You're not supposed to self-diagnose and leave it to the experts, but the truth is, those experts are human too. It turns out googling your symptoms and listening to your body might be what saves you from taking an extra trip to the hospital, and even death.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
“It Felt Like An Elephant Was Sitting On My Chest”
They immediately did blood work and a chest CT. Within 20 minutes of getting to the ER, they diagnosed me with multiple bilateral pulmonary embolisms. I had blood clots in both lungs. I could have died at a moment’s notice.
I wound up in the hospital for a week on a heparin drip and on Coumadin for six months after.”
Listening To His Gut Saved His Life
“When I was 25 years old, my family and I were planning on going on a snow vacation in then Czechoslovakia. I woke up with a ‘weird’ feeling in my stomach, no pain, but I could tell something was off. I went to my doctor, he felt around a bit, found nothing, and wanted to send me home. I refused and got a referral to the hospital (this was still all only because of my gut feeling). I had bloodwork done, and all tests came back negative. The surgeon eventually came by, and we had a chat. Based on my words alone (not the results), he scheduled me for a laparoscopy to remove my appendix, stating, ‘It will have to come out at one point, might as well do it early.’
I went under and woke up with a 15cm scar on my belly. My appendix was heavily inflamed and about to burst when they went in. Because I had no pain from it, I would likely only have found out my appendix burst on top of a snowy mountain, nowhere near any doctors, where my stomach would have gone septic. There was a good chance I would have died.
The surgeon couldn’t stop talking about how I probably saved my own life by being so adamant something was wrong.”
This Woman Could Sense Her Impending Doom
“I had a patient who predicted her own death. She was a relatively healthy 90-year-old with hypertension and diabetes. She woke up that morning and told her daughter that she was going to die. She made her daughter go to a lawyer’s office and sign a living will, confirming DNR/DNI. That evening she had a massive heart attack and was rushed to the ER. We tried medical management, but per the living will that she signed like six hours earlier, she did not want any invasive measures taken. She died about an hour after she came in.”
The Dog Knew…
“I had a patient at the ICU on a ventilator because of rapid lung fibrosis. Usually, it’s triggered by medication or an outside trigger.
We stopped one of his cardiac medications, which is known for being able to cause this kind of syndrome and the progression of his disease stopped. We told his wife, and she said, ‘Yeah, I knew, and I knew it was this particular prescription. The dog told me.’
We were shocked and asked her to explain. She confessed she had been feeding her husband’s different prescriptions to the dog over a period of two weeks (every day a different prescription), and he started barking when she fed him this particular medication.
Really, she was just crazy and it was a coincidence.
My superior jokingly said: Maybe we have to let him go before she kills that poor dog with some other absurd experiment.”
By The End, The Doctor Finally Understood
“For years, I told my internal medicine doctor I had Hashimoto Thyroid Disease. I had all the symptoms, including the weird ones like hiccups, but nothing registered on blood tests. She basically called me an idiot and diagnosed me as bipolar. This went on for 10 years, and the bipolar medicine made me suicidal.
I finally got old enough to realize I could tell her to go away and find an endocrinologist. He took an ultrasound of my thyroid and it was almost completely dead. I had to get a biopsy to make sure I didn’t have cancer. Years later, I’m still dealing with it since there really isn’t a way to treat all the symptoms. Medicine helps, though. The bipolar medicine is out of my system, and that’s probably the greatest win. My mental health has vastly improved!
Last year, my mother ran into my internal medicine doctor, and she apologized to my mother. The doctor didn’t believe Hashimotos was a real autoimmune disease until she was also diagnosed with it.”
This “Infection” Caused Some Serious Damage To Her Relationship
“An old roommate and friend of mine had a severely sore throat to the point that she was crying from the intensity of the pain. This is a girl with a crazy high pain tolerance – I was with her when she broke her leg, and the most she did after the adrenaline wore off was mutter, ‘Dang this sucks,’ while hobbling to the car on just some strong ibuprofen. But watching her cry and whimper while barely able to talk, swallow food, or breathe was enough for me to take her to urgent care. If the pain is that bad, something is definitely wrong.
While I figured it was either a bad case of strep or tonsillitis, the freaking doctor told her it was just GERD and prescribed her medicine for acid reflux. We headed home frustrated but she was trying to convince herself that was all she had. I Googled her symptoms and everything was pointing to Strep.
The next day, she was even worse. I took her to the ER this time because I was scared she would suffocate on her own swollen tonsils and I could see her glands were swollen under her jaw.
Finally, she got a swab test, and she came out of the doctor’s office a few hours later with this HORRIFIED look on her face.