Even the most seemingly insignificant decision (or indecision) can have life-altering consequences. These ripples on the sea of life sometimes break gently on the shore. Or, according to Fate's caprices, they converge into a shit-tsunami that engulfs its unassuming creator with such ferocity they're left wondering how they so severely pissed off the gods ...  

Josh Hader Stretches His Neck, Gives Himself A Major Stroke

March 14 began like any other day for Oklahoman Josh Hader. While working from home, the 28-year-old twisted his neck to relieve some funny-sleep-posture-induced soreness. But he applied too much pressure and heard the least-encouraging onomatopoeia of his life: a sickening pop. 

His left side immediately went numb. And as a former police officer, Hader knew to check his face in the mirror for the telltale sign of stroke-induced drooping. Judging his face no droopier than usual, he went to fetch an ice pack but alarmingly found himself veering at a 45-degree angle. Though not specifically a stroke symptom, Hader correctly deduced that he thoroughly screwed himself up. Half an hour later, he was being wheelchaired into the ER, where doctors confirmed a major stroke caused by a severed vertebral artery. That's this sucker right here:

Arteriae quae cerebrum rigant: Arteria vertebralis (retro, vide sagittas) et Arteria carotis communis (ante).

Mikael Haggstrom

This guy's in pain just thinking about it. 

The vertebral arteries perform the somewhat important job of transporting blood to the brain, which you might remember from Bio 101 and Mortal Kombat Fatalities as a vital organ. Fortunately, doctors administered a blood clot-busting drug, pulling Hader from death's door and a most-undignified obituary.

He endured several weeks of physical therapy and an epic "I told you so" from his wife (regarding his neck-popping habit) but survived with no lasting cognitive damage. Though he does experience some lingering muscle control issues and the shame of being the only person to give himself a major stroke through self-chiropractic. But none of those tribulations compare to the torture of resisting the primal urge to ever again twist his neck.

Fitness Aficionado Cassandra Witt Gets Wrecked By Fuzzy Socks

Cassandra Witt is a life-long active person who lifts heavy things, climbs rocks, jumps from planes, and makes us look like wobbling shit-bags in comparison. But in November of 2017, aspiring bodybuilder Witt suffered a traumatic(ally unathletic) brain injury. While gearing up for bed, Witt's traction-less fuzzy socks disagreed with her sleek wooden floors, and she fell and hit her head

fuzzy toe socks from the dollar store

Terri Oda

This is why OSHA advises always wearing sandals with your socks. 

When she came to, she felt dizzy and nauseous. But as a mountain-punching thrill-demon, she tried to sleep it off. She felt worse in the morning and sought medical attention. Doctors performed multiple scans (during which she nodded off) and revealed a fractured skull, a brain bleed, and a sinus thrombosis. The latter being great to hear if you're a Scandinavian death metal ensemble looking for a name, but terrible to hear if you're a person being told it's a blood clot in your brain.

Witt didn't need surgery, only a two-and-a-half-month regimen of blood thinners, including twice-daily shots. The worst part, though? Medically prescribed rest. Relaxation is a bodybuilding death sentence and, reeling from excruciating weight-training-blue-balls, Witt abandoned social media to avoid all fitness temptations. 

And even though she forgot her telephone number and experienced a few temperament issues along the way, the clot dissolved by February 2018. And in July, she entered a bodybuilding competition and placed top-four in all three of her events. Meanwhile, we're still nursing a stubbed toe from 15 months ago.

A 19-Year-Old Chugs A Quart Of Soy Sauce, Almost Dies

In 2013, a 19-year-old Virginian chugged an entire quart of soy sauce on a dare -- don't judge, the Cavalier State isn't known for its many amusements. He didn't win any money or even the adulation of his peers, only a less-than-dignified inclusion into the Journal of Emergency Medicine. Shortly after downing 56,000 milligrams of sodium (20 times the American Heart Association's daily limit), the teen found himself in the ER suffering seizures, grinding his teeth, and leaking "brown material with scant streaks of blood" into a medical tube. 

soy sauce bottle

VeganWarrior/Wiki Commons

Not a butt tube. A stomach tube. That doesn't make it any better, does it? 

The official diagnosis? Hypernatremia, less medically known as saltyboi syndrome, typically manifests in patients who overconsume salt due to mental illness. We'd say this counts, but "slamming a handle of Kikkoman to impress your buddies" is dubiously absent from the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Excess sodium disrupts nerve signaling processes and causes a sort of internal dehydration, as the body draws water out of tissues (including the brain) to dilute the surging sodium tide. Doctors expedited the process by forcing six liters of sugar water (possibly in the form of Sunny D) through his nose. It proved successful, and the teen woke up three days later with no significant complications and probably a new nickname. And his pals escaped whatever degree of murder charge it is when you poison someone with shoyu. 

As a result, the teen entered the medical record books as the only person to escape permanent damage after such a severe case of acute sodium ingestion. He also earned the less-desirable accolade of being the only person in history to subject himself to an ancient Chinese suicide method on a triple dog dare.

Audra Tatum Puts Feet Up On The Dashboard, Turns Minor Accident Into Major Injury

You've probably seen people riding with their feet up on the dashboard. Maybe you've seen yourself do it. Sure, it's cool if you're Rihanna puffing blunts in a chauffeured Bentley. But it's also an easy way to turn a harmless fender-bender into a catastrophic, permanently crippling incident

And that's just what happened to Audra Tatum, whose family collided with another driver that pulled out in front of them. Her husband and daughter walked away from the minor crash without sustaining any substantial injuries. But Audra, sitting like the Sultan of shotgun, was mangled by an accident so insignificant it wouldn't have made the afternoon news in a 300-person town.

The impact forced Tatum's foot up into her face, breaking her nose as well as most major limbs and joints on the right side of her body. With no insurance, Tatum gutted out her recovery sans physical therapy. It took her a month to get back on her feet and a few more weeks with a walker to regain mobility. Which is pretty impressive, given the pretzel-like geometry her body achieved during the crash. 

Unfortunately, Tatum still deals with mobility issues several years later. But for a silver lining-type of outlook, it could have been way worse. An unnamed Welsh woman who was similarly positioned during a crash was left with a shattered pelvis, multiple fractures, and a bone protruding from her hip. Welsh authorities shared the gruesome X-ray in hopes of dissuading other people from "riding dirty," as we believe the kids call it these days. Plus, Tatum can now park wherever she wants, thanks to her shiny new handicapped tag.

Steve Easton Inhales A Dart Tip, Suffers 44 Years Of Hay Fever

As children (and perhaps adults), we've all defied our mothers by shoving things up our noses. But it never bit us in the ass like it did little Steve Easton, who challenged the gods and paid for his hubris for the next 44 years

This Greek-style tragedy began many moons ago. When Easton was 7-years-old (and we're not placing any specific blame here), the end of a sucker-tipped dart somehow found its way up his nose. His mother noticed the missing tip and, fearing her little Stevie had inhaled it, conveyed him to the hospital. But the doctors were only as good as the devices of their day and lacked the space-age scanning technologies necessary to triangulate the penny-sized object nesting inside Easton's face. So they shrugged and sent him off, despite his mother's certainty. 

For the next 44 years, Easton suffered nasal blockages, headaches, and similar symptoms he attributed either to hay fever or perhaps a witch's hex. Until one day when, at the ripe age of 51, Easton solved a life-long mystery he had long forgotten about. A sneezing fit overcame him, followed by "a very uncomfortable sensation" as the dart tip, now aged longer than a five-figure Macallan vintage, unfurled itself inside his left nostril like night-blooming jasmine. 

Confused, he did what any of us would do: he called his mother. She explained the situation and presumably gave him a legendary scolding nearly half a century in the making. 

Top Image: Terri Oda

 

Love Science? You Need One Cracked Fact

One Cracked Fact is your daily dose of the best of Cracked, with deep dives into science, history, and pop culture sent to your inbox every day. No ads. No videos. Just what you love about Cracked!

Forgot Password?