Thursday, March 20, 2008

Penny For Your Thoughts

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.

11 comments:

George said...

My son, the nihilist...





(Ok, for those who don't get the joke... Nihilists follow Nietzche, who said, "That which does not kill me, makes me stronger." Think Little Miss Sunshine.)

Sharon said...

I loved Little Miss Sunshine! That is one of my favorite movies. You all are awesome parents to little Jack. He's got such a great disposition even with a penny in his esophagus. Let us know if you need anything. Cheers, Sharon

Anonymous said...

You could start a new game at your house: Our little piggy bank!

Insert coins and golden nuggest come out the other end!

BTW, this trumps anything Sophie ever did.

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Kat with a K said...

Oh my! How scary. At least now you have a good story to tell your patients when they feel like they've missed something obvious... :)

M167A1 said...

I'm glad it turned out okay. I bet old Geo was pooping yarn balls during the process. I know I would be.

Sadly he (Geo) did misrepresent Nietzsche. While he praised the coming of nihilism as a trial that man must survive, he was not himself a nihilist.

"I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism's] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength."

– Nietzsche, Complete Works Vol. 13

CathyCate said...

Been there, done that with my 22-month-old -- except it was in her stomach, and our penance was going through stinky toddler poops till it came out.

Never did see it; I think the babysitter didn't look as hard as we did. Stud finders work great for coin location, BTW.

Here's a true story for you: In 3rd grade, I had an itchy rash; my father (granted, an ophthalmology resident, but he'd been an Army GP for 3 years) decided I had flea bites from letting the dog sleep on my bed and sent me to school. The teacher, an intimidating elderly matron, saw me scratching my back, called me up to her desk, pulled up my shirt in back, CORRECTLY DIAGNOSED CHICKEN POX, and sent me home! There, does that make you feel better?

Felicia said...

Oh my goodness. Glad everything worked out with that penny :)

C. said...

Poor Jack! Poor Mommy! Mothering seems to be about living on the edge of hysterical fear for every waking moment. Thanks for the cautionary tale--my little Meredith is 6 months old & will start crawling any minute.

angelarae said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. Kids get themselves in all kinds of trouble, no matter how diligent you are. One of mine choaked on a bell once and the other put a rock in his ear. LOL! My daughter swallowed a penny and I only found out when I heard it hit the porcelain in the toilet as she pooped. Kids....
Ang
Mother of 5
Future Alcoholic

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