Monday was grocery-getting day, and we all decided to go. Around 4:30 or so, we were in Sam’s Club, when Durin kind of whimpered and said, “I think I just swallowed a quarter.”
Seriously? Oh, my word, child!
Levi took him to the bathroom to try and see if he could throw up and push it out, since it felt to Durin like it was still in his throat. No luck. However, he couldn’t stop spitting, so I gave him my Sonic cup for the rest of the trip. I called a friend, and had her Google it for me, but she got conflicting information. I called the Nurse Advice line while waiting outside the library for Levi, and they gave me a lot of encouragement and reassurance, as well as signs to watch for that would tell us to call the doctor.
In the majority of cases, coins just pass through, and come out the other end in a day or two. No problem-o.
On the way home from the library, Durin finally threw up. I checked it for the quarter – no luck. Sigh.
We decided to wait and watch, and we put him to bed with a bowl to spit in. He threw up several times throughout the night, and woke up pretty miserable and in pain. He tried to down a piece of plain toast, but threw it right back up, sans quarter. That was the sign we were looking for. It had been more than 12 hours, and he hadn’t been able to move it either direction.
I called the doctor’s office, and they sent me to the ER immediately.
We arrived somewhere around 9am.
While Durin was being triaged, the nurse asked him why he swallowed the quarter. Durin said, and I quote: “Well, I had it in my hand while I was pushing the cart at Sam’s Club, and that was uncomfortable. So, I put it in my mouth instead.”
As opposed to a pocket?!
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. He gets his (lack of) logic from his mother.
While we waited, I encouraged small sips of water to keep him hydrated, but he threw those up within minutes, so I knew none of it was going down. He couldn’t even swallow spit. He was complaining that it hurt in his chest and back, too, and just was not himself. Though I knew it was not life-threatening, my heart hurt to see him so miserable. He was not himself.
He was given an x-ray somewhere around 10:30 or so, and got to see the picture. He thought that was pretty cool, of course. Who doesn’t like to see their own bones?At about 11:30, he was given an exam room in the pediatric emergency unit, where I told him to put on his best pouty face. The smiles he had attempted were too pained, so I tried to be a little goofy with him to keep him relaxed.
A few minutes later, a nurse came in to let us know what the plan was. They were going to see if some IV meds would help. Zofran, to try and ease the nausea. Then Glucagon via IV, and nitro glycerin sublingually to relax his esophagus in the hopes that it would encourage the quarter to move down and pass on its own.I explained what getting an IV would be like to Durin, and told him that I knew he could hold still, and breathe deeply to help feel better about it. I wish I had a video of the procedure – he was amazing! The nurse was great, and told him about each step, and gave a count of three for the needle. Durin breathed in, and exhaled while she poked. He gasped a little, but didn’t flinch, and didn’t cry. At all. He was such a brave little champ! I am so proud of him. The nurse told him he did better than most full-grown men who need an IV!
Anyway, the Zofran didn’t help, because his nausea didn’t originate in his stomach, but at the base of this throat where the quarter was stuck. It was his gag reflex being triggered over and over. So, we turned down a second dose.
For the other two meds, we had to wait several hours before they would know whether it had moved. They put him on the surgery schedule for 5:30, just in case it didn’t work. In the meantime, Durin watched an episode of SpongeBob (blech), Power Rangers (which annoyed Durin, because “they aren’t even hitting each other!”), and DragonBall GT. He liked DragonBall.
They admitted Durin as an outpatient on the pediatric floor, and we arrived in our room at about one o’clock. On the way up, Durin and his tech, Gabriel, discussed The Hobbit, and Gabriel encouraged Durin to keep reading. Durin said, “Oh, I will! I love books!”
He got a lot of compliments and encouragement from the staff every time they came in and he was reading the book he had brought. I love that.
In the room, the waiting game began. A volunteer came in and read a portion of a Magic Tree House book, and gave him two of them to keep. Durin kept throwing up and dry-heaving every hour or two, and was spitting constantly. He was hurting so much, and feeling weak, because he hadn’t been able to eat in a long while. Plus, he was still a little dehydrated and just in a lot of pain.
I was briefed by our wonderful nurse on what the surgery would entail, and that’s when I found out it would be general anesthesia. *Gulp*
Sabrina was awesome, and brought me some Wendy’s, and brought her boys in to visit. Durin’s first real smile all day came when I told him they were coming. Poor kiddos didn’t get to talk to Durin much – he was so tired at that point, he couldn’t keep his eyes open.After they left, I crawled into bed with him and held him while he took a short nap.
The surgeon ordered another x-ray, to see if it had moved, and they were able to do it right in the room. At five o’clock, Durin was wheeled down to pre-op and prepped. Several staff members asked Durin if he was scared. He kept telling everyone, “Nope. I know I’ll be just fine. I feel safe here.”
The nurse looked at me and said, “If only all patients had this much peace.”
Durin and I hung out and talked in pre-op, and I told him that he felt so safe because Jesus was in the bed with him, and he said he knew that. He asked the surgeon a few very intelligent questions about what would happen, and she was very impressed with him. So was I. I honestly didn’t know he had that in him.
He is more grown-up than I knew.
Anyway, of course the surgery went off without a hitch, and the quarter was brought to me in the waiting room in a specimen cup!In recovery, he was a little loopy, but already feeling so much better. He found the shaking from drugs really weird, but loved the warm blankets they gave him. He said it felt so good to swallow the apple juice they gave him, and he chugged it right down.
They wheeled him back up to his room, and told him that if he could manage a popsicle, we could head home. Oh! the torture! A popsicle?! He really had it rough!
We headed out the door, welcomed by rain! Beautiful rain to put out the fires in the mountains! We marveled at a gorgeous double rainbow on the way home, and walked into our door at almost eight o’clock. We’d been at the hospital nearly 12 hours for a 15 minute surgery. I just thank God it was something so simple, and not what usually hospitalizes children. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have to stay there for even one night, let alone many nights!
As much as he loves adventures, this isn’t quite what he had in mind, I don’t think. He got tired of everyone asking him how he’d managed to swallow a quarter at his age. I’m pretty sure he’s finally learned, and I hope the lesson spreads to his siblings, who all still have a bad habit of putting things in their mouths.Like an NFL team, we got a very expensive quarter back. (Har, har, har!)
And me? I was at peace the whole time as well. I never worried, but I wanted to cry a few times. It was so strange. I never let the tears come, because I didn’t want to freak Durin out, but they wanted to fall! I have no idea why, other than that my body was experiencing a stress reaction. Still, I know my God held me, and even though this wasn’t serious, gave me peace. He really does care about the little things. He is so good – I don’t know how anyone does life without Jesus Christ.
Please just pray for us, as we are not insured at the moment. Though we have a decent emergency fund, this will likely wipe it out if the Lord doesn’t provide other avenues that can help us out a little. We were given information on various programs we can apply for, and I would like to try my hand at negotiating since whatever we pay will be cash.
We have an ER visit, two x-rays, three drugs, an IV, staff, a room, an anesthesiologist, a surgeon, an OR, and who knows what else to pay for. I’m not worried, though. This was a need, and I know that “…my God will meet all [our] needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
I have full confidence the Lord will come through, and take care of us. And if that means wiping out our emergency fund and starting over – at least the need was met! Honestly, I’d almost rather do that than accept help from the government at this point. I don’t want to saddle other tax payers with bills that we are responsible for.
Thank you to all of you who prayed, and who encouraged me. Who offered help and service to us yesterday. This was such a simple thing, though tiring, and it was made that much easier by each of you. God bless you.
Grace & Peace,
PS: Thank you for letting me ramble on for 1600+ words. Eesh…