You're not supposed to self-diagnose and leave it to the experts, but the truth is, those experts are human too. It turns out googling your symptoms and listening to your body might be what saves you from taking an extra trip to the hospital, and even death.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
This Woman Could’ve Been Her Own Surgeon With This Much Knowledge
Since we worked next door to a CT scanner we said SURE! It turns out she was right. She was then referred on to a vascular surgeon, and I assume made a wonderful recovery. One of our shorter consultations since it was so easy to rule in/out, and she presented well researched, compelling evidence.”
This Pain Just Would Not Go Away
“I’m a medical student, and one time, I was the patient and diagnosed myself.
I had this gnawing, dull pain on the ball of my foot for almost six months. However, during my surgery rotation, it got progressively worse since I was standing for most of the day. I couldn’t even walk barefoot anymore (I had to wear padded flip-flops at home or custom orthotics insoles outside). My foot would hurt at the end of my runs, when stretching my foot, and when pushing on the ball of my foot.
I told my primary doctor that I thought I had a sesamoid fracture because of my symptoms, risk factors, and duration of the pain. She didn’t think so, and told me to do RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevate) even though this had been going on for months. I said okay, but also asked for a sports medicine referral just in case I couldn’t find time to come back to follow up with her if RICE didn’t work.
The sports medical doctor took x-rays of both feet, and he saw that one of the sesamoid bones had fractured into two now VERY separate pieces. I’m in a walking boot now and they’re thinking I should have surgery if the pain doesn’t get better!”
Always Listen To Your Wife
“My attending had a patient with diarrhea, and although he looked and insisted that he felt fine, his wife was insisting something was very wrong, and she pleaded with us to do some blood work. So we did, not thinking we were going to find anything. It turns out the guy was having SEVERE kidney failure due to his dehydration from diarrhea. We would have never run that test and sent the guy to the ER if his wife didn’t suspect that something was terribly wrong.”
This Doctor Was The Real Person Here Who Wasn’t Doing His Job
“As a Speech Therapist, I diagnosed (via Google) my patient with Oesophageal Achalasia which is a rare condition. As a speech therapist, my knowledge doesn’t really extend as far as the esophagus. This poor man was basically regurgitating everything that he ate or drank, was losing significant amounts of weight very rapidly, and his doctor didn’t know what to do with him. I referred him for a barium swallow and insisted on attending. Before the procedure started, the consultant told me I was wasting his time with this patient who clearly had a swallowing problem, not an oesophageal problem, and I needed to do my job properly. I said we’d wait and see what happened.
The barium swallow clearly showed only the tiniest trickle passing into the patient’s stomach, and he had to run off to the bathroom to regurgitate all the barium fluid he had just taken. In fact, it was worse under the x-ray than even I had expected. He was diagnosed with achalasia as I’d guessed, and he had to have a PEG tube inserted so he could meet his nutrition and hydration needs. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to improve his condition but he probably would have died of dehydration or starvation had I not got him to that procedure. The consultant didn’t apologize or admit he was wrong, of course!”
At Least His Girlfriend Could Sort Out The Lies Coming From These “Professionals”
“My boyfriend’s dad was quite overweight and took up a light exercise regime and started to watch what he ate more. However, he was rapidly losing a lot of weight. My boyfriend was talking about how great it was, but I thought it sounded like too much weight loss in a short time for the small changes he’d made.
He then said his dad kept getting up at night thinking the heating was on because he was so sweaty and hot. However, he went to his dietician and they said it was just his body detoxing.
I told him that’s not true, and he should go to the doctor. Rapid weight loss and night sweats are some of the classic signs of tuberculosis and lymphoma. I said it might be nothing but it could be something. Also, considering his mom had TB years ago, it could have been ‘latent’ for all this time and suddenly become active.
My boyfriend didn’t listen to me, and months later, he tearfully told me his dad had testicular cancer. I thought this was strange as it’s typically a young man’s illness, but I comforted him and asked why he didn’t tell me his dad had surgery. He told me his dad hadn’t had surgery yet, but he did take a blood test. Blood work provides a reason to perform the surgery but you cannot diagnose from it. I tried to explain and told him not to worry, they’ll take it very seriously and deal with this quickly. Anyway once they do the proper procedure and check-up it turned out he did have TB in his testis!”