Monday, December 12, 2005

Why waste your money on surgeons...

Hail,
A moment of calm in between drug dependent patients.

The following contains, now I come to think of it, scenes of what must have been remarkable bloodshed, and is furthermore of now particular literary merit. Don't read on if you are easily stressed.

A few days back I saw someone with a naltrexone implant, a hard plastic lump underneath his skin, a few centimetres southwest of his navel. These things are experimental and of dubious utility, and it hadn't worked on our guy, who was just using heroin over the top of it.

He wanted to know if I could remove it.

I prodded around. "Mate," I said, "I've never even seen one. I'd want to have an idea what I'd be looking for, first. I'll get you an ultrasound, then we can send you to surgical outpatients, have it out in no time."

"Don't have to worry about that" he reassured me. "It's simple as. Tell you what, my wife - the vet took hers out."

"The vet?" I said. "As in animal vet?"

"Wasn't a problem" he said. "And my mate's, I cut it out myself. Went good. He bled a bit, lost a fair amount of blood. Actually had to go off to hospital, get a transfusion... but nah, it went good. It's no worries. Can't you do it now?".

I declined, and eventually, with considerable murmuring, I got him to take the ultrasound form off to the radiologists. I doubt he'll be back. He'll probably stop off at the local handyman store for a Stanley knife.

And for no apparent reason, at the end of this entry (*) is further evidence that Coke is bad for you, and in fact, the more you love Coke, the worse it is.

Hold on - upgrade that warning. Don't read the following unless you have had a complete squeamectomy. I warned you.

People have, several times throughout history, operated on themselves. This is why mental illness kills people.

I dimly recall a truly ghastly story about a bladder stone, some guy stuck on a lighthouse who decided to take matters into his own hands and removed his own bladder stone via an orifice that usually only goes the other way. People have done basic ortho surgery on themselves numerous times. And a woman in Brazil a few years back apparently performed her own caesarean and survived, while her husband was off at the pub drinking.

I was going to write one of the "Leaving the sinking Shipton" stories, but that may have to wait until tomorrow.

Thanks,
John

* From the journal "Archives of Sexual Behaviour", August this year....

Pentaethylene-terephthalate (PET) bottles: a new device for autoerotic strangulation of the penis causing serious injury.

"Strangulation of the penis by application of constricting devices may present a challenge for the treating physician. Depending on the type of constricting material, special equipment is essential for successful removal of the foreign bodies. We report a new form of constricting device, the neck of a Coca Cola bottle made of Pentaethylene-terephthalate (PET). Particular difficulties were encountered upon removal. Technical details of this case are described. Prior literature on the treatment of penile strangulation is discussed...."

3 Comments:

Blogger Benedict 16th said...

When you get gout one day my young man and it is 3am and you can't sleep, you too will reach for the diabetic syringe, the lignocaine and the methylprednisoline and stab yourself in the joint of the Hallux Major... *

Heck last year I even gave myself my own flu-jab! (I did give myself jelly beans as I was brave and didn't cry very much....

Remember back in first year Med school, the 70 odd of us were given sterile water vials, an insulin syringe and asked to fill the syringe
and then jab it in our own abdomen.... well I cannot recall who the other two were but only 3 of us did it.... Were you one of them?

Benny

* heck it saves the $120 and 3 hours of waiting for the locum to visit and give a couple of paracetamol**

** acetaminophen to you north western quartersphere up there

10:31 PM  
Blogger Prom said...

I stitched up my own cut across the top of my thumb (from an exploding coke bottle) while in India at a place where the only alternative was a suture needle that had been used previously on other misfortunates in the village. It worked out just fine!

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Camilla said...

Strangulation of the penis by application of constricting devices may present a challenge for the treating physician

*chokes*

7:12 PM  

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