Here are four stories of crazy things crazy people said they swallowed.
A 38-year-old man came in complaining of heavy salivation and pain in the abdomen and throat after drinking a cup of someone else’s urine a day earlier. He wouldn’t say why he did this but said he had been drinking a lot of liquids recently in order to flush out his system.
A middle-aged lady had been having abdominal pains, which were worse after eating. She had schizophrenia and was very obese. After talking with her, I was worried she might have gallstones since gallstones are more likely to be painful after eating, especially after meals of fatty or greasy food.
I ordered some pain medicine and blood tests. When I went back to see how she was doing, she was eating a huge chocolate bar and washing it down with a pint of half and half! When I asked her about it, she told me her mom always told her to drink milk to coat her stomach when she had a stomachache. She didn’t seem to think it was at all weird to drink half and half, which she repeatedly referred to as “milk.”
A 44-year-old man with a history of schizophrenia came in saying he was having a lot of problems caused by a cigarette lighter he swallowed years ago. He was sure it was stuck in his rectum. It was causing his stools to be grooved and was giving him prolonged erections and “terrific ejaculations” like he had not had since he was 30. The lighter was pressing forward against his prostate and he could feel it when he pinched his anal sphincter. He had seen multiple doctors for this and no one was able to find the lighter.
I did a rectal exam and an x-ray and was also unable to identify the cause of his symptoms.
A 41-year-old man was brought in from jail. He said he was brushing his teeth at 2:00 in the morning when the toothbrush broke off in his mouth, cutting his gums. This caused him to vomit. During the vomiting spell, he swallowed the head of the toothbrush. He subsequently passed blood and “stuff that looked like cow liver” from his rectum.
He arrived in the emergency department complaining of discomfort in his throat and abdomen. A check of his old records showed he had recently been seen for swallowing a coin.
On his examination there was no evidence of any injury or blood in his mouth or rectum.
As a test to make sure he was OK, we gave him some crackers and orange juice, which he ate without any problem. Afterwards, he said that when he was not observed, he vomited up the toothbrush but then he swallowed it again before he could get it out of his mouth.
He was sent back to jail.
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