For almost every person, the middle school and high school years are awkward and difficult. These young people’s bodies are going through so many changes in addition to all the hormones and new thoughts and feelings they’re starting to deal with. It’s tough for kids as they grow up. And many kids have to deal with braces on their teeth. It’s ubiquitous with coming of age in America. Many children have the metal cemented to their teeth so they can be pulled back and forth into the perfect smile. Those with braces know they shouldn’t chew gum or eat hard candies. They have to replace the rubber bands and visit the orthodontist to make minor adjustments to make sure the teeth are moving in the right direction. Most people have the braces taken off after 18 months or so. Unless they are found clogging up your intestines a decade later.
When an Australian woman started complaining about abdominal pain, she checked herself into the emergency room. The cramping was intense and unlike anything she had ever experienced in her life.
Doctors first thought her pain was coming from the gallbladder. It’s a common enough problem that they’ve encounter numerous times. So they decided to go through the right check. Afterwards, her pain did subside and she was sent home from the hospital.
But her suffering was not over. Two days later the pain was back and she went back to the emergency room.
This time around doctors decided to do a CT scan. That’s when they found the foreign object jammed inside her intestines. It had punctured the wall of her small intestine in many places and was causing serious damage to her digestive tract.
At first the doctors thought it was a fish bone. But the woman didn’t remember having anything like that in a long time.
Whatever it was, the doctors scheduled the woman for emergency surgery. And after that was done, the doctors pulled out a 7-centimeter long wire from her intestines. That’s when they realized what it was. It had come from her braces 10-years before.
The Australian woman didn’t know she had swallowed part of her braces. It didn’t hurt when it happened and just hung out in her gut for a decade. And then it moved and punctured her intestine. That’s when she realized something was wrong.
Dr. Talia Shepherd, the physician who treated the woman, urged people with braces to not be worried. This type of problem is so rare that it’s not even worth bothering yourself over, the doctor said.
But decade-old braces are not the only strange objects found inside people’s digestive tracts. One person swallowed their Fit Bit. Perhaps they were trying to track the number of steps they took from inside their stomach. Another woman complained about stomach pains, much like this Australian woman. But when doctors pulled out the cause, they realized it was a 10-pound wad of hair. Disgusting!
What do you think about this woman finding her braces in her gut so many years later?
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