Lems garden patient.

One day, while living in Tampa, Lem Griffin D.O. called me to tell me he had a patient for me.  It went something like this….OK…what’s the problem?…He fell in the garden.  What’d he break?  Nothing.  Did he fall on a rake or a shovel?  No, he fell on a cucumber!  What?  He fell on a cucumber?  Yes.  You’re kidding me.?  Well, he has a cucumber up his ass and I can’t get it out so, it’s in your ballpark.  Oh my!  Tell him to meet me in my office in 1/2 hr.   So, I looked around my house and on the wall I had a bunch of antique instruments that might come (and did) in handy.  I met him at the office…about 30, white male with what looked like a trade uniform of white shirt and blue pants and polished black shoes with thick soles.  I escorted him to an exam room, donned a pair of gloves, put some K-Y on and there it was…at the tip of my index finger.  Oh dear…that’s pretty high to get an instrument or grasping forceps on it. (I said that out loud without realizing it).  He said, If I push on my abdomen I can get it below the promentory of the sacrum.  (Hmm…he knew that language…never did find out how)…So I had him push while I checked and sure enough, it came well down into the rectum.  So, pressing a pair of curved Kocher forceps…essentially large hemostats with big teeth 2-3 mm…pressing them into my index finger I inserted it carefully so as not to tear or catch on mucosa.  I opened the forceps and tried to close them around the cucumber. (it was big).  Some blood trickled out but I was not able to catch the culprit.  So, now I am Really worried about perforating bowel extraperitoneally.  Fear.  I had this antique tumor grasping forceps that used to be used in lung surgery and rarely on other type tumors.  It had a long extension from the joint so that the arms were about 6 inches long versus the 2 inches of the Kocher…..but the teeth were at least 1/2 inch long and there were 4 opposite 5 at the end of the arms.  Unlike the Kocher, this instrument was straight. I placed this against my finger again trying to not tear mucosa, had him push the veggie down and I inserted the instrument till I felt it hit then I spread the jaws feeling it slide across the end of the cucumber.  I inserted it farther in and then gently closed it slowly.  There was a loud audible crunch as the teeth penetrated the alien invador and more blood trickled down.  Oh Lord…now I must have broken it and I’ll be going after it in pieces if I haven’t torn the bowel too badly.  I carefully, gently remove the instrument the same way I placed it in, then inserted my index finger to see what kind of damage I had done.  My finger fell into the hole caused by the forcep and I ended up delivering the cucumber in the same manner one might deliver a baby with his finger in the babys mouth.  A quick check with an anoscope showed no serious mucosal tears or hematoma, and we were home free.  When I got home I called Lem to tell him about it.   I said, Boy do I have a salad for you! and he said “Don’t give me any of that shit”.  True story.  Thanks Lem.

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