Aug 18, 2008

Yahoo answers: swallowed shard of glass

No no, everyone calm down, it wasn't the baby. It was just me. I ordered a glass of wine, and only halfway through drinking it did I realize that there was a chip on the rim of the glass. I didn't remember seeing the chip when they set the glass down in front of me, and then had a delayed memory of a sharp "ding" at some point when the waiter was pouring the wine. I inspected my remaining half-glass closely, and when I didn't see any telltale glints of light, drank the rest anyway. I thought of Austin Powers: "I, too, like to live on the edge." Hopefully not the internal bleeding kind of edge, but still. I was sure I'd be fine.

That was four days ago, and for the past couple of days, I've had a sharp, singular point of pain in my throat. Rather than ask any of my M.D. friends, my brother in med school, or, hey, go see a G.P., I decided that I could resolve my swallowing glass issues by Googling. The second search result led me to something called Yahoo! Answers, where apparently you can ask questions and people with absolutely no experience or expertise in the subject matter can contribute their gut reactions and heartfelt feelings. I didn't even need to ask the question myself; someone else had asked it for me about a year ago:

Question: Think I've swallowed tiny chip from glass. Do I need to worry?

I'll summarize the answers: No less than 15 random people chiming in with various versions of "don't worry, you'll poop it out," a few of the "OH MY GOD MY UNCLE DIED FROM INTERNAL BLEEDING, HE DIDN'T SWALLOW GLASS ACTUALLY IT WAS AN AX YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM NOOOOOOWWWWW!!" type, and then one person who says, "a small chip? not a shard? dont [sic] worry about it, if you have no pain or tenderness in your throat then it'll be fine in your tummy, and come out naturally tomorrow..."

Uh. Well it WAS a shard, and what if I DO have pain in my throat? And we don't have those German-style toilets with the inspecting platform, so I have NO idea what does or doesn't come out on any given day. On to search result #3. It actually turns out to be a shady site, which my antivirus software says is trying to launch a trojan horse, so I won't include the link. But I love the related search list:

- i have a very small shard of glass in my finger, do u think it will work its way out
- When they say to eat 6 small meals a day what is considered a small meal?
- I swallowed gum?
- Swallowed Plastic?
- about a desecant swallowed?
- I swallowed mothwash. Do I need to worry?
- How wil you know if you swallowed a bone?
- I accidentally swallowed a quarter, will I be OK?

and my favorite:
- I hit myself in the head kind of hard, will I be OK?