For Lola: Swallowing Glass

>> Sunday, April 5, 2009

//www.morguefile.comLola: How dangerous is it to eat a small amount of glass? Say a tablespoon. Chewed finely.

Wow, Lola came through on day one with a really tough question. My own searches came out the same as yours but I understand your worries. One day my son, age three at the time, ate 10 christmas lights. Not glass, thank goodness, and LED so they were very very small. They were accessible, but he literally had to yank them out with his teeth because they were in so tight you couldn't use your hands. Scared me to death because, of course, though they were plastic, they had little copper wires stickin' out the bottom. Fortunately for all of us, they passed through without issue (although it might have been uncomfortable). Copper, if it stays in the system (like a penny that doesn't come back up) can cause copper poisoning.

Unlike copper wire, glass is benign reactively, so that's good. If you'd swallowed a tiny glass ball like in the picture, there'd be no issue is except some extra pressure, perhaps, when it came out the other side. Broken glass, however, is a little more tricky, because the edges are the issue.

The finer it is, the more ground it is, the better. Sand, for instance, is effectively ground up glass. Although not something I like to eat, I, like most people who have been to the beach, have eaten some. Tempered glass, which breaks into chunks, rather than shards, is also less likely to be devastating passing through I would think.

In my (nonmedical) opinion, the chewing/swallowing phase of ingesting broken glass is the phase most likely to lead to injury. If you've gone through that unscathed, you are likely to come through undamaged and, any corrective measure (like induced vomiting or surgery) are at least as likely to do you harm as the remainder of the trip. You could take a laxative to help limit hold ups (if you were worried) and I would be on the look out for bloody stools or pain for the next week or so. Still, if you chewed it without serious injury, I think the odds on your side for surviving this unusual ordeal.

You might take the child you mentioned aside and explain that the cost of ice cream is really insignificant compared to the cost of your peace of mind. Don't you think?

I hope you come back and ask me some more, Lola. That was a good one.

  1. oldwestmomon 14 Mar 2009 at 12:35 pm edit this

    Ooooo….Ooooo….I have a question!!!!!!

    I’ve been toying with a writing project and I’m not really sure where it’s going.

    I’ve trying to decide if I should get serious and try to turn it into something big, or if it should just remain a writing exercise, or if I should just shelve it.

    What are your thoughts about “fan fiction?” Is it legitimate to write a story using someone else’s characters?

    I’m struggling, because I’ve been writing a story using the characters of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. I’ve decided to follow Mary Bennett, one of Austen’s lesser sisters from the novel.

    Do I assume Austen’s voice (which is no easy feat), or find one all my own? How do I pay proper homage to such a pinnacle author? Is that even possible?

    This started as something fun, but I’m stuck.

  2. stephanieebarron 14 Mar 2009 at 12:41 pm edit this

    That’s a fine questions and I’ll make it into a post.

    Short pre-answer: I think it’s a fine exercise (for your own sake) but not a good way to make a living.

  3. melissanon 14 Mar 2009 at 12:59 pm edit this

    Ok. Here’s my question. The doctor couldn’t answer me, in fact she answered me with an “anything is possible” and a snicker.

    This is not for the men (sorry), but, Why is it that I have had a period every two weeks for the last six months of my wife’s pregnancy? I am sooooo not kidding here. They have been horrible and I’ve never had a problem. I was tested for menopause (nope), thyroid (nope). One of my best friends had the same experience when her wife was pregnant and all returned to normal after the birth….

    What I’m saying is, it is so hard to be nice and supportive while my wife is pregnant if I am constantly PMSing!

  4. stephanieebarron 14 Mar 2009 at 1:11 pm edit this

    Yay, another good blog post! Woohoo, I’m covered for a while!

  5. fliton 14 Mar 2009 at 6:18 pm edit this

    done snickering now, Lola…. honest …. I’m in the this too shall pass camp…. if you managed to eat it without cutting your mouth, I’m sure it will be fine.

  6. Lolaon 14 Mar 2009 at 7:38 pm edit this

    I’m so honored to have the first question on Ask Me Anything. I’m not thrilled about the circumstances though. Lol!

    Thank you for not laughing. Anastasia was having a field day all night long.

    So far so good. I bought bananas today and I’m thinking of taking some Miralax. I have colitis, so it’s normal when I’m stressing out to have abdominal pain. But of course that is freaking me out, thus causing more pain, thus a vicious circle. I think the Miralax will help. A Xanax couldn’t hurt either. Lol!


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