Ambulance stories (6)


The above abbreviation stands for Foreign Object In Rectum, and was something that I would use on paperwork, completed during and after Emergency calls, in my time in the London Ambulance Service. Abbreviations were commonly used, to save time, ensure privacy, and because the space on the form for diagnostics and treatment was very small! Other frequently used abbreviations were;Β  WTASOS (Walked to Ambulance and sat on side). PMCCAH (Patient made comfortable and put in chair at the Hospital), and a personal favourite, MAMH (Mad as a March hare). They are not used these days, as the new forms have various tick boxes and codes, leaving little space for ‘artistic expression’.

In the early 1980’s, the Earls Court area in West London, was a well-known gathering point for the homosexual and lesbian communities in London. There were gay clubs and bars, many of which had been around for decades, and a general tolerance in the district, that made it a lot safer than most areas for those communities to get out and about in, or to live there. The local hospital was called St Stephen’s, now re-built extensively, and re-named The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. This hospital served the area well, and did pioneering work in the early days of HIV/AIDS, always showing great respect to Gay patients, whatever their reasons for attending. It also offered all the usual services to the area, including a busy Casualty Department.

One of its ‘accidental’ specialities, was the treatment of FOIR. These objects, were inserted into the rectums, ofΒ  (always) men, for various reasons, predominantly sexual gratification of some kind, and almost always by the men themselves, and not by a third party. The frequency of these arrivals at St Stephen’s was such that it often went without undue notice. Sex toys that had gone in slightly ‘too far’, household objects, and some fruits and vegetables, were commonplace. There were some more unusual efforts, I recall a shower head attachment on one occasion; however, one night duty, a nurse drew my attention to something that I still remember, 30 years later.

A man in his 40’s had arrived at the department after midnight. He complained of stomach pains, and after further investigation and questioning, claimed to have ‘fallen’ onto a large light bulb. The screw-in connector for this bulb could clearly be seen by staff, protruding from his somewhat distended anus.Β  An X-Ray revealed that this was an enormous Theatrical Spotlight bulb. It had some material inside that was visible to X-rays, similar to the chemicals in a fluorescent tube. The size of this bulb had moved the organs inside the man, pushing them all into a small cavity below his diaphragm, causing great pain, and the glass seemed to still be intact. When he was advised that emergency surgery would be necessary to remove it, and that this would be major abdominal surgery, carrying great risk, the man admitted that he had inserted the bulb himself. Apparently, he had practiced this insertion for some time, adding more and more lubrication, until he was able to get the entire object inside himself. It was something that he had obtained from work, as he worked in a theatre, in Covent Garden. We saw the X-ray, and heard the story, then had to carry on with our work for the night, and the man was taken off to the operating theatre.

When we were next in that area, a couple of nights later, I asked the nurses what had become of the man. I was told that he had died. This was not as a result of the surgery, or even as a consequence of the original insertion of the bulb. It seems that there had been a crack in the glass, and this had allowed some of the powdery material to escape into his bloodstream. This had caused numerous blood clots, which had resulted in his death.

I still have a vision of this man, alone in his home, tentatively trying to insert this huge bulb into himself. It has always haunted me, for some reason.

37 thoughts on “Ambulance stories (6)

  1. That was a great older re post. Brought back memories of long ago on the Police force. We had to respond to a mental health ward one evening to stand by. There was a patient (male0 that had inserted a shower head. FOIR. As you know, cops can have a cold sense of humor to deal with many things. One of the paramedics decided to see if it had grossed us out.

    “Well, what did you guys think of that”! Asked one medic. “Weird, Dude looked like a big cell phone on charge”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect he was just gradually increasing the size of the insertions, and because he had access to those bulbs where he worked, perhaps he became obsessed with them. I have seen other things used in the same way that were equally incredible, like a turned wooden chair leg, and the large wooden ball on the end of a bannister rail. So much goes on, behind the closed doors of big cities.
      Bet wishes, Pete.


    1. I guess that anal insertions start with something small. By stimulating the prostate gland, sexual excitement is achieved. Then the quest begins for something bigger and more unusual, and in this case, ended in tragedy.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ouch! This truly is unbelievable. I mean why would he do that with a GLASS bulb? Apart from why would anyone do that at all…

    More reblogs of your neglected posts Pete – saves us searching the archives, which I used to do on blogs I like, but never seem to have the time to do these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I asked myself all those same questions, Jude. I presume that the danger added to whatever ‘thrill’ the eventual full insertion gave him. By all accounts, it was a very strong bulb. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gave me flashbacks from my time on an ambu and in a Navy ER. (corpsman a million years ago). Heard similar stories from staff docs and other EMTs, and sure made the stuff I’d deal with pretty tame. Lactose intolerant patients insisting that the ice cream didn’t list lactose on the label so ‘that can’t be the problem’ and reducing middle finger dislocations (after waving it at the wrong PO1 in a bar) isn’t so exciting. Big props for your ambu work, though, only did it for a few months, but it was scary times every time we rolled.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooh ouch! Having been an Op Theatre sister you won’t be surprised to know I’ve been involved in FOIR removal several times. Some of my favourites was an old lady who’d managed to shove both sets of her dentures up there, and a boy who had accidentally ‘fallen’ onto a broom handle- that was bad as he’d perforated bowel and ended up with a colostomy – not good at the tender age of 16! Best of all though was removing a large vibrator from a chap, it was still buzzing when we got it out!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You’ll be pleased to hear that it still goes on. Not as often but it happens. If you’ll excuse the pun, it creates some light relief !!


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