Review by Scott Keith

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why someone would ingest a strange item, such as a tongue ring. I also can’t fathom why someone would insert a foreign object where “the sun doesn’t shine.” Yet three doctors, combining their medical experiences, have written a thoroughly  amazing, and quite funny book titled, “Stuck Up: 100 Objects Inserted and Ingested in Places they Shouldn’t be.”

This book, by doctors Rich E. Dreben, Murdoc Knight and Marty Sindhian, documents cases where everyday folks, for whatever reason, have swallowed or inserted objects that DO NOT belong in the body. In case you don’t believe these accounts, X-Ray evidence is presented for the reader.

The book reveals the case of a Hong Kong man: “The Sun reported that a man in Hong Kong was found in a pool of blood, the cause of which was a severe rectal tear due to a cucumber up his bottom. He was taken to the hospital, where he reported that this was a suicide attempt.”

The doctors also explain the case of a 17-year-old boy who swallowed several nuts and bolts. They write, “Eventually, he was discharged from the hospital, and he passed the objects. An otherwise boring case except for his explanation as to why he had done it: He ‘felt like a change of scenery.’”

In an email exchange with Men and Health: It’s a Guy Thing, Dreben and Sindhian explain why they decided to write the book.

“The long answer is in our book, which, by the way, we think would be a great stocking stuffer this holiday season, no pun intended. The quick answer is that these types of cases were some of the most memorable learning opportunities that we have experienced during and after our training. Each of these cases provided us with insight into human psyche and, needless to say, a direct line of sight into human anatomy.”

In the email interview with Men and Health, doctors Dreben and Sindhian were asked what items are commonly ingested by patients. “The objects really depend on the culture and the context. For example, children often ingest coins or other small objects that resemble candy. Some incarcerated individuals have been known to ingest sharper objects that might require medical attention and, therefore, get them out of their cells.”

Knight says it’s dangerous to insert or ingest a foreign object. According to the doctor, “These objects can cause blockages in the bowels and perforation, or puncture, of the intestines. There is always the risk of severe bleeding, and while the symptoms at times may only be mild pain, the consequences can be as severe as infection and death.”

After you’ve read this book, consider the take-away message from Knight: “Whatever you do, do not try anything in this book at home…or anywhere, for that matter!”

Soft cover, 210 pages, St. Martin’s Griffin, $12.99, available at Amazon and bookstores.

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