Tuesday, March 18, 2008


It happens about once a year or so: A man will come to the ER with either a foreign body stuck in his rectum, or with a rectal injury from overly aggressive manipulation of said foreign body.

I don't know what compels these guys to stick various things up their butts, but the large majority of these patients are married men in their 40's. A bizarre midlife crisis, I guess.

I can't imagine the embarrassment of having to go to the ER because of a sexually deviant experiment gone wrong, but the best way to deal with that situation is probably to tell the doctor the truth. Because, as dumb as we are to waste our youth with our heads in the books, and as dumb as we are to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt doing so, we're really not that dumb. Hell, any 6-year old can see through the lies I get told of how "X" got into their butt.

Tell me the truth, I'll probably forget about it later that night. Tell me a lie, and the more outrageous it becomes, the more I'm likely to remember it and talk about it. Perhaps even blog about it many years later. But I don't pressure them for the truth because it won't make any difference in how I'll treat them. I just nod along to their story, putting it away in the memory banks for later.

Three of my favorites:

Patient A: I was hanging up the shower curtain, but then I slipped and landed on the toilet plunger. That's how I got injured.
Something I never asked him to clarify was why the handle happened to be lubricated. Because I found lube all in his butt.

Patient B: I was attacked. He stole my wallet.
You really think I'm going to believe that some guy mugged you by first depantsing you, then lubed up a jump rope handle, stuck it up there, and then took your wallet? Sir, I went to college. C'mon.

Patient C: I went to go sit down on the couch and I didn't see the egg sitting there.
I really wanted to ask him know how he knew it was an egg up in his butt, because I identified it by its outline only after getting an x-ray. That egg was up there a good 6 inches. Besides who leaves an egg just sitting around on a couch? And how absolutely amazing that it didn't break (it was uncooked) but slid so nicely up the butt!