Twenty-five years ago, a woman told her husband and general practitioner that she accidentally swallowed a felt-tip pen. They didn't believe her at the time, and now they're eating their words.
Dr. Oliver Richard Waters and his colleagues discovered the missing writing utensil after the 76-year-old patient began complaining of weight loss and diarrhea. The doctors found severe diverticulosis -- a disease characterized by small bulging pockets from the colon commonly found in elderly people -- and although the pen did not cause the intestinal issues, doctors decided to remove the foreign object anyway.
"Most gastroenterologists will have stories of coins, batteries, bits of meat etc, but this is one of the oddest simply because it sat there for so long unnoticed," Dr. Waters told the Huffington Post in an e-mail.
Dr. Waters added that the pen was "too corroded to see a brand name" and that he has no brand loyalty regarding writing utensils.
So, who swallows a pen?
The woman says she remembers standing on a set of stairs, using a hand mirror and the felt-tip pen to investigate a lump on her tonsil. Why she was standing on the stairs while doing this isn't clear; perhaps the light was better there. In any case, the woman managed to slip and fall and swallow the pen whole.
The doctors took the pen and wrote the word "hello" on a piece of paper.
Several reports indicate that the woman is now in good health.
And that's all she wrote.
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