Let’s face it going to the doctor is not on the top of the list of fun things to do for most people. Imagine heading to the doctor with something you’d rather not discuss. Whether it be out of fear, a lack of knowledge, or because it’s just plain embarrassing. Many patients lie doctors.
Just like detectives, doctors are trained to listen and observe. Bottomline, if you’re lying to a doctor, you probably only lying to yourself. They already know what’s wrong with you or worse, what you did to earn your visit to the ER.
We’ve compiled 37 of the best stories told by doctors and nurses. Are you guilty of any of these lies.
1. So You’re Saying It Just Fell In There
Not a doctor but a nurse. Had a patient come in with a toothpick in his penis. Refused to tell me how it got in there, insisting he was picking his teeth and it fell in.
2. Another Virgin Gets Pregnant in a Hot tub
Being pregnant and also a virgin. People actually believe women can get inseminated in a public pool or after their parents had sex in the jacuzzi and the girl uses the jacuzzi and is inseminated by the father.
3. Who Left This Cocaine Next to the Fan
I admitted a guy for chest pain. As part of the workup, I did a urine drug screen which came back positive for cocaine.
After the rest of his cardiac workup was negative, I said to him, “Good news, you didn’t have a heart attack. It’s likely that your chest pain was caused by cocaine.”
His answer: “I didn’t use cocaine. See, I was at a party and people had some lines of cocaine out on a table. As I was walking by, an oscillating fan blew the cocaine into my face, which is why my urine was positive.”
4. Gross, Worms Can Come Out of That Hole?
Nurse here. Had parents bring their 3 year old son to the emergency department for one month of abdominal pain that kept getting worse. I ask all the routine questions for this complaint, lots of questions about his poop….is it bloody? Diarrhea? Mucous? When was his last bowel movement? Any changes in the stool? They deny any other concerning symptoms but abdominal pain.
We do bloodwork, ultrasound, X-ray. Everything comes back completely normal but the kid is intermittently screaming in pain, curled in a ball. Over the next 5 hours I continue to repeat the same questions, I asked repeatedly if there was anything else going on that they could think of….nope.
The kid just doesn’t seem well but we have no reason to keep him, we decide to watch him a little longer, let him eat. The kid eats a bunch, a PBJ, apple juice, crackers, popsicle, no pain so we decide to send them home.
I bring in the discharge paperwork and I’m about to start going over instructions and they dad goes “You know…..for the past 3 months he’s had A LOT of worms in his poop” WORMS. Fucking worms. You spent 6+ hours denying worms. I literally just turned around and walked out of the room without saying a word. I was laughing almost to the point of tears. Could not wait to tell my resident. Deworming medications, a shit load of wasted time, and they were on their way.
5. Now That’s A Sweet Ass
One of my lecturers told us a story of when he worked in ED there was a man who refused to acknowledge or tell them how a jar got stuck in his rectum. They were taking him to the OR as it has created a vacuum seal and couldn’t be removed without shattering but realized his BSL (blood sugar level) was off the charts. Really, really high. They were considering postponing the surgery to work out wtf was going on. When he ended up talking he told them the jar was full of honey before it got lodged, and was rapidly absorbed by the rectum, causing the insane levels.
6. You Ate Nothing, But Your Cheetos Fingers Suggest Otherwise
I’m a pediatric dentist, so maybe not the type of doctor you were looking for, but this one throws me for a loop every time so I’ll share it. When I sedate kids they have to be NPO for 8 hours before, so I always ask if they had anything to eat or drink in the morning.
Parents NEVER want to admit their kid ate or drank, even when I remind them it’s very important because if they vomit and aspirate they could die. Often they try to minimize it and say it was just a few bites, but one kid walked in eating a bag of Cheetos at reception and then the parent insisted to me that they hadn’t eaten. Yeah, I’m 100% not sedating your child today.
7. Doctor – How Much Longer Until My Wig Grows Back?
Obligatory not a doctor, I’m a nurse. We had a patient come into the operating room for brain surgery. Probably a mid-50s guy with a nice head of light brown hair. Before a patient comes into the actual OR we ask them a series of questions, including whether they have any implants, jewelry, non-hospital clothes on, etc. Guy says no to all the questions.
After the patient gets put to sleep, the surgeon grabbed his hair to start shaving it off (because you know, brain surgery) and ALL HIS HAIR PEELED OFF BECAUSE HE WAS WEARING A WIG AND DIDN’T TELL US. We almost shaved his hair piece because he wouldn’t admit to anyone he wore it.
8. Talk About Some Crappy Service
Nurse here: had a patient accuse me of shitting in her bed, and threaten to sue me for malpractice. Key note: she never got out of her bed.
9. Who Ordered the SPEEDY Service
Had a patient in hospital, I forget what for. The point is that he disappeared for a few hours. When he came back he was tachycardic to 160bpm, massive pupils, couldn’t sit still. We asked him what he’d taken while he was out. Nothing, he swears, he went to the pub and just drank lemonade.
Ok, we say, we’re gonna take some blood and find out what you’ve taken. He then pipes up that the friends he was with would think it was funny to spike his drink. What, we asked, did he think they might have spiked his drink with? Speed, he says.
What do you know, bloods confirmed that he had taken speed. But he insists he didn’t take it, his drink was spiked.
10. Honey, Have You Seen My Eyeliner Pencil?
I used to do patient registration in the ER. Two of us were wheeling around our computers and registering patients off of ambulances and getting patient information in rooms. A middle aged guy comes in on an ambulance and my coworker takes it. So I’m finishing up some paperwork and I go to our front office and pull up the patient tracker board so I can see what still needs to be done and a new patient pops up on the board…
Chief complaint: eyeliner pens stuck in penis.
My coworker walks into the office looking scarred. She explained “The nurse asked him what happened and he said he slipped. She told him that doesn’t seem likely. So he said he had an itch and thought it would help.” We later found out from the nurse that he finally admitted that he “saw it on tv and thought it would feel good”.
11. I’ll Take The Radiation With A Side of Fries Please
When was their last meal. They think they can fool their PET Scan, end up losing money, time and over irradiated.
12. Last Call For Drill Bits and Alcohol
Other than all the random things that end up in rectums accidentally? Drunk electrician with the longest drill bit I’ve ever seen sticking through both legs and impaling his scrotum in between like a really gross kabob. He was so drunk he thought he broke his hip, denied owning any drill bits or for that matter having been drinking.
Most common are the numerous drug/tox screens we do that come back positive for something and EVERYONE is shocked, borderline offended it got into their system.
13. Brother, You Go Ahead And Work Those Cankles
I once had a patient come in with large calluses on the front of his ankles, which is a very unusual place to get calluses. I brought it up a few times because I thought maybe he was wearing his shoe wear improperly, but he kept waving off the question.]
Eventually I got him to admit that the calluses are there because he recently started taking a prescription anti-depressant medication which made it very difficult for him to achieve orgasm. He found that if he lay on his living room carpet with his legs bent out beneath him in a W fashion and jerked off for several hours he was able to achieve orgasm.
14. Is That A Pen In Your Lower Abdomen Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?
Had a patient refuse to admit he swallowed a pen, even though an x-ray showed the pen in his small bowel and we took the pen out during an emergency surgery.
15. That really took my breath away
You weren’t breathing. We gave you Narcan. You started breathing again, woke up, and then deny you used a narcotic. Yeah, alright.
16. To not get stabbed? I guess I see the ball – point
I volunteer at an ER. Prisoner shoved a ball point pen up his urethra to get out of being stabbed. Insisted he had no idea how it got there. We spent hours deliberating how to get it out, and he just reaches down, still in his handcuffs, and pulls it out himself.
17. Shamelessly Sudsy
It’s well known in the ER that a patient with something stuck up his/her/etc butt has “no idea how it got there”. Or they “fell” on it. The weirdest thing I saw was a patient who came in to the ED with a shampoo bottle up his butt.
“So, what brings you in to the emergency room tonight?” “I shoved a shampoo bottle up my butt, now it’s stuck there.“ No shame.
18. Looks Like Urine for a Surprise
There was a women sent in by her family doctor for urinating some blood. We put a camera into her bladder with her awake, looking to exclude a tumor. We found her bladder full of citrus seeds/pits. So many of them.
When asked why she put them there she said ‘well, I eat a lot of fruit’ and wouldn’t accept any responsibility for them being there.
19. Peanut Butter and WHAT!
I’m an internal medicine resident. Had a patient with sepsis that was being seen by the urology department. When I first read his clinical history it stated something along the lines of: “infected wound in the penis, patient claims he doesn’t know how he got it.”
So I begin my assessment and ask him about his wound. Indeed, he claimed he didn’t know how it happened. I decided that the priority was to stabilize the patient and I made some adjustments to antibiotics and other meds.
Well the guy went downhill, the sepsis became severe even though he was with the strongest antibiotics we had and two different vasopressors. His blood pressure was through the floor and eventually he needed intubation and went to the ICU.
He managed to survive after a complete penectomy. And about 2 weeks later I saw him again. Turns out the dude was trying to get his dog to lick his penis, and put on some peanut butter on it. Naturally the dog bit him. He didn’t seek medical help for about 10 days before the pain and fever was to much. If we knew from the beginning that the wound was inflicted that way the antibiotic would have been different, probably would have made a difference.
I still feel sorry for that guy, but with a wound like that he is lucky to be alive.
20. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…
All the symptoms of pregnancy + 2 positive pregnancy tests. “There’s 0% chance I can be pregnant. I’m not married” To be fair. The patient’s mother was there and this was in a very conservative country. She ended up “admitting” she was pregnant when we separated her from the mom.
21. For Best Results, DO NOT Try At Home
This one happened just the other day. Had a patient come in looking pretty sick. Labs and vitals said the guy was in sepsis and most likely had a bad infection. The question was where…after some prodding and letting him know the seriousness of his situation he finally admitted to the source of his infection.
He didn’t want to say it so he just pointed between his legs. Looking underneath his underwear revealed a smelly, red, swollen, pus draining scrotum. Some of it was even black and necrotic. Not a pleasant site and it looked horribly painful. He went on to explain that he had a painful lump on one of his testicles a few weeks back.
He was told it was an infection and given antibiotics. The problem didn’t go away and by then he had decided to take matters into his own hands…literally. He tied a string tight around one testicle and proceeded to cut it out himself!
Needless to say it became horribly infected and was going to require surgical intervention. Guy ended up doing ok.
22. Something smells funny…
I can literally smell the smoke on your clothes and breath, see the nicotine stains on your fingers, and you’re trying to tell me you quit smoking 10 years ago?
23. Oh Baby
Not a doctor but my husband. He had a 17 year old girl with abdominal pains come into the ER with her Mum, turns out she’s in full-blown labour. Assures them she can’t be pregnant, she’s a virgin. The baby is literally crowning right there in ER (no maternity ward in their hospital and she was in advanced labour when she arrived) and she still insists she’s a virgin.
24. Sounds Like She’s a Real Party Pooper
My patient presented over several months with recurrent huge abscesses that we couldn’t explain. She was in horrible pain. Had to stop working. We tested for everything. Eventually her husband called me that he found syringes in her medicine cabinet. We think she was injecting herself with fecal matter. When the syringes were found she stopped coming to her appointments.
To those asking why: I think she has Münchausen syndrome. She wanted the attention from being sick. I started getting suspicious when she always would get a new abscess before any court dates (CPS problems) and need a doctor’s note to get out of it. She denies everything and it’s very hard to have someone committed unless they are acutely suicidal.
25. Maybe He’s Just a Pepsi Guy?
How a 20 ounce glass Coke bottle was lodged all the way up a guy’s rectum. He denied it vehemently in front of his wife. That was weird. And awkward…
26. It Gets Better With Age
How the remote control to a Zenith television wound up in the rectum of a 54 year old father of two? They stopped making Zenith Television sets years ago. From a medical perspective, why do you still own this remote?
27. Sure… Blame it On The Toilet
Had a patient on our service for a heart failure exacerbation. We weren’t sure why she had one now as she had been stable for a few years prior. She also had a documented past use of crack cocaine, so we checked a urine drug screen.
The screen was positive and the next day I rounded on her, she asked me why she had the exacerbation. I told her it was likely due to the her cocaine use. She was SHOCKED that I would accuse her of using. I brought up her positive drug test and she insisted it was a false positive and told me she must have picked up the false positive from a toilet seat… That’s not how any of this works….
28.That’s Just Weird – Period
Only work records in a clinic, but we had a woman come in with a report of vaginal odor. All well and good, it happens all the time in an Ob/Gyn clinic. What she hadn’t bothered to say was that she’d gotten a tampon stuck around the end of her last period. She’d gone through menopause 7 years prior.
29. The Bag Was CLEARLY Labeled
When I was a medical student, we had a patient on one of my rotations that was getting oral pain meds but insisting that we switch them to a stronger IV pain medicine because they had been getting nauseous and vomiting up all their meds.
When our team rounded on the patient to check on them, we walked into the room and were quickly greeted by an eager patient that had been waiting to show us their vomit bag. Turns out that it was filled with a lovely mixture of piss and sh** and topped off with a handful of pills the patient had thrown in there to make it look like they couldn’t keep the meds down.
When we called them out, the patient was in total denial and tried to reason with us that it must be vomit since it’s in the vomit bag.
30. Weight Loss Can Sometimes Be A Slippery Slope
Not a doctor but many years ago was working as an assistant to an occupational therapist.
We got a call out to help mobilize a woman who had been morbidly obese and was told to lose weight. We learned from the daughter she had GAINED weight but her mother would refuse to come clean on what she was eating. All the daughter knew was that her mother may have been eating deep-fried food due to the vast amounts of cooking oil she found in the pantry.
When we arrived, she had gained an extra six kilos but insisted she had lost weight. She did not look it. Before we began mobilizing her and check her living room for trip hazards (she also had horrendous knees) we took a look at the pantry.
Olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, any kind of common cooking oil you can find off a supermarket shelf, she had it. A vast stockpile of oil. We asked what she was frying with the oil. She insisted that she wasn’t frying anything and that she was eating healthy since the oils she used were ‘healthy’. We had to explain to her that oils are still fatty and will still contribute to weight gain.
After a bit of poking around the pantry, I noticed that for the amount of oil she had, she had very little in food that could be traditionally fried. She also had little in other foodstuffs that could explain the obesity.
I brought it up with the therapist and the therapist then demanded the truth. We couldn’t provide complete healthcare until we knew everything. She admitted that she thought healthy oils would help her lose weight and suppress the appetite so she had taken to drinking the bottles of oil whenever she got hungry.
Needless to say, we disposed of most of the bottle of oil and set her up for a home visit with a dietitian.
31. He Must Have Felt “Beary” Sick
Not a doctor but work in an ER. One day some pretty young parents brought their toddler in because he was super lethargic and not responding to any stimuli and the parents said they had no idea why.
The staff were pretty concerned for him because those symptoms are a pretty big red flag for small kids. So we start running a bunch of tests including a drug screen which ended up being positive for THC. The doc goes and talks to the parents about it and they finally broke down and admitted that the kid had eaten an entire bottle of their weed gummies while they weren’t paying attention a few hours earlier and was just high as sh** lol.
32. I’ll Make A Note Of That
A story that resides at the nexus of oncology and psychiatry:
Middle-aged man enter ER in sweatpants. Worked as an accountant but currently unemployed. He tells me that a urologist had diagnosed him with inflammation of his epididymis three years earlier but he hadn’t followed through on the treatment, and that he now wanted to get things taken care of.
During the physical exam I see a grapefruit sized mass in his scrotum. It was not subtle in any way. I call in urology and order a CT scan. I tell the guy that this isn’t inflammation, it is a tumor and we need to do more tests to find out what type of tumor.
He stops me and tells me he didn’t understand what I had said, could I please repeat it. Then he pulls out a pad of paper and writes down my exact words and sits there staring at the words for a few minutes.
I just felt really sorry for the guy.
33. Those Aren’t Fudgesicles
Real late here but I am a nurse and we just had a patient (mid50s male) strictly pooped in diapers. When asked why he said so he can freeze them. Ends up he has a deep freezer in the garage full of poopy diapers.
34. A Thorough Cleaning Crew
They had maggots in their foot wound. Patient with diabetes came in to see me in clinic.
Said foot had a wound. I asked when they last looked at it. They said that morning and this was an 11 am appointment. Helped them take off their sock. There were 4 maggots busily cleaning a pretty large ulcer on the side of the foot.
I threw up a little in my mouth and proceeded to remove the maggots and dress the wound (a damn clean wound due to those maggots).
35. Congratulations Sir, You’re Pregnant
Needed to do a drug test on a patient who came in with his pregnant girlfriend. Guy goes into the bathroom. A few minutes later he comes back out with an empty cup. He goes back to his room to drink some water. Couple minutes later he hurries back over to the bathroom with a noticeable bulge in his pants pocket.
He comes back out with an adequate sample. So, we run the test. It comes back negative. We then run a pregnancy test on the sample. That comes back positive.
Dude denied his pregnant girlfriend provided the sample even after being told there can possibly have prostate cancer if his urine turns positive on a pregnancy test. It was unbelievable.
36. The Numbers Just Don’t Lie
I am a doctor. Not a single ‘random thing up my ass’ is weird to me anymore. I’ve heard or seen it all. Nor is it that surprising when somebody is whacko enough to claim they got Lyme disease sexually from their husband, who got it vertically from his mother, and that’s why they are sterile… (if you aren’t aware, this is bonkers).
The actual weirdest thing for me was that one time when a severely obese person just refused to admit they ate anything but 1 small salad a day. It just comes down to math. You cannot get up to 500lbs unless you put 500lbs of stuff into you at a decent pace. Plus we found a snack wrapper in the inaccessible folds of your pannus… jeebus
37. Those Pesky Aliens Are At It Again
Maybe not so weird because the person was whacked out of their mind, but once had a patient who was clearly on drugs and vehemently denying it. I’m not a doc, but I’m a lab tech and draw blood in the ED regularly. While I was drawing their blood the patient was screaming at me to stop letting the green men that were coming out of my arm touch them.
Turns out, they were tripping balls, but underage and refused to tell us anything for fear of their parents finding out.