60: You Swallowed What?
It’s our one year podcast-aversary! We thank you for your love with an episode on accidental swallowings and some…not so accidental. Trace also remembers the time when she had an ice cube stuck in her throat.
You Swallowed What? Transcript:
Welcome to Brain Junk, I’m Amy Barton, and I’m Trace Kerr, and it’s time for a Brain Storm.
TK: I’m going to tell you about a man in China. He swallowed a spoon on a dare in 2017 and it got stuck in his throat.
AB: Really. For real?
TK: Yup. Got stuck in his throat. And not only that, but he left the spoon. For. Months. Because apparently it wasn’t bothering him that much. Until he was punched in the chest by one of his firends. I’m imagining this was a college aged guy, and one of his buddies was like “Hey!” you know, right in the chest. And then he was having chest pains and all sorts of stuff, so he finally went in. and the doctors took two hours to remove the eight inch long spoon from his esophagus.
AB: Oh my word! Handle up or handle down?
TK: Handle down. And there’s an x-ray where you can see the spoon right at the, you know the base of the throat where your necklace would be, and it just hung straight down.
AB: You guys didn’t see me “are you kidding me” mom eye roll. You don’t call your kid an idiot, but you know, it’s that face you reserve for extremely foolish choices.
TK: Yeah. Well when I saw the x-ray of the spoon-I don’t have it on here-Amy was like “What?! Is there a picture?”, it kind of got me thinking about people swallowing stuff on accident or on purpose.
AB: There are some terrific hospital billboards in our area, regarding that very thing.
TK: Yes! Well, it happens so often there’s even a name.It’s called ‘foreign body ingestion’.
AB: There’s an insurance code then. Awesome!
TK: I’m sure there is! And emergency rooms see a lot of these kind of things. So fun fact, 80-90% of these objects that are swallowed pass through-just fine. Mostly because most of them are swallowed by kids under the age of three. Common objects swallowed: Coins, buttons, pins, magnets, batteries, small toys, pieces of toys, and toothpicks.
AB: I believe all of that and I’m worried about toothpicks.
TK: Yeah, toothpicks. And I saw a horrible x-ray of a kid who had swallowed those big safety pins.
AB: >gasps in a mom-like fashion< YES! Were they open?!
TK: Yes, some of them were open. I know. Zo went screaming from the room when I was looking at the picture. The kid is fine-the kid is fine!
TK: IN adults, most accidental swallowing, what do you think the top three are?
AB: Accidental swallowing as an adult. What do I put in my mouth? Maybe a pen cap, ummm, I don’t know. I’m not a chewer. I can’t even begin to imagine.
TK: Well, the most are bones-chicken and fish bones. And then the third one is dentures.
AB: Oh no. Oh no!
TK: I know. I once as a child swallowed an ice cube and got it stuck. But it was one of those round onces with a hole in the middle, so I’m sitting in the back seat, it was the coldest thing I’ve ever experienced.
AB: In the wrong spot.
TK: And I was whistling. I was like “whoop, whoop, whoop”, and my dad, the volunteer firefighter that he is, was like “You’re fine, it’ll melt, you’re not going to die.”
AB: Yes, I thought it would be comforting to be acquainted with and do activities with medical professionals, but it turns out that if you’re not dying they’re completely uninterested in you.
TK:They’re super cool about it. They’re like “Yeah, we’ve seen that before. So ok, some fun stories. I guess fun is the wrong word. Interesting. In 2016 a 42 year old man deliberately swallowed 40 knives over a period of two months, some open, some like pocket knives, and when asked why, he said he liked the way they tasted.
AB: Oh no.
TK: Those all had to be surgically removed. And this one kills me. A woman in the netherlands went in complaining of stomach pains and I saw the x-ray. The x-ray showed she had 70 pieces of cutlery in her stomach.
AB: Oh my goodness! Which she did not disclose?
TK: No, no. It looked almost like a Chrysanthemum flower, or something, because it was all piled up in one spot.
AB: Wow. She must have been like 30 pounds heavier.
TK: Well, yeah, and what’s unfortunate is that with adults, often things that are swallowed, if it’s not accidental, adults have a tendency to swallow things if they have a thing called pika, where they’re missing a nutrient-some people eat dirt and this kind of things, unfortunately in the western world we like to eat metal things.
AB: That makes sense with the whole blood thing-it tastes coppery and, interesting.
TK: And metally. Here’s a fun one. So a woman accidentally swallowed her wedding ring during the proposal. Her boyfriend had put the ring in a milkshake..
AB: Oh, that really happens, huh?
TK: And she gulped down her milkshake, and he’s like “Wait, where’s the ring” and she says “what are you talking about?” She didn’t believe him when he told her he put a ring in there. So he made her go to the doctor and get an x-ray, and there it is on the x-ray in her stomach…
AB: She like “It looks kind of small…”
TK: So when it came out, he proposed.
AB: Oh my gosh: Ring Watch 2019.
TK: So romantic! So the moral of the story is..
AB: Do you know, you’re probably going to be together for life if you get through the Ring Watch 2019.
TK: Right? If there’s a syve and a toilet involved in your marriage proposal, you’re gonna be together forever. And that’s my Brain Storm.
AB: I don’t think I can go and work at a grade school tomorrow, folks. Oh my word!
AB: We’re on facebook and Instagram as BrainJunkPodcast, and you can find us on Twitter as @MyBrainJunk. Trace and I will catch you next time when we share more of everything you never knew you wanted to know, and I guarantee, you will not be bored.