Thursday, October 06, 2005

A Doc's Life - Memorable Moments 9

Scenario: GP clinic in the heart of town.

Patient was a lady in her mid-40's complaining of a vague vaginal discomfort of 2 weeks duration. No significant medical history of note; menstrual history was also normal, with LMP 2 weeks prior to consultation.

After taking her history, I proceeded with an abdominal examination and then a PV during which I was surprised to feel a firm irregular mass in the posterior fornix of the vaginal vault. Thoughts of "tumor", fungating mass" etc ran through my mind, but I didn't want to say anything until I could visualise it. I proceeded with a speculum exam & saw a brownish colored FOUL SMELLING mass with a tail - it was a retained tampon (her LMP was 2 weeks prior, which allowed for Lord knows what kind of micro-organisms to proliferate in that very fertile medium...).

The patient was shocked when I told her what it was, & I could tell that until I actually showed her the offending object, she could not believe that she had forgotten to remove it.

My consultation room smelt like something had died and was decomposing, even after the patient had left; and we had to allow it to air out for several minutes, spray plenty of air freshener before it was fit for occupation again. The last time I had experienced something so malodourous was as a medical student doing the forensic path posting and had to undergo the "traditional" exposure to a decomposing body - that smell just sticks to your clothes for the rest of the day...

6 comments:

JJ said...

Well visualing what you just posted stopped me eating for breakfast and lunch.

But none the less i totally enjoy your posts at least its preparing me for my future medical life :)

Cheers

Chen said...

what a memorable day for u :)
How long was that ago ah?

I have something similar as well, whereby one of my patient after waking up from GA, he vomitted out durian (He ate durian before allerged MVA and sustained open fracture.. came to OT for plating). U can really imagine that.. The whole OT stinks with durian smell!!!! Luckily that was my last case of the day... around 2 or 3 am in the morning.. Thank God no more case after that till the next morning... Or else I really cannot tahan working in such a stinky environment..

aliendoc said...

It happened a few years ago - but the memory of the smell doesn't go away...

Danaƫ said...

Oh my lord.

I saw "brownish mass tail" and thought, "how'd she get a rat up there??!"

That totally runs laps around my best "weird feminine problems" story (which involves a prolapsed uterus). Way to go. ;)

Anonymous said...

Isn't she lucky she didn't get toxic shock syndrome??

Anonymous said...

oh dear god..how can someone forget it down there...