Some patients are like the living room couch - reach into the folds and it's anybody's guess as to what you might find. Loose change, gum wrappers, half-eaten candy bar? You never know.
I'd heard the urban legends of obese patients with unopened Twinkies found in their jowls. I've even seen patients get off the stretcher to go home and find nickels and dimes left on the sheets. But I never anticipated my own, almost Indiana Jones-level discovery.
Working a hallway team the other night, a PA asked if I could help roll an obese patient whose back needed to be examined. I tried to reach across the patient and pulled them towards me as best I could. Starring off into space while waiting for the PA to finish his exam, I heard an unexpected "pthwack." I looked back at the PA, who was holding the rectangular handicap parking placard he had just peeled out from the patient's skin folds.
Our eyes met, drifted back to stare at the unexpected surprise, and then without breaking face, we finished the exam in silence. Saying nothing, the PA left the placard on the counter as we left.