Nothing in this world ever prepares anyone for the moment they become a parent. People can read all the guides and take all the classes they want, but despite what you might think, parenting is just playing it by ear and hoping that your kid doesn't get too messed up. Still, some people's parenting instincts never kick in and it's painfully obvious when you see their children.
According to these medical professionals, some moms are too clueless to function. Read on find out how dumb some parents really are. Content has been edited for clarity.
Not Exactly The Healthiest Diet
“A woman comes in after having a baby and tells us she’s having trouble feeding her baby naturally. I book her an appointment at a clinic and give her some resources. Her appointment was fine and she went on her merry way. A few weeks later, we get the fax that she went to the clinic and everything was fine. Awesome.
A year later, she shows up for her doctor’s appointment, and she’s morbidly obese. She must have put 100 pounds on an already obese frame. She’s developed many health problems related to her weight (that she refuses to acknowledge are due to her weight, of course). She tells us she’s never been more active after having a kid, her diet hasn’t changed, her work life hasn’t changed, nothing has changed, the weight gain just happened due to ‘hormones.’ We ask if she’s nursing, she says yes. We ask how she’s getting the extra calories for nursing and she tells us the clinic told her to eat one to two bowls of plain oatmeal a day. It worked, so she’s still doing it.
We figure this is how she gained so much weight (she’s probably eating two large bowls of oatmeal on top of her meals, with milk, sugar, butter, etc), but the woman insists she’s eating one to two packets of plain oatmeal a day. Nothing on it, nothing added to it. It says plain on the package, it tastes plain, it’s plain.
We send the doctor in to see her after briefing him on the whole story about the oatmeal. He’s in the room with her a long time, much longer than normal. When she comes out of the room, she keeps her head down and walks off, looking angry and embarrassed. The doctor walks up to the nursing table and fills out the chart.
‘You never asked what brand of oatmeal she’s eating.’
Yeah. Turns out she didn’t know plain rolled oats were a thing. She thought the clinic meant plain oatmeal cookies. She was eating an entire package of oatmeal cookies every single day for a year (basically a ‘bowl or two’ filled with cookies) and could not understand how that was different from oatmeal.”
The Joys Of Working In A Rural OB/GYN Office
“I had the grandma, the mom, and the teen in the room. The teen was pregnant, but this apparently was a good thing. There were no fathers/grandfathers/boyfriends/jobs in the picture, but everyone decided it was time a new generation was added to the family lineage.
Apparently, the teen did not appreciate the fatigue, full bladder, back pain, and other symptoms, that go along with being pregnant and was also experiencing some cramping pains. She demanded that we perform a C-section because she was tired of being pregnant (even though she still wasn’t far enough along) because then we can just hook up the preemie in an incubator to finish growing and the government could just pay for the incredibly expensive ICU stay.
My jaw just dropped.
Another time, there was the lady wearing short shorts and no underwear who raised her leg and showed me the puss-filled wound on her labia…while in the middle of the waiting room.
I don’t miss rural OB/Gyn experiences.”
That Burping Thing “Is Like Magic”
“So this happened when I was a family doctor. I got a call in the middle of the night (I was on call) from a very distressed new mother. She said her newborn was projectile vomiting with every feed. Projectile vomiting can be a worrisome finding in a newborn, so I asked her to meet me in the ER right away.
When I saw the baby, he was smiling, happy and in perfect health. The mom assured me that he vomited with every feeding. So I asked her to feed him to let me see what happened. She did and as soon as she finished the baby started to fuss then spit up the milk. I asked her if this what she had been seeing. It was.
So I asked her if she ever burped the baby. She looked at me puzzled. She had no clue about burping. She said she thought it was some ‘TV thing.’
I assured her it was a real thing and at 2 am taught her how to burp a baby. I asked her to follow up with me in a day or two. She came in and said, ‘You are the best doctor ever, that burping thing you taught me is like magic. Now my baby is happy all the time.’
So there you go, there was someone who did not know about burping a baby.”
Strawberry Milk Baby
“My mother worked as a pediatric nurse. She had a mother whose child was putting on a startling amount of weight. This was bad, since the patient’s mother was obese and had diabetes, and they wanted to control weight gain for baby.
They went through the feeding schedule. The baby was due for a bottle during the check-up and the mother whipped out a bottle during appointment. My mom was startled to see the milk is BRIGHT FREAKING PINK. She asked why the milk was bright pink.
The child’s mother explained that her kid preferred the milk if it had Strawberry Quik mixed in and would drink more milk! The mom didn’t get the connection between Quik and weight gain.”
Someone Call CPS Right Now
“During my husband’s intern year, an addict brought in her infant son to the ER because literal freaking rats had been eating the baby. He was alive, barely, but had several wounds, the most damaging being the rats had eaten his private parts.
She just asked, ‘When will it grow back?’
The child was released into state care and she was arrested.”
How Did These Parents Not Notice Anything Was Wrong?
“Trauma surgeon here. Smart patient, Dumb parents.
One night, we had a car accident come in: a car with 22-year-old driver with 6-year-old passenger ran into a pole. The driver was hammered and unrestrained, but thankfully the child was in the backseat with a three-point belt on. The driverwas seriously jacked up, and I admitted him to my service to take urgently to the OR. The child was stunned, but appeared uninjured. I placed an adorable little c-collar, recommended a neurological exam in the morning, and admitted him to the pediatric hospitalist.
About 4 am, I got a call from the pediatric nurse asking me to come re-evaluate the patient. They thought his exam was ‘funny.’ We had a quiet census and I was friendly with the most of the staff, so I jogged across campus to the pediatric building. I met his parents, who were very nice, but dim people. They didn’t think anything was wrong. I woke the poor, sleepy kiddo up to do my exam, and something became clear which wasn’t obvious in the din of the trauma bay: he didn’t respond to instructions. He was fairly intelligent, and could figure out what you want him to do, but absent gesticulation or other cues, he did not follow any instructions. I performed a second hearing exam. Nada. ‘Holy poop, I think. I missed a HUGE head bleed if this kid is deaf in both ears.’ I performed an otoscopic exam. Pristine ear drums.
The parents were watching my increasing frenzy with blank faces. ‘Is your son deaf?’ I asked.
‘Nah, he’s just a little funny,’ the father responded.
As I asked for clarification, I learned this child had never spoken a word. Ever. He never responded when called from another room. Ever. I called grandma. She corroborated their story. I stuck around after my shift to follow up on his audiology exam. This kid was born with some rare form of congenital hearing loss. His parents never figured it out, and had never taken him for well child visits. Helen Keller aside, the specialist team was very pessimistic about him ever learning to speak, and he was severely behind on learning sign language, with a risk he’d never gain full proficiency.
I almost cried I was so frustrated.”
The Last Thing This Kid Needs
“I had a little boy with very little intestine left after many surgeries had removed dead or non-functioning bowel. So he could not eat by mouth or stool out of his rectum, he was fed a high-calorie, highly-nutritious formula through a tube in his stomach, which then went through for absorption, ending into his ileostomy bag.
As you can imagine, it was very hard for his body to retain calories or nutrients, so his growth and development were very behind. One day, he was brought into the ED by his mom because he was dumping too much liquid stool into his bag. He was brought in on a gurney, holding a bag of Cheetos and drinking Pepsi in a baby bottle.”
WebMD Will Only Tell You The Scary Stuff
“Not a doctor, but I work in a doctor’s office as a medical office assistant. Specifically pediatrics.
A secretary buzzes back to me that there’s a call on line two that needs medical advice. I pick it up and one of our patient’s mother is on the phone having a panic attack. She is hyperventilating into the phone. I asked her if she was alright, thinking maybe she needed an ambulance. Through her breaths and now tears, she starts telling me that she thinks her four year old son has a skull fracture.
I ask if he fell. No.
I ask if he’s conscious. Yes.
I ask if he’s breathing. Yes.
I ask if he is bleeding from his ears, eyes, nose, mouth, scalp. No.
I ask if there is any visible wound. No.
I ask why she thinks he fractured his skull? Because underneath his eyes is red and puffy and Google says that’s a skull fracture.
I tell her to go to the ER for proper assessment (we don’t do MRIs, X-rays, CT Scans). She doesn’t want to. She says she is supposed to take her kids to the beach. Mind you, she is still crying and breathing heavy at this point. I tell her to come right over then, but warned her we would probably have to send her to the ER.
She shows up 15 minutes later, cradling the child and crying. The little boy is crying and screaming, ‘I don’t want to die Mommy!’ She keeps hushing him and saying, ‘Mommy loves her strong boy, no matter what!’ Which only makes him cry harder.
I pull her back into the room and she just dissolves as she tells me how she looked at him in horror this morning and saw the guarantee signs of a skull fracture. She swears he must have hit his head yesterday at swim practice.
The little boy is crying hard, but I can see the noticeable swelling and pinkness under the eyes that she was referring too. I go to get the doctor and told her what I think is going on. She goes in and comes out about 10 minutes later shaking her head. She had the same diagnosis.
You know when you wipe your eyes after swimming, you usually wipe under your eye too? The kid must have wiped off his sunscreen around his eyes the day before. All the pinkness and puffiness was from a mild sunburn under his eyes.”
Definitely Not A Sinus Infection
“The mother of a toddler who came into the Emergency Room. The kid had cruddy green/bloody stuff coming out of his left nostril, and a lot of redness and swelling of only the left side of his nose and the adjacent cheek. The mom was sure he caught a sinus infection and just wanted some antibiotics.
Now, I know some kids like shoving whatever will fit into their body orifices, and that this was more than likely given the one-sided nature of his condition, but his mom was insistent that he NEVER put things in his nose.
It took some convincing, but I finally got her to let me take a look. I gave a squirt of Midazolam in the good nostril to settle him, then dug with some tweezers through the crud until I pulled out a big ole button battery. It would’ve been burning his nose for a couple days. Hopefully he healed up well.”
Three Tests Just Wasn’t Enough
“ER nurse here. I had a woman come to triage with her toddler asking to be checked for pregnancy. She said she had three positive home pregnancy tests, but she just wanted to be sure with a ‘hospital test.’ I told her we would also do a urine test and if it was positive at home, it would be positive here.
She said, ‘Oh no, I know how wrong they can be,’ she points to her kid, ‘the tests said I wasn’t pregnant last time and I ended up with her!’
I tried to explain the difference between a false negative and a false positive with no success.
She checked in. Of course, the test was positive. She wasn’t even disappointed over the visit being a waste of time because she still didn’t get it.”
“My friend’s uncle is a doctor. He had a lady come in with a foul odor coming from her downstairs region. She was pregnant, but I don’t remember how far along.
They brought her up into the stirrups and started asking the basic questions of how long had this been occurring. She had no idea, maybe a couple days. The doctor went in and discovered a dark colored discharge. He brought it to her attention that something bad might have happened. She said something like, ‘Oh that is just my pregnancy jelly.’
She then told him about a seminar she attended that mentioned something about a jelly used during pregnancy, so thought she was supposed to take a handful of Smuckers and stuff it up her snatch.
She got cleaned out and they sent on her way.”
“ER nurse here. I once had a pregnant patient come in with some abdominal pain. After a workup, we ruled out emergent conditions, but couldn’t tell her exactly the issue. It was probably indigestion, I explained.
‘No,’ she responded. ‘I just saw a pic of the ultrasound and I figured out the cause.’
‘What did you find?’ I asked.
She pointed proudly to part of her ultrasound and said, ‘Right here! See this part of the ultrasound? It’s clearly a demon-face! That’s what’s causing my pain.’
I had to stifle laughter for the rest of the conversation. Sorry we didn’t diagnose your condition as demon-face, lady.”
Dental Health Is Essential
“In a free medical clinic, I had to tell a mother that she should be brushing her 4-year-old’s teeth. The daughter came because her throat hurt. After opening her mouth and using a tongue depressor to see her throat, the daughter squirmed like 4-year-olds are prone to do. As the tongue depressor hit her gums pus flowed everywhere and the child wound-up having to be put on penicillin before having every last tooth pulled due to severe infection.
This occurred in Nicaragua quite far from any major city, and wasn’t reported because the mother did follow-up and kept the appointment for extractions. The thought of brushing her daughter’s teeth simply never arose. The mother was provided with six months worth of dental supplies for both of them and thoroughly educated on dental hygiene.”
Never A Dull Moment In Labor And Delivery
“Labor and delivery nurse here and there are just too many stories.
I could seriously go on and on. My job never ceases to surprise me!
There were so many women who thought that their water broke, but once they were in triage, it was clear that they probably just peed.
Just last night, a first time dad called saying that he was bringing his wife in and that ‘We needed to meet him at his car with a stretcher.’ After further discussion, it was clear that she was NOT in labor, but she had just broken her water. He showed up to triage with the baby’s car seat and no shoes because she had forgotten hers so he let her wear his. We sent her home to wait for labor for 24 hours.
There was patient that came in complete labor and pushing who didn’t know she was pregnant. She said he couldn’t be pregnant because ‘he didn’t come inside her.’ She thought that she was having heartburn/intestinal issues. Hmm…no that’s a baby! What makes it an even weirder story is that this was her third baby. She should have known better.
There was another patient who LITERALLY thought that she was pooping out her baby while pushing. I guess she didn’t realize that she had 3 separate holes.”
The Parents Are Worse Than The Kids
“I have to say the dumbest patient I had was not a patient, but the patient’s mother. This child, I want to say she was about 7 years old or so, was tested for meningitis because she had the symptoms. After any lumbar puncture, you HAVE to stay lied down, completely, 180 degrees with no inclinations for a few hours. You also have to drink a lot of liquids to counteract the massive migraine that comes as a side effect to the procedure. Pretty standard stuff.
Well, this special ray of sunshine whose daughter I had to care for, asked me two very important questions:
First, she asked, ‘Where are the straps?’
Confused, I asked her, ‘What straps?’
Then, she asked, ‘The straps so my baby won’t fall down? You know, you have to keep her upside down now so she doesn’t leak all her back fluids?’
This lady thought we had to hang her child upside down like a freaking curing salami to prevent fluids from a very small puncture from leaking.
At this point, you may be thinking, ‘Well it’s simple right? Just tell her how it works.’
Believe me, I did. The result? ‘You’re not a doctor! You’re an idiot that couldn’t get into med school and you aren’t even a graduate! You’re going to kill my daughter!’
Thankfully, her scandal drew the attention of several staff, including a couple of doctors who proceeded to explain to her EXACTLY what I did. She proceeded to feign ignorance and say that I didn’t tell her this stuff when I SPECIFICALLY a good chunk of time explaining it in detail to her as to why she needed to stay lied down and even offered water to her daughter. Her 7-year-old was more afraid of her mother than the needle she took to the back, which she said didn’t even hurt.
So in the end, I learned two things: you can’t fix stupid, no matter how much you try to educate it, and get help when this level of dumb happens. More than one person telling them the same thing generally helps subdue stubborn rage.”
Too Many Uneducated Parents To Count
“I have lots of these stories.
One time, this woman came to the Emergency Room with a 6-year-old girl. The mother was frantic and crying, ‘My baby’s tooth fell out! It’s my fault.’
Me: ‘How is it your fault? Did she fall down or something?’
Mother: ‘No. It’s my fault because I didn’t give her the good juice with concentrate in it, and now all of her teeth are gonna fall out!’
Me, genuinely confused: ‘Concentrate?’
Mother: ‘If you don’t give kids juice with Concentrate in it…you know…the one with the big letter ‘C’ on it, all their teeth will fall out!’
Me: ‘Ma’am, your child is 6 years old. She is going to lose all of her baby teeth now and get her adult teeth. She does not have scurvy.’
A 12-year-old girl with full blown AIDS in the ICU and likely going to die had a pleasant habit of biting herself on the cheek enough to get it to bleed and then spitting on the nurses and doctors in an attempt to inoculate them. When I confronted her grandmother about this, asking her to help us control her grand-daughter she said, ‘Well then why don’t you just give her the freaking cure? You white people made AIDS to kill all the black children, and you give the cure to the white girls but hide it from the black girls.’
A mother once said, ‘No, I don’t want any vaccinations to make my daughter autistic. My son is autistic now because of that stuff. You wouldn’t give any more shots to kids if you held an autistic kid in your arms while he’s crying.’
I had to bite my tongue not to say, ‘I have held autistic children. I imagine you would allow vaccinations after the first time you held the body of a dead toddler who died of whooping cough.’
The patient with AIDS was often admitted for months at a time and had a lot of serious issues. She did manage to survive that hospital stay, but I had heard a few years later that she had died. Which is really rather sad, because in this day and age, HIV should not be a death sentence. I have been told by a well respected infectious disease doctor that with modern treatments, it is probably better to get HIV than Diabetes, and they may have a point. The patient also, by the way, when she was a couple of years older, was known to sneak into the rooms of other male teenage patients and try to seduce them. They had to post a security guard at one point just to keep her in the room.
This was a story of ignorance perpetuated throughout generations of a family, but it’s hard to argue about where that ignorance came from seeing the United States’ history of poor medical ethics when treating blacks. In inner city DC (where this happened) many of those memories run deep.”
It’s Just A Little Blood
“Maybe not the dumbest patient I’ve ever treated, but certainly a memorable one.
While working a nightshift in the ED, I grabbed a chart for a P&B (our shorthand for pregnant and bleeding). I walked into the room and came across a young woman who was laying on the stretcher with her legs open in a pool of blood…and tissue. She was about 20 weeks pregnant and had been bleeding for almost three days before she decided that it was time to go to the hospital.
When I asked why she didn’t come in sooner, she replied that she thought it was just her period, since she had heard that ‘you can still be pregnant even if you get your period.’
For medical clarity, yes, having a menstrual cycle shortly after doing the deed unprotected does not mean you are in the clear and definitely not pregnant. However, once you have a confirmed bun in the oven, it doesn’t work that way.
After having to explain to the poor daft girl that she was, indeed, pregnant, I then had to spend the next 10 minutes pulling the remaining products of conception from her miscarriage.”