Doctors see a lot of disgusting, dark stuff in their line of work. The things these doctors saw, though, would haunt them for years.
(Content has been edited for clarity).
Everyone Was Scarred Forever By This Movie-Like Terror Scene
It was the top half of the 19-year-old girl that was driving the small pickup truck about 50 yards away. She was driving, and arguing with her 19-year-old husband who was the passenger. They were doing about 55mph on a two-lane road and met an oncoming truck pulling a doublewide mobile home. She ran under the front corner of the mobile home, cutting her in half. Her bottom half remained in the driver’s seat, while her unhurt husband watched as the truck then skidded another 50-60 yards, sideswiping a minivan, sending it into the ditch upside down.
When the truck came to rest, her bottom half fell out onto the ground. We also found a trail of ribs from the cab to the bed, and down the pavement to the top half. It looked like a movie set. Her top and bottom looked unhurt, but from mid-chest to about pelvis was strung along the road. The husband was freaking out about what he had just seen. He was babbling incoherently, running around swinging at people, just a mess. A witness who lived right in front of the scene started having chest pains and had to be transported. We took the husband, and I called medical control and got orders to give him something to calm him down, something paramedics normally can only give for grand-mal seizures. The driver of the big truck was fine but was also very very distraught at what he had just witnessed. That was 16 years ago, and I can still remember pulling up to that scene like it was yesterday.”
She Couldn’t Keep Holding All This Mess In
“I did not witness this first hand, but the most disgusting medical-related story I’ve heard from a practitioner who lived to tell the tale:
As part of my training to be an Assault Crisis Counselor, a doctor came in to give a presentation about STDs and STIs. Somehow he veered off the main topic and started telling us about the things he’d seen in his time. A female patient came in complaining of extreme abdominal pains. The patient disclosed that she was a woman of the night. The patient further revealed that in order to continue working while she was on her period, she would put a sponge as close to her cervix as possible to absorb the blood and other menstrual-related discharge. The patient then explained that she had inserted a sponge and was unable to remove it.
The doctor figured it would be a routine matter of removing a foreign object that had become lodged or stuck and takes the patient into an exam room to perform the extraction. When the doctor went to remove the sponge, it turns out that the patient had been using a CAR WASHING SPONGE to absorb her menstrual discharge and that the same sponge had been in her private parts for THREE MONTHS. When the doctor finally managed to remove the car sponge, which had turned into black, semi-solidified mass due to excess absorption of nastiness. It also released a torrent of fluids that had been marinating in this woman’s hoo-ha for three months and the fluids ‘gushed out’ and nearly covered the entire floor of the exam room.
The doctor told us that it was the first time in his 20 years of practice that he vomited while performing a medical procedure and that the stench from that room was so foul and pungent that it filled the entire clinic and made a seasoned nurse, who was standing in the hallway, vomit.
As the doctor was retelling this horrifying life-tragedy that he survived, he didn’t look a single person in the eye. His eyes were transfixed on some nonexistent point near the horizon of his traumatized memory.”
This Operation Couldn’t Have Gone Any Crappier
“My dad has been a nurse for nearly 20 years. He has moved around from working in the ER to radiology and now the ICU. He is one of the most well-respected nurses in the hospital. I would know because I worked at the same place as a phlebotomist.
Anyway, our hospital is a ‘bariatric center of excellence’ so you know what that entails: some pretty big patients.
So this one day, I go up onto the fourth floor in the neuro unit to get a blood draw and as soon as I step off the elevator, I smell poop. Foul, rotten egg smelling poop. I don’t think much of it as the hospital is older and is poorly ventilated (I know, right?) But when I get home, I ask my dad about it since the ICU is on the same floor.
He said that they had a guy who was 550lbs in the unit, and he was having some abdominal pain. It turns out he hadn’t had a bowel movement in almost a month. Before he was transferred to our ICU, other clinics had tried giving him a few enemas to no avail.
So my dad is saying that he is putting in one of those balloons into the guy’s butthole so he can attach a bag, like a catheter. He turns around to check a monitor, and he hears this dripping noise behind him. Turns back around, and there is a river of poop falling from the bed. The entire floor is covered in a month’s worth of poop, dripping, splashing, all over everything, including my poor dad. He and all the nurses roll up their scrubs like they’re going clamming, and after an hour or so get this guy cleaned up. Housekeeping stopped by and just left a cart for them and said, ‘Nope!’
I guess right after they finished cleaning it happened AGAIN. I don’t even want to imagine the smell in that room if it was enough to stink up the whole fourth floor! I can’t begin to describe the respect I have for nurses.”
They Needed A Miracle To Survive This Swamp Of Terrors
“I was taking a call one night and woke up at 2 a.m. for a ‘general surgery’ call. Pretty vague, but at the time, I lived in a town that had large populations of young military guys and avid smack users, so late-night emergencies were common.
I got to the hospital, where a few more details awaited me — ‘Perirectal abscess.’ For the uninitiated, this means that somewhere in the immediate vicinity of the butthole, there was a pocket of pus that needed draining. Our entire crew was less than thrilled.
I went down to the Emergency Room to transport the patient, and the only thing the ER nurse said as she handed me the chart was ‘Have fun with this one.’ Amongst healthcare professionals, vague statements like that are a bad sign.
My patient was a 314lb Native American woman who barely fit on the stretcher I was using to transport her. She was frantically rolling side to side and moaning in pain, pulling at her clothes and muttering Hail Mary’s. I could barely get her name out of her after a few minutes of questioning, so after I confirmed her identity and what we were working on, I figured it was best just to get her to the anesthesiologist so we could knock her out and get this circus started.
She continued her theatrics the entire ten-minute ride to the Operating Room, nearly falling off the surgical table as we were trying to put her under anesthetic. We see patients like this a lot, though, chronic substance abusers who don’t handle pain well and who have used so many substances that even increased levels of pain medication don’t touch simply because of high tolerance levels.
It should be noted, tonight’s surgical team was not exactly wet behind the ears. I’d been working in healthcare for several years already, mostly psych and medical settings. I’ve watched an 88-year-old man tear a one-inch-diameter catheter balloon out of his private parts while screaming ‘You’ll never make me talk!’ I’ve been attacked by an HIV-positive neo-Nazi. I’ve seen some mess. The other nurse had been in the OR as a trauma specialist for over ten years; the anesthesiologist had done a residency at a Level 1 trauma center, or as we call them, ‘Knife and Weapons Clubs.’ The surgeon was ex-Army, and averaged about eight words and two facial expressions a week. None of us expected what was about to happen next.
We got the lady off to sleep, put her into the stirrups, and I began washing off the rectal area. It was red and inflamed, a little bit of pus was seeping through, but it was all pretty standard. Her chart had noted that she’d been injecting IV prescriptions through her perineum, so this was obviously an infection from dirty needles or bad substances, but overall, it didn’t seem to warrant her repeated cries of ‘Oh Jesus, kill me now.’
The surgeon stepped up with a scalpel, sunk just the tip in, and at that moment, the patient had a muscle twitch in her diaphragm, and just like that, everything broke loose.
Unbeknownst to us, the infection had actually tunneled nearly a foot into her abdomen, creating a vast cavern full of pus, rotten tissue, and fecal matter that had seeped outside of her colon. This godforsaken mixture came rocketing out of that little incision like we were recreating the funeral scene from Jane Austen’s ‘Mafia!’
We all wear waterproof gowns, face masks, gloves, hats, the works — all of which were as helpful as rainboots against a firehose. The bed was in the middle of the room, an easy seven feet from the nearest wall, but by the time we were done, I was still finding bits of rotten flesh pasted against the back wall. As the surgeon continued to advance his blade, the torrent just continued. The patient kept seizing against the ventilator (not uncommon in surgery), and with every muscle contraction, she shot more of this brackish gray-brown fluid out onto the floor until, within minutes, it was seeping into the other nurse’s shoes.
I was nearly 12 feet away, jaw dropped open within my surgical mask, watching the second nurse dry-heaving and the surgeon standing on tip-toes to keep this stuff from soaking his socks any further. The smell hit them first. ‘Oh god, I just threw up in my mask!’ The other nurse was out, she tore off her mask and sprinted out of the room, shoulders still heaving. Then it hit me, mouth still wide open, not able to believe the volume of fluid this woman’s body contained. It was like getting a great big bite of the despair and apathy that permeated this woman’s life. I couldn’t breathe, my lungs simply refused to pull any more of that stuff in. The anesthesiologist went down next, an ex-NCAA D1 tailback, his six-foot-two frame shaking as he threw open the door to the OR suite in an attempt to get more air in, letting me glimpse the second nurse still throwing up in the sinks outside the door. Another geyser of pus splashed across the front of the surgeon. The YouTube clip of ‘David at the dentist’ keeps playing in my head — ‘Is this real life?’
In all operating rooms, everywhere in the world, regardless of socialized or privatized, secular or religious, big or small, there is one thing the same: Somewhere, there is a bottle of peppermint concentrate. Everyone in the department knows where it is, everyone knows what it is for, and everyone prays to the gods they never have to use it. In times like this, we rub it on the inside of our masks to keep the outside smells at bay long enough to finish the procedure and shower off.
I sprinted to our central supply, ripping open the drawer where this vial of ambrosia was kept and was greeted by — an empty box. The bottle had been emptied and not replaced. Somewhere out there was a godless jerk who had used the last of the peppermint oil, and not replaced a single freaking drop of it. To this day, if I figure out who it was, I’ll kill them with my bare hands, but not before cramming their head up the colon of every last smack user I can find, just so we’re even.
I darted back into the room with the next best thing I could find — a vial of Mastisol, which is an adhesive rub we sometimes use for bandaging. It’s not as good as peppermint, but considering that over one-third of the floor was now thoroughly coated in what could easily be mistaken for a combination of bovine after-birth and maple syrup, we were out of options.
I started rubbing as much of the Mastisol as I could get on the inside of my mask, just glad to be smelling anything except whatever slimy demon spawn we’d just cut out of this woman. The anesthesiologist grabbed the vial next, dowsing the front of his mask in it so he could stand next to his machines long enough to make sure this woman didn’t die on the table. It wasn’t until later that we realized how powerful Mastisol really is.