With the abundance of information found on WebMD, Google, and other websites across the internet, people think they know better than their doctor. Sure, you might have millions upon millions of pages of information at your fingertips, but it's the doctors who have the knowledge and experience to make the better judgment.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
Back To The Holy Land
“I knew a group of women who were into spiritual and holistic medicine. They were doing this whole pilgrimage to holy places and eating foods that had no scientific basis to fight cancer.
They all got cancer and instead of getting it treated (they were treatable), they went on a pilgrimage again where they went to faith healers. They spent a whole lot of money on that.
Well, they died because they were all in the end stages and quite broke. I remember that a faith healer at the funeral was beaten by family members because he acted as if he was healing them but said their faith had not been strong enough.”
He Was Convinced He Had Ebola, But Only In One Place
“Back when the Ebola crisis was huge, I had a very interesting call.
We were riding three-deep in an all-female crew. We were dispatched to a bad apartment complex in a sketchy part of town for ‘unknown urine problems.’ Um? Okay. I took the backseat on this one as I was just going to observe.
We were met at the ambulance by an African-American man in his late 50s or early 60s. He was unkempt, had yellow eyes, his clothes looked like they had been slept in for a week, dirty nails, just general uncleanliness.
He asked us in a thick accent where the men were. ‘There are no men, it’s just us. We all have the same training. If you’re more comfortable with a man, we can get a male crew here, but they won’t do anything different than we will.’
‘Women can’t be in male positions. You should all be home taking care of your husbands and children.’
Sigh. One of THESE people. I respect and get cultural differences, but sheesh…it gets old.
After going back and forth for a few minutes about our training and trying to explain to him in futility that none of us were married or had kids, we finally told him, ‘Look. We aren’t here to discuss us. We are here to help you. YOU called US. What made you hurt so bad to call 911? We have to assess you. We can’t just get another crew over here not knowing what the problem is. What issue are you having?’
‘My junk. I think I have Ebola.’ Cue eye rolls.
‘You…have Ebola…in your junk.’
‘Yes. I just came back from Liberia last week and I haven’t urinated in four days.’ Then he started spewing tons of what his culture says about illness and Ebola. His cousin, who was a doctor in Africa, told him he had it, and it could be cured by taking a girl’s V-card. He was eyeing all of us like we were meat. We wound up ignoring him while continuing our assessment. He was adamant about it and cited fake odds and ‘facts.’ He also bragged he got intimate with several women in Liberia, and that’s how he got Ebola.
‘Are you in pain? Can we take a look?’ He let us get a set of vitals, but when he pulled his pants down, his balls were the size of grapefruits, his pecker was turtled to the point it was basically inverted, and his bladder was palpable and swollen. So the dude was legit, he had some issues going on. He was CONVINCED he had Ebola, but only in his junk. Also, I’m sure he was more shocked that we weren’t fawning over his gross-looking genitalia, us being a crew of women. I should note, this dude very much so did not have Ebola at all.
We took him to the hospital and when we told the receiving nurse what the chief complaint was, she brought the doctor over and asked us to tell him to his face what the patient was complaining about. Ebola.
When we went back dropping off another patient, we asked how Patient Zero was doing. They laughed and said he had some prolapsed organs in his groin and his pelvic floor was trashed. No Ebola, but he was riddled with STDs.”
This Mother’s “Wisdom” Cost Her Son In The End
“I work for an optometrist. It was the month before school started when a woman brought in her son to have his eyes checked for the first time. It seemed 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 explained to the mom that her son had to wear his glasses all the time since he was nearsighted and couldn’t see clearly past five feet in front of him, and would need glasses for school.
For some reason this caused a switch to flip in the mom and she spazzed out on the doctor, saying that her son didn’t need glasses and that the doctor was only saying that the kid did because he wanted to sell glasses. She said that she only brought her son in because there was some form for his school that needed to be filled out and that doctors were all con artists trying to push unnecessary medications and interventions.
The doctor tried to calm her down and explain that he was only trying to help them, but that she was free to get a second opinion. He gave her a copy of the kid’s prescription and sent them on their way. About four months later, the lady was back asking for another copy of her son’s prescription. Apparently, the first-semester midterm results were in and her son failed them all because he couldn’t see the board in his classes and needed glasses!”
She’s Lucky To Be Alive
“I once worked with a patient who had total placenta praevia – where the placenta sits on top of the cervix. What that means is when the woman goes into labor, the cervix has to open up and the placenta has to get torn open for that to happen, so there is a lot of bleeding. A large amount. It’s fairly manageable these days, though. You have to make sure they are close to medical assistance so if they do go into labor, they can get help, and book them for an early C-section to try to avoid them going into labor.
This lady, however, wanted none of it. She insisted on staying in the deepest darkest countryside, three hours from the nearest hospital, and she insisted on a natural birth. She said she would come into hospital when she went into labor. I can understand not wanting to move, but it wouldn’t have been all that bad for her if she stayed with her parents for a bit, to avoid, you know, dying. This was explained to her repeatedly and we tried to change her mind, but she wouldn’t budge.
Then she went into labor at 37 weeks. By some massive stroke of good fortune, she went into labor at the supermarket in town just after going to an obstetrics appointment, so she happened to be only 10 minutes away. She still bled so heavily that she coded upon arrival at the hospital. We performed an emergency C-section while she was dead, then a hysterectomy along with god knows how many liters of fluids and blood, and by the skin of her teeth, she managed to survive. You know what her line was on leaving the hospital? ‘Well, my way turned out all right in the end, didn’t it?'”
Her “Diet” Would Save Her
“My mother believes that food is healthier if you make it from scratch.
For instance, she thinks that making a chocolate cake from scratch (including milling her own flour) is a healthier alternative to a store bought cake with identical ingredients.
She is diabetic.
Her doctors have said in as many ways as they can think of that she has to reduce her carb intake, and what my mother thinks is, ‘Gosh, maybe I should grow the sugarcane myself instead of buying sugar at the store and my bloodwork will finally be in the normal range.’
Her liver and pancreas have failed multiple times. Each time, the doctors manage to restore organ function by restricting her carb intake. They explain that she has to continue to follow a low carb diet at home. She does not, because she’s convinced that she’s already on a healthy diet. Rinse and repeat.”
The Doctor Was Just Trying To Save The Baby
“While I was talking with my obstetrician and asking a ton of questions about my pregnancy, he told me a story.
He was the on-call doctor for a hospital and went in after shift change. A woman was in labor and had been actively pushing for three hours. She refused a C-section multiple times because she was certain she could have the baby naturally.
The baby was stuck and the pushing caused major brain damage to the child. My doctor tried to persuade her, but she continued to refuse. They ended up having to perform a C-section to retrieve the baby.
Women often have this overwhelming expectation of how their labor and birth is going to go and avoid C-section and medications like the plague. The reality is, those things have saved MANY lives.”
When They Saw The Kid Covered In White Powder, They Contacted CPS
“My friend is a doctor on the children’s ward in a rural hospital. Some parents brought in their child whose hair was infested with lice. The lice were visible to the naked eye and could be seen crawling on the child’s clothing.
While the medical staff examined the child, in order to determine a course of action, they discovered the child was covered in a white powder and smelled heavily of chemicals. They asked the parents about the substances and the smells emanating from the child. The parents said, quite matter of fact, that it was Sevin Powder and flea and tick spray they used on their dogs on the family’s farm. Social workers were notified about this case.”
She Just Knew The Doctor Was Going About This All Wrong
“Back in the second semester of my first year of college, I started to notice something was off. I was having bad stomachs aches, my hair and skin were extremely dry, I randomly gained 10-15 pounds, and I was exhausted all the time. I could get 10 hours of sleep and would still wake up exhausted. When it got to the point that my friend in calculus had to wake me up from nodding off six times over the course of one 50-minute lecture, I decided I’d had enough. I got him to help drag me over to our campus clinic and got on the list to see a doctor.
A couple hours later, I was in an office and explaining everything to the nurse, and then again to the doctor. He asked me a few basic questions about my lifestyle, when I had my last period, and said they would do a blood test and see me again in a few days. The blood test results came in, and the doctor told me they came back normal, but he wanted to test it again. So I went back to the clinic to get poked. Yet again, the results came back ‘normal.’ Lather, rinse, and repeat for a third time. Now, through all of this, I was still experiencing all the same symptoms and was in no way, shape, or form the functioning human being I previously was. It had been a month and a half, and I was tired of being poked and being told everything was fine. What did this doctor want to do? Run A FOURTH BLOOD TEST.
I lost it and asked him if he thought it would show anything different. He said it might if it was what he thought it was. I replied, ‘I’m done with ‘mights.’ I’d like to know what the next step is in regard to diagnostic options.’ His solution? An abdominal ultrasound. Okay, at least it was moving away from what had gotten us nowhere so far, but I was curious. What was he looking for and what did he expect it to show?
It turns out, this jerk had decided that as a first year, newly legal, and single female living on her own, the only solution was that I had gone crazy with my promiscuous ways and MUST be pregnant. Despite the fact that I was on birth control and had had three blood tests with negative results, he was convinced that I was early enough that the hormone level hadn’t built up enough to be detected in my blood.
Luckily, I live in the land of the Great White North, but still. I ended up getting the ultrasound anyway, partly to prove him wrong and partly in case anything else showed up that this idiot would’ve otherwise not tested for. Sure enough, guess who wasn’t pregnant? Everything else looked normal too, so I gave up and didn’t go back.
A week or two later, I had a four-day weekend and flew back to my home province. My mom took one look at me and drove me straight to my childhood doctor’s office. By the time I was ready to fly back for school four days later, I had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that had become severe due to being allowed to go unchecked, had a treatment plan in place, and finally felt for the first time in months like I wasn’t crazy. How did they diagnose this, you ask? A simple blood test. Turns out it’s amazing the amount of information you get back when you aren’t only checking the box for pregnancy tests to be run.”
No Pain, No Gain
“My friend was a bodybuilder. He suffered a heart attack at a young age due to the messed up status quo of the sport and was ordered not to work out. He responded by finding a gym out of town and working out there.
The same friend had another heart attack while at that gym and never regained consciousness. I don’t think he was arrogant, just addicted, but he left a sad wife behind in addition to a large group of friends.”
A Home Remedy Is No Substitute For ACTUAL Medicine
“A child got bitten by a timber rattlesnake and the mother said 911 wasn’t necessary because she had a ‘home remedy that her grandmother had passed down.’ All the child needed to do was drink the remedy, take some ibuprofen, and lay down for a few hours and she’d be ‘good as new.’
The little girl nearly died. The mother lost all three of her children and was charged with felony neglect and child endangerment.”
He Never Even Tried To Change His Fate
“My dad had a heart attack and went to the emergency room. While he was there, he coded EIGHT TIMES (his heart stopped and he had to be revived). He survived and they admitted him. He had a lot of damage. After a couple of weeks, he checked himself out because ‘Them doctors don’t know what the heck they’re talking about.’
He was found dead of heart failure about three weeks later.
Sad thing is that this stubbornness is why he has heart disease in the first place. He had a rare disease called Buerger’s disease which is attributed to smoking. He got an artery bypass when he was 30 and they told him if he quit smoking, he would probably be ok. He never did quit smoking or even try.
First, he lost his toes to gangrene. Then his feet and then his legs below the knee. He had years to contemplate his fate.”
She Almost Killed Her Baby
“A friend of mine sees way too many cases involving ‘smart’ patients, but the worst one so far has to be this lady whose child was born prematurely.
The doctors did their usual thing, gave her advice on childcare and everything, and she came in a week later saying her kid was sick but wasn’t sure why. My friend was appalled to find out that her baby had barely put on any weight since birth, and immediately asked her what in the world had she had been feeding the child.
The woman said, ‘Oh, I figured since he was so tiny, he didn’t need to eat that much, so I’ve been sticking to about an ounce of milk per meal.’
Seriously, woman. I don’t know how the child’s doing now, but I can only hope he is well.”
Juicing Wasn’t A Cure-All Approach
“A friend of mine had stage 4 cancer. She went through chemo for over a year and they told her that they would let her take a break. Well, when they looked at the cancer again, it hadn’t shrunk as much as they’d have liked, so they told her that she couldn’t take a break.
She started posting on Facebook about these organic green juice cleanses that someone had messaged her about. I was at her bedside begging her to keep going through the chemo. I told her that she could do the juice cleanses too if she thought they’d help, but not to stop the chemo. She responded, ‘But they won’t work if I don’t stop the chemo! That’s poison in your body. I know my body and it’s going to heal it.’
She wound up entering hospice on her 30th birthday and died about a month later. I’d love to find who peddled that crap to her and punch them right in their mouth.”
It’s Not Just The Patients Who Get Things Wrong
“I spent 10 years dealing with extreme pelvic pain and heavy bleeding. It started out as bad periods and ended up getting to the point where I was bedridden with pain from the waist down and couldn’t do anything myself. My boyfriend had to help me take showers and get dressed. I’d soak through a tampon and an overnight pad in an hour or less. I kept having ovarian cyst ruptures. I had chronic back pain. I couldn’t be intimate because it felt like being stabbed. I kept gaining more and more symptoms and became suicidal. I was taking Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and 800mg of Ibuprofen every six hours and was still in pain.
I went to more than a dozen doctors and they all told me I just had bad periods or needed to lose weight, and some straight up told me I was exaggerating the pain to get attention. It was routine for me to go to the ER for IV painkillers during bad episodes because the pain would leave me screaming in bed. I started doing research and joining online support groups, and narrowed it down to a few diseases and would bring them up at my appointments to see if there was a way to screen for them. My doctors would ignore it and test me for diabetes and thyroid issues instead even though I didn’t have problems with either.
I finally found a doctor who diagnosed me with polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis and performed a surgery to remove the endometrial adhesions and a large ovarian cyst. He also suggested I try Nexplanon. It’s now been a year and three months since my surgery, and a year and two months since getting the Nexplanon and my symptoms are drastically reduced. I don’t get periods. I haven’t had a cyst rupture since my surgery. I’m able to live a normal life and might become an assistant manager at my job. I rarely have pain days, and if I do, it’s nothing compared to what I used to have every day. I suffered from progressively horrible symptoms for a decade and was treated like crap by so many doctors, only for one doctor to drastically improve my quality of life in the span of three appointments.
Sometimes people are wrong and should listen to their doctor, but sometimes doctors are wrong and should listen to their patients. All of the pain I went through could have been avoided if I had met a compassionate doctor sooner.
The Alternative Was Death
“A young mother I know was diagnosed with cancer and tried alternative medications as promoted by her flaky girlfriends. Eventually, she returned to the doctor who told her it was too advanced to do anything. She died, leaving a little boy for her husband and extended family to care for. I still believe her friends contributed to her premature death.”