Rx: Sugar

“Sugar on someone’s butt?” Ayay asked.

Ayay was listening rather too intently as F described how to treat a medical problem called rectal prolapse, which is when one’s rectum telescopes out and slides out of one’s anus. (I’m giggling right now. Very immature and insensitive, I know.) Once the rectum is out, it swells up making it virtually impossible to put back in the patient.  And out of all the medications and treatments developed in the modern field of medicine, the way to treat this problem is with a common kitchen item…sugar.

F took care of such a problem during a recent call night. Since it was 2am, the cafeteria was closed, so he had to ransack various doctors’ and nurses’ lounges for packets of sugar. It was more difficult than you’d think. He found handfuls of Splenda, Equal, Sweet n’ Low, but artificial sweeteners wouldn’t work. It had to be good old plain white sugar.

Medical Marvel

Medical Marvel

After 20 minutes of sugar hunting, F finally had an emesis basin full of sugar, so he reported back to the ER ready to sprinkle on the sugar. Yes, I said sprinkle, and I don’t mean into the patient’s mouth. The treatment for rectal prolapse is to sprinkle sugar on the exposed rectum.

This is what I imagine in my head: There F stands, sprinkling sugar, doing a little dance, sprinkling more sugar, saying a little chant, perhaps someone beating on a drum with torches lit in the background and incense burning as he sprinkles on more sugar — a little voodoo medicine in the midst of bright lights, white coats, monitors and other state-of-the-art devices.

Apparently it works. I’ll spare you the details about F struggling to push the rectum back into his patient, but a spoonful of sugar helped the swelling go down.





7 responses to “Rx: Sugar

  1. Your Dad should read this.I am not sure if he knows about this.

  2. something new wa. the rationale is perhaps the sugar draws the fluid out of the tissue ,making the swelling go down and the prolapsed is then easily reduced. I wonder if salt works the same way except it may cause some burning sensation.

  3. maggiebahnson

    F cannot remember the exact reason why you shouldn’t use salt, but salt somehow causes damage. So if you’re trying this at home, be sure to use sugar, not salt!

  4. worst…entry…ever…I’m going to have nightmares now! Thanks, M!

  5. maggiebahnson

    Sorry if this one gives nightmares! Our house is often filled with medical talk, and this was, according to F, one of his most bizarre experiences so far. It was too interesting (and strange) not to share!

  6. Weirdly enough, Dad and I remember this sort of home remedy from his having to deal with prolapsed uterus’s in cattle and/or from watching “All Creatures Great and Small”!

  7. Wow…that was interesting. I was thinking, “Maybe I went into the wrong field,” until the part about pushing it back in came up. Ew!

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