"Oh! So many...
1) A guy brings his wife to the ER, her leg has a 3 in x 3 in wound (diabetic ulcer) with greenish yellow pus and what looked like a few maggots. Now I took one look at her and referred her to the Surgery department for admission. But the hubby is adamant on his wife's kidney disease.
'But doc, it's just a wound, you gotta fix her kidney first doc, I read online that diabetes can cause kidney failure, and you gotta do something for that.'
I spent an hour convincing him that his wife would probably die before the kidney damage set in by sepsis from the clearly infected wound.
2) During my pediatric internship period, I was in charge of the general ward. The basic things were to look after the kids, solve small complaints (cough, breathlessness etc...), and evaluate new admissions. Now where I work, interns are supposed to draw blood from children for tests. So I went about my job and there's one little tyke who's a bit too active and jumps around when he sees the needle.
The mother gives me a vile look and says,
'You are just puncturing my child for your education.'
At which point the kid just screams even harder. Yes, I'm studying drawing blood at 2 in the morning by waking up a kid instead of trying to help heal him - that's what she thought.
It took a fair amount of convincing that wasn't my motive.
3) I took care of a child that got measles. The mother and father were strongly anti-vax but was yelling at me 'how can modern medicine not have a treatment for measles!' At which point I told her there was a preventive method but they didn't use it. She asked me what it was to which I replied vaccinate your child.
She said, 'You're just one of them pharma lobbyists, aren't you?'
4) A lady comes screaming into the ER, Now she's all dressed up, so are her 2 grown daughters. All of them screaming hysterically that their mother is going to die. I go by them and nearly get tackled by the sister-in-law and the husband of one of the daughters.
'Save her, she's having an embolism!'
Shaken, I examine the lady, asked her where she was coming from (a wedding, that explained the dress). She apparently had a bit too much of potatoes. A shot of pantoprazole later, her embolism is gone. She had a bad case of 'fart embolisms.'
One thing I will never forget is how I learned never to be mad at a patient.
Now, this was when I began as an intern. A patient had an intestinal obstruction. We inserted a nasal feeding tube as the patient could not have anything per orally before the surgery. Problem was that they would always come and complain to me about how I didn't stick it properly (you have to stick the end protruding out of the nose to the nasal bridge.) After 2-3 such episodes where I reluctantly dressed it, they complain that the tube is out of the nose, and lo and behold it is out. It's very uncomfortable, most patients try and pull the nasal tube out. I replaced it 4 times. Poor guy was fed up by then.
On the morning of the surgery, his wife comes and asks me,
'Doc, can you just remove that tube so that I can give him some coffee?'
Now I got totally mad. I was working a 72-hour shift, so I scolded her by saying that if she or he didn't want the surgery then I couldn't do anything and it would be nice if they gave me some peace.
She didn't say anything.
The patient, 50-years-old with no other complications, died on the table.
I couldn't face her.
The moral being, doctors know more things than patients. But it's not always wise to bite their heads off. I could have convinced her it was impossible to remove the tube before surgery in a calm way.
Since then I've tried to be a better speaker to patients."
"I'm an ER registered nurse.
Young adult male presents with multiple abscesses on various parts of his body. States he injected his boyfriend's 'baby batter' into himself trying to get pregnant.
He tells one of the nurses that he should have gone with his original plan and tried on his dog first. Psych clears him. He's admitted to the floor and gets IV antibiotics.
"I work for an optometrist and it was the month before school started and a woman brought in her son to have his eyes checked for the first time. Seems like a pretty reasonable thing for any parent, even if he was a little older than usual for a first eye exam. Better late than never I guess. The mom was well spoken and appeared fairly intelligent. Everything went as normal, the doctor examined the boy and ended up prescribing glasses. The doctor was explaining to the mom that her son had to wear his glasses all the time since he's nearsighted and basically can't see clearly past 5' in front of him and would definitely need glasses for school. For some reason this caused a switch to flip in the mom and she spazzed out on the doctor, I couldn't believe the crazy conspiracies she screamed at the doctor, she had gone mad.