Never swallow metal, or how a trip to the dentist’s got a lot more fun

…and then there’s that one time where I swallowed a piece of sharp metal and had to get it removed.

I was at the dentist yesterday getting a small filling done. Everything was going smoothly and was just a real swell time when all of a sudden things stopped going so well. You know that little metal ring-like thing that they put over a tooth? I think they use it to stabilize the ray-gun that will harden up the filling material? Well, that piece of metal decided to snap cleanly in half. Half of it went not down my throat, and half of it flew down my throat. There was ain’t no way it was going to come out of there.

The dentist, who was cool throughout this process, was freaked out and was like “I’ve never seen that happen before” and “it was a stainless steel piece; how could it break just cleanly like that?” So we call my doctor’s office, who was like, yes you should come in very soon so we can take a look. I get my filling finished up and take a car to the Capitol Hill Medical center.

I’m sent to the X-Ray department where we first get a glimpse at the object, which the techs though was a belly-button ring at first. Escorted from x-ray to urgent care, I’m quickly shown their on-call doctor, who took a look at the other half of the ring that was not swallowed, and called the Gastrointestinal Surgeon to describe it. They decide that having a metallic object with two pointy edges wasn’t an optimal thing to have passing through my system, and decide to ship me off to Virginia Mason to get it removed by the GI surgeon who was now driving to the hospital.

Virginia Mason was pretty cool, they had people waiting for me in the ER who escorted me to the OR, who also had a RN wandering around looking for me. I get nice and prepped and meet about a billion people, including the surgeon herself. I think she felt a little out of place: all of the medical staff at VM had dark blue scrubs and she was wearing the lighter-blue of Group Health.

Pre-Op
Pre-Op

Regardless, I was ready to go and sent into the OR at around 7:30pm. The initial swallowing incident was just three hours earlier. They knocked me out. And this is fun as I tend to babble when going under. This time it was about how cool old abandoned Soviet Era hospitals were. Hunh, okay. They used an endoscopy to grab that little foreign guest in my GI tract, and it was all super quick and I was soon waking back up to resume babbling.

The removed thing
The removed thing

As it was Propofol they used to sedate me, and it worked, I was able to go home shortly afterwards. But hey, at least this was way shorter than my last major medical incident.

Tag #swag
Tag #swag

 

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