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Friday, August 19, 2011

A Penny in Hand...and Mouth

I almost lost my baby to a penny. One cent. A worthless, useless, peice of copper (and lead) that my older child(ren) had left on the floor. You know the saying, "Find a penny, pick it up and all day you will have good luck."
No. Not at all.
I saw the baby had something in his mouth. (as he always does), and was aruging with my older two to stay in bed, as they had gotten out for the millionth time. (which they also do when daddy is not home).
I slammed the door, told them to stay in bed, and put the baby on the floor to change his bum.
As I was changing him, I remembered about the item in his mouth which I thought was LEGO; since we have a TON of that laying around the house.
He looked at me and giggled as I lifted him up to remove the object, at that moment he laughed and choked. I panicked.
I could hear that it has gotten stuck, so I put him across my knees and did the back blows that I was taught by my husband when a child is choking. No use. He just kept coughing and crying. I thought at least it wasnt in his airway.
I called my husband and asked what to do, and then got a lecture from a very irate firefighter/paramedic that told me that he could not assess our son as he was over the phone. So I hung up and called our 24 hour health service.
At this time the baby had stopped crying, but my mommy gut was still going off. As I explained all the symptoms to the nurse, drooling, not nursing, not eating etc... she asked me to give him a sip of water, which I did and caused him to go into fits of coughing again.
She told me to drive to the closest hospital immideately. (I should have called the ambulance at this point).
I called my mom to come over and watch the other two children and got dressed, me and the baby (as we had been in pjs), and while I was putting him into his car seat my mom pulled in.
I got in the car and sped the whole way (yes, not safe) to the hospital.
As I was driving I could hear him struglling, and gurgling, so I started to panic. It took me 15 minutes to get there from my house... (it usually takes more like 25).
I pulled into short term parking, looked at the pay meter, decided to check on the baby first...I opened the van door and he was covered in drool and vomit. It was like he was foaming at the mouth. (a sign of airway obstruction).
He did not look good.
I decided to skip the payment for parking and RAN him into the ER. Right up to the front. Waited 2 minutes while they were doing paperwork, and then was called to the window.
As soon as I got there I started bawling.
I explained what had happened and they took him into the back. As soon as we got a bed the tirage nurse called a code and 2 doctors and 3 nurses came running in.
I lost it. I felt like the worst mother of the year. So mad at myself for not being more vigalent about toys on the floor.
They gave him an Xray and stabilzed him. (apparently if he was on his back or on an incline - like a car seat, it exacerbated the problem).
I was shocked when I saw it was a coin.
Wedged in the collarbone area, side ways. So he could breathe when upright but not able to drink, or eat.
I was told to grab my car seat out of the van and then we were transported to the Children's hospital in the area by Ambulance, lights and sirens.
Once we got there we got a room in the ER and waited until 4 am for a bed to open up. He was not allowed to eat or drink so I kept him in the sling (Thank Goodness I Brought the Sling!!) which made him think it was nap time.
We were told that we had a bed and so we went up and I was shown a bed....for him.
Which makes sense. But we are cosleepers, and there was NO way that he would ever sleep in a crib for the first time in a hospital!
So we slept in a chair.
The things we do for our kids. I slept sideways with my feet over the edge. They were so numb when I woke up an hour later that I thought about calling a nurse!
We waited for 12 hours in all for day surgery.
They took him from me and put him out and then used an endoscope and a pair of itty bitty forcepts to take the offending penny out. The whole procedure was less than an hour.
But the LONGEST hour of my life so far.
After he woke up he nursed and we had to wait an hour to get discharged.
We (my mom who had come to be with me for the surgery) drove back to the first hospital where my van was (no ticket!!) and then I jumped out and drove it home.
I am keeping the penny forever. I am going to make it into a peice of jewlery.
A friend of mine stayed with my older boys to help out, and we had many people ask how we were doing.
He was fine, no worse for wear. Happy as a clam at the hospital, with me, snuggled in my sling. I on the other hand was an emotional wreck and now hyper sensitive to anything on my floor.
I guess that is what happens when a penny almost takes your child away from also readjusts your priorities, and the way that you look at things in life.
How something so small, so useless, so worthless could have *killed* my son. Taken him away from me forever.

ps. a penny is as corosive as a battery when in the human body. THROW your pennys AWAY!!
pps. ALL of the health care personelle were amazing. All of them. So understanding, supportive and caring. For such a horrible incident for me and my family they made it feel better. I will be forever grateful to the men and women who worked in both ER's, surgery and Patient Transfer forever.


Attachment Mama said...

Oh my goodness this just gives me goosebumps, I am so glad your little one is ok! I am going to do another check of my house after reading this...

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