this. Just a note people, you don’t get cured of epilepsy. It does happen, but it wasn’t going to happen to these people. Reddit User: Colt4587

Defying Gravity 

I work as a doctor in a hospital, and we get a lot of elderly patients coming in to see us, as our hospital is positioned close to a retirement village. Many of them are senile and do silly things a lot of the time. But then there are others who you just have to wonder about because they don’t seem to have any logic or know anything about how life or their bodies work….

Photo: creativecommons.org/University of Michigan MSIS

I will never forget the time that I had to sit there with a 75-year-old grandmother and explain something so basic to her. I had to explain to her that there isn’t just one straight tube connecting your ears. She was putting her ear drops in one ear and then putting cotton in her other ear before she laid down so it wouldn’t leak out. Reddit User: jlb917  

Cake for the Diabetic 

I’m a doctor. My personal favorites are when the families of a loved one bring in food that’s completely counter to their current medical condition. Off the top of my head, I’ve had a family bring in a “get well” ake to their dad, who was on his 5th or 6th admission for DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). He was still on an insulin infusion…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Dark Dwarf

And the family didn’t seem to see the problem with giving him a cake because “he woke up and was hungry.” I’ve had families order pizza into the hospital to have a pizza party when their parent is admitted to the cardiology ward and on a salt and fluid restricted diet due to extensive heart failure. Good times, wouldn’t you agree? Reddit User: ldnk

Reading the Label 

Labels matter. I never thought I would have to tell someone to look at the nutrition label when deciding how much sugar something has in it. I had a patient who had been diagnosed with diabetes and said she was doing her best at avoiding sugar, but her a1c was still around 12, which is very high and means your blood sugars are in the 300 range….

Photo: creativecommons.org/www.ilmicrofono.it is

I asked her if she had cut out all soda, and she said, “Yes, of course, I just drink lemonade now.” “Oh, what kind?” “Squirt.” Not knowing that brand name, I spun around to the computer and googled “Squirt soda nutrition label” and pulled it up to show her. We then had a long chat about how to look at nutrition labels when deciding what has sugar in it. Reddit User: SynapticSight

All Down the Hatch 

I remember in A Country Doctor’s Notebook, this young doctor who had just started in rural Russia, initially with no clue what on earth he was doing and making it up as he went along for some stuff, had a patient with an infection of some sort. The guy was very smart, and he enjoyed having an intellectual conversation with him…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/velfaerdsteknologi

He gave him the pills and sent him on his way. Then, a few days later, he saw the same guy in for a drug overdose. He said, “It was going to take weeks taking those pills, so I decided to just take them all at once and be done with it!” You can kind of start to rationalize this, but then you have to stop and think…really? Reddit User: Saith_Cassus

Cheers to That 

I have a good one! I’m a nurse in general surgery. My patient had a note in her chart not to let her have any cups in the room, which I thought was strange. We’ve had orders before for other patients saying they weren’t allowed to have any metal utensils because the patient loved to swallow spoons and forks, but that’s another story…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/creativecommons.org/DFAT photo library

But this was something new. I quickly found out why when I walked into her room for the morning report, and several cups of urine were sitting on her sink. Apparently, she was too lazy to get out of bed to pee, so she had her husband sneak in some more cups to conveniently pee in. No, peeing in a cup is not allowed. This happened multiple times after multiple talks with the patient, hence the order. Reddit User: LoveYourSpleen

Things You Shouldn’t Have to Explain 

Oh man, so many stories. First off, soda has sugar. I had a diabetic man who didn’t realize this. I just don’t understand how it was even possible not to know this as a grown adult. He was a completely normal person otherwise, which is why it had me so utterly baffled. Next up, pouring Lysol on your diabetic foot ulcer won’t keep it from getting infected….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Vik-Thor

When we said clear liquids only like Jell-o, water, and popsicles, we didn’t mean you should convince your mother to blend you some McDonald’s burgers and fries so you can drink that through a straw. Unless you’ve already done it at least once before, pushing a baby out of your vagina will neither be a pleasant nor quick experience. These are things I should not have to explain to an adult. Reddit User: GoThirdParty

No More Ketchup 

I’m a veterinarian, and I don’t understand owners sometimes. I work at a clinic of a vet who’s also a private animal nutritionist, so sometimes we do house calls for special cases. Client “Bob’s” dog isn’t eating well, and he has no clue why. I go over and ask him to show me his feeding routine for his lovely dog…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/patchattack

He fills a bowl with kibble, and the dog seems super excited to eat. I kid you not, he then goes over to the fridge, takes out the ketchup, and drenches the kibble in ketchup. I can see that the dog has suddenly lost its enthusiasm for the meal. I ask Bob politely what he’s doing, and he tells me that his entire family has ketchup on every meal. I then spent the next 15 minutes explaining to him that his dog may not like ketchup on its food. Reddit User: thundercats72

Chicken Nuggets Aren’t on the Menu 

I work at a vet clinic on weekends, and the amount of junk people feed their pets on a regular basis is astounding. We had a lady board her dog with us for the weekend. She brought toys, treats, and bedding, even though we have our own and prefer to use that in case theirs is damaged or lost, but no food…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/ccox888

Not a problem, we have food here and even have tricks to make them eat, like putting some canned i/d with their food. She gives our receptionist $40 and says, “Here’s money for his chicken nuggets. He likes those. Feed him a ten-piece every day.” The receptionist flat out told this woman no and even brought the vet out to explain to her why we would not do that at our facility. Reddit User: [redacted]

Sharing Isn’t Always Caring 

Sometimes people are just unbelievably odd. I worked at a pet boutique that specializes in nutrition. A woman came in very concerned because one of her two dogs was very overweight. I worked with her for quite a while. Then I mentioned that no matter what food you choose, you need to make sure you’re watching portions and that you feed based on their ideal weight and not their current weight….

Photo: creativecommons.org/eeshea

She stops me and says that’s a problem because they eat out of the same bowl and so she doesn’t know how much each one actually gets. I suggested that she could not feed them out of the same bowl. She thought about it for several seconds and then shook her head and said, “Never mind, he’ll just be fat.” I still can’t figure out what the big deal with buying a second food bowl was. Reddit User: cubsfan85

The Reason for High Blood Pressure 

You would not believe the number of times that I’ve had to explain to people that just because you take medication that controls your ailments doesn’t mean you don’t have them anymore. I ask plenty of elderly people if they have any medical history and frequently get “no” as an answer only to then look at their med list…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/pedrosimoes7

Once I do this, I then find that they’re on a dozen medications. I end up then asking them, knowing full well why, “Why do you take this blood pressure medication?” They then reply, very sweetly of course, “Oh, because I used to have high blood pressure.” Nope, patient whatever your name is, that’s not how it works; you have to keep taking your meds. Reddit User: unhcasey

Listen to Your Doctors

When the doctors/nurses tell you that it’s a very bad idea to leave, you should take their advice. Several years ago when I was a phlebot (drew blood), I went to the nursing station so I could grab someone to follow me into the room. The patient was given a clot-busting drug called TPA. This stuff makes heparin look like child’s play….

Photo: creativecommons.org/timefornurses

I would need to have a nurse hold pressure on the puncture site for at least 5-10 minutes to see if it had stopped bleeding at that time. The nurse told me stone-faced that they left against medical advice. After that drug, falling down could cause serious injury because you just don’t clot at all. He was back in the ER a short while later. Reddit User: CrimJim

Getting the Heart Racing 

I’ve had patients admitted with a second or third heart attack, and then they tell me they stopped taking their meds. Why? Because they felt fine. Yes, you idiot, you felt fine because you were taking important medication designed to prolong your life. I can’t believe they don’t compute that their taking meds and their feeling fine have anything to do with each other….

Photo: creativecommons.org/optimism32

Now you’re going to die many years earlier than you might have if you just continued taking those pills, and before that, you’ll suffer years of heart failure, needing a lot more medicines to take daily. So now I tell the first-timers to make sure to keep up with their prescription until their regular doctor tells them it’s time to change doses or halt entirely; they’re never to make this decision on their own. Reddit User: PM_ME_YOUR_FUNNY

The Cookie Monster 

My mother is a registered dietitian. She had an obese patient who would bake an entire batch of cookies for lunch and eat all of them by herself every single day. Among other recommendations, my mother told her that she should try to eat just two cookies with her lunch instead. At a later date, the same patient came in for a follow-up….

Photo: creativecommons.org/osseous

She was still gaining weight at an alarming rate, so my mom asked her again about the cookies. Her response: “I did what you said! I bake the batch into two cookies, and eat them for lunch.” She was literally making two massive, half-batch size cookies, considering them to be “just two cookies.” The size of those cookies must be ridiculous. Reddit User: [redacted]

Things I’ve Had to Explain 

Some of the most ridiculous things I’ve had to explain to an adult are: “No, smoking weed cannot cure your diabetes. Please stop saying it did. You’re in DKA right now, and you haven’t stopped smoking, right? Ok then, stop saying that.” Then next is “You’re not allergic to Ibuprofen. You just told me you take Motrin every day. Stop….”

Female Doctor
PHOTO: CARLOSSELLER/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

One for the hypochondriacs out there says, “You don’t have a 10-inch mass in your stomach, at least not anymore. The CT scan would have shown it. No, our machine is not broken. Just stop.” Another goodie is, “Taking 50 Tylenol is not an accident. Stop.” These are actually questions I’ve had to answer and things I’ve had to say in my career. Reddit User: throwdnyceaway

A Liquid Diet 

My dad owns a hospital that does bariatric, which is weight loss surgery. So, a morbidly obese lady had her stomach stapled to reduce the size of the stomach. This should lower the maximum you can ingest at a time, thus causing you to lose weight. One hour after surgery, the patient’s boyfriend sneaks in potato chips and Haagen Dazs ice cream…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Southbank Centre London

The patient crushes up the chips and melts the ice cream and gulps it all down in excessive amounts. This causes her stomach to explode about 2 hours after surgery. She put the blame on the unaware nurse and thought that she was following a slow, liquid diet. What a waste of surgery and time. Also, her boyfriend really should have known better. Reddit User: Ridiculousgoodlookn

The Purpose of Appointments 

My patient says to me the one time, “Why can’t I drink any coffee?” I then reply and explain that this is a sleep study, and just last night, the patient’s parents informed me that their child always takes a nap when they get home from school. Then they also say that they have no idea why he never falls asleep before 2 am….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Mike Burns

And my favorite is actually a common question. When trying to confirm my appointments, I’ll call the patients ahead of time, and they sometimes say this even though their appointment is at 7 pm: “I don’t normally fall asleep before 2 am; can I come in around that time?” This goes against the whole concept of booking an appointment. Reddit User: staggmpg

In Need of Oxygen 

I work in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. One baby we got was about 28 week’s gestation, 12 weeks premature. Baby was incubated and needed a lot of support. The dad asked when they could take the baby home. The doctor spoke to them and said, “Expect to take him home about his real due date, so about 12 weeks from now….” 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Simon Davison

The dad got very upset that they couldn’t take him home in a few days. I told him that his son needed help breathing and a lot of oxygen. Dad said, “Well what did they do before oxygen?” So I told him, “They died.” That shut him up. I understand that you want your baby home with you, but we’re doing our job, and we need him here to do that, sir. Reddit User: Hoax13

Waiting Your Turn 

“There are four people here and five vehicles in the driveway and you have a stomach ache; are you sure you want us to take you to the hospital in an ambulance? Ok, well, let’s go.” Then get dispatched for a cardiac arrest that we can’t respond to because this person thinks they’ll get checked into the ER quicker. You won’t….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Sheba_Also 43,000 photos

Going to the emergency room for a minor thing by ambulance will not get you seen quicker. If I go in with something they know is minor because we have to call in a report, they’ll go, “Can they walk?” If yes, you’ll get taken out to the front desk, and you’ll sign in out there and wait for your turn. Reddit User: Subliminal87

Healthy With Whole Foods 

I’ve got the perfect story. I work in an ER, and one day a teenage girl comes in with classic signs of gallstones. U/S confirms it’s gallstones and sludge. She was told to stop eating fatty, greasy foods or else the pain would return. The next day was the same girl with the same symptoms. We ask her, “What did you eat? Didn’t you hear us? No fatty foods….”

Photo: creativecommons.org/Tobyotter

And her mother says, “Oh, but we did, we eat healthy. It was a cheeseburger.” The doctor’s face was priceless, and his facial expression showed it all. The mother said, “But it was healthy! You see, we got it from Whole Foods!” The doctor valiantly tried to explain to her that just because it’s from Whole Foods, it doesn’t change the food’s fat content. He was not successful. Reddit User: dragoonies

No, No, and No 

Don’t reuse lancets or needles of any kind. I don’t care if “it’s just my own germs.” After you’ve taken that out of your body, there is blood and tissue and who knows what else just chomping happily at the bit to grow into a nice, putrid but microscopic bacteria colony until you decide to shove it all back in. “Sterilizing” the outside with hot water or alcohol doesn’t clean the inside…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/wuestenigel

Also, these needles are tiny, and there’s a good chance that upon re-use, they’ll break off inside you. Also, do not give your infant/toddler/child sleeping aids. Know how my parents got me to sleep when I was young? They turned off the TV and made me go outside and play. Then there was that special guy picking up a lovely combination of nearly half a dozen psychotropic drugs, courtesy of Medicaid, who asked me if he could drink alcohol with them. No! Reddit User: IDreamofLoki

No Hope Here 

Humans can’t fly. I had a patient jump off the top of a three-story building once. He was on bath salts. Don’t do bath salts. I also came upon a patient once with chest pain. During my assessment, I noticed he was missing a foot. I asked him if he had any medical history. “Nope, I never had any medical problems.” I was puzzled and said, “But sir, you’re missing a foot….”

Photo: creativecommons.org/Official Brooke Army Medical Center

After insisting through my persistent questioning that he had no medical problems, a family member finally told him, “I think when the doctor cut off your foot they said you had diabetes.” “Oh yeah,” he said, “I did recollect when the doc took my foot he did tell me I got the diah-beetus.” “Have you checked your blood sugar today?” I queried somewhat tepidly. Blank stare. Reddit User: ilrk

Tell Us the Truth 

Please tell me medical history and tell me of any diseases when I ask, especially if you’re going to be going to the hospital in an ambulance. We aren’t trying to get the gossip on you; we aren’t trying to invade your privacy; it’s important to know so we know how to treat you and what we’re dealing with. So I go on the scene to a patient who’s throwing up blood…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Sheba_Also 43,000 photos

It started coffee brown and is now bright red, which means it’s fresh, which means it’s time to go. I ask the patient the first time, and they told me nothing. On the way down the very bumpy and bad road, he had the pleasure of telling us, “Oh, I’ve got Hep C, watch out” as he spews blood all over in a poor attempt to get it into the bucket we gave him. I did not feel clean until I took five showers, and I didn’t even come in contact with the blood. Reddit User: Ledgo

Only Doctors Can Prescribe Medicine 

I’m a former child/adolescent therapist, and I had a lot of parents expecting I could give their kid a magic pill, and then they’d be ‘normal’ again. It was usually Ritalin or Prozac, but I got some requests for hardcore drugs sometimes too. I get that, based on popular media; it could be easy to believe in the magic of a pill solving all of one’s problems….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Army Medicine

But for the love of God, only doctors can prescribe medicine. Don’t get annoyed with me because I don’t know how to safely provide people with medications, and it’s illegal for me to do it anyway. You’ll need to go and visit a licensed doctor for that, and I’m here to help you and your kid, but not in that way. Reddit User: rbaltimore

I’m a Nurse, Not a Beautician 

I had a mid-40s female patient who was dying from a GBM brain tumor. She was an athletic woman but was nonverbal, incontinent, and confused. We had a diaper on her. Her sister came to visit her and asked me if she needed to be changed. I said I checked her not long ago but would be happy to check…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/SIM USA

I asked the sister if she wanted to step out, but she declined. When I pulled the diaper aside, the sister said, “Oh my gosh, look at that hair! You have to do something about that.” As a male nurse, my first reaction was to laugh because I thought she was making an awkward joke. Nope, she was serious. I’m not a beautician. I can’t believe I had to explain that it’s not my job to deal with that. Reddit User: mediocreearthling

Forget What Melvin Said 

So I work with doctors near a rural area with a lot of Amish people. One of the doctors who works there told me how an Amish family came in for a wound check following surgery on their toddler son. The wound was not healing properly, and the doctor had asked the family what they were doing for its healing….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Army Medicine

They said they were rubbing a cream on it that “Melvin recommended.” The doctor then asks who on earth Melvin is. The mother apparently replies, “Oh, Melvin is our produce guy at the market.” The doctor then had to explain how his 9+ years of medical training make his recommendations more important than Melvin’s. I don’t know if they took his advice or Melvin’s in the end. Reddit User: gametheorie

An Inappropriate Diet 

My wife is a veterinarian, and some of the stuff she comes across is priceless, but this is my favorite. A middle-aged couple with their daughter comes in, and they have a piglet that seems to be failing to thrive. It just looks unwell. In the course of the conversation, she’s trying to figure out what could be wrong and asking probing questions, but nothing seems to be off….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Keith Roper

She then starts asking about the little piglet’s diet. The people respond very matter of factly that they’ve been feeding this poor little guy a diet of nothing but SPAM! My wife’s head just about exploded. She then informed them that this was not, in fact, an appropriate diet for their little cannibal and that it would be the equivalent of feeding a baby chopped up bits of human; they didn’t seem to get it. Reddit User: karmus

Know Your Medication

I’m a pharmacy tech. Don’t learn your medications by what they look like. It can be helpful to associate a drug to a certain description in your head, but know that throughout the year, supply levels change, and we may be forced to switch to a different manufacturer that makes an entirely different-looking pill….

Photo: creativecommons.org/NavyMedicine

I’d suggest taking a few minutes to look at the names of your medications; get an idea of what you’re taking and what it’s for. Google is your friend. Too many people these days just take prescription meds because their doctors tell them to, then when it comes time to refill, they don’t even know the name of the drug. When you come to refill saying, “You know, the little white ones?” then no, I don’t know. Reddit User: frithjofr

When You Have Diabetes

I had a patient with type 2 diabetes that needed to start taking insulin because his blood sugars were so high. He was taking the insulin, but the sugars were not coming down. His next appointment, the blood sugars were still running in the 300-400 milligrams per deciliter range. We increased his insulin dose and had him come back the next week; blood sugar still running 300 to 400 mg/dL…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/2C2KPhotography

Finally, I asked him to demonstrate exactly how he injects the insulin, and it turns out he was never taking the cap off the needle. So, essentially, he was pushing a capped needle to his skin, then squirting the insulin into the needle cap, and letting the insulin fall down the skin in his abdomen. When I demonstrated the right way to do it, he stated, “Wow. I was wondering why I was getting so wet.” Reddit User: [redacted]

A Lover of Vegetables 

Not me, but my old roommate was a cardiologist, and he would tell me the most absurd things. For instance, a man came into the office one day complaining about chest pains, and looking at his chart, and he was apparently suffering from severe plaque build-up. Anyways, this dude was overweight and in bad shape. He starts by asking him simple questions…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/larryjh1234

“What does your daily diet look like?” The man tells him that he only eats meat and veggies. So he asks him, “What kind of veggies?” He says he loves potatoes. He eats potatoes every day in the form of McDonald’s fries. This guy apparently ate something like a super-sized fry at every meal for like the last ten years. He thought it was healthy. Reddit User: arcticanomaly

Explaining How Lungs Work

We get a lot in veterinary practices. Your cat can’t eat a vegan diet. People who use crazy stuff like motor oil to treat mange or bleach to treat parvo. You can’t leave your dog in a hot car or outside in a -7F snowstorm. Another one is giving insulin when a diabetic pet doesn’t eat or is vomiting. But the prize goes to this one…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet

A cat presents for trouble breathing. So we put her into an oxygen therapy cage and give her some drugs to help her relax and breathe easier. The owner, who consented to stabilization, gets mad because if the cat isn’t breathing, then why does she need to be in an oxygen-rich environment? Obviously we were wasting her money. I wanted to roll an old fashioned TV into the exam room and be like, “Look, I don’t have time to explain biology to you, so you’ll be watching Bill Nye explain how lungs work.” Reddit User: Yay_Rabies

The Risk of a Stroke 

We do MOHS surgeries; this is for skin cancer removal at our office. We always tell patients to continue taking their medications as directed by their primary physician, specifically anticoagulants like Aspirin or Warfarin. And yet very often, patients still stop taking them because they don’t want to bleed too much. That’s a big no-no; please take note of this, everyone….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Army Medicine

Because us stopping the little bit of bleeding from your face isn’t a big problem. You risk having a stroke because you stopped taking your medications; now that is a big problem, for both the practice and for you. If you have any concerns, just speak to your doctor or to us, and we can have a full-on conversation about it. You’re not the professional, we are. Reddit User: iTameStrange

Going Up in Smoke

When you go downstairs against my wishes and smoke, then get rushed back up to your room by transport because you’re in respiratory distress with O2 sats of 80%, you can’t ask me, “Why is this happening?” And when you ask to go down to have a cigarette 8 hours later, you’re absolutely right I’m a “meanie” and “violating your rights” when I refuse to let you go and threaten to call security….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Leonid Mamchenkov

I’m here to help you. If you want my help, listen to me; if you don’t want my help, then get the heck out, because someone out there would love to get medical attention. If you’re at serious risk of dying or something very bad happening, surely that’s worth more to you than going outside and having a smoke? Reddit User: corcorman

A Real Nail Biter 

So I go climbing with a friend from work every week; let’s call him Bill. So Bill starts complaining by week three that he’s going to have to do alternate weeks, as his feet hurt too much when he climbs. I told him that perhaps his shoes were too tight, although they need to be, and you get used to it. So fast-forward a month or so, and he’s still complaining about his feet killing him…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/andy_5322

I ask which part, and he says his toenail, that it’s “gone black” and is “coming off.” So I ask to take a look at his foot. The guy had toenails longer than I’ve ever seen on a human being before. “Your feet hurt because your toenails are ridiculously long, why don’t you cut them?” He says, “You have to cut your toenails?” I’m shocked and say, “Yes! They don’t cut themselves, you know.” He responds, “Oh, I always just walk barefoot around the house and kind of grind them down when they annoy me.” Reddit User: Siyfion

If It’s Not a Real Emergency 

I work in the ER in the US. People need to stop coming to the emergency room for non-emergency chief complaints and expect to be treated like it’s an emergency. Even worse when they, the non-emergency cases, complain and be rude to staff because the wait is too long or they don’t get what they want from their unnecessary ER visit…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/US Army Africa

Med refill is not a medical emergency, and neither is an ingrown toenail unless your leg from the knee down is purple and cold. Go see your primary physician or clinic or urgent care first if you can. Also, just because you called an ambulance to take you to the emergency room doesn’t mean you’ll be roomed immediately if your chief complaint isn’t life-threatening. Reddit User: ichigoismyhomie

Iced Out 

I once had a patient who was on a fluid restriction because of her renal disease. She came back to the hospital because she was fluid overloaded. When asking her why she was fluidly overloaded, she said, “I’ve been following my fluid restriction every day; I don’t understand why it is that I’m fluid overloaded.” So I sat down with her…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/stefanx80

And I told her to tell me everything she puts into her mouth in a day. She told me, and nothing was outside of the restrictions. Until she said, “Oh, there’s also the ice. My husband buys a 7-pound bag of ice every day, and I eat it throughout the day.” I told her that 7 pounds of ice was close to a gallon of water. She didn’t understand that ice was a part of her fluid restriction. Reddit User: MisterMagicka

Form of Contraception

This is a story from a doctor in my family. A patient was aghast that she got pregnant but indicated that there was no way it was possible. After all, in having intercourse, she was always on top; thus, it was impossible to get pregnant. The patient was from some deeply religious sect where an adviser gave this misinformation to the couple who was now pregnant….

Photo: creativecommons.org/edenpictures

My doctor relative had to explain a number of times that it was very possible and that being on top was no form of contraception. But one of the worst elements of the story was that this woman was terrified of having to explain being pregnant to her husband, who, in turn, also subscribed to this incorrect advice, and whether the husband would now question her fidelity. Reddit User: der_schweinehund

Putting Everything into Perspective

When I did my psych rotation for clinicals in nursing school, I was at a patient rehab center. These are people that would stay at the facility until they were deemed competent enough to stay sober and/or finished out their court-mandated number of days. A big part of the program was teaching how to live a healthy lifestyle…. 

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So in a group session, we were discussing healthy diets. Two things that were brought up I will never forget. A 35- to 40-year-old man said his plan for a healthy diet was to eat nothing but cereal for every meal. He had read somewhere that it was a cheap and healthy plan to eat nothing but milk and cereal for every meal. A 20- to 25-year-old, 4-month pregnant female was complaining that the food in the cafeteria was harmful to her baby because it was GMO foods with preservatives. She was detoxing from drugs. Reddit User: AmerikanInfidel

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