Pneumonia Girl, meet Smushed-Foot Boy: Uncrossing two star-crossed couples

By David Futrelle

I‘m going to take a brief break from the usual to play internet matchmaker.

So I was looking through r/relationships.txt’s old tweetings to see if any of the horrible stories of Redditor relationships gone wrong that are the mainstay of the account might be worth writing about. Instead I found two strangely complementary stories of love and selfishness; they were almost mirror images of one another.

In the first, we have a fellow asking if he was an asshole (answer: yes!) for deserting his very sick girlfriend at the emergency room to go to the gym. (Click on the screenshots for the whole story.)

The other tweet told the story of a girlfriend threatening to kick her injured boyfriend out of his own apartment because she was sick of taking care of him.

Now, it seems unlikely that either one of these relationships is going to last. But I think we can pull a happy ending (or four) out from the wreckage here. We just have to shuffle the couples a little.

Clearly Smushed-Foot Boy needs to drop his ungrateful girlfriend and get with Bacterial Pneumonia Girl instead.

Meanwhile, Mean Girlfriend and Narcissist Boyfriend need to start dating each other so they can be giant jerks together.

Ta da! Problems solved. You’re welcome!

OBLIGATORY NOTE: These stories are from Reddit, so there’s always a chance that one or both are completely made up. But I’m a romantic, so I choose to believe.

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

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40 replies on “Pneumonia Girl, meet Smushed-Foot Boy: Uncrossing two star-crossed couples”

Maybe the girl whose boyfriend was terrorizing her with a ventriloquist’s dummy could stay with them for a bit and help out. I feel like her relationship might not last too much longer. AITA is a total time sink.

I’ve been stuck in the ER in the middle of the night in incredible pain. Gall bladder colic is hell.

I had called the out of hours GP, they sent someone, he took a look at me and sent me to the ER, as well as giving me a taxi voucher.

Arriving at 3am at the ER means it’s mostly empty.

It also means that the hospital works with a skeleton crew, so you STILL wait hours.

I was alone, because I live alone, it was 3 am and didn’t want to wake my friends, and my parents live 2 hours away.

If someone had accompanied me and ditched me?

That person would be kicked off my Christmas present list at least!

I broke my wrist snowboarding last winter and my stepmom dropped me off at the emergency room and left. For which I am incredibly grateful, because being fussed over drives me up the wall, and also because I’d probably rather have gnawed my broken wrist off than be subjected to hours and hours of inescapable interaction with my stepmom (she is… unpleasant.)

Instead, I got to read quietly for a few hours. It was nice.

That said, I’m not exactly a model person when it comes to social interaction (my mom found out about this whole thing later and was like “you were left there alone?!” before I even realized there was a different option than that.). And also I had a sore wrist but was otherwise fine, no wooziness or anything. If I wasn’t in full control of my faculties, then I probably would have wanted someone with me to watch over me.

I’m reminded of the experience that helped me to really see that my mother is an awful person.

I am a disabled kidney transplant patient, living with my mother. Shortly after my father passed away, I experienced severe abdominal pain. After five hours it had gotten worse rather than better, and I did not feel safe to drive the half-mile to the ER. So I explained the situation to my mother, who at first dismissed my complaint, saying that the hospital would think I was just after opioids and refuse to treat me. (My only record of opioid use was following major surgery with five-day prescriptions after each, so there was no reason the doctors might think such a thing from my records.)

I eventually get her to agree to take me to the ER. She said she would let me know when she was ready. I stagger back to the couch and collapse in pain.

Thirty minutes later, I haven’t heard anything, so I check on her. She hasn’t even moved. She then says that we need to wait a few hours to make sure that the pain doesn’t improve – even though I had explained to her that this was EXACTLY what I had already done. She finally agrees to take me to the ER now, and will “get ready” immediately.

“Getting ready” to take her son to the ER for a medical emergency included the following tasks:

– feeding and watering the pets
– feeding and watering the outdoors birds
– feeding and watering the outdoors cats
– changing into a “nicer shirt” (this took fifteen minutes)
– a trip to the bathroom (twenty minutes)
– fixing her hair and makeup (ten minutes)

All of these were far more urgent to her than getting her son emergency medical care. Which I did turn out to need – they had to admit me and surgically remove my gall bladder.

This was not an isolated incident, and looking back over her behavior helped me to realize that she is emotionally abusive, constantly sending the unspoken message that I didn’t matter.

My therapist advised me that in the future, any time I did not feel able to drive to the ER, I should call for an ambulance rather than relying on my mother. When I had a GI bleed this year, I did call for an ambulance and it turned out that, if I had not gotten the blood transfusions that I received in a timely manner, i.e. had I relied on her to get around to driving me after she finished more important tasks, I might have died.

I’ve begun to feel like there’s two kinds of requests for advice:

A. My neighbours are calling me a racist just because I burnt a cross on somebody’s lawn. Can’t they take a joke? How can I get them to stop being so mean to me?


B. One of my loved ones keeps putting arsenic in my coffee, even though I’ve repeatedly asked her not to. Everyone else in my family says “oh, that’s just her way” or “she’s too old to change now.” Are they right? Am I overreacting?

r/” … why is everbody always pickin’ on me?”

re: hospitals, waiting, opioids, etc…

I’m a recovering drug addict (7 years n change), and my last trip to the ER (for three blown spinal discs) led me to the Land of Nod, as a veinful of Fentanyl did it’s legendary thing. No sooner than was THAT tech outa the room, than another was in, asking what my pain level was… of COURSE it was 11+, so here comes another dose of Fanny….

That tech leaves, and HERE COMES ANOTHER, again very interested in my pain level. After another dose, not only was I unable to lie about my pain, I was unable to do anything BUT “lie about.” IP They could’a cut off my leg and I wouldn’t have known it, much less felt it.

Guess they were tryin’a use up the stock so’s they could get another kickback from Big Pharma….

After I was clean 6 years, I crashed my scooter, and back to the ER I went! I made sure to tell ALL the techs I was in recovery, and to please leave the hard stuff in the jug.

Re: opioids
When I had my wisdom teeth out a year ago, I had it done with local numbing but no general anesthesia. After the surgery, I was prescribed Vicodin even though I told the doctor that I wouldn’t need it (this was at the height of the opioid epidemic, so I was rather frustrated that he was trying to foist opioids onto patients). My pain wasn’t quite bad enough to need it, and I didn’t want to get addicted (I have a family history of alcoholism, so I didn’t think it would be a good idea to take opioids), so I didn’t take any.
Now I still have a full bottle of Vicodin sitting in my medicine cabinet. Not quite sure how to dispose of it, since I heard you’re not supposed to pour it down a drain.

I ended up on A&E a couple of years ago. I collapsed at the GP’s office because I could barely breathe and went to hospital in an ambulance with the nee naws on.

I was completely alone and not in pain. Once they slapped an oxygen mask on me I was total zen and a bit giddy. I had to phone my mum from the hospital’s phone cos I didn;t have a mobile then.

I was in there for hours, but it felt like no time at all. Someone brought me a baked potato with tuna mayo and it was like the tastiest thing I had ever eaten.

Turned out I’d had a dual bilateral pulmonary embolism. My lungs were filled with tiny clots any one of which could have travelled to my brain or heart. Ah well, another medication I need to take for life.

Mum and one of my sisters and nephew no.1 came to visit the next day. That was nice.

All through the experience I just kept thinking, “Thank fuck I don’t have to pay for this”. Love the NHS.

As for opiods. I am prescribed two. A fentanyl transdermal patch and codiene for breakthrough pain. I can’t stop taking them because my spine is so bollocksed up I need a walking stick if I do (I’m 44). I’ve been on them a decade and never escalated my usage, so I reckon I am OK.

If she’s gone beyond anger to indifference, it’s over. “Just go” doesn’t mean she gave him her blessing to go to the gym and is fine with it. It means she didn’t have the spoons to deal with his selfishness right at that moment.

Nobody likes long ER waits, but it’s much worse when you’re alone, sick, and scared, without even a ride home. Having a caring person there for support and distraction makes the wait more tolerable. Not only was she physically miserable, he inflicted emotional misery on her as well by abandoning her at a crucial moment for something nonessential that could have waited. The message he gave her was “You don’t matter as much as my gym routine.”

I hope his (probably ex) girlfriend is healing and that they both move on and learn from this. He doesn’t sound redpilled so much as self-centered and clueless. A true Redpiller would have phrased it as “My GF shit tested me by needing to go to the ER, but I held frame and went to the gym. Gainz before damez!” and then gone on to brag about how submissive she was the next day. At least this guy was honest about what happened and didn’t try to turn it into a field report.


Ask around your local churches/charities and see if any of them have a low income drug donation program. Some churches in my area have it set up where they’ll take your unwanted/unneeded drugs and give them to people who need them but can’t afford them.

Or if your bottle is massively out of date, see if your local police station will take them. Some stations will take unwanted meds just to keep them off the street.

@varalys – Whoa, a dual pulmonary embolism? You’re fortunate it was caught in time and you survived. I’ve lost three loved ones to pulmonary embolisms, and very nearly four. Clotting disorders run on both sides of my family, lucky me.

Re: opiods, after my C section I was on oxycodone for several days. It was absolutely horrible. It made me incredibly sick, woozy, and disoriented. I kept throwing up, couldn’t keep anything down, and lost another 5 pounds on top of the 11 pounds I lost during pregnancy (thanks to 9 months of morning sickness). I couldn’t get off that stuff fast enough and on to acetaminophen. No danger of me getting addicted to it.

That being said, I was so grateful for the friends who came to visit and keep me company, and for the kindness of the nurses. When you’re sick and/or recovering, it makes such a huge difference to be surrounded by people who care.


If you have drugs you don’t want, then I highly recommend taking them to a nearby pharmacist. They should be able to dispose of them properly.

I think that there may be potential legal problems in giving prescription drugs to someone else, even if you don’t take money for them.

Wow. These tales of narcissistic partners and family members are more than a little sad and just a bit triggering. But they’re kind of interesting, too. I learned about British hospital food. Hmm.

And it’s good to read you’re recovering, varalys!

Catalpa beat me to it. Drug stores around where I am actually advertise that you can bring unfinished drug bottles to them for disposal. They are required to know the proper handling procedures, after all.

I’ve been on a morphine drip precisely once, and have every intention of keeping it that way. Probably nobody wants to hear about the particular issue that necessitated that.

Ack. Had a friend with a situation like that. Putting him on blood thinners to break up the clots made him spring other leaks. When the doctor says that inducing a coma is the best chance… well, you know it’s bad.

Thankfully, this was in Canada.


Gall bladder pain is quite horrible, isn’t it? And quite scary even if you’re not a transplant patient.

I can’t imagine being so cold to a spouse. Even if you weren’t in love with them anymore and trying to find a time to break it off, I couldn’t imagine being so cold to someone who you spend so much time with, have so many memories with, especially when they need comfort and support the most.

Opioids, got addicted to them when I got shingles at age oh 15 or 16. Started on one half of my ass, went to my private bits and anus and onto the inners of my thigh a bit. Left me with some nerve damage, I can hardly feel the half of my ass the shingles were on lol. You got to hit my hard enough to leave welts for me to barely feel a sting. No one explained to me how easily it was to get addicted to them. I had no idea I was in that deep until my prescription ran out and I was buying them elsewhere.

Despite all the pain from the shingles, hell almost any pain I ever had, did not compare to that of my withdrawals. I went cold turkey and detoxed complete from it. and for 2 straight weeks I thought I was going to die before it started to slowly get better.

Any ways that’s my story that I’ve got pieced together. to be honest the four year period from 14 to 18 is such a blur together I’m amazed I can distinguish anything from that time period.

I had to hang on to it for several years before doing so was possible, but I eventually put the full unused bottle of Vicodin from my own wisdom-tooth extraction in an unwanted-medication disposal dropbox in the lobby of a hospital about 10 minutes from my house (at the time of the extraction, the hospital was an outpatient medical center-they’ve since added beds and an ER and become, AFAIK, a full-service hospital). If/when you have the time and ability to do so, it might be a good idea to check on whether any hospitals, medical centers, or pharmacies in your area have such dropboxes.


Of course it was lifting that he went to the gym for. Of course it was.

And of course he had to mention that.

I’m a slow learner. I was abandoned more than once in ER by my ex. Once with a piece of glass in my eye. He couldn’t stay because the chairs were ‘uncomfortable’. At least it’s an easy walk back from the local casualty to mine.

The 2nd time was when I was admitted with chest pain and couldn’t breathe. I didn’t know what it was, but turned out it was pleurisy and pneumonia. I was in a hospital all the way across from London from where I lived. I texted him where I was and he texted back “OK”. I even had to arrange alternative child pick up from the hospital. Asshole.

Thank you to everyone who gave information on getting rid of the unwanted drugs. I’ll look into those options in my area when I get a chance.

Your girlfriend was having severe, tear-inducing back and chest pain when breathing?

Of course you’re not the asshole. She’s not thinking this through. Just tell her to stop breathing and go do your lifting.

Thankyou for the kind words everyone.

@Buttercup, I’m sorry to hear you have lost family members to emobolisms, my condolences. This clotting disorder came right out of the blue. No history of anything like it in the family. I was 42 when it happened, and I have my blood tested yearly because I’m on an antipsychotic that can induce diabetes (yay) and they didn’t pick up any issues, so yeah.

I didn’t have a DVT as far as they could see, and believe me I had my legs felt a lot those few hours in A&E. In the end, in my follow-up treatment, they said I must have a genetic predisposition and if I don’t take a daily blood thinner I have about an 80% chance of it happening again. Actually the med is pretty unobnoxious, yeah I pump blood when I cut myself, I just use this as an incentive not to cut myself 😀

I had a female colleague who got some nasty burns in a lab accident. Her Insignificant Other left to go home and play video games.

Personal experience here. Waiting in the hospital is boring. Waiting when you’re not the patient is even worse. You do it anyway. Once we’re sure things are under control, both my wife and I tell each other to go home. But stick around to make sure you’re not needed. You’d rather go to the gym or play Call of Duty? Take it to someone who cares.


I’m sorry you were treated that way. That is very unacceptable for a romantic partner or any close one to act


It was absolutely horrible. It made me incredibly sick, woozy, and disoriented. I kept throwing up, couldn’t keep anything down,

That was my experience with the stuff too, when I was given some for a third-degree burn covering a finger joint.
I quit taking it pretty quick, I had rather deal with the pain.

So, it appears that the Dems are finally going to impeach the motherfucker? Should have much sooner, but I’m still feeling pretty celebratory!

I know the Senate is unlikely to find him guilty, but at least those craven shits will have to go on record in a way that can’t ever be explained away with being just fine with blatant corruption.

Oh, and the Boris Johnson humilitian was nice too!

Even if he doesn’t get removed from office, it should air the dirty laundry and show to the public all the awful things he has done, which could deter potential 2020 voters.
We should have done this long ago.
The thing I worry about is that if this fails, it could end up galvanizing his supporters and increase their turnout in 2020.

About 10 years ago I nearly died from something as ubiquitous as a tooth abcess. It began on SUnday, and my dentist’s emergency call line would only call in narcotic pain medication and NOT antibiotics. I had been to see this dentist for years. They had my medical history. They knew you have to be on antibiotics for at least 24hr prior to seeing the dentist, yet repeatedly refused to order anything but pain meds (which I refused to make the point I was not meds seeking).
So Monday morning I showed up at my dentist office the moment they opened, I waited for an hour to see a general dentist. That guy had to refer me to an oral surgeon next door. By this point, half my face was swollen past recognition and I had become very hot and discombobulated. I stumbled next door and registered at the desk and laid down on the floor of the waiting room to soothe my hot face. I remember everything getting very fuzzy and my brain wasn’t working right. I was flashing in and out of awareness. At some point, the staff called my emergency contact to come. They did NOT call an ambulance. My (now ex) boyfirend had to lift me off the floor and carry me to his truck and deliver me to the ER. I don’t remember more than bits of this process. I do remember the beginning of the CAT scan, because I had to lay down and the pain was so excruciating I saw orange and passed out after screaming until my throat went raw.
When I woke up again, I was on morphine and saline and heading into emergency surgery. My abcess, left unmedicated, had ruptured into my sinuses and I had become septic. After the source of the infection was removed, and my facial sinuses had been surgically cleared, I remained septic. I was on the highest dose of morphine possible for a month (along with all the antibiotics). The surgeries left me with facial paralysis and numbness. I now have a Mona Lisa smile.
After 30 days of morphine and anti-anxiety meds, they freed me. I had been 90d smoke free when I went into the hospital. In the weeks following my release, I NEEDED something. I started stealing smokes, hiding it, wishing I could stop, sure that my NEED was for the cigarettes I had so recently quit. I ended up smoking full time again and I haven’t been able to kick it again. And it took years for me to realize I conflated a need for Morphine with my need to smoke. I’m not sure which end of the stick I got. They left me with an addiction and no way to address it, or even a warning that I might have cravings. Perhaps if I had been clearly made aware that I might experience them I could have known them for what they were and reissted them. Maybe not.

PS: I couldn’t sue or hold the dentist accountable for my near death (I was given a 30% survival rate for septicemia) thanks to the laws in the US that I was only allowed to sue if permanent damage had been done. My facial nerve damage was not considered a disfiguration nor grounds.

PPS: Dental abcesses are no joke. Take them as the potentially life threatening things they are.


So, it appears that the Dems are finally going to impeach the motherfucker? Should have much sooner, but I’m still feeling pretty celebratory!

I can help but feel irritated at the morose tone in which Pelosi accepted, dragging her feet all the way. Yet when it came to targetting AOC, Ilhan Omar and the rest of the Squad, she went out of her way, both at home and abroad, to deliberately target and attack them. The fact that she rounded up support within the caucus against them, and has been unwilling to do so for Trump all this time, is pretty telling of her character.

She is also a White supremacist, as far as I’m concerned.


That sucks. I almost had an abcess but I was able to take care of it on time. Nevertheless, the pain for the tooth removal was hell because of the infection and anesthesia not working.

@Knitting Cat Lady

Visits to the ER are the absolute worst. Hoping you feel better soon.

No abcess, but an impacted wisdom tooth more years ago than I care to remember. Hurt like s**t, and painkillers don’t work that well on my nervous system, if at all. Ouch.

@Knitting Cat Lady

What was so scary about the gall bladder pain is that it was just so constant, so that I became less aware of anything else.

Plus the anxiety that it could have something to do with my transplant, which thankfully did not fail for another 4 years.

Naglfar: pharmacies in most countries take any drugs. Any old expired pills, unused pain killers, whatever (even for pets), they’ll dispose of them properly.

You really don’t want to flush drugs, because then you end up with antibiotic-resistant bacteria infecting fish that are high as a kite.

Most fire stations have a med turn in box in their lobby, at least in Midwest US states.

I am so cautious when getting Vicodin, I’ve had it 3 times and always stopped taking it probably too soon, but better to err that way to be safe. After my wisdom teeth I took one and puked so just did Ibuprofen after that. Took a couple after my c-section then quit. When I broke my hip, took them for a couple weeks, never refilled even though I could have. But I have a pharmacist Dad and sister so I knew all about the risks of addiction.

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