Livin' on the MDedge

Tales of nasal terror, and dental hoverboarding


A cure for nosiness

Christmas may be just around the corner, but is there ever really a wrong time to huddle around a campfire and swap scary stories? So bundle up, get the fire going, and prepare yourselves for a pair of nasal-based horror stories that will frighten your Jingle Bells off!

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Our first tale of nostril terror comes all the way from southern India, where a 13-year-old boy jumped into a water well to cool off. Hey, southern India gets hot, even in November. But like something out of a bad sci-fi movie, his peaceful swim was interrupted when something swam up his nose, causing him extreme pain. After a 30-minute procedure, the doctor pulled out the culprit: A horrific alien parasite! Okay, we’re lying; it was a fish. But we had you going, didn’t we?

Well, maybe that didn’t get you frightened. But we have more rhinal dread to share! A young girl in Las Vegas stuck a pair of plastic doll shoes up her nose, one in each nostril. Her mother removed one shoe, but neither she nor urgent care could reach the second. A trip to the hospital was in order, and once there, the doctors were able to remove the foreign object in seconds.

But as with all things in U.S. medicine, a reckoning would soon come. You feel it now, the dread in this woman’s heart when the hospital bill came.

She takes the envelope, and opens it slowly.

The paper unfolds, rough and heavy in her hands.

Her eyes scan the page, looking for the number, where is it, where is it? It must be here, it must be ...


That’s right, for this simple procedure, performed with a pair of fancy tweezers, the hospital saw fit to charge the hapless mother $3,000! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Some say that the mother’s high-deductible insurance policy reduced the cost to $1,700. But we ask you, does that make the story any less spooky? We think not.

Hoverboarding down the root canal

Time spent in the dentist’s chair is among the most anxiety-inducing in anyone’s life. The needles. The grinding. The drilling. The rinsing. The spitting. The throbbing copays.

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But you know what might inject a few cc’s of fun into your oral hygiene visits?

Did you guess ... a hoverboard?

If you did, well, you’re probably dentist Steve Martin in “Little Shop of Horrors.” Or perhaps Alaska dentist Seth Lookhart, who authorities say performed a tooth extraction on a sedated patient while Dr. Lookhart also rode a hoverboard. There are also charges of felony Medicaid fraud and reckless endangerment. And allegations of hefty theft from his practice partners. Oh, and a state board apparently suspended Dr. Lookhart’s dental license in 2017.

But hey, pulling teeth while taming a hoverboard? Photos or it didn’t happen, right?

Unfortunately for the well-balanced dentist, there are photos. Actually, there’s an entire video. And when prosecutors showed it to Dr. Lookhart’s unwitting and horrified costar, she was about as happy as the impacted wisdom teeth your teen kid’s still toting around.

Dr. Lookhart denied the felony fraud charges. But he did cop to the hoverboard. Which puts him one up on his cinematic “Wild and Crazy Guy” doppelganger. Even as a neurosurgeon in “The Man With Two Brains,” Mr. Martin never attempted to hoverboard while performing double “cranial screw-top” brain surgeries.


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