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August 15, 2011 5:48 PM   Subscribe

I very likely just ingested the tip of a plastic fork tine. Should I go draw up a will today, or wait until tomorrow?

Just ate a meal with a plastic fork. Heard a click partway thru the meal. Turns out one of the tines snapped off this particular fork. I am pretty sure I ate it. Didn't bite anything weird, so I didn't feel it or anything, but, assuming I ingested it, how much trouble am I in? Fork in question was a clear plastic number with slightly rounded (not TOO pointy) tines.

Also, for the purposes of this question, assume that I ate this bit of plastic. I'm not interested in any "It probably flew across the room. Yer fine, dude!" answers. Thx!
posted by Spyder's Game to Grab Bag (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Eat plenty of fiber and relax.
posted by exogenous at 5:50 PM on August 15, 2011

Well, plastic is sometimes made out of corn, and we all know what corn looks like when it comes out the other end. It's nothing to worry about unless you experience bloody stool or sharp pains.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:51 PM on August 15, 2011

Probably fine. I imagine that this is similar to swallowing glass (only less sharp!) - virtually always, your stomach, which is very tough, sort of massages the swallowed thing along rather than poking it into the sides of itself. Consider that this is smaller and less craggy than a fruit pit, and small children swallow those all the time. Babies apparently swallow pins and are usually okay if they don't bend too much in the following couple of days - and you are a lot bigger than a baby and a plastic tine is a lot duller than a pin.
posted by Frowner at 5:52 PM on August 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

You'll live. I've eaten an entire (fairly sharp!) plastic xmas ornament, and no harm done.

Except for that asL,F#$haDTQkl occasional twitch. ;)
posted by pla at 5:52 PM on August 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Even if you ate it, yer totally fine, dude. Seriously.

This might make you feel better about things.
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:52 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I did that a few years ago and am still here with no pain and no visible results. You do know of user Forktine? (Sorry.)
posted by skbw at 5:53 PM on August 15, 2011

If it's small enough that you aren't sure whether or not you actually ate it, you're fine.
posted by valkyryn at 5:54 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I see no cause for alarm, however, I am not a doctor.
posted by axismundi at 5:54 PM on August 15, 2011

There's a show on TLC called My Strange Addiction. It's pretty ridiculous and stupid, so I make sure to tune in if it's ever on when I'm near a television. One of the episodes follows a girl who eats plastic. She'd been eating plastic things for years. She's not dead. Here's a clip from the show if you're interested.

Not recommended, of course, but this one little fork tine won't kill you.
posted by phunniemee at 6:04 PM on August 15, 2011

As the parent of a child who's consumed some interesting things accidentally and has dashed to emergency in pajamas at least twice, I'd say you'll be fine though IANotYourParent and this is not medical advice. Pray for a vertical, rather than horizontal exit. For the record, batteries and coins and anything that causes one to exhibit discomfort or a severe reaction get emergency room visits - quite honestly, I wouldn't even check the stool for this one.
posted by peagood at 6:15 PM on August 15, 2011

You'll be okay, but you should drink plenty of fluids in the next few days to help it come out more easily. Once you've passed it, don't let success in this area tempt you - do not attempt to eat Chichester Cathedral.
posted by subbes at 6:17 PM on August 15, 2011

I swallowed a Victorinox Toothpick 30 years ago.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:31 PM on August 15, 2011

You should draw up a will whether you eat forks or not. Don't cause your family grief because you were lazy and something surprising happened.
posted by michaelh at 6:39 PM on August 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Seriously, you'll be fine. One time my mother listed off all the things she remembered seeing appear in my diapers, and trust me, one plastic tine doesn't come close to the worst.
posted by Forktine at 7:03 PM on August 15, 2011 [5 favorites]

As a child I once broke a popsicle stick partially in half and then somehow accidentally managed to swallow that 5 inch y-shaped mess whole. I never told my parents & sweated bullets about dying of horrible puncture wounds for weeks. I don't even recall there being discomfort as my system dealt with this. I wouldn't sweat a tiny piece of fork tine.
posted by Ys at 7:06 PM on August 15, 2011

You can eat glass, it will not harm you. (DISCLAIMER: Do not eat glass.)

Your gut is surprisingly good at not puncturing itself, and plastic fork tines aren't all that sharp really.
posted by hattifattener at 7:11 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, you'll be fine.
posted by Forktine at 7:03 PM on August 15

That just made my day.
posted by mannequito at 8:48 PM on August 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Eat plenty of fiber and relax.

My own personal philosophy, actually....

But, yes, you'll be fine. ;-)
posted by 5Q7 at 2:25 AM on August 16, 2011

I don't know, a family member swallowed a toothpick. It pierced his intestinal wall and he was in the hospital for days. IIRC they knew pretty quickly they'd have to get him checked out, so maybe if you're able to think clearly and ask questions on the internet then you're OK.
posted by desjardins at 7:39 AM on August 16, 2011

Thanks for the answers all! One full month later, and I'm NOT DEAD!! All your answers were helpful, but I marked 2 as the best, one because it made me laugh, and the other because Forktine posted it. Thanks again!
posted by Spyder's Game at 12:59 PM on September 15, 2011

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