You guys are completely disgusting. Seriously.
When we asked for your gross stories, we received hundreds of submissions. The nature of the horror was varied: Abscesses, allergic reactions, anal fissures, belly ring incidents, black vomit, blood clots, boils, breastfeeding yuckiness, bugs in ears, bugs in noses, cloven toes, condom mishaps, lots and lots of cysts, ear wax problems, earring issues, eyes glued, feathers in ears, feathers in PORES, foot callouses, foot discharge, gross sneezes, a hangnail from hell, hemorrhoids, home mole-removal tales, period blood mishaps, puking, puking with the jaw wired SHUT, pus geysers, pus in the anus, pus in the vulva, scabs, tons of I-shit-myself stories, plenty if wretched sinus/phlegm moments, spider bites, staph infections, sunburns, swamp ass, sordid tampon tales (not as good as Moe's), dozens of tonsilith details, trench mouth, warts, vaginal discharge, yeast and zits. Not to mention the young woman who dropped a hot curling iron into her cleavage. Thanks to each and every one of you for sending us your nausea-inducing tales of terror. You're all winners!
But here are the grossest stories we received. Names have been changed.
1. The Third Tit, by Annabelle
Being a heavy chested girl, I'm prone to small cysts around the areas where my bra "rubs me the wrong way," so to speak. These things are basically small, sometimes mildly painful bumps under the skin. And they usually don't get more than a second glance from me, no big deal.
But I got one on the inner side of my left breast, deep inside the right side of my cleavage. At first it was a little painful. I figured it would leave just as quickly as it came, as they tend to do. But suddenly, overnight it became extremely painful and swollen. It began to become so painful and swollen that I could no longer sleep on my stomach. Over the course of a week, it swelled up to the size of a large acorn to the point that it appeared I was growing a third tit, a la Total Recall. Finally, I broke down and took my sleep-deprived ass to the doctor, who declared that I was the victim of an infected sebaceous cyst, a clogged hair follicle that succumbed to bacteria and decided to become a huge nasty beastly thing smack dab in the middle of my chest. She referred me to a breast care specialist who poked and prodded at it for a couple of minutes with gloved hands. She decided that I needed to have it surgically removed. And quick. Because it looked like it was going to burst sometime soon. We set the surgery up for the day after the next.
The night before the surgery, I woke up and groggily made my way to the bathroom and noticed the front of my shirt was a little wet. I pulled my shirt down and was greeted with a pinkish brown smear of goo all along the inside of my bra and shirt, not to mention a stink that rivaled the smell of what I would imagine the grossest, foulest pile of day old Indian food, dirty diapers and puke to smell like. I decided to tempt fate and squeeze it, see what other disgusting wonders lay within. Immediately upon applying pressure to the thing, out oozed the brightest green ooze I've ever seen in my life.
The next day my doctor insisted the surgery was still necessary… Post-op, my doctor instructed me to ignore the gross sounds that my wound was making as she squished the last remnants of ooze from the open wound. The wretched squishing sound was equivalent to the sound of a foot being extracted from rainy mud. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the thing. But, I am enclosing a picture of the after-surgery wound, which is nice and crusty. And also decided to start gushing reddish brown fluid as I spread my tits apart to get a decent picture.
2. MRSA Bacon, by Ursula
I had a MRSA infection in my side. I thought I caught it early as it was still just a little red bump. When I went in they did an ultrasound of the area, and they found it was rather large. They numbed the area up, cut a tiny opening in my side ripped around inside of me and squeezed out all the fetid chunks of coagulated puss. Then it was flushed it with saline. They stuffed my side with a little sterile gauze ribbon stuff and put a band-aid over it. They told me to come back in 2 days to get it changed.
The next day is was redder and vastly more tender and painful. I went back and they found there was another pocket they had missed. They put me on a vancomycin IV drip, then had a surgeon come in, cut the hole bigger, dig down deeper and get the rest of the infection out. Then he packed it again, but this time there was a LOT of packing. I was told to change it MYSELF twice a day. The next morning I managed to pull the packing out with the cunning use of breathing techniques, but getting it back in was near impossible. They put about 2ft of 1/2in wide ribbon gauze inside me. I did take photos though!
I eventually cracked and in a little crying mess I went back to the hospital and had them do it. They then told me to come back every two days and that the surgeon was a moron if he expected anyone to be able to do that. It made me feel better to know I wasn't a weakling or failure for not being able to shove forceps and dry gauze about 2.5" into my not numb side.
3. The Pumpkin Seed Story, by Becky
My junior year of undergrad, I had a deplorable diet. Every now and then [the convenience store near my dorm] would get packages of pumpkin seeds, which I loved to eat while writing papers. One day when I was shopping I noticed that they had restocked. Since they were prone to running out quickly, I decided to go ahead and buy all of the pumpkin seeds they had. This in itself wasn't bad. What was bad was
that in a fury of writing deadlines, I ate all of them. I had pumpkin seeds for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, as a midnight snack while doing research.
A day or so later, I noticed I hadn't pooped in awhile. I was sitting in class and was feeling bloated and all around crappy and I felt like I might finally have to poop. So I left to go to the bathroom but as much as I strained, nothing came out. I wiped a little bit and examined and my poop looked white. Weird, I thought, not quite making the connection yet. The next I still hadn't pooped despite several vigorous and painful attempts. I did a little "fishing" to discover what the problem was. What I found was pumpkin seed fragments. There was absolutely no fecal material. Just shards of pumpkin seeds. It felt like I was trying to poo wood chips. So I finally ventured off campus to a real store, CVS, and stocked up on everything I could think of to remove the chips. I bought laxatives, an enema, prunes, and lubricant. I tried the enema first, but the mass of pumpkin seeds was blocking my attempts to squirt anything up there. I then tried to lube my fingers and insert them, but moving the seed shrapnel only pushed them into my rectal wall (which hurt really really bad). I even got out my vibrator, turned it up to full speed,and pushed it on the skin above my anus, trying to shake the seeds loose. No luck. I eventually gave up, took 2x the recommended amount of laxatives and began to munch on the prunes. Then I waited.
Eight agony filled hours later, it was time. I put a sign up on the communal bathroom door that said I was sick and to please use the bathroom the next hallway over. Then I tried to push. It was so so painful and I was still struggling. I alternated between pushing and raking them out with my fingers. My abdomen felt awful so I got in the dorm shower and sat down (gross in its own right), aiming the stream of water at
my tummy. My muscles relaxed and I felt like I was about to blow up. I tried to bear down a little to see if I could scrape anymore out when the whole disgusting mass of pumpkin seed burst out of my ass and splattered across the shower wall. It was literally an explosion of pumpkin seeds, and it had about a 4 foot radius. Now mind you, there was absolutely no brown in this explosion, no shit. Just shards of seed and whole prunes. Needless to say I felt amazing after this and kind of sat there laughing like an insane person for a minute I was so relieved. It definitely reviled even the most intense orgasm I've ever had in terms of release. It was incredible. After I composed myself, I washed the walls of the shower and gathered up the discarded seed parts which all together were the size of a whole cantaloupe. Moral of the story: include some variety in your diet. Also, I'm gross.
4. Foot Mosaic, by LutherNipperkin
At some point in college I picked up what I though was a really deep, stubborn blister, right on the edge of my heel. I couldn't walk properly because it was right where my foot struck when walking. I had a friend who was a nurse lance it with a syringe, but she wasn't able to pull any fluid from it.
My mom took me to the podiatrist. It was a wart. Which, by the way, are caused by a strain of the HPV virus. I was horrified.
Over the next year or so I developed a number of the monsters. The doctor had me paint acid on them and hack into my feet on a nightly basis, carving away as much skin as the acid managed to kill. He tried freezing them, burning them and eventually resorted to cutting them out. It was horrifying to see how deep into my foot he had to dig.
The doctor was kind of a jerk, so when the pencil eraser-sized wart he cut out of my left heel returned as a mosaic of many, many tiny little warts, I stopped trusting his work and figured I would just live with them. They didn't hurt unless I stepped on them funny. I spent the years painting them with acid, freezing them with at-home kits, trying to cover them with duct tape. They just continued to multiply on one foot and then spread to the other. The worst was soaking them with apple cider vinegar. I kept a cotton ball soaked in it taped to my foot at all times. My shoes smelled like salad dressing. I couldn't put any pressure on my heel. The acid burned and killed the warts, but it also stung so badly that I would lie awake at night and cry because no amount of pain killers allowed me to sleep. They all seemed to be dead after about 4 weeks, but they all grew back.
Usually warts die out on their own after a couple years, but I've been fighting these for 7. Two and a half weeks ago I finally went to a new podiatrist. He painted them with a blistering agent called cantharidin, a toxic chemical found in blister beetles. Like other wart treatments, the goal is to create a blister that lifts the wart off the skin and allows it to die, while signaling to the immune system that this is a problem, and it should probably fight off the virus.
The ones on my right foot blistered beautifully. They hurt like hell and I was unable to walk for a week. There were two, not far from each other, and they grew and grew and finally merged into one big blister. Two days before the two-week checkup I was poking around at it and accidentally broke it. And out oozed more pus than I have ever seen my body produce all in one place. This shit does not cause an ordinary blister. It causes an infection, and I had been walking around for two weeks with blisters full of pus.
At the two-week checkup the doctor was pleased to announce that the warts on my right foot were completely gone! The massive mosaic on my left foot would need another blast of the chemical. So now, throbbing painfully on my left heel, is a giant blister the size of a quarter, covered in warts and completely full of pus. And I'm not allowed to pop it for two weeks.
I've included a photo, for your viewing pleasure.
5. He Had Me In Stitches, by Josephine
I had what's called a precipitous birth, which is to say, I had a freakishly short labor - 40 minutes, start to finish. A fast labor is not ideal, not least because the body doesn't go through the process of preparation. The vaginal walls don't get the time to expand and do their thing. There's no easing out of the big-ass baby. In a precipitous labor, the baby makes his own exit. At least, mine did. He just blasted his way out, all near-ten pounds of him, tearing me stem to stern and ripping me, literally, LITERALLY, a new asshole.
But that's not the worst of it. After giving me a Tylenol 3 - no time for anaesthetic - the doctors proceeded to make speedy work of stitching me back up. I was bleeding heavily - that happens when a living being bursts full-form out of your body - and everyone was in DANGER DANGER EMERGENCY mode and working furiously to rebuild me - every moment of which I could feel - when suddenly I heard one of them say OH NO. I'll skip the narrative of what followed, but in sum: one of the surgeons had been unable to see what he was doing through all the blood and gore and had stitched his finger to my nethers. Stitched. His finger. TO MY NETHERS. He came to see me, finger in bandage, the next day and apologized. I actually felt badly for him, for about three minutes, until I shifted my ass and remembered that *I* was the one that had the worst of the deal.
Turns out that the finger-stitching botched the repair job on my parts - my doctor later drew me a picture to illustrate. It's taken over two years to recover, and I still haven't dared to look down below to see what the Frankenvulva actually looks like.
6. Gretchen The Cyst, by Jen
I went in for my annual "female exam" back in 2003. I was super hungover and felt like crap. While the doctor was doing the exam she said it felt like my liver was swollen. Obviously after the night of drinking I had had, I didn't think too much about it but she sent me to a local hospital to do an ultrasound.
The nurse doing the ultrasound said she couldn't find some of my organs and she kind of freaked out. She got a doctor and they ended up doing a CATSCAN. Turned out to be a very large cyst which was attached to one of my ovaries. It had moved many of my internal organs up into my ribcage and they seemed stunned I wasn't in pain. They couldn't tell what had caused it, or even how long it had been there, but they said they had to do surgery immediately.
One week later I had the surgery. Luckily it was benign and, after a week in the hospital recovering, I was fine. I did ask the doctors it I could keep it, but they said the best they could do was take a picture of it for me. So, for Jezebel to witness, here is a picture of "Gretchen the Cyst" and a photo of my 8-inch scar that came with her.
It's wrinkled because I used to carry it around in my wallet as the perfect bar-story one-upper. It's hard for anyone to top a 20-pound cyst! And yes, that is how much it weighed. It was the biggest that hospital had ever seen.
7. Hobbit Hand, by Lily
I'm actually dealing with a gross bodily function right now. On August 1, I was involved in a pretty bad moped accident resulting in a crushed ankle and wrist. And as if the pain and scaring weren't enough, now I'm contending with excessive body hair.
Apparently due to weeks of gauze and bandaging around an external fixator, thick black hair developed on my arm, wrist hand... and knuckles. Oddly, it cropped up just a couple of days before the hardware was removed last week. My surgeon laughed when I asked him about it—he said it would be "a while" before it falls out on its own. I'm waiting for the pin sites to heal a bit more before getting it waxed—which is bound to be a treat as I'm still contending with a lot of pain and nerve damage.
I'm attaching some pics of the troll hand—the scars are pin sites where screws were drilled into my bones. I thought a nice manicure would provide interesting juxtaposition to the mangled, hairy mess that would surely give Danny DeVito a run for his money.
8. Hairy Hymen, by Giselle
Whenever it was that my hymen broke, I was left with a piece of skin hanging out of my vagina. It was maybe a quarter- to half-inch long, shaped kind of like a worm. Kind of weird-looking, but it never caused any major issues.
But then, few years ago, I noticed that my vagina was feeling...sore. Sex was painful, and I finally decided to take a mirror and check out the situation.
A strand of hair had gotten wrapped around the hymen-remnant. Tight. The end of the hymen-remnant was swelling up like a balloon. I tried to untie it, to pull it off with tweezers, everything I could think of. It wouldn't budge. I even had my boyfriend at the time look at it - we were pretty close - and he couldn't figure out a solution either.
I emailed my gyno, and she replied, "COME IN NOW. DON'T WAIT. URGENT." So, I did.
She confirmed that the hair was not coming off, so my hymen-remnant had to. She swabbed on some numbing cream, gave me a teddy bear to squeeze, and cut it right off with scissors. I remember that it took exactly three horrible snips. The numbing cream only numbed the surface, so as she cut through the inner portion, I nearly fainted. Once it was over, I had to sit there for another several minutes as she applied pressure to my wound so I wouldn't gush blood all over the place. But in a few days, I was as good as new.
9. A Hairy Situation, by Dave
When I was in high school, I got a pilonidal cyst. If you're not familiar, this is when a small duct on the skin by your tailbone becomes infected. Usually, hirsute young men get these more frequently since the duct gets blocked with hair. I noticed pain sitting down and it progressively got worse and worse. I couldn't sit down without excruciating pain. One night, I woke up feeling wet on my backside and in my buttcrack. Thinking I had had a noctural fecal discharge (made-up-medical-term), I went to the bathroom. I wiped and the toilet paper was drenched in gooey blood and pus. It took four or five wipes to get it off. It smelled like pus that had been festering for several weeks near a butt crack, also. That night, I had to repeat the experience three more times. Each time, I was drenched with pus and blood. It destroyed several pairs of underwear, my shorts, my sheets, and nearly my mattress. Ultimately, I had to have surgery twice (a second time for a reoccurrence) and I still have pretty serious scar tissue back there.
PS - Between the first and second occurrence, I leaked blood every day and I had to put a sock in my underwear to soak it up. I ruined many socks doing this. This lasted for about a year.
10. Mangina, by Stu
My grossest moment came in July 2008, when I developed a MRSA infection in a terrible place.... right between my balls and my ass. Now, this was no ordinary staph infection either. This one was huge! it measured to be about 6 CM long, 4 CM wide, and over 2 CM deep. As soon as I get to the hospital and a doctor looks at it, he says "we need to cut that open and drain it right away." So, basically, they made a 6 cm long incision in my taint, giving me a "mangina".
The typical treatment is a healthy dose of bacterum, along with keeping the infected area clean and packed with gauze to absorb the puss. So, starting at the hospital, and continuing on for the next three weeks, I had to have gauze changed out in my mangina twice a day (the attached video is of the FIRST time they took out the gauze.... simply incredible stuff there. You don't really appreciate how big the infection was until you see ALL of the gauze come out). Not only did I have to change out gauze in my mangina twice a day, at first it was so painful and so big, that I had to have a nurse come to my apartment and change it for me.
So… Which of these stories was the grossest?
It's time to vote! The poll closes Sunday at midnight.
[Snail image via Natalie Dee.]