Foreign bodies lodged in long-suffering internal organs, energy drink-induced seizures and ludicrous home remedies are among a whopping 15,000 submissions published by the British Medical Journal's (BMJ) Case Reports.
The journal has become a repository of the rare, bizarre, life-threatening, mind-boggling patient cases reported by doctors, researchers and other health professionals across the works.
There's the 64 year-old man who mistook a bottle of nail 'super glue' for eye drops, partially fusing his eyelids together, and the myriad of perforated organs and internal bleeding caused by swallowed toothpicks, chicken bones, bobby pins and a bird feather.
The reports also document the lucky breaks and incisive investigations and treatments medicos used to save their patients' lives, eyes, organs and dignity.
In honour of the 15,000 weird and wonderful cases, here's a round-up of some of the most memorable BMJ Case Reports.
Imagine thinking you had cancer only to discover it was in fact a toy you swallowed over a decade ago lodged in your organ. Or your chronic bowel condition was sponsored by the world's most popular canned beans manufacturer.
Foreign objects that mimicked serious health conditions have spawned some of the most surprising case reports.
'Crohn'z meanz Heinz'
This was the mischievous title of a case report that described a 41-year-old woman who had been misdiagnosed with Crohn's disease six years before a laparoscopy discovered the true cause of her abdominal pain and bloating.
There were two pieces of plastic bearing the word 'Heinz' lodged at the intersection of her small and large intestines.
To the author's knowledge, it was the first case of a foreign body mimicking Crohn's disease.
A 49-year-old woman came close to being misdiagnosed with herpes after ophthalmologists found what they thought was a lesion on the cornea of her right eye. But a second look with a more powerful magnifying slit lamp revealed the lesion was particularly sparkly.
"When the patient was questioned directly, she remembers coming in contact with some glitter from a Christmas card," the author said.
The patient was very fortunate not to have been slapped with a herpes diagnosis and treated with antiviral ointment.
A lesion on a woman's cornea that turned out to be a piece of glitter form a Christmas card. Photo: BMJ Case Reports
Lung cancer or hazardous roadworks
When a 47-year-old man with a 30-year pack-a-day smoking history came into hospital with a chronic cough and an X-ray showing an opaque white haze in the lower zone of his right lung, his doctors suspected carcinoma.
On closer inspection, they found a "mustard coloured foreign body" that turned out to be a plastic toy witches' hat from a Playmobil set had been wedged in his lung since he was seven years old.
A Playmobil traffic cone that was lodged in a man's right lung, initially suspected of being cancer. Photo: BMJ Case Reports
Everything in moderation
In Portugal, a 28-year-old man suffered a sudden onset of seizures after he gulped down six Red Bull energy drinks in four hours.
The man was brought to an emergency room in a life-threatening condition. He deteriorated rapidly, was convulsing, unresponsive and had developed hypoxia (his body wasn't getting enough oxygen).
The man survived after emergency medical interventions including a mechanical ventilator and a lumbar puncture just to be sure he had no neurological lesions.
"We postulate a possible role of excessive consumption of caffeinated energy drinks in triggering the life-threatening events described in this case," the authors wrote.
In Britain, a 45-year-old woman had hoped that sipping six cups of liquorice tea per day would help her cut down on caffeinated tea. Instead she started having hot flushes, sweats, headaches and nausea.
She thought she was premenopausal, but in fact the sweet tea had triggered hypertension.
She was back to normal two weeks after she gave up the liquorice.
"The fact that I consumed liquorice tea for health reasons is not lost on me," the woman said.
Some of the most poignant case reports have also canvassed the disastrous effects of unproven alternative therapies.
There was the man who suffered serious liver damage after a naturopath told him to take three tablespoons of epsom salts per day to cure his gallstones, and the women whose herbal detox caused seizures and severely low sodium levels.
A man overdosed on milk of magnesia when he tried to relieve his constipation, and a woman who wanted to lose weight developed hyperthyroidism after following a commercially marketed natural ingredients diet high in iodine from seaweed.
Seema Biswas, editor in chief of BMJ Case Reports, said: "I'm so proud of the fact that we have authors collaborating with each other, that's truly global health."
The collection includes more than 70 global health cases that have wrenched into focus the social determinants of health, including the plight of Syrian refugees, rare tuberculosis cases, and the desire to die in a manner in accordance with local customs.