Monday, December 14, 2015

a very expensive nickel

On Saturday, the kids ran into our room to tell us that Ella had accidentally swallowed some money.  She was crying a lot, but she seemed able to breathe fine.  Tyler checked her out for a bit to make sure she was okay.  He's a respiratory therapist (he a director now, but he used to work as an RT), which I find is very, very handy when it comes to taking care of choking children.

After a little while, it seemed like the money must have passed cause she settled down and started playing again.  But, he really wanted to verify it was clear, so I took her to the ER at the children's hospital.

We arrived to an almost empty ER room.  There were two families ahead of us.  I explained why we were there.  Then they asked me for her date of birth.  I'm so used to giving them Emma's birthday that I had to pause for a second to think of Ella's.

I was like, "September..."

Thinking really fast in my head about whether it was the 28th or 29th, "...28th..."

I thought through all the kids birthdays.  Thinking maybe it was 2012 or 13.  No, we didn't have anyone in 2012.  "I think it was 2011."

Each part of her birthday sounded more like a question that I was waiting for them to tell me if I got it right or not.

WHO DOES THAT?!  More importantly, WHAT MOTHER DOES THAT?!

They pulled up her file and were like, "Yep, that's her birthday."

YES!  *High 5*

I really do know her birthday.  If you'd asked me at home, I would have told you easily.  I must have been flustered or something and just not thinking straight.  Cause while I sometimes have to think a second whenever I have to give them anyone's birthday but Emma, it's never been that bad.

I walked off to wait when I noticed Ella was drooling.  She had a mouth full of saliva and couldn't/wouldn't swallow.  She was fine otherwise.  I walked over and told them about it, in case it mattered to them.  They said it did, and almost immediately (within a minute) they had someone out to take her back.

She ended up in a room, in a cute little hospital gown, and a towel to spit out on when she needed.  They even turned on one of her favorite movies, Frozen.



The doctor came in pretty quickly and told me that they wanted to do an x-ray to locate the coin, and pretty quickly they had her in a wheelchair moving right along.  This photo doesn't do her justice.  She looked SO CUTE.


She made it so easy for them.  She didn't cry or fight at all.  She did exactly what they said.  In one of the other positions, they told her to look right at the camera (X-ray machine) so she did, and she smiled at it, like you do for photos.  It cracked me up.



The tech showed me the first X-ray!  WOW!  No wonder she couldn't swallow or talk much!

Went back to the room.  The ER doctor came in pretty quickly and explained that the surgery team was gathering and would be in to talk to us soon.

In the meantime, they needed to get an IV in.  She did amazing with it.  They poked her hand once and blew the vein.  She didn't flinch or cry.  They tried again in her arm.  The tourniquet was on SUPER tight and was pinching her skin pretty bad.  Even then, she didn't fight.  She just turned and looked at me with the saddest watery eyes and her lip trembled.  They redid it with some cotton mesh under it to protect her skin.  She was upset, but since they didn't know her normal personality, no one could tell.

If it had been Emma at this age, she would have had them in a headlock, while screaming at them, and ninja kicking.  (Though, understandably Emma has more need to be a fighter than Ella.)


Her hand looked so cute. She held my hand for a long time while we waited.

Our nurse came in to tell us that they were on their way to take her to surgery.  I asked her if she knew whether or not I'd be able to be with Ella when they put her to sleep.  She said no.  She said they do that because some parents find it traumatic when their child is put to sleep.

This is where I stare at you.

Yeah...cause it's really traumatic to watch your child fall asleep.

It almost made me laugh out loud.  I've heard lots of reasons given for why parents can't go back, but that was the first time I'd been told that.  Maybe it's true, I don't know.  It seems most parents find it more traumatic to be away from their child when they are put to sleep.

However, with something in Ella's throat, it made the most sense to me to have her in the operating room when they put her to sleep in case it moved.  So, I was in total agreement with them.


Then they transferred Ella up to another floor via a hospital bed.  She thought that was pretty fun.  She enjoyed the elevator ride.  She didn't say anything.  She just smiled and watched.

The anesthesiologist met us up there.  She was really great.  She explained that they would be intubating Ella to protect her airway should the money move.  They'd be going down through her mouth, then throat, to pull it out.  She gave her some Versed to help ease any anxiety.  Then we had to be separated - me in the waiting room, Ella in surgery.

I was the ONLY person in this huge waiting area.  I considered many options, from practicing ballet to doing some martial arts to streaking.  But I didn't.  And, for some reason, I didn't think to change the channel.  So, I watched Disney (not my favorite channel).

I think I was in there for maybe 10 minutes by the time the doctor came in.  He told me that he got it out.  It was a nickel.  I was surprised cause it looked so huge in her throat.  But she's really little, so it's no surprise I suppose.

It was probably 45 minutes after that when they finally called me back.  Ella was kind of waking up but was still mostly out of it.  She was grumpy.  When they would ask about stuff, she would actually tell them no.  I said, "Oh, she's feeling pretty grumpy.  It's probably from the Versed."  They were like, "She's grumpy?" cause she's still so easy going.  Seriously.  This baby girl is the easiest little girl ever.

They told me that when they took Ella into the operating room, she started laughing and laughing and laughing.  They thought she was really funny.  I wished I would have had more time to see how the Versed affected her with her being goofy.  It sounded so funny.

They gave her a little bear and stickers, and we got to change her back into her clothes.  She asked if she could go on the elevator again, and she was so happy when we did.


The nurses and staff were all great.  I enjoyed getting know them a little bit and am so grateful to each of them for helping Miss Ella to rid herself of the stuck nickel.

She arrived at home to very concerned siblings.  They were all relieved to see she was okay.  She was excited to show them her bear and stickers.  She kept accidentally walking backwards when she meant to walk forward, which was hilarious cause Emma used to do that when she had Versed.

All in all, it was an adventurous day.

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