Saturday, December 15, 2007

Where is Tyler?

Last week was strange.

It was calm.

My father in law and his wife were headed our way, bringing our niece, to celebrate an early Christmas. I had worked fairly hard getting the house ready and was actually ahead of the game (normally I really race to finish at the last minute). I just had a few last minute (but very time consuming) things to do.

Too calm.

It's Thursday afternoon and I'm on the couch, with my laptop, doing some much needed research. (does playing scrabble on Facebook count as research?). I was trying to get it all done before I had to leave to pick up Paige from school. Tyler was playing his usual game of "can I hit the keys before mom can block my hand". About 2 minutes into my game I realized that Tyler had stopped playing his "laptop game".

Where is Tyler?

We have an open floor plan in our house. I can see the entire first floor from where I am sitting. Well, almost all of it.

Where is Tyler?

I put the laptop down, fully expecting Tyler to come charging in to beat me to the keys.

Where is Tyler?

I head off to the only spot that one sneaky toddler could be hiding, behind our love seat (which is not against a wall).

There he was, big yellow Nerf football in hand. Big yellow Nerf football with a huge chunk missing. I did a quick check of the floor. Only crumbs. I grab Tyler and fish the chunk out of his mouth.

Off to go get Paige.

After we are back at home I place the piece back on the football to show Paige. Wait. There is more missing. Nowhere to be found. Since it was only a small piece (smaller than a pencil eraser), I didn't worry. I call hubby and we both proceed to surf the internet to find something to reassure us that his Nerf snack is non toxic.

After an hour of on and off of unsuccessful searching I shoot off an instant message to some of my fellow bloggers and doc bloggers and go back to cleaning for our visitors. When I hear back from a trusted source that I shouldn't be taking this snack fiasco so lightly, I call the doc who tells me to go straight to the ER at the children's hospital. His concern was that the piece could cause a blockage. He said to get an xray and then we could be on our way.

Sound simple?

I thought so too.
We arrived at the hospital (with football) a little after 6pm.

2 hours in the waiting room filled with sick kids. (We sure were happy that we didn't have Paige with us-thank you Grandma).

1 hour back in a room waiting to be seen.

(Doctor finally comes in and proceeds to tell us that Tyler needs xrays on his lungs-not his intestines-because of the risk of aspiration. I tell the doc that Tyler never coughed or choked. I question the xrays because he is satting at 100% and has good bilateral breath sounds. I said that I wanted to leave since the doc agreed with me that the piece was too small to cause a blockage. I finally give in since I realized that I was being doc mom and forgetting that I am really not a doctor. lol)

1 hour waiting to get the results from the xray

(Keep in mind that Tyler has not had dinner. I didn't feed him before we left in case there was a blockage. The hospital told us not to feed him either in case he needed surgery.)

1 more hour to wait for our turn for additional xrays that the doc originally ordered but were not done because the radiologist did not feel we needed them.

1 more hour of waiting for the results of the 2nd set of xrays.

5 minutes listening to the doctor tell us that Tyler was fine.

We spent 6 hours in the ER!!

Thankfully the hospital has a McDonald's on site that is open 24 hours. We all ate and then headed out for our 45 minute trip home, which took well over an hour because of ice.

I got about 3 hours of sleep and then was up getting my house ready for the visitors that would be arriving that day.

I wish I could have trusted my mommy instinct which was telling me to not go to the ER. The piece was so small and if it was going to cause a blockage, there was nothing we could do about it until it happened.

Lesson learned.


Nancy Brown said...

aww... isn't life eventful. I am glad he is ok. Glad Miss Paige was NOT there for the episode. Good to see that the fear of Germs NEVER goes away!!!

Microsmom said...

Kids are so fun... Im glad he is ok, and im sorry you had to sit in a germy ER and then drive on ice. Glad Tyler is ok.

The Preemie Experiment said...

The fear of germs has never left me, that's for sure!

But, I never secluded Paige from the "normal" germs. One of her early pediatricians told us to stop using antibacterial soap and stop sheltering her, in order to build up her immune system (this was after tests to make sure her immune system was strong enough to handle it). We brought her home in January (1999) and had her at the mall (one of the largest in the US) in February.

She is one of the healthiest children I know. She rarely has a cold. And when she does come down with something, it only lasts a few days.

But, emergency room germs, during a flu outbreak... that's too much for me!

With Tyler, at least we could keep him in his stroller. There was one little child running around touching the babies. I saw him headed our way and I quickly got up and pretended I was taking Tyler to the bathroom. After an hour went by I asked the nurse if there was a place for non sick kids to wait. She told me it was only for immunosupressed kids. I honestly considered lying. lol

It will really be a miracle if this kid makes it even a month without another ER visit. He is a madman! He climbed up on to the table this morning and pulled a large mental flashlight down on to his foot. It is red and swollen. I'm still debating what to do about it. Ugh!

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Laura said...

good lord!~ how scary, frustrating and exhausting!!!! thank goodness little tyler is okay. he is such a cutie!

Amy said...

Glad to hear Tyler is okay!

But the really disturbing part of this story is that there is a McDonalds at the hospital! Have these people never heard of *health* food.

I'm really hoping that its just adjacent to the hospital, and not part of the hospital.

The Preemie Experiment said...

Amy... the McDonald's is IN the hospital! I was just as appalled as you when we moved here and saw it embedded in the kids hospital. That is until last week when it was the only thing open and Tyler could munch some fries. But, the people who work there are some of the rudest people I've ever met. You'd think they would be extra nice knowing that parents and kids must be stressed.

Rebecca said...

Be glad you took him in. There are several very narrow areas between the mouth and the anus that something relatively small could stick. If it did and caused a blockage, the first sign could be excruciating pain from blood to that portion of the bowel being cut off. He could then require emergency surgery. If it was blocked and caught early, then endoscopic surgery (ie., no tissue incisions) could be performed and it would be much easier on Tyler. But, I'm surprised that they did x-rays. Does foam show up on x-ray?? Very glad he's ok.

The Preemie Experiment said...

Rebecca wrote: "If it was blocked and caught early, then endoscopic surgery (ie., no tissue incisions) could be performed and it would be much easier on Tyler."

That was my point. Time was not on our side. If it had been swallowed (and not aspirated) then the fact that they made us wait forever would have put us out of the window of time for the least invasive measure.

As far as the xrays... I asked the doc if Nerf shows up on xrays to which he explained that it would not. But, if the piece was in his lungs the xrays would show abnormal inflation in his lungs.

The Preemie Experiment said...

By the way... I got the bill yesterday (they sure didn't waste anytime getting that out).

It was almost $3,000!

Amy said...

$3000!!! For 2 sets of X Rays and a five minute consultation? In the best private hospital in the city I live in that would cost around R1000 - that's about $200.

How can they justify that?

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one to go through this!! Except rather than 19 months old the child in question was nearly 6 years old and instead of a nerf ball it was a metal magnetic ball from a magnetics set!!!

We had a trip to After Hours, a GP trip later and were sent on to the hospital. Being a metal ball it showed up brilliantly on the x-ray - everyone came out to see it. Nicholas even asked for a copy of the x-ray which they couldn't do then - can now!
It took him 4 days to pass it - and he got so anxious about it he got constipated. When it finally came through Nicholas wanted to keep it so I told him he could clean it and he managed to throw it out by mistake - lol!! I refused to let him rummage through the rubbish for it, mean mummy!