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December 27, 2018

Looking back, these were some of the most shocking medical cases of 2018

2018 was a strange one

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When a year comes to its close, it's only natural to reflect on all that happened in that past 365 days, including the good, the bad and the ugly. 

This year has been filled with jaw-dropping health stories, ranging from the man who got a lung infection from regularly sniffing his smelly socks to the unfortunate story of a woman who died from a brain-eating amoeba contracted from using unsterilized water in her neti pot and the man whose beer belly turned out to be a 70-pound tumor

Not to mention the amazing story of the same-sex couple who both carried their baby thanks to innovative fertility treatments. And speaking of innovation, there was that researcher in China who controversially created the first gene-edited babies born alive. 

And that is just the surface of 2018's crazy health stories. Read on for some similarly eye-widening stories that surfaced this year. 

RELATED READ: The 12 most popular health trends of 2018 — and what to expect in 2019

The worm living in a face

According to HEALTH, a woman in Russia had a live worm wiggling its way through her face. The woman first noticed a bump under her eye, but then it moved above her eye a few days later. Ten days later, the bump settled into her upper lip. After two weeks, the woman finally went to the doctor, where a living parasite was surgically removed and identified as Dirofilaria repens. This parasite typically infects animals, but was likely carried to the woman via a mosquito bite. 

The runny nose dripping brain fluid

Not one, but two cases of this were reported this year. The first involved a woman who was told for years that allergies were the cause of her chronically runny nose and severe headaches, HEALTH reports. Doctors later diagnosed her with a cerebrospinal fluid leak caused by a car accident in 2013. Since then, she’d been losing approximately eight ounces of fluid a day. Her doctors were able to plug her leak using her own fatty tissue. 

Another man experienced a non-stop runny nose for over five years. People reports that it evened ruined his Thanksgiving meal one year when he nose dripped right on into what he was cooking. After many, many failed doctors visits, the man finally received a diagnosis of cerebrospinal fluid leak and a similar tissue repair. 

The man who had a spoon stuck in his esophagus

Live Science reports that a man in China swallowed a spoon on a dare and the utensil got stuck in his esophagus. Somehow, this didn’t cause him very much discomfort. A year after the spoon swallowing, that same man was punched in the chest and that was when the issues started — namely chest pains and trouble breathing — which prompted him to seek medical care. Reportedly, doctors performed a two-hour procedure to remove the spoon and the man is expected to make a full recovery. 

The lost contact lens

After losing her contact lens during a game of badminton, one woman didn’t think too much of the lens until doctors found it 30 years later embedded in her eye lid. The only reason this was discovered is because she went to the eye doctor after her left eyelid became swollen and started to droop. Tests revealed she had a cyst in her eyelid, which was surgically removed. But inside the cyst was the missing contact lens, Live Science reports.

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