"When I was an intern, I was doing my ER rotation and a woman in her late 30s came in complaining of nausea and lower abdominal discomfort for the last few days. I did the diligent history taking, and of course, asked her about the possibility of her being pregnant.
She lost her cool and went off on me...said she was a lesbian woman and had not been with a man for 10 plus years. She yelled at me to get my boss and let an 'adult' treat her.
I reported back to my attending and delineated the tests I wanted to be done. He was like, 'I didn't hear a plan for a pregnancy test,' and I was like: 'I don't think that's needed...she's a lesbian and hasn't been with a man in 10 years.' My attending smiled and said: 'Humor me.'
The woman was pregnant. I went back to her room and there were two dudes mean mugging one another about to fight. She couldn't even look me in the eye."
"I had a lady in the hospital who was several days post op and had met all criteria for discharge. This can be a somewhat difficult situation because you want to maintain a good relationship with your patient, but at the same time can't inappropriately use hospital resources.
I told her that if there's no medical necessity, insurance could deny payment for the extra night in the hospital, to which she said: 'Oh, my health insurance agent was just up here and he said I should stay another day.'
I just stared at her for a minute since I have never seen an insurance representative in the hospital and don't even know if health insurance agents exist. She then admitted that she just made that up."
"I used to be an ER scribe. I would follow the doctors around with a laptop and do all of their electronic charting, ordering tests, note taking, and stuff like that.
I once had a male patient who was probably around 18 or 20 years old. He was complaining of a foreign object in his...male organ. He had a set of iPhone headphones stuck up his junk. And when I say stuck up there, I mean all the way to where the single cord splits in two for the two earbuds. Out of precaution we did an x-ray and sure enough, you could see the knotted up cord in his lower abdomen and it was going to require surgery to remove due to it being tangled.
He said that he was at a party with some friends and that he got wasted and passed out and his friends shoved it up there as a joke while he was passed out. Luckily the doctor I was working with had seen this guy for the same thing not long ago except before it was a wire coat hanger. She recognized there was a bigger issue and convinced him to have an inpatient psych consult in the ER after surgery so they could get him the help he needed.
Not a single person in that exam room bought his story that his friends did it to him, though."
"As a paramedic, I responded to a call where a woman was shot. We arrived on the scene and she had a single bullet wound in her right thigh, minimal bleeding, and she was standing up and limping while talking to the police. She was polite and nice and thanked us for coming to help her.
She said she was walking in the parking lot of a restaurant when she saw a blue car drive by and someone leaned out with a weapon and started shooting, then she felt something hit her leg. We helped her to the truck, and I bandaged her wound and gave her some pain medicine on the way to the hospital. She joked about being in the wrong place at the wrong time and was having an unlucky day. She answered questions with 'yes sir/no sir,' even though I told her she didn't have to. We got to the ER and I was giving my report to the trauma team when an officer on scene quietly came into the room. I was telling the patient's story to the doctors when the cop got this huge grin on his face then nodded at me to come outside.
He told me that a blue car pulled up just when we left the scene and told them to go check the restaurant cameras. The cops checked the camera to find my patient inside the restaurant when she suddenly started to yell at the other person (the driver of the blue car). The other person left the restaurant trying to get away and my patient was chasing her. The video from the parking lot then showed my patient going to her vehicle and getting a weapon out. She then started to run after the other person. There was a flash on the camera and the patient started limping. She'd shot herself in her leg."
"A few years back, a 5-year-old was brought to the ER after a blow to the abdomen so hard that it ripped the jejunum off the duodenum. It looked like it had been that way for about 24 hours, as there was tremendous spillage of GI contents and the kid was at death's door.
Anyway, the family situation was as follows... the kid was Korean and living with his mom, his 7-year-old brother, and his mom's boyfriend, who ran a Tai-Kwan-Do dojo. The boyfriend was the only one who spoke English well and the other three always looked scared out of their minds. I immediately suspected the boyfriend and notified the proper authorities. Although they conducted extensive interviews, the only answer they got was from the boyfriend, who said the injury happened while the two little boys were 'sparring.' I knew that had to be a lie since a child was not capable of producing that kind of force, but with no evidence, the authorities had to let the case drop.
Somehow, the kid made a complete and miraculous recovery, and after a few post-op visits, I never saw them again.
Fast forward to two years later when the school nurse noticed the older one limping in the hallway and examined him. She found both chronic and fresh welts on the back of his legs from caning. An examination of the younger one revealed the same thing.
This time, prosecutors were able to get both kids and mom to tell them everything, including the punch to the gut by the scumbag two years prior. The boyfriend is now sitting in jail with a 30-year sentence."
"I had a patient lie to me that she was abducted and violated after she regretted a foray with someone she met at her mosque. She also said the police who came over to the house neglected her. However, she has a brain injury from suffering meningitis as a toddler, so, unfortunately, compulsive lying is part of her chronic condition. The family and I could not get too angry with her because of this.
Eventually, she admitted to lying, so we at least avoided filing complaints against the police department and filing criminal charges against her 'abductor.' Mind you, considering her developmental delay, him taking her home to have relations with her was still wildly inappropriate."
"This patient presented for hospice care for cancer. Her medical record had hospitals reporting cancer on her medical history. This patient received hospice care for over a year. The staff taking care of her became suspicious - this cancer, even if it was a slow progression, was not showing. No weight loss. No change in labs. Nothing.
A staff member finally did additional research. The patient told hospitals about cancer, so it was written into the 'History' section of all the reports. When the 'tire hit the pavement,' there were not any scans or images reporting cancer.
This person received A LOT of meds for the 'end of life pain.' It was horrid. When I say a lot of meds, she had 180 tabs of this, 100 tabs of that with free refills.
The patient attempted to admit onto another Hospice during the police investigation. That hospice called the prior hospice who told them the deal. The last anyone knew the patient was in a psych facility in another state."
"A guy in the ER for an infection caused by shooting speed into his hand said he had never had surgery. Then when I was examining him and saw his large abdominal surgical scar and asked about it, he told me he had liver surgery for cancer but never finished the chemo treatments.
I was a naïve intern at the time so this caused me great concern, and I asked him where he'd had the surgery/incomplete treatment so I could get the records. He told me, signed the waiver, I faxed them, and they faxed me his record.
He had never had cancer but what he did have was exploratory abdominal surgery to remove the shampoo bottle that got lost in his rectum.
He was the dumbest patient, not for the shampoo bottle in the butt, or the speed, or for lying about cancer, but because out of the many hospitals in the city, for some reason, he directed me to the ACTUAL PLACE where he had his butt-bottle removal done."
"My father is a urologist. The number of patients that come in with a broken or bruised junk is...astonishing, to say the least.
Some are honest. They were trying some new position and they miscalculated or got carried away, then someone turned the wrong way or fell out of the bed/pommel horse/tire swing. Or took a 'flying leap' to initiate romance and missed.
But some of them are adamant that they woke up like that. These are the same people whose wives are out of town, and a woman who is definitely not her is in the waiting room to see if her boyfriend is okay.
My dad has the potential to nuke so many marriages from orbit, but doctor-patient confidentiality holds him back. I have often dreamed of what would happen if one day he just said 'Forget it' and revealed everything.
Apparently, the guy readied himself at the end of the bed while she positioned herself. Then he took a few steps back and jumped.
The idea was that he would make a perfect landing, slide right in, and they would continue with vigorous, movie-level fornication.
Unfortunately, his aim was off. Throw yourself on your bed and try to catch yourself with a fully extended index finger. That happened, but it was his junk.
My dad's exact words when he came home from work that day were, 'It was purple. The whole thing was PURPLE.'
The thing is that there wasn't a thought process. Some people just do things without any thought. Trying to apply a semblance of logic or reason to a person who never uses them doesn't work.
It's fascinating. How do people act like this? Did I learn how to think, or did they learn how to not? The sheer lack of anything that goes on in the heads of some individuals is incredible."
"I work for a medical device company. We sell spine implants (rods and bolts used to hold vertebrae together).
An irate patient tried to sue us after one of the bolts in his back broke, resulting in him needing another surgery. He claimed it broke while he slept.
I don't care how restless a sleeper you are, there is no possible way these bolts could break that easily. Each bolt can easily support your entire body weight and then some, and I've got the analysis to prove it. They are tested for five million cycles of loading to make sure they can handle any amount of fatigue as well.
It turned out he actually broke it playing football on Thanksgiving... two months after major spine surgery."
"I am an EMT and I once dealt with a liar. It wasn't the patient, but his wife.
I was getting the patient to take him to the doctor. I asked him if he could stand. The wife told me he hadn't walked in 30 years.
The dude stood up unassisted and walked to the stretcher.
I've been in this work a long time and simply don't care about a lot of stuff, so I just blurted out: 'HOLY CRAP! IT'S A MIRACLE!!'
I was prepared to get in trouble, but it never happened.
It was probably sympathy and control over him. There is a sickness where a person tries to get control over somebody making them think they are sick.
A lot of wives and moms like to baby the crap out of their husbands and kids. It usually goes a little something like this:
Me: 'Sir, are you hurting?'
Wife: 'Yes, he's really hurting. I think he's dying.'
Husband: 'It hurts a little.'"
"A few years ago, a man came in complaining of a terrible cough, chest pain, and fatigue. I asked him if he had a history of smoking. Naturally, he said no. Around an hour later, on my way home, I stopped to get some food and there he was, smoking outside McDonald's.
I didn't realize it was him until I sat down and the large cloud of smoke covering his face disappeared. I didn't have time to say anything to him, unfortunately."
"I am a former patient who once told a weird lie that I was called out on.
I had braces as a kid and I had a bad habit of chewing on pen caps, which would occasionally result in one of my brackets coming un-cemented from its tooth.
So for the umpteenth time, this happened, and my orthodontist got ready to read me the riot act, but then I told him that, actually, I had been at a birthday party at a restaurant that had a dance floor in the back (which was true) and that I tripped and fell and hit my mouth on the wooden railing that lined the perimeter of the dance floor in such a way that I didn't hurt myself, I just knocked a bracket loose (which was a lie).
And he was like, so you fell into a wooden rail, and you hit your mouth into it, full force, but you didn't lose a tooth, or bust your lip, or anything else? Is that what actually happened? And then I looked at the floor and shook my head 'no.'"
"I am a therapist. People lie constantly and get frustrated when they don't make any progress in therapy. They will then disclose some incredibly crucial piece of information - a serious trauma, severe symptoms - that completely change how they need to be treated. Telling your mental health care provider you were locked in a basement and were not allowed human contact from ages 8 to 11, for example, and that you are far more than a 'little anxious' is pretty significant. It's usually pretty clear when something doesn't add up but without somewhat accurate reporting it makes creating effective treatment plans nearly impossible.
JUST BE HONEST. I can not treat omissions and lies.
This is not about people not feeling comfortable at session one, or even session 17. It's about clients in long-term therapy who get angry they make no progress because they have omitted significant information that would have a large impact on their health care. No one expects anyone to come in at an intake and word vomit what gives them PTSD."
"This young girl came to the hospital with her boyfriend. She had a stab wound in the abdominal region. She was apparently 'cutting an apple while keeping in on her abdomen when the knife slipped and caused the injury.'
It turns out that she was threatening her boyfriend not to break up with her. She thought it'd be cool to try and stab herself to convince him, I guess."
"In medical school, I worked at a regional community ER to get some extra experience. One night, a guy came in complaining of groin pain. He refused to show the female nurse, so as the male medical student, I was next up. It was horrifying. I thought getting kicked in the nuts was bad. His junk was dark purple and swelled up to what I assume was two to three times its normal size. The last few centimeters were bent in a completely different direction and the glans (head) looked fairly normal but stuck out just a little bit like a mouse out of a hole.
Without thinking, I blurted out, 'What happened?!' and he claimed he was about to poop and sat down on it. It's cliché but what House said is true - everybody lies. Especially about that kind of fracture.
As a bonus for him, once the ER staff found out what was going on, he had a rotating crew of students, doctors, and nurses coming in to look at it before he went to surgery. I'll give it to him though, he stuck to his story, even after his crying girlfriend, who was probably responsible for the injury, showed up."
"We had a teenager admitted with unexplained 'seizure' activity. Her mom and boyfriend were beyond concerned and stayed at her bedside. How she was even admitted in the first place is a mystery. Anyway, she started 'seizing' and her family called a rapid response (basically it's an emergency but not a code blue).
The rapid team responded and the on-call physician was a delightful jerk. The situation was explained as we're going down the hall and he said, 'Someone give me a flush.'
We got in the room and he said in a soothing tone, 'It's okay, Jane. I'm going to give you some medicine to "help." It should work pretty quickly.'
That saline quelled her 'seizure' pretty much immediately."