A Cautionary Tale of Cabbage Juice, a Brush and Barbecue

You know you can find and read some really wacked out stuff on the internet.  Like the time Big Boss had a tummy ache and found a cure online.  Yep, the sure cure was cabbage juice.  It made sense though.  Fermentation would add needed little bugs into his system and all would be well.

He’d already taken every known medicine for intestinal upsets.  For quite a while. Actually, for over a year.  The doctor was baffled.

So BB found his cure online and drank quarts and quarts of cabbage juice.  I bought tons of cabbage. I chopped cabbage. We bagged cabbage. We fermented cabbage.  We moved the cabbage industry out to the garage because it was stinking up the entire house.  Actually, the truth is, I insisted it be moved.  Enough was enough.  And believe me when I say, you did NOT want to enter the garage.  For anything.

He was in the middle of his cabbage cure, when the nurse called and said he needed to come in for more tests.  He assured her that he was better.  The constant tummy upset was much better although the sharp pain in his left side was still there.  His answer was met with complete, total, dead…silence.  Poor nurse lady probably didn’t know whether to just believe him and hang up or call the men in the white coats.  She finally insisted that he come in again.

He did.  Still couldn’t find anything, even after a sonogram and X-rays. Nothing. So they sent us to have a MRI. Ah HA!  Finally we had results! Something was there.  But what??!!  The test results were sent to a larger town and a surgeon that our hometown doctor referred us to.

Long story short…the new doctor suspected a piece of wire was in the peritoneal cavity…that’s where the stomach, appendix, etc. are.  And no, BB had an appendectomy when he was a kid, so that was ruled out from the beginning.

Huh? How? What? You’re kidding right?  Nope, he’d seen it before.  Maybe from a wire brush in the farm shop that they use to polish metal?  Big Boss was drawing blanks on this theory.  He just didn’t remember doing such.

The solution was surgery…of the exploratory kind.  Oh great.  I’d heard horror stories about exploratory surgeries.  But if that was the only option left, so be it.


Pic cap after the doctor removed the wire.

The doctor came out when the surgery was complete carrying a piece of wire. He said that the Hand of God had been with us that day as he went through layers of skin and fat and was guided straight for that piece of wire!  Yep, he was right. It was located right next to BB’s intestines, a mere nat’s wing distance from perforating said intestine.


The actual post-surgery wire which is now filed under “Wire” in our office! 🙂

The wire the doctor showed me was about 1″ long and very, very thin.  It almost reminded me of wire on a…brush. Only not one at the farm…one in his cook shack.  That’s where BB cooked the most delicious steaks for our hunters and family.  It was his practice to clean the grill off with one of the steel grill brushes… you know the ones you can get almost anywhere.  His  brush had a wood handle and was getting quite worn.

I asked the doctor if I could have the wire to compare to the brush wire at home and he obliged, asking me to call him. I got BB bundled up once he recovered, got him home and ensconced in to his comfy bed and went outside for the brush. Using my magnifying glass, I compared the 2 wires.  Sure enough, they were exactly the same gauge, color, length and had a twist to them that matched. Same. Exact. Wire.

So there you have it.  Somehow, BB had ingested the wire via steak, with the wire sticking to the meat.  He ate the wire-infested steak and the wire had landed in his intestine and then worked its way out of the intestine and made its home in the peritoneal cavity.  Where it poked him and hurt him and became a real pain!

The moral of the story?  Well, I threw the old brush away. But that’s only part of the moral.  The doctor and I decided it would be wise to continue to clean the grill as before, only with a new, sturdier brush.  And then…wipe the grill off with a moist paper towel, to insure that no debris remained on the grill.  Or maybe, run a magnet over the grill to pick up those pesky wires!!

So, be careful out there during this busy, grilling and barbecue season!  You never know what you might find on your grill!!

Cute get well note from one of the grandson’s:


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6 Responses to A Cautionary Tale of Cabbage Juice, a Brush and Barbecue

  1. Kitty says:

    Truth is so much stranger than fiction. Cabbage juice?


  2. grammyjj says:

    I like your filing system “wire”…very profound…


  3. heartfelt4 says:

    I remember this! And I think we saw the ‘actual’ wire! Or was it a photo of the actual wire? Amazing story, Queenie! God is good!


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