When Jenna Evans awoke the morning of September 11, she noticed something was amiss. Her engagement ring, which she had been given less than six months earlier, was missing. She hadn’t just misplaced it, she had swallowed it.
The Southern California woman writes that she was having a dream that she and her fiancé were “in a very sketchy situation involving a high-speed train and bad guys (I have very exciting and vivid dreams).”
“He told me I had to swallow my ring to protect it; so I popped that sucker off, put it in my mouth and swallowed it with a glass of water right [sic] about the time I realized what I was doing. I assumed this too was a dream, because WHO ACTUALLY SWALLOWS THEIR ENGAGEMENT RING, so I went back to sleep,” she adds.
Shortly after waking up, Evans said that her husband was at first in disbelief at her story and said that the couple “laughed pretty hard for about an hour-and-a-half” before googling “do other adults swallow rings?”
The couple went to a local urgent care facility where the doctor ordered an X-ray and confirmed that the ring was indeed stuck in Evans’ gastrointestinal tract.
“At this point, I could definitely feel [the ring] in my guts, it was starting to really hurt and make us nervous,” Evans said.
A specialist recommended intervening with an esophagogastroduodenoscopy or upper endoscopy. This outpatient procedure employs a tiny camera on the end of a long, flexible tube to visually examine the upper digestive system and use special tools to treat problems within it, like extracting an engagement ring lodged just beyond the stomach in a woman’s intestines.
Swallowing jewelry may not be the ideal afternoon snack, but it happens more often than we’d like to admit. In 2012, a 32-year-old Chinese tourist visiting Sri Lanka attempted to steal a 1.5-carat diamond valued at over $13,000 by swallowing it whole. (Spoiler alert: the owner caught him and an X-ray confirmed the gem was stuck in his throat.) Generally speaking, children swallow foreign bodies out of curiosity all the time, but adults tend to accidentally slurp down non-food items accidentally. Most items will pass through the system without signs or symptoms, but some can cause issues depending on whether they are toxic or become lodged somewhere along the GI tract, according to Poison Control. Experts say anyone regardless of age should visit their doctor in order to determine next steps.
And as for the happy couple? Evans said the doctors gave the ring back to her fiancé who returned it to his future wife in one piece.
“I promised not to swallow it again,” she wrote. "We're still getting married and all is right in the world.”