I swallowed a toothpick! WTF do I do?

Discussion in 'Horn Depot' started by Stuck_At_Work, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Stuck_At_Work

    Stuck_At_Work 1,000+ Posts

    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!!!!
  2. halsteadfrost

    halsteadfrost 1,000+ Posts

    How did you swallow it?
  3. Stuck_At_Work

    Stuck_At_Work 1,000+ Posts

    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.
  4. halsteadfrost

    halsteadfrost 1,000+ Posts

    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...
  5. Stuck_At_Work

    Stuck_At_Work 1,000+ Posts

    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...
  6. halsteadfrost

    halsteadfrost 1,000+ Posts

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

  7. Mr Bean

    Mr Bean 100+ Posts

    Hopefully it comes out longways instead of sideways. Good luck.
  8. Benson32

    Benson32 1,000+ Posts

    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.
  9. texdude2006

    texdude2006 100+ Posts

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

    sessamoid 500+ Posts

    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.
  11. PhatAtUT

    PhatAtUT 100+ Posts

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

    LordHornAustin 100+ Posts

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

    Stuck_At_Work 1,000+ Posts

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


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

    CottonEyedHorn 1,000+ Posts

  15. Mike_Tyson

    Mike_Tyson 500+ Posts

    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.
  16. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn 25+ Posts

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

    Seriously good luck.... [​IMG]
  17. Stuck_At_Work

    Stuck_At_Work 1,000+ Posts

    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.
  18. PhatAtUT

    PhatAtUT 100+ Posts

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

    random horn 250+ Posts

    be thankful you don't have to pee it out
  20. bularry

    bularry 250+ Posts

    well? everything okay?
  21. Stuck_At_Work

    Stuck_At_Work 1,000+ Posts

    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...
  22. Uninformed

    Uninformed 5,000+ Posts

    This whole situation seems kind of ******. Hopefully, the problem will come to pass. And, hopefully, everything will come out all right in the end.
  23. LongLiveBevo

    LongLiveBevo 250+ Posts

    Yet another example to add to my collection of experiences of reasons to bypass the urgent care facility and go straight to the ER.
  24. jt09

    jt09 500+ Posts

    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.
  25. accuratehorn

    accuratehorn 10,000+ Posts

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

    Macanudo 2,500+ Posts

  27. Stuck_At_Work

    Stuck_At_Work 1,000+ Posts

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

    madscientist 1,000+ Posts

    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.
  29. ScoPro

    ScoPro 1,000+ Posts

    So you might have a genuine case of morning wood?
  30. sessamoid

    sessamoid 500+ Posts


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