I took home a wonderful, and endearingly inebriated lady doctor, who worked as a locum gynaecologist. She had just been visiting with colleagues from her university days, and they had enjoyed a fantastic night together, drinking, catching up, and swapping clinical stories. Obviously, this was too good an opportunity to miss, so I asked her if she would share her most memorable clinical incident to date.
She had been working a family planning clinic, in a rural area, when she was asked to attend to a patient in some distress. The patient was female, mortified, and reluctant to disclose her troubles. Eventually, with careful and sensitive questioning, the locum deduced that the patient had… erm… experienced an unusual accident, while alone in the privacy of her own home, which had led to an Unexpected Item becoming lodged firmly in an Unmentionable Place. The item was the lid from a roll-on deodorant bottle. The place remains unmentionable.
The poor patient was deeply embarrassed, and refused to go to the local hospital. The locum gynaecologist examined her carefully, and confirmed that indeed, the Unexpected Item was resolutely wedged in the Unmentionable Place. The locum assessed the situation with an appropriately grave demeanour.
The most appropriate course of action would be to transport the lady to the local hospital, and have the Item removed from the Place under anaesthetic. However, this was not an option for our increasingly mortified patient. The locum took pity on her. “I will get this out for you,” she vowed.
Indeed, the locum tried. She tried a whole variety of methods, involving forceps and other dastardly medical implements, manual dexterity, and exceedingly careful manipulation, but to no avail. The Unexpected Item remained securely located within the Unmentionable Place. The locum’s eyes travelled around the room, and lit upon the Mother of all Speculums. (Uninformed men, google “speculum” as an image, and let your minds contemplate the full horrors. Women, stop wincing. Men: we women all know precisely what that this undoubtably male-invented tool of torture does.)
Armed with a considerable amount of lubricant, the locum seized the contraption, and advanced upon the helpless but desperate patient. With great skill, and a spectacular turn of phrase, the locum, in her own words (which made me shout aloud with laughter as she related the tale),
“Jacked her wide open and Got It Out!”
Success!!! We celebrated together the locum’s cunning, persistence, and determination to spare the lady a trip to the local hospital, while I wiped tears of laughter (and sympathy) from my eyes. Brilliant.
Back at Base, I related this tale to my colleagues.
“A deodorant lid? Are you Sure?” quipped a driver. “Why would anyone do that?!”
“Perhaps she acted on Impulse” said our lovely telephonist.
“Poor woman,” I said. “You can see why she would want to keep Mum.”