Monday, September 06, 2010

chewing gum









we keep chewing gum in the car for days when we need to drive long-distance. the boy saw the last piece & asked if he could have it. i allowed him & instinctively told him not to swallow it.

instinctive because i remember when i was his age, i was told the same thing, & also that if i swallowed chewing gum, it would get stuck in the bowels & an operation was needed to remove it. it was all the more horrifying because i actually swallowed one accidentally.

it wasn't until i was in med school that i realised the chewing gum story was just an old wives' tale. the gum is just too small & the inside of the bowel too slippery for it to get stuck. it would just be passed out after a day.

but because i didn't know it then, i waited many anxious years for my fate, an agony i certain the boy will never go through.

ah, ignorance is such bliss!!

12 comments:

iml said...

True, I've been told the same thing too and with a wild imagination, I have never dared to swallow one. Now I know.

Adino said...

I did try to swallow small bits of chewing gum when I was young (not the whole thing). Realize now I am so naughty and that's why my daughter is doing the same to me.

doc said...

Iml,

come to think of it, i've never heard of anyone needing an operation for swallowing chewing gum.

doc said...

Adino,

all's fair in love & war!

ilene said...

hehehe...I too was a victim to that kind of statement! How naive of me!

doc said...

Ilene,

when we were young, we tend to believe things adults tell us. i also remembered being told never to point the finger at a rainbow, or else it will be cut off by some supernatural force!!

Mei Teng said...

I don't chew gum. Don't know why but I have never had the desire for those juicy fruit gums.

doc said...

MT,

two advantages of chewing gum are strengthening the jaw muscles & increasing saliva flow (which will deter tooth decay)

anastasia said...

then why don't people swallow gum?

doc said...

Anastasia,

because people would have been told when they were young the same scary old wives' tale.

but now you know better.

JoMel said...

hahaha! If my husband were to read this, he will tell you his chewing gum story. But since he won't be, let me recount it for you. He was in Std 3, and accidentally swallowed a gum. His classmate said to him, "the gum is going to get stuck at your heart, and you are going to die!" He was in tears, thinking that he was going to die before the school day was over... until a teacher comforted him and relieved him of his trauma! hahahaha

doc said...

Jo,

he was lucky his trauma lasted only a few hours; mine lasted many years & i virtually forgot all about it till med school.