Woman Swallows Pen, Keeps It In Her Stomach For 25 Years
Everyone loves a good medical mystery, just like on that sexy sex show Grey’s Anatomy. Well, here’s one with a lot fewer hunks but a lot more WTFs: A 76-year-old British woman suffering from weight loss and “the ‘rrhea” went to seek treatment. She was referred to a GI specialist who made a startling discovery: imaging of the woman’s abdomen seemed to show a pen in her stomach. When asked about it, the woman replied, “Oh yeah, hey, I bet that’s that pen I accidentally swallowed 25 years ago.” And then the plot thickened.
Certainly one question that quickly springs to mind is, “Really, can a person accidentally swallow a pen? How the hell does that happen?” Take it away, MSNBC wordsmith Cari Nierenberg:
According to her gastroenterologist Dr. Oliver Waters, who authored the case report, she was standing on her stairs using an uncapped pen to poke a spot on her tonsils. She was also holding a hand mirror to guide the pen to the exact spot. Somehow, while doing this, she lost her balance and stumbled. The fall managed to push the pen down her throat. It glided down her gullet and found a home in her tummy.
Sure sure, that all checks out. She simply wanted to “poke a spot on her tonsils”. With a pen. On the stairs. A tale as old as time. And then she “somehow” fell. Really, that’s the only part of the story that earns a “somehow”? So many more questions than answers.
(Seriously, what do we think actually happened here? How did the pen get down her throat and into her stomach? Was it some kind of weird sex thing, back in the swinging 80s? Like all Brits want to be tampons and deep throated pens and sit on cakes and shit? What in the world is going on over there?)
After her mishap, she told her husband and her doctor but they doubted her tale and, when the primitive x-rays of yesteryear showed no trace of the plastic pen, they dismissed her claims altogether. On the one hand this is understandable, because the whole thing makes absolutely zero sense, but on the other hand it’s a pretty dick move because people don’t usually say they’ve swallowed a pen when they actually haven’t. At any rate, they probably diagnosed her with “dame hysteria” and put her on barbiturates for the next decade or two.
But now, modern medicine has exonerated her (or has at least proven that she did in fact swallow a pen). And, 25 years after the initial ingestion, the pen has now been safely removed.
Yes, that’s right. Her doctor performed a pen-dectomy. Bah-dum.
Oh, also, it wasn’t the pen that was making her sick. That was caused by diverticulosis, one of the grosser diseases of the colon. The pen apparently didn’t cause her any harm whatsoever. Remember that the next time you eat a Slim Jim: it would be healthier to eat a pen.
The pen still writes.
[Photo via orangeacid]
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