Thursday, September 5, 2013
Quarter for your thoughts
It had been a long day and I had just gotten everyone tucked in bed. I started doing the daily cleanup when I heard a shrieking coming from the boys' room. It didn't startle me, however, since this can sometimes be a nightly ritual. I calmly took my winded pregnant self up the stairs and opened their door. "You need to stop screaming Henry", I said. Henry looked panicked and said "I lost my quarter! I swallowed it!" He kept coughing and spitting in between explanations of what happened. I hoped it had been a penny but knew that if there's one thing my boys know...it's the difference between a quarter and a penny. So I took him to the toilet since he was breathing and starting to throw up. I hurriedly called almost every member of my family to come over here and help me take him to the E.R. When we got to the E.R. they promptly took us back and after about 20 min. took Henry in for a chest X-ray. Below, you'll see a picture of Henry's chest which shows how the quarter was lodged sideways at the top of his esophagus. I felt so bad for Henry imagining how uncomfortable that would be. They then told us he would need an ambulance ride to the closest children's hospital which was in Peoria about 45 minutes away. The quickest ambulance we could get would be in 2 hours but it had to be an ambulance in case the quarter got jostled and blocked his airway. There's no way I wanted to risk that so we waited until midnight and then I hopped in the ambulance with Henry. He was such a trooper and was mostly distracted by the ipad thank goodness. After we go settled in a room in Peoria we hoped to hear that quarter removal would be quick. But of course it didn't happen that way. The surgical resident told us that since Henry was ok and breathing, etc, he would have to wait until 8 or possibly 10 am for surgery. Meanwhile, he could have nothing to eat or drink, though he did have an iv for fluids. In the morning they took an early xray which showed no quarter in his esophagus. Hooray! The doctor said that if had moved to his stomach then it wouldn't have to be surgically removed and could just take it's course, naturally. Gross I know. Anyway, we knew this meant that he could eat probably but had to wait to hear back officially. Around 8 Henry started asking for food and I told him he'd have to wait to hear what the doctor said. So, every time I left the room to find anything out or to go make a phone call, Henry would have one question for me when I got back, "What did he say?" :( It was such a sweet and heartbreaking question. He assumed I had been talking to the doctor to get permission for him to eat. Of course I would have loved to do that for him but as in most hospitals you spend a lot of time waiting for answers and approvals. Daniel and I were frustrated for poor Henry to say the least. Finally they took a 3rd xray and confirmed it was in his stomach and so we gave him bacon and juice and crackers and well anything we had that he wanted. He had certainly earned it. He got to go home around 12:45 and got a Chick-fil-a milkshake. He napped the rest of the way home since he hadn't gotten to bed the night before until 2. Needless to say I'm so glad to put this behind me and that it's over. It's brought to my attention just how fragile life is and how easily things can go very wrong. I know that I was truly blessed in this situation as it could have been so much worse. I'm grateful for that. It's made me hug my kids a little tighter and read them a few more stories even after I'm tired of it.