But some discoveries just aren't fun at all. Take for instance a 19 year old woman who was referred to me for abdominal pain. Gallstones? No. Stomach ulcers? Not at all. Appendicitis, perhaps? Not even close. Her favourite pastime was inserting sewing needles into her abdomen. That's right - she took these...
Amazingly, none of them had done any real damage (other than some hideous scarring on her abdomen). But now she had decided that she wanted them out because they were starting to hurt.
I said no. Flat out, hands down, open and shut, definitive NO.
"But how can you leave them inside her??" I hear you asking.
If you haven't read my post about leaving bullets in, you can read about it here. We don't usually remove foreign bodies in the abdomen, and this is much more dangerous - for me - than removing a bullet. I looked carefully at her abdominal X-ray:
I then told her that there are at least 15 needles inside her, and any one of them could injure me (if I stick myself) or her (if I push the needle into something).
"But what can I do?" she asked me.
Go see a psychiatrist and get some ibuprofen. In that order.