"So I was taking antibiotics for dental work that had been done and noticed these weird blisters showing up everywhere. Weird, but whatever. 48 hours later, they started opening up, leaving holes in my skin, no blood just lost most of the skin in that area. Again, weird, but I was working so whatever.
Then they started appearing in my throat so I got to the hospital ASAP and was diagnosed immediately with Steven-Johnson syndrome. Any longer and the layers of my skin would have literally peeled away from each other and I would have died. That was a sobering day."
"Woke up one morning with severe pain in my abdomen and trouble breathing. I thought it was from a pulled muscle and gas pains, but since I was pregnant I knew I needed to get it checked out. Ruptured ectopic pregnancy. I was internally bleeding for two days (the pulled muscle I felt was my Fallopian tube bursting).
I should have been in worse condition in terms of vitals, but by some miracle, I was 'okay.' Surgery removed the tiny baby that tried to kill me, and I lost a tube.
Happy ending, I managed to get pregnant again by some miracle 6 weeks later (we were NOT trying). We now have a 28lb happy and healthy 8-month-old baby boy."
"I took my wife to the hospital for what I thought was bronchitis and a bad stomach bug because she'd been coughing and throwing up all day.
She was also complaining about a headache. In the ER she started rambling and not making any sense so they did a head CT.
She was bleeding into her brain from an acute form of leukemia. She died the next day."
"About 4 years ago, I was at work and was just feeling crappy: chest pains, shortness of breath, shaky and chills. Thought it was the flu with heartburn or something. I ended up finishing work that day and having my mom pick me up and take me to our local hospital.
Since I just thought I would go to the ER, get some meds and go home, I didn't even think to go to the ER at the state-of-the-art urban University hospital that I work at, I was 27, I didn't think it could be anything serious. Got to the hospital, was admitted right away to the ICU, where I spent 4 days.
Turns out a mysterious virus had attacked my heart, causing myopericarditis or a build up of fluid in the heart. They tested my blood for everything they could think of, but they still have not been able to figure out what it was. Was put on meds, released and out of work for 2 months.
Fast forward 2 months and I can't lay down without coughing. Go in for chest X-rays. Turns out I am now in heart failure because the virus damaged my mitral valve so much that it now needs to be replaced. I had open heart surgery a few months after that. All because of some mystery virus that didn't even get named after me!"
"When I got home from Afghanistan I did the post-deployment screening. They asked if anything had changed, I told them I had a bump on my chin. They identified it as a cyst and sent me to a general surgeon. The surgeon in an overabundance of caution got an MRI first. Good news, it's a cyst. Bad news, there is a spot of concern at the very bottom of the MRI.
Went in for another MRI and it's a baseball sized spot in my ribcage. The Army biopsied it and told me I had cancer and referred to UNC Chapel Hill.
I went there 2 days later and they said good news, not cancer, bad news it's a b---- to get it out. Chest sliced open, couldn't speak for six months, wasn't cancer."
"A 20 something pregnant woman went into her local ER for nausea, vomiting and a sore back between her shoulder blades. The PA had the amazing stroke of brilliance to ultrasound her shoulders. What did he find? An aorta aneurysm, ballooning and starting to split.
She had 1-2 hours to live. She was immediately thrown on to the Survival Flight helicopter and flown to my hospital, 120 miles away. Her husband came in from parking the car and asked where she was. He was told she was on the copter and might live if they got to the Big House in time.
Apparently, he laughed and said, 'No, no, my wife came in with flu!'
After they set him straight, he drove like a maniac down to us and almost beat the bird."
"I have suffered from chronic ear aches and ear pain since I was a few months old. When I was in 8th grade I was sitting in class when my ear popped, except this wasn't the normal pop that releases the pain. It felt like someone had shoved a red hot metal rod in my ear. Under closer inspection by my pediatrician who has dealt with my ears my whole life and is one of the few doctors that believed that I was in pain and he said it was the worst ear drum rupture he had seen, but since I have had this happen a lot I just took some medicine and went home.
Over the next few months, my ear aches got severely worse so I went to see an ENT who basically told my family "Nobody's ears hurt this much or are this sensitive he is faking to get out of school."
After my 5th visit in a month to that ENT he suggests an MRI (at least I think that's the big circle thing with the magnets) ends up that bad rupture had caused the skin in my ear to grab onto the bones in my ear and form a tumor called a cholesteatoma.
This tumor was literally eating away at my ear, the bones in it, the cartilage, and was eating into my skull. I went to see a specialist for this who ended up removing the tumor after a few months and having to completely reconstruct my ear drum and the bones and a lot of the damage could have been stopped if the original ENT had believed me about my chronic pain.
The result in all this is that I have an 'artificial ear drum' made from the muscle in my jaw (they kinda botched that part I think because I can't even chew food really with the left side of my jaw after it) and the bones were replaced by the cartilage from the outside portion of my ear. The surgery resulted in bad nerve damage that makes every day a struggle and I cant hear out of my left ear."
"My son was 7 months old and had a fever that wouldn't go down...I'd tried Tylenol, a cool bath, and it kept rising. He was my third baby, so I wasn't terribly concerned, but we were leaving the next day for a weekend at a remote cabin, and I thought I should get him checked out and get some antibiotics for him. I called the clinic just as it was about to close. They stayed open for me and when I walked into the empty waiting room, he vomited all over me. The doctor looked in his throat and in his ears, then turned to me and said, 'With your permission, I would like to do a spinal tap.'
They ushered me out of the room, then called me back in a few minutes. The doctor showed me a vial of fluid and told me that because it was cloudy, that he had spinal meningitis. She asked me if I was OK, then told me, very calmly, to put the vial in my purse, take my baby, drive directly to the hospital, go into the emergency entrance, walk directly to the elevator, go up to Pediatrics. People would be waiting for me. I did as I was told. When the elevator doors opened, there were about 5 people waiting for me. They took my baby from me and hurried away.
The next time I saw him, he had tubes and sensors all over his body. It was a scary night, but he made it. I knew he was going to be alright the next morning because I while I was nursing him, someone came in the room and when the door closed, he did that baby startle thing (hands in the air). With meningitis, the hearing is the first thing to go. 10 days in the hospital. But full recovery. The clinic receptionist that kept the clinic open for me later told me that she just had a funny feeling when I called."
"My friend's mother was on vacation in Key West and as they were walking down the beach her husband pointed out that the toes on her left foot were all sandy and the other one wasn't. She had been kind of dragging the front of her foot, but only on the one leg.
The mom vaguely mentioned that she'd been kind of having a little trouble lifting the front of her foot up, but figured she just strained something from running barefoot on the beach a few days earlier. She went to a doctor to see if she could get some anti-inflammatories.
After questions and recommendations to see a specialist, they figured out that she has ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). This was 6 years ago. Now she is totally unable to move, talk, and breathe on her own. All she thought she had was a sprained foot."
"7 years ago I went in because I had a really bad headache for 24 hrs turned out my transplanted kidney had shut down and my body was being poisoned. 4 years ago I started getting massive headaches again so I went back. Everything was fine with the new kidney so they ran some tests but couldn't find anything so they gave me Vicodin and sent me home.
Well after a couple more days of the worst pain in my life and the Vicodin not even helping one bit I woke up with the entire left side of my face swollen and drooping. My wife rushed me to the ER where they did some more tests and found I had orbital cellulitis. I was rushed to surgery and woke up some hours later with a bandage on my left eye where they had to go in and remove the infection.
The next day they removed the bandages to take a look and had an eye doctor come and make sure there was no damage to my eye, passed with flying colors. On the third day in the hospital, I wake up and all I can see with my left eye is a tiny bit of light out of the side, within a few hours I am totally blind in my left eye. Due to the swelling, the infection caused and the swelling the surgery caused all blood flow was cut off to my optic nerve and it died."
"Our boy scout camp had a s--- doctor. He was a medical technician, but goddamn did he hate it. He wanted to run an Indiana Jones adventure course and take pictures of kids with broken legs more than he wanted to treat them. Just.... god, no one respected him. But he donated all his pay to his staff, so the camp stuck with him.
One of the larger, older staff members started having a stomach ache after lunch one day - no big deal. When it got worse, he went to the medical building, and the doc agreed; stomach ache, go lay down. When it got ridiculously bad, the doctor gave him some OTC aspirin, told him to sleep it off.
Thank goodness for our watersports director, who holds more qualifications than most accomplished doctors. They met while the poor guy was staggering back to his cabin, and in a few questions ('Wait, not your stomach but lower? Over here?') got the head office to call an ambulance. Appendicitis, and we would later find out, acute and ready to blow. If he had taken the pills and gone to bed, he wouldn't have made it past the flag lowering ceremony.
And that son of a b---- doctor just shrugs his shoulders, 'Well can't win them all!'
"A few weeks ago I slipped on the ice and hit my head (on a Wednesday). I had a bad headache but I've had concussions before and saw no reason to rack up a huge ER bill to be told to go home and rest.
My husband talked me into going to the urgent care clinic two days later (Friday) and that doctor kinda blew me off and made me feel stupid for going in but said if it was still bad on Monday, call my regular doctor. They wrote me an order for a CT scan Sunday but told me a bunch of times they didn't think I needed it (plus it would have been really expensive with my ins) so I didn't go. My headache was still pretty intense Monday and I called my doctor (still didn't want to go but was trying to shut up the people around me). They didn't see it as too urgent based off of what the clinic had said considering they didn't get me in 'til Thursday (8 days after I fell).
After my doctor heard my symptoms she was like, 'Oh my gosh, we need to scan you like now.' Finally got a CT scan... I FRACTURED MY F---ING SKULL!! Gee, I'm glad it wasn't an emergency stupid urgent care center. My sense of taste and smell are still wonky, and my memory is kinda f---ed. I was leaking fluid out one side of my nose but it wasn't bloody so no one considered it urgent. I had a severe earache from the moment of impact that was also totally ignored.
I'm never going back to that clinic again."
"One of my best friends, probably of 20 years or so, started having back pain. He works hard and plays hard so he thought it was just that, and he had to take it easy for a while. It didn't get better so he went to his GP. His GP did some tests and sent him to the hospital.
They found out he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He tried to fight it and kept his spirits high until he couldn't stand it anymore. He stopped wanting to see people because he was so sick. He died 3 months to the day of his diagnosis.
He lived a miracle life while he was here. He gave one of his kidneys to his wife so that she could live. What are the odds of marrying someone that is compatible to be a donor?"
"My Dad: Skipped a few years of getting physicals, including PSA tests. Just never got around to it, too busy, etc. When he finally went in, his PSA was off the charts.
Long story short, Diagnosis: Stage 4 prostate cancer, metastases to bones. Gleason Score 6. Put on meds (basically chemical castration). Has been on a number of treatments of all types, some stop working, tries something else. Was diagnosed about 8.5 years ago. He is doing pretty well, especially considering how long it has been. Still active. Not sure how much longer he has left. He's 65 now.
My Mom: Hates going to doctor's, spouse and kids have to nag her to get routine checkups, mammograms, colonoscopy, etc. A couple months ago, she finally decides to go have a 'growth' checked. Thought it was probably a hemorrhoid. Doctor, not sure, but says it should be removed and biopsied. Mom tells me she's having surgery to remove it. This is the first I hear of it.
Diagnosis: Melanoma. Another surgery to make sure they had clean margins. Brain scan - clean. Sentinal lymph node test positive and another surgery. Then another surgery to remove all the lymph nodes in the area. Just found out yesterday that they all came back clean. My mom was in tears on the phone with me she was so relieved. Has to decide now if she does any chemo etc. to be super aggressive about keeping it from coming back. We'll see what happens. Hasn't decided yet. She later told me after I asked, that she had waited probably 6 months with this apricot-sized growth before going to the doctor.
Both my parents are now strong advocates of going to the doc if something doesn't feel right."
"I had a sudden pain in my abdomen that doubled me over. I was sure it was just probably really bad gas pain and if I just took a really good number 2, I would feel better, but my (at the time) significant other was insistent we went to the ER. Get to the ER and they do an ultrasound. Instead of the giant gas bubble I expected, they discovered a cyst on my ovary the size of a softball.
The doc advises that they are very common and the usual course of treatment is to give me birth control pills and send me on my way, but since this one is so large he wanted to consult with a gyno. This being a podunk coastal town the gyno on call was over a half hour away, so instead of bringing her in they send her my results. The gyno agreed that most likely everything is fine but the tech who did the ultrasound had left out a picture of the blood flow going into the ovary. The gynaecologist wanted that pic to be absolutely certain things were fine, even though the tech stated they had looked at it, just forgot to snap the pic, and everything looked fine. Still had to go for the second ultrasound. The second ultrasound showed to blood flow was fine, but now my abdomen is filling with an unknown liquid that had not been there before.
At this point, the gynaecologist decided to drive in and examine me herself. I'm told I don't have to wait in the room and can go out to the waiting room if I would prefer since it was going to be a while for her to show up.
A few minutes later I'm out in the waiting room and I want some water. My significant other had to be home with the kids and the neighbor is with me and offers to get me the water. I drink said water and stand up to walk about 10 feet to throw away the paper cup. Halfway to the garbage can I suddenly feel very nauseous, shaky, and weak. I barely make it back to my seat before I vomit pretty violently. The nurse tells me to just stay seated and not to drink anything else until the gynaecologist arrives. I feel fine the rest of the time I'm waiting for her. When she finally arrives we talk and she explains she wants to do this procedure where they stick a VERY long needle through my cervix and draw a sample of the liquid. She's pretty sure it's a leak in the cyst and that the body will just absorb it and I'll be fine, but she wants to be 100%. So there I am, my legs in the stirrups while the doc tries for her sample. And tries and tries and tries and tries and tries and tries and tries and OMG STOP F---ING TRYING ALL READY! After piercing my cervix something like 20 times she finally gives up. All she can get is the blood from the now many holes in my cervix and she states she can't torture me anymore and is giving up. I'm so relieved that that is over and I'm so damn ready to get out of this podunk hospital, and she seems ready to send me on my way as well. She tells me that she is 99% sure that the fluid is just a leak from the cyst and that I'll be fine, but that if I would prefer she could perform a laparoscopy and find out for sure, but that it's up to me. I ask her what the worst case scenario is here. She says, 'Well the worst case scenario is that it's not cyst fluid but is blood and that your hemorrhaging, you don't get back to the hospital in time and you die.'
At this point I'm thinking there's no way I'm going to die from this so I can probably go home, but I ask 'You said not get back to the hospital in time. I came to the hospital because of the sudden pain, but the you guys have me on pain meds now and I'm not feeling any pain, so how will I know to come back to the hospital?' She says, 'Well you'll get really nauseous and weak and shaky.' I respond, 'I did that in the waiting room waiting for you to get here.' The gynaecologist takes one look at the nurse who nods in agreement and her attitude immediately changed. She explained we are going to do the laparoscopy ASAP. She explains it's only going to be about 15 minutes total. They're just going to cut a little notch in my belly button, blow in some air, put in a camera and take a look. I sign consent forms and them I'm prepped for surgery.
Up to this point I've not felt scared or worried about the situation. The information is coming in, I'm analyzing it and responding, but emotional I'm like a rock, but when I was laying on that operating table just as they were putting the oxygen mask on my face to put me out, I glance at the clock and realize it's striking midnight. That's when it hits me. I'm on an operating table in a tiny hospital in a tiny town at midnight. It is serious. Just as I can feel I'm starting to freak out, I'm under. The first thing I become aware of is this strange wooshing sound and the sensation of something alternating squeezing my feet. I open my eyes and everything is bright and white. I feel nothing at this point other than the squeezing.
Out of the corner of my eye I notice a large window and movement behind it. I turn my head towards the movement and the most excruciating pain I've ever experienced washed over me, radiating out from my stomach. I scream out in pain and clutch myself. A nurse comes rushing in and at that moment told me what had just happened.
Apparently as soon as the gynaecologist put the camera into my abdomen, the cyst, and my ovary, burst. I was gushing blood like a garden hose. That 15 minute exploratory surgery turned into a 2.5 hour emergency surgery to save my life. She gave me a shot of drugs and I went back to sleep. The next morning the gynaecologist walked into my hospital room and the first thing she said to me was, 'If I had sent you home last night I would have killed you.'
It was a very sobering moment realizing just how close I had come to death and had no clue. The ovary was going to burst whether I had that surgery or not, but to be on the table surrounded by doctors when it happened is probably the only reason I'm still alive today. That and the fact the ultrasound tech forgot to take a picture."
"I was in high school and started throwing up every morning. I am already diabetic so I went to the doctor. Diagnosed with gastroparesis (occasional stomach paralysis pretty much) and was sent home with medication and a reprimand to take better care of my diabetes. The problem was it kept happening every few months.
Went back to the doctor and he claimed it was totally normal and I am again warned about diabetes care. Then a new symptom: I have stomach pain so bad it makes me writhe uncontrollably and my white blood cell count goes way up. Go to the hospital, throw up, and suddenly everything is fine. And I am sent home. This continues on and off until college. I go to see tons of specialists at some of the best hospitals in the area. All of them tell me there's nothing wrong beyond the gastroparesis, I take a bunch of tests and no new information.
Finally, I see a new doctor who tells me I need to have exploratory intestinal surgery. Just open me up at the top and work their way all the way down. Opened me up and two feet down was a latticework of intestinal wall that had grown across the opening like a sink drain. Food had been getting caught, backing up into my stomach and starting to rot. Fortunately, surgery went awesome, stomach back to digesting cupcakes and pizza. Not really... I am still a diabetic. But lesson learned. Occam's Razor isn't always a thing."
"3-year old me had been drinking fluids almost exclusively for a few days. My mother's spidey-mother-senses weren't tingling so much as they were screaming something was wrong. She called the local pediatrician's office who said that it's just the time of year (it was very dry) and it's normal for little kids to be very thirsty. After day 2, my stomach was swollen like a 50 year-beer drinking redneck's and I was still demanding more drinks. I had gone through a whole bottle of apple juice and carton of milk and was proceeding to down water like no other.
My mom called again, and this time they were a little annoyed, as they had already given a diagnosis. My mother insisted something was wrong, and asked to set up and appointment. They informed her that the doctor was on vacation and would be back in 2 weeks, and to bring me in then for a checkup. This didn't fly with my mother, and against their wishes, she brought me in anyways, to a very, VERY pissed group receptionists and nurses, who scolded and scoffed at my mother for being ignorant.
They took me into the patient area from the waiting room, and no more than a minute had passed before every single one of them filed into the waiting room, approached my mother with me in tow, and said: "Mam, we are so very sorry. We should have listened to you, but you need to take your son to the ER right NOW, he has diabetes."
My blood sugar was off the charts. And THAT, folks, is as far back as my memory goes. I have lived my whole conscious life with diabetes since. My memory started with drinking juice on a couch and spending the next two weeks in the ICU with kids who had it way worse than me. I've maintained that I'm very lucky to only have diabetes and that it could always be so much worse.
"About 3 months ago I had something peculiar happen to me. I was at school in the morning and got up to throw my breakfast away. When I got up I got a severe pain around my belly button. I thought I just had a bad cramp or had to go to the bathroom so I just tried to walk it off and stretch out. It didn't go away like a cramp usually would. Awweeeee whatever I have a test I'll go to the bathroom when it's done.
So I took my test, went to the bathroom and still had pain. Well, f--- might as well go to the nurse. I went to the hospital and the surgeon said I needed my appendix out. When they started to do surgery on me they usually would start by making an incision under your belly button. For some reason they couldn't do it, so they made 3 other incisions on my left side and found out my umbilical cord was still attached to my intestines. Not only that but my intestines were free floating not attached like a normal persons. They patched me up and told me I'll need more surgery soon for my intestines and they took off my umbilical cord. Still got a 96 on the test."
"My mom was having problems keeping anything down. Not even liquid. Anytime she would eat or drink, she would puke immediately after. My mom had the Lap-band, doctors just said she was not wanting to eat/wanting attention (my mom is a workaholic, the hospital is the biggest inconvenience for her and we had to FORCE her to go) She had been in the hospital 3 days at this point (she was never left alone. my grandma took day shift, and I did from mid afternoon to 5/6am and my dad would be there before and after work).
The day that she was supposed to go in for exploratory surgery at 3 pm had come. It was a typical overnight with my mom (which sleeping in the hospital chair all night freezing while being pregnant sucks a--) the nurse had came in and said your blood pressure is through the roof and my mom was saying her pain was elevating a lot. (5am) I called my grandma to let her know what the nurse had said, G said she was almost to the hospital.
10 minutes later my grandma was in the room. Mom was tossing in pain a bit, and told me to head home for a few hours of sleep before work, then come back. As I was picking up my stuff, my mom screamed at the top of her lungs in pain and could not stop moving from being in so much pain. 5 nurses ran in tried to hold her down, they were prepping her for emergency surgery by trying to put a second IV in since her current one was at 4 days. They blew 5 of her veins out. My moms stomach had burst and she was going septic. Her stomach has swelled causing her band to fold underneath cutting circulation to the bottom part of her stomach and it died. She only has 20 percent of her stomach left.
They said if she would of been at home when this happened she would have died because she wouldn't of made it in time. She spent 3 weeks in ICU and 6 weeks on regular floor. Since this has happened she's had blood infections, MRSA, staph infection and a hole the size of a baseball where they cut her open because her skin would not heal. She's now in constant pain (has a pain doctor) and is depressed because of it. I'd like to say she's all better but I know that she never will be. It sucks to say it but I almost feel she should of died so she wouldn't have to hurt as much as she does now. She makes the same remarks and you can see how much it hurts her. The doctors say she'll be in this pain as long as she lives."
"In 2012 June 3rd I decided to try wrapping myself in saran wrap and a heavy bathrobe to sweat and try and get rid of chronic hives around my torso. I sat down and watched Captain America like a human casserole.
That night after a de-wrapping I found my whole torso numb like it had fallen asleep and wouldn't wake up. The next day the numbness had spread to my hands and legs. I was too embarrassed to say anything for a week until my whole body became impossible to move.
Went into ER, then had an MRI, still didn't admit the cellophane thing, and found out that rather than just a dumbass allergic reaction to being the human casserole for a night, I had Multiple Sclerosis and my spinal chord was riddled with inflammation.
Ten infusions, tons of drugs, paralyzed for three months, and physical therapy every other day. Literally the worst year ever."
"My sister went to the doctors because my mom was concerned about a large amount of bruises that she had on her body, and she didn't understand how my sister was getting them.
My mom thought that maybe my sister was anemic. A few days after that, my mom gets a phone call from the hospital to tell my parents to get my sister to the hospital immediately.
My sister was diagnosed with leukemia on her second birthday."
"When I was 12 I had a crazy bad headache that wouldn't go away. My Dad brought me to the doc and I didn't even make it to the exam room before they turned me back and sent us to the hospital.
It turns out my headache was from a burst sinus cavity...as in all the bones around my eye broke and the liquid leaked back onto my brain giving me brain meningitis. My eye was bulging out to the point where I looked like an alien and they told my parents I was not going to make it.
Obviously, I pulled through but was hospitalized for 2 weeks and missed 2 months of school. I was at the time only the 3rd known case of this happening and they had flown in doctors from all over the US and from the UK. Crazy stuff...I thought it was just the worst headache...turned out to be soo much more."
"On new years day 2013, they took my grandfather to the hospital on suspicion of a stroke. They said he didn't so he went home. On February 17, they took him to a different hospital for the same reason and turns out he had an Aneurysm on his aorta.
They did surgery and while on the operating table, he had a stroke.
After two days, we talked to the doctor and he told us his aorta was falling apart and he'd never be functional again and more like a vegetable. Long story short he died on that Saturday. The way I see it is we got some extra time with him."
"I came back from 5 months in traveling in Africa about a year ago. Felt a bit unwell when I go back but I put it down to climatization (45°C to 3°C in a day).
A week went past where I felt progressively worse so I went to my local A&E unit. A little wait later and I got seen to, they ran blood tests and the usual tests and came back a short time later with a rather worried look on their faces. They proceeded to ask a million questions about minute little details while taking more and more blood. From my hospital bed, I could see my Dr constantly on the phone while he kept looking over to me. Queue panic starting to set in.
A short while later, a new doctor arrives who works at a different hospital about 30 miles away. Queue another million questions and more blood being taken for testing. They come back about 2 hours later, about 6 doctors and nurses in total, and basically tell me that the levels in my liver are three to four times that they should be. I'm having liver failure and have done for a short time and they have no idea whats causing it.
From all the questions and tests, they finally come to me and inform me I have something living in my liver. A parasite that is eating me inside out. F---. I was pretty much a sideshow for the next 2 weeks as various doctors and juniors came from other parts of England just to see me, as they hadn't seen this before. Finally pumped full of so many different drugs just to see what would work, I spent 3 weeks in ICU before they let me home. I'm mostly recovered, fit and healthy bar I can hardly drink alcohol without being smashed within a few pints!"