May 24, 2013

"You have no idea what people will do to themselves," said a veteran ER nurse...

... quoted in Mary Roach's "Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal."
“Forget to remove the potato that you used as a pessary until you noticed a vine sprouting between your legs? Decided to do your own nose job at the bathroom mirror and replace the cartilage with a leftover piece from last night’s chicken dinner? You have no idea.”

23 comments:

pm317 said...


pes·sa·ry
[pes-uh-ree] Show IPA
noun, plural pes·sa·ries. Medicine/Medical .
1.
a device worn in the vagina to support a displaced uterus.
2.
a vaginal suppository.
3.
diaphragm ( def 4 ) .

ricpic said...

Louis-Ferdinand Celine, who in real life was Dr. Destouches, came to the conclusion that his female patients needed no encouragment at all to go under the knife.

YoungHegelian said...

Never, ever get your plastic surgery done by journeymen plumbers.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I've heard that potato story a bunch of times. Folk therapy or urban legend?

edutcher said...

50 years ago, it was the Coke bottle.

At least the neck.

And, of course, there are always gerbils.

AprilApple said...

Maybe I was wrong about women and umbrellas?

Rabel said...

Althouse, thank you so much for implanting in my soul this new knowledge regarding pessaries. Potato pessaries particularly.

However, I have to say that while it has made me vividly aware of new possibilities for intellectual and aesthetic fulfillment—pleasure, it has not generated any enduring excitement; but rather, barring a late flaring up, has further convinced me that the caveman with his club had it right all along.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Those ideas sound like some good, old fashioned, self-reliant, DIY folk wisdom to me!

Also, the kernels of some budding, young capitalist entrepreneurship! Who's to say that vaginal potatoes aren't a great alternative to the gummint-mandated obstetric practices of Obamacare! Or that chicken cartilage can't substitute for a DIY nose job!? Why, elitist liberals, I'll tell ya!

DrMaturin said...

Having seen first hand some of the things people put in their rectums- shot glasses, broomsticks, coiled wires to name a few, I find these stories totally believable.

Beach Brutus said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said, "I've heard that potato story a bunch of times. Folk therapy or urban legend?" --

I can vouch for Folk therapy.

In one of my prior careers I worked as an AFDC/Food Stamp qualifications officer our job was purely about technical and financial qualifications of the recipients and did not involve social work. But one of my colleagues had a masters in family social work and if someone presented to the lobby with that type of inquiry she was routed to my friend who had resources to forward the person to the right agency for help.

"Cindy" started out as a true believer in helping the poor, etc., but soon became most cynical. One of her favorite things to do would be to get up it the middle of a client interview, come to my office, close the door, and burst out laughing at what some parent had named her child.

Anyway, one day she comes to my office - I'm expecting another creative name session. Instead she relates that there was an elderly woman in her office referred by the receptionist who could not understand what the lady needed -- because she could not understand what she was saying.

The poor lady mumbled severely and was very hard to understand but after having her repeat herself several times Cindy learned that the woman's complaint was "I have leaves". Turns out someone told her that a good home remedy for a yeast infection was to place a wedge of potato down there -- but didn't tell her for how long. She left it down there and sure enough it sprouted leaves.

Ann Althouse said...

As we used to say (innocently!) when we were kids: "Put your potatoes in!"

(That preceded the "one potato, two potato" approach to counting out (an alternative to eeny, meeny, minee, mo).

Bob Boyd said...

I always thought a pessary was a place where a community of pessimists could live together, away from the world, expecting nothing they planted to sprout, between their legs or anywhere else.

Peter said...

Umm, anyway, the referenced book is a good read- quick, easy and fun if sometimes lacking in depth.

Michael K said...

Nothing surprises me. I do regret not taking photos of all the foreign objects we took out of rectums, though. They included light bulbs (hard to grab) and a badminton shuttlecock (tough game).

As for ER nurses, one nurse once asked for help removing a tampax. She had about 20 in there.

A friend had a book of early 20th century vintage called "Bladder foreign bodies." They included a lot of those leather belts that treadle sewing machines used before electricity was common. They would push them up the urethera into the bladder but sometimes they would form a knot in the bladder. Oh oh.

People do odd things.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Aren't pessaries large flightless birds?

Those wouldn't be easy to put into most, non-morbidly obese women's vaginas.

Ralph L said...

Damn, I should have saved this and the abortion post for reading during dinner tonight.

Crunchy Frog said...

Aren't pessaries large flightless birds?

I thought they were small wild pigs?

gadfly said...

Here is what Snopes has to say about the "Ouch Potato":

Status: undetermined

Story: "An elderly female comes to the Emergency Department complaining: "I got the green vines in my virginny." The patient reports a two-week history of a vine growing from her vagina. On physical examination it is discovered that she does indeed have a vine growing out of her vagina, about six inches in length. A pelvic exam reveals a mass which is easily removed from the vaginal vault, vine still attached. Upon extraction, the patient reports that her uterus had been falling out and that she "put a potato in there to hold it up" and subsequently forgot about it."

Origins: An old wives tail, um - tale.

John said...

HBO's Real Sex series once had a segment about a woman who carved, and used, potato dildos.

I always wondered whether she cooked them up for supper when she was done.

John Henry

Sam L. said...

And as I understand it, the ER crew is often amazed at what folks put up their anuses.

glenn said...

One of my cousins is a nurses aide in a hospital on the Cal central coast. Working in the ER about 3AM Saturday morning. Car pulled up, door opened and closed, car drove away, guy came in with the hose from a vacumn cleaner on his ... um ... you get it. After they quit laughing somebody got it off. Fortunately everybody in the ER was worldly wise.

Nichevo said...

Ely? Moron didn't think of a cold shower? Or was he that big?

Nichevo said...

Rly? Stupid windows phone.