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   >> Horn Depot

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Stuck_At_Work
500+ posts
04/17/07 01:41 AM
I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do?

Long story, short - I swallowed a whole toothpick today and I'm freaking out.

My coworkers told me to go to the emergency room - so I did. They took X-Rays and located it in my throat. The doctor said it should pass with time. When I get home, all the online research indicates that this is very dangerous because toothpicks (being sharp objects) tend to get get stuck and cause bleeding, infections, etc.

Should I go back to the emergency room and demand an endoscapy or should I just wait it out? I definetely still feel it deep in my throat. Crap!!!!




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halsteadfrost
500+ posts
04/17/07 01:50 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

How did you swallow it?

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Stuck_At_Work
500+ posts
04/17/07 02:04 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

I finished drinking a soda (from a to-go cup with a straw). I placed the toothpick in the straw when I was done using it thinking I was done with the soda. A while later I reached for the soda (not realizing I had finished drinking it) and it came down into my throat with all the melted ice. Next thing you know I have a toothpick deep in my throat.

Seriously though... although this may seem too funny to pass up on... I'm pretty damn scared right now.




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halsteadfrost
500+ posts
04/17/07 02:09 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Well since noone else has replied, I told my wife about it, and she (although not a medical professional, she has had medical training) is worried about it digesting since it's "celulous" (?) which since it's so fiberous she doesn't think it'll break down too well, similar to eating celery and not having the strings break down. Of course you did go see a doctor and he didn't think there was anythign to worry about, so I don't know...

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Stuck_At_Work
500+ posts
04/17/07 02:12 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Yeah - the doctor didn't seem to know what he was talking about.

I think I'm going for an endoscapy in the morning. I won't eat anything between now and then I suppose...




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halsteadfrost
500+ posts
04/17/07 02:20 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Well good luck with that. Hopefully someone with more knowledge than I will give you better info.

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Mr Bean
250+ posts
04/17/07 02:52 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Hopefully it comes out longways instead of sideways. Good luck.




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Benson32
2500+ posts
04/17/07 02:53 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

wood and cellulose are not digestable (which is why your body cannot digest celery), unless you are a termite. but it wont matter, you will be fine, it should pass within a few days. if you feel any chest pain, you should certainly go to the er. and yes, toothpicks can potentially cause major damage albeit very unlikely to occur.

and yes, i am staying at a holiday inn express this evening.

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texdude2006
500+ posts
04/17/07 03:48 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Benson32]

Did you see that episode of House? GET THAT THING OUT NOW!

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sessamoid
2500+ posts
04/17/07 04:31 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Sorry I didn't catch this earlier. For toothpicks stuck in the esophagus, generally early endoscopy is the usual treatment. The literature calls for "early" or "urgent" endoscopy, assuming the toothpick hasn't penetrated the wall of the esophagus. That generally means sometime within the next 8-16 hours, but doesn't necessarily mean that we have to call for a GI guy in the middle of the night to come do it immediately.

For myself, what I usually do if this is in the middle of the night is either keep the patient in the ER overnight for endoscopy first thing in the AM, or call a gastroenterologist who agrees to do it the next morning and send the patient home until then.

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PhatAtUT
1000+ posts
04/17/07 11:39 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

i'm not a doctor, but it seems to me like the obvious remedy would be to swallow a bunch of termites.




"Barbaro was a great horse, but an even better person"

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LordHornAustin
500+ posts
04/17/07 11:45 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Does anybody else see the irony in this occurence and the poster's name? In any case - I hope all goes well.




Long story short, my punch was so telegraphed that he basically ducked out of the way, got me in a headlock with his good arm and beat me on top of my head with the baby arm. It sucked. - Ramathorn

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Stuck_At_Work
500+ posts
04/17/07 12:00 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

I scheduled an appointment with a GI specialist. They can't believe I was sent home from the ER....

UGH!

Thanks for all the advice guys. This is freaking absurd.




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CottonEyedHorn
1000+ posts
04/17/07 12:06 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: PhatAtUT]

In reply to:

i'm not a doctor, but it seems to me like the obviously remedy would be to swallow a bunch of termites.



Or a club sandwich.




Warm winds blowing, Heat and blue sky
And a road that goes forever
I'm going to TEXAS

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Mike_Tyson
2500+ posts
04/17/07 12:13 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

What if he's not a member? But all kidding aside, I hope everything goes well for you. At least you shall have peace of mind now with it out.




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Jackie TreehornSponsor
1000+ posts
04/17/07 02:16 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Didn't Flanders call Rev Lovejoy in the middle of the night with this problem?

Seriously good luck....

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Stuck_At_Work
500+ posts
04/18/07 10:36 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Update on this ridiculous toothpick situation:

I went to see a Gastroenterologist yesterday at 1. He was livid that the Urgent Care facility hadn’t sent me straight to the ER to get the toothpick removed on Monday. He agreed that a toothpick could cause some serious problems if left unattended. He of course, sent me to the Seton ER across the street where he had a Gastroenterologist friend on-call. A few hours later I was in an operating room with a giant endoscope traveling down my throat. The scope reaches past the esophagus, past the stomach, and into the first third of the large intestine. The bad news – no toothpick to be found. The good news – my upper GI track looks healthy. However, the doctors are concerned that it may get ‘stuck’ somewhere in my intestines – especially in the small intestine or in the valve connecting the two intestines. Now, I am on the lookout for 1) a passing toothpick, 2) blood, or 3) any sharp pains.

I am still woozy from the medication and the doctor warned that driving in this condition would be a DUI – needless to say, I’m working from home today.




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PhatAtUT
1000+ posts
04/18/07 12:22 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

good luck man. sorry about the termite comment earlier, i didnt mean to pick on you. certainly sounds like a sticky situation.




"Barbaro was a great horse, but an even better person"

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random horn
1000+ posts
04/18/07 06:02 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

be thankful you don't have to pee it out




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bularry
2500+ posts
04/19/07 04:39 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

well? everything okay?




<P>

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Stuck_At_Work
500+ posts
04/19/07 05:03 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

No news = bad news?

Nothing has changed. It has definetely not passed through my system yet as I have UNFORTUNATELY had to analyze my excrement. I left a message with the doctors today, but have not heard back yet. I guess I'm in limbo. It really sucks...




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Uninformed
5000+ posts
04/19/07 06:14 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

This whole situation seems kind of [censored]. Hopefully, the problem will come to pass. And, hopefully, everything will come out all right in the end.




Hookem

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LongLiveBevo
500+ posts
04/19/07 06:54 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Yet another example to add to my collection of experiences of reasons to bypass the urgent care facility and go straight to the ER.





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jt09
2500+ posts
04/19/07 07:09 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

This thread is could have gone in any of many forums here:

Home Depot: Clearly a technical question.
Esther's Follies: Some wonderfully smartass responses (termites suggestion was brilliant, btw)
Quacks: Why did you swallow the toothpick?
West Mall: Bit of commentary on our health care system.
3:16: You are going to poop wood.
Cactus Cafe: Easily the most entertaining thread on HD.

Very well rounded.




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accuratehornSponsor
2500+ posts
04/19/07 07:45 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

I've just been sitting In The Stands, hoping this is resolved successfully.




"Respect for authority is often equated with blind faith in authority. This too often leads individuals at TAMU to overestimate the competence of authorities or to stifle any criticism that might be aroused by the actions of authorities."

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MacanudoSponsor
25,000+ posts
04/19/07 08:30 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

In reply to:

I've just been sitting In The Stands, hoping this is resolved successfully.




If he goes down to DKR, maybe he can crap it out On The Field. Or after he craps it out, he can put it on the Swap Meet as a trophy and trade it for something else.

In reality, we probably need it on Prayer Requests in hope that he passes it without too much pain and suffering.




Be the rockstar, not the bridesmaid

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Stuck_At_Work
500+ posts
04/19/07 08:45 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Thanks for the prayers, advice, etc... I'll keep y'all posted.




Edited by Stuck_At_Work (04/19/07 08:46 PM)

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madscientistSponsor
5000+ posts
04/19/07 10:46 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

if the endoscopy couldn't find it, maybe you should try a colonoscopy. i understand that CTF has a colonoscoper that he loves to use.




You left 6 f'ing hours ago to buy a money counter, and you come back with a semi-consious Gloria and a bag of fertilizer?

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ScoProSponsor
5000+ posts
04/20/07 12:02 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

So you might have a genuine case of morning wood?




Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

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sessamoid
2500+ posts
04/20/07 03:50 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: madscientist]

In reply to:

if the endoscopy couldn't find it, maybe you should try a colonoscopy. i understand that CTF has a colonoscoper that he loves to use.



If it makes it into the colon, I'm guessing it'll come out on its own. The real concern is getting stuck in the small intestine or at the ileocecal valve.

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rocketman68
< 25 posts
04/20/07 04:19 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

One time I swallowed a fish bone when I was a kid. I was told to drink large amount of vinegar to soften the fish bone. I followed the advice and it worked. You may want to try this, at least you won't lose anything, except for the irritating smell, maybe.

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Damor
250+ posts
04/20/07 07:20 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

I was going to PM you, but I thought that I could finally contribute something really useful to this board.

If you don't already have a better method of "toothpick surveillance" than picking through turds, here's something that one of my mentors used to recommend to parents after their kid swallowed some inappropriate object:

Take the leg of an old pair of pantyhose (you can use CTF's if you don't want to ruin any of yours, but fishnets won't work). Stretch it over the shitter when it's time to drop the kids off at the pool. When you're done, remove it and hold it in the water while you flush repeatedly until everything has washed away but the corn, peanuts, and hopefully the toothpick.

Then take it back to the urgent care doctor along with a big plate of ribs and corn-on-the-cob as thanks for a job well done.




Oklahoma is a dirty red mean
Native American slot machine

--The Gourds, Lower 48

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LongIslandIceSIPSponsor
1000+ posts
04/20/07 09:32 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Can you eat a bunch of live termites!??!??!?!?






ANY bull gives you wings!!!!!

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Endust
5000+ posts
04/22/07 01:24 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

so what happened?









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Stuck_At_Work
500+ posts
04/23/07 01:22 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

It has been about a full week at this point, and still no sign of a toothpick.

I visited a second specialist on Friday for another opinion. He also thinks we are just in a wait and see mode. Either it'll come out on its own... or it'll stab me from the inside and cause me such pain that I'll have to be rushed to the ER for surgery.

Ugh.




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miguelito
2500+ posts
04/23/07 06:41 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

In reply to:

The scope reaches past the esophagus, past the stomach, and into the first third of the large intestine.




That CAN'T have tasted good on the way back out. Man, I nearly puke just thinking about something like that going down my throat. They would have to knock me out and strap me down to get that thing in me.




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brntorng
500+ posts
04/23/07 07:10 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

In reply to:

They would have to knock me out and strap me down to get that thing in me.



That's exactly how they do it.

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Math Mudrat
100+ posts
04/23/07 11:02 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

In reply to:

They took X-Rays and located it in my throat.




That picture must be worth a thousand words.

Hope it all comes out ok.

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HrnPmp
100+ posts
04/24/07 12:07 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

I know someone that was in the same situation and it can be very serious ( puncturing lining of intestines as it passes, causing infections)

good luck

Edited by HrnPmp (04/24/07 01:27 AM)

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goofybevo
2500+ posts
04/24/07 02:24 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

In reply to:

So you might have a genuine case of morning wood?




Oh, he's mourning wood alright.




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SubliminalHorn
1000+ posts
04/24/07 06:32 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Do you think it could have passed and you may have missed it?

Keep us posted, I'm now fascinated with your GI system....which is quite disturbing




2007 NBA Playoffs

Go Spurs Go

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Stuck_At_Work
500+ posts
04/24/07 10:48 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

I'm starting to wonder, but a toothpick is pretty darn big.... and I have been sifting manually through my stool.

Ugh.

See this link:
The Link >The Link




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Jackie TreehornSponsor
1000+ posts
04/24/07 11:04 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Is it possible that your body can eventually break it down? I saw this weird show on tv a long time ago about a guy who chopped up a ten-speed into tiny pieces and ate the whole thing.

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Stuck_At_Work
500+ posts
04/24/07 11:15 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Jackie,
See the video link above. It shows a toothpick after it has been 'digested' by the stomach.




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ERhine
2500+ posts
04/24/07 11:39 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

linky no work

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MacanudoSponsor
25,000+ posts
04/25/07 12:12 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

In reply to:

linky no work




Linky don't need to worky.




Be the rockstar, not the bridesmaid

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HatDaddy
1000+ posts
04/25/07 12:13 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

If splinters generally dissolve under the skin, why wouldn't a toothpick dissolve in your stomach? Stomach acid is far more potent than whatever dissolves splinters.... in your fingers




Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

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Stuck_At_Work
500+ posts
04/25/07 12:18 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Link:The Link

Does this one work?




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Benson32
2500+ posts
04/25/07 12:33 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

In reply to:

Is it possible that your body can eventually break it down? I saw this weird show on tv a long time ago about a guy who chopped up a ten-speed into tiny pieces and ate the whole thing



nope, he "ate" it, but his body certainly didnt digest any of it. that video SaT linked showed the toothpick in the first part of the small intestine, so it had already passed through the stomach. the duodenum is not acidic at all, even if it had sat in the stomach, its still not near acidic enough to break it down.
In reply to:

If splinters generally dissolve under the skin, why wouldn't a toothpick dissolve in your stomach? Stomach acid is far more potent than whatever dissolves splinters.... in your fingers



splinters dont dissolve in the skin usually, they come out one way or another unless phagocytes (or further processes) are able to break it down which can happen. the stomach doesnt provide that sort of defense, only digestive enzymes and acids. just think about it, gastric acid is not much more acidic than lemon juice or even coca cola. if you sat a toothpick in a bowl of lemon juice for a month, its not going to do [censored].

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texdude2006
500+ posts
04/25/07 03:14 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

A toothpick is almost all cellulose which the human body cannot break down.

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horn bloodedSponsor
500+ posts
04/25/07 10:13 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Eat some termites! Just don't chew.




There is no such thing as a Texas Aggie.

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theropods
2500+ posts
04/26/07 01:38 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

dave1.mgh.harvard.edu/ViewFilms.cfm?Film_id=490

This guy swallowed sulfuric acid from his car battery. He was trying to commit suicide, but that should get your toothpick. That is not the way I want to go. Warning....this is kind of a grisly video.


Seriously though, I hope it passes soon. I'm no doctor, but I do teach anatomy to doctors. I would be worried about the ileocecal valve (where the small intestine becomes the large). It could get stuck in the small intestine, but becomes less likely the further it makes it because the walls become smoother. The video before showed the toothpick caught on a plicae circularis in the duodenum.






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SubliminalHorn
1000+ posts
04/28/07 02:33 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

So...uh...you still alive there, Stuck?




2007 NBA Playoffs

Go Spurs Go

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shorty
500+ posts
04/29/07 09:59 AM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

We need an update Stuck. Just want to make sure you are okay.

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hook'em_horns
2500+ posts
04/30/07 04:21 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

good luck man. OWWWW I hope you're ok after all of this

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theropods
2500+ posts
04/30/07 11:32 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Any news Stuck?






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TexanneSponsor
10,000+ posts
05/01/07 12:40 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Studk, let us hear from you. We care.







"These are just simple Farmers. People of the land. The common clay of the new west. You know ... morons."

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Stuck_At_Work
500+ posts
05/01/07 12:42 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

Still alive. No news.

I stopped checking my excrement on Saturday.... after 12 days of checking I had enough of it.

The doctors said all we can do is just sit back and wait. Someday it'll either pass.... or I'll feel a sudden pain/fever.

On a side note, I have had a 1 week vacation planned to a remote island in the caribbean in early June for several months now. I'm freaking out because there aren't any hospitals (or even clinics) on this island. The trip isn't refundable... so I've been advised to purchase trip insurance. Any one have any suggestions on that. If something were to happen, I would imagine I would be 'life-flighted' into San Juan, PR and I bet that is expensive.




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VacantlyOccupied
5000+ posts
05/01/07 12:59 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

I just read about life-flight insurance. You pay an annual fee and if you need medical evacuation anywhere in the world they will come and get you. Seems like it wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be.

I'll see if I can find it again.

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VacantlyOccupied
5000+ posts
05/01/07 01:15 PM
Re: I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do? [re: Stuck_At_Work]

MedJet Assist

Call these guys. The requirement is that you have to be hospitalized, but I'm sure they have plans for remote areas like you'll be going to.

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