10 Of The Most Embarrassing (And Totally Real) Ways To Land In The Hospital

A trip to the emergency room in a screaming ambulance is one of our worst fears. So imagine the embarrassment when the circumstances behind it are avoidable in the first place, or if the visit turns out to be completely unnecessary.

With your good health in mind -- and because awareness of the rare and absurd medical issues out there may prove vital one day -- we’ve partnered with Anthem to bring you this list of 10 injuries, ailments, accidents and all around hilarious circumstances that sent people off to the ER. Check them out, and be careful.

1. Having A Coffee Bean Stuck Up Your Nose For Over 24 Hours
coffee bean

Many kids stick objects up their nose to investigate their environment.

When the redditor "meiyoumayo" was just 5 years old, she wanted to know if coffee beans smelled like coffee. So, one day at the grocery store, she stuck one up her nose. And it disappeared. She freaked out. Despite her screams of “MOMMY IT’S STUCK I CAN’T GET IT OUT,” her mom went on shopping and picked out some nice chicken cutlets. That night, her mom told her to sleep at a 90-degree angle and they’d go to the doctor in the morning. When they got to the hospital, the doctor used a “crazy metal tool … specifically for extracting foreign objects from people’s nostrils,” she recalls.

Years later, she still doesn’t drink coffee.

2. Getting A Moth Stuck In Your Ear Canal

After dropping off a pie and swatting a moth away from his head, one pizza delivery man continued his walk back to his car and the same bug, conceivably seeking to retaliate, flew into the man’s ear. The moth started clawing at his canal in an attempt to escape. He raced home and yelled to his wife, “A moth is in my ear! A moth is in my ear!”

The delivery man's supervisor was skeptical of his claims, but after having the bug extracted at the hospital, he had undeniable proof, along with a number of tiny scratches inside his ear.

If this ever happens to you, home remedies can work. But proper protocol calls for an ER visit -- especially when it’s an extreme case.

3. Getting Drunk On Bagels

A Texas man repeatedly appeared drunk to his friends and loved ones. At first, nobody believed him when he insisted he did not consume alcohol regularly. But he would get so apparently drunk that his wife, a nurse, began giving him Breathalyzer tests. She found his blood alcohol content to be as high as 0.40 percent, or five times the legal driving limit. In 2009, on a day he swore he hadn’t taken a sip of booze, the man had to be taken to the ER, where he was treated for severe intoxication.

After daylong periods of close medical observation, he was finally diagnosed with an extremely rare disease, “auto-brewery syndrome,” which can be treated with antifungal medication and a low-carb diet. His excessive enjoyment of starchy foods like bagels and pasta created a buildup of yeast in his gut, which then fermented the foods’ sugars into ethanol.

4. Inventing A New Extreme Sport That Ends Up Being Too Extreme For You

One man, initially considering himself a “genius,” decided to combine skateboarding and windsurfing to create a new extreme sport. After hooking a windsurfing sail onto a skateboard, he bandied about a parking lot, first in just gentle breezes, acclimating himself to the contraption.

When he tried again in 20-knot winds, he jumped off his board in a panic and broke his ankle. The biggest laugh he got upon telling the tale in the hospital was when he revealed his age to the medical staff. The “genius” was 35.

5. Mistaking Intense Gas For Appendicitis

One in every 15 United States citizens will suffer from appendicitis, which can reveal itself at any moment. Though diagnosing it is challenging, performing immediate surgery to address appendicitis is usually highly recommended.

So no one could fault this girl’s mother for presuming a case of appendicitis and rushing rushing her daughter to the ER after the poor youngster complained her side hurt so much that she could barely move.

While being prepped for an appendectomy, the girl screamed in agony, and, in an instant, flatulated so strongly she “actually felt wind.” Her stomach felt much better shortly afterward, she writes on reddit. All clear!

6. Rocking So Hard You Break Your Ankle In Front Of Thousands Of Fans
dave grohl

Famous for their rock anthems, the Foo Fighters have built a reputation for being among the most intense performers in the world -- sometimes too intense. While jamming to their hit “Monkey Wrench” early in a recent set at a Swedish stadium, band frontman Dave Grohl accidentally tripped over a cord and fell from the stage, suffering a dislocated ankle and broken leg.

According to a couple of sources, falls account for 8 million hospital visits a year in the U.S., and many of them are work-related. Remarkably, an on-site doctor clicked Grohl’s ankle back into place, and the lead singer and guitarist completed the performance, just as he’d promised the sizable crowd of fans moments prior.

Only after the show did Grohl feel any pain -- which became about as metaphorically large as the arena he’d just played -- and it was months before the band performed again with their leader’s leg still in a cast.

7. Getting Way Too Caught Up In An a Good-Natured Challenge
ice bucket

The Ice Bucket Challenge inspired $100 million worth of fundraising from 17 million people for ALS research last summer. A number of folks also hurt themselves during their participation as the phenomenon ballooned across social media -- perhaps none more famously than Ireland’s own Teresina Bell.

Squealing over the cold water that had been dumped over her head, the schoolteacher ran into a metal pole, knocking herself unconscious. Her YouTube post of the event reached 3.3 million views. As the luck of the Irish would have it, there was plenty of ice around for her bump! An ice pack is one of the recommended ways to treat swelling for a head injury.

8. Combining Alcohol And Fire In The Same Game
shot glass

If you go backpacking in Southeast Asia, this blogger has some advice for you: don’t drink and jump fire rope. He claims to have witnessed a number of drunken 20-somethings engage in a game of flaming long rope, in which the jump rope is set ablaze -- a tradition at the legendary Full Moon Party at Koh Phangan, Thailand.

He’s posted a video of stumbling tourists getting mildly burned, and says he witnessed at least one traveler lose skin in a fiery jump rope accident. And he’s not the only one. Thankfully, there seems to be several medical care facilities in the area, but these games of fire rope and others put so many people in the hospital, it strains local resources.

9. Engaging In Heart-Pounding Sex With The Wrong Kind Of Lube

Be careful what you reach for in the heat of the moment.

One doctor tells the story of a young “slacker” couple’s (his word) arrival to his ER. One of their grandparents was out of town and so they tried to take advantage of the moment and unleash some hormones. They grabbed a tube of what they thought was lubricant from the medicine cabinet and got to it.

But they weren’t using lubricant at all. It was nitroglycerin paste, a heart drug that affects blood pressure. “When Grandma came home,” the doctor says, “she found the couple lying on top of each other, unconscious and buck naked.”

After being revived with some oxygen and fluids, they probably realized no Thanksgiving dinner would ever be the same.

10. Having An Eel Swimming Around Where It Shouldn’t Be

An exotic spa treatment in parts of the world involves swimming with small eels that cleanse the skin. For one Chinese man, things got personal.

Soon after getting into the water he felt a sharp pain. An eel was swimming up his urethra!

“I tried to hold it and take it out, but the eel was too slippery to be held and it disappeared up my penis,” he told Metro UK.

After being rushed to the hospital, the doctors were able to remove it … and we’ll spare you the rest of the details.

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