An Australian man who suffered from chronic sinus infections for nearly two decades has finally found the cause of his condition — a bag of weed stuck inside his nose.
The unnamed man, whose case became the subject of an article in the British Medical Journal, had hidden the marijuana when he was in prison 18 years ago.
CNN reported that the drugs, originally brought to him by his girlfriend, were stashed inside a balloon. The man then stuck the balloon up his nose in order to hide it from guards.
He later tried to remove the package, but only managed to push it further into his nasal cavity. Over time, the lodged balloon turned into a rhinolith, which is a stone that forms around foreign objects stuck inside a person’s nose.
Long after he was let out of prison, the man complained of regular sinus infections and breathing troubles. He never assumed it was due to a specific problem, however, and only found out about the issue after going to the doctor for a completely different medical concern.
Surgeons ultimately operated on the man, now 48, and summarized their findings in the report, which they cleverly titled “A nose out of joint.”
“A 48-year-old man was referred to the Westmead ENT Department after a CT of the brain, originally performed for headaches, demonstrated an incidental 19x11mm calcified lesion in the right nasal cavity,” the report states.
Doctors wrote that they then began questioning the man about the rhinolith, after which he remembered his experience with the balloon of weed.
“On follow-up and specific questioning, the patient was able to recall an incident that occurred 18 years prior, while he was incarcerated,” the report states. “He remained unaware of the package’s presence until presented with the unusual histopathology report.”
Rhinoliths are a rare phenomenon in general, with the report stating that the stones only occur in about one in every 10,000 possible cases. The doctors also noted that this was likely the first-ever reported case of a “prison-acquired marijuana-based rhinolith.”
The man reported that his nasal issues have been completely resolved since the stone was removed, according to the report.
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