As everyone knows, the human body has orifices. Occasionally, these become occluded, or occupied, by things that aren’t supposed to be there. Every doctor knows this, as does almost everyone else. Who hasn’t heard, as a child, the cautionary phrase “Don’t stick beans up your nose”?
Human nature being what it is, almost every clinician must deal with foreign objects–flora, fauna–that have been put into places where they don’t belong. Sometimes, though, “beans” can materialize without a patient’s permission.
Here is one such case–a personal favorite of mine–that I’ve mentally entitled “The Screaming Man.”
I was back in the furthermost part of the clinic, arguing with an insurance company representative about the need for a patient’s CT scan, when one of our receptionists ran up.
“Dr. Lyons! There’s a man screaming in the waiting room!”
“Is he bleeding?”
“No, he’s banging his head with his hands and screaming! I think he might be crazy!”
I ran to the front. There in our packed waiting room was in fact a seemingly crazy man, screaming, dancing around and batting at his left ear with both hands. The other patients were cringing …