très bizarre

Pea sprout plucked from Cape man’s lung
August 12, 2010

By L. Finch, Globe Correspondent

It wasn’t cancer that doctors discovered growing inside a 75-year-old Brewster man’s lung in May after an x-ray of his chest showed a small dark spot.

Doctors feared the worst when Ron Sveden, already suffering from emphysema, was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital, coughing with a collapsed left lung and pneumonia. But after multiple biopsies, doctors discovered not a tumor — but a pea seed germinating inside Sveden’s collapsed lung.

They removed the sprout, about a half of an inch tall, and Sveden has recovered.

(full story at the Boston Globe)

Stories like this are what lend credence to those “old wives’ tale” type warnings we used to get as kids.  You know the ones, “your face will get stuck like that if someone hits you on the back”, etc.  I suspect these are culturally specific.  E.g., a good friend of mine worked in Italy for a while and consistently horrified her host family by insisting on drinking not just cold beverages (which apparently is bad enough) but beverages with ICE!  One day, she did become ill, suffering from some gastrointestinal upset and pain.  My friend reported hearing members of her host family telling the doctor in hushed tones that although they had warned her not to, she had insisted on drinking ice cold beverages – which all right thinking people (Italians) know is a trigger for GI trouble.

So what is your favorite medical urban legend/old wives’ tale?

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