We honestly thought he had a virus. Or was teething. Saturday Jack threw up a couple of times, then had a little fever. He was a little puny for the next few days, with off and on fevers, and not eating great. But nothing alarming. Last night (Wednesday) was the worst. His fever was up to 102.5. His voice was a little hoarse. He only would eat cold things like ice cream and applesauce. He would drink and nurse, but just wasn't himself. I contemplated taking him to the ER, but hey, I'm a doctor, right? I'd be bringing my kid in for some virus that there was no cure for.
But still, 6 days of fever is a little concerning. I called my office this morning and had him worked in with one of my partners. The ears were good. The lungs were clear. No bad rash. His throat was a little red, but nothing horrible. He had lost 10 ounces since his check up last week, though. Since it'd been going on for so long, and he was dehydrated, we started with blood work, a urinalysis, a swab for influenza and RSV, and a chest x-ray. Just to "cover the bases".
The drawing blood was bad enough. The swabs sucked. The chest x-ray was even worse. They have this little chair they put the kid in, then strap him in with his arms above his head. But that was nothing compared to the overwhelming wave of nausea that hit me when this came out of the x-ray developing machine.
No, that's not a 70s disco gold medallion necklace. No, that's not something on the machine. That's a coin stuck in my son's esophagus. My little almost 13 month old son, that just a year ago, was just barely getting off the ventilator and out the the NICU. How crappy of a mom am I to first of all, let this happen, and second of all, to not even have a clue that it did?
So off we went to the ENT's office, who sent us to the hospital. We had to wait a couple of hours, because I had nursed him during his appointment at my office. So at 2:30, they took him back to the OR, put him to sleep, intubated him, stuck a scope down and pulled it out. His esophagus is a little irritated, but if certainly could have been worse. We were placing bets on what denomination of coin it was. I was voting for a nickel, but no...
A penny. A 1976 penny to be precise. I feel horrible. But Jack's none the worse for it. He is already much more back to his normal self. He chowed down on supper tonight. He's had his first soaking wet diaper in days. It could have been much worse, but someday we'll all laugh about it. We're already joking that we're going to have the penny and the x-ray framed or something.
The penny says, "In God we Trust". But in our house, it's in Dr. Lamers, Dr. Ward, and Dr. Snow that we trust.