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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fun With X-rays

Sometimes being an ER doctor can be exciting, but most of the time it is routine and even boring. Therefore we have to come up with ways to entertain ourselves. One thing that I have done over the years is figure out ways to have fun with xrays. Some of my favorite xrays are those of the abdomen. No two abdominal xrays will ever look the same. This is because as gas and poop (highly technical medical term, do not use this term at home)  move through the bowel, the appearance will change minute by minute. It's kinda like looking at shapes in the clouds. Allow me to share a few abdominal xrays with you:

Even normal xrays can be fun. The film above gives a demonstration of the ubiquitous UBF also known as the unborn fart. Everybody has these......indeed even sweet Wifey, although she would deny it. They appear as dark bubbles or blotches in an otherwise grayish field. Air or gas always appears dark on a plain xray. It is always fun to nab a new nursing student or medical student, point to the dark blotches, and ask them for an explanation. They will look puzzled. When I tell them it is a UBF, they will still look puzzled. FUN! FUN! FUN!

Wherever you find UBF's, you will also find UBT's (unborn turds). Everybody also has these, although sweet Wifey would have you believe she has "little flowers" up there instead. UBT's are a little harder to see than UBF's. They tend to have a rather sandpapery appearance against a field of uniform gray. Most solids appear gray on a plain xray. Bone and metallic objects appear white. Just when the new nursing student or medical student is strutting around like a rooster after mastering the recognition of the UBF, the wind will quickly come out of their sails when you confront them with the UBT! Hee! Hee! Hee!

One thing is for certain about UBF's and UBT's. They are almost always confined to the abdomen. If you ever find one on an xray of the leg or on a CT scan of the head, you've got major trouble, although I have known a few people with sh*t for brains, so I guess a cranial UBT is in theory possible!  Occasionally you will see UBF's and possibly UBT's on a chest xray. Hernias or holes in the diaphragm can cause this. These conditions are usually harmless although they can cause problems in some people.

Now, let's have some real fun:
Abdominal Foreign Bodies

UBF's and UBT's eventually are born and come out the rectum, enjoying momentary freedom until flushed or whisked away by the wind. There are only a very few things that are designed to go up the rectum. I can name them for you:

1. Suppositories.
2. The doctor's or nurse's finger.
3. Enema tubes or colon tubes.
4. Endoscopes to be inserted only by your favorite health care provider, or perhaps Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi.

Other than that, I can't think of much else that should go up your rectum. However, you'd be amazed at some of the things we find from time to time.
The picture above shows a vibrator which has been so cleverly inserted up the rectum. It is made of metal. I can tell this because it is white on the xray. You can also see some surgical clamps in the process of trying to retrieve the rogue vibrator.

Let me give you some sound medical advice: If you stick a foreign object up your ass past the point where you can grab it with your fingers, there is almost a 100 percent chance you will not be able to poop it back out.

Above we see a vibrating dildo, cleverly inserted into parts unknown. The dildo itself is probably made out of some kind of rubber as you can barely see the outline of it. Very clear are the vibrator motor and the batteries, obviously made out of metal. We cannot tell on a plain xray if the vibrator is running or not, but I can guess. Based on the shape of the pelvis, the "victim" appears to be a female. Looks like she may be suffering from HCD (hole confusion disorder).
This next picture is very interesting. This person (appears to be a male) has gleefully inserted a beer bottle up his ass. I am wondering how many beers he had had before he attempted this. Another really cool thing is that the beer bottle is about half full as confirmed by the presence of an ABL (air beer level). Kinda gives a whole new meaning to the tern "rot gut beer" doesn't it? I'll betcha they had a helluva a time getting that sucker out of him. Have you ever tried to grab the bottom of a bottle with a surgical clamp? I would not be surprised if this dude did not go to surgery to have this removed.
Now this last picture is truly amazing. An empty bottle (vodka or gin possibly) has been inserted bottom end first into the rectum. I would think you'd have to be nearly unconscious to accomplish this task. Looks like the bottle is empty which is good. I'd hate to think of the consequences of a reverse gin enema. It might be possible to grab this one with a clamp.........whew!

When I was in Memphis I remember a dude came in with a potato up his butt. Well yall know what happens to a potato when it gets wet doncha? It swells big time! Anyway, he had to go to the operating room to have the potato removed in pieces.......sigh!

Well, I dunno about yall, but I have had loads of fun today sharing some of my work experience with you. The foreign body cases above most likely comprise a majority of people who are already on some kind of gubment health insurance or have no insurance at all. People who work and have good sense and actually have to pay for their health care generally will not do such things to themselves. In Tennessee, we call things like this STI's (stupid Tenncare injuries). For those who refuse to work, stay out all night, howl at the moon, get up at noon, spend the afternoon in court or at Walmart, rush to the ER in the evening for a mosquito bite.....etc etc etc etc.....sticking a bottle up their ass is just another routine life experience!

Anytime someone says, "Hey, hold my beer and watch this!" Get ready to pay for their health care.

Barack and Nancy are gonna make it happen!


  1. How'd they get those things up there?

  2. I worked in the ER for a few years, and this is not uncommon. One must wonder what these people are thinking.

    One women used the stick shift in her car for a penis replacement. That did not end well.

    Mostly it's males with objects up their rectums. Very sad.

    Right Truth

  3. I dunno how those things got up there.

  4. WTF?... I'm going to need some time alone with my thoughts after that post....

  5. It is rather disturbing isn't it, Bushwack?

  6. I was having a pretty shitty (no pun intended) evening, until somehow I stumbled upon your page. I am now laughing aloud. I had heard of such things from an old friend who did his residency in Kansas I believe. He described the various inventions the ER docs devised to remove such objects from such places. Thank you for reminding me to laugh.

  7. Glad you got a good laugh, anonymous...

  8. well it kinda disturbing how those things end up there, maybe they overdo it that is why it end up like those in the xrays or maybe they put to much lubricants with it.

  9. Hmmmmm, Sex Toys, I wanna know how much of a lube job it took to get that whiskey bottle up there backwards?

  10. I worked for an OB/GYN once, and he used to tell me story after story... unfortunately, my own eyes saw far more than they ever needed to in the few years I worked in his office - and I worked in the front office!

    Been doing medical transcription for hundreds of lifetimes, and some days I have to wonder how doctors can hold it together getting through reports without laughing their asses right into the psych unit.

  11. Thanks Angie Lee. Most days I feel like I'm in the psych unit.

  12. Would you like some Haldol, stat? :D

    We The People should bulk order that, and administer it freely throughout Congress and the White House.

  13. I'll skip the Haldol. How about a Percocet/Valium surprise?

  14. For christ's sake, use a dildo with a base on it! Thats what they're for!