Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Whose bits are they, anyway?

My sister and I were both having minor surgical procedures today (mine, a biopsy of the nose. I now have a blue stitch in my nose. Why blue? Why not nose-coloured? Why?). And we were discussing on the phone what happened to bits of us that had been removed.

When I had my hip replaced fve years ago, I asked if I could keep my old one. After the expected shock/horror/"why-would-you-want-to-do-that" reaction, I was told that no. I couldn't have it back. They did show it to me afterwards, but I was too woozy to take a lot of notice. But now, far too late, I feel quite cross about it.

My body is mine. Its bits are mine. What I wish to do with those that are removed is my business. If I want to pickle them, or make them into paper weights, then that's up to me. So, as we chatted, we had lots of ideas about what could be done with people's bits, and a new way of making money for the NHS into the bargain.

For instance, a hip bone could be polished and laid on its side like a log, and with a pretty little ceramic squirrel on it would make a nice talking point. Gallstones could be polished and made into jewellery. Pretty well anything coudl be fixed in perspex and made into a paper weight, book ends, or some other useful/useless article. The NHS could arrange for this, and without charging the patient for the actual body part, could charge for the additional art work. A win-win all round.

What do you think?.

27 comments:

  1. Well posts don't come more bizarre than than Frances. I loved it! I think people are often given their gall and kidney stones as mementos. The only things I've had removed are things I definitely wouldn't want back at any price although I suppose once the autopsy has been performed on The Thing I had removed from my neck last week I could put in perspex and use it as a paperweight as you have suggested. But I don't think so. Thought: and in my will I bequeath all my removed body parts to my favourite nephew. Perhaps not.

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  2. PS What happened to the Magpie post?

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    1. I suspect the Magpie post was posted a week early.

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    2. Wether or not we want our bits back, and I think we should be asked, Graham. As for the Magpie, it was a bit soppy, so I removed it. One can have too much soppy, and I'm no good at it anyway.

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    3. The teaser I saw was fine, I like a little weep.

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    4. Adrian, you're very kind, but admit it. It was awful.

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  3. They gave me a before and after picture of a cyst removed from my lady parts and another of the inside of my knee, described as "like a road full of potholes".
    Maybe I should have had the surgeons sign them?

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    1. Well, that was thoughtful of them. I'm impressed!

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  4. The only bits I've had removed have been teeth, and frankly I was glad to be rid of them.

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    1. But Cro....what about the tooth fairy?

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    2. She only coughed-up until I was 12.

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  5. Hope your nose is better soon, Frances.
    My son was annoyed after he had his wisdom teeth out when they said he couldn't have them.
    I don't really see why we shouldn't be given back our own bits. x

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    1. And they're not really anyone else's to give back, Teresa! We're the ones who do,the giving, albeit unwillingly.

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  6. What's wrong with blue? f you want to choose suture colours then go to a dressmaker.
    I think a Robin on a bit of thigh bone would make a grand centre piece for Christmas lunch.
    Let us have a picture of your nose with it's seasonal decoration. I hope the biopsy comes back showing both it and the stitch were unnecessary.
    Last time I had a cast on my arm I had a choice PINK or CAMOUFLAGE. I thought it was great I chose pink. They should have been blue but they had run out.

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    1. Adrian, blue doesn't match my face. And I've got to go back and have a thing removed, and plastic surgery. Not major, but a nuisance. A Rudolph Christmas for me.

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    2. Oh dear Rudolph. Is it really necessary?

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  7. I was given my gallstone. I didn't ask for it, I was just presented with it in the same way people sometimes give out certificates for taking part in things.

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  8. My mother was given her gallstones, some 50 years ago. They sat around in a small jar for years and I suppose she threw them away eventually.

    There is a story locally that, when an autocratic old lady had her hip replacement, she insisted on being given the old joint. She cooked it and gave it to her Bedlington Terrier, who was visibly upset and refused to touch it, to her indignation. I've never felt able to ask her if it's true.

    When I had my hip replaced, I wished I'd asked to see the pieces they removed and the pieces they were putting in. I suspect I'd have had more luck with the latter, but I'll remember it for next time.

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    1. Hmm. Reminds me of a friend who ate the placenta after giving birth. But at least it was hers to eat....

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  9. I don't wish to keep any of my 'bits'. I would donate to medical science if they were any good though. Hope your biopsy is negative. I had one on my nose too and they had to remove it, but noone has ever noticed the scar unless I make a point of showing them.

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  10. Whoops, no they didn't remove my nose! That would look fun on the mantelpiece!

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    1. Biopsy probably not negative, but not too serious. A nuisance, though.

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  11. The only bits that have so far been removed from my body were my tonsils when I was 9 years old and a snippet of one of my "lady parts", as English Rider in her comment has so nicely put it (didn't know that expression but I like it!). Neither the tonsils nor the bit of lady part would have made for an attractive keepsake. Besides, I have a hearty dislike of clutter anyway.
    I hope your plastic sugery will go smoothly and you won't end up looking like Michael Jackson...!

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    1. Michael Jackson...oh dear. I hadn't thought of that. I shall now have nightmares.

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  12. I think (spoiler warning!) it's in the film Fried Green Tomatoes that someone has a funeral ceremony and separate burial for his arm (lost in an accident)...

    So, do you have a jar tucked away somewhere with old teeth, hair and nails...? I don't really want to know! but if not, I suggest giving up the grudge as the collection won't be complete anyway... ;)

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    1. You're missing the point, DT! I wanted to be given the choice. I don't choose to store hair and toenails, but I do decide their fate.

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