These are the stories the doctors could never forget. You'll never forget them either!
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
“It Was Like Something Out Of A Horror Movie”
“One time, this little girl came in because her mom found her in her room repeatedly scraping a pencil up and down her shin. When her mom asked her what she was doing, she replied that she was doing her math homework. Her parents said she was acting very off; she kept denying that she had any siblings, but had two sisters. She also kept looking at her parents and saying, ‘you’re not supposed to be here.’ She was making unnatural, prolonged, purposeful eye contact with some of the ER staff.
She also had scraps of paper, about index-card sized, that we photo-copied for her medical record. They looked like something out of a horror movie. There’s was one that had ‘death’ in large bold letters in the center, with a bunch of smaller ‘deaths’ surrounding it and filling the rest of the paper. Another card read, ‘It begins tonight, prepare for battle on the trampoline,’ and one said, ‘I know your sister’s names and I will defeat them without any fear.’ It really was like something out of a horror movie.
My shift ended before she was discharged, so I don’t know what happened.”
Feeding The Baby Way Too Much
“I’m a physical therapist and the patient situation that most pissed me off was in pediatrics. There was an 18-month-old girl that weighed just over 90 pounds. She was so fat that she couldn’t even crawl and would sit on her butt with her legs in front of her at about 60-degree angle and somehow moved around the mat by twirling her legs. As a physical therapist, it’s our job to assist children with getting through their next milestone and strengthening the muscles needed for that milestone. We worked our butts off using toys and play to entice this girl to kneel and play. After the hour-long session, her mom and dad entered the gym and she saw them and started sobbing uncontrollably. The mom and dad walked up to her and comforted her with a FAMILY SIZE Snickers bar, and she immediately stopped sobbing. To this day I still get pissed thinking about it.”
The Fear Of Abuse
“I’m a family doctor that had a 10-year-old boy brought in once for repeatedly looking up gay smut online, specifically with an older man and ‘twink’ themes. I was convinced the kid was the victim of abuse or something, and the mom requested we get CPS involved as she thought someone was abusing her kid. She was afraid of legal repercussions and wanted to be transparent about it. I wanted to just send the kid to an LGBT affirming therapist but was required to make the report on the mom’s report of suspected abuse.
The investigation turned up nothing. The mother was a single mom, and the child was never left unsupervised or around adult men except at school. He adamantly denied any abuse. In the end, the kid was just gay and curious, and admittedly, this caused such fear in so many adults that it resulted in weeks of investigation and social worker visits.”
Mother Of The Year? No
“I work in a state mental institution. We were the only facility in the state system that accepted children. We had a girl there since she was about 11 years old. We’ll call her Tee. Tee would do well, get released to her mom, and eventually end up back at the hospital once her behavior deteriorated. It was a vicious cycle.
Tee’s mom came to visit her one day, and one of my coworkers noticed a change in Tee’s mood after her mom left. She asked Tee if she was okay, causing her to erupt in tears. She held out a small wad of tissues in her hand, giving it to my coworker. Concealed inside were several heads off of disposable razors.
Tee’s mom gave them to her daughter and told her to either cut herself up with them or swallow them. The mom wanted to sue the state for not properly watching her daughter. Tee was her last child and would be turning 18 soon. Tee’s mom told her that she either had to go through with the plan or never come home, since ‘She ain’t worth nothing if she ain’t getting money from the state.’
We eventually sent her back home to her mother. Apparently, the mom changed her mind after she found out about Tee’s pregnancy.”
A Horrible Disease
“I was with the pediatrics specialist in general checkup appointments during medical school. One time, a kid entered the room in a wheelchair, tied up with only his neck and hands-free. He had scars on his face, lips, and limbs. When I tried to approach him, he tried to bite me. He had Lesch Nyhan disease, which is a deficiency of an enzyme that causes a buildup of uric acid in the body, one of the symptoms is self-mutilation and other behavioral abnormalities. Poor kid, I hope he’s alright now.”
“I had a little girl who was in our facility because her mother was deathly afraid of her. Apparently, the girl went to the bathroom with her new puppy and killed it by throwing it into the bathtub over and over. She was maniacally laughing the entire time. Then when asked about it, she blamed it on her younger brother. The mom thought her daughter was going to hurt one of her siblings, so she came to our unit. When we talked to her, she didn’t react at all like a child would to the death of their puppy. No crying; not upset at all. She was calm and matter of fact that she did, indeed hurt her puppy, and she blamed her brother for it.
The attending physician thought it was autism rather than some sort of psychosis or personality disorder because the girl was too young for certain diagnoses. They thought that it was more likely the girl thought she was playing with the puppy and didn’t realize that she was hurting it and that the laughing was a normal response to misinterpreting the situation. Additionally, she had behaviors seen in certain kinds of autism, like cramming her mouth full of food when eating, and she had a lot of issues with reading social cues. As far as I know, there wasn’t any trauma; she had a short inpatient stay because this facility wasn’t built for long-term stays, and I’m not sure where they transferred her. Personally, I disagreed with the autism diagnosis, but I was just a med student, so I wasn’t going to argue with the head physician.”
“I Need To Go To The ER”
“I’m a social worker.
A teenager comes to me and calmly says: ‘I need to go to ER.’
Me: ‘Why’s that?’
She pulls up her shirt and there are 2 cuts in her stomach about 5cm each with small pieces of metal sticking out.
Me: ‘How did THAT happen?’
Teen: ‘I put them there.’
Had to spend an entire day in ER while doctors pulled a variety of things out of her.
And if that isn’t strange enough for you, she did it again 4 days later but with her leg.”
“I Never Thought I Would Be Scared Of A Child Before That Day”
“I’m an occupational therapist, and I had a clinical rotation at a locked inpatient psych unit for kids. One girl in the unit was 10 years old, but was already showing symptoms of schizophrenia and had multiple personalities. One day, right before lunch, she was writing an elaborate story on the computer about a fire killing lots of people, which should have been my first red flag. She didn’t want to stop writing, so when we told her it was time to go to lunch, she lost it. She couldn’t have been more than 70 pounds, but she turned into the Incredible Hulk. She flipped multiple desks, the teacher’s desk with a desktop computer on it, and a full-size filing cabinet among other things. When they walked me out of the room (because I was a student), she had collected all the pencils in the room and was throwing them like darts at anyone who tried to get close to her. It took two large men to hold her down and remove her to her room. I never thought I would be scared of a child before that day. I often wonder how she’s doing now.”
Very Disturbing Behavior
“I know a guy who, while in medical school, was effectively hit on by a 9-year-old girl. She was one of four kids who came in with a social worker, and the attending saw each kid individually with the social worker, and the med student was asked to babysit the others during this process. While coloring and drawing pictures, the girl was saying provocative things. He called for a nurse and went to explain what happened to his senior. Apparently, this was a common thing she would do with adult males as a consequence of a troubled upbringing.”
Their Poor Teeth
“I knew a child once who would bite down so hard on his baby teeth, he’d end up breaking them off or chipping them every so slightly just to chew on them and swallow them. Needless to say, by age seven, almost all his teeth were missing.
The ones that were left were cutting into his gum line and making his gums bleed.”
The Little Fire Starter
“I was in nursing school doing my pediatric psych clinical when I met an 8-year-old who was in the psych ward for jamming all of the windows and doors of their house shut and starting a fire with their mom and little brother inside. Luckily the kid’s mom woke up and was able to put the fire out before finding a piece of paper with a drawing of an ‘escape plan’ for the 8-year-old. They had left one window unjammed in order to get out while their mom and brother were trapped inside.
This child had also poisoned and stabbed multiple puppies and would describe ‘the squishy feeling in my fingers’ when asked about it. There was talk amongst the staff that even though the child was young, they would be committed for life due to the severity of their disorder. You could tell the kid felt no emotion. This kid would watch others around them before reacting so they would react ‘appropriately.’ You’d be sitting in a circle with kids, tell a joke, all of them except the 8-year-old would immediately giggle, then as if on a delay, the kid would look around and start giggling once they realized that’s how they were ‘supposed’ to respond. Creepy.”
His Fear Of Death Came From The Strangest Place
“I heard a mother describing to a pediatrician this weird situation with his kid: he was around 5 and for the last 3 weeks he’s been talking about death and how afraid he was of dying to the point of trying to avoid sleeping out of fear. The provider asked the mother if there was a recent loss in the family or if something happened in daycare, nothing. Little by little, after 10-15 minutes of questioning, it became evident that the odd behavior began after the last movie the family saw together…Boss Baby.
Boss Baby gave a 5-year-old an existential crisis.”
A 10-Year-Old Smut Hound
“I was assigned to a 10-year-old boy who had malignant cancer and was symptomatic. He was allowed some free time in the playroom, so I went with him to keep him company. He started looking up smut on the computer, and he tried to talk to me about it. I tried to switch activities fast, but he was resistant. I told his nurse about it, and she said he does that every day.”
Burning Her Whole Arm
“What has stuck with me the most is working with a 14-year-old girl who had, after finishing cleaning the oven with her father using the heavy duty, caustic stuff, decided to fill an oven glove with this cleaner and shove her whole arm inside.
She had life-altering, third-degree burns and they flew plastics specialists in from around the world as she was facing the possibility of losing her arm. I worked with her about a year after the incident, and she was covered in a plaster cast from wrist to elbow because she wouldn’t stop interfering with the wound. She told me she didn’t care if she lost the arm, and she enjoyed the pain it caused.”
Drinking Toilet Water Is Bad, Mmmkay?
“My dad is a pediatrician who consults for a school system. He was at one of the middle schools processing forms when a kid entered the nurse’s office complaining that he felt sick. My dad asked him if he knew why and the kid said, ‘I think I drank toilet water.'”
A Giant Needle-Hater
“I work in the Emergency Room, and we once had an 8-year-old girl come after she sliced her foot open on a glass bowl. This girl did not look 8 years old; she was probably 5-feet-9-inches and of a healthy weight; it was odd to see. The mother was doing the typical ‘she hates needles’ and said last time it took multiple men to hold her down to get sutures. So we numbed the area, which took a long time given she was pulling away, but it only got worse when we brought out the suture kit, and the doctor was trying to work on her. The kid was screaming so loud that multiple people came out of their rooms concerned about the noise. After an hour or so of trying to do this and only getting several sutures in, the doctor was about to call it quits and sedate her but went in for one last try. She kicked away while he was suturing and he got stuck with the needle. I’ve never seen him so angry, and we ended up knocking her out for the rest of the procedure.”
It’s Not A Trade Off, Kid
“We had one kid come in with the classic case of ‘mom never pays attention to me,’ so he acted out to get attention. The resident doctor was conducting a physical checkup and got to the part where he needed to check the kid’s privates for normal growth and development. He checked the kid and the kid giggled the whole time. The kid left the clinic without incident.
A few weeks later, it was a busy day, the waiting room was full of children and parents, both sick and well, all ages. My doctor was standing behind the waiting room door pouring a cup of coffee, and I called the next patient, only to realize it was the giggling kid from a weeks ago. He came strolling past the waiting room door and before it closed, he saw my doctor and turned to him and loudly shouted, ‘LAST TIME I WAS HERE YOU TOUCHED MY WEINER, THIS TIME I GET TO TOUCH YOURS!’
One of the more down-to-earth parents from the waiting room made some snarky comment about ‘hope that kid’s weiner is okay.’
Mother of the child looked mildly embarrassed but for the most part unphased.”
The Early Warning Signs Are Clear With This One
“One patient we had was a 9-year-old boy who had been brought in because not only was he acting out inappropriately in his neighborhood with the other children, but would also torture neighborhood animals and frequently break into neighbors’ homes just for the sake of doing it. He liked to move stuff around in their houses and then hide in the closet to watch and see their reaction. The first time he was brought to the hospital, he had been caught by the homeowner, and had attempted to set the house on fire when caught by squirting lighter fluid on matches that he’d brought with him ‘in case he was found out.’ One day, a fellow staff member and I were asking him and the other patients what they wanted to be when they grew up. Most gave typical answers like baseball player or policeman.
When it came to this kid’s turn, without missing a beat, he said, ‘I want to be an assaulter.’ He said it with no sense of irony, or shame.
There’s that scene in ‘Halloween’ where Dr. Loomis is looking into Michael Meyers’ eyes and says there is nothing behind them other than evil. I understood what he meant that afternoon.
About three years after he left our facility, news came out that he had died in the middle of the night at a long-term care facility next township over. He had a history of severe grand mal seizures, and also a history of ‘cheeking’ (not taking) his meds.
I remember feeling conflicted about the news. Because I know there were people who cared for him and loved and mourned his loss, and I never would or could be glad that someone has passed away, especially at such a young age….. and yet I also know that because of how that situation ended, there are people who were not hurt because of what he had the potential to do. And that he couldn’t hurt any more people. Because he had.”
A Young Woman In Crisis
“I had a single mom bring in her teenage daughter. I was concerned with her behavior, her outbursts, and her emotional instability. The daughter was on the spectrum for autism, but not diagnosed. I asked the daughter some basic questions, including, ‘What causes you to get so mad you hit your mother?’ and ‘What are your thoughts when you get to this point?’
The daughter proceeded to scream as loud as she could, ‘I don’t have any thoughts when people are punished,’ and then jumped out of the chair, ran to the door exiting the patient room and kind of body slammed herself on the door. She probably concussed herself, but that ended the encounter.
The mom was loving, caring, and hands-off with her daughter, and said the daughter was never exposed to violence or had past trauma.
Sadly many years later, she was in a love triangle with both a boyfriend and a girlfriend, and one of the parties broke up with her. The daughter, in crisis, killed herself by stabbing herself in the heart with a large kitchen knife. An experienced coroner told me he had never had seen someone kill themselves in this manner before.”