We burst out laughing!!
It was, of course, an outright tragedy! But no one – I repeat, NO ONE even how lacking in sense of humour he/she is – could control the bubble of laughter that would surely escape one’s lips when one hears this story.
It’s too tragic. Too tragic.
If I have not yet build up the suspense by now, I would be very remiss in my duty as a storyteller to keep the readers guessing. But hey, just read the title and you would know the story is about an apple.
It’s about an apple….
That got stuck.
And it got stuck there.
It was a boring day. It was a really boring busy day.
Yeah, I know, you are thinking how can one be bored when one is busy?
Well, believe me, one can. If one is a medical student doing a surgical term, one can be so bored of being busy, that one could throw up.
I went to the meditation room to perform my Zuhur prayer for that day and I met Kak Sheila, a 5th year medical student who was currently attached to the trauma unit, which I was due to be attached to in a few days time.
That was how I found out about the story. Kak Sheila, the soul of hot gossip of Emergency Department, began the story:
A 68 year old male presented to Emergency Department with an apple…. stuck…. inside….. his rectum!
INSIDE HIS RECTUM!!! He actually pushed one whole apple through his anus all the way up to his rectum!! But when he tried to pull out the apple…it got stuck!
And the even funnier bit, he wanted to find out how further up the apple went in. So he took a chopstick and pushed it inside his rectum until the chopstick touched the apple, and then he marked the level at which the chopstick became obstructed by the presence of the apple, and then he pulled out the chopstick and measured it with a ruler!!
Brilliant guy!! Brilliant!
It was 17 cm!!
I said, “Kesiannya….”
Somebody said, “Padan muka! siapa suruh buat kerja bodoh mcm tu!”
And then we went on to speculate about the size and the type of the apple! The whole discussion and speculation generated even more funny jokes that it was all we could do not to roll on the floor laughing, with tears in our eyes for the sheer hilarity of it all.
Goodness, that really made my day a little bit more exciting than it was a few hours ago.
And then, Kak Sheila went on to say that, just 5 days earlier, a female presented to ED with an aerosol that got stuck inside her rectum!
I was like…WHAT!! Aerosol??? Imagine the RIDSECT bottle that you used to kill the mosquitoes! How could you push something THAT BIG inside your anus??
AND WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO?? Are you like, INSANE???
Somebody, upon hearing that story, quipped, “Patutnya dia amik mancis api pi cucuh sekali kat situ. Biar meletup aerosol tuh dlm rectum tu. hahhahahha!”
When I left the meditation room to attend the skill session for that day, I found out that the story about ‘the apple that got stuck’ has spread like bushfire among the jaded 4th year medical students. Everywhere I went, sure enough, people just talked about it with a really big goofy grin on their faces!
We all wanted to find out who that patient was and which ward he was currently in. But nobody actually had the time to do a follow up on that story. Until now, I had no idea who that patient was and what had brought that idea into his stupid mind and the apple into his sorry ass.
I had wondered what happened to the patient. Were the ED (emergency dept) people able to remove ‘the apple that got stuck’? I was burning with the desire to find out what damage has been done to the patient’s anus and rectum!
But like I said, I myself was busy with my studies and my own patients and my own preoccupation. After about a week, I thought that the patient must already be discharged by now and I probably would never know what happened…
It was a very early morning for me that day.
I woke up at 3 a.m (because I slept right after Isya’ prayer) and did a little bit of studying until 5.30. At 6.30, Balqis picked me and Suhaila up for the Surgical Audit Meeting which started at seven!!!
Basically, the Surgical Audit Meeting is the meeting where you got free breakfast and the surgeons just gather in a conference room reviewing and discussing a few selected cases and talk about how they could have handled the cases better for future reference.
And yes….the case of ‘the apple that got stuck’ came up.
The surgical registrar presenting that case made a real funny joke….
“The ED doctors had put in much effort and multiple attempts to remove the apple. But the effort was… FRUITLESS!”
Hahahahaha. The whole room laughed! The word ‘fruitless’ in the context of making an effort to remove an apple, just tickled everybody’s sense of humour! It really cracked us up!!
And then another doctor made a joke. And then, another! Everybody was blatantly laughing and enjoying the patient’s humiliation. It was the most entertaining Audit Meeting I had ever attended throughout the whole surgical rotation.
Well, at last I found out what happened to the patient….
TRAGIC! Simply tragic!!
Because the apple could not be removed manually, the patient was put under surgery. His rectum and anus were resected. So, he would not have anymore ‘hole’ with which he could push any other fruits through. Unless he wanted to try pushing somehing through the peeing hole instead.
That also means he could not relieve himself or defecate in the normal way. He would always be carrying a stoma bag around his abdomen with which to drain his poo! He would be carrying the stoma bag his entire life!
And all because of an apple that got stuck!!