Doctors And Patients From Around The World Share The Craziest Self-Diagnosis Stories

Doctors And Patients From Around The World Share The Craziest Self-Diagnosis Stories

To become a doctor in the United States, you must complete a 4-year undergraduate degree program, spend 4 years in medical school, and then complete 3-7 years of residency training before you are eligible for a  medical license. That’s a minimum of 11 years of training.

On the flip side, it only takes an afternoon of browsing the internet to diagnose yourself with every form of cancer on the planet. So it’s not a surprise that doctors have to deal with a lot of people who come to their offices claiming to by dying when really all they have is the common cold.

With that in mind, we doctors from around the globe recently took to the internet to answer the question: “What’s the craziest self-diagnosis you have ever heard?”

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35. I don’t think it means what you think it means

This happened in med school. I was taking the history of a guy in clinic and I asked about his past medical problems, including if he had had any heart attacks.

He responded, "Oh yeah, I've had about 20 of those."

"... You've had 20 heart attacks?"


"Which doctor did you see about them? Do you have a cardiologist?"

"Nah, I never went to a doctor. My wife is a massage therapist, and whenever a heart attack hits, she starts to massage some pressure points and it stops."

"Uhhhhh, ok. What does it feel like when you have a heart attack?"

"I don't ever remember them. My wife tells me that I fall onto the floor and my arms and legs start jerking. She says it takes about a minute of her massaging before it stops. I then get really confused and tired afterwards, and I can't remember much of anything that happens to me until I take a nice long nap."

The dude was having seizures, and thought that they were heart attacks. They normally stop on their own after a few minutes (at the most), and his wife thought that her massages were curing him.

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34. Male breast cancer is actually a thing

I had a male patient come to the Emergency Dept complaining of a "breast lump." He anxiously stated that the mass was very painful to touch and was convinced that he was going to die of breast cancer.

After a battery of questions I asked him to take off his shirt so I can examine and palpate (touch) the area. After a couple of seconds, I turned to him and said, "Sir, that lump is your rib."

He called me a "dumb kid" and asked to see my attending doctor (I was a student at the time). The patient asked the attending why, if it is a rib, would it hurt so much? The doc replied, "Sir, you've been rubbing and irritating the area for days now, you've been hurting yourself."

I've never seen a man leave the hospital that fast.

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33. Gotta love a hypochondriac

Patient had a cold, convinced it was "severe sinusitis" (a bit of a known hypochondriac). Saw the doctor, got script for antibiotics. Was convinced she was allergic to every antibiotic she tried until all that were left were antibiotics which aren't usually used.

The infection wasn't going away, so she took antibiotics for longer and longer. She somehow got her hands on a blood glucose machine and must have had a reading that was slightly low one day because all of a sudden she started buying bags and bags of jelly beans because "the infection is making my blood sugar go dangerously low." 

So she is taking more and more glucose that she definitely doesn't need to control the "dumping syndrome" that the infection caused. She is testing her blood glucose on average 20 times a day and taking about 250gm of pure glucose plus supplementing with lollies from the supermarket for some variety.

Nobody can convince her to stop taking so much sugar. She's put on ~30 lbs in the last month or so and will definitely end up with diabetes soon.

In exasperation the doctor said to her (in her 3rd appointment that month): "You should count yourself lucky, there are people far worse than you that can't even get out of bed". She now gets deliveries because she is so sick she can't get out of bed…

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32. Half of my high school had mono

I had a 19-year-old girl come in asking for antifungal medication because she was convinced she had oral thrush. She and her boyfriend had Googled her symptoms, and at 19 you're never wrong.

When I suggested that perhaps we check an EBV antibody to rule out mono, she looked at me like I was actively drooling on myself and refused, because there was "no way I can have mono." Eventually I convinced her to have some diagnostic testing done, and sure enough she had mono. I tried to explain that having oral thrush as a 19-year-old would probably be much more concerning than mononucleosis, but she didn't seem to get it.

I will give the caveat that if a patient volunteers that they were looking up their symptoms online, I'll always ask them what they think they have and why. This can sometimes give insight to symptoms or concerns they may not have let on about that help me to make a correct diagnosis. Besides, taking an active role in your health is certainly not a bad thing. As long as you're not being a jerk and acting as if I'm some moron, I welcome that kind of discussion.



31. Sometimes it’s not just stress

A lovely, healthy 50-something lady patient presented with her best friend because she was unable to walk. It turns out she had been weakening over the past couple of months and now had been bed-bound for two weeks. As she talked, she waved her hand over her right breast and mentioned something about a problem there. I took a look. She had breast cancer that was so advanced that it was ulcerating through the skin in an area about the size of a small orange. I'll never forget seeing that.

It's such a shame because she was such a lovely lady. We talked for about half an hour and during that I found that she had put it down to a lot of stress overwhelming her life lately to do with her son leaving home and a few other things. She seemed like a spiritual lady, and she was so sensitive and overwhelmed at the time that I had to take things very slow with her.

During that 30 minutes I really felt that I connected with her and slowly helped her understand what was actually going on and that the next few weeks would be tough with treatments etc. This was about a month after I had started as a junior doctor. The next day I got a complaint to my supervisor by the head nurse for taking too long with a patient, plus a whole lot of other made up stuff about being unprofessional to make her claim sound better. Had to go to meetings with management etc.

Anyway, the reason the patient couldn't walk was because of high calcium from metastases all through her bones. I treated that and she was able to walk again a few days later. I looked up her file about three months after and she was still alive, on hormone therapy to slow the cancer's progression.

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30. Maybe it’s time to visit the dentist again...

It was the summer of 2008. I was at work with a massive headache. I decided to head home early. Thinking my eyes were acting up again. (I'd suffered from severe light sensitivity since I was 12. This wasn't entirely uncommon.)

In the lobby of the building, I pass out as I'm nodding to the security guard. I wake up in the hospital to the doctor is talking with a nurse insisting I get another set of X-rays "There's no way this is right, have a different tech take another set of images." Then he walks out.

I'm asking what's up. No one is explaining anything. I have another set of X-rays done. A bunch of other scans of which I still don't understand the differences. And eventually the doctor comes in. Still no one has explained anything to me, no matter how much I ask.

Finally the doctor comes in and tells me they're going to need to prep me for surgery. I immediately ask about my eyes. He seems confused. "Did no one tell you what's going on?"

Doctor gets all upset "You're missing a third of your skull. Or more accurately, the bone marrow inside the entire right side of your head is necrotic. It's just sitting there between slivers of bone. When's the last time you went to the dentist?"

"I don't know, 10-15 years ago? I was planning on going next month now that I finally have insurance for the first time."

"Well we're not sure how it is you're alive. But this has been building for at least 10 years. An abscess in your gums has burrowed up into your bone."

A week later, after a bunch of specialists are consulted, I had my teeth, gums, soft palette, and entire right side of my skull drained of fluid and removed. I was awake through most of it, and no amount of pain medication was enough to deal with the worst of it. Everything was replaced mostly a plastic polymer, with some metal studs to snap everything together.

My photo-sensitivity issues weren't a related symptom, if you have light sensitivity and get headaches; don't worry. It's normal for photo-sensitive eyes to get headaches in bright light. If you have an abscess though, go to the dentist. No matter how much it costs.

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29. The phantom butt shaver

I had a client come in several years ago with a dog suffering from flea allergy dermatitis. These dogs have an allergy to flea saliva that causes them to get insanely itchy -- primarily around the rear end and base of the tail. This poor little guy had chewed his fur out to the point that his back half was just about completely naked.

So there he sits, scratching and biting at himself, covered in fleas, several of which I have combed off of him and showed his owner. "Good news," I say. "We can fix this." After explaining the diagnosis, his owner proceeded to tell me how foolish I was -- the dog was not itchy because of fleas. He was chewing at himself as a psychological response to the disturbance caused by having his butt shaved by an unknown intruder who must have broken into the house while they were away.

I had no response to that other than to agree, that, yes, that must have been very traumatic for him. Ultimately we agreed to treat for the fleas, just in case. Shockingly, the dog got better.

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28. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid

A lady came to the clinic with her 8-month-old baby and she was pretty pretty freaked out. Her baby had diarrhea for the last few weeks and wasn't going away. She wasn't initially concerned, but then her friend told her that diarrhea is the first sign of AIDS and now she was convinced her baby had somehow contracted it.

We quickly ruled that out through med records and assured her that her baby hadn't contracted AIDS randomly. As we finished examining the baby, it started to cry so we handed it to her mother. Lo and behold she pulls out a baby bottle to get the baby to stop crying... only this baby bottle is red and is filled with Kool-Aid.

We had to explain to her that babies can't handle sugar at that age and that was the cause of the diarrhea. She refused to believe what we said. "I was raised on Kool-Aid and look at me! I'm fine!"

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27. Keeping secrets from your doctor is always a bad idea

I woke up one morning with abdominal pain. I had been out partying the night before. The internet said abdominal pain could occur with the substance that I was ingesting, so I didn't worry too much. But then I got an intense fever during an exam that morning and had to leave. Started throwing up shortly after and "toughed it out" for the night.

Went in with "flu-like symptoms" the next day and the doctor told me that it was probably just the flu. In my immeasurable wisdom, I withheld the fact that I had been experiencing abdominal pain because I thought it was related to the drug use and not to the sickness or other symptoms.

However, since I'd been sick for about 48 hours, he put me in the hospital overnight to replenish fluids... and that's about the time that my appendix ruptured. It's the worst pain I've ever experienced. A ruptured appendix feels like you've been stabbed with a knife.

The surgeon said he had never seen a worse rupture. It took two surgeries, 11 days in the hospital, and I got the pleasure of using a catheter. Moral of the story: If your body feels like it's trying to kill you, go to the doctor immediately and tell them everything that could help the diagnosis.

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26. Working out is good for you

Last fall, around October, I had this weird red dot on my right pointer finger that was really strange. It was clearly coming from under my skin, rather than on top of it. I work out a lot and it hurt to the touch so I figured I bruised it a bit or something.

Two weeks later, the dot was bigger and a darker; also the top my middle finger had started turning slightly purple. The day of Halloween I got cold, colder than I had been all semester, and my fingers started to get that painful freezing/burning feeling and turned white at the tips. Rather than attempting to self-diagnose I went to my primary care doctor who agreed to see me immediately.

My doctor told me I had pernio, which is essentially a condition where your body takes blood from your extremities in the cold season. Apparently it affects my age group specifically (young women) and from all the stress I was under it was possible so I went with it. She told me to keep it as warm as possible and that it would surely go away, giving me a timeframe of two weeks.

Over the next month I wore a glove on my right hand every day and kept my fingers warm as much as I could. Eventually the entire two fingers (middle and pointer) were white and cold most of the time and about two weeks into November my hand just wouldn't warm up. I started getting shooting pain up my arm at night and the only thing I could do was take a burning shower to force my body feel something besides this shooting freezing/burning pain in my arm. 

My boyfriend insisted on taking me to the emergency room upon hearing of this nightly pain.

At the ER, I had no pulse in my right wrist; they had to use a Doppler radar to find the sound of a tiny bit of blood being pushed through. All the tests they ran showed I had blood clots throughout my arm and in my capillaries in my fingers. But how?! I'm a healthy young woman!

The cause of the problem was an extra rib! It was putting so much pressure on my artery that it caused an aneurysm which sent blood clots down my arm. The doctors said if I hadn't been working out at the intensity I was it would have probably been caught a lot sooner since I was effectively forcing blood flow past the aneurysm. 

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25. Talk about some good luck

A few months ago, I developed a bad sore on my upper outside gum. It hurt a lot, and so I asked my wife (a former dental assistant) to check it out. She said it looked like an abscessed tooth.

I went in to the dentist the next day. Another dental assistant (with years of experience) took a look and said, yeah, sure looked like an abscess to her. Too bad, it's a root canal. She took some x-rays and left. I'm feeling pretty bad about it now. I thought I took decent care of my teeth, so this kind of blindsided me. I started mentally preparing myself for seemingly inevitable root canal.

The dentist came in. He's normally a pretty funny guy, but this time he was pretty serious. He looks at the X-rays, peers in my mouth for about ten seconds, and then stands up and starts elevating my chair. "Seven to ten days." That's all he said. I'm pretty confused at this point. He laughed at my expression and said, "You have one heck of a canker sore, sir. It'll be gone in 7-10 days. Today's your lucky day."

I've never been so happy to have a canker sore.

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24. If you're choking, don’t dunk your head in water

I'm a 911 operator. One of the craziest self-diagnoses I've ever seen was: "MY BABY CAN'T BREATHE! SHE'S DYING AND GASPING! JUST SEND THEM!" Then proceeds to hang up before I get an address.

Luckily I was already in the process of narrowing down her cell phone by refreshing the signal a few times so I was 99% certain I had the right house. I send help out that way while I call her back; no answer. So I call the house number we had in previous calls for that address until I get an answer.

When she answers she's perfectly calm and happily asking who it is. When I tell her it's 911 and we got disconnected, she flips out screaming that I'm wasting time. At this point I'm getting tired of it so I tell her there's more than one person here handling her call and we already have paramedics en route.

At this point she tries to hang up again saying her baby isn't breathing. So I get forceful, telling her we need to start CPR. She says there's no need because they're pouring water over her to make her breathe.

What?! If the baby is gasping she's going to inhale the water.

She tries to hang up again and I tell her if she doesn't listen to me then I will make sure the Sheriff heads out there for child endangerment because I'm trying to help save the baby correctly.

Now she listens and walks into the room where the baby is screaming bloody murder. "SEE?! SHE'S NOT BREATHING SHE NEEDS WATER OR SOMETHING!"

Again, I've lost all patience. If the child is screaming then they are breathing. If they aren't having difficulty crying then they are breathing fine. I tell her this and she says the magic words: "Lady, I'm a Certified nursing assistant, I have no idea what you do but I help people."

"Ma'am, at least I don't try to drown babies when they cry." 

Turns out that the baby was screaming because she had spanked a 3 month old for spitting up.

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23. So... you went blind from touching yourself at night

I was at a friend's house spending the night. I had fallen asleep and forgot to take my contacts out.

When I wake up, my eyes were really hurting. I go to the bathroom to take out my contacts. Clawing at my left eye, I eventually manage to remove the lens. I do the same thing to my right eye, clawing at it trying to remove the lens. Eventually I realize there isn't even a contact lens in my eye, so I freak out thinking it had somehow slid up behind my eye. I claw at my eye even more, digging around for my contact. I still can't find it.

A few hours later, my eye is driving me crazy and hurts like hell. So I get my parents to take me to a walk-in clinic. They basically tell me I'm an idiot and that contact lenses can't go behind your eye, and apparently in my sleep I must have scratched it out of my eye. I also scratched my eye up so bad it got infected and I went blind in that eye for about a week. Everything is fine now, but now I know not to sleep with contact lenses in.

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22. The heart is located in the left shoulder, turns out

In my paramedic days, I responded to a call from a middle-aged woman who was "having a heart attack". Found the woman standing in her living room, holding her left upper arm with her right hand.

I asked her, "Why do you think you are having a heart attack?" She replied, "I know that pain in your left arm means you're having a heart attack!" I had her stand straight with both arms at her sides, and told her, "You've dislocated your left shoulder. Didn't you notice your left arm was about two inches longer than the right? With a big scooped out area where the bones separated?"

She declined the expensive ride to the hospital and called a relative to drive her.

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21. Smooth move, Ex-Lax

My friend had this pain. After self-diagnosing, he came to the conclusion he had some kind of colorectal cancer. On his way to drive himself to the hospital, he got really sentimental and starting telling us all how much he loved us. I had never seen him so serious or solemn before. He came back two hours later, visibly embarrassed, and told us it turns out he was just constipated. Ever since then, when he tells us he's sick we just laugh at him and tell him to take some laxatives. Poor guy.

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20. Hmm, yes, I've seen some of these words before

This patient self-diagnosed pulmonary hypertension. He had several transthoracic echocardiograms (like 10 in the last 2 years) and 3 right heart catheterizations indicating that he had normal pressures. Demanded that I document pulmonary hypertension and requested that I fill out some employment benefit form stating such.

He started talking over me as I tried to explain the diagnostic criteria for pulmonary hypertension and how he did not meet any of them. Refused to look at the echocardiogram reports and RHC data I had printed off from his medical record to justify my refusal to label him with the diagnosis.

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19. Keep an eye on your appendix, guys

I was sixteen and kicked out of my parents' house. I had been couch surfing and working 40+ hours a week at two different fast food places. Started feeling worn out one summer day, and thinking it was a bad flu, I called my cousin to bring me some soup. She insisted I come move in with her because my current living conditions were deplorable (ratty trailer with multiple people).

I was only eating at work, and after two days off in a row I was starving while sick, so she took me to a small grocery store to get a few dollars worth of food to hold me over until she could come back with a truck and move me and my small amount of belongings to her apartment. I fainted waiting in the checkout line, bleary-eyed and confused feeling. It felt like it all happened in slow motion.

Came to at the ER. Doctors informed my cousin I had the flu and was suffering from malnutrition. He sends us home. Two days later I'm vomiting, sweating, and have the shivers to the point of convulsions. I assure my cousin I'm fine and she and the other roommates go to a concert. They get home to me unresponsive on the hallway floor and rush me to a different ER.

My appendix had burst the day I passed out. The interesting thing was that at the end of my intestine, my body enveloped the bulging appendicitis with a bag-like structure that contained most of the fluid after it had burst. I was lucky it didn't spread through my abdominal cavity and kill me. Not sure what this would be medically called but I know my doctor was surprised enough about it to tell me.

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18. Just, so much diabetes

This lady comes in saying she has "tons of diabetes" and that "her blood is basically molasses 'cause of its color" (dark red for anyone wondering). She's complaining about not feeling her foot lately and thinks she has diabetic neuropathy in her foot and asks if we're gonna have to cut off her leg.

Turns out she didn't have diabetes (ever); she had blood drawn the week prior and saw it dry dark red, and she was trying to cram her size 9 feet into size 5 shoes and was cutting off circulation to her feet. Prices of fashion people.


17. This sounds terrifying

Every other day in winter I'd get two headaches a day. Right behind my right eye. They lasted minutes. Tear eyes and stuffy nose ensued. This started when I was eleven. I started going to the doctors and I'd get sinus headache diagnosis. Took pills for a month and the headaches would be gone.

So every year I'd wait about a month or two into the headaches before I'd go to the doctor and get antibiotics. This went on until I was 19 and I remember the headache that changed me. I was watching a movie at the theatres, and boom I got a headache. This headache was like no other; in less than thirty seconds I was in the most excruciating pain I've experienced. Stabbing behind my right eye. Tears flowing.

We leave the theatre and I can't even drive. My head was in my hands not moving at all. I just want to sit there and snap at any offers of help by my girlfriend. I need to be left alone and not think. Thinking hurts. It lasts 80 minutes of me crying and just sitting there physically not able to move or comprehend speech because of the focus on pain you have.

The next day I'm driving and get one. I go to a new doctor and tell him, "I get sinus headaches, can I get this and this and I'll be happy to go." Being a good doctor, he takes the time to go through my symptoms and correctly diagnoses me with Cluster headaches.

All I can say is, cluster headaches are known as suicide headaches. I’m lucky and usually get mild headaches. I've only encountered 4 or 5 crippling headaches that is unimaginable. Some people get a crippling headache every day at the same time every day.

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16. Those are some crazy allergies

Just a few weeks ago, I had a patient come in for an eye exam. She tells me that her allergies are really bothering her eyes and she just needs her eyeglass prescription tweaked. Her best corrected vision is 20/80 and her retina is a mess -- she's got Stargardt's disease (not previously diagnosed). She is going blind and there is nothing we can do to stop it. I want to refer her to a retinal specialist to confirm the diagnosis but she refuses because "it's just allergies" and I need to prescribe her some drops.

I should also add that her eyes were not at all tearing or itching, and there was no inflammation of the conjunctiva at all -- not that this would cause your vision to drop to 20/80 even if they were present.

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15. Eye bees will forever haunt me

Optometrist here. This happened while I was on rotations as a student. The practice was used to seeing patients from rural areas. Anyway, this lady was convinced she had a bee in her eye, but when she talked it sounded more like "Derrs ahbeein merahh!" I had to leave the room to get the doctor so he could translate.

She had floaters. Basically, when the jelly in the back of your eye degenerates down to a liquid you see shadows of the chunks of jelly floating around in the back of your eye. Very common as you get older, even common in some younger people who've played rigorous sports (football, gymnastics, etc).

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14. I never trusted contacts

Girlfriend has been going to eye doctor for regular exams and to update her contact prescription for a decade as her vision has been slowly deteriorating over that time period.

Doctor notices a "scratch" on her eye 5 years ago, but isn't concerned about it. She also is complaining about a burning sensation in her eyes.

Finally last year, he directs her to a specialist as her vision is more rapidly failing. The new guy looks at her eyes and immediately diagnoses her with corneal neovascularization caused by her contacts.

She is now legally blind from all the scarring in her eyes, all because of one doctor's utter incompetence.

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13. This is the kind of situation where suing the doctor is the ethical decision

Not even two weeks ago, my next door neighbour's 14-year-old daughter knocked on our door at 6am (parents were out of town, and we're close neighbours), complaining of abdominal pain and vomiting.

We took her to hospital, where a doctor said she was putting on a show and it was just a stomach bug. Didn't do a blood test or anything.

A few days later, her parents had come home and she was still sick. They were sure of the doctor's diagnosis. A few hours later we get a call from them saying that they took the girl to hospital again and within 5 minutes of them being in there she was rushed to a larger hospital for emergency surgery. Her appendix had burst 3 days before and she was 15 minutes from death when she arrived for surgery.

She has only just come out of a coma and will be in hospital for at least 4 weeks and is sterile from the appendix fluid leaking into her abdomen for so long.

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12. It's just a flesh wound

So I worked as a psychiatrist in a hospital and was one day called into the surgery ward to counsel them on a "difficult" patient. I had no further information and when I arrived, the surgeon was away on an emergency, so the nurse told me to just go into the patient's room and start talking to her.

She was an elderly woman, maybe a little drowsy, but otherwise seemed perfectly sane and adequate.

She kept complaining that the nurses won't let her get up, but she felt fine already, just wanted to walk around a little and maybe go home the other day.

When I got back to the nurses, I told her that the patient seemed quite reasonable to me and asked her what kind of problem they were having with her. She led me back into the room and pulled back the blanket from her bed: both legs were amputated.

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11. That’s a happy ending!

I had some clear/slightly yellow-ish fluid run like water from a faucet out of my nose for a few seconds once. Cleaned myself up, then went to Wikipedia, expecting it to be completely normal.

Then I found that it had all the makings of a CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) leak, which could be caused by a brain tumor apparently, possibly due to head trauma. I play sports pretty often, so I head trauma sounded like it was a definite possibility. It said if it happened again, that I should get it checked immediately, since it could be indicative of a potentially life-threatening condition. That sounded bad.

So I waited a few days, and it didn't happen again. In the meantime I did some more research, and apparently it's also common to have a fluid drain like that when you're just getting over a cold... which I was.

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10. That’s a pretty big mistake

I went into the ER with all the signs and symptoms of pneumonia (productive cough, rattled breathing, fever, etc). My mom, an RN and also the person who knew my past medical history of pneumonia, also warned them it was potential pneumonia.

Doctor diagnosed me with laryngitis, which I guess would not be technically wrong, but my raw throat was due to a hacking cough and mucous. Was sent home but mom insisted we go to our family doctor next day. He confirmed pneumonia and I was sent immediately to hospital where I spent 10 days recovering. It took about 6 weeks to fully recover.

Had we not gone to our family doctor, chances are I would have died. When the ER bill came, we debated filing a lawsuit but decided to just demand the bills be excused. We also filed a formal complaint with the hospital.

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9. I mean, he did have the shakes

I started shaking one morning when I was 17-19. This was after I began drinking, and like many young Australians, I drank to excess. So for a few months I'd shake and convulse in the morning and I thought it was withdrawal. But I never read up on what it was.

Finally my family caught on and said told me to go see a doctor. I didn't and eventually I had a large convulsion and passed out. When I came to, I had a busted arm and couldn't remember my name. Two strangers in blue uniforms were telling me it's okay and that I'd had a seizure.

Turns out I was epileptic. I'd been driving this whole time, riding motorbikes off-road, and I was working at heights with heavy equipment on a daily basis. I was so lucky I never killed myself or anyone else before then. I was stupidly lucky, but I've never again relied on "self diagnosis."

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8. This could explain the diabetes though

I was talking to some 30-year-old lady about nutrition and how to possibly prevent her from becoming a full-blown diabetic, when at some point the she goes..

"Well I know I get enough vitamin C, I drink at least 2 of these a day." And she pulls out a liter bottle of orange soda.

No ma'am, I'm sorry... but that is not orange juice.

I was speechless.

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7. The old “it’s just gas” excuse

I was misdiagnosed with trapped gas pains by an ER doctor and nearly died as a result.

I woke up one morning with a horrendous stabbing pain on my right side near my ribs. It went all the way through to my back. I had my roommate drive me to the ER. The doctor came in and poked at me a little. He smiled and said not to worry it was just bad gas. Since I was so young (24) I'd probably never experienced it before. He sent me home with a prescription antacid. This was a Saturday.

The pain got worse. And worse. And worse. I went into my regular doctor Monday morning. He said from across the room he could tell it was my gallbladder and sent me to a surgeon's office.

My gallbladder had become gangrenous and was about to burst and the gangrene was spreading to my pancreas. I was in surgery almost immediately. Between the surgery and ICU, I spent over a week in the hospital.

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6. This is what we call in the medical profession “bad parents”

I'm a therapist and I work with kids. Worst misdiagnosis was a family with a two-week-old who were convinced the baby had anxiety (because he cries), autism (because he makes little eye contact), and bipolar disorder (because he had mood swings).

I spent HOURS explaining child development, what these diagnoses mean, how they would present in kids. I provided them with books, hand-outs, etc. They insisted on going to see my co-worker and a psychiatrist as I was surely lying to them. Even after meeting with the other two professionals, they still weren't convinced. They requested psych meds from the doc.

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5. That’s not how liquid Benadryl works

My wife is a nurse at an allergy clinic. She had a patient come in saying that she was having issues managing her allergies... even with self-administered injections of liquid Benadryl.

Suffice it to say, the doctor had to have some VERY strong words with her.

She's actually had a number of... unique patients come in. Like the lady who worked at a greenhouse and was convinced that she was allergic to the birds that hung out there... and brought in some of their feces for my wife to perform a scratch test with. That did not happen.

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4. Wash your hands, people

I was an ER tech for a few years after college in a very ritzy suburb. We'd get a lot of self-diagnosis, and just general hypochondriacs. One time, a woman came in via ambulance yelling about how her hands were turning blue, and she was worried about her circulation. A nurse took an alcohol wipe to her hands and they magically weren't blue anymore. Turns out she had bought new jeans and didn't wash them before wearing them. I've never seen someone so embarrassed.

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3. If bacon caused weight loss, I’d be 60 pounds

A lady came in claiming she must be retaining water because she was rapidly gaining weight. She was about 10 pounds heavier than the previous visit.

She said she was trying to lose weight but it didn't seem like her diet was working. I casually asked what her diet was, thinking she was trying some of the new diets. Her answer was, "Bacon". Her friend told her that if she added bacon to all her meals she'd lose weight, so she had been eating bacon 4 or 5 times a day for a month. She was shocked when she learned that she was doing the exact opposite of what she was supposed to do.

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2. He’s related to the Black Knight

I had a patient claim that amputations run in his family.

He said that was the only reason he needed both legs taken off above the knee. He was adamant that it was not actually due to his uncontrolled diabetes, his enormous and continual sugar intake, his refusal to use insulin, or his refusal of treatment for the giant infected wounds on both feet.

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1. Poor little guy

My son had a couple of nursemaid elbow incidents when he was a young toddler. It happens, kid pulls away to run off you hang on, stuff pops out, just go to the hospital and a resident pops it back in and Bob's your uncle. Pretty common injury for a little kid. Elbow dislocation for those who want the technical term for it.

Well a few years ago, he was in preschool and they were playing in the gym. The game they were playing was the train game, which meant another kid was holding the hand of the kid behind and so on and going through the gym like a train. My son fell and the kid in front didn't let go.

So I take him to the ER to get his elbow popped back into place. He couldn't use his arm, I knew what was wrong because he's had it before. The doctor comes in and I tell her what happened and ask her to pop his elbow into place. She just touches his arm lightly and tells me there's nothing wrong and to go home.

I'm like, "Ok whatever, maybe she's right, you know being a doctor and all."

24hrs later my kid still can't use his arm, so I take him to the bigger hospital about 45mins away. After x-rays, and a crazy amount of manipulation later, there is so much soft tissue damage he had to be in a partial cast for 6 weeks. All because of the first doctor not listening to me and popping his elbow back in place in a timely manner. If she would have said, "Sorry I'm not comfortable with this procedure, I'll call ahead to a bigger, further away hospital to get a pediatric orthopedist ready to go..." I would have thanked her and driven right there.

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