It's *not* what the doctor ordered
Got any Band-Aids?
This happened when I was still a med student doing a rotation in the ED. Patient comes in and is pretty vague about his actual complaint, something about head pain but he looks just fine sitting waiting to be seen. When I finally get to see him and ask him what actually happened, he removes the hat he was wearing and a chunk of skin about the size of my hand literally flaps off of his skull. This guy managed to basically scalp himself, and apparently it had been like that for 3 days. According to him it was caused by falling in his bathroom and hitting his head on the toilet. He had been previously duct taping it down or using the hat to hold the skin on, but it wasn’t sticking well and that’s when his wife convinced him to come to the hospital. (o_my_cat_daddy)
I like my skin on my body more than I dislike hospitals. (idonutcareaboutabs)
Adult patient had gas and poked a hole in his belly button with basically a knitting needle to release it.
Edit: it didn’t work, he actually came in for the ensuing infection in his belly button. (okaycitizen)
The Sneakiest Patient
Long story but: had a young teenager with sickle cell disease who had been in the hospital for around a week already who decided to “manage” his pain himself. This was a few years ago, but I caught him pretending to take his meds– he would cock his head back and gesture that the pill went into his mouth but really he either kept it in his hand or threw the pill behind his back and landed somewhere in his bed. He was also quite a talker, which I then assumed was a tactic to try and distract me. I kept seeing his odd behavior and caught him doing this a 2-3 times by the middle of the shift so I was definitely onto him. He had a PICC line (which is essentially a “long” IV where the tubing goes all the way to your heart) in his left arm, and I noticed that it was quite a bit more swollen compared to his other arm. Sometimes clots can happen in PICC lines, so that was my biggest concern at first, but the line was drawing blood fine so I know it wasn’t clotted off. Told the doc, then I drew blood from his PICC line and sent it down to the lab for it to be cultured to see if there was any bacteria. Lowwww and behold it came back positive for a bacteria that is commonly found in tap water (and usually not a source of infection in infected PICC lines). Fast forward a few hours later he confessed that with any oral medication (pill form) he can slip by the nurses, he saved for later in order to crush them up himself, try to dissolve it with sink water in the bathroom (every room had a private bathroom), and inject it in himself via his PICC line. (TaterTawt)