I had just walked into the ER for my shift. I went into our break room that we call “the bucket” for reasons unknown to me. My only guess was because it’s the place to go when all you want to say is “fu$&-it”. But ya know, we can’t call it “the fu$&-it”, so we call it “the bucket”. I sat my stuff down in the corner and asked somebody if it was a busy night. So far so good and I was optimistic to how the night would go. Then someone said to hurry up and get out there because something good was coming in.
“Something good” to me is a trauma alert, or a code, or a red medical patient. However I wasn’t seeing anything like that or hearing anything like that on the radio. I went to the trauma room and didn’t see anybody really busy so I turned to walk back out. At that moment a young male was being pushed in on a wheel chair and was doubled over and looked very uncomfortable. I went back in and helped the patient move from the wheel chair to the hospital bed. I thought I could smell alcohol on him but I wasn’t sure. He wasn’t walking very well and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. Drunk? Alcohol made him sick?
After he was in the bed, I walked with the tech that brought him in and when we were out of ear shot I asked, “What’s wrong with that guy and why is he in the trauma room. I don’t see any trauma and he looks pretty stable.” The tech looked back at me and smiled without saying anything. “Why don’t you go over there and ask him?” the tech said. Then the tech walked off.
Well now I’m really curious. Probably more than I should be about a patient that I’m not even assigned to. But, naturally I couldn’t help myself. I walked back over there and very casually asked, “So buddy what brings you in to see us today?”
“Well, it’s an embarrassing story,” says the patient. I can tell he’s been drinking.
“Well, I’m not here to judge,” I respond.
“Alright. Well. I guess I should just go ahead and say it….. I have an apple stuck up my ass.”
“Excuse me?” I somehow manage to say.
“Yah man. I can’t get it out. It’s stuck.”
“I see. Well…. If you don’t mind me asking. Why did you choose an apple?” I’m too curious not to ask this.
“Well… It all started with me and my buddies drinking some beers. Then we started betting each other on different things. Then one of my buddies said, ‘Bet you can’t stick an apple up your ass!’ and I bet him I could. Only problem is I couldn’t get it back out. So here I am.”
“So what did you win? How much was the bet for?” I asked.
“You know… I don’t even remember. I was so focused on getting this thing out I forgot. And I don’t think my buddy paid up either.”
I can’t remember where the conversation went after that but that’s the gist of it. I will say that his x-ray was one of the more interesting x-rays I had ever seen. The most confusing part, in my opinion, is how he was able to get it up there in the first place. I mean, we’re talking about a Granny Smith style apple here. I don’t think you can go from nothing straight to an apple up the rectum. So, either the story is a lie or the apple was not the first foreign object to make that journey.
Naturally, the whole ER knew about it and was talking about it. Don’t tell HIPPA that. Later on that night when I had a few minutes I went down to the cafeteria and bought an apple. I came back to the ER and walked around with the apple saying, “Anybody want an apple? I found it in the trauma room and it looks like it’s still good.” I got some pretty good reactions to that one.
-The Witch Doctor