People are anything but predictable. Just when you think you have them figured out, or think you can guess what’s going to come out of their mouth next, they find a way to surprise you when you least expect it.
That’s the experience these 53 healthcare workers had, whether it was something funny (like “asking for a friend), the last words of a dying patient, a bald-faced lie, or the hilarity can ensue after anesthesia – and luckily, they remember them well enough to share them with us.
53. Forever a mystery.
“My father went into cardiac stoppage on the couch after a few horrible months of ALS (we didn’t know he had ALS until after the autopsy).
While passing he just kept counting.
We have no idea why.”
52. Humor me.
When I was an intern I was doing my ER rotation and a woman in her late 30s or so 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 went off on me…said she was a lesbian woman and had not been with a man for 10 plus years. 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 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.”
She was pregnant.
Went back to her room and there were two dudes mean mugging one another about to throw down.
She couldn’t even look me in the eye.
51. Bless his heart.
“My dads were “this dying stuff is hard work”
50. There was a bigger issue at play.
Not a doctor but I was 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.
Had a patient, probably around 18-20 year old male. Complaining of a foreign object in his…male organ. He had a set of iPhone headphones stuck up there. 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 blotto 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.
49. Listen to grandma.
“Not a doctor or nurse, but my grandmas last words to me were “I hope you dump that tr**p”
I did, G-Ma, I did.”
48. Quite the tale.
As a Paramedic,
A woman was s*^t. We arrive on scene and she has a single gsw in her right thigh, minimal bleeding, and she is standing up and limping while talking to the authorities. She is very polite and nice and thanks 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 w**pon and she felt something hit her leg.
We help her to truck and I bandage her wound and give her some pain medicine and on the to the hospital we go. She jokes about she’s in the wrong place and the wrong time and is having an unlucky day. Answers questions with “yes sir/no sir” even though I told her she didn’t have to.
We arrive at the ER and Im giving my report to the trauma team when an officer on scene quietly comes into the room. I’m telling the patient’s story to the docs when the officer gets this huge grin on his face then nods at me to come outside.
He told me that a blue car pulled up just when we left scene and told them to go check the restaurant cameras. They checked the camera to find my patient inside the restaurant and suddenly starts to yell at the other person (driver of the blue car).
The other person leaves the restaurant trying to get away, and my patient is chasing her. The video from the parking lot then shows my patient going to her vehicle and getting a w**pon out. She then starts to run after the other person. There’s a flash on the camera and the patient starts limping.
She injured herself.
“My mum saw angels. She wasn’t best pleased about it because she said “get those bloody Christians away from me, they’re preaching at me and shining” she lived for a week longer than expected.
A couple of times she told them to get out of there and stop preaching!
She had terminal lung cancer.”
46. Nope, not me sir.
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 sm**ing. Naturally he said no.
Around an hour later, on my way home, I stopped to get some food and there he was, sm**ing outside McDonalds.
45. A great comfort.
“Just before my dad passed he said “My wife and wee lassie are here.”
My sister passed aged six in 1970. Those words were a great comfort to me.”
44. Not a code blue.
We had a teenager admitted with unexplained “seizure” activity. Her mom & boyfriend were beyond concerned & stayed at her bedside. How she was even admitted in the first place is a mystery. Anyway she started “seizing” & her family called a rapid response (basically it’s an emergency but not a code blue).
The rapid team responds & the on call physician was a delightful jerk. The situation was explained as we’re going down the hall & he says “someone give me a flush”.
We get in the room & he says 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.
43. Don’t forget to feed the cat.
“3rd yr med student here. “Weird” and equally heart wrenching… 68 yr old man dying of metastatic lung cancer (with a 9 yr old daughter) turns to his wife just minutes before his last breath and says “don’t forget to feed the cat, she likes dry food in the morning and wet food at night”.
42. It was an accident.
So this young girl came to the hospital with her boyfriend. She had a knife 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.”
Turns out that she was threatening her boyfriend not to break up with her. She thought it’d be cool to go the extra mile to try to convince him, I guess…..
41. Just in case.
“Former paramedic here. 1st witnessed somebody’s passing for me was a 56 year old man that had passed out at the dining table with his daughter while they were having lunch. We get there and he’s talking normally. Blood pressure was a little elevated, but otherwise all other vital signs and heart rhythm is within normal limits.
He mentioned he needed to use the restroom before we went to the hospital, so my male partner stood at the door to the bathroom just in case.
His daughter thought we were being weird, but we let her know that sometimes it’s one of the last things a patient wants to do, so we were being cautious. He finished up, courteously washed his hands and we got him into our ambulance. About 30 seconds later, he started apologizing for taking up our time and wasting the resources on him. He said “I’m just so sorry that you have to waste your time on me,” took a deep breath and passed.
His daughter was following us to the hospital and watched me straddling her father, doing CPR as she got out of her vehicle. He didn’t make it and she asked me if he said anything.
I told her what he said, and she broke down in front of me. She told me that it sounded exactly like something he would have said, but had wished that it was more profound.”
40. To say the least.
My father is a urologist. The amount of patients that come in with a broken or bruised c**k is….astonishing, to say the least.
Some are honest. They were trying some new s^x thing and they miscalculated or got carried away, then someone turns the wrong way or falls of the bed/pommel horse/tire swing/etc.
Or took a “flying leap” to initiate 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 bust up 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 “F**k it” and revealed everything.
Apparently how [the flying leap] went was he readied himself at the end of the bed while she positioned herself. The he took a few steps back and jumped.
The idea was 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 willy.
Dad’s exact words when he came home from work that day were “It was purple. The whole thing was PURPLE.”
39. Seldom memorable.
The thing is, people’s last words are seldom ever memorable, because anytime people have something meaningful or coherent, let alone humorous or profound, they are definitely not dying.
After that delirium sets in and they most often mumble incoherently if they say anything at all.
By the time they proceed to the imminent stage, most often no one remembers the last meaningful communication they attempted.
For trauma patients that arrive coherent but pass due to gravity of their injuries, they are mostly just answering directed questions about their health history, substance ab**e, past surgery, time of last meal, etc. The last thing that anyone present for their head injury, though, might frequently have been the proverbial “hold my drink.”
Sometimes people have profound or inspiring things to say when they have a terminal diagnosis the last time we see them before they transition to hospice care, especially those who have or are in the process of achieving acceptance of their mortality.”
38. Justice in the end.
Surgeon here. A few years back, a 5 year old was brought to the E.D. 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’s chances were slim.
Anyway, the family situation was as follows… the kid was Korean, and living with his mom, 7 year-old brother, and the 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 bulls**t, 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 2 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 jerk two years prior.
Douchenozzle in now sitting in the clink with a 30 year sentence.
37. He knew it was coming.
“I once had a patient that put his call light on. When I went in to see what he needed, he said “could you please turn off the lights? I’d like to wait for St. Peter in the dark.”
Sure enough, by the time I went in there with his evening medications about an hour later, he had already passed.”
36. While he slept.
I work for a medical device company. We sell spine implants (rods and screws used to hold vertebrae together).
An irate patient tried to sue us after one of the screws 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 screws could break that easily. Each screw can easily support your entire body weight and then some, and I’ve got the FEA analysis to prove it. They are tested for 5 million cycles of loading to make sure they can handle any amount of fatigue as well.
Turned out he actually broke it playing football on Thanksgiving…two months after major spine surgery. Idiot.
35. Oh, dear.
“Nurse was assisting a not-very-nice elderly woman terminal patient, who fully expected all her deceased family members to show up to take her with them up to heaven.
Not long before she passed, the elderly woman said in a scared voice: “They’re not coming.”
34. Kids, am I right?
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 upteenth 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 absolutely 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.”
33. Back in ‘Nam.
“He was a Vietnam vet, and I stayed on the line with him as long as I could. He first said he was feeling off and weak and as his brain started short circuiting he started rambling then yelling about “the LZ is hot requesting immediate evacuation we have heavy casualties”.
I guess it was some memory from his time abroad, but the panic in his voice was palpable and heartbreaking.
He went out reliving what was probably the worst moments of his life before the stroke effected him to the point his words turned into a garbled mess.”
32. We must pay the ransom!
“As a student nurse, I had a patient who had a water infection and in the elderly, this can cause temporary confusion. I came to bring her a glass of water and she looked really upset.
‘Dorris, what’s the matter?’ i asked her (not her real name).
‘OH NURSE, thank goodness you’re here! They’ve got him!’
‘They… Who, Dorris?’
‘My son, they have my son!’
Her son is like, forty. I tried to calm her down.
‘Im sure your son is fi-‘
‘THEY HAVE HIM!’
I just kinda stare at her.
‘We must speak with the prime minister urgently to pay their ransom!’
I had to duck out on the pretext of calling the prime minister so I could laugh.”
31. Happy chills.
“Paramedic here. Unfortunately seen the end of many people’s lives, some in a much nicer way than others. Had a gentleman who was incredibly unwell, family were with him too. We stayed to offer support and ensure he was comfortable in the last stages of his journey.
His last words were “she’s here now, I think I’ll go”. The patients wife explained that they had lost a daughter at a young age, and we believe that’s who he saw before he went.”
30. She had zero memory.
“I am a nurse, but this is a personal story.
I went with a friend for her egg retrieval procedure and I was allowed to go in the room to watch the minor surgery. When they finished they woke her up and walked her back to another room to recover.
On the walk back, still super out of it, she kept telling me to get her clothes and the car and we were leaving. After resting in recovery she continued to argue she was ready to leave when she was swaying and unable to stand on her own yet.
She was pretty upset when I kept telling her we weren’t leaving yet, and later had zero memory of any of this.”
29. A nice way to go.
“For a lot of people their brains are just kinda going haywire to cope with the fact that they’re dying.
In a thread just like this but specifically about nursing homes, a nurse said that her “favorite” last words was an old lady who looked like and thought she was just eating this massive, delicious cheeseburger, then she faded out to nothing.”
28. They all had a good laugh.
“I was assisting a male patient urinate after his hip surgery. He was having technical difficulties related to the size of the appendage and required some help holding the urinal while he did the aiming.
During this already personal encounter, he looks me dead in the eye and says ‘Sorry, Im a grower, not a show-er. Just ask my wife’.
I mentioned it to his wife in the morning, and she was incredibly mortified, but we all had a good laugh. He didn’t even remember saying it.”
27. Same, Grandma.
“My grandma was in the hospital, and we knew she would go in the next weeks. A nurse came in for her sport program, my grandma looked at her, said “I don’t want to do sports now”,closed her eyes and just passed.
I love her for that sentence because now, years later, it’s kinda funny.”
26. Back in Korea.
“Was a student nurse for two semesters.
On a placement in a post op ward, an old guy had a reaction to the anesthetic, thought he was back in Korea, kept trying to get out of bed to help his mates, the two nurses couldn’t figure out how to stop him, they called security.
Meanwhile, I walked up & in my most officious sounding voice said to the nurse I was partnered with “stand down Lieutenant, I’ll take over from here” she looked confused but moved aside I said to him “you took some shrapnel, you need to rest & recover, now stand down or I’ll have you court-martialed for insubordination, understood!”
He looked at me for a second, looked around replied nice & loud “yes ma’am” and went back to bed.”
25. Funny and stubborn and sweet.
“Grandpa, tough as nails. Had four heart attacks, each one worse than the last, lived 25 years beyond all expectations. He liked to tell jokes to the EMTs before defibrillator use, hoping they might be his last words. He was funny and stubborn and sweet.
When he finally went, my mom tried to fix his oxygen mask, “daddy, you need to wear this” and he looked at her, pulled it off, and said “pfft. Who says.” Then he passed.
I like it. I think it was fitting.”
24. Simple enough.
“I am a nurse, but the patient for this story is my son.
He was 3 at the time. When children come off anesthesia, there is no telling how they will react. Some yell and scream, some cry, some just look around, etc. Well, my son was coming down after surgery and the kid next to him who was maybe 7-8 years old was also coming down.
My son would whine if I wasn’t holding him so here we are sitting in this rocking chair and I’m just rocking him to keep him calm. Every 5-10 seconds, the older kid next to him would scream at the top of his lungs which would startle my son.
After about the 3rd or 4th time, my son opened his eyes, rolled his eyes, sat up, and yelled “shut up!” in the most long, drawn out manner ever, then laid back down in my arms and closed his eyes.
The kid was giving my son the most serious glare I have ever seen.
The nurses and I all cracked up laughing. It was the first time I had ever heard him say “shut up” to anyone but being the youngest of 5, I’m not surprised lol.”
23. No regrets!
“I was part of a tattoo removal study.
I asked the Dr what was the worst tattoo she ever saw. She said that there were some really bad ones but the one that stuck in her head was the burly biker that got a “No Regrets” tramp stamp in flamboyant calligraphy.
She said she almost asked if it was consensual.”
22. Ah, young men.
“Recovery room nurse here, about 18 years in.
Maybe I should write a book. I’ve had people terminate pregnancies and beg me not to tell their husband, been punched, heard many secrets.
Young men wake up either in love or wanting a brawl.
Nearly everyone can’t believe their procedure is over.”
21. Well, is it? Asking for a friend.
“I asked in a pharmacy if the hair lice shampoo was suitable for p**ic lice!
Surprise… it is!
20. That’s awkward.
“We had a patient who woke up and immediately confessed she was having an affair with some guy.
The anesthetic nurse though was actually married to a guy of the same name, unusual name, let’s say Tobias. So she was trying to shake the patient awake, going, Tobias who? Tobias who?
Then when the patient properly woke up she had no memory of the conversation so the nurse was trying to subtly (not subtle at all) bring the conversation around to the name Tobias.”
19. But not puppies.
“‘Asking for my puppy…’
I took a class in medical parasitology. The professor, a PhD in parasitology, once had a very concerned neighbor bring him ‘dog poop’ that had human pinworms in it. He suggested the neighbor take his “puppy” to the “veterinarian” for some albendazole and assured him that the infection would resolve.
Pinworms are still a common (and very treatable) infection, even among first-world children…but not puppies…”
18. Hilarious or disturbing?
“I saw this patient( 40’s male) both going into and coming out of surgery.
Very polite and soft spoken. He was babbling the minute he woke up, but the first sentence that made sense was “mom!!! Nice to see you! I love you. I’m so glad I got your sweeta$$ and not dads. The ladies LOVE me for it!”
He screamed this, the room we were in had nine other patients, they were only separated by curtains. And his mom was just outside waiting to see him. She looked mortified.”
17. It’s a lot like crying.
“So the patient, sick as heck, staggers to the doctor and at the absolute loudest possible voice she said “ARE YOU SINGLE? Betty wants to know.”
Betty was her childhood pet cow.
The doctor calmly says, “I’m sorry, but I am not interested.”
We were all busting out laughing and I barely could breathe. I later asked the doctor how he kept a straight face he said “laughing on the inside, it’s a lot like crying on the inside.”
That is now the hospital I frequently visit.”
16. I’m sure that will work out fine.
“I had a young guy posing for selfies for his Tinder still high AF.
He had bloody gauze packing in his mouth and everything.”
15. A weird experience.
“Not a doctor, but was mistaken for one by a smashed dude at a costume party once.
Sent him to sober up the first time, comes back 5 minutes later with no recollection of our first conversation and asks me for painkillers, and at which dose they’re deadly.
I gave him the number for the suicide prevention hotline on a napkin and told him that they can help with the issue. He happily staggered away and I haven’t heard from him since.
Either he got help, or he didn’t, but either way, it was a weird experience.”
14. I wonder what he’d done.
“Had a patient wake up sobbing. Like proper ugly crying. He just kept repeating “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry” over and over.
He then had a little sleep and woke up again not remembering a thing.
I like to think of those moments as eavesdropping on what would normally be that person’s private dreams.”
13. A professional cuddler.
“Divorced women / cougars like to explain muscle strains as intimate injuries to get a rise out of docs.
Best way to deal is to stay monotone and not react, “patient describes proximal adductor muscle pain in hip flexion during recreational activity … rated 7/10… Pain is now present during ambulation….”
If you don’t react, they move along. Doesn’t take long in the office to have seen and/or heard everything. I’m not interested that you are recently divorced, started working out, and discovered Tinder. Good on you, but it takes more to get a rise out of me.
One colleague in training had a “professional cuddler” with a similar injury. Doc was very conservative, possibly on the sheltered side, and in front of 2 of his superiors during the case, and she was not shy. I would add she was not visually what I assume most would hope for in a “professional cuddler” either.
That one I enjoyed, on account of him — not her.”
12. Too funny.
“My brother got his wisdom teeth out and when he woke up he gestured frantically for a pen and paper.
The nurse gave it to him and he wrote “thanks for the pen”.”
11. The doctor always knows.
“Studies have been done about the affects of THC on glaucoma.
When I worked for a glaucoma specialist we had a hippie-type person come in with their family member for a new patient eval and ask the doctor to sign paperwork okaying a medical marijuana script for “the patient’s” glaucoma.
Problem was the patient was totally fine, didn’t find any signs of the disease and his eye pressure was within normal limits.
And the doctor did NOT appreciate having someone try to trick him.”
10. Hate it when that happens.
“I’m an anesthesia assistant in a hospital.
The funniest thing I saw was a patient who woke up screaming at us and he almost hit me in my face when he swung his arms.
When we asked him whats wrong he replied: “I just had the best dream of my life and y’all woke me up.”
9. That won’t make it bigger.
“Not a doctor. But I was an intern.
I was in the OPD and this man from a different province came in and told me his friend has injected petroleum jelly in their member years ago and that now it’s getting painful. Yeaaa, he came back the next day and showed his lumpy member.
8. What talent!
“Nurse anesthetist here.
Had this young man come in for an upper endoscopy, and after I pushed the propofol to get him off to sleep this dude sits straight up and starts singing the most incredible gospel music until the propofol finally won (propofol always wins).
After he woke up, I was like “bro, you can sing!” Come to find out he’s a professional singer, had toured with some very famous people, and was about to try out for either American Idol or the Voice.
Probably my favorite patient ever, super nice and talented guy.”
7. Everyone hates zits.
“My father is a doctor and he got a call once in the middle of the night from his call share doctors patient.
The man asked what to do about a bump on his “friends” arm that he scratched and something came out. He mentioned it was leaking a little oil now.
It was a zit. He scratched a pimple.
Woke the whole family up at 3 am because he had to page my dad over a zit.”
6. She wasn’t supposed to bring that up.
“Wife’s dad is a urologist. When we first started dating a friend of mine wanted her to ask if any of the p**is enlargement pills were legit and actually worked.
She went with the “asking for a friend approach” and he immediately assumed she was talking about me.
5. He gave himself away.
“Not a doctor but pharmacist. Someone called the pharmacy one day, a young guy, I picked up.
“Excuse me, how much does Viagra cost? Is there anything cheaper? I have someone that needs it.”
I explain everything and suddenly …
“Will it work if I take it with a drink?”
The guy began asking for someone else, at the end was for him and was asking just because he wanted his little one to work while buzzed….”
4. I guess she didn’t learn everything.
“One girl was interested in laxatives “for a friend.” She try to learn everything about the dose, where what to buy, how to drink.
She was brought in a week later with complete intestinal atony.
She tried to lose weight so much and drank two or three tablets at a time.”
3. At that moment, he knew.
“ER doc. Had a guy who just got out of the clink a few days earlier came in with his GF who had signed in for an STD check.
Walk in to meet them and he says casually “Is it possible to get gonorrhea in your throat?”
At that moment I knew he had gonorrhea in his throat.”
2. The doctor isn’t buying it.
“I asked my doctor about AA for a friend of mine. Really. Years later the doctor still asks me how I’m doing with my sobriety.
I’ve stopped trying to convince him I really was asking for a friend.”
1. That’s not how this works.
“I was asked the following:
‘So if I swallow c*m and flush it down with a sterile drink, do I still get pregnant?’
She was in early 20s, she waited for her actual friend who broke her nose in a fight.”
Humans really are the best, y’all. Even when they’re the worst.
If you’ve had someone say something super surprising to you, please share it with us in the comments!