Today I’m thrilled to bring you a guest post written by Joy, who blogs at Joy in This Journey.
Joy is one of the nicest people I have met in the time I’ve been blogging. She is a fantastic writer and a fabulous person. Even over the internet, she exudes compassion, wisdom, and an indomitable spirit. And with reason. She has not had an easy road (read her bio for more on this), and yet she moves forward, making a difference.
If you’ve ever known children who’ve put foreign objects in their mouths, you’ll be able to identify with her post. Read it, comment, and then go visit Joy’s blog. You’ll be glad you did.
On Wednesday, the day my sinuses were most full of cold virus, I huddled under a blanket in the family room. Little Boy bounced and twisted, rolled and flopped on the couch across from me. I was too sick to manage my usual “Quit jumping on the couch” bark.
He coughed. Normal I know, but it was just odd enough that quit averting my eyes from the bouncing. He was laying on his back, squirming. As I watched, he caught his breath, scrambled to a seated position, and then wailed, “I ate-ed a penny!”
For the love of… I’m not up for this today.
I pulled myself out of the chair and digging deep for kindness, wrapped my arms around him. “It’s ok, honey. Did it hurt?”
“Yeeeeeeeeeeesssssssss!” he sobbed. “I am so sorry, mommy. I didn’t mean to ate-ed the penny!”
“Can you still feel it?” I asked.
He nodded, still bawling.
Oh shit. It’s stuck. I have to rush him to the hospital. He’s going to need surgery. I’m going to be sleeping there tonight.
I looked him over carefully.
Get a grip. What are you, a novice? His color is good. He’s breathing fine. He doesn’t need to go to the E.R.
I grabbed the telephone.
“Hi, yes, my three-year-old just swallowed a penny. Can I just watch him and see if it passes?”
“You need to bring him in. Can you be here in an hour?”
Fan-friggin-tastic. I have to get dressed.
The nurse opened the waiting room door and didn’t even call his name. “What did you do, buddy?” she chuckled at him.
“I ate-ed a penny.” So matter of fact.
“Why did you do that?”
“It was in my mouth.”
“Are you sure he swallowed a penny?” The tech looked less than thrilled about the age of her next patient.
“Oh yes.” I blew my nose and plunged my germy hands back into my hoodie.
“All right, you stay here and I’ll take him back.”
Well aren’t you the optimist! Knock yourself out.
Another tech walked out. “So he swallowed a penny? I have this rule,” he chuckled. “Never eat a penny that’s been eaten already. You know where it’s been.”
I forced a smile, straining to hear how Little Boy would handle this tech.
Should I tell them? Nah – they won’t see the scar since they didn’t have him take off his shirt.
I feigned amateur-mom-ness until the x-ray printed. “You want to come look at this?” He waved me over to the printer. “You know, that looks bigger than a penny.”
The bright white perfect circle lept off the film. “Wow. There it is. And look, there’s his stent.”
The tech gaped at me. “He has a stent?”
Pretty sad what a kick I get out of messing with radiologists.
I grinned. “Come on, bud. We’re done here.” I raced after my son who was heading into phlebotomy. Glass tubes! Colorful caps! It’s a boy’s paradise!
“Come see this,” the doctor said, beckoning me down the hall. He flicked on the light and pointed at the x-ray film. “There it is, well below his diaphragm. It will pass all the way through. You sure it’s a penny?”
“Well no, I didn’t see it. Sure does look more like a nickel. Hey, I don’t have to look for it in his poop, do I?”
“Mommy! I’m hungry!” Little Boy tugged at my arm.
“Well, honey, maybe next time you won’t eat a nickel for lunch. It isn’t a very filling meal, is it?”