- The cold you got doesn’t suddenly seem so bad now, does it?
You don’t really fully appreciate being in good health until your back is sore or you can’t breathe through your nose. Sometimes, it’s good to have a bit of a refresher course on just how lucky those of us without medical issues truly are.
Here are eight outlandish medical cases from recent history that are guaranteed to instill a healthy existential dread into you.
1) The Kid with Teeth in his Brain
When you’re a child, its normal for teeth to come and go. What’s not normal is for those teeth to be outside of your mouth.
In 2014, doctors discovered a tumor in the brain of a 4-year-old boy from Maryland. They managed to remove the unwelcome growth, but when they sliced it open they discovered a gruesome surprise – the tumor contained multiple fully formed teeth.
The boy suffered from a rare brain tumor called craniopharyngioma. Doctors had for the longest time suspected that these growths formed from the same cells that create teeth, but before this they had never seen a tumor with actual teeth.
2) Hairy Eyeball
A young Iranian man had been born with a benign tumor on his eye called a limbal dermoid. It had always been there, and hadn’t really caused any issues.
But by the time he reached 19 years of age in 2013, the tumor had taken a bizarre turn. It had started sprouting long, black hairs.
Doctors were able to remove the tumor, but they did tell the young man that he was lucky. Limbal dermoids can, in extreme cases, grow not only hair, but also cartilage and sweat glands.
3) The Woman Whose Spleen Went on a Trip
A 36-year-old Michigan woman went to see the doctors in 2020. She complained that suffered from abdominal pain and nausea.
Doctors took CT scans of the woman’s over a 48-hour time period. The scans showed something very strange – the woman’s spleen had moved a distance of more than a foot inside her body.
Known as wandering spleen, this condition appears when the ligaments holding the spleen weaken and allow the organ to start traveling around. If you think you have it bad with a wandering mind, think again.
4) Teen with a Sewing Pin in His Heart
Heartache is a normal part of the teenage experience. But in this 17-year-old’s case, the expression became disturbingly literal.
The young man went to the hospital with a stinging pain in his chest. During a CT scan, the doctors discovered he suffered from a heart inflammation because he had a sewing pin embedded in his heart.
Apparently, the teen liked to tailor his own clothes and often held sewing pins in his mouth. Doctors concluded that he must’ve accidentally swallowed one without realizing it.
But how in the world did it travel to his heart?
5) Contact Lens Embedded in the Eyelid
In 2018, a 42-year-old British woman sought medical aid after her eyelid got swollen and droopy. Doctors did a CT scan and discovered a small cyst in the eyelid, which they promptly removed.
After the operation, the cyst broke open, revealing a strange, translucent object inside it. It was a contact lens.
When the woman was 14, she had gotten hit on the eye while playing badminton and lost her contact lens. Instead of falling to the ground like she thought, the lens embedded itself into her eyelid and stayed there for 28 years.
6) A Woman’s Moving Facial Lump
Also in 2018, a Russian woman noticed a weird lump on her face. What’s even weirder was that it was moving around her face.
Before the woman went to see a doctor, she did the only sensible thing. She documented the lump in selfies for two weeks as it moved from her cheek to her eyelid and lip.
No, it wasn’t a wandering spleen this time. Just a regular parasitic worm called Dirofilaria repens.
7) Brain Fluids Leak from a Woman’s Nose
Kenda Jackson, from Omaha, had suffered from an extremely runny nose for five years. In addition, she experienced regular headaches.
Initially doctors dismissed her condition as allergies, but when the symptoms didn’t get better, she sought a second opinion. That’s when she found out that the stuff drip, drip, dripping from her nose wasn’t snot – it was her cerebrospinal fluid.
A car accident in 2013 had left a small hole between Jackson’s skull and nostrils, through which a cup’s worth of brain fluids leaked out every single day. Luckily, doctors were able to plug the hole with Jackson’s own fatty tissues.
8) The Woman Who was Pregnant for More Than 60 Years
In 2015, 91-year-old Estela Meléndez from Chile had a nasty fall. When she went to see a doctor, an X-ray revealed what the doctors thought was a tumor in her stomach.
A second X-ray revealed that they were wrong. It wasn’t a tumor, but a 60-year-old calcified fetus that the childless Meléndez didn’t even know was there.
Doctors decided not to operate, as removing the fetus would’ve been more dangerous to the elderly woman than leaving it be. On her part, Meléndez considers it a memento of her late husband and the children they were never able to have.