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When in Doubt, Go to the ER

Aug 25, 2009

This weekend I was enjoying dinner at one of my favorite restaurants when I felt a fish bone catch in my throat. I didn't start choking and could breathe just fine, so I simply downed a glass of water and continued eating. I finished my meal but couldn't shake the sensation. A good look in the mirror confirmed my suspicion: I had a thin fish bone sticking out of the top of my throat. It was angled horizontally, so it stuck out from the side. Now what?

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I figured the bone would eventually get dislodged, so I drank more water and chewed some gum, but two hours later nothing had changed. I even tried to knock it out myself (I'll spare you the details, since you really, really should not try this at home), but no luck. I was tempted to ignore it since it wasn't painful—just annoying—but I ended up calling a 24-hour nurse line and learned that yes, I needed to go to the ER.

I admit I was kind of embarrassed (and afraid I'd have to wait for hours), but the triage nurse made me realize I did the right thing: She said she was tempted to remove the bone herself right there in the check-in area, but that we'd better follow protocol just in case the bone was touching a blood vessel and I started bleeding once she yanked it out. Seriously? I didn't know that was a possibility.

Fortunately, it was a quiet night at the hospital, so within minutes I was whisked into the belly of the ER where a man with a steady hand, a bright light and a long pair of tweezers swiftly pulled out the bone with no complications.

The moral of the story: When in doubt, go to the ER. And skip the whole fish and order a fillet.






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Date: 14.12.2018, 01:04 / Views: 92234