The first time I really remember doing something that wasn't quite the right thing to do medically was after I'd had my gallbladder removed. My course of treatment involved a rather long story that I won't go into now, but I was in the hospital on mostly a liquid diet for a couple of weeks before I finally had surgery. Keep in mind, too, that this was back in the days before they did things laparoscopically--and I have the hugely long scar from the incision to prove it too!
I came out of surgery with a stomach that looked like it belonged on the Frankenstein monster, criss-crossed with sutures and with a drainage tube sticking out. I stayed in the hospital another couple days after surgery and was eventually sent home, still with the drain. I don't know why I didn't ask, but as far as I can recall, I wasn't told exactly when the drain would be removed--or maybe it was just the drugs that left me in a fog.
As I started to get better, the drain started "pinching." I had lost weight from the light diet, and I could see that the drain was attached to my skin by one little stitch, and that stitch was as tight as could be because I'd "shrunk" while the drain hadn't. Again, I don't know if it was the pain medications or what, but I thought that if I just snipped that stitch, I'd be much more comfortable.
But I didn't do that right away, of course. I wasn't that dumb. First, I needed to think it through. But eventually, over the course of a few hours, I convinced myself that it was the only thing that made sense. So I snipped that little stitch, and the drain started sliding out. Well, then I was in a panic! I had no idea what the drain might be attached to internally, and I had this horrible image of the drain sliding out, followed by all of my intestines! I gripped the drain and tried to push it back in, but it wouldn't GO! In tears, holding onto the drain with one hand, I called Hubby at work and told him what I'd done; I was half hysterical, so he agreed to call the doctor.
Hubby came home and drove me to the doctor's office, where I didn't get nearly the lecture I was expecting. The doctor agreed it was probably time to remove the drain anyway, and he did. And while it felt kind of odd coming out, I found the drain wasn't attached to anything at all, and the removal wasn't painful! I guess it was a bit anti-climactic, but the initial sight of that drain sliding out of the incision when I snipped that stitch was scary enough to keep me from practicing medicine again--at least for awhile.
And--so far--I still have the splint on my right wrist from THIS surgery, although it's driving me crazy. My sister-in-law works for a medical facility, and she told me that in the last week or so, she's seen two patient charts with notations that the patients have removed their own casts, so I guess I'm not the only nut case! I still have to get through two more days until my follow-up appointment when the doctor will remove this splint--I sure hope I can make it!