Doctors Share The Most Outrageous 'I Thought That Was Normal' Patient Stories
Doctors aren't always in tune either.
Patients say the darndest things. Often doctors may believe they're hearing is off. But, sometimes it can all seem very run of the mill. Everyday in the ER is not an episode of "Grey's Anatomy" so medical professionals feel like normal is the.... normal, until it's not.
Redditor u/poppyoxymoron wanted to hear from the doctors of the world to discuss a few things by asking.... Doctors of reddit, what was the most shocking case of "oh I thought that was normal" you've seen in a patient?
Former nursing student here. I grew up watching bugs bunny cartoons, and whenever I saw a closeup of the inside of the mouth there was always a large and dangling uvula (the thing hanging down at the back of one's throat) - just like mine. So naturally I assumed EVERYBODY had one like that. Fast forward to nursing school and I began looking inside people's mouths and seeing nub after pathetic nub of excuses for an uvula. I'm like "what the hell is that?" I suddenly realized I had a stalactite of a uvula in the back of my throat. mishymc
My best friend is a doctor and he had a patient who couldn't move her arm but didn't even bother to mention it or seem concerned.
He checked blood pressure and various routine tests, then asked her to lift her arms to start doing some kind of neurological test.
"Oh sorry I can't move my left arm at all"
"This is a disability you have had for some time right?"
"Oh no just since this morning"
Turned out she'd had a stroke. Alsoamdsufferer
Not a doctor and it not completely related but. I was in the dentist's chair and I heard an exchange from the next room over.
Aid: So why'd you come in today?
Patient: hey, yeah my teeth have been hurting and flaking off.
Aid: Well let's take a look.
(A minute of silence)
Aid: yes it looks like you have a very large amount of plaque built up on your teeth.
Patient: Oh is that what keep flaking off when I brush, cause I was worried it was my teeth falling apart.
Brush your teeth daily people. DarkestTimelineEvals
I'm on the opposite end of this. I used to think it was normal when I would go #2 in the bathroom my heart would race and I would break out into a sweat with my face turning bright red. My mom thought I was straining too hard. Saw a doctor and my blood pressure was through the roof, he suggested I had the symptoms of a rare condition. He was right, I had a tumor on one of my adrenal glands called pheochromocytoma. It got removed, I now poop normal. Kings_Daughter
During my short time as an acting physician at a hospital a middle-aged man walked in. I took my check-up tests and and he had testosterone levels at least 65% lower than average. When I asked him about it, he said that he thought all men felt like he him (low energy, infertility, sleep apnea, etc.) CardioInquisition
A Little Extra....
(Medical student) While chatting with a few friends who are fully fledged doctors and dentists I heard about this one:
Dude had, not one, not two but FOUR extra teeth in his mouth. Now this isn't exactly super rare or shocking on its own, but when asked about it, he said "Doesn't everyone have those...?"
The guy was also a medical student that we knew. Granted he was studying to be an optometrist (sorry opthalmologist**, english isn't my first language :D) so it's out of his field of study but still. AskingMartini
Well, a doctor listened to my heart and lungs the other day and asked if I was nervous. I said no and showed him my Fitbit data of a daytime resting heartbeat between 90-120 and uh, yeah turns out I'm gonna need to get that checked out. agnathastone
I thought my tears stinging like hot acid when crying was normal, and that feeling a pain in your nose when crying was normal. Apparently it's not?
Conversation went something like this: watching sad dog rescue video with sibling Me: "Ah no I'm about to cry, I can feel the pain in my nose." Sibling: "????????????" Me: "y'know the pain in your nose when crying?" Sibling: "eeeeh that's not normal." Me: "pffft. And I guess tears feeling like acid isn't normal either? Silly. That's why you end up crying!" Sibling: "...." ViolentPuppy
I diagnose diabetes all the time. Many of my patients come in super sick. All have a history of drinking a lot and peeing a lot, but don't actually think it's a big deal until I ask and explain why people with diabetes pee so much. mvenus929
Not a doctor, but I was a combat medic. A dude came in describing puss leaking from between his legs. So I took a look, and under his penis and balls his taint wasn't fused together. So essentially he had a vagina, and it was infected. I let him know about his uniqueness, and he said "I thought everyone had that." No-collusion-suck-it
Not a doctor, but a nurse. I was taking vitals during a routine physical of an older woman, her pulse was fast and very thready, and her blood pressure was shockingly low. Normal bp is about 120/80, hers was a mere 80/40. I asked her how she was feeling, she said fine. It turned out she had always had atrial fibrillation and knew about it but never thought to mention it to us, she was having an attack that day. luna8913
I'm not a doctor, but I thought it was normal to immediately vomit food that you didn't like when you tried to eat it. Somehow, no one around me found it alarming that I immediately vomited every time I would try to eat a vegetable until my best friend pointed out that that's not a normal thing. I got a test as an adult, and yep, it turns out I have a rare and severe allergy to vegetables. SecretlyFBI
I've learned that skin pain isn't normal. Like, when someone touches my skin, it feels like they're rubbing sandpaper on me. I thought everyone had that. I'm getting tested to figure out what it is. chickadee35
Not a doctor, a patient that thought periods were supposed to immobilize you and that you basically pooped what looked like hair pulled out the shower drain out your vagina. Apparently I have blood clots and endometriosis. Had it since I was 11. Reddit
All the Toes.
Patient here! Didn't know it wasn't normal for toenails to just hurt. You know, all the time? Ingrown toenails are a pain if you ignore them!! My Mother noticed my obviously infected big toes, both of them. Holy crap, doctor, DON'T LET INGROWN TOENAILS GET SO BAD THEY'RE GOING THROUGH YOUR TOE!!!
Also learned that day that the way my toes grow (all 10 of those appendages) are shaped in such a way that I can't have toenails without ingrown toenails. Ever. At all. Someday in the next few years I have to get the rest of my toenails removed! Might dig out the picture of the removed big toenails if there's interest. Foodcity
Get it on Tape.
I heard this from my elementary teacher. There was a kid in her class years ago. He kept moving in class, and even keep dropping books and pencils around his table. Other kids couldn't concentrate, so she called his parents and told about him. The parents didn't believe her, saying she was framing their son. So, she filmed what's happening in the class. However, the parents insisted that the teacher edited files, sending only bad moments.
So, she told them to come, and see what's happening in her class. The mother saw, and cried after class, saying she didn't know her son. Then, the parents brought their son to a children's psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist surprised, asking how the parents could endure him. It was about a decade before the notion of ADHD became popular, and that time, saying others to bring their kid to a psychiatrist was the same as saying f-letters to others in my country. Ampluvia
Patient, not a doctor. I started getting these headaches in 7th grade. Massive stabbing pain, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, pain with cold and weather change. I tried taking ibuprofen but it didn't work so I stopped. 7th grade me was worried about getting addicted. The headaches came every single day, and would usually get worse throughout the day. I didn't think it was abnormal because everyone gets headaches, right?
I finally figured out it might not be normal and talked to my GP my sophomore year of college. Saw a neurologist, turns out I have chronic migraine. After some trial, and painful, error, I have some awesome medication that works a majority of the time. walks_into_things
Apparently it's not normal to have a drop of blood pressures and almost pass out whenever you stand up. I mentioned it to my doctor and he said it was normal but i looked it up and it apparently isn't. Weird. Havox04
Oh, it's my time to shine. I'm not a doctor, just a patient who hangs out with their doctors A Lot.
I got diagnosed with ehlers-danlos a couple years ago. Horrified a couple internists with how easily and casually I could partially dislocate bits of my body, while thinking it was regular flexibility from my dance background as a kid. I have one foot that can curl inward, like a fetus in the womb (courtesy of no ATF ligament, thank you,). Also have a shoulder that will not stay in joint - most of the time it hands out, visibly misplaced. There's a couple fun things I can do with my tendons that shouldn't be technically physically impossible and that my doctors can't figure out without further, very expensive imaging. creampunk
Not a doctor, but when I was 13 or 14 I went to the doctor for a physical. They were doing the pushing on the stomach routine when it hurt and listened to my stomach. The doctor asked me when my last BM was and I said it was about 2 to 3 weeks ago. They had a horrified expression and asked if they was normal. I said yeah sometimes I don't have a BM but once a month. That's when they prescribed me 3 doses of miralax a day and 50 grams of fiber daily.
Who knew you should poop everyday???
PS . When this happened in my household it became a running joke, until my father said, "well yeah if you poop once a day it means you are eating too much." We then realized it was a genetic issue. butteryourmuffin69