Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Not a Christmas Story But....'s entertaining, nonetheless.

I just wanted to wish all of my readers, followers et al a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I'm not certain that I'll be posting any further diatribes over the Christmas break so I'll leave you with this rather interesting "Not Christmas" news item.  I just thought that it would be a nice change to post something that wasn't quite so "intense", unless of course, you happen to be the lady involved.

According to this case report by Doctor Oliver Richard Waters that I found on the BMJ website (formerly known as the British Medical Journal), it seems that a 76 year old female presented with weight loss and diarrhoea.  Other than that, she was in good health.  She underwent a sigmoidoscopy (a rather fun procedure if you haven't had one!) and the physician noted that she had severe diverticulosis or small bulges in the inner lining of her large intestine.  A CT scan of her abdomen showed a linear foreign body located in her stomach as shown here:

After questioning her further, the patient recalled that, 25 years earlier, while she was inspecting a spot on her tonsil with a pen, she slipped, fell and swallowed the pen.  Her husband, a general practitioner, dismissed her story because x-rays done at the time showed up nothing.  Her 21st century physician performed a gastroscopy (another one of those fun medical procedures!) and extracted a plastic felt-tip pen.  The pen was subsequently removed and, surprisingly, still worked as shown here:

Notice that the first words that the pen "spoke" after seeing the light of day for the first time in 25 years was a much relieved "hello"?

Here is the summary of the case report:

"This case highlights that plain abdominal x-rays may not identify ingested plastic objects and occasionally it may be worth believing the patient’s account however unlikely it may be."

Once again, have a Merry Christmas and please keep all of those plastic pens away from your tonsils!

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas to you and I look forward to more insights into the world from you after the holidays.