*A bodhi of medical knowledge, incite, and experiences from a future physician.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oh Please, Not Again!

For those of you true Darwinists out there, you will fully understand what I'm a about to roll out with this post. You see, working the frontlines of medicine places me in a position at times to greet those who have survived their own stupid decisions long enough to seek help at the local emergency room. Helping patients get through some of their unintelligent decisions can be quite a surreal experience. As a health care worker, I attempt not to pass judgement, but that doesn't mean I can't crack a smirk, or shake my head in amazement at some pretty poor choices. Recently, I had the priveledge of caring for a young man who 'accidentally' detonated the homemade ammonium nitrate bucket bomb in his back yard while he was standing only a few feet away. His clothes blew off and landed some 15 feet past where he eventually landed. Though he literally lost most of the skin on his backside, he was stable when he arrived to the emergency room. My job was to help pick the pieces of melted plastic bucket out if his exposed posterior leg muscles before cleaning what was left of his legs with warm saline. Not exactly something you dream about when you imagine yourself being a doctor as a kid.

Ahh...but the point of this post...a whole new experience for me: rectal foreign body removal. I come from the school of thought that believes that rarely should things go in your butthole, and even then there must be a great reason to do so, such as a suppository for extreme constipation or a gloved finger to check for an enlarged prostate. Maybe an old school view of the world, but one that I ascribe to nevertheless. So when I am called upon to help assist an rather unfortunate soul who lodged a 4 inch in diameter slippery ball, inserted using a foot and a half long pole, it can be difficult not to be somewhat judgemental. After a procession of medical personel attempted without success to dislodge this object out the way, this person bought themselves an exploratory surgery complete with a large abdominal incision, loss of necrotic bowel, and a colostomy bag placement. The really unfortunate thing...this exact surgery had been done to excavate a lodged FB nearly a decade ago. Some will never learn, no matter the consequences...right Darwin?

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